• Sim

Limbo and it's inherent dissonance


Picture by: Sofia in Palma de Mallorca

There are these transitional periods in life, when you feel like your being pulled to a more meaningful existence. Pulled towards expressing that more meaningful way of being. Now the question arises: What if that's that not immediately accessible? You are either transitioning or still trapped. That's limbo my friends. Purgatory and limbo on earth. Where we await to either create our own heaven or create our own hell. It's not necessarily a place of suffering, even though in real life we would be suffering form the dissonance of knowing we could do better, but not actually acting towards that. If that's the case, you are called upon to endure the circumstance. Which you could interpret as a test of faith, a test of worthiness.

Are you worthy enough to be allowed into (creating) heaven. Or will you stay in limbo longer, potentially moving towards hell (chaos) if you neglect to make the decisions in hardship that would move you closer to heaven (bliss, paradise). It serves an accessible picture, that's painted with Judeo-Christian myth. Because all of these terms are inherent to our culture and how we communicate. These terms are lodged in common speech. The underlying idea of our own choices forging our own destiny remains central to existence. Which also means that the dissonance that arises from not being able to put your actions where your intentions are is to be endured. You are called upon to work.

To work on the betterment of yourself, to remove yourself from sin as it were. Not only is the growth present in those transitional phases, there's also a chance to start casting off the chains of dissonance. That's the process of ancient myths who were faced with immense trails. From Odysseus to Heracles. In limbo, purgatory, in it's trails, challenges, resistance and dissonance the myth of the hero is born. Isn't that as true now as it was in ancient times. We love a good coming of age story, stories of people that became successful against all odds. Which is why I usually call attention to Stoicism and Buddhism. Because that's where the software lies to deal with adversity, especially when you're being pounded from all angles with dissonance. Because being in constant dissonance is a special type of suffering. It's a place of guilt, when you know better and believe you could act better but don't: then it's all on you. When we fail to live up to that is when we start feeling and feeding guilt.

I've experienced many different transitional periods, I've spent a long time in limbo. Each time is unique and has it's own challenges. Each time I worry if I'm gonna make it out on the other side, if I'm able to create the envisioned heaven that's shining brightly in my minds eye. The question however is not if I will make it out, it's whether or not I will work on making it out. Doing the things that need doing, working into the resistance instead of withdrawing from it, slowly inching into fear instead of fleeing from it. It's inherently easy to write about, it's painful and dreadful to be in there and working in the dirt, kicking shadows and slaying demons. Dissonance won't stop knocking on your door until you start doing something to make it stop knocking. Perhaps it's also the burden of the ambitious to carry their dissonance until they've worked to a point where it is no longer draped around their shoulders.

To lighten suffering is to reconnect with what needs to be done, and to do the work. We can be in limbo without dissonance if we step up and dig in to brave what we've been called upon to do. With a Stoic attitude and a Buddhists aptitude. Your guidelines could also be in the respective religion you practice, or wherever you find spiritual guidance. Because even now I'm doing things I don't want to do, because I don't think they're right (not in morally disturbing way). I have however ceased to say what I don't mean which is a good step in the right direction. I often catch myself saying that good times are coming. No. Good times are being forged.

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