Shahriar Shahriari

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Message of the Month

May, 2005


When I first went into hibernation, I was not sure what form it would take and how it would end. I am still not sure what form it did take and whether it has ended or not. I am not even sure why I went into hibernation.

Perhaps I needed a break. Some suggested that I needed to rejuvenate, and even heal. I am not convinced if any of these have happened.

The coming out of hibernation is not like a big wake-up call, a big bang with explosions and plenty of insights. No profound metamorphosis has taken place, or if it has, I am not aware of it. There have been no great revelations, nor any transcendent experience. It has simply been a slumber – a basic recognition that the world goes on with or without me.

They say "time is the greatest healer". Healer of what, I don’t know. In fact I have come to realize the exact opposite. Time is not the "Great Healer" it is said to be. "Time is the Greatest Tranquilizer" of all time. Time gives us the space to get used to, and to become numb to what is not in accord with our inner spirit - to accept it as a fact of being, a part of life. And to go on with our daily routines as if nothing has happened.

Perhaps Time, together with "Denial" are the most potent ingredients of mind-over-matter so-called "healing".

Yet true healing begins not in acceptance, but in recognition. Recognition of where our spirit is, where our soul wants to drive us to, how unique and "abnormal" each of us are, and whether and how we are going to make our lives run in accord with our soul’s intention.

Equanimity is a product of time, and so is discontent. Awareness on the other hand, transcends time.

We do not seek rebellion, nor freedom, and not even enlightenment. What we really want is alignment. Not alignment with the cultural norms and the society’s plans for us, but being in accord with our deep rooted pulling, convictions and compulsions. Not the psychological and pathological compulsions that can be drugged out of us, but the shadow that every time we look the other way, haunts us and vies for our attention.

Perhaps a "shadow" with its cultural baggage is not the best description of this phenomenon. Perhaps it is better described as the light that is always on our back guiding us, and lighting our path – only if we were not so absorbed with the shadow that it casts directly before us.

Or if you prefer a different metaphor, a light house in the distance, with its faint flickering, that is always drawing our attention, if only we were not so mesmerized by the darkness of the night or so intent on conquering the tempestuous waves of the ocean of life.

My awakening from my slumber is not like stepping into the bright morning sun. It is more like a stirring in the pre-dawn twilight, focusing and un-focusing my eyes, teeter-tottering between the two worlds of drowsy sleep and uncertain wakefulness.

Instead of the bright sun burning with certainty, I have a faint wakeful-dream, more like a flickering candle that needs nurturing and attention. Not much conviction, only a faint light that if fed constantly and properly, may grow to light up my awakening, and if not, can simply be put out by a breeze, only to return at a later time when I am in slumber again.

© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
May 2005

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