Anger, Sadness and Panaceia

Clear goals in my life were largely set at a young age. Tangible life stages with visible impact and form: studies, profession, relationships with others, children, financial independence, continuous education, entertainment, travel, etc. But also intangible pursuits of mental well-being based mainly on values: how I live my life, how I stand in different life situations, how I navigate dilemmas, how I envision and realize who I am, how I invest my vital energy, how I face death, etc.

Apparently many of these seemed relatively simple affairs; I was studying for my studies, working for my profession, planning for my travels, and so on. As long as the goals were modest and ordinary, a rational preparation and a basic planning, together with the simplicity of the circumstances around them usually yielded good to excellent results. At the same time, these principles that I was manifesting naturally established within me a life theory and life practice that I could support with my heart, mind and spirit and find my balance within them. And in the back of my mind, without discussing it with anyone, without having signed a contract or received assurances, I sensed a safety net. Maybe I had just built it up in my mind or maybe I was just emotionally relying on my family. Either way, something inside me was telling me that something was there in the background for me and it was for my own good.

But as I grew older, I realized that things were not developing as I would have liked. The objectives were partly realised, but almost none of them were as I had imagined. Gradually, they began to leave me with a sense of vanity and sadness. Then, I began to ache, physically and emotionally, seeing my efforts fail to deliver the life I was working for.

Next came the anger. Anger towards what I perceived in myself as an obstacle or, in any case, as yet another aspect of a life that did not fall together with my ideal goals. And a life that did not change or move from a basic level of survival and self-realization, despite the relentless pace of work and personal commitment I was providing.

My soul still yearns for something else; that which makes sense and makes the whole journey worthwhile, that which brings out high values of existence in every moment of daily life or at least coincides with the energy of the miracle of human life, that which leads human nature to a state of fundamental revelation and theosis.

It is surprising to me that this goal is not very popular with the people I know. It doesn’t seem to relate to them, it doesn’t move them, and it certainly doesn’t motivate them in their own lives. This makes my own journey more lonely. I am not sharing, not listening, and not being heard in a field that is vitally important to me. As a result, there is a lot of internal pressure, attrition and sometimes despair.

In seeking the tools, methodology, inspiration and support in my own silent, solitary journey, in what within me moves me to realize another life, I have worked with many serious, highly intelligent and exceptional people in their field.

Some few of them became my Teachers and Mentors. Our relationship was not just one of training and study, but of essential apprenticeship. The dynamic that develops with them is brutal, raw, and redemptive. They did not let me hide behind my fears, they did not reassure or comfort me. They have been people who, in their own consistency on their own path, with dignity and knowledge, have mirrored many aspects of my own journey. They took me to the source to drink water but they did not force me to drink. They told me “this is as far as I go, from here on it’s your path, do what you want with it…”

When you work in a field, whatever it is and whatever reason you do it for, at some point you gain a very strong inner awareness and clarity about what you are studying. Each one at its own pace of course but it is a lawful certainty that you will get somewhere.

As my attention has been relentlessly focused on the same goal since I was a young child, I recently experienced the culmination of a decades-long course of discipleship. I became clearly aware of many individual values of the creative force that sustains and drives it and realized that it can no longer meet some of my more mundane and everyday needs. I wondered if this realization is my need for the safety net that from a young age I seem to need within me to be able to stand on my own two feet. I also considered whether the familiar saturation of mastering many new levels of knowledge and experience that once seemed unreal and now feel all solidly embedded within me is causing this feeling of regret and withdrawal. I know that the nature within me is essentially insatiable and is constantly asking, demanding and requesting. In order not to derail my essential search for Truth, it constantly needs guidance, nurturing and direction, and therefore I am vigilant daily and without rest.

I honestly cannot rule out any of the above reasons, but I have seen and experienced them thousands of times. The current feeling is a little different. I am angry with the Master and I am sorry. I can explain my frustration, but the feeling inside me is by far more heavy, fundamental and archetypal.

I feel a refutation of my whole course and that is too heavy to just let go of it in my mind. My heart can take it but with discomfort; I give the reins to anger just in case by its own power I am moved somehow from the shadow to come out into the light; the emotion roars and says “oh no, I’m tired, nothing comes out, nothing ever really changes”.

I don’t know if nothing and never actually changes because I won’t live forever and I won’t do everything to know that. What I see behind the anger and frustration is my need for the Panaceia, the Sacred energy of healing that heals everything, every disease and every condition.

Deep down that was what I was looking for, the one methodology, the one life-theory and life-practice that gives the answers to everything.

Because life goals are not such a simple matter. It is possible for some of us that things do not turn out as we would like or aim for and then it will take countless daily adjustments, changes of direction, targeting, reorientation, visioning and refocusing. Of course, if there was Panaceia for each of the adhensions of life energy that manifests as a problem, an obstacle, a setback, then perhaps going back to the original plan of action and goal setting would be more simple, more fun and more efficient.

But as the Greek poet Cavafy is teaching us in his poem “Ithaka”, Odysseus’ wealth was all of his Odyssey not Troy nor Ithaca itself.

Like the rainbow, this Panaceia seems beautiful, ideal and certainly agreable, but it is completely impossible and therefore illusory to think that we can catch it. The entire Universe did not create the rainbow to satisfy our own urge to conquer. We are allowed to enjoy it from afar but without ever knowing exactly and in detail what it is all about.

A solution or a cure for everything therefore does not seem to be an element accessible to human nature. A nature that seeks a background of security to survive and high, improbable, or even unattainable goals to conquer.

And an understanding of this oxymoronic pattern is likely to evoke, as in my case, anger at what I ardently desire but cannot attain through my human nature and sadness at my need nevertheless to engage in a path of self-realization that contains to a high degree elements of Panaceia, i.e. fallacy, and thus by definition will not lead me to what I envision.

The pain of this awareness is excruciatingly illuminating; it prescribes the limits of the new phase of my Odyssey, with even more awareness of something possibly impossible and outside of my human nature that nevertheless feels like home, like my Troy-Odyssey-Ithaca.

And the harshest Odyssey is made bearable when there is some purpose to it all. And perhaps this is a form of Panaceia that can be offered to us or mastered in life, perhaps this level of human wisdom is ultimately the humanly mentaly and emotionally accessible level for our healing and leads us to a life where fear and sadness do not direct our course. Perhaps this is a first movement of acquaintance and navigation in our perpetual relationship with the ideal, the unattainable, the deeper energy of the Panaceia Goddess. Difficult, unachievable and desperately desirable.