Ecstatic Seizures

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I’ve been developing a condition of late, a seizure that wracks my whole identity, an electric longing spun taut within an endless Answer.  Out of the blue– tears.  The core of my being, a wash cloth squeezed tight.  The vast hands of compassion twisting and pulling, braiding me into a rope that is twined with all beings.  Mary knows what I mean, how to hold this space, how to be flooded by the riches of Meaning that flow through and around, never to be repaid.  And yet there are no debts.

We meet together beside the gorge, walking amongst a gathering of tigers.  They have come to sit near, to just be close, to bathe in a warmth they recognize but cannot define, their eyes narrowed and serene.  Where else would they go?  Our hearts have become the most precious sort of catnip.

Inside of my core, relief and desire hug one another close at first light, huddled and shaking, momentarily unaware of the cold wind or the dry earth, glimpsing the sun through a tattered shemagh.  Moist eyes, a single rivulet of escaped pain, and the knowing that what I could never find the words to contain– this awareness that has ambushed me and pinned me to the wall– has been in love with me for all eternity, and I it.  The content of my interior trembling drifts so far off the scale of gratitude, that like ultraviolet light, it is a transformative and revelatory sort of darkness.

The shadows you see are ancestries of beings whose Meaning is contained in my own, as mine is in theirs.

* * * * *

I am thinking tonight about the concept of lineage.  We are each members of a family that goes all the way back.  How could we possibly fathom what that means?  Let your desire be your standard, raised high, and see who rallies around your flag.  The help we need is the most potent form of smoke, wafting through the lives we seemingly occupy.  You will know you’ve inhaled when your heart twists into a delicious knot, your eyes glisten, and you find yourself unable to move, unable to even whisper the words floating through your mind.

Thank you…  Thank you

While the seizure grips me, I think, how could I not have known this…?  I realize how much that forgetting hurt, how much suffering I carried around with me because I thought it was the only way.  Like two divers stranded at the bottom of the sea, sharing a bottle of oxygen, this Knowing is the only currency we can truly share– the only Exchange that matters.  How to give this away to each drowning being?  Look up.  The stars have been trying to make this Answer plain all along.


  1. ‘Members of a family that goes all the way back…’ I clicked the ‘like’ button here then thought with a post titled: Ecstatic Seizures, a simple little ‘like’ doesn’t quite cover it… lost for words, possibly there’s no description one could properly apply. Thinking of it in terms of what it’s not, apophatic, the images have a paradoxical quality: ambushed by awareness – not getting eaten by tigers, and ‘so far off the scale of gratitude, that like ultraviolet light, it is a transformative and revelatory sort of darkness.’ Nothing else to add, wonderful…


    • You have made my day, my friend. A new vocabulary word! Apophatic. Thank you…

      And thank you for taking the time to share your reactions. I appreciate it… I can see I’ve been on a bit of a paradoxical tiger kick lately… Makes you wonder where these little quirks come from, laugh at the ways Love finds the symbols needed to wend its way into our lives. 🙂



    • Well, Brad, it describes part of my life experience. Ha! These are like moments that drop out of the blue and touch you deeply, and make you wonder if the time in between really involved living or not… I can’t explain it. There are moments when I feel profoundly in love, without an object of love per se. I think this is part of coming out of the shell perhaps, part of emerging from false thinking and thought patterns, squeaking through these little doorways or portals into the depths of our heart. They are a mixture of longing for connection and touching the depth of Love’s presence all at once. Let us hope it is catching!



  2. oh you are a goner, for sure. head-first into the deep, this is. thank you for the oxygen hits. your word choices push out beyond the previous limits of language in beauty, in truth, you paint worlds!


    • For sure. Could be the Bends. (A favorite album of mine. Life at these depths is like a Radiohead album, no?) We pass around the mouthpiece, breath in the nourishing vapours of Being, realize– here we go again– we are breathing in and out worlds. Thank you for visiting and playing along. It takes a community of depth-plumbing now-breathers to exhale a world, I am quite sure of it.



      • Love the music you have piped into in this decompression chamber – Radiohead enters that trippy space of original creation – helping us with the mighty exhales you mention. Bow. 🙂


  3. “I am thinking tonight about the concept of lineage. We are each members of a family that goes all the way back. How could we possibly fathom what that means?”

    Very beautiful Michael. I was struck deeply by your post.
    I wonder if to fathom means, partly anyway, you suggest that we bring to awareness what is buried in the bones, recognizing all that the body has become, through psyche, for body too goes all the way back.

    I suddenly feel much older than before, and yet, we still look out and see newness each moment.


    • Hi Debra,

      You bring up a really interesting question, to which I don’t have an immediate answer, which is wonderful! (It’s not about answers, but where these explorations take us, and what is revealed along the way I think…) But it sparked a memory of something I wrote recently, that I thought you may enjoy. This link is short, about two and a half pages of an in-progress larger work of exploratory fiction i am whittling away on, in which passage the first person narrator is reflecting on a very similar question. (We’ll see if this link works…)

      Anyway, buried in the bones… There is something to this, I think. I am reminded of a book I read once called the Organic Codes, something related to “semantic biology”, in which the Italian scientist Barbieri talked about the myriad “codes” at work in the body. DNA was the tip of the iceberg if I recall, although perhaps the ice berg is floating upside down, but you catch my drift. Lots of codes. Brings up questions about cellular language, and language in general, but anyway I think that book is also one with a fascinating discussion of embryology, and how the developing form unlocks-slash-reveals embedded information through pattern sequences, information that is sort of generated and acted upon in the stages of unfolding– information that must have been embedded “into our bones” over eons of time.

      I was thinking of lineage as a form of power. Eons of help is available from beings who have walked these paths we walk, and entered into the domain of the healed mind and open heart. We are part of them– not random blobs of culture, but the continued development and amplification, the continued unfolding in form, of what we stand for. What we mean. Who we truly are. I was thinking about Native American tribes whose ceremonies carry the power of countless generations of beings praying in a shared way, united by a love that transcends time and space, and that builds and builds as generation after generation gather to place their thought vote, and their heart vote, into the communal bank. I was thinking about the same phenomena in followers of Christ, followers of Buddha, people everywhere in the past, now, and evermore who will stand up and cast their heart vote for Love.

      I think that is maybe what this “seizure” is, the recognition of a heart vote that has already been cast, in the Beginning, and is backstopped by leagues of support and assistance.

      Your questions open me right up! Thank you-



      • Hi Michael,

        “I was thinking about the same phenomena in followers of Christ, followers of Buddha, people everywhere in the past, now, and evermore who will stand up and cast their heart vote for Love.”

        I do love being reminded of this. It is very powerful to think of those before us (including myself) who stood where we stand, even when it cost them dearly. Is love, and its power accumulative? I don’t know, as what seems to make a difference, happens immediately, as I choose to either extend warmth or instead choose distance with a younger co-worker, who is still struggling to make choices that do not bring her more suffering.

        Can my, or anyone’s extension of love and courage, (en)couragement make a difference in her life? I can’t choose with an expectation of a particular outcome, but more because I was once her, and sometimes still am. To see another’s desire to move beyond their own current limited capacity, to really see the joy when they make a better choice, learn a new skill, and to feel my own investment and sharing in her choices is very seductive. I want love to win, but love is never a battle, but more a clearing of the path, a letting go in spite of the choices we make.

        Can we love whole-heartedly, and still let go of outcomes? I think that is casting a vote for love, yes? How many times have I stood at the same doorway, the same bridge and instead of choosing love, mocked, doubted, and cynically bet on another’s failure because that choice lets me off the hook, with a simple “see, I told you so.”

        Thanks for the link…going to read it now.




        • Debra, these conversations are as rich to me as any post, better perhaps for the exchange. I agree whole-heartedly that loving without attachment to outcomes is a powerful vote cast. That for me is the understanding I am coming to of what Love truly is- a giving that requires nothing in return.

          I’m going to fall back on some teachings from A Course in Miracles I love to muse upon from time to time. One of them is the instruction that all that we extend in Love is retained forever. What we project without Love is never anything at all. And beyond that, Jesus talks about the fact that what is offered in Love is ALWAYS received, though it’s point of receipt in time may not be immediate.

          In A Course of Love, there is a practice of devotion described as observance. The idea is that we simply choose to see the highest truth of who each person is, even if they do not. I think we scarcely understand the power of our thoughts, or loving feelings truly given. Jesus suggests that little moments of grace, given and accepted, “save” thousands of years of suffering. One moment of forgiveness shifts whole futures. One extension of love without attachment to outcome, regardless of immediate results, is healing accomplished.

          It’s like a vote that is held until the other is ready to receive it. The difference is always made… And the difference goes far beyond what I think we are able to comprehend. The nature of our interr-connectivity is astounding. We face moments where we seem to fail, where we can’t somehow convey our Love through that gaping distance that is but the width of a table or cubicle wall, but it IS conveyed.

          I understand what you mean about the seduction of wanting to realize a gift given, was received. It is indeed a type of selfless practice to learn to give a loving thought, to hold a knowing of the best parts of another in our minds, without any thought of outcome. But how can we truly do this and not stumble into fields of Grace in perpetuity? 🙂



          • Hi Michael,

            May we all find the voice that speaks to us with wisdom, pointing the way to the practices that teach us how to love and know peace, yes?

            I especially enjoy this:

            “Love is ALWAYS received, though it’s point of receipt in time may not be immediate.”

            It’s true isn’t it? And as much for love we receive as for love given. It has taken me this long to look back in time and appreciate the love that I have received from others, and how much it influences both parties.

            Sometimes it seems like an effort to extend love to another and it’s easy to refer back to the score book tracking our and other’s worthiness. But love isn’t about worthiness, its’ about desire, a desire for knowing and seeing the other as their angel, or God sees them. As you say, “hold a knowing of the best parts of another.” That is what I am beginning to see anyway. Fields of grace, yes, in abundance.



            • Yes, exactly. One of the most profound arts practiced is the cultivation of the “desire for knowing and seeing the other as their angel, or as God sees them”, for without desire we will never move into it. Love seems to be both means and end- the propellant behind the very desire that gives it visible form and expression.



  4. I was recently watching a program about Chauvet Cave which is recognized for having some of the oldest human art ever found (from the Aurignacian period based on the time it takes for stalagmites to grow and cover parts and carbon dating). An ancestor of ours walked in that cave and at one point their torch must have begun burning low so they struck it against the ceiling to shake loose the buildup of charred wood and little chunks rained down and were caught on the wall crevasses… little coals and ash that are now treated like sacred relics ,carbon dated to about 32,000 years ago.

    Amazing how long this game here on earth seems to have been going on. I close my eyes and inside that darkness, it is the exact same space we all always have shared. The seizure grips me and time loops with the human spirit. The eyes then open and brim over in love at the tangible, unbroken connection found by the human hand’s touch in connection out upon the seemingly separated environment (the artist was one with a hand with a slightly crooked finger which I have as well!)

    Such depth and eloquence. -x.M

    Movie about the cave (bit of a hide in intellectual masturbation, but still I found worth the watch):


    • Have been meaning to get together a post about this, but will include this here for those following the sync trails…a very interesting documentary series that speaks about being human and the art that we create and are:



    • Such a thoughtful response, M! I had no idea there was an Aurignacian Period… 🙂 It really is incredible to think about the ages that have come and gone. A blink of an eye to the sun and earth. A purpose within which we are all unified. It really is humbling to think about, and when you consider the immensity of change we have seen in the past two hundred years, it is really unbelievable. How can one not say that something is awakening!? And yet I would guess if we could meet that ancient torch-bearer, there would still be something profoundly human we could share and know together, some place or level at which we would be the same. Something passing between the two pairs of eyes that is timeless. Riding into work today with a colleague, he remarked to me that when recently in Istanbul he lost count of tower cranes within the city at somewhere around 100… We have become a hive-building colossus… But this lineage thing, as you know, is about the thread of power running behind the scenes, compelling us to freedom and beauty and truth…



  5. Pingback: Artist Formerly Known As… | seeingM

  6. Tracey says

    “How to give this away to each drowning being? Look up. The stars have been trying to make this Answer plain all along.”

    Now I have to go and reapply my eye makeup.


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