Rite of Passage


Sitting, god knows how I got here, with Tamara and Rachel, while Raffa is, with a lot of enthusiasm, preparing a steak for me, where I thought to myself, do I have to feel, ‘guilty’, to request a steak? It’s like, you know, every book that I put out takes months and months of work. Is it a mistake? Steak, or mistake? It’s a ‘missed-steak’. That’s been going on for years, and I’m amazed. So I mean, be reasonable, I can’t remember when I had a steak last. Which doesn’t really matter, I don’t go around thinking about it. 
Rachel: ‘Blaming’?
Alan: Every time I print something up, I feel it’s the last. Now I’m thinking, no, there’s going to be one more, but it’s really going to be something. This might come close to it, when you can tell the truth, that isn’t a hundred miles away from the actual activities that people are involved in.
Things are now developing so quickly on the outside that any activity is like catching up with everything that has been going on over the past  years. It was seen . . . but it still left room, for dreams. And now it’s going so quick and so many things are changing that . . . what does it do? It actually dissolves imagination, itself. You can’t ‘imagine’ anymore. Whatever the pieces are of imagination, by the time you’ve finished one sentence, it feels everything has already changed. It’s sometimes said – ‘Life is NOT an explanation’. Well, that’s a nice statement – so then what? If it’s not that, what exactly is it? It’s a strange truth but – until it gets better, it’s going to get worse! What is ‘worse’? I don’t know what words to use. The uselessness of struggling in life . . . always struggling . . . the actual uselessness of it? That’s why I say, imagination dissolves. It’s had all kinds of calculations – if you ‘do’, then you’ll get this kind of result, or that result. Then you begin to see that you haven’t the vaguest idea of what the result of anything will be. And when that becomes clear, totally clear, and it gets closer to it now, it becomes painful – because we’ve got our Identity there, within all those calculations. When it becomes totally clear, you’re left with now. And that’s ‘what IS’ without explanation. If that happens, and it’s totally clear that that’s the reality, then, with all the calculations, you don’t just say ‘that’s useless’, that you won’t do that again, or something – they just don’t happen anymore. Then you’re free in the Now. But as it gets closer and closer to that, that nothing predictable happens in the struggle to make something of . . . how to put it? To make something of yourself, picture-wise, life-wise – it becomes evermore impossible. So the agony in it. It’s like a death agony. 
You don’t have to be a philosopher to come to that point. It’s so . . . it’s reality. And this is the period of time we’re living in now. It was never different, in essence, but it’s faster. It also makes us sick of words, sick of explanations, our own and others’. And it’s painful – words and explanations are painful. That’s what we have to face . . . the shocks. For instance, what is now known as the Second Lebanese war, a year an a half ago, here – were you here or in Klill?
Tamara: I was here and in Klill.
Alan: Everything stopped. 
Tamara: Everywhere.
Alan: Yes.
Tamara: Except Tel Aviv.
Alan: Yes, well, in the North. So when it stopped, there was nothing left but Now. 
Rachel: It was also free from everything.
Alan: Yes, and it’s all so very understandable, reasonable . . . me, in the past, being ‘accused’ of focusing so much, on the world going to hell. And what I’m saying now is, that you know exactly what I’m talking about . . . if you can remember five minutes back . . . in terms of explanations . . . words appearing totally insubstantial.
Tamara : It’s okay, it’s known . . .
Alan: Yes, yes  . . .
Tamara: But if it makes one stop living . . . this idea, it’s not . . .
Alan: It depends on how it’s interpreted. It’s not ‘going to hell’, it is hell, and always has been.  It’s just heated up to the extent where it’s obvious. And I’m saying now – it’s on the edge of a ‘new dawn’. Before the sun rises the night is at its darkest. A new dawn, is a new world. 
But that’s on the inside. God knows what will be on the outside. It could be beyond the imagination, not comfortable. Inside, there is nothing like now . . . it’s transcendent to whatever’s on the outside . . . and it’s all interesting, even when the rockets are flying, or whatever. 
Tamara: Different.
Alan: It is different, yes. It’s ‘media’, relative to the inside, relative to now. Now, now, now – is God, is Self-Remembering, is Consciousness Itself. Everything is superficial to that. 
Wherever you look there are ‘prophesies’ around the issue. They all say, in one way it’s bad, and it’s also good. What is for sure, it’s going to be something very dramatic – a dramatic change. We’re moving into it.
One of the things that Na’ama channeled not long ago said: ‘The world is going into a big disaster.  But the bigger the disaster, the bigger the opportunity. The disaster is in life – the opportunity is out of it.’ That’s putting it in a few words . . . very good . . . better than twenty books.
What are you left with when you ‘die’ – who was who, or what was what, doing this way, or that way, an optimist or pessimistic sense of the future? All of which gave a sense of ‘identity’. And with a questionable sense of our past, the future becomes obviously incalculable. The past, with sincerity, one realizes, is not exactly a clear anything. What was all that about? Sometimes this way, sometimes that way, right? 
‘The bigger the disaster, the bigger the opportunity!’ What is the opportunity? It’s beyond the ‘personal’ at the personality level. We are actually cosmic beings, of quite a high order, and evolutionary capacity. 
* * *
(Alan laughs)
Tamara: ma (what)?
Alan: Everything! 
As the poem goes: 
‘Hemorrhoids’ . . . that’s interesting. They’re part of the digestive system, right?
Tamara: Yes, it’s in the anus, a vein is popping out.
Alan: Yes, the anus, popping out and . . .
Tamara: Sometimes bleeding, sometimes hard.
Alan: Oh yeah, they break through the lining, the veins are behind the lining of the anus. It is a thin lining and the vein pushes out in a little bubble, sometimes breaks, painful and bleeds.
Tamara: Very uncomfortable, as far as I understand.
Alan: Yes, Oh yoi. 
I don’t usually do this, dig at something, looking for an analogy. Sometimes an analogy is very clear, this one is not particularly clear, it’s just suggesting an analogy – the hemorrhoids, relevant to a psychological reality. 
All our impressions from all our life go through a process of digestion. They are a food. As they go through a digestion process, the part that is undigested, is not digested, is like ‘shit’ that goes out, right? So, how do the hemorrhoids come into play? The first thing that occurs to me is that, between our inner world and our outer world is a thin membrane – it’s like a psychological skin. Sometimes they talk about people living in a bubble. It’s a good analogy – we’re living in a bubble, each person is enclosed somehow in their own inner world. 
So, there’s this thin membrane between us and the world, right? We make a division, don’t we, that there’s an inside, and an outside. But in this period of time, it becomes less and less clear – what is objective, what is subjective, what is outside, what is inside? That membrane becomes very thin, like in the anus, where the shit is going through. When it gets real thin, a vein can pop through. It’s not considered a hemorrhoid, I think, until it bleeds – it just pops through. What pops through? The analogy maybe is taking shape a little bit. I don’t know if I like the sound of it so much. 
The blood comes from the inside. Back to the psychological angle – there is ‘us’, and then there is the ‘world’. If the membrane between you and the world gets thin, almost transparent, you don’t know what’s on which side. ‘Identity’ then becomes a very questionable quantity . . . you know . . . am I who I am?
Ah, that’s very interesting. How do you get a sense of yourself from the outside? How you’re being ‘taken’? This is all more or less about identity. So there’s the inside, the side where you take yourself – and then you’ve got the outside, how you’re being taken. It could be how people take you, or how the world is taking you. You can say, ‘ah, they don’t see me, and the world is this or that’. But as the membrane gets so thin and transparent, it’s not clear exactly ‘who you are’. Is it how you take yourself, or how you’re taken, or how the world takes you?
Wait a second, this gets really serious at this point, no? So what is the ‘hemorrhoid’ that bursts out? Maybe that’s what anger is, in a way, when it’s expressed. It’s like the energy, the blood, the phsychic-thing, bursts through the membrane. Now, what happens to you on the inside? You lose energy, you lose ‘blood’. People with a lot of hemorrhoids have to take blood transfusions.
* * *
Rachel: I know it doesn’t belong to the subject, but the day that you were in Klill I was watching television, and you just went out of 
Tamara’s house . . . and I saw Ein Kerem . . .
Alan: Wait a minute, this is geographical, where does it start?
Rachel: I saw on the day that you were in Klill, on the t.v., this monastery, the Sisters of Zion monastery, in Ein Kerem. They show it, and talked with the Sisters. I was fascinated. And Tamara called me, and this is the place we were with Alan, and I get nostalgic about our moments there. And Tamara said that Alan just left the house. It was all so connected, everything, you just left Klill.
Alan: And just a few days before I was just looking over the booklet that Tamara wrote after our visit there. I think it never got printed. 
Rachel: Everything connected . . .
Alan: And if Sister Dona isn’t thinking of us now, I’ll eat my hat. She’s back in Canada now.
Rachel:  Everything was so nice there. I want to go back . . . they rent rooms . . . so I thought I’ll go for a few days to rest. I love this place, I don’t know, like a dream in my head . . . it happened . . . I’m going back there all the time.
Alan: Yes, a lot happened in that trip.
Rachel: Yes, sure.
* * *
Alan: I thought maybe that our picture was drawn, finished – but now what I’m thinking, it’s leaving something out. What it’s suggesting, the risk of hemorrhoids, psychologically, is because the membrane is getting thinner and thinner . . . like it’s dissolving. In a strange way, it was always ‘artificial’, because the outside was the inside was the outside. Our ‘individuality’, that separation, was always artificial . . . and now the membrane is getting so thin and it’s disappearing. It was never real, now it’s disappearing.
Tamara: It doesn’t sound so good.
Alan: ‘It doesn’t sound so good’ – that’s what I was saying.
Tamara: It’s a kind of protection, also . . .
Alan: Oh ho, ‘protection’.
Tamara: When I look, it looks like a cell in a man. The cell, it’s covered with a membrane, and the insides are all parts of the cell, many parts of the cell and it’s . . .
Alan: Oh, very good point, it can’t exist if it doesn’t have a membrane.
Tamara: Exactly, it can exist only inside another cell, but then it’s not a normal cell any more. Like a virus without a membrane. A virus that doesn’t have a membrane, a very violent one, can only live inside another cell, cannot exist by itself, a virus which doesn’t have a membrane.
Alan: A virus, a virus doesn’t have a membrane?
Tamara: There are all kinds of viruses.
Alan: I see. What does it indicate, a virus, other than sickness? I mean, what is it? A cell has a function.
Tamara: It also has . . . it’s a little thing . . .
Alan: But it has a function, other than a negative one? Maybe certain of our ‘twisted thinking’ is really a virus, and can only live in another organism. That’s what occurred to me there. But it’s important what you brought up, because that’s a major notion in the Work – that we need something to catch life on. That’s the Work – to make a separation between our essence and the world which we become identified with, what goes on inside us, but is not us, only imagination. 
Rachel: To protect us from everything that comes in.
Alan: Yes, we have a mechanical, re-active, protective, membrane . . . but it’s not enough to hold the world out, to maintain a . . .
Tamara: It’s not strong enough . . . some people have it strong enough. 
Alan: But they become fanatics in one thing or another, maybe they can hold a . . .
Tamara: But I think now, for most, not strong enough.
Alan: Yes, that’s right.
Tamara: Now you need more . . . this is what comes to me . . . effort used to be useful . . . now it’s not enough.
Alan: Yes, it’s life or death. 
Tamara: Unless you make hundred times more effort.
Alan: Based on what?
Tamara: On the Ideas.
Alan: Yes.
Tamara: But there are different Ways.
Alan: Yes, whatever.
Tamara: Based on . . .
Alan: Well any real Ideas must include issues like honesty, integrity, conscience, external considering, etc.. They may have different words for it, different names. And the functions themselves are different with everybody. 
So that’s where the statement of Mr. G comes in: ‘You need something between you and life’. You need something to walk through life on. You need shoes to walk through life on. ‘I sell leather’, he said – ‘you have to make your own shoes’. So, here’s a statement that might have sounded abstract in the past . . . and it becomes somewhat comprehensible in the days we’re living in now, huh?
Tamara: Yes.
Alan: Exactly what we’re talking about. So here’s an analogy that arose by itself. It’s interesting, it was triggered by this relation between psychological digestion and physical digestion. We have to keep eating, and as we eat we create some shit. We have to have this last stage of the digestion system in the end. And also I think if the shit is not ‘right’ it burns this membrane, it’s hot. You’ve ever seen horse or cow shit just after they shit? It’s hot, it can burn. So a membrane is needed. 
Tamara: But psychological undigested food, shit, I think many times can come in dreams also, when you sleep. Sometimes for me the dreams are . . .  they show . . . they make things clearer.
Alan: Yes, there are probably lots of examples of that. But it has a warning in it as well, this analogy – not to let the vein burst out into the world. 
Tamara: Yes, you said that anger was a way of throwing your fear off.
Alan: It’s a violent reaction. It could be anger, it could be irritation, it could be, identification, actually. That’s towards the outside world – anger or irritation or complaint. People can also burst inside, with internal considering. You don’t necessarily burst in a way that anybody sees.
* * *
Raffa: Come in to sit.
Alan: We’re moving into the kitchen where there’s a steak coming up soon from our chef Raffa. Wow, wow, wow! There’s a story of a restaurant where the owner told all his workers: ‘We don’t sell the steak here, we sell the sizzle!’ And here we have the sizzle.
* * *
Rachel: The psychological membrane can be Work Ideas, between life and us, no?
Alan: Exactly – that’s the material for the shoes. But you have to sew it together, you have to join the pieces.  
Rachel: Put them together. Go with these shoes through life.
Alan: That’s the positive side of it – the ‘negative’ side says, don’t bleed. 
Rachel: It’s a hard one. 
Alan: Exactly. 
* * *
What’s that?
Rachel: Alan, I must show you something. It’s coming close. It’s a seed, and slowly, slowly a flower is coming out. It’s a seed – (special oriental seed in a special container) – and it’s opening in the water.
Alan: Now its time to eat. Maybe we’ll have some more to say on this after.
© 2008 Alan J. Rudner