Inner Michael » Gotta Love the Dreamers- the Dialogue

Gotta Love the Dreamers- the Dialogue

J: “Just how is it assisting Michael Jackson for you to suffer so?”
B: “I don’t see it as assisting Michael Jackson. It’s not Michael who will benefit; not any longer. I think all suffering is relevant. It is relevant for all of us. We still seem to need to learn from fear, suffering and pain. I hope we fill up on that one soon. I look forward to when we can learn from joy, from love. That is where I want to be and I hope I can see some of it happening before the end of my lifetime.”
J: “I have watched you through this. I see the pain. I hear it in your voice. I’ve watched the tears come and not stop. I’ve seen the overwhelm.”
B: “And I thank you for being there. Sometimes it really gets to me; how can it not? That much shadow heaped upon one person! Relentless! Wham. Slam. And such a gentle and generous man! Do you know that he personally supported something like 33 charities, most for children? His humanitarian awards are legion. It’s just so very, very dense, this shadow. If I find it hard to keep going through just the research, think what he must have endured. I don’t know how he stayed vertical! As for the overwhelm, it’s part of the deal you make. Unless you’re an artist, it’s hard to explain and harder yet to understand. But I think that it comes with the territory of the muse. You’ve read my “A Poet Tries to Write 9/11” and “Missile Silo in North Dakota- that one took five years.” The pain was like jumping into a bottomless void, a black hole. It was huge. It was hard to survive it. Hard to breathe. The thing about the muse, especially one who is a poet, too, is that we have to feel it. We can’t do it without feeling it.”
J: “To feel it like that? Is there is no way to buffer it? You have a survival plan? Tell me your plan. How will you do this?”
B” “Well, doesn’t matter; there really is no saying ‘no.’ It’s like the Hound of Heaven, it’s going to get you; you might run for awhile, but it’s going to catch you. Better just not to run. Here is how it is… In order to write whatever it is, the poet or muse must take it all into her body, must let it live there. Let it settle in. It is like body surfing; the wave comes and washes over you and you are tumbled by the sea of feeling. There is nothing to be done but to let it have its way with you. You can’t stop the torrent; you can’t stem that kind of tide. It has to take your breath away and leave you in darkness, in a deep watery grave place. Then only from there, can it vomit itself back out and spill onto paper. There is just no other way to do it. At least not for me. And not for most artists.”
J: “I worry about you… being an empath.”
B: “Yeah. Blessing and curse. I can’t help it. It’s always been that way for me. That was really useful when I was doing group therapy because I knew what people were feeling; it echoed in my body. At times it’s an advantage except when it’s not. I know it and feel it all at once; it gets in my bones. I think that is why I empathize and understand Michael so much. I get how he worked; I feel what he felt. I am having a really hard time right now because I’ve spent the last weeks in shadow because that was what I was writing. I can’t believe the world treated him the way it did. I can’t believe it would treat anyone that way! The sheer meanness of it! The dark was cavernous. The digging for dirt and making up stories was like relentless gleeful grave-digging. The attacks to his appearance, his skin color, his very beingness. Who else could he be? Who else could any of us be? It’s one thing if people don’t like you for what you are doing; but when they don’t like you for who you are, well, what exactly can you do to fix that? Change your face? Yeah, maybe. We would never treat any child that way and Michael was a child of God just like the rest of us. He was a child of the world. And child-like. So sensitive. Such an easy target.”
J: “You know how it works… the brighter the light, the more the shadow.”
B: “But why? I have a hard time accepting that. Sometimes it’s just mean. It doesn’t have to be that way. I believe the human race is better than that. It just breaks my heart. Not because it’s Michael Jackson, but because the world could do that to someone! To anyone. It’s hard to fathom. It’s hard to come face to face with that kind of darkness. That cynnicism. It’s hard to feel its power in the world.”
J: “That’s my point. How is being in the midst of all that agony helping you? Helping him?”
B: “You know, I am not sure that it can be done any other way. I think the suffering is part of taking on my piece of the shadow. Maybe it’s the one piece that I can take from the collective and let it percolate through me. Maybe my tears can cleanse it. Maybe I can transform it by letting it break my heart. By letting it season me, make me softer. Maybe when it wrings me out, I can breathe the clarity and the light back into the world. Maybe that is all I can do for Michael.”
J: “So you think that we shrink the collective shadow through processing it within ourselves?”
B: “Something like that. I do think so. The shadow leaves its imprint. It is in the field, in the space. It lingers and spreads around the planet. It makes for thick emotional sludge. It’s not nice to live in. I want my space and my world compassionate, clean, loving, embracing all people, making miracles. Michael took on the world’s shadow for me. It’s the least I can do for him.”
J: “You know the Buddhist way is to accept the play of light and shadow. Michael seems to have attracted a large volume of shadow. He had to hold a lot of light and visibility to attract that much shadow. People are attracted to that kind of light- for all kinds of reasons.”
B: “You would have me do nothing? It’s not in me. That is too passive for me. I came to change the world. So did Michael; he just had a much bigger presence, a much bigger platform—the whole world the stage.”
J: “But when someone is a larger than life public figure and they deliberately promote themselves in order to gain attention and to communicate the message, they have to be willing to take the shadow aspect that comes with it. They are going to draw shadow, be scrutinized, criticized and attacked. The shadow is going to show up. It’s human nature and it’s just the way it works. Tich Nat Hahn talks about that, about the balance and the wise mind…”
B: Are you trying to tell me that wise mind is just passively accepting what is? So I should just embrace the world the way it is? I should put out the fire? Cover my light? You’re a Buddhist. And I love the path. I took a vow of non-violence with His Holiness the Dalia Lama. He said to take the path of non-violence. He told the monks not to act out anger but he never said to do nothing. That’s not an active principle. That doesn’t make the world better. It might make it peaceful and make you more peaceful but it doesn’t do much for the rest of humanity. I can’t do it that way. We, as a collective race of humans aren’t doing some things right. We create things that destroy. Like the chem-weapons, for example. Are you saying that I should not have gotten involved because there was potential for pain, for personal suffering? You know, if those things that are stockpiled are ever unleashed, we’ll never have to worry about the world’s shadow again because there won’t be a world to cast one.”

J: “And you visited suffering then too.”
B: “Of course; it’s scary. You get up close and personal with the darkest of human nature. The sheer magnitude will stagger anyone. Two canisters the size of wine bottles would turn the Super Bowl into a morgue. And, yes, there were some who would have sabotaged the program because their ego got bruised. That’s shadow too. Someone didn’t want to play nice or share and liked the conrol lever too much. Forget to leave your ego at the door and shadow sneaks in. Sometimes people don’t see the bigger picture. After my column appeared someone wrote and asked why I didn’t spend my time and energy volunteering in my own country, my own community? I responded as kindly as I could that I did do some volunteer work in my own backyard. But I also said that if we didn’t do something about the WMDs cooperatively in Russia and here, and we destroyed the world by war-making and stockpiling weapons that could kill the whole planet many times over, that my backyard wasn’t going to matter much. Sometimes you have to point out that there’s a bigger picture.”
J: “But why you? Why suffer in this way? You understand that this is the martyr archetype.”
B: “Yes, I get that. Maybe I was Joan in another lifetime. Why not me? I guess I’m still a Flower Child and I still believe in humanity. And I believe that if I’m not part of the solution, I am part of the problem. I know in my heart it can be better. We are capable of it. You saw what happened with the Tsunami in Indonesia, how the whole world rallied, how they are doing it now with the earthquake in Haiti. How is it that we humans can do that—rise to that level of brilliance and compassion in a crisis but one smallish man who started with nothing but a talent that wouldn’t be contained, who only wanted to make music is destroyed by human inhumanity. It was terrorism. Homeland terrorism.”
J: “You can’t mean that; I think that is overwhelm talking.”
B: “I do mean it. I absolutely mean it. What is the difference between planning to bring a country to its knees and trying to bring one man to his knees? Only the population numbers change. They’re both blood sport. Only the scale is different. You can’t be a little bit pregnant; how can you be a little bit terrorist? Terrorism is terrorism whatever the scale. You can be a terrorist in traffic and you can traffic terrorism. I’m filled up on it. Aren’t you? It’s time to change the paradigm. People really don’t want to do this anymore. Lots of traditional structures are falling—the church, Wall Street, the banking system. We don’t want to do it this way any longer. We just haven’t figured out how to build the new structure and we don’t have a clear blueprint yet. But we can’t continue this way. The old ways are not working. We can’t keep destroying our planetary treasures like John Lennon, Lady Diana and Michael. God help us if Bono ever falls from grace.
J: “But people expect certain standards and they will always look to those in the limelight. They will always project shadow on celebrity.
B: “No! Celebrities don’t have to be targets of our jealousy, our judgment, our darkest selves. It is not their job to carry our inadequacies for us! It is not our right to ask or question their private lives, pry into their sexuality and demand secrets from them. We don’t have the right to stalk them in dark and devious ways to take something that doesn’t belong to us. It’s nothing less than assault! Especially those who are artists and entertainers— they have and are gifts that should be respected and cherished.
J: “But they are in the public eye. People in the public eye have an obligation… “
B: “That might be true if we elect them. Entertainers and artists don’t work for us. We don’t pay them to represent us. It’s real arrogance to think they are accountable to us or to demand their lives for our own amusement or plunder.”
J: “But there are certain standards that the world expects…”
B: “And I am telling you that it is the world that is wrong! We are wrong. The standards need to change! We have lost something! We have forgotten something essential! We have become walking shells of human beings—the innards are missing. The heart isn’t there! We have made things dirty that are not. We are too willing to believe the worst about someone. We are too eager to fear. We have been conditioned to see the glass as half empty. We look for the dark instead of the light. We have lost our innocence! It’s not naïve to have the qualities of honesty and innocence; it’s refreshing. The nightly news does not highlight our human achievements but exposes our human failings. We don’t congratulate very well anymore. We don’t share well, play well with others. We run with scissors with the intention to cut people up. We take drugs to stop depression, to lift our mood, to slim down, to calm down, to sleep. We pay athletes obscene amounts of money while Nobel Prize winners write grants and beg for funding. We adopt companion animals and mistreat them; we slaughter other animals in dark and isolated places after the abysmal environments they are raised in only to display their by-products in sparkling plastic wrap in a sterile-like marketplace. We call those who work toward saving the planet “liberal tree huggers” and those who fight for human rights “bleeding hearts” as if they’re epithets instead of something noble.” Something full and loving, compassionate and nourishing is missing. Something sparkling is gone. And I am telling you we are capable of so much better, of being so much more! We need to get some sparkle! We desperately need some sparkle.”
J: “You need some sparkle. Where are you going to get replenished when you’re this empty; when you’re this empty again?”
“I’m going to think about making a difference. I am going to think about Michael Jackson and remember what he endured for us and all the while he still loved the world; he never gave up on it! I am going to dream about the time when we, the world, will cherish those who are gifted among us and are gifts to us and we appreciate and embrace all—their wonder and their warts. When we put integrity above commerce and materialism. When we tell the truth because it’s the right thing to do. When we stop terrorizing and start tenderizing. That’s it! That’s what we should do!”
J: “what should we do?”
B: “Instead of a terrorist movement, we should start a ‘Tenderist Movement!’
J: “Wow, what an idea! You’re such a dreamer! Gotta love the dreamers!
B: “Yeah, and they love you more.”

One Comment

  1. Anonymous said . . .

    "the fear of being laughed at" – Amen! I feel it is tragically ironic to say the least that this fear of being mocked is what has kept me silent for so long…and not mocked by my "enemies" but by my peers! but something has changed now and so I am finding ways to speak up in a way that does not increase shadow.

    to me a "martry" is a person who clings to victim, and does not act. so I would disagree that you are a "martyr" because you are making action out of your suffering – transmuting the energy into fire/actions to benefit and wake up others.

    I have felt this for so long, and thought the exact same words – this is not working! no one wants it anymore! I think people are exhaused and demoralized – how to change the world? it seems impossible. first step: to connect with others, to bring light to shadow when it confronts us, to take care of ourselves so we can continue the journey.

    Thank you for this blog, I am checking it daily! love to you always. – Beth in OR

    Posted January 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

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