I've been wondering recently about how people simply vanish from our lives and how we vanish from other peoples' lives--all this vanishing while we're still alive. So far I've thought of two reasons.
There is the pace of modern living which makes intimacy difficult in spite of emailing; we just can't, we feel, spend or take the time it takes to grow a relationship. More recently I've thought we vanish from each other's lives when we can no longer be playful together. Put another way, our games have become finite (winners and losers) -- as if we have lost touch with a playfulness which is infinite, where the goal of the play is to just keep on playing and where we change the rules to make this happen.
I've just re-read all the messages in this thread. So many wise and interesting things said. Any thoughts on a felt-sense that this is the (historical?) moment for more worldly manifestation? finding one's truer work? being less caught up in our vanishing modes? More present ot ourselves and so to others?
I have some idea what it means to be more present to ourselves. As for "And so to others" (the "and so").... and "more present to others".... if Toby or anyone else can say even the smallest bit more about what s/he means by that, I'd be interested.
And what about being able to experience the presence of another? Is this just part and parcel of being ourselves more present? I'm thinking of a friend whose reaction to imminent experience (?) is to whip out a recording device, a camera, VCR, whatever. And my own (hopefully distant, minor) participation in the dehumanization of others--as in conversations where, even if I am listening more than speaking, I might never feel "oh, you're here too." The only paradises are lost/vanished (or recorded or mediated) paradises? Maybe I didn't at first, just now, hear Toby's careful use of comparatives in his questions: "more," "truer," "less".
#90, "RE: Vanishing" In response to Reply # 8 Sun Nov-21-04 03:01 PMby Toby
Maybe I'm making a false assumption, that the more and more often I experience myself as a subject, the more completely I can imagine another's (your) subjectivity. I feel this truth when it seems like you and I could be playmates-- there are fewer ego ploys in operation. Less ego, less paranoia-- more presence to onself.
Interesting thought here. I think as we get older, we get more reflective and look move deeply within. My best moments are alone. I know that as I've gotten older, I've had to become more selective with friends, with what I do, how I spend my time and what I want with life. I live in the country surrounded by hills, woods and farms. My joy each morning is to sit in the dining room and look out across fields, stream and farms and reflect on the nature and undisturbed beauty I see. This insulates me from the harshness of the world. I've intentionally let go of many things and people. A conscious choice. And this is not to say that I don't nurture friendships and family. To the contrary. But I do think we start to let some people vanish in our life. I have come to relish my aloneness and the time to rummage in places I have long set aside. I just finished a book by Karen Armstrong, "The Spiral Staircase." I think I like her definition of spirituality. The grace with which one handles the practice of life. In short....how I treat you. The everyday acts of care and respect. Differences there will always be. The art is, can be walk away smiling and live without fear and worry. Several months ago as I was writing, movement caught my eye. A doe was trying to cajole a faun to cross the stream. Everytime the doe got her little one to step into the stream, she'd turn and prance out. This went on for two hours. I remember feeling so content with life. It was one of those moments that registers with the soul. And then I thought about the Iraqi women suffering the loss of pain and death. Certainly a retorical question, but how could one woman feel such joy and contentment while another feels nothing but grief and pain. All because of differences and not understanding one another. Mary
How can I be more present to myself with others, is my question. When being present to myself is such a chore. I mean a full time job. I doubt I'll ever do enough writes to accomplish that. Being present to myself, would BE being present to others, wouldn't it?
I tried, for many years, living in a rural setting more isolated from others, but I eventually realized that, for me, "nature" is not enough to come up against in order to become present to myself (now it's a place to occasionally recover from the stings and arrows). Ergo, others are necessary--but how f..... painful, how wrenching it is to come up against myself with them. And if it's a situation where I'm coming up against myself with others around work I am trying to do, how much more so--though it occurs to me now, at least around the work, that task could be, ultimately, a less trying way to go, because the work is something I can grasp, less slippery, than who-I-am-with-you. The work is a "thing" to work with, that maybe it's possible (though not at all easy) to distinquish from my self? A way to consciousness, without what seems to always become major psychic surgery of self-inspection--or is it self-meddling? No wonder I'm so testy.
I had a lot of dreams about hiding last night (vanishing?), then this forum opportunity presented itself......
ps this seemed a bit like having a mini-write 'on the air,' and I wonder worry about using the forum this way....