Anger, fear, hate, and jealousy are great gifts. Finally we leave the spiritual mirage behind. We are no longer this sanitized being smelling of lotus perfume. We smell like hate. We stink of it. This is reality. This is unity, at last. Transforming hate into love is like putting Saran Wrap over a container of rotting food; it does not resolve anything. We must go to the raw and direct feeling. There is nothing to transform. To transform is to lose the chance that we have been given to look at reality. The solution is in the problem and not in its negation. The problem is a marvelous gift.
Daniel Odier, Yoga Spandakarika
This passage in Daniel Odier’s beautiful commentary on The Sacred Texts at the Origins of Tantra sang out to me when I read them earlier this week. I felt the great breeze of Truth, the scent of freedom in his words.
In Human Design, the evolutionary astrology based on the I Ching, I am an emotionally defined Projector. To keep it simple, this means that I am wired to receive emotional waves that arise of their own accord without any direct external cause, and like all waves they subside all on their own.
My role is to recognize the wave for what it is and to take care of myself until it passes. Like ocean waves, the emotional wave picks up everything in its path. So it’s good, to extend the metaphor, to keep the beach clean and free of debris.
This morning a wave arose. I could say it’s because I slept poorly and had an upsetting dream. But it’s just as–if not more–likely that I slept and dreamt as I did due to the wave. As Odier says, the gift is in the “problem,” not its solution.
A lifelong transcender of difficulty, I have had a long process of unlearning this behavior. Getting the Saran Wrap off the rot and letting it have its way, do its stinking work of transforming itself. Seeing the natural beauty of rot has been a blessing. What is composed will decompose. This is as true of bodies as it is of feelings.
It’s bracing to lean into this. To be encouraged to let the raw reality of the moment offer itself to us. In my own experience, this allowance has the power to transform, to bring forth compassion and love like flowers out of shit. But you can’t start with the flowers. You have to start with the shit. You have to get comfortable with the buzzing, stinking, rotting of the moment with no expectation other than your own ability to remain.
Earlier in the passage, Odier says, “When we have the chance to become angry or afraid, we feel a gathering of energy followed by a dispersal. It is in this gathering that we can reach the sacred tremor . . . It is only rarely that we achieve a clear awareness of our emotion in the present moment. If this were always the case, there would be no drive to action, no manifestation of the emotion outside ourselves.”
The cultivation of awareness, to be resting always in its embrace, has the power to bring us into unity with the depth of our Being. Let the wave come. It knows that it’s not separate from the ocean.