On patience, judgment, suspension and humbly shutting the fuck up so your experiences can speak for themselves

Posted: December 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

I have absolutely no godsdamned idea what I am going to write right now, but the beerfaeries were all like “OH HEY YOU SHOULD STRING WORDTHINGS TOGETHER AND MAKE SOUNDNOISES TIPPYTAP ON KEYBOARD MACHINE”.

So here I am. Tippy tap. Stringy words. A good set of words, strung, I think, as fractured pearls on a lacy bit of sinew braided around some vocal cords.

vocal_cordSeriously? That’s what vocal cords look like? Whoa.

So anyway, words. Patience. Judgment. Suspension — as in, suspend judgment, through application of patience — and finding the Humility to shut the fuck up (inside and out) so that your Experiences can speak for themselves.

We try so hard as fleshy material earth babies to paint pretty wordthings and labelforms upon All The Things, as if the greatest gift that the gods gave us was the ability to come up with clever names for things. And you know what? Maybe that’s true. Or maybe it’s a load of horse shit. (But even horse shit has its uses.) But here’s my thinking on this fucking thing: we name things because this makes us feel like we own them. We really like to own things. We’re fleshy material earth babies, after all, so we get fucking engorged on the idea of ownership and control.

I once read something in a famous author’s blog — probably Neil Gaiman, given that his is the only blog I ever remember reading — about a trick to up your chances of getting a short story published. Submit it without a title. An editor will read it, and if it’s any good at all, they’ll start fishing around in their headmeat for a title. Why? Because we fucking love to stake ownership on things. And, editors spend an awful lot of time reading shit, but maybe it’s a fucking sparkly gemstone in their week to get to make a thing they’re reading and possibly publishing uniquely their’s by pissing out a title on it, all helpful like. I have no idea if this works in the publishing world. (I also love editors, so, if any are reading this — please don’t be offended. I’m sure you only rarely piss on short story submissions.)

So anyway, pissing on things– I mean, titling things, labeling things — is a way that we gain control over them. Like slapping a big tattoo “PROPERTY OF ME, BITCHES” across a slab of meat or tagging the side of a building with your graffiti dick shot or whatever, we label the shit out of things so that everyone out there (or at the least, all those pesky doubting Thomasii in our own godsdamn head) shut up and recognize how fucking sparkly our crowns and thrones and scepters are. I mean, we fucking named that shit. That’s like, a step above predicting it, and way better than actually doing anything, right? Because only provincial peasant stock do things, whereas naming shit takes something special, amiright? You need to have some kinda unique vision and shit to name shit, even if your list and allotment of names are totally taken from pop-culture or some book you maybe read the inside flap of once, (or took inside to fap to, as in the case of most Jungians I know).

(…I’m just kidding, I don’t actually know any real Jungians.)

So here’s a novel fucking idea: stop fapping labeling things, learn some fucking patience, and let your experience of shit do the talking. You don’t need to stop naming shit altogether, but humanity’s over-dependence on neatly tagging and cataloging and labeling everything in sight is sort of obsessive and probably born of some major self-confidence issues. What is it that is so terrifying about not knowing what a thing is called, or where it fits?

In a recent entry I did my best answer a reader’s question about my experiences with the divine, and I mentioned spending years never knowing the names of my gods, even when They claimed me physically, completely, wholly. Since then there’s been some great dialog (both in public and private settings) and a lot of feedback from others who similarly didn’t have names for their gods and spirits and experiences right off. Oh hey, it turns out, real things don’t come with #hashtags or whateverthefuck that stupid trend is. Sometimes you need to just shut the fuck up, experience a thing, and accept that it may take years to figure out what it was about or what it was called or who it was or whatevethefuck. And sometimes, seriously? You never fucking know. And that’s fucking fine, too.

 

Often I get questions from people saying “Hey, I think that [insert a deity’s name here] has contacted me. How do I know if this is real?” . Tess Dawson wrote a good piece today that serves as a great introduction to this process. Here’s a great fucking passage from that:

“But be patient; sometimes it takes us a while to get to things. I know it feels urgent, and in some respects it is. Sitting with uncertainty is an unsettling feeling and it increases the sense of urgency. Take a deep breath and try to go into that uncertainty, acknowledge it, sit with it a while, and know that it will resolve…and often lead to even better questions. The harder you push against that uncertainty, the worse it feels; in contrast, the more you breathe into it and acknowledge it, and see it as an opportunity, the more you have to gain from it..”

And just because, here’s some words from another great writer, on breathing through shit:

Tune in at 2:44 in case the direct link doesn’t work

Or if that’s too 80’s for you:

Jump ahead to 0:22 for some shirtless passing-through.

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.”

Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, as taught to Paul by the Lady Jessica in the  biblically significant Dune series by Frank Herbert.

For most of us though, that’s too fucking hard. So instead we fail to suspend our judgments and labels and we fail to embrace patience in the face of fear of the uncertain and unknown and therefore we climb ever higher up the mountain of human arrogance and assume it our place to name the unknowable in the pursuit of making it more conveniently packaged for human consumption.

Well, fuck you, for that. And fuck me, too.

My gods are not for human consumption.

I’ll take a ditch of festering shit and carrion to those heights any day, never knowing a damn thing, with no name to utter out in prayerful desperation through cinch-dried throat and suntorn lips.

Why?

Because it is not my place to name the gods. It is my place to know them as they are, not as repackaged rebranded models that fit nicely on my fucking shelf. It is my job to be taken to the edge of madness — and over it and through it and off the fucking cliff of it if that’s what They want — and it is my job to let Them lift me back up again, or recognize that this time I’m supposed to bloody myself on the cliffside making the climb on my own, inspired hand-over-hand by Their fucking glory and the beauty of it all.

 

I don’t like labels. I find them to be the default position of the lazy and the mediocre. I find them to be the currency of the tragically sheltered. I find them to be the expectation of the privileged elite who can’t be bothered to acknowledge an authentic experience because, well shit, aren’t they excluded from that sort of dribbly nonsense? Aren’t we all fucking entitled to just have shit served up to us, prefabricated in its entire conceptualization with the answers all filled in and the t’s dotted and the eyes crossed and some fucking mustaches already scrawled across dead presidents on our greenbacks? Shouldn’t our world come pre-worn, factory-distressed, and ready for chic fucking image-propulsion through our bullshit facade pulled up like smothering plastic over the face of raw, wild, bloody Creation?

Tippity tappity tippity tappity. Word strung together on cords and sinew and whateverthefuck. Have a good night.

calvin-and-hobbes-on-ignorance

Comments
  1. Conor O'Bryan Warren says:

    Thanks, I needed to read this.

  2. Fuck, you’re my hero.
    Not in a comic-book worshipper sorta way, though. Don’t worry. 🙂

  3. On one level, I agree entirely.

    On another level (connected to filidecht), I couldn’t disagree more vehemently if I spent every breath I have left, and every drop of liquid in my body as ink, to express that being able to name things–which I think is very different than labeling them–is one of the only authentically “human” things that can and has ever been done, when it is right and effective and done well. (And, most often, it isn’t.)

    Much more could be said, but the vocal cords photo is kind of grossing me out, so maybe some other time. 😉

    • PSVL, thank you for bringing up an important point. There is indeed a great and sacred power in naming things, exactly as you have described here.

      But I don’t think that is what I rambled about here, in ranty fashion. There is no “dependence” and nothing “lazy” about the process you are alluding to. It is not a crutch. And it is also not a big part of one’s process of “experience”, but rather, is an experience unto itself.

      I don’t see these two things in conflict, and I may well write something up to navigate that. What I am discussing so critically is the naming-for-the-sake-of-a-false-sense-of-ownership, born not of sacred function (ala filidecht) but instead of insecurity, fear, and uncertainty.

  4. I’m glad you wrote this. Having just done some brain vomiting, I decided to go play read up before doing what I wanted the calm for. Epitome of a lazy moment, I know. I started writing a rant about labels yesterday or was it the day before, but then I stopped because I just knew somehow my unknown little self might end up in a drama filled debate that I didn’t want any part of. It’s a hot topic after all.

    Language and communication is one thing. We take words and labels to a whole different level that you hit the nail on the head with and I hate it. I hate being the outcast because I can’t use names half the time. Don’t have them. Don’t want them. But grunting and pointing is just so damn uncivilized.

    If my response to your response to my question (double checks that) irritated you, well I’m not really sorry because it was my response after all. On the one hand, you’ve just pretty well summed up what I’ve wanted to scream at people for years as they raise their hoity toity noses in my direction. On the other hand, to go for so long while it seems like everyone except for you seems to be just so damned certain of everything. To the point that you’re spoken down to, you’re outright dismissed, you’re blatantly told that you don’t have a clue though you know that you do. Well that’s not easy either. Of course, maybe it’s not supposed to be and that’s the point.

    You should totally be washing your hands in hooch all the time if these entries are what happens with alcohol buzzed fingers.

    • Nothing about your response — or your question! or your response to my response to your question! — irritated me in any way. Thank you for your continued reading, and continued honest sharing! I’ll let you know if I’m ever annoyed — as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I don’t do subtlety very well. (I’m about as subtle as a dead cow full of napalm and vodka with a lit rag hanging out the ass, lobbed through a PETA window.)

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s