“You keep hoping!” a close psychologist friend had accused me a few months ago, in a tone that he generally reserved for criminals, and for his severely disturbed patients. “You have these delusions [that your love can miraculously change people’s pathological patterns to normalcy]….” he had qualified at a later moment. And yes, the situation I faced was such that my hope for someone could not, would not die for 2 long years, no matter how I tried at his behest. And though the intensity associated with it has long since ended, I have no doubt that the hope itself still lives within. It simply has become more manageable since, as other associated emotions are reduced in intensity.
Ever since then, I have wondered what it was that gave this particular one, and others like it, such tenacity and resiliance, a numinous quality that other little hopes within me generally lacked! In another instance I had hoped for 20 long years enduring the the trauma of continuous disappointments, without ever achieving the desired outcome. So far the last few months, after this discussion with my friend, my psyche has been embroiled in an inner exploration of the expression that we call “hope.” At the time there was no separation between the experiencer and the experienced. Hope was not presented as a content of my awareness – my awareness had morphed into the hope – I was hope and hope was me, and in that process- of my identification with a mere construct of my mind – all real awareness was stifled. Hence I needed “time” to regain the balanced and uinvolved perspective of an experiencer who can choose to experience, and can also choose not to. Back then I had had no choice.
I had started to write about about the construct of hope, but my views were disperate, and fragmented in their expressions, and needed “time” and warmth to hatch. We already know that some hope is genuine, and some a delusion. Some is meaningful, some meaningless. Some brings cheer, other melancholy. It seemed that there could be as many attributes attached to hope as there are stars in the sky, and then some. And then my explorations started getting into the territory of imaginations, illusions and delusions, falling into psychosis. Where did one end and the next begin? And where were those darn boundaries when you needed them? The boundaries that the DSM and our college education promised would be our scientific victories – why couldn’t I sense them clearly ? Who was Elpis, the godess of hope, really? What was she like? Who birthed her ? What made her stay behind to comfort mankind? How was she related to imagination? Who and what else was related, intertwined, enmeshed in the web of Hope ? And how? Questions, questions, questions….to which there were no answers within because the more I learned, the more aware I became of how little I really knew, and also because I was not able to observe and experience the birthing process of hope, the creativity of Brahma! And then of course there was the entire developmental cycle that Vishnu cradled in his arms, and finally the death, followed by the process of psychic mourning – the realm of Shiva. How did the gods of hope manifest? And how was mourning, psychoanalytic or otherwise, so necessary for intra-psychic structuralisation, related to hope?
For me to explore the construct of hope at the deepest level, I needed an experience of a new hope. Granted that we are into Christmas, a season for hope, joy and peace, yet when I searched within, there currently lived only the same ol same ol hopes – all of those that had passed thru their infancy and adolescence, and were mature enough to be balanced. These were not creative hopes, they were spatial and logical hopes. They did not arise spontaneously as the sudden, spontaneous breath of infant life in the moment. Their hearts did not beat as intensely as I had previously experienced. These hopes within me were of a different texture, different amplitude, different intensity, they were different from the hope of a new love, for example. They would have satisfied my psychologist friend who looks for linearity and conformity to established and accepted norms, but to me the lack represented an impairment in spontaneity, the hope-producing paraphenalia of the soul. And then there were also some hopes within that were dead, their corpses littered without being buried. Still others were dead and buried – black boxes of memories attacked by psychic ants in the afternoon of my life. And even though I wrote up several pages on the construct of hope, those were all cognitively derived language symbols, not the stirrings my psychic truths, and so a thorough exploration of this construct became impossible……….. and I gave up hope………until…..
…………..until I realized that I was going away for a few days. My vacation destination is someplace that I have been looking forward to going for the last two years. I have been eager, and impatient, and frustrated by my inability to make it happen. And in the flatland of a perfectly balanced lived life, here was this newborn hope….of a transformational experience. A choatic, as yet unorganized experience that created an anticipation of meaningfulness. The anticipation posited hope, which arose from the deepest parts of my soul. And this was my infant, untainted hope, my new love. I had found it within!
During my vacations, perhaps this newborn hope will pass through its own developmental milestones, and mature to a cognizable experience of satiation. And then like any other earthly object, it would die perhaps ? I don’t know, but whatever it may be, such explorations are always interesting and insightful. And so I may get to write this particular blog after all, as soon as I return in January. But of course we can only hope!
So here is wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and a very very Happy New Year. May your own hopes find ways to blossom – within and without.