The other day I posted something that came out untitled. It had a title, it was "Jane! Stop this crazy thing!" but it didn't export for some reason that I don't understand. Unimportant.
(The title was a reference to the treadmill George Jetson is on in the intro to The Jetsons.)
So, as it happens, I found the blog post I was thinking of when I wrote that post. I had starred it in NetNewsWire, it just eluded me somehow when I went looking for it.
It was Kottke, of course. I mean, of course. He finds the best stuff. So go check it out. I'll wait.
I'll quote the relevant quotation that he quoted. The quotation that did lead me, serendipitously, to Little Gidding:
Coming back from death showed me that the journey of life is not what we often believe. On the surface, it appears as a journey outward — toward things, people, organizations, achievements. But in truth, it is a journey inward — toward the soul. Toward becoming who you actually are, no matter how far outward you may have to travel in order to discover that all the answers are within you, where you belong.
And now I'll tell you about something I may have mentioned before, but I'm not certain just now. I should be able to search all this stuff, not just here, but in the marmot or maybe the old Groundhog Day file; but even that requires some study and effort and it's easier to just go on without referring to the past.
Back when I was "going through some things," I was meditating a lot. It was a good experience. Don't know why I stopped, but I do know I need to start again.
Anyway, after several months, not years, not ages, I had an experience. I suppose you could call it enlightenment, because it sure felt like that. Looked like it. I recall stepping outside my front door from my cheap little apartment and seeing the world kind of rotate. I felt something, and my visual field changed and everything appeared as if it was illuminated from within, and I recall it was almost as if it was a golden sort of light.
My physical sensation was quickly overwhelmed by this intense sense that I could see everything. More importantly, everything was exactly the way it was supposed to be. Accompanied by a profound feeling of peace.
The weird/cool thing about this is that it wasn't just a momentary experience. It lasted for a few hours at least. I could see/feel it fading, but I could recall the feeling.
Today, it's just a memory, the embodied feeling has faded to nothing. But it still carries this incredible sense of knowing that everything is exactly the way it's supposed to be, but it lacks the comfort of the feeling. Maybe meditation can recall it.
Maybe it can't.
Does it matter? I quit Twitter because it was too much for me. I was getting "lkes" and replies and re-tweets, and I was beginning to understand what the kinds of things were that I could tweet and get those responses. But those weren't always the kinds of tweets I felt good about. I felt good about the validation, the attention, but I didn't always feel good about what I was writing to get it.
I knew I had to get out.
I'm happy to say that I think I'm on the far side of that now. For days, I'd go back and look at profiles of locals I followed in the browser, since you can do that without logging in. I could see what was going on, but I couldn't "like" someone's tweet, reply to it, re-tweet it or quote-tweet it. Early on, I thought about just re-activating my account, but then I'd see some of the ugliness that I didn't enjoy.
Now I don't feel as though I have to check in and see what's going on.
It's only taken about 10 days, but it feels longer. I know I went through something similar with Facebook and Instagram, and I don't recall how long it took. Maybe about the same.
The point is, as my therapist used to say, "Just be still."
There is some risk of self-delusion, that feelings and experiences can be rationalized into meaning that has no genuine basis in reality. I think that's possible.
But I also think it's possible that it may just be the clearest sort of thinking or experience one might ever hope to have in this life.
Faith and fear. So much of Twitter is anger and hate, "on both sides." All that comes from fear. How do you tweet from faith? How does that collect "likes" and validation and attention?
I have hope. Ted Lasso gives me some. The better parts of the blogosphere, what remains of the authentic voices, gives me some. Donna Deegan's election, "Love over fear," gives me hope.
These will remain notes from the underground; and sometimes they'll be about fear. But hopefully not so much about anger.
And hopefully, never hating anyone.
Originally posted at Notes From the Underground 10:57 Saturday, 27 May 2023