Generalization

Good morning, blog.

Ever since I can recall, I’ve been a specialist. Right off the bat anyone reading this would assume I meant some sort of medical professional. Yet, anyone who knows me even peripherally knows that is impossible. I do not live in a country where they offer medical degrees to high school dropouts. This, of course, implies there are countries that do. Since I don’t know the facts here, I leave open that possibility.

But my specialty isn’t offered in a degree program. It simply comes as endemic to my choice to follow the dictates of ego. But then,  I had no idea it was a choice.  Had I been paying attention, which is not my strong suit, I’d have years ago made the leap of understanding when comparing ego to conscience. As stated previously, and far too many times by now, I’m a little slow.

So what does it mean, my being a specialist? What is my specialty? Well . . . me. I specialize in me. Feeding me, clothing me, soothing me, helping me, excusing me, blaming me−I am the unequivocal, undeniably renown expert on . . . me. If ever there were a me specialist, it would be me.

“So,” you say looking off into the distance, refusing to meet my eye for . . . umm . . . some  reason, “What so special about that? From that point of view, we’re all specialists. Kinda just comes with the territory doesn’t it?”

Very true. And my point precisely. For you that may not be a problem as for half a lifetime it was no problem for me. At least, I ran about unawares that it could possibly be a problem. Yet from the vantage point provided me by A Course In Miracles, which,  yes,  I know, it appears that I’m foisting, but in actuality, the more time I spend with it, the more it makes sense; from the perspective of the Course, this specialness, my specialness,  is what makes a world of sorrow, suffering, pain, and death.

Again, yes, I know, if this is to be true, that makes me responsible for the world. Not just my world, the seeming little part that demands coffee first thing of the day, refuses to wear anything beyond jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, can’t seem to get good with anything resembling dietary discipline, and is Adam’s dad, but the whole of the world; lock, stock and barrel full of monkeys. Every mother-lovin’ thing. All of it. Everything.

Now, I won’t proffer the long-winded explanation of this. There are countless spiritual as well as metaphysical texts you can rely upon to tease your sensibilities or push your buttons, what have you,  on this question. You don’t need my opinion here. Suffice it to say, your specialness is just as relevent to the discussion as it mine. But I’ll not drag you down that path. Not today.

The problem for me is that if I, or rather, if my specialness is responsible for a continuing world of shadow and fear, I gotta find a fix. I gotta find a fix because I couldn’t bear the guilt of having made a world such this. So specialness has to go.

But that’s a problem. I’ve spent every known minute of my life pandering to my specialness. I’ve spent the whole shebang making a me. Without my specialness, how do I get along in the world? What do I have to offer the world if I am not unique? How do I stand out? How do I get noticed? How do I compete?

Ah, there’s particular nastiness. Competition. Many in my dark world would espouse the ideal of competition as a good thing. Darwin certainly profited by it. Not to mention Ebenezer Scrooge, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and a million other special personalities that have turned specialness to a competitive advantage. But the problem with competition is that somebody has to lose. Losers are never welcomed in my world. Their specialness is vehemently abhorred. In a world of cooperation, things might be different. But that’s not my world.

So, I compete. I compete for resources, for notice, for love.  And to get more resources, more notice, more love, I have to become more and more special. In fact, this whole spiritual writing thing was conceived upon my specialness. If I can serve up a special enough message, I will stand out from the endless crowd of  competitors. I will shine. I will have plenty of resources, plenty of notice, plenty of love.

But, Joe, it just ain’t so. Rather, all I would do in the long haul is serve to perpetuate a problem, the problem of specialness which builds a world of infighting, unrest and pain.

I have to go the other way.

But that’s hard. So hard, in fact, I’m not even certain what it means. Without specialness, who am I?

As I ask this question of indeterminate identity, I receive from deep within a response, though, a response I cannot, as yet apply to the day-to-day which is were I seem to be. The response is, “You are everything. That is, everything or nothing.”

From the ego perspective, nothing is intolerable (hence my specialness in the first place.) But how can I be everything? I can’t even begin to grasp the meaning of that .

Again, a response bubbles up from the abyss. “You already are everything. You just can’t see it from a place of specialness. Specialness is necessarily limiting. It has borders, definition, boundaries, edges, ends. Everything is infinite. And infinity cannot be contained anymore that it can be defined. To see it, you must see with different eyes. The eyes of your heart. The eyes of your brother. The eyes that cannot recognize limitation, distinction, or specialness.”

So, this changes everything. (It must if it is everything. If I am everything, which, from my balking ego, sounds perilously close to blasphemy.) My previous motivation for writing, then, for helping, for fixing, for being,  is getting ripped up by its roots, much as Jesus promised it would be when I saw even a glimmer of the truth.  But what now? What now?

Generalization. I must become a general practitioner. Again, I’m not certain in this moment what that means. My sense of it is that all of my motivation has changed. I’m no longer doing “me.” I’m now doing “us.” And, at this point, this being a whole new thought for me, that’s all I can but loosely grasp. And I mean loosely. Like a handful of water.

But this doing of “us” does not imply making the world a better place. But to move beyond the world altogether. To go home. Us home. One.

So, in that regard. I’m good on the end. But I’m still way, way fuzzy on the means. Guess it’ll come. If I can stay with it. Ego will not approve, which will add a serious potential for wrenches in the works. Yet, it is either this, or the status quo.

No status quo.

(I promise to try to blog something less personal tomorrow. But . . . I warned you.)

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~ by a.b.johnson on 11/06/2009.

2 Responses to “Generalization”

  1. Ah, this is where the “countless spiritual as well as metaphysical texts” line comes in. I’m not intent upon making analogies here. This “specialness” issue simply comes to me as one of those personal revelations stumbled upon in the process of getting clear of all, and I do mean all, preconceptions or personal preferences (also known, when taken to extremes, as prejudices, which is only a word despite negative connotations.) You gotta dig and look, dig and look, dig and look some more, all the while tossing out murky, gooey, unsavory bathwater without losing sight of the baby. Tricky. Now I am been somewhat allegorical. Somewhat.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not claiming clarity, just being “in process.”

    Distilled down, and granted, I’m leaving a lot out here, I have a choice of love or fear. No gray area there, eh? If I choose fear, what the heck good is that beyond an opportunity to choose once again. If I choose love, true love, general love, unconditional love; not the special, “I love you in so far as you don’t cross me, ” love, I become the generalist, the GP. “Special” always invokes conditions; separating – I can no longer see my brother as myself – whereas general lays the foundation for wholeness – I cannot see my brother as other than myself. And let’s be honest, without forgiveness, neither posture works.

    Here then, is the underlying problem, when I look to make myself special in any way, I’m separating myself out. Further, I start looking into the world for things that support or deny my specialness, separating everything else out. Rodney King’s admonishment, “Can’t we all just get along?” falls to the wayside if you cannot support “my” special view of myself and the world. Hence, my special perspective becomes the source of discomfort, angst, covetousness, dissent, fear, hate and even war. Can you say Spanish Inquisition? How do you spell Jihad?

    It is fallacy to believe I can change the world. I know this and am working on accepting it. But, and like mine, this but is big, I can change the way I see the world. In fact, if I wish to set aside hate, anger and fear (among other less useful things), I must set aside judgment (the way by which I look at the world) which is endemic to specialness.

    Here’s my goal. Whenever in the presence of my brother, no matter who he or she may be, from whatever arena of experience, whatever preferences or judgments he or she may hold, I want to maintain the option to look deeply into his or her eyes, into the heart and see our connectedness. If I judge surface features; actions, words, postures, ideals, stance, and so forth, I invoke my own specialness as the yardstick. Seeing only my yardstick, I cannot see “what is”, what truly is.

    Biblically speaking, when offered the vast wisdom, “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” think of it, the instant I judge anyone, I’ve basically ripped out my yardstick and bonked them (or me) on the head. They become either larger or smaller than my special perspective; i.e. my particular and prejudiced measurement. Now we cannot communicate as equals. Sad. Somebody gets the short end of the yardstick, usually up the wazoo. And in my book, that’s everybody, including me.

    As to sacrifice, sorry, I don’t go there. Now surrender, well, there’s another thing all together.

    Thanks for the commentary and keep it comin’.

  2. Very interesting analogies.
    A specialist must be qualified as a general practician,
    but a GP does not have to qualify in any specialty.
    MUST it be “everything or nothing” ?
    Certainly something, but all or nothing ?
    Sacrifice is the best source of reward.
    You can quote me on that.

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