Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

My Karma

Originally posted on May 28, 2014

I’ve had it easy. No, Uncle Bud says, You were given the stresses and challenges you could handle, precisely calibrated to your talents and potentials. A small part of this judges—erroneously—and compares myself to the cultural ideal of the courageous and stoical Marine who takes on stresses of the training and the battlefield that would perhaps leave me depleted, if indeed I could cope with such stresses. I’ve been tempted to be ashamed, comparing myself. It’s like a hard life is masculine.

But my guardian angel—my name for him is Uncle Bud—says that I need my limbic system within my brain quiet so I can access the richness of the transcendent realms and channel and process them as creativity and art and insight. I admit I like doing this, and I’ve become gradually aware that I’m pretty good at it.

Occasionally I encounter others whose mental agility and complexity and/or openness to insights and the beyond clearly outdo mine. Tempted to be envious, I relax into loving what they do and loving what I do at my level. It’s my dharma and I accept it. Thinking that I “should” be different from who I am is a fruitless exercise. 

Contemplating my life, as I do, let me affirm that my tastes are not extravagant. Sometimes I feel guilty that I desire comfort rather than the aforementioned soldier’s level and type of challenge. I feel pampered, and worse, I feel I want it, I need it, and I further suspect that I could cope with less than optimal, but then I’d have little psychic energy left for contemplation. I like a life of pleasant ease: It liberates me to do my thing as best as I can.

So I accept my good fortune with the rationalization that it frees my nervous system to turn and open to creativity, and my makeup is such that I work well with what inspires me. Not to get too big a head, I don’t assume that I channel creativity perfectly. I have no doubt that I impose personal neuroses as well as cultural world-views on the source-flow, but then again, it must be that way—at least at this point in evolution. Perhaps in the future there will be less and less of such imposed contaminations, and that itself is part of a vision of the future.

I restate my life myth as it takes on greater coherence: God-as-Universe at least in this realm we call reality must create through us. There is a gradient of positivity, but it’s not imposed; it’s co-created, or not, and evolves through many sad, tragic, foolish side-ventures and blind alleys, evils as well as saintly sacrifices, bumbling towards progress. There may be only one step forward, a fifty-first, beyond fifty steps forward and fifty-steps back, or to the side.

Another balance in my myth is the joy of play, of adventure, of experiment, of letting go of control, and the side-effect is, as the Indian Chief says to Peter Pan, “Sometimes you-um win; sometimes we-um win.” I allow that beyond the rules of a game, the game seeks sort-of-equal playing skill, or at least a handicap. The image of God in total control, of willing this or intending that, seems to me to be a bit of an anthropomorphic projection of a king’s power. It doesn’t include the archetype of a kid playing a game, a willingness for there to be the aforementioned values of adventure and thus surprise.

I confess my ignorance but also am pretty sure that others who claim to be more certain are equally ignorant, so my own myth-making stays in the running, as far as I’m concerned. Others of course will think they’re right and I generally have no objection. Doesn’t hurt me none.

On a slightly different note, dare we recognize the inevitability of our becoming aware of the individual twists we impose on doctrine? It’s like recognizing that there are germs. What I bring from depth psychology is the awareness that the mind is inescapably complex and we cannot help but imposing our own blend of temperament, interests, cultural conditioning, and other variables. I suspect rather strongly that no two people experience reality in precisely the same way.

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