We do spend an awful amount of time in the woe is me corner don’t we? Another term that we might use is self-pity. Of course this isn’t just reflected at ourselves we are often in a place of pitying others too. You might be wondering what this has to do with the topics in this blog? Read on my friend…
Pity is the inward looking companion of compassion. If you do a bit of googling around on the matter it seems clear that whereas compassion is focused out into the world, pity is focused inwards. What does this mean? Well, I might help someone out of pity. This would mean that I am helping them because it is hurting me, emotionally and so I want to stop that and to do that I help them. Let’s leave it at a loose definition like that for now.
Self-Pity is a kind of self-flagellation. There is an apt saying that I think goes well with it “get of your cross” It’s the kind of thing that gets you into a spiral of “Why’s”…Why did that happen to me? Why did I get into this again? Why isn’t the other that this has happened to? You get what I mean right?
Well…the other day I got into a situation and found myself in pseudo sadomasochistic mode of self-pity. The reason isn’t really that important (lest I hammer nails into my palms again…) But suffice it to say, the “why” questions, and the “I don’t deserve” statements were plundering my consciousness. This happened for about 20/30 minutes until absent mindedly I was reaching into the fridge for something when a flash of cold air hit my neck…from the back.
With this blast came a whisper of sound, but it wasn’t a voice, just a sound. I knew it. Even though I have only felt it once or twice before. It was the flavour of the Ice Dragon I had been bound to at the Druids Circle last year…was it only last year?
What this sudden breath had done was shift me to a place that I had read about but not understood. Many many years ago, Chris and I were students of the works of that confused sorcerer Carlos Castaneda. In his books he learns about this state of being that can be reached. That state is called the “The place of no pity” While it is too huge a topic to attempt to put Castaneda’s works into context, here is a link to where this place is mentioned.
Self-importance is a monster that has three thousand heads. And one can face up to it and destroy it in any of three ways. The first way is to sever each head one at a time; the second is to reach that mysterious state of being called the place of no pity, which destroys self-importance by slowly starving it; and the third is to pay for the instantaneous annihilation of the three-thousand-headed monster with one’s symbolic death.
Consider yourself fortunate if you get the chance to choose. For it is the spirit that usually determines which way the sorcerer is to go, and it is the duty of the sorcerer to follow.
I read about this and attempted to understand it many winters ago, I think I was 23 at the time. But could not fathom or gain an understanding of it. Maybe the life-experiences were missing.
When the dragon’s breath hit me and transported (my assemblage point?) I arrived at that place. I knew it instantly. It was like having a place described to you many years ago and then suddenly realising that the place you were standing in, was that place!
Given my knowledge about it and now this experience, I can totally see why the (ice) dragons breath transported me there. The place of no pity is a cold place. A harsh place, a ruthless place. It brooks no crosses and certainly no pitying. It shut (mentally) me up completely. Even when I wanted the comfort of traversing that road of self-flagellation. It just wouldn’t allow it. It made that road feel hollow and empty.
What an utterly bizarre feeling and it takes me back to Castaneda’s work and what it means to my life…