I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Last week I decided to shift the stagnant energy I was feeling by taking in a dose of humor, so I visited one of my favorite sources, The Onion. While reading their excellent satirical “news” articles, I came across one entitled, Grown Adult Actually Expects To Be Happy. Little did I know that my quest for humor, of all things, would send me into an existential tailspin that would have me sobbing for hours.

What really stuck in me like a barb was that the fictitious subject of the article, “Rob Peterson”, is just like me. I too, am still expecting to achieve lasting peace within myself and contentment with life. I too, keep thinking, someday, things will get better. Someday, I will be happy and satisfied with my life. But this “someday” has yet to arrive, and given that I have one foot firmly planted across the threshold of “middle age”, I have my doubts that it ever will. I had to ask myself, when will I ever attain this mythical “long lasting happiness”? Am I doomed to be discontent, frustrated and miserable for the rest of my life? Worse yet, will I ultimately drown in this cesspool of bitterness and cynicism? Beneath these questions, there was something much deeper at the core of my anguish, something fundamental that my mind could not grasp in that moment. In the catharsis of tears, an understanding began to emerge.

Aren’t we all “Rob Petersons” to some extent? I would say yes, which is why most of us can relate to that article, and as is all too often the case, the satire cuts a little deep. Reading it was not unlike laughing while being stabbed in the ribs. I began to see that the reason we get so crushed when things don’t go our way or when “enduring happiness” eludes us, is partly because we have all these expectations about the future, and believe that once we have achieved xyz list of goals, then we will finally be happy. But even when we achieve those goals, the happiness is only temporary. This is because it isn’t “happiness” we actually yearn for, it’s wholeness, and that is something the world can never provide. In fact, it is this very broken-ness that keeps us in this dysfunctional, parasitic matrix to begin with.

I am going to take a moment to provide some background on the energetic dynamics of this particular experiential matrix (or universe) we find ourselves in, based on my own insights and internal gnosis, along with some insights from my husband who experiences gnosis as well. My hope is that this will help clarify why regardless of what we do in this world, we just “can’t get no satisfaction.” First, understand that when I speak of “matrix” or “universe”, I am referring to a created space that, simply put, functions as a platform for experience. There are a boundless number of these matrices or universes throughout the All of Creation and they provide an endless variety of experiential possibilities. Understand too, that this particular matrix we are in, is a matrix within a matrix within a matrix. It has been described as something like those Russian nesting dolls with one hidden inside the other. Not all of these matrices experience the kind distortion and dysfunction that characterize this matrix; you know what I refer to—genocide, rape, mass starvation, disease, the whole lot. On a spiritual level, before we project into this distorted matrix, we are whole, Self-Realized, Self-contained beings. We have no needs of any kind, and all our energy is generated within our Selves because of our direct link to what is often referred to as Creator of All, or more simply, Source. We are completely aware of our Selves as Creator/Explorers, which is why we projected into the larger experiential matrix to begin with—to explore.

Upon entering this distorted matrix, we are split in half in a process that is very similar to splitting an atom. This process of being split in two is the most traumatic experience imaginable for a spiritual being—or even an atom, as atoms too, are manifestations of the very intelligence of Creator. By being split, we are no longer whole and thus are unable to generate our own energy. Likewise, it makes our energy available to the demiurge of this matrix that cannot produce its own and must parasite off other beings to acquire it. Through this process of trauma and fragmentation, we not only become parasitic, but because it puts us in the position of constantly needing something, it also makes us very, very easy to control.

Thus, on some deep level we always know that something is missing, but because of the memory wipe we are subjected to upon entering this matrix as well, we just can’t pin-point what that “something” is. Hence we are constantly running on a hamster wheel, chasing a piece of cheese held out to us, but can never reach, constantly looking outside of ourselves for what will make us feel complete. Look! Happiness awaits you in a new leisure suit! Happiness in a silicone boob job! Happiness in the ideal mate! These notions of “happiness” and our relentless pursuit of them only serve to keep us feeling unfulfilled. Even when we attain the objects of our desire, the happiness is fleeting, and eventually we are left feeling unsatisfied yet again, and back on the hamster wheel we go. Furthermore, even if we were to find the other half that was split from us, because of the nature of the polarity and the energetic dynamics of that split, we can never physically come in contact with that other half in this world, because to do so would cause a cataclysm of such magnitude it would destroy the universe as we know it. This is something akin to bringing matter and anti-matter together–KABOOM! The only way that we can achieve our true state of wholeness is to exit this parasitic matrix and return to the Eternal Self that continues to exist beyond it—the Self that has never been split in two.

The hours of paralyzing crisis I experienced last week after reading the Onion article proved to be fruitful, thankfully. I realized that while I am still in this distorted matrix, I can attain a modicum of contentment and mental peace by dismissing the notion of “enduring happiness” and accept that happiness, like sadness, anger, or any other feeling, is a transient experience. I can also choose not to build up expectations about what will happen in the future, and instead anchor my attention on what I am feeling and experiencing right now. If I am feeling pain or distress, I can accept that this is what I am feeling now, and know that it, like all experiences, will pass.

Likewise, instead of setting myself up for the inevitable disappointment that stems from seeking to attain happiness, I can choose to foster joy. Joy, unlike happiness, is not contingent upon certain events happening; it is what we are and available to us any moment we choose to connect with it. For me, it arises into my awareness by being fully present in the moment and not attempting to run away from what I’m experiencing. I can be feeling pain, grief, rage, loneliness, etc. and still experience joy. I find joy in connecting in my relationships (both human and non-human), in meaningful creativity, and in very simple pleasures such as feeling the warmth of sunshine on my back, admiring the beauty of nature, or enjoying a hot cup of tea.

The emotional tribulation I endured last week triggered by The Onion article became an intensely cathartic and enlightening experience; it also proved to be nothing less than ironic. Who would have thought that deep emotional catharsis and greater spiritual clarity could be found in the pages of “America’s Finest News Source”? Happiness may be fleeting, but indeed, humor abounds.


Note: Image above courtesy Eric on Flickr. If anyone has a link to his site, please contact me so I can include it. Thank you!



A Three Stooges Universe

Have you ever watched any of the old Three Stooges movies? I have, and I enjoy them in small doses because I love how they comically depict the crazy antics of the ego, and utilize an exaggerated, cartoon style violence; even though they get clobbered with bricks, smash each other over the head with wooden beams and poke each other in the eyes, they just pick themselves up, dust off and carry on! Of course, if they were actually getting hurt it wouldn’t be funny at all, but because we know that no one is really getting hurt, that it’s all a work of fiction, it becomes hilarious!

I had my own Three Stooges moment that took place over a year and a half ago and resurfaced earlier this year with a very different perspective. I was in a phase of this rich, delightful journey through perimenopause in which my moods were often nothing less than demonic and I was ready to eviscerate anyone for any reason at all. It was during this time that my husband and I got into a quarrel that became quite the sore spot in our hearts. The subject of our fight is not particularly important as we all know how couple’s quarrels are often very intense and important to those doing the quarreling, and utterly asinine to those unfortunate enough to witness them. Yet such arguments can quickly escalate when deeply buried shadow issues are surfacing to be reconciled, as was the case for us at that time.

We were shouting at each other and calling names when suddenly my husband threw a pillow in my face. It didn’t do any damage, of course, because it was a pillow, but it hurt. In that moment I was so angry, I wanted to jump up and rip his ears right off his head. Immediately a voice within me asked, do you really want to take this to the next level? In the split second it took me to consider, I said YES. And up I went, lunging at him. We grappled with each other down the hallway like two cage fighters until finally we both got tired and went off to sulk in separate rooms. We emerged from that fight with our bodies unscathed, but our hearts deeply bruised. It was such a painful episode in our emotional life that I just didn’t want to think about it, so I tossed it in the “I don’t know how to deal with this” bin and basically forgot about it.

Fast forward one year… I was at my hellish department store job focusing on a task, when for some reason the memory of that awful incident came to mind. And suddenly, I began to laugh. And I laughed some more. The laughter began to roll out of me in great snorts and throaty gobbles. I couldn’t stop laughing! I was laughing with such forcefulness I began to dribble in my pants. And on it went; it was uncontrollable, delirious laughter unlike anything I’d experienced before. I wasn’t laughing to cover over the pain of the incident because I felt no pain about it at all anymore. Nor was it a mocking, self-effacing laughter. It was laughter of pure, unbridled hilarity.

One year had distanced me from that painful event, yet recalling it in my mind at that moment was like watching some wacky Three Stooges episode! Just as Curly, Larry and Moe go through insane antics that appear to be caustically violent, no one is ever hurt because they are role-playing a work of fiction. And in that moment I knew beyond any doubt that my entire life and the world as we know it is nothing more than just that—a work of fiction. Not only that, but a work of fiction I had willfully convinced myself into believing is real. This realization was nothing less than an epiphany—an epiphany of great hilarity.

When I arrived home later that night (with a very sore side, I might add) I shared the bizarre experience with my husband, and he too, found it hilarious but with a tinge of compassion for the parts of us that had been so painfully convinced of its reality. I realized then that this perspective shift was a gift I had bequeathed myself to allow in a profound healing, not just for that particular experience, but as an opportunity to witness all the traumas I’ve experienced in this world from an expanded perspective, that of the Eternal Self that cannot die or be injured in any way, and unequivocally knows when it projects itself into this matrix, that it will emerge unscathed. I realize for most it may be difficult to believe or even conceptualize that what goes on in this insane and oftentimes painful “reality” has absolutely no detrimental effect on the highest levels of our Beingness, but in my experience this is the case.

While I feel profound gratitude to have experienced a painful moment from a wholly different perspective, it has not yet filtered over to all the other painful episodes of my life. However, it has allowed me to begin thinking about them in a different way—that of knowing that whatever craziness goes on in this Holodeck universe, the data from the experience is stored, but absolutely none of the trauma comes with us when we return to the Self from which we projected. More importantly, it also crystallized within me how I intend to leave this world: When it comes time for me to exit this body and return to my point of initiation, it will not be with tears of grief, bitterness or despair. No, I choose to leave this world in glorious, uncontrollable peals of laughter, knowing that what I AM can never be defeated, damaged, or killed, knowing that exploring every possible facet of this created universe has been but a brief moment in the timelessness of Eternity. I choose to leave knowing that I AM already at Home and always have been, awaiting my return from this most poignant, amazing, and oftentimes hilarious adventure.