Admittedly, the word “dismantling” has a disturbing ring. It isn’t only the meaning, the sound of it rattles. I can hear broken boards dropping to the ground, or old shingles flying through the air. Often dismantling has the implication that something new will be built in the place of the old. But not here.
In order to recognize the real, each of us must dismantle the whole fabric that is thought of as “I.” I am a woman, I am a mother, I am in my sixties, I am a spiritual being having a human experience—all of it has to go, because when fully examined, it isn’t true. I couldn’t, and cannot, find the separate “I” that holds it all up.
I don’t want to minimize how dismantling rocks the world that you or I have known. It can be strange, shocking, very painful and disorienting. I experienced a period of months where I simply didn’t know how to be; the old way of being no longer attracted me, but the new had not yet unfolded. After writing most days of the previous twelve years, for the next couple of years, I wasn’t able to write a word. I stopped reading fiction. My spiritual practice of almost forty years no longer fed me. And yet, the resulting emptiness is the deepest relief. I no longer have to carry the immense burden of being who I had thought I was.
© Skye Blaine, 2011