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The Inner Rub of Being “Here”… “Now”

By Dr. Brian Allison


In our more sober moments of personal, existential reflection, we may bitingly realize, at least from an earthly point of view, that life, at best, is a gnawing, impenetrable mystery, filled with curveless circles and silent sounds—-clearly paradoxical and callously taunting—-deceptively offering a mirage of a familiar, well-travelled road, but persistently serving up a speedway on which we are seemingly careening out of control at every turn and bend, tightly squeezing between converging cement walls on a grease slick route. (Sounds a little melodramatic, eh? Perhaps, but nonetheless true). Perplexing, even disturbing, questions about life and beingness rudely emerge within the prison-house of our consciousness (baiting our sense of sanity), with little likelihood of satisfactory (and comforting) solutions. Hmmm…brashly life does not play fair; at worst, it is often just plain cruel. To survive, we must, through intentional self-training, learn to comfortably cuddle and caress the relentless tension and slippery stretch of beingness—-of course, while attempting to balance skillfully the need not to snap nor break into a million little pieces as we precariously strive to avoid the collision of internally conflicting concepts and ideas that make up the well-worn, even thinning, fabric of our dogmatically-held belief and value systems. And even if we do seemingly snap or break, complicated by the aggravating contradictions of the inner experience of self, the next day we must, in some way, miraculously trek the same winding mental/intellectual odyssey—-with supposedly a fresh story-line; but rooted in the old, dull history. However, whether acknowledged or not, though we may warily wake up to an unchanging continuity and routine monotony, we may equally awaken (offering hope) to a potential, and even inviting, encounter with a higher, hidden reality (made visible only to inner spiritual eyes)—-our eternal escape as it were; and to the possible emancipation from a self-inflicted, yet nature-driven, compulsion for meaning and significance…finally securing the holy grail of a sustained peace; always caught (and pulled) between these two seemingly conflicting worlds—-miles apart, but joined at the hip—-and yet having to live and survive (it would seem) devotedly in one or the other (exclusively) in courageous, manly fashion; summoned to be faithful to the dictates and demands of each (in order to be deemed bona fide participants)—-pitifully no other options. And furthermore, while also striving to secure our sense of authentic self in this fog of a mental-chewing malaise, yet unable to stop the devious seduction of our false self—-we must simultaneously act out the familiar, common-place roles of ‘friend’ and ‘foe’ in ourselves, to ourselves—-typically awakening and staring into the cracked, cold mirror of our quivering, though not yet paralyzed, minds at an oft-time stiff, lifeless reflection, baffled and bewildered about who we are, or who we want to be, or even where we are going, but still “called” to be assured that our highest end remains plainly in view (and reachable), and that truth, and even hope, really do exist…somewhere…out there. And that, my friend, is a poignant (perhaps jolting) picture of the life of faith, a faith that eventually will, and must, save us.

© Brian Allison, 2010