Here is a special treat. A guest post by my brother Wayland. He is a co-founder of The Charis Project, an officer in the United States Marine Corps, and one of the more spiritually aware people I know. A heads up: he prefers to work in shocking and uncomfortable imagery.
I spend a lot of time working through the choices thrust upon me be the sex and violence of day to day existence. Things like, what do I do now that I know the reason I don't see my students anymore is because they got sold to people who gang raped them? How do I keep the other kids I try to protect from having the same thing happen to them? Or, and this is much more banal, how do I keep the people I'm in charge of from doing something really stupid like marrying the stripper they met this weekend? Or how do I deal with my friend having killed himself after coming back from war? Or how come after doing everything I possibly can for this girl, in the most uncreepy, honest, and open way I could, it still seems like I have to use an ice pick to chisel my way through bitch mountain to get through to her?
We all face hardship and suffering, and for those of you who wish to change the world, you know who you are, the biggest sources of suffering come from the dissonance between the way things should be, which is obviously not the way things are, and the way things actually are. (Just admit it. Sh..y.) Now just try and follow the same path of self sacrifice and selfless giving up of yourself to change this and see how long it takes to, either end up drinking every night and generally feeling depressed, or, and I would argue that in this economy with gas prices the way they are this is the worse choice, becoming super conservative religious and trying to shut out all that pain with yet more small groups, even more volunteering and yet ever more advice from spiritual teachers. Not that there is anything wrong with any of this IN IT'S PROPER CONTEXT. That goes for the drinking every night also by the way. But the reason I, we, engage in these types of self destructive behavior is because we have taken our sacrifice and the love behind it and bent it out of it's proper context. Actually we have taken ourselves out of the proper context because we have fallen into the all too easy and most banally evil path of defining ourselves in opposition to what we oppose and in so doing become less than what we are.
When you really care about something, it gets really easy to define yourself in terms of opposing what is bad for it.
On a scale of twisted to perfect, that leaves us twisted, just like everything else that's wrong, including Lucifer, but I'll get to that at a later and undisclosed point. And don't think for a minute I'm about to say something about just embracing universal love and there is good in all. Find out about the girls you spent your time and effort looking after getting gang raped and see how long it takes for you to come up with new and exciting ways to dismember someone unto death and be absolutely right to feel that way.
I'm actually going to take this in a whole other direction. I'm really more interested in penetrating to the guts of the problem, and splitting it wide open to the point that it turns inside out and becomes something new. In doing so, I had to go looking for inspiration. I still find it strange that such would come from my work, which is really a lot more boring than people give it credit for. There is this concept we have called maneuver warfare, by which we seek not to kill off the enemy, but to destroy the enemy's system in key ways that cause him to collapse with as little real destruction as possible. It turns out God does the same thing.
Which means I'm about to go off in yet another direction. Those of you who know or, better yet, are mothers know what real selfless sacrifice actually is. Consider that God describes himself as a mother. He also calls himself love. Now, that word has been corrupted in the modern context to mean something more along the lines of, I love you, but…
I love you but you need to be more open.
I love you but you need to not not push me away.
I love you, but change or I can't do this anymore.
Or, "I care about poverty/love poor people, but we will always have the poor." Read: "I can't deal with this right now".
(What does that even mean? )
In other words the modern context of love has become hugely self centered and ends up leading us into defining ourselves and what we care about in opposition to what we don't like. Mothers, or at least good ones, know better. I'm not, nor will ever be one, but I am aware enough to see that waking up at all hours of the night to let a screaming, completely self centered little mammal literally suck nutrients out of you demands something else to be going on. Something very unselfish and rather embracing of the way things actually are and addressing them as they are, i.e. a screaming little mammal that needs to be fed.
Now, tying this back to maneuver warfare, I'm going to have to make an all too tantalizing jump into the mystical world of ideas. Ideas like, love is actually more than an emotion (it is that too, and that's totally fine) it's a choice you make. In fact it's one of those choices you make when confronted with the sex and violence of everyday existence.
This means I'm going to have to get to the point, which is that there is nothing wrong with pouring yourself out in self sacrifice for what, and who, you care about. And to make sure you don't end up being selfish about it you destroy the system that leads to that outcome. I have found the fastest way to totally overcome it all is to decide to be a slut about it. Love everything. The brokeness, the twistedness, the retrograde behavior. Try turning it on yourself if you want to get real kinky. Forgive and love everything about yourself. I know this feels strange at first, but we have to learn to take care of ourselves, you know. This works because love isn't a two way exchange between something or someone you are trying to get something from. It is a one way transformative (read redemptive) force that changes the twisted, broken things to what they, we, were meant to be. Destroy the system by embracing it and thus causing it to adapt to you, to the light that lives in you.
What better way to damage an agenda of damage than by applying a transformative and redemptive force to it. Instead of pushing away that which we are revolted by, and thus bringing it's existence into more clear relief, why don't we get right up next to it, assume that everything we hear about us being bigger, better, and more powerful is true and thus compel the that which is weaker to adapt to that which is stronger. It's a law of biology that the larger organism absorbs the smaller. It seems to work in all of life as well.
This makes dealing with your former students, if you can ever find them again, a lot easier because you can love their brokenness, and thus have any hope of changing it. You can love your friend who killed himself and leave it at that. You can love the people you are in charge of, and for that matter who are in charge of you, do your job and leave it at that. And you can love the passivity and sadness of the girl making you use an ice pick to chisel you way closer to her, which has a dramatic effect on determining how committed you are and how much you really care and actually produces positive changes. At least that is how it all works for me.
As for Lucifer? God loves him.......