The Lives of the Dead

Some of the most interesting people I meet are dead…

Archive for the month “July, 2015”

The Path of Least Resistance

first published July 8, 2014

seaweed

 

Ne

I was swept along by the tide of indecision. Always afraid of making a mistake, I never committed wholly to anything. The minute I walked into a new situation, I was already looking for the exit doors. Life happened all around me but I was not a full participant. I let others lead me, mold me, direct me. I was, indeed, nothing more than a piece of seaweed, drifting along, catching on some flotsam and clinging to it for a while, until I was washed away by a current, to float on my own,  until once again I caught upon something else.   My job, my marriage, my friends were all found along the path of least resistance.

I never stood up for what I believed because I never believed in anything. I was not a bad person. I did not harm others except, I suppose, by frustrating those who wanted more from me.

I was lucky, I suppose, in that I always managed to attach to the right kind of person – people who were stronger, more determined, more motivated, more passionate than I – and I rode along in their wake. So my life was comfortable enough. A decent existence. Not poor but not rich. Not accomplished, but not a failure. Not particularly happy but not exactly depressed.   Mainly, I existed going from day to day with very little drama. Which is not to say there wasn’t drama around me. I just didn’t get drawn into it. My attitude was “Do whatever you want. Let me know your decision.”

I guess I would say I sleepwalked through my life. My feelings were just a low hum in the background, like the sound made by power lines. I don’t remember ever getting angry. What was there to get angry about when nothing mattered?

From here, I understand that many of the things we find so very important during life turn out to have had no real value. We often chase illusion. Perhaps on some deep, spiritual level I instinctively understood that and so, was never drawn into the chase. But I also know now that if you don’t embrace it, feel it fully, allow yourself to be completely absorbed into it  as if it were the most important thing in the world, no matter how pointless the chase might ultimately be, you don’t get any of the lessons.

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If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!

 

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More from Davoo

 

 

First posted 7/3/14broken pencil

 

Davoo (again)

People want to know “Is there life after death” when the real question is “Is there life BEFORE death?”

Earth is school for the soul, and humans are just kids forced to be in the classroom, sometimes with a bad teacher and no pencil.

 

 

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Yes, today’s is a short one but there are some longer and more interesting ones are in the pipeline!  Don’t miss some really poignant, thought-provoking stories… Sign up to receive these stories via email!    And feel free to comment,  ask a question and/or  start a conversation about any of these stories or subjects.

Never-ending Tears

 

 

first published June 29, 2014

pool-of-tearsTan

Once the crying started, I couldn’t get it to stop. I’d held it together for months, confident I would be OK in the end; biding my time until the nagging pain stopped nibbling at my soul; waiting until the day came when I could forget about everything I’d lost. And then one day, after a series of small disappointments that wore down my resistance, I succumbed to self-pity. Wave after wave of tears washed over me.

I thought I would cry it out; purge myself of the last of it; begin anew, all fresh and clean. But the tears kept coming. I cried until my eyes were swollen shut. I cried and stopped eating.   I cried and didn’t bathe or dress myself. I cried and didn’t communicate with anyone. I cried and withdrew from the world. I cried and relinquished all responsibility. I cried in lieu of sleep, and then I slept in lieu of crying. I had nothing left inside for anything or anyone else. The tears flooded through me like a tsunami, washing everything away and leaving only destruction in its wake.

I stayed like that for a long time, steeped in that ineffable sadness, wondering obliquely if and when I would ever turn the corner, if I would ever see the sun again. But it seemed this path of desolation never ended. It just led me deeper and lower into a dark and lonely place from which there would be no redemption.

I didn’t even have the motivation to kill myself, at least not in a purposeful way. That would have taken too much thought and planning. I was barely functional. But I was already weak. All the humanity had drained out of me. I didn’t care about anything, including whether I lived or died.

Finally, I got up, left the house, went for a walk and simply stepped into traffic. It was quick.

I’m sorry I did that to that poor driver! Even though it wasn’t his fault, he never did (and probably never will) get over it. At least not during this lifetime. It was selfish of me, I know now, and I will have to pay for that; but at the time I wasn’t thinking of others. I wasn’t even thinking of myself.

I don’t know how I could have done it differently. I was just too weak in the face of my anguish.

 

 

Note:

Normally, I’m not a moody person. Emotionally, I’m quite even-keeled.   I am finding, however, that I am tending to internalize the emotions of the narrators or of narrators about to come.   The question is: Am I channeling their emotions first, thus priming me for their story? Or, am I only feeling my own emotion and thus writing from my own psyche?   Or,  are my own naturally-occurring emotions just an entry-point for the narrators?  (i.e. since I’m already feeling those feelings,  I am more able to interpret theirs.)  Again, I don’t know.  Reasonable arguments could be made for all these possibilities.

Today, before writing this one, and apropos of nothing, I couldn’t stop crying.  Things which haven’t bothered me for  a long time suddenly bubbled up and left me feeling emotionally fragile.   Then I wrote it down and it was all over.  Back to my normal stable emotional state.

I do know enough from my reading on the subject of psychic channeling however,  one must learn to let negative emotions  flow through without holding on to them.   Apparently, (according to the literature) holding on to them can be a danger.   I guess I should ritually “shake out” the bad vibes, just in case.  I hate to get all  “woo-woo” but maybe I ought to burn some sage?

 

Blessed Are You, Among Women…

woman walking to well

photo: gyaandna.com

 

New Post!

Lei

I never had to think for myself. Where I lived, a woman was not meant to think. She was meant to obey.  She was meant to follow first her father’s, then her husband’s commands. There was no good reason to teach her to read or write.  Men had to be careful not to let women have access to new and strange ideas.  A woman’s place was just below that of a good pack animal. She was judged by how much work she could do, by how much she could carry, and by her acquiescence to her master’s will.

The men held fiercely to their small power over women. Every possible minuscule advance in our status was weighed with great solemnity. They discussed and argued.   The loudest voices were the ones who warned, that if we were allowed to do this, soon we’d want to do that. And if we did that, there’s no telling when we’d demand to do such-and-such. Or, if we found out this, we might surmise that which might eventually lead us to discover so-and-so. And then, before you know it, we women would not be able to be controlled.

As a female, I learned at the breast that I was inferior to males, even the stupid ones, even the lame ones, even the young ones, even the evil and crazy ones.

I didn’t get angry about it. It never dawned on me that it should be any other way.  I would no sooner think that I could change the color of the sky or stop the snow in winter. These were just the immutable facts of life; laws of nature. Why waste energy on trying to change what cannot be changed?

Joy and relief were only to be found among women. In this sisterhood, we eased each others’ burdens and shared our hearts. We did not converse about changing our lot. We did not secretly plan to topple the status quo. We had no power and we knew it. And even if we could, by some miracle, shift the balance to our own favor, what then? We did not have the knowledge or skills to run things.   Perhaps we might eventually have learned what was necessary, but we might well have starved before then.

In our group of women, there was a funny one who could really make us laugh.  She imitated perfectly the fat man’s swagger, and his way of talking down to everyone as if he alone knew all the answers.  When she told stories of things she had seen in the village or in the fields or on the road to market,  she described them in her special way, noting funny things most of us would not have noticed. We giggled like little girls at her sharp-eyed observations.

But even she dare not show this talent to the men. She was far too clever to reveal her cleverness.  And if she dared not to rise up;  if she, in all her cleverness, saw no hope of changing the existing conditions, how could any of us even think about dreaming of change? It wasn’t hopeless. It just was.

We were not completely helpless. Sometimes the women banded together to achieve certain concessions from the men. But our demands were not for freedom or education. Such requests would only cause us to be beaten back down severely, to teach us our place.  We used our wiles.    Once, we wanted a new well closer to our end of the village so we didn’t have to carry water so far. We convinced the men of the economic logic in this. If we didn’t have to waste our time carrying water, we would then have more time and energy for other, more productive work. It was suggested – with words which were never spoken – that less time walking to and from the well meant less time for gossip.   Men hated women gossiping because they did not know what we were saying, and they understood something that we did not – that if we women ever decided to rise up together, the men would be helpless against us.   They could not vanquish us as an enemy. They could not kill us all. They could not live without our work; without our child-bearing and child-raising. I think they all lived in fear that one day, amid our gossip, we would suddenly realize  that although the men had the guns, the women held the power.

The idea of less time spent together appealed to their logic, and so we got our well.

Any man who thought by curtailing the time women spent together pulling water, they would curtail our gossip,  did not understand women at all (not that many of them did!). We simply made up the missed time while doing other communal chores.

This sense of community made light of our work. I cannot say the gossip did not sometimes get hurtful or petty or manipulative. In every group, everywhere, there are always those who will be small-minded and those who will rise above. Thus defines the dynamics of the group.

Our aspirations were never much higher than these types of mundane changes; changes which did not raise our status but merely rearranged the packs on our backs.

I cannot say I was unhappy. My life was my lot, and I accepted whatever came to me. I did not expect grace or kindness or respect in the world and so I did not feel deprived not to have it.

There is something to be said for accepting one’s lot in life the same way one eventually must accept one’s own face, the structure of one’s own body. Wishing for something different is a pointless. Better to put our energy into making the best of what we have.

To fight against that which cannot be changed is a sure recipe for an unhappy life.

The Martyr

first posted June 29, 2014

 

Wa

I martyred myself for a cause and took some of the enemy with me.  In the end, however, I accomplished nothing except to bring more pain and grief and misunderstanding into the world. Alive, the cause seemed all-important, absolutely worth giving my life for.  I was promised my reward in the afterlife. But the only reward is understanding that what I did was no more useful to the advancement of my cause than a small coin is of use to monumental poverty.

I believed at the time my death would be useful. It would show the enemy that the power and might of our beliefs far exceeded theirs. Our deaths would prove that our determination would prevail; that we could not be stopped. We wanted to put fear into their hearts.

We accomplished nothing except to alienate ourselves further and make compromise impossible.

Of course, one cannot allow oneself or one’s people to be subjugated. This is something which must be fought at all costs. It is always the righteous fight. It is only the method which I now question.

But  subjugation and enslavement, in one form or another, is just the way of the human world.   This is a given in every age. Somewhere, there will always be those who are powerless against a stronger, more formidable oppressor.

I am not sure what it means. Maybe subjugation exists so that we may attain nobility by fighting against it; that we may dedicate our lives to something greater than ourselves; so our bravery and faith may be tested; so we might be a part of a history that bridges the ages.

 

Note:

Wow.  This one surprised me.  I had no idea where it was coming from or where it was going until the end.  

Death of a Child

 

 

first posted June 23, 2014

momento mori child

Tre

I didn’t live long. I was not even three when I died. Plagued by health problem from before I was born, my time on Earth was full of doctors and hospitals and surgeries which only prolonged my suffering and postponed the inevitable.

I took it in stride. I didn’t know any better. Life, for me, was pain and discomfort.

It was worse for my parents. They worried constantly. They felt guilty and scared and depressed. My older brother suffered from neglect while my parents hovered over me, taking care of my every need; trying to give me as much joy and comfort as they could in what they knew would be my very short life.

It was a life I chose, but not for myself, for what lessons could a child of three learn about life except that it was full of pain and suffering? But this is hardly a unique lesson. Most humans learn it, in one form or another, in every lifetime.

No, I came for them, all of them. My parents, my brother, the sister who was born after I died and lived her life in my shadow and with my legacy; my grandparents whose pain was as acute as my parents’.

Their lessons were learned coming to grips with senseless loss and all its emotional manifestations.

I go to my mother sometimes and offer her my comfort. She seems to feel me, and finds peace in it. My father is more stoic. I know he sometimes (rarely) thinks about me and cries alone, away from everyone, but he composes himself quickly and continues to move through his day.

My brother was happy when I died but I don’t blame him. He was only five and needed love and attention that he wasn’t getting. There were so many, many nights when he went to sleep without seeing our mom and dad because they were at my bedside in the hospital. With me gone, he was the full focus of their attention.

Initially, he was happy for that. To him, I was nothing more than a broken toy, to be discarded. But my parents became over-protective and that soon stifled him, and dogged him, as well as the new baby who came a couple of years later.

I know they all still suffer from the emotional aftermath of my death, each in their own way, but they have also learned a lot – about themselves, about their strengths (both personal and as a family.) They are more compassionate to the suffering and pain of others. My parents’ marriage went through some rough times but ended up stronger for it.

I am grateful they have taken many positive lessons from my death, but I suppose even if they hadn’t, even if they’d broken up and fallen apart, there would have been lessons in that as well, although perhaps not understood until they, too, had passed on.

Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional

suffering NEW POST

Ipo  (it’s been a while!)

Every living thing — human beings, animals, plants — does what it must to avoid deprivation, injury and pain. This is their biological imperative.

When pain cannot be avoided, it must be numbed or ameliorated as best as possible, with whatever means available. This too, is a biological imperative.

Since there is no life without pain, part of each human journey is to develop one’s own methods for avoiding as much of it as possible. This defines life’s path.

Even those humans who harm themselves or invite others to inflict physical pain, do it to supplant/ protect themselves against/ distract themselves from an even deeper, psychic pain.

If the pain, whether physical or psychic, is ongoing and considerable and cannot be avoided,  the method used to numb that pain becomes an addiction.

Some quiet their pain with excessive drink or inebriates. Perhaps they court danger by taking unnecessary risks.  Perhaps they lie naked, too often, with strangers. Or attempt dominion over everything around them. They may eat or starve themselves until they lose their health; or acquire too many things they do not need; or alter their physical form in the hope their monster will not recognize them.

But these methods merely mask the pain; they do not destroy it.   Until it is vanquished, there can be no release from addiction.

Much pain can be eliminated once the source is found. In order to find it, however,  one must stop running from it. It must be allowed to manifest itself completely in order to ascertain the full shape and size of it. It must be studied and its weaknesses revealed. Confronting such a formidable enemy demands extraordinary bravery; it requires cutting a new path across uncharted territory.

Depression and anger are side effects of the belief that one is powerless against the pain.

The Mane Attraction

 first published June 20, 2014

really-bad-comb-over-in-dubrovnik-dubrovnik

Pen

Oh, my hair! It was a thing of beauty! Full, black, glistening!  When I walked down the street, women wanted me and men wanted to be me.  As a teen-aged boy, I spent hours in front of the mirror with a comb, jars of goop, and bottles of glop. My hair is what gave me my mojo and I took good care of it! The style changed over the years, as fashion dictated, but it remained nice and thick and dark and lustrous well into my 40’s. Inevitably, however, the gray began to creep. And then, triggering a mid-life crisis, the strands began to thin.

It took me a while to accept that I was going to be one of “those guys” — the bald ones – who I’d long pitied. It was as if I’d been bitch-slapped by Mother Nature. But what choice did I have? So I learned the ancient and sacred art of the comb-over. Using some manly hairspray (which I’m sure was no different from the stuff my wife used) I’d pull out the long, painstakingly-grown side-flap, tease it up in to a white cotton candy confection and swirl it around atop my almost-bald pate into something resembling (at a far distance, at least), a healthy head of hair.

This too, in its own way, was a sight to behold. Really, it was a masterpiece of theater and illusion, of misdirection and magic. Coiffed high and fluffy in the front, trimmed neatly around the ears and back, it was a variation of the same style I’d worn as a kid, back in the day when the ladies couldn’t keep their eyes off me.   And they still looked at me! I thought it was because I still had the mojo. I realize now, they were simply incredulous that a man could be so delusional.

The thing the ladies don’t understand is that for a man, his hair is the source of his virility. That Samson and Delilah story didn’t come from nothing. A man will go to any lengths to conceal from the world his loss of power.

I had a buddy who wore a really awful toupee. The first time I saw him in it, I thought he was carrying his cat on his head.  I looked at him and thought, “You’re delusional, pal. Everyone knows it’s a rug!” At the same time, he was looking at me, thinking, “You’re delusional, pal. Everyone knows it’s a comb-over!”   Neither of us recognized in the other that same need: to defend our manhood; our youth, our sex appeal with whatever resources we had left to us.

I wore that magnificent pompadour until just about a week before I died, when I was too sick and too weak to take care of myself. My wife, bless her heart, made sure the funeral home did my hair just right for the viewing.

What does it mean? What is the lesson? I suppose I need to really work this through, because I feel as if I’m missing something really important here, but honestly, right now I can tell you this: of all the people and things and places I miss in life,   I miss my hair the most.


This story still makes me laugh.  I assume that if I had, in fact, channeled someone who’d passed, his passing must have been quite recent.  He was still firmly attached to his ego.

__________________

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!

The Cripple

first posted June 17, 2014

suffering frieze on blg

 Ti

The pain was so deep and wide, for so long, I could barely think about anything else. I could not spare any compassion or sympathy for others. I could not learn any lessons except whatever things I might do to ease my suffering even slightly. With drugs, I was in a haze, couldn’t think rational thoughts, could barely move, but at least I didn’t have to think about the pain. I did try to avoid them in the beginning. I wanted to be in the world, even if it meant filtering everything through my wincing torment. But eventually, I just wanted the pain to stop, and if that meant perceiving the world through a narcotic haze, well, so be it. I could not sit comfortably. Walking was torture, even the few steps to and from my bed to the bathroom.

My body was deformed by my own choosing. I know this. But when I chose, the suffering was abstract. In the reality, in the forgetting, it was a torment which made me curse my life.

_________

 My thoughts:

Even after months of receiving/writing these narratives, I am still wondering: it is possible to receive such stories from the dead (even if, in my own case, it turns out not to be so) or am I irrational to think such a thing is even possible?  

 Although I continue to resist facile, mystical explanations, I find the notions of communicating with the dead, of life after death, reincarnation, and metaphysics to be fascinating.   There is so much evidence “proving” this point of view, that as a spiritual belief, life after death actually seems more logical and reasonable than the notion of bleak eternal nothingness. In fact, while there is plenty of evidence and documentation of reincarnation dating back millennia, (ancient religious traditions, stories of previous lives with corroborated details, studies, books, past life regression, etc.), there is not a shred of evidence to prove bleak eternal nothingness (BEN).

 Those in the BEN camp often mock spiritual believers, holding themselves intellectually above them. As logical, scientific human beings, they believe only what can be confirmed by evidence. To them, anyone who believes otherwise is a fool. And yet – and here’s the delicious irony — it’s actually the BENnys whose theological beliefs are based faith alone. There is no evidence (and never can be) of their doctrine, because the negative cannot be proven. Without proof, their own beliefs are simply a matter of what feels right to them. Thus, they have no “moral right” to point fingers at the “gullibility” of the other camp..

 The more I read about these subjects, the more fascinated I become. Evidence of the spiritual realm is so overwhelming, even if 99% of what has been written can be debunked by known science, the remaining 1% still forms a huge heap of corroborative evidence.

 I have fallen down the rabbit hole, and the deeper I go, the less I want to come out.

 I do not think I’m a crackpot or a nut job, but I suppose that’s a matter of opinion, depending on whether you agree with me or not. But if not, please reread the previous paragraphs!

Ignored Intuition

originally posted June 17, 2014

 

forest floor

Da

He murdered me. Stabbed me to death, alone in some dark place; a basement, I guess. My life was already a mess. I knew at the first hint of danger nobody would come looking for me. He held me there, a prisoner, for three days. That was a terror I hope never to live through again.

I wavered between wanting to die quickly (when it seemed obvious I wasn’t going to be able to escape) and defiance; showing a strong will and determination to get myself out of there. He seemed to enjoy manipulating my emotions like that. He would pretend to relax his vigilance to give me false hope, but in fact, he was in total control the entire time. This was his game. It was no fun for him when I was too passive.

By the end of the second day, I was too weak to fight. I drifted in and out of consciousness. He gave me just enough relief to prevent me from dying too quickly. That’s why he took me in the first place.

When I finally expired, after he’d taken all the pleasure he could from my body and my pain, he just dumped me in a woods, barely bothering to bury me. Nobody would look for me there. Nobody would look for me at all.

He got back into his car and drove towards home, stopping in a small store to buy himself some snacks and beer. He was calm and relaxed. Nothing about his demeanor said “I have just murdered someone, and I enjoyed it.”

I watched him, knowing he would get away with it, willing his car to crash but not having the power to make it happen.

I follow him still. I try to cause him whatever discomfort I can but he seems oblivious. His need to torture and kill is so loud, it drowns out any subtle voice or message.

Instead, I try to warn other women away from him. I have succeeded in a few instances. I gave them “the willies” – made them feel anxious and uncomfortable around him, enough so they wouldn’t go home with him. But not all of them listened. Some felt the hair on their necks stand on end but ignored the sign because they needed the money too badly. Or, like him, something louder (or whatever drugs or drink they used to quiet it) made them immune to their inner voice. If they had followed their intuition in the first place, their lives probably would be on a different track.

This was not how I’d expected it to end for me. It wasn’t the lesson I’d set out to learn, but I strayed off my path early on, and soon there was no redemption for me. So many missed opportunities; so many lost chances. It might all have turned out differently.

So, I try now to save others from the same fate. Do they hear me? I don’t always know; can’t always tell but I keep at it as a kind of penance.

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