I WANT TO CONCLUDE THIS SERIES, the most popular pieces I’ve ever posted, with a look at how Awakeness can directly function through a human being, without that person, or anyone else, being the wiser. You may recall that I have named this a state of being “actively inhabited”. It’s as good a label as any, I think. Plus, I will go into how Betsy now lives her day-to-day life a bit more as well. Let us return, for the last time, to what I have come to fondly term, “Betsy’s Story”.
THE NATURAL WORLD AND BETSY’S WORLD are one and the same. Just like the books she reads, Betsy is full of stories of animals she has known and loved, and books about them, and stories heard or found on the Internet. If you have a conversation with Betsy for longer than, oh perhaps five minutes, and if she happens to be talking as much as she is listening, then you are going to hear those stories, old and new. She is timeless. She speaks of dogs decades past as if they are still living. And of course they all still are, because they are alive in Betsy and she makes them come alive in us. This is her passion, her Heart of hearts. I saw that operating again over the last two nights at a birthday party we attended for a dear friend, and another that my in-laws held for me. Table talk was mostly about dogs and more dogs. In the breaks between dog stories, a cat story or two came up as well, and then a grand and miraculous, mystical horse story, which is one of Betsy favorite reads ever. But you may rest assured that it was all about animals. Here’s a link to a summary of that horse story, which captured my heart as well. http://www.showjumpinghalloffame.net/inductees/snowman.shtml .
BETSY COULD ALSO TELL YOU, although she won’t, about out-of-body experiences on elementary school playgrounds, and about profound sensing at various times in her life. That is one of the primary differences I see between Nondual mysticism and nature mysticism. Nondual mysticism is all about knowing. There is a “before” and an “after”: a line is crossed. Nature mysticism is more about sensing. There is no clear demarcation. Betsy now lives both. She can still talk to dogs, but now she can talk to me about This as well. Her dream life is unimaginably active and vivid. I am convinced that that’s where much transformation takes place for her, or more properly, I should say: to her. Clearly there is no actual individual there, but the Opening that she is continues to be opened further in the night.
COME MORNING, BETSY AWAKES with an explosion of energy and cheer. She literally has to consciously tone herself down to keep from driving most folks crazy. Her last employer once asked her if she painted on her smile; he couldn’t believe anyone could always be happy. How could she virtually always be cheerful and positive? It’s because, other than when drama appears to yank her briefly back into dream, she’s now consciously and continually living in Presence, which knows nothing other than happiness and acceptance of What Is. Through Betsy, Presence quite often sweetly sings to me. She sings to me at bedside when she wakes me on Sunday mornings for tea. She sings to me on the phone when she calls at lunch. Betsy also sings as she works around the house, or while she’s fixing her hair. It is simply beautiful; so uplifting and endearing that words fail me; though I’m supposed to be “the man with the words”. For those of you who have read J. R. R. Tolkien, you may remember Tom Bombadil’s wife, Goldberry, who also went about life singing joyfully. I loved that part of The Fellowship of the Ring when I read it, decades before I met Betsy. And now that such beauty has come into my life, it is even more wonderful than I imagined.
FINALLY, ALLOW ME TO SHARE a little more of what a profound influence Betsy has been upon me. Her initial kindness and generosity, combined with her amazing acceptance of me, just as I was, giant warts and all, changed my life immeasurably. She may well have saved my life. Would I have stayed sober without her? I can’t know. I wouldn’t have wanted to find out. Certainly she saved me from suicide in 2006, prior to my awakening. There again she offered the wide arms of acceptance and the great heart of loving support. She has had to bear a lot to be my girlfriend and my wife for the last ten years. She says it’s worth it, but she is mad with love. I just know that I’m glad she thinks so. I am mad with love as well.
BETSY STARTED MY TRUE LOVE AFFAIR WITH ANIMALS. Just as she received the gift of Nondual awareness through osmosis from me, so did I receive a touch of the nature mystic from her. I now feed birds and squirrels, and the occasional rogue yard-rat. I change out the front and back birdbaths and in the warmer months I keep a hummingbird feeder. I give my neighbor’s dogs treats, and have done so for years now. When I first moved here they were my enemies; they made too much noise, I thought, because they barked at me with a vengeance anytime I walked through my own yard. They could tell a creep when they smelled one. I hated that. But after I’d been here a year or two, I learned through Betsy’s example to become a food source for them, and to talk to them gently and kindly instead of bullying and bossing them (unsuccessfully) with shouts and arm waving. As I have morphed, I have won them over, one by one. And just as importantly, they have won me. If they bark at me, they do so from the glee of seeing me. It’s a rather different experience now. I knew little of coming from Love before I met Betsy. I love being their trusted friend now. I can tell a lot about people now by how they treat and think of animals.
THERE ARE FOXES AND DEER that live near here, and I am thrilled to the bone every time I see one of them. I spoil all animals that will allow it. I roll on the floor with Gus and come up covered in red fur and yucky slobber. That's great. All is well, all is well. Oh, my cats, my cats! Nothing on this earth short of Betsy touches my heart like our two cats, Henry and Dickens. We got them both in 2004, just as the bottom was falling out of my life from legal procedures which I’ve gone into elsewhere on Awakening Clarity. Henry, like Gus, is a rescue animal, and he is the unopposed boss of our home and everyone in it. He is also the family groomer and the soft, warm snuggler, which more than makes up for him being such a scold. I'm so glad his cancer is in remission. He comes down to Betsy twice a day to take his pills. He trusts her. He knows she wouldn't do anything to him that he didn't need. It's really quite remarkable trust. Sometimes she gives him a treat afterward, and sometimes she doesn't. But always he comes.
DICKENS IS A MAINE COON, a gentle giant at 22 pounds, with gusts to 25. He was an only kitten raised in a rather unloving environment and he was scared to death when he came to live here. He is absolutely gorgeous; the prettiest cat you ever saw. I let him do things his own way when he was young and frightened; I never crowded him. Everyone who lives here is welcome to be just as they are. Everyone is perfect. I hand-fed Dickens sandwich meat when he was a youngster, and at Betsy’s suggestion, we got him used to being brushed when he was a baby. He would come around the rest of us, but he didn’t like being held at all, and he would never come up on the bed to be with us. For a long, long time he would come to the bedroom, but hide under a dresser, only sticking his head out into the scary world. He was four or five years old when he came and sat in my lap for the first time. I was stunned and more flattered than if Queen Elizabeth had dropped by for tea and scones. He now does so almost every morning, or anytime I sit in my chair in the living room. He begs to be brushed now. He sleeps on our bed at night, curled up at Betsy’s feet. You can see that he is now at peace with both his own mind and the world.
WE LOOK JUST LIKE two people in love. We are, of course, one thing (really one no-thing) showing up as two appearances. This life is absolutely amazing, though it appears simple and small when viewed through the eyes of most others. However you see it, thank you so much for sharing it with us through this series. I hope you will continue to follow Awakening Clarity. Welcome, friends, from all of us. Namaste.
|Betsy and Gus, October 2, 2011|
Let me welcome Singapore, South Korea, and New Zealand to the growing list of countries visiting Awakening Clarity. They join 34 other countries that are already helping to awaken Clarity.