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A Symphony of Selves

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

“I want to end this existence!” - I scream, drowning in tears. Rivers of tears running through my eyes, mucus flowing down my nose which is so congested I can’t use it for breathing, and nobody is there to hand me a tissue. My hands are bound tightly by heavy layers of jute rope that go all the way around my chest. It’s squeezing and pinching me, I’m naked and helpless. My chest is covered by a multitude of knots, knots made of grief, like leeches, sucking all the life out of my heart. And tears. I’m desperate, I’m pathetic, I’m weak, I’m ashamed, I’m disgusted.

“I want to exit this life! Disappear! There is no meaning, no reason to live!” I keep sobbing.

Bodhi keeps on wrapping more layers of rope around my body. Ropes pinching my skin. I can feel my blood rushing through me as the constrictions of rope make it more apparent. As if my blood is making a greater effort to keep flowing around my body. “Why bother? So much work, such a complicated life form, this human, so much required to keep it running. And it’s doing it well, that blood, it keeps on circulating despite the heavy layers of ropes that bind me all over.

“Why bother,” I keep exclaiming out loud, “so much complexity for nothing. I see no meaning attached to this existence. Therefore, I crave to exit!”. More tears. Screaming. Sobbing. Recognizing that even all this is for nothing, it won’t make me feel better. It won’t make him feel sorry for me, he’ll just keep on tying me. My emotional release is making him believe that he is doing it right, that something is flowing somewhere, that we aren’t stuck.

Yet I feel stuck. Stuck in this meaningless existence. Memories circle through my head, a multitude of situations where I had thought I had it all together, only to recognize in the end that each was another illusion destined to fall apart. Personal, work, spiritual, inspiring endeavors full of hopes doomed to fall apart, yet another failure. If my spirit still had some juice left, I’d say these were lessons in order for me to improve in the future. But, again and again, I think this time I know better, this time I got it, this time it’s going in the right direction, because I’m finally wiser, more healed, more badass!... But no, the sand mandalas are swept away making me recognize that I had no idea what I was doing. Again.

“Let me out of this life! I want it over,” I scream in utter desperation, as he now pulls my chest toward my legs, which are in a crossed position. Bowing forward until my head touches the floor. Curled and squished into myself. Like diving and drowning in the storms of inner miseries. Everything is doomed to break. This body is already preparing to die, getting older. Things will only get worse from now on. Youth is gone, fun is gone, I see no reason to keep going with this… Better exit. Better be done and gone. So I don’t have to feel all this shit getting shittier! I choose to exit and not exist anymore, enough is enough, I’m sick and tired of thinking and feeling it, I want to exit it. NOW!!!”

I hit the bottom of my despair.

“Well, let it be the last time you think this, so you better think loud, feel it all the way till it’s exhausted,” Bodhi finally responds to my calls.

Then, just like life itself confirming the theory I described, Bodhi begins making my situation even more challenging. He attaches a suspension from my back and begins slowly pulling it up, crushing me into myself. I feel sharp pain from every side of my body. I’m so terrified that I scream long and loud. It feels like the world is being crushed within me, the fabric of reality wrapping into itself, from 3D memories and the real horror of my terrified persona into a single dot with no dimensions. It’s infinitely quiet inside this dot. Death.

Once the scream is over, the story keeps unfolding. I notice the sudden appearance of some new quality of chatter within me, even more than one. The first is the “professional” observer aiming to understand Bodhi's tying strategy in order to offer something like this to my future clients. “Wow, this position, I haven’t tried it with my clients, and I had no idea I could suspend someone like this from the back… now I know how it feels!” The second is concerned with survival. It notices how quickly blood circulation is being cut off to one of my thumbs and the latter’s rapid disappearance, as though my thumb is being cut off from the body, and I instantly notify Bodhi that he needs to stop what he is doing.

“Aha, someone still wants to live! What was that desire to quit living all about?”

My awareness tries to find that impulse, which had been so loud not that long ago, that desperate self who cried for a way out. But I cannot find it anymore. It is gone, having ceded its space to the one who was planning my future clients together with the one who wants to save my dying thumb.

Now shifting my attention into this awareness, I perceive the sharp contrast of these distinct selves. So vital, so desiring something, so fearing something, contradicting one another, coexisting or trying to knock each other out. And the insight hits me hard: so each time I believe this is who I am, but all of these are just ghosts passing through. It’s an orchestra of expressions, and the ones that are least approved of by my critical faculty are the ones most alive during the rope journey. Like this time, the one that wants to commit suicide. Once I gave it a go, it thought and screamed and cried itself until it dissolved. A wave of compassion passed through me as I recognized what it takes for some people to commit suicide - believing that voice is who they are, just as I believed while being tied up. This time the suicide had taken place within. Through a carefully administered rope journey, that personality got what it wanted, it was exposed and heard while the body was spared. And my point of identity shifted toward that of a spacious observer of the multitude of personalities within.

Bodhi puts me into a more meditative position, in which I am suspended while sitting. He is swinging me to and fro and I perceive myself as a spacious awareness, expanding its rooms for all the personalities within to have their voice be heard. Some aspect of me was furious - so it roared, it grieved, it took space to cry, as another laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation. Bodhi picks up his phone to take a picture of me.

I want to continue the journey of being tired and untied, in all possible positions. I feel grateful for this infinite freedom to have had this space to be fully me, in all of my expressions. I am ready to claim myself as spacious, limitless awareness which is neither bound nor free and, at the same time, as a limited, sensitive being who is there to experience all shades of humanness. This is where power meets vulnerability, where loving awareness meets all dark thoughts, where masculine presence meets feminine action, where Shiva becomes a quiet corpse for his beloved Kali. This meeting is exactly where Love and Gratitude are born, together with an inspiration to live life from just such a foundation.

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