I had a severe attack of vertigo today, reeling mourned the house like a drunk and even throwing up, but the vertigo gave me a new and wonderful metaphor for work with —from my metaphor tool box for awakening that I share with you. Vertigo is the feeling of falling with nothing to hold only. So when. you get the vertigo you have to hold onto chairs and stable things. This is physical vertigo; but what is. psychological vertigo, and what is spiritual vertigo? That is where I want the metaphor to take us.
As you can see my body/brain might be dizzy but my awareness is not. Awareness, awakened awareness is like Stephen Hawkins: the body may be immobile but the awareness is very, very awake, aware and creative. There are two movies I refer to in this talk that are metaphors for spiritual vertigo: Vertigo with Jimmy Stewart and The Avatar and the Voyage to Pandora. Both are about the hero who is caught between two realties that are equal in value but contradictory, so he can choose neither for stability. It’s like when the teeter totter is horizontal, you can’t choose either end to be. your reality. Both are equal but opposite. That is induced vertigo of the mind because you no longer have anything real to hand onto. You are falling, falling…falling….like in Mad Men.
The spiritual path, if serious, is going to induce vertigo so that you will be forced to give up your attachment and fall…fall…into your true center, a mind that doesn’t rest on any form to stabilize it. This mind is free from the fear of death because it has no attachments, no chairs and tables to hold onto that can be kicked away. You find your True Center, like being on a GPS navigator: you are always at the center.
We all experience the “Vertigo” when something or someone we value dies. The rug is pulled out from under us, and we have lost our stable coherent reality where I was held in place by this person/thing that I believed would never change. This is why we go into religion, for the most part, because it promises a certainty that won’t change. Rock of Ages, you know. But the secular world has no Rock of Ages to cling to, so what do we do? We cling to career, status, fames and fortune, but what if that fails? We cling to ideologies, radical world views, causes, our Rights, something in history that we can identify with and cling to a purpose. A purpose is a form that we cling to in order to prevent…Vertigo.
The Vertigo is very easy to track, like you are tracking tornadoes. Right here on Facebook when you get into an opinion fight with someone, notice that you are clinging to your opinion in order to prevent…Vertigo. And the other end of the teeter totter is also clinging to his/her opinion, each trying with all their might to avoid vertigo, which is falling off the teeter totter in the sky with no ground beneath it.
WE all want to know why our world is falling apart, falling into vertigo and everyone is clinging to their positions, parties, ideologies, Rights and Guns, Bible and political platforms. The nation is like a teeter totter that is almost horizontal with two opposite realties on each end. When one end is way above the other, being a fringe view, we are secure, but when both ends are about equal, what reality to we choose. Each reality, each Truth has its own logic….but there is only one Truth…and that truth is seen from the park bench which holds without judgments the teeter totter as a game children play. Th