Hubby’s thinking about buying a car. We’ve never owned one, and on a practical level we mostly get by without. Plus it allows me to feel slightly smug about my (otherwise lamentable) eco-credentials!
But ever since we guzzumped Eric Catona in a hire car office in the south of France and were freely upgraded to the Mercedes convertible that must have been earmarked for him (true story!), Hubby has had a bit of a yearning for his own wheels. He’s even recently brought some brochures home…
So we’ll buy a car, I’m sure. It’s just a matter of when.
But it’s also a matter of what exactly — since I don’t think our budget stretches to a Mercedes convertible! As we talked the other night it was clear that Hubby must psych himself up for this purchase, not so much because he’s worried about emissions or road-rage, not because of the undoubted extra expense, but because he’s not sure if he merits having a car of his own of any make.
So my reaction was an ever so gentle explosion of loving mockery of this. Of course he deserves this! That’s so much NOT the place to come from in this matter. I tut-tutted a little to myself in private about how we undermine ourselves so easily, questioning what happiness and what joy we can reasonably expect.
But any sense of superiority quickly evaporated during meditation practice where I confronted an uncomfortable realisation: if there are joys and bliss to be found through meditation, I’m not sure that I am worthy to receive them. I don’t know that I deserve this harmony.
I’ve been dressing it up in various ways to conceal this simple but rather difficult truth from myself. I’ve been hiding behind the intellectual questions about dual or non-dual philosophies, confusing myself as I try to understand conceptually the various notions of divinity I encounter in the texts, questioning the traditions and all the ‘facts’ about practice.
Now I realise that I’m just hobbling myself, looking for excuses not to jump right in. Because although I’m scared there’s nothing there, that really life is just māyā (illusion) or that my mind can easily deliver up mini ‘dark night‘ experiences, I’m more scared that there might be something there, that wrapped up in the discomforting god-language might be a truth about our natural state being one of joy, love, compassion and equanimity (the Brahmavihāras, I’m told). And like Hubby and his not-quite-Mercedes, I’m not sure that I deserve these feelings to be my natural state. Shouldn’t I be beating myself up about something? Shouldn’t it all be difficult and a bit painful?