Hobbled by Ignorance
By Adam Crosthwaite
How do you explain what it is like to stand in middle of mountain valley surrounded by a blizzard to a mind that has no concept of a cool summer breeze? This has been the contrast my mind has struggled to comprehend in the past few months as I find myself tripping over my own feet along a seemingly unfamiliar path. As one month passes into another a new landscape of awareness unfolds revealing secrets that were once held captive by an ignorant mind. Still each new view tells me more about my own ignorance than the last as the layers of deceit are torn away allowing a purer light shine into my world.
The emotive forces of the soul have tossed me into realms which at first seemed to be new; the light is slowly let in to a view as revelation lends a new perception on the same old story. My path has spiraled once again and I find myself facing a new level of challenges. The difference this time is that I have an awareness about me which maps out a portion of the arena where I once stood toe to toe with myself before. The rules haven’t changed much, this time around, yet I am strangely aware of a handicap I never noticed before. Last time I was here I believed I would make it and I did. This time I know I can make it, but the intemperate voice echoing somewhere from the egoic side of my mind has ridiculed my actions and hobbled my steps as it has been trained to do by the self conscious actions of an intemperate mind.
“This is ridiculous. It should never take this long to get anywhere. Let’s try it my way.” As our diversion from the path quickens, the pace putting time and space between goals and intention, the hobble seems to disappear. “See how much better it is this way?” The voice sounds sweet and caring, until the attention is turned back to the path from which I strayed, “NO NO this is the way. What is wrong with you? You can’t do anything right can you? You see that is why we need each other! We will do better this way.” Suddenly the hobble returns as the pace is redirected back toward the path from which I strayed. Each step is more strenuous as I struggle to distance myself from the nagging distractions I have cunningly placed in my path to guide me away from my inner path.
This is a mild example of the field on which the inner battles of Armageddon take place. I have chosen to save some of my darker battles for future writings as I have shared some from my first experiences on the inner path in past writings. As Dr. Strickler illustrates for his students time and again, each level takes time to adjust to even for a Master. As I move along this path I find myself repeating those levels where details were missed. You would be amazed at how many times you can repeat a mistake until a lesson is learned. The contrast of each level may be as different as the lake effect blizzards David and the rest of the crew from meditation class have described to me and the great wall of a dust storm screaming toward Phoenix in early summer, late spring here in the desert. Yet just like the Rocky mountain blizzards I enjoyed getting lost in with my dad as a little kid and the winter storms rolling across Lake Michigan swallowing the rush hour commuters, each experience shares a common denominator. The challenge comes when the common denominators are pit falls and blind spots overlooked by the traveler.
Some of the simplest answers have been unveiled by treading on unsteady and at times dangerous ground. It is hard to imagine the depths of ones own darkness. Unfortunately it can not be revealed merely by words. You have to experience the darkness in order to map out the terrain aided by the light which beams forth from within as it is borrowed from the source. But you can’t even borrow a light without first clearing away the rubble left behind from the countless encounters with your own ignorance. Be it in the plastic maze of illusion that one creates out of fear or the deep pit dug to hide the ugly little bits we try so desperately to forget, everyone finds themselves believing they are alone in the darkness. An interesting concept once you consider the hidden pitfall cloaked by the very word TRY, which by its very meaning it implies failure. So try as you might to hide you will fail as the skills retained in your subconscious mind respond in exact proportion to the words used in every day communication by people who TRY to cling to their ignorance. Such an obvious revelation once you see it, yet it takes one who has mastered the many levels and acquired the necessary patience to guide others, such as my Spiritual Mentor Dr. Strickler, to show the way even when it seems to be screaming in your face, “THIS WAY!”
It is also interesting how the illusion of isolation is so predominate when people are faced with themselves. I remember the feeling of isolation for the first few months after my separation from my wife a year and a half ago. This bizarre feeling of knowing you are not alone and not physically seeing any one still catches me by surprise from time to time. Perhaps I would do well to remember how long it has taken for me to recognize myself, even within the small extent that I have so far, once I started getting to know myself instead of my television or another person to occupy my space so I could maintain my inner ignorance. It is exceedingly difficult to recognize the real you when you are a total stranger to yourself and not just a polished reflection created in the image and likeness of, as some would say, God.
How could any one even claim to know themselves if they can not even recognize the subtle response from their physical body as it experiences the surge of energy emitted from the nonphysical as they slander themselves with this egoic sentiment?
This I have felt many times as I opened my mouth without processing my thoughts clearly through the mind I have been retraining with the guidance of my Spiritual Mentor Rev. Dr. David Strickler. It is as difficult to understand how people can willingly chose ignorance, especially as it is an unnatural state of human consciousness. The contrast of truth has clearly not yet dawned for these poor individuals. The mental incarceration of ignorance is quite childish from the view point of those whom embarked on a revelatory journey along the inner path and yet I still see myself as an incarcerated child from time to time. Perhaps it is the love I learned to recognize along the path that enables the emancipation process to unfold. I slowly pry open the make shift cell of ignorance which requires at times pain, but I continue to pry. I have come to understand the nature of love as something alien to those portions of my being still captive in the miniature prisons I created at many levels. I have seen how one must first tread through the gate of one’s own hatred to acquire the gift of love.
One of the things I have been taught by my Mentor is that when we attempt to hit a target and miss we still have another attempt. You can miss the bull’s eye until you run out of arrows, but each attempt that brought you closer to the goal has built a ladder so you can still climb and reach the mark. You can stand there all day trying to hit the mark. You will never succeed if all you do is try. The difference is he who attempts never tries to fail.