Necessary and Urgent: Where The Heart Goes

“If your everyday practice is to open to all of your emotions, to all of the people you meet, to all of the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that—then that will take you as far as you can go. And you’ll understand the teachings that anyone has ever taught.”

–Pema Chodron, American author and Tibetan Buddhist. ordained nun and a disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Buddhist meditation master).

I can see myself, standing on a hillside, gazing out across an ocean of trees, the mist drifting slowly between the spaces where no tree stood. The sun had not fully revealed its brilliance; the sky was the deepest blue I have ever seen, and I knew where I was going—to that place I had discovered all on my own years ago. When I saw it for the first time, I knew it would not be the last time. I somehow knew that there would be many more visits to come.

I know something about the role emotions play in our view of the world. As someone who had experienced a pretty full range of emotional traumas, emotional deficits, and emotional highs, it became necessary to investigate the psychology of emotional extremes, along with pursuing a better understanding of my subjective experiences, with an urgency matching the potency of those events.

After many years of effort in this regard, approaching the subject from a variety of angles, I have come to understand better that circumstances which seem inexplicable at first often do actually have explanations; choices can be made based on statistical analysis or on a hunch. Occasionally, some combination of empirical data and speculative ideas can yield surprising conclusions. All of the expected and unexpected urgencies in our lives, often tend to be less so once engaged, and we sometimes find that aspects which we did not consider to be especially urgent, ultimately rise in importance, and in ways we did not anticipate. At this time in my life, all of the experiences with feelings, and in making the necessary efforts that felt so urgent, including the creation and expression of these writings and ideas, while they have been at least instructional for me personally, still seem to be leading somewhere that I have not yet arrived.

Where The Heart Goes by JJHIII24

We must follow where the heart goes;
We must follow the path to where the heart goes;
We must embrace the path to where the heart goes,
And join with the others on that path.

I must follow those who came before me,
And travel with those alongside of me;
Anticipate the arrival of those who are to come,
Bringing together past, present, and future—
What we describe as what came before us,
Where we are now, and what is to come.

My place is the present moment now;
Synchronous events brought me here;
Contemplation led me to embrace the
Feelings and thoughts which embody the now.
My truest feelings, my genuine thoughts
Prepare me for the eventual moment when
I am apart from the temporal world,
Still somehow within it, but not bound by it.

I still feel strongly that I have a greater distance to go in this life, and anticipate the days to come with a fair degree of hope that I can hold myself together long enough to share what I have learned by being who I am, not giving everything away, yet not withholding anything deliberately. One day, all of us, regardless of what side of the fence we are on, will be confronted by circumstances which require our best, life-affirming response, and the world will be better for it. We cannot know for certain if our efforts in life will ultimately yield a path to the goals we seek; it’s an evolution—an Inner Evolution.

6 thoughts on “Necessary and Urgent: Where The Heart Goes

  1. There is a magic here, a rightness just beyond my grasp. I can almost sense another world, a better one. Or perhaps it is just this world with better people. In any event I felt a sort of excitement, a sartori if you will. That odd and comforting sense that something pleasant and “right” is just around the corner. Aslan’s world if you will. Yes, the work you describe is necessary and urgent.

    1. You are quite generous in your description of the “magic here,” and I feel certain that the “rightness” you mention IS within your grasp. For the most part, what is needed is a greater willingness to be open to what is possible, and to extend the ideal of a better world to include the world in which we currently exist. We cannot easily eliminate every roadblock to this goal, nor can we transform all the people in the world to suddenly become better, but we can strive for this rightness with vigor and encourage others to join in the effort. In the metaphorical sense, what is truly “right,” however it might be defined, is always just around the corner for each of us, and we can only achieve the comforting sense when we are truly engaged in the pursuit of it.

      Merriam-Webster defines satori as “sudden enlightenment and a state of consciousness attained by intuitive illumination representing the spiritual goal of Zen Buddhism.” While this is a completely legitimate ideal that we can aspire to achieve, to whatever degree might be possible in this life, it implies that there actually IS “another world, a better one,” and the excitement you speak of is one of anticipation of the possibilities which may ensue along the path toward this goal. It isn’t necessary to be an adherent or a follower of Zen Buddhism in order to be striving toward a greater understanding of our world, which, incidentally in my opinion, has plenty of better people in it already. We may have to work a little harder to find them, depending on where we spend most of our time, and your cottage by the water sounds like a little piece of heaven itself.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful attention to my writing, and I would be very glad to know that anything I posted had the effect of improving any aspect of your experience of existence in any way. You certainly have become an important voice in my own machinations here.

    1. It felt appropriate to include that particular piece in this blog entry, and when I review my writing as I prepare to post, I consider whether or not a poem contributes to the unity of the topic as expressed, and when it comes together it is very pleasing indeed. Thanks for your visit!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s