In the Sistine Chapel, there is a painting of Michelangelo titled - The creation of Adam. Some may see it as a representation of patriarchy, I interpret it in my way as expressing the archetype of love. When we say something is sacred - SacRed, I think we refere to the eternal process of biological creation, that is manifesting itself all around us all the time. In the image the holy father is contained within the mother. Afam is already manifested physically and is sitting on a rock - blue rock. Does Adam not look sad, blue and depressed? So why does the father have to touch him? (Game of Red v/s Blue - Matrix)
All creative process is essentially symbolic, as it needs to refer to something deeper, original and the truth in a non-threatening manner to the prevailing conditions of the time. Obviously Michelangelo had a patron, so all truth through art is distorted in some way, but here we have the answer to the world's problem, the experience of touch between man and man. I often wish, I ahad the capability like the father to simply share the feeling of love through touch, instead of having to use words, eye contact or facial expressions. But since not there yet, would like to use words to share my experience of this odd retreat.
On the 1st day, we broke into groups for talking about our startup hero. I was moving a little slowly, when suddenly an arm emerged from somewhere, held my shoulder and propelled me towards the garden outside. The words were soft with a tingle of laughter, the hand strong and powerful. Felt like a sheep was being propelled into the pastures. For a moment something inside me reacted, hey not so hard, don't push, but but have been practicing to just listen to the voices and not act upon them. It was odd, that in our group most hero's emerged to be spiritual - Sadguru, Gandhi, Osho, Mota, Neem Karoli Baba ... can't remember much of the conversation, other than you can't ... if you take credit for it. Throughout the 3 days I observed how all the inititated were playing the game of "Appreciation Tag" with everyone else. No one wanted to hold onto and look at the ball that was coming at them, well aware that it was going to burn them, if they held on too long. But to me as an observer, who was analyzing, it felt odd - was it orchestrated, a conscious practice, a game, an inner quality, a real sensation that one feels, a real experience? Is it done because it must be done, needs to be done, is it the right way? All in all I was pulled towards something, trying to understand, yet not getting a grasp.
A game of tennis begins with 0-0 love all. Fascinating, even the game begins with a message, realization that there is peace and love. We war, but have to keep returning to love again and again. A person may score points, but the one at zero, is always at love. So is love, shunyta? the absence of credit and points. They say love is odd. So this is a odd retreat ... a love retreat. It's odd because 2 nights in a row, I get up at the point when the moon, is right overhead. As I walk and take a stroll, tears begin to run down my cheeks. Tears because I realize, I cannot understand a thing. I cannot understand a thing of what is happening.
The 1st night was a feeling of I cannot understand reality, What I Am seeing. Yes, I see the moon, the stars, the sky, the building, the floor, my clothes, yes I have cool stories about everything, but is it that. While my eyes were seeing things, inside I was feeling this is not it. All my life I have tried to understand parents, myself, my pain, the world, the world's pain. To understand, I literally have to under-stand, stand below, like a car mechanic. But life is not a machine. In that moment, as I felt I could not understand, I experienced the feeling of being situated, enclosed within something. It was like seeing for the 1st time. Immediately my mind went to a new born child that is being taught how to speak as it is growing up.
Mother - See cat, see rat, see tree, see cloud, see rain
Next time child comes running, excited happy, ecstatic ... Ma ... Ma ... I seed cat, I seed tree, I seed rain, I seed sun, I seed moon. Who was it that was speaking within the child? Each child is made in the image of god, each child is re-incarnating, each child is a gift. Each child can literally seed the world. The words, labels are not important, what's important is the experience of seeding, the experience of the true self emergingwhen allowed to develop correctly. But we teach them how to saw
In ecological studies, certain species are called Keystone Species, because they have maximum linkages (predator, prey, symbiotic) with other species. If these species are eliminated then the entire web of life collapses. The humans are at the top of the food web, but not because we are predators, but because we are the ultimate symbiotic trustees. We are all one species and life on Earth is not despite / inspite or for us humans ... it is a respite for us ... it is because of us ... it is because of all species we are the only one capable of seeding, truly seeding, love, truth and god
The 2nd night was odd, because in the pit of my stomach, I was unable to understand people and their processes. On the face of things there was a structure, but who were the real volunteers, who were the participants, who was the leader, who was I, how were the projects selected. Even on the 1st day when the project results were announced, it felt odd. I myself had voted on the basis that there me more woman representation, more cross cultural, I had not voted for projects, but for people. But somehow the results really shook me. Were others thinking like me, some tampering was happening towards good that was generally not done in other simialr spaces. As I worked with my team and the leader on the project, I realized I was working on my own project. Not in the sense, that her project was mine. I was working on one project, but the intentions of the other project were being realized, tested. My intention was to flow with the natural flow of life to change. The more I got into her project with full heart, the more I experiencd the flow.
On the 1st day, when we were sharing likes/dislikes, a member of our group shared their likes in a personal way. They loved how I was holding space for someone allowing them safety to come out. Immediately I wanted to hit the ball away, dont talk about me, talk about us, the group, talk about anything else. I had forgotten the person was a volunteer in our group and was holding me, just like I was holding someone (if I was, I was unconscious)
The 2nd night as we were working on the projects, the member came again, sleepy eyed and looking totally zonked. She offered to release me and said, I should go sleep. I was tired and our discussions were going nowhere in the group. I was bit irritable also. When the opportunity was given, I grabbed it, but was left with how did this person guess how I was feeling. I felt gratitude. As I was sleeping and awoke in the middle of the night, I saw a group working on their project. I saw the person on the laptop being argued with. Arguments during presentations are terrible and the calmness with which he was engaging was amazing. In the moment, I realized he was also a volunteer, not a group member. I mean in the sense, even within our group it was the volunteer who was showing greater enthusiasm and love and laddering everyone. Since, this was my second retreat, I had taken for granted the volunteers, but in that moment I felt deep gratitude.
As I was leaving from the group for the night, one member spoke out, good night, I love you ... I cringed, not so loud, not me, how will others feel if I am appreciated. I deeply dislike the light, married woman public ... how? So sleeping I was terribly confused, what is going on, who is the volunteer, who is the participant. I get notes from people, someone remarks mu music would help stressed people. I am not sure whose project I am working on. I cannot understand? It's a terrible conspiracy, where are all the agents of love coming from, who controls them, how is it planned? I cannot understand it
On the 1st day Neil, had shared some projects like Anil's might decelerate. Talking to Paragbhai, felt the same. He shared about Norway, development, technology, system and depression. Did we need all these things? He was right, I knew it too. I have read and thought about many things, thats why I try the simplest tool. I have it figured my problem is I cannot communicate to others, only I see it ... seed it ... I don't know computer science, no one will support me, its a large burden, but I must be compelled to do it, its my responsibility
Now I feel different about my project. I no longer solely want to work on the technology prototype. Not because it is suddenly unimportant, irrelevant, too far a road or road down the wrong alley, but simply because the real prototype is almost complete. The prototype is love, the prototype is us. We are created whole and complete and sent here to be tested. So we must test ourselves, test our love.
So with this I deeply thank everyone behind the scenes. On the night after the retreat as I lay in Maitri house, I had this dream of benign dark shadows (like Vodafone ZooZoo's) coming in through the lighted doorway and quietly merging into the inner sanctum.
I was given a book called Surrender Experiement. To the individual, collective or universal consciousness I bow. To know a book like this exists, that ties with me is ... has the book been read by the person suggesting it ... are all books suggested that way ... is there a computer system that helps in this search ... because it seems too perfectly matched ... to share another dot about the book (which I finished reading on my way back to Bombay and as I landed at stone soup directly the emergent sharing was surrender and this book has already started to flow and there is a waiting queue of empty ponds waiting for the clouds to come their way) ... a few months back I had read a book called New New Thing, about James Clark who setup Netscape and Healtheon. A billionaire, a fraudster, a shrewd man, a cunning man, a man driven by passions for name and fame, a man driven by want to disrupt and break barriers, a man driven to insanity (like Steve Jobs). I was inspired not by person, but by achievement and journey process. Comes along Surrender Experiment, Mickey Singer, is a man who gave in and surrendered to the universal flow of events ... lived in the woods and went to build software that eventually bought out the company that James Clark built. It's just amazing how two different people, driven by different things end up doing similar things, both face terrible situations like incarceration by government, but both emerge ... only difference one through instability remains and he is still out to look for the New New Thing, unsatisfied, incomplete, the other has maintained his equanimity throughout his life ...