I Dwell Among The Broken

The title of this post is a phrase that I hear in my mind on a regular basis. It is a reminder of the kind of people I am here to be with. It is, however not an admonition to throw myself into the deepest pit of stagnant suffering, but to be with those who have traversed, or are traversing, that abyss. The reasons for this are not limited to compassion alone. I am speaking about people who have been broken open, taken beyond themselves by the conditions of life. Because we are so frail and fragile in this physical form and because we have identified with so many of those limitations, we usually see there dissolution through ruin, though in truth it can be ecstasy as well.

I was brought to write about this by a conversation that Christopher Knowles of The Secret Sun published with Jeff Kripal, the author of a forth coming book on the paranormal entitled “Authors of The Impossible.” The salient portions of Kripal’s commentary are reproduced below:

“Our egos, social selves, or religious identities, of course, are not always ready for this expansion, and so they experience this form of superconsciousness as threatening, terrifying, dark, and so on….

Very simply, what I think is that human beings are normally too well put together to experience such things, but that in those situations in life where the ego is temporarily compromised or even erased (car wrecks, serious trauma, psychopathology, yes, and psychedelics), the real comes “rushing in” because it CAN now. It is not being “blocked” or “filtered out” by the brain and a healthy ego. I am not suggesting that such experiences are pathological, but I am suggesting that pathology is one, of many, ways to catalyze them.”

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