Being a Purgatorian, Part II

Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply Purgatory. Abraham Lincoln

They have come up with a perfect understanding:
He won’t try to run her life, and he won’t try to run his, either
. Anonymous

Marriages don’t last. When I meet a guy, the first question I ask myself is: is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with? Rita Rudner

Yeah, this is about “intimate” relationships. But I’ve been here before in my musings and I don’t want to own a retreading business. So, to the extent I’ll touch upon it here—again—I’ll try to be more positive about such relationships, though I’m a Purgatorian. I’m certainly more positive about the latter assertion than the former one.

Okay, I give up. I’m positive Purgatorian intimacy is, well, Purgatorian in nature. What I mean is I’ll take a stab at a Purgatorian finding intimacy and Paradiso. Geesh, talk about delusions of grandeur. I hope “stab” doesn’t turn out to be an accurate word.

From the film The Civilization of Maxwell Bright: Mai Ling (played by Marie Matiko) talking with two other women and noting “Buddha nature is birthright of all people,” she said, “In time girl will find husband’s true self, girl will find husband’s Buddha nature and wife and husband will help each other obtain enlightenment.”

For me, Mai Ling’s sentiment gets to the heart of a Purgatorian finding intimacy and Paradiso. However many nasty comments and groans I may get, I’m going to say that generally speaking (think about 68% while remembering one cannot use such generalizations to categorize an individual) a woman can help the man she can see and a man can see the woman he knows can see him. Then they can help each other obtain enlightenment.

Definitional Pause: I’m going to take another stab here—what is enlightenment? I’m an Incrementalist sometimes and as such, tend towards enlightenment as that next “step” in consciousness where old and unnecessary fears fall away and wonder and love is renewed. I’m not saying there isn’t any “final” enlightenment, I’m just saying I do not know exactly what that is without thinking we finally become God-consciousness. Suffice it to say, I’m not at a final God-consciousness state.

All right, back to it. We’re different folk, genders. We are not supposed to be the same, save that an enlightened nature is the birthright of all people. Men are not broken women and women are not broken men. We don’t need fixing, we do need help. But as Purgatorians, we cannot help everyone, though we’re pretty good at confusing fixing with helping. Consider that we don’t have to help everyone. It’s like how clean from human trash the world would be if all of us picked up ten pieces of junk a day. Okay, bad example as there is some pretty toxic and pretty big human junk out there. But you get the idea—if we all helped, we’d all be helped. That’s intimacy working beyond our Purgatorian status, leaving old fears in favor of new wonder. Renewal. Yes, life-barnacles will again attach, but that’s not a reason or feeling to forgo cleaning up.

Is there any hope that a man can find his way without such intimacy? Of course. Is there any hope a woman can find her way without such intimacy? Of course. Can a rectangle car get on down the road to a destination? Yep. Is such a journey energy efficient? I don’t think so. Maybe I like intimacy because I’m lazy and would prefer to not go it alone. On the other hand, there isn’t much of anything easy about intimacy, at least until you truly get there.

Okay, so what’s the take-away? Purgatorio can at least be a country-club incarceration? And oddly, though not, there seems like there’s even more. Yep, and more! Why? Because our Buddha nature is our birthright (please, insert any belief-name for love/beauty/joy/wonder, you like—we don’t have to fight).

It’s time for a Jacuzzi, a look at all the stars, and a smile. I’ll get to lamenting later as required of my Purgatorian status. Even that can be fun as well—if we want it to be fun. I certainly do, though as a Purgatorian, I can be forgetful.

A Note: I’m going on hiatus folks—it’s time for change. I’ve been writing in this format since early 2002 and posting since 2004, but that’s not the point—the point is it has served its purpose and now is done. I may write some sentence or paragraph at any time, but it will be short and hopefully sweet. Check for a category called “Not Even Ready for Bumper-Sticker Philosophy.” For now, it’s time for other adventures.

Thanks to those who’ve been more or less following the posts, whether you were critical or not. It may not show, but I’ve learned a lot and I cannot pretend that I did not say or feel what I wrote—it’s there to at least remind me about me.

Best to us all,
Travis

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