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
7 thoughts on “dismantling”
Wow! Thank you for this post Amrita.
My own experience over the past 5 years almost completely mirrors your own. The complete loss (giving up?) of almost EVERYTHING that had sustained me or interested me … job, partner, home, friends, family, hobbies. I plunged into a deep depression. Only 2 “loves” remained: my love of nature and my love of “the path”… all things spiritual. I get a sense there is still more emptying to do and I am more or less helpless to change the course of events. However, I’ve had enough glimpses of the goodness underlying all of this and I’m now OK just allowing it to continue as it will.
My sense is that the emptying continues. As Rupert said, we can never know when a piece will arise that we didn’t know about… so remaining humble is wise! And yes, as Elias Amidon, the person who brought me to the non-dual teachings, said to me with a big smile, “You’re ruined! There’s no turning back.” I am ruined, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Yes, the emptying continues and continues. Rage, anger, painful memories… But now it is ALL welcome. I clearly understand what it is. And I am grateful.
At first the emptiness was horrible for you. And then it became a relief. What was it that tipped it from horrible to relief?
Actually, that wasn’t the emptiness I was writing about. What I wrote about occurred prior to that… during the first Open Path training. It wasn’t horrible, but is was disorienting, and I was angry for a while. I think the relief came as I learned to live differently.