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KEYS TO RECOVERY - Finding Meaning

Updated on September 6, 2008

"...and when He knew for certain only drowning men could see Him, He said all men shall be sailors then until the sea shall free them... " Leonard Cohen, Suzanne

I "discovered" existential philosophy in the late 1960's at the tender age of 18, starting with the work of "Beat" writers Kerouac, Ginsberg and others, I followed the thread - only half comprehending, but sensing some profound truth anyway - through Sartre and Bouvier to Camus and eventually stumbling around in Nietche, and others much too heady for my comprehension at that point. I was reading on my own, out of desperation to find some explanations for the seeming meaninglessness all around me. It all seemed very important at the time. Then came Bob Dylan and then the psychedelic mystics - I found some kindred wonderers and wanderers and life unfolded as it would.

Over the ensuing years, the “key” to life’s puzzle evaded my attempts to understand or connect with a tangible "PURPOSE" - an explaination for my own (or anyone’s) existence. Nothing I tried out - or tried on - made any difference in my life. Not devouring the writings of eastern and western enlightened ones, not the elusive “soul-mate” that perhaps would make me whole, or vivid sexual and sensual explorations, not my music, not the drugs - and certainly not the relief and welcome oblivion my loyal companion, alcohol, provided day and night . . . at least there was that!

What I sought in vain was "spiritual connection" - but I certainly would not have used the term then. But in 1978, at the age of 32, I had a personal and conscious "experience" of this connection. An abiding awareness and certainty that it did, in fact, happen has remained with me these past 30 years, and yes . . . this experience has made a profound and lasting difference in my life.

It came, unexpected, when I, now completely naked and alone, again looked deeply into "the pit” – a void so dark and so empty that, percieving it, one must abandoned all hope. But as I leapt, hopeless and despairing, into nothingness, knowing that it was all over . . . I distinctly heard four strangely vernacular words from inside my head: "The jig is up!" (a phrase I didn't then, and still don't. recall ever speaking) At that instant a weight left my chest, I gasped, and took a precious breath as “nothing" became "everything". Trembling and awestruck, I was like a broken and discarded electrical appliance whose unplugged power cord had somehow found and connected with a live electrical socket! It was as if I was, literally, drowning (the great “waterboarding” experience known as “Surrender”!?!) and reflexively clawing for something, anything . . . to save . . . me . . . The Unknowable . . .Found . . . Me . . .

"...and when He knew for certain only drowning men could see Him, He said all men shall be sailors then until the sea shall free them... " Leonard Cohen, Suzanne

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    • annaw profile image

      annaw 6 years ago from North Texas

      Where are you? I asked myself why in the world had I not read this Hub before.It is Awesome!Wow!Amazing!Wonderfully written and so thought provoking. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. God bless you always.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      This hub is honest and touching. It has obviously come from your heart. I have only just found you on here and I will be back in a bit to read some more. Take care.

    • Marina Rosa profile image
      Author

      Marina Rosa 9 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you, starcatchinfo.

    • starcatchinfo profile image

      starcatchinfo 9 years ago

      HI, A GOOD ARTICLE

    • starcatchinfo profile image

      starcatchinfo 9 years ago

      HI, A GOOD ARTICLE

    • Marina Rosa profile image
      Author

      Marina Rosa 9 years ago from Southern California

      dianado and pgrundy - Thanks for the encouraging works. I tend to be my worst critic (about my writing as well as about other stuff). I find it very difficult to leave a hub (or anything else I write) alone once it is "finished". This one is a case in point: I want to keep subtracting, clarifing, removing that cliche, etc . . . "and oh shit, why do I alway sound so melodramatic - like a teen to her diary?!?"

      But onward and (I hope) upward . . . hmmm, what will I write about today? . . .

    • profile image

      pgrundy 9 years ago

      Thank you for this lovely hub. It's odd--I always heard that Leonard Cohen line as cynical--that one, "when he know for certain only drowning men could see him..." but you put a very different spin on it. Thank you for writing this and all the best to you.

    • profile image

      dianado 9 years ago

      it deffinitely shows....that you write from the heart....very rich. I'm happy for you that you are able to write through. Thanks for your comment on my article. I've enjoyed reading all that you publish here.

    • Marina Rosa profile image
      Author

      Marina Rosa 9 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you, Barry. For me, deciding to let go and write "from my heart" works best, and then I just have to hope that what I am trying to say comes through for the reader.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Well done !

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