It’s a well know statement we’ve all heard. In fact, a male friend of years past once told me, in the world of men and women, the four words that most strike terror in the hearts of men are: We have to talk. Maybe this conversation will create discomfort in you or maybe inspire your curiosity. But either way, we have to talk.
Talking is what we humans do. Yes, first we think,…usually, but that is just a form of inner talk, and for some reason, we equate our capacity to express in words with deserving superior station on this earth. Me, I’m more impressed with the fact that whales can communicate across oceans. But like you, what I have are words. And like you, I can build empires with them or crush spirits, inspire minds or talk trash, baby talk my dog or self-talk to me about my shortcoming or whisper words of love to my suffering heart. But what we need to understand is that those words came with meanings, prepackaged, ready-made interpretations, which we mold into beliefs. And what do we do next? We believe them. We swear they are true: That bum ruined my life; If I just had enough money, I could be happy too; She’s an idiot; He stole my heart.
From the insightful Herman Hesse in Klein and Wagner:
Mind invented contradictions, invented names; it called some things beautiful, some ugly, some good, some bad. One part of life was called love, another murder. How young, foolish, comical this mind was. One of its inventions was time. A subtle invention, a refined instrument for torturing the self even more keenly and making the world multiplex and difficult.
Do you ever find yourself envying your cat or dog in their all too sane approach to life? A life where they live and breathe in this very moment? They are not making forays into a mind full of stories about yesteryear or fantasies they wish for tomorrow. What happens to us in the moment where our dog’s tail bangs the floor in welcome or our cat shows us what serendipitous play looks like. What usually happens is we sit there instead talking to ourselves, and doing it so believably that we entangle ourselves in seeming appropriate emotions even though nothing…is…actually….happening to us. And we’re the supposed intelligent ones? Here’s where we shyly laugh at ourselves and thank our dog or cat for not telling on us.
The saddest part of it all, for me, is that we no longer have elders, no longer have insight and wisdom gleaned through the ages that someone protects and brings forward to each new generation. They would have taught us about what’s real versus what we’re making up. Instead, all we have left, outside our ridiculous beliefs, are a few precious books and a smattering of humans who have worked all their lives attempting to remember that we are much more than talking creatures. We are creatures whose perceptions actually create life as we experience it. We are creators of a startling order who don’t realize that the majority of each day’s experience is a product of our minds, rather than actual interaction with the world around us. I have no idea why this seeming miserable trick has been played on us, but we are not without resources. It’s just that we must get serious about untangling things so we can get straight whose life it is we’re living.
In my Morning Pages I put it this way:
“We the wordsmiths,
we the lover of language and meanings,
midwives birthing our stories and poems,
sensible enough to know fiction from non-fiction….in our trade,
yet totally bamboozled by our own lives.
Living as if we’d somehow escape
the consequences of made-up names and meanings,
of inventions that exist only in our minds,
while all of Nature chuckles kindly,
its voice, though barely audible, whispering
genre, genre, you’ve mistaken your life’s genre.”
But take heart. For as the great sage Kabir said: “When the Guest (your inner awareness) is being searched for, it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that does all the work.”
Want it that badly, then let’s see what we talk about then.
If you would like to see how we talk about relationship,
pick up Suffer the Little Children.
If you’re curious about a new way to talk about health and well-being,
read Dying to Know.
If you are doubtful life could be lived any other way,
let Miss Imogene Ware, in the profound love story, Accidents of Birth,
show you what that looks like.
Novels by Christina Carson on Amazon