Category Archives: Love

Love – The Most Harrowing Egg of All – Part 3

Is this starting to sound like a bad soap opera? By the way this story turns out, you may thinkĀ  it was all made up.

That was a joke for you Busters out there.

Onward…

“1. Expect to be Uncomfortable

(Busting Loose from the Money Game, pg 129)

This is the beginning of Phase 2 crystallized in a single phrase. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, picture yourself sitting in a hot tub. It’s 102 degrees. Perfect temperature. Yet now and again, the temperature rises up just a little and you get a slight feeling of discomfort. “Who’s controlling this thing?” you ask and your expanded self giggles behind the scenes as they slowly bring your body to a boil.

Be aware of this if you make the commitment to Phase 2, for discomfort can come in oh so many ways. Why, just last post I talked of being cold, having unrequited love, and working my body to exhaustion. What makes it all so worth it, however, is just how supported I really feel. More on that later…

“2. Expect Weird Things to Happen

(pg 130)

You may ask yourself, “weird like how?” Well, if having an angelic boss who convinces you of the joys of commitment isn’t weird enough, then how about…

 

 

Thursday, December 10th

Ash and I talk on the phone like we do every day. In the middle of our shit shooting, she casually remarks, “my parents says we should move out.” I jokingly reply, “well you don’t really live there anyway.”

No big deal. I do however think it’s pretty bizarre (read: weird) that her parents would actively discourage her from living in a sweet house in the woods with her best friend. Sure we haven’t gotten everything together just yet, but I have faith.

 

 

Sunday, December 13th

I log 70 hours of work this week, including one stretch of 23 hours. I’m stoked because I now have enough money to pay Ash back the money I owe her. Sure I’ll be broke again, but no big deal. This house is worth it, because…well because…Conviction and stubbornness are my two only good reasons, but for now they are good enough.

 

 

Saturday, December 19th

Ash and I go see Avatar. Another date like scenario is par for the course for us. I slowly realize I’m hanging out with her out of obligation. It’s the weekend, and who am I going to spend it with? If we don’t spend it together, it would be silly. After all we’re housemates. Yet I feel a growing discord between our “friendship” and what a real relationship could be.

 

 

Sunday, December 20th

We clean our mostly empty house. There seems to be a lot of tension. This whole thing is starting to feel like a chore.

 

 

Thursday, December 24th

I realize I haven’t talked to Ash in a week. This is the longest we’ve gone without talking in over a year (including when I lived in New Jersey) To make it up to her, I show up at her house with a Christmas card. The new year is coming and I can’t wait to start keeping some of the money I’m earning.

 

 

Friday, December 25th

Ash calls me. I don’t pick up or return her call. In her voice mail she thanks me for the card. She doesn’t sound normal, but I shrug it off. I don’t feel like talking to her because I’m starting to have second thoughts about our house together and I don’t want to ruin her day or upset her.

 

 

Saturday, December 26th

I haven’t been “home” in a week. I go there to spend the night and I see that owe over three hundred dollars for propane service. This is the last straw. This house is a money drain. Yet I know if I tell Ash, it could hurt our friendship. I decide to avoid the issue and resolve to tell her at a more opportune time.

It’s close to new years and I think she’s making plans. If I call her it will definitely come up. I’m not good at hiding things.

 

 

 

Thursday, December 31st

I spend the night at Tabitha’s house and feel so at peace. I feel like this is the way things should be. I ache and heal from all the wasted years of not feeling this way. Of not letting this part of the hologram in. Something new stirs inside me, and I feel compelled to be here.

I text Ash, “if I don’t talk to you, Happy New Year.” I know I’m not going to talk to her.

The next two days are a blur of walks on the cliffs near Tabitha’s house, hours wrapped in blankets and limbs, and the growing understanding of what I must do. This is a new year, a new decade, a new life. It’s time to say good bye to old dreams and outdated fantasies.

But, I can’t call her on the first, since it’s frickin New Years day!

I can’t call her on the second, because it’s the day after frickin New Years day!

I had the perfect plan. I’ll call her on the third.

 

 

Saturday, January 2nd

She calls me. I don’t answer. I’m not ready. Her voicemail says, “We need to talk.”

 

 

Sunday, January 3rd

I’m still not ready, but I call anyway. This is the part where my expanded self brings my body to a slow boil.

She’s upset, but composed. She tells me her side of the story. How she waited to talk to me. That many opportunities in her life had come to her. That she might be leaving Santa Cruz. That every day I didn’t call she became more convinced she knew what was going on. How at first she believed I was working too much to call, yet she knew that wasn’t true. I listen intently. I’m glad to hear her voice. I’m glad that we’re resolving things.

It’s obvious to her that the house isn’t working. We decide to give our thirty days notice. Whew, that is finally out of the way.

We hang out for seven hours talking. She talks about feeling replaced by Tabitha. I listen closely and try to console her. She doesn’t know how this is going to turn out. But we’ve weathered worse than this. We’ve lived together (now 3 times), worked together, and smuggled LSD to Puerto Rico together.

We’ve been best friends for six years. Nothing could shake an iron clad relationship like that. Certainly not something like not calling for few days. We end our talk (at the bar) optimistic. I give her a hug and she walks away. I’m so glad it’s going to work out. I finally know that I can be free of her, free to live a life of real romance. And in this new glorious life, we can really be friends.

I experience a pattern collapse.

She texts me. “I never knew someone you’re not in love with could break your heart. Thanks for nothing.”

WHAT?!?!?

Maybe this is the real pattern collapse. The unthinkable happens – we are no longer friends.

So did I break the bottle or kill the goose? I shattered the goose on a thousand tiny shards of glass, leaving a stain no winter could wash, no summer could dry.

Yep. This was true, unstoppable, change. As sure as the sun rises, the promise of Phase 2 was delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That was the space I wish I had afterwards. But in my story, I had to move on. I had a promising job, a blossoming relationship, and loving friends to host my exodus from the coldest house ever. My hologram shifted, landing me on a strange soft blanket. Yet still a terrible hole burned inside. The life I lived before now felt like a dream.

I don’t know what happens next. I know I’m not in control, because if I was I would never have written such a beautiful tragedy.

 

Today (Monday, January 18th)

As I sit here writing this, all I can say is,

“Ash,

I love you.

More than you will ever know.

But I have to let you go now.”


 

And in one blinding insight I realize that she is me – as is everyone in the hologram – and when I read that passage and replace her name with mine, I cast off my shackles of the past and say goodbye to a dear old friend.

Then I turn to face the inevitable, infinite, unknown.

 

 

 

 

Love – The Most Harrowing Egg of All – Part 2

Last time, we left off at:

“I’m in love with a woman who is my best friend (of 10 years) – the kind of “in love” which will not go away, no matter how much I fight it. She does not feel the same way as me. We are going to get a place together in Santa Cruz. Financially, it is really my only option. My two damned if you do, damned if you don’t, options are:

1. Bury my feelings for her and live together.

2. End our friendship and any future together.”

That was three months ago.

I used to think that life didn’t move fast enough for me. That I spent a lot of time sitting around waiting for “life”, as if it were an organism with its own brain, to hurry up and get on with it already.

Now, everything has changed. I’m still not some uber-enlightened being or a poster boy for Scheinfeld’s “Busting Loose” works, but I am shaken, stirred, and a bit drunk on the possibilities of Phase 2.

What happened were a series of events leading to a total pattern collapse in my hologram. Here is the play by play, interspersed with thoughts about it relating to Phase 2.

Saturday, December 5th

My housemate (we’ll call her Ash) and I spend the weekend at our house in Felton. This has been our routine for two months. We play the same video game, drink the same alcohol, and sleep on the same air mattresses in house bereft of furniture and exuding cold. I give her rent money and the final part of the deposit. I’m once again broke, even though I’ve been earning more money per month than I ever have in the past.

Sunday, December 6th

In the middle of the night, my air mattress deflates. Instead of being angry, I’m stoked. I get to sleep in the bed of the woman I’m in love with, and I have a legitimate excuse. There will be no sex intimacy unfortunately, but I delude myself in to thinking that’s not a problem. Ash is indifferent.

I spend the night at my friend’s house. This is also my weekly routine. I spend 3 nights here since it cuts my work commute in half. Also there is heating. I check my facebook – something I do very rarely in these days of 40-60 hour work weeks. An ex girlfriend, call her Tabitha, wants to meet up with me and drink wine. Cheap wine. She must really want a booty call I think. I arrange to meet with her on Wednesday night.

Monday, December 7th

My wonderful boss and I have a deep conversation about intimate relationships. He tells me about the wonderful world of give and take, commitment, and total vulnerability. This comes as a shock to my system as I had before then only considered and experienced shallow, emotionally distant relationships for fear of being hurt too much or being trapped.

He stresses to me that life can be so much better than having what I now call a “fake girlfriend.”

Needless to say, commitment in general has been a major egg for me. Not just commitment in relationships, but commitment to a career, a place to live, an identity, a spiritual path – the list goes on.

This was the first time I felt the sun poking through the cloud cover on this issue. Such a simple and obvious idea – “commitment can be a good thing and ultimately help expand you” – hit me like I had just realized a true secret.

But I was scared. Unlike any so-called change that spiritual paths offer, and unlike any notions I had about what Phase 2 would be like, this feeling was the promise of a real, honest to goodness, shift.

I ask him how I could create this kind of relationship in my life. He says the key is, “listening.” It dawns on me that I may have never really listened to someone in my life.

Wednesday, December 9th

Ash wants to drink as always. We buy a bottle of wine. I buy a second. She cocks an eyebrow. I nervously say, “I’m meeting up with Tabitha later.” She is concerned, but I’m not sure of what. She tactfully says, “get the White Zinfandel.”

I meet up with Tabitha. We sheepishly nurse a half bottle of wine, guardedly talking about the year since we broke up. I say “broke up” now for the sake of clarity, but I never considered us together in the first place because that would be, you know, commitment.

In the middle of our conversation she interjects, “ok, tell me something you remember about me.” I draw a blank. My memory is terrible, but this is embarrassing. She looks defeated. I scrounge out something from the annals of my brain and tell her her best friend’s name. She is happy.

She says, “why are you looking at me like that?”

“I’m listening to you.” She had never seen that look on me before.

We sit on her bed to look up something on her laptop. I kiss her. It is by turns passionate and confused. We leave the night having no idea where this is going.

Friday, December 11th

After another brutal seventeen hour workday, my boss questions me about my intentions with Tabitha. He gives me a with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility lecture.

I seriously consider the ramifications of what I could be creating – a real relationship and a real connection – and how fragile and beautiful that could be. Could I really care about someone or something more than myself?

This relates to something that expands more and more as I move through Phase 2: appreciation. Not appreciation in the form of money, but appreciation in the form of everything. The newest form I’ve discovered is listening. Listening with your heart is a direct affirmation of the glorious hologram you’ve created and the wonderful and varied people that populate it.

Loving the hologram more than you love yourself (even though you’re a part of the hologram as well) is a deep and meaningful expression of appreciation unlike any you might experience.

But I’m still not there, yet.

Wednesday, December 16th

I meet up with Tabitha again. She is pulled between her fear of being hurt and the obvious connection we’re experiencing. She wants to know what I’m thinking. If there was ever a time I wanted to tell about myself, this was not it.

She cuts right to the heart of the issue. “When we were together before you couldn’t be with me because you were still in love with Ash.”

I tell her that I still have feelings for Ash, but those feelings are irrational and based on illusions (more than I could possibly explain at that moment.) I tell her I’m in the process of getting over Ash. I realize then, maybe I am…

To be concluded.


Love – The Most Harrowing Egg of All – Part 1

I have to confess I haven’t been using the process nearly as much in the last month as I have been in the ten months before hand.

Why?

The egg that I’m draining is so large and so overwhelming that it doesn’t even seem like the process exists. Using it feels like the emotional equivalent of using a small stone to stop a whirling typhoon. And that whirling typhoon is the most glorious experience of all in this limited created consciousness we share – love.

Let’s back up a bit.

For the last year I’ve been living a sheltered life. In New Jersey in my parents basement I weathered things like the economic crisis, my own issues with depression, and the rocky take-off of Phase 2. Living in Phase 2 was much easier when I didn’t pay rent and I could honestly do whatever I wanted to do.

Now in the past month I’ve moved back to California, become homeless and jobless, and have spent all the money I hadĀ  previously saved for a Phase 1 plan on vacations to Vegas and Puerto Rico. Ah to be young…

Believe it or not none of this bothers me. In general, I feel better than I felt my whole life when I was running the achievement treadmill faster than the next guy at the life gym. Why? Because I know for a fact that this is just a story and that I’m already taken care of. You see, I’ve remembered. I’ve begun waking up and having direct experiences. Yet now my ES has decided to proclaim “the Phase 1 tour is not over yet – we’re just getting to the good part.’

So when is your story not a story?

When you’re in love.

The Problem

Alan Watts talks about a great zen koan that masters used to give their disciples to figure out. Once they did they would open up the doorway to Nirvana. A koan is a sort of a seemingly unsolvable problem. E.g. this classic, “if a tree falls in the forest, but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Here is the riddle that most describes my situation:

There is a goose trapped inside a bottle. You must get it out without breaking the bottle or killing the goose. How do you do it?

We’ll come back to this…

So I’m not using the process frequently. Not because I don’t want to. Not because I don’t think it will help. I just haven’t. I suppose maybe it was actually true joy in disguise. I didn’t use it because it wasn’t necessary to do so. After all, the process is part of the illusion as well. Maybe in this part of the storyline I took a time out from the process. Life was no less amazing, magical, and far more relaxed.

This was akin to finding a leisurely ridge while mountain climbing before running smack into a cliff of solid ice with no conception of how to climb it.

All of a sudden Phase 2 dissolved and took the shape of Phase 1, warts and all. I’ll spare you the details but the simple problem is this:

I’m in love with a woman who is my best friend (of 10 years) – the kind of “in love” which will not go away, no matter how much I fight it. She does not feel the same way as me. We are going to get a place together in Santa Cruz. Financially, it is really my only option. My two damned if you do, damned if you don’t, options are:

1. Bury my feelings for her and live together.

2. End our friendship and any future together.

It’s amazing how everything about Busting Loose can seem to disappear when dealing with matters of the heart. I had found a problem that couldn’t be solved by the process or Busting Loose. Little did I know it was that zen koan dressed in shiny new, emotionally naked clothing. It wasn’t until a couple days ago I emerged from my aching stupor with the clarity of this riddle.

So which do you do?

Break the bottle or kill the goose?

To be continued.