”Why you go on with all this Doing? You are just wasting time!Osho, to me, crossly, in about 1978
Human Design says that any decision made from the mind will be with you forever, because the mind has no time. In other words, because it is an unreality – a derivative – a twisting, a structuring, a perversion – the mind does not exist in the real rhythms of nature, of life in a body. That body which contains our real authority, our real way of making decisions.
Like religions, because it is not real, the mind has almost infinite power in our lives; for how can you challenge a mirage? You could shoot it full of arrows and it will elude you.
I find this poetic: that the mind does not exist in time, therefore it is forever. My own mind snaps open at this, and Big Space comes in. And space is where poetry, like love, which is its nearest neighbor – is born.
I listened up, I listened hard, when I read this injunction from Human Design. And I remembered….
I was eighteen or nineteen. (I was always eighteen or nineteen in those days, those long centuries of adventure and misadventure, traveling Europe with a loose aggregate of acquaintances, with lovers worthy and un-, with backpack alone, in and out of houses, hostels, sleeping on rooftops, on beaches, in goat byres, hitchhiking to Edinburgh, to Copenhagen, on and on.)
I was in Rome, it was August, I was looking for a place to stay. I had some money – I’d sold a story in England – so I could have gone to a youth hostel. But I had this Idea, which was that I must always do the difficult thing, the thing I did not want to do. This idea came out of fear: that I would otherwise stagnate, would be stuck in Riverside, California, forever, with the smog and the heat and the cars. I felt I had to force life open to avoid spiritual dullness. Now, this Idea can have merit in some situations – for example, a few years later there were many cold winter mornings it was difficult to get out of bed and bike from Boat Club Road to the Ashram to do Dynamic – but that was different: The Master had invited me, and I had heard the call.
But in that hot crowded street in Rome in 1971 I was running away from my parents’ pain; nobody had invited me to Rome, life had no chance to get her contribution in, because I knew better, and I was going to Act.
With a familiar cold dragging weight in my belly; hearing that one hard inner voice saying, “Just Do It” – I stopped a young couple and asked them if they knew a place where I could sleep that night. In order to do this I had to wad a lot of myself up into a ball and push her down somewhere out of sight; the part that made the demand/request was thus narrow, and tough, and shy, and blind. The Mind that forced me forward had a Rationale as well: This is the Sixties, Man! You are supposed to take risks and be cool and do crazy things and be brave! Reach over boundaries! That is how you will really be Alive, man! Otherwise you are just a little lump, an indistinct blob of protoplasm with blurry edges! That will never do! Get with the scene, Man!
And because making a request is humiliating, I felt pride instead.
The two said I could stay in the flat where they lived. I followed them into a nearby building, up a flight of stairs, and into a huge old apartment with a white-tiled floor and a few pieces of solid furniture. The rooms were long, the walls thick. Many young people milled about. I put my backpack on the floor against a sort of wide, cushioned bench recessed into the wall, and sat down.
Quite suddenly, everyone went out, clattered down the stairs, and off on their various errands. Just one young man remained – a forgettable generic Roman youth with broad shoulders, a stocky build, curly hair. I had not even noticed him in the crowd.
Abruptly, he crossed the room to me, pushed me down on the bench, pulled up my skirt, and raped me. I cried “No, no!” but he ignored this. It all took less than a minute. He seemed to be angry at me. Then he got up, zipped up, and went off down the stairs.
I was so astonished, so freaked out, that I just lay there unable to move. Nobody had ever warned me about rape; I’d read of it but thought it was always done by soldiers, or men with knives in alleys – otherwise it wasn’t really rape. I’d suffered unpleasant, even unwanted, sexual experiences before – but at least I’d always known the man’s name!
Nobody had ever told me what to do if a man pushed me down on a bed. I did not know that in life it is allowed to kick and scream, since when I was a child – and I still really felt like a child – noisy violence was not encouraged! I thought that you had to be nice to people. And at this time of my life I had a steady boyfriend I really loved. He was back in France, working. I did not want to hurt him. That is what I worried about. The fact that I had been hurt seemed secondary. (If you have a daughter, please teach her that sometimes kicking and screaming are wonderful and lifesaving. Let her practice!)
That night I slept in a back room of the flat, on the floor, with safer inhabitants sleeping nearby. I wrote to my boyfriend, full of regret and remorse, and he wrote back comfortingly. And I chalked it up to one more weird, lawless thing that happened in the 60’s.
Only much later did I go back to that experience and, in deep meditation, plumb the depths of the negation of life it had been. Rape is the opposite of poetry; it is the violent denial of the personhood of another human being; and so it is a kind of murder. It is heavy machinery trundling across flowery meadows. It sees not the daisies, the mayflies, the little rootlets and capillaries, the butterflies and million delicate petals and mysterious underground ecosystems. It sees only the shopping-mall of brief ego it wants to build – the “I am here!” it briefly establishes. It screams that poetry is dead, and it killed it. That is how it finds its concrete block of power.
Rape presses its finger into you and leaves a stain: You have been distinctly and deliberately informed that you don’t matter, that you are worse than Nought. In my self-healings, forty years later, I faced this feeling to the best of my ability, not running away. And I entered the being of the rapist too, and experienced his rage that had nothing to do with me. And in this way I released as much of the trauma as I could.
And only then did I look at how the incident began. This is always a wonderful exercise to try, when something goes wrong: Look at the moment when it all began. What space were you in? What beliefs were you operating from? And I kept seeing myself in that hot street, girding up my loins to go forward and talk to strangers, when my body told me not to, but I thought I must.
In my Design – Motorless Projector, 2/4 profile, ten 2nd (hermit) lines in my chart – the worst thing I can do, I’m told, is try to influence a stranger. Everything in my life needs to happen through my circle of friends (I’m a very friendly hermit.) In my Design, I am not to move without being invited, and then am to trust my immediate body-wisdom, physical intuition. Instant instinct is my guide, when something approaches. And so my whole hot, trudging, lonely Grand Tour was wrong – nobody had invited me to go around Europe on the train – that too had been an Idea I’d had. If life seems to have no meaning, I am not to do anything – not alone, on my own recognizance. In other words, I have to wait for life to court me – court me properly. See me, want me, for who I really am: scribbler, dancer, Sensitive. It is not my job to rape life and tell it what to do for me; impose myself on it. (And all those 2nd lines – the Hermit – are strangely attractive, it seems; the hermit just does her own thing, absorbed in her own little flows and joys; and this fascinates others. So she can be a predator magnet. I did not know this then.)
So I was punished for that decision I made from my mind. But did that pseudo-trivial little act of something-called-sex (sex for him, maybe, but not for me; for me that brief thrashing, like a shark wagging prey underwater, was about as sexual as bashing my face into a doorjamb at night, or watching a paper bag blow down the street in an icy wind, or having my leg peed on by a dog) – last forever?
I would not have thought so – as I’ve said, so much shit happened in those days, the fashion of the times called such things normal. But last year I went to a healer in Kansas City, who immediately said to me, “You are incredibly psychic! On a scale of one to fifty, in the high forties! But your spirit is sick! Were you sexually abused by your father?”
“Well, something happened. You will have to find it out yourself – then tell me.”
I spent days combing through my memories, consulting my mother, meditating. Finally I came up with this and two other what-I-will-now-call-rapes I experienced as a teenager, before I came to the Walled Garden of Osho’s Love.
“That’s it!” cried the healer. “That is exactly it!”
And so I embarked on self-healings, and murdering perps in Dynamic (Ah, Dynamic…where would we be without you?) And so much came out of this, in the direction of loving myself, cherishing myself, caring for myself (Who else will do it?) I stumbled on a method of self-healing I am absolutely thrilled about, and long to teach.
So maybe effects-lasting-forever can also become alchemized, with much hard work.
I remember Osho saying it is good to make mistakes; just don’t make the same mistake twice. I made the Doing mistake an infinite number of times. And now I’ve got Osho talking in one ear and HD in the other, and elbowing me in the ribs as well.
I like the individualized precision of HD – it has been clearing away the brush so that I can better see my own River of Perfected Form, Genius-Freak Highway. I can, as I navigate that deceptively-simple chart, the Map of Me, with its interesting place-names, try to avoid setting up house in the Not-Self: what I will call the Conditioned Field of Gnarly Dread, or Have-To Town, or the Just-Do-It Condos. I can avoid going jogging after dark on Push-it Highway. I’ll resist the notion of inviting myself into Fuck-You Flats, or hitchhiking up the Go-Against-Yourself Expressway.
Instead, if I am wise, and have suffered enough by now, I can rest in the Seas of Emptiness, like on the moon.
And what can be more non-doing than the moon?