what is this?
so blatantly in my face
yet unable to be seen?
closer than my breath
yet unable to be reached?
shining through the mind
yet unable to be known?
I have come to understand that my personal motivation on the spiritual journey was a bit unusual. I wasn’t trying to escape anything. I wasn’t looking for an antidote to suffering. (Mind you, I was pretty ready to see the demise of the default demon – which turned out to simply be a belief set in concrete – when that came to pass!) I didn’t feel incomplete. I was a happy if ingenuous kind of person. But I contained an insatiable curiosity about life’s big philosophical questions – and especially the one expressed above: what is this? What is living me? What is consciousness? What is the god thing all about?
In retrospect, it’s easy to see that this inquiry was the dynamic that choreographed my life-path. Don’t get the impression that it was a joy-ride. No one escapes the dark nights of the soul and the agonies of the flesh. But mostly we survive. I have thus far survived 73 orbits of the sun. Not unscathed by any means, but still happy, and certainly a great deal wiser. I see this blog as a place where some of that wisdom can be shared – a bright little screen of spaciousness where spaciousness is offered, and where it can be received by spaciousness.
Keeping in mind that “who speaks is not who writes and who writes is not who is,” I will describe myself as a retired educator and artist who at last has time to scribble and paint, to question everything, and to adore silence. I am called Miriam Louisa (either or both) and at the moment I live in Queensland, Australia.
I write because I like to read what gets written. Same reason I paint, and make things. Because I want to see what will happen. What will appear. What will amaze.
It was not always so simple. There used to be a ‘doer’ person here who took it for granted that she was in control. But life kept undermining that assumption, particularly in the studio. So often the ‘doer’ (artist) dis-appeared and in its place a totally non-personal, gracious, fluid, movement of creativity was operating. Whenever I tried to scrutinize this movement it ceased. It was a tantalizing koan for me. If I wasn’t in control, what was? What did it have to do with my life question?
Decades passed. Eventually my inquiry was seen to be an ‘impossible question.’ It could not be answered by any kind of rationalizing or conceptualizing because as soon as those tools were applied, they hit a brick wall. Whatever was doing the thinking seemed to be the core of the problem. So I had to find out whether the ‘thinker’ was independent of the thoughts that kept spinning around the question.
What that amounted to, was finding out whether the self I took myself to be was real, or ‘thought up’, imaginary.
The ‘myself’ I took myself to be never survived the scrutiny. It simply couldn’t be found. In its place there was simply a flow of being, a beingness that was inseparable from its own self-awareness. It is recognized as the ineffable, unknowable, unreachable mystery of my life question – except that it couldn’t be less mysterious. It is naked and openly available for all to find. The fact is, it cannot be escaped.
It is embraced – by itself, it is beloved – by itself. It is known – by itself – as this unlit light.
If you have read this far and would like to contact me, please feel welcome. Please note that there’s no teacher or pundit here, no one who will speculate. I can only offer the fruits of my own inquiry, and perhaps share pointers with you that were effective for me. We are all exquisitely different versions of Life shedding our sleep-masks, our blinkers. We will all do it differently, but no one escapes the fact that it must be done for oneself, by oneself.
~ miriam louisa
… I like to talk about this way of seeing things as one sings in the bathtub
or splashes in the sea.
There is no mission, nor intent to convert, and yet I believe
that if this state of consciousness could become more universal,
the pretentious nonsense which passes for the serious business of the world
would dissolve in laughter.
~ Alan Watts in This is It