Purity. There’s something in it that resonates with me. In my private moments, I try my best to connect with it, but once I start to analyze it, it vanishes.
Now, I’m not talking about the religious purity. This has nothing to do with sex, although we sometimes view chastity and celibacy as somehow “pure,” and have elevated virgins for an idealized image of purity. “Bless me, father, for I have sinned, by having impure thoughts while growing up a Catholic boy” is not what I mean either.
No, when I look deeply into being pure, I focus on the child in me that still exists despite the many notions and concepts I willingly accepted in a search for knowledge. Purity exists in a rough form, but with lots of unnecessary parts clinging to it, like desires and aversions as well as attachments I grasp as if they mean the life or death of me.
I got plenty of book-learning. I introduced myself to some of the world’s greatest thinkers, but unless I come up with my own idea about things, I can’t say that what I developed was my own “truth” and not someone else’s. I can only be pure following insight and direct experience, and not from a blind faith I desperately want to acquire for my own security.
By pure, I mean “authentic,” “unique,” maybe even “one of a kind.” I am a mix of everything I have come into contact with, but down deep inside there is a feeling, an “understanding” that there is a “raw” me that exists despite the contaminants all of us have been exposed to.
The “I” of me exists in a pure form that I believe can be found in everyone, if we only strip away what the naysayers and even the Dudley Do-rights want us to guide our lives with.
I know purity when I see it, and, on rare occasions, I feel it from others. There are no negative thoughts, no worries and no supplications for a “better tomorrow.” I become peaceful and calm. The past disappears and there is no future except for the one moment blending into the next allowing time to slow down and exist in a continuous plane, perhaps one with no beginning and no end.
I find purity in the present and in the interconnectedness I realize exists with all others, even those my formal education advises me not to like (a so-called “enemy”). This purity recognizes that conditions often beyond our control have shaped us negatively or positively. The pure “knowing” child sees this and welcomes the discovery of others searching for their own purity, their own gem sans prejudices or even any strong likes or dislikes.
All we need to do is close our eyes, still our thoughts and descend into the mine shaft we call the mind until reaching the richest vein of ore any alchemist has ever been able to transform into gold.
Purity. It can shine bright in all of us once we discover it within.
Don’t we all feel touched by the Divine when we connect to another. So many great writers have walked before us, we stand on their shoulders. It’s as if we hear their essence whisper in our ears when we get quiet.
For me, I know on one hand truth is universal, but our expression of ‘that truth’ is where the fun begins. To have the courage to speak from your heart, to live from your heart, to offer a kind smile, a gentle touch to those who need it takes discipline.
Folks like us, we’ve been around the block. We’ve been hurt and we’ve hurt others. Somewhere along the line we’ve decided to roll up our sleeves and take responsibility for our lives, to tend to our wounds, to nurture our best self, and take responsibility for our actions, inactions, and reactions.
Your voice speaks your diligence upon this path. The only thing we can do is model to others what we believe in our hearts. Words are tools to evoke the best in us, but it is we who must roll up our sleeves, dive deep into our being, and bring out the best we can be. Why? To help end suffering in this world.
Keep writing, keep loving, keep doing what you are doing the world needs more and more folks developing their best self in order to serve. For as Dr. Maya Angelou says, we are all teachers, someone is watching us, so let’s make sure what they see, serves and doesn’t harm.
Life is good my friend.
I spoke to another Hospice worker at a Retreat this weekend and never realized how much of the true path you walk when dealing with death and those dying.
Then it dawned on me that we should treat all beings that way. Treat them as if they were dying. In relative terms, they are!
We all are!
Each day brings us closer to the end of this body, and what a world we could live in if everyone realized that helping others alleviate pain and suffering in their lives is the true goal of life.
I have found that my problems become small and almost disappear when I focus on the woes of others. By taking on their pain, suffering and fear, I forget all about mine!
I see from your writing that you might have discovered this during a life-altering situation some years ago. I wonder Whose Hands were at work to get you to see these things? Would you, or me, or any of us see them manifest unless or until certain conditions were sufficient for things to actually reveal themselves?
I think we can help bring on those conditions by choosing the environment to connect with. By environment, I mean people, books, teachings, groups, friends and all else that can influence us in our growth and along our path.
It has been nice meeting you and I look forward to attending to this envirnonment in the future.
“Raw,” you use the word raw in your writings, too.
As one wise woman says, we have to bring home our orphans and let them know they are us.
P.S. – is that beautiful little boy you, Michael J? I think it is. What a sweet baby!
The dark haired, dark-skinned boy resembles me a little, but is a photo that Google offers when you plug in the word “purity” and then hit “images.” I found him on page 6 or 7 and was unable to give credit beneath the photo, but included it at the end of the article.
I was thinking about you when meeting another Amy the other day and started singing the Bobby Darin song.
Well, that “amy” song is a bit better than the oldie goldie – “Once in love with Amy, always in love with Amy.” A guy used to get very tipsy and sing it at the top of his lungs at every gathering we mutually attended. It sorta lost its luster!
It helps to forgive them and tell them how much they are truly loved while reminding them they should treat others with lots of love and compassion.
Wonderful post. Really enjoy your writing.
Thank you. I believe the challenge for most artists is to tap into our pure selfs where creativity resides be it in writing, the performing arts or as a skilled craftsman or craftswoman.
“By pure, I mean “authentic,” “unique,” maybe even “one of a kind.” I am a mix of everything I have come into contact with, but down deep inside there is a feeling, an “understanding” that there is a “raw” me that exists despite the contaminants all of us have been exposed to”
Your words resonate… authentic, unique, one of a kind… indeed. When I get quiet I feel there is a “raw”, which I call sacred, pure part of who we are waiting for our embrace. And indeed it exists despite the contaminants all of us have been exposed to. When I get quiet I feel that part of me and it is there and only there a peace, which is beyond words to explain, is felt.
When I step into that part of WHO I am everything is seen through the eyes and heard through the ears of my ‘raw’ self. And from that place I can add to the world with my unique expression of the Divine….
Thanks for your words.
Why do I now feel touched by the Divine upon reading your words? It’s as if a piece of me that’s been missing for so long has finally reconnected and I am whole again.
Isn’t it great to try and touch that “raw” me — that peaceful, loving and caring beauty deep down inside of us?
It doesn’t last a long time for me, but when it manifests, I want to let it fill me so that I can expand to share my joy with the entire universe.
(Uh oh. I think I got a little carried away here, but I believe you might know exactly how I feel, don’t you?)