Thursday, December 9, 2010

Whatever Happened To Dennis McIntosh?

A little bit about the position in life that I have, in a sense, so circuitously arrived at,
and why.

So this is a good place to stop reading if you’re so inclined.

People have wondered why I changed the spelling of my first name to ‘Denes’.
Well, a new beginning, that’s all. Just a new beginning.
Nothing to get away from.
Nothing to hide.
I was finished with the old business of my life, and the pain that clung to me like molasses.
And ready to get on with the process of living.

And people have wondered, over the years, why I have been gradually stepping further away from a once active, involved, socially ‘meaningful’ kind of life, and gravitating towards a more independent, contemplative, peaceful life, now in the mountains. And all I can say is, “It’s just a natural progression.” My soul and spirit do not stand up well to the imposed standards, and expectations, of people, parties, social groups, organizations, and religions that I would not, and do not, gravitate naturally towards.

For my life to be monitored, and moderated, by others is anathema to everything that my soul is really about. I monitor and moderate myself. It is an internal mechanism that we all have. For me to be measured by a culture that I do not recognize as particularly thoughtful, reflective, necessary, or fulfilling is of little importance to me. I gravitate towards nature, without prompting, and without provocation. The more unnatural our culture becomes, the less interest I have in embracing it, and the less inclined I am to seek acceptance there. In fact, I have no desire to seek acceptance there. I have a healthy degree of self-acceptance that requires little validation from external forces. To the degree I can be free of those concerns, I will be.

And I’m sure many of you would make the same decision if given the option.

The deeper side of separation from my former life is that, I have, for too many years, been available to too many people, people who have (in a sense) wanted me to be their Jesus. But I’m not him, never have been. Don’t want to be . . . . . .
and never did.

There’s a pretty profound truism in regards to someone wanting someone else to be their rock. Something I’ve experienced first hand, many times. If someone adopts (ordains) you to be their savior, healer, guide, guru, counselor, teacher, minister, mentor, or lap dog, and they don’t get what they want from you, they eventually then want to punish you. In some fashion or another.
Sometimes unconsciously, and sometimes not.
Unfortunately, it seems to be a basic tenant of human nature.

I’ve grown a little weary of being punished for pointing people back to themselves as the source of their own strength, their own healing. And to the force of life that dwells within them. I don’t have a pill for them to take, a quick psychological makeover kit, a just-add-water life-plan, a confessional they can visit, or a salvation strategy they can casually indulge in.
I just suggest to people that they be honest, with themselves, and with others. For some reason they don’t like that suggestion. They find it to be inconvenient, unnecessary, too compromising, too foreign of a concept.

Well, people didn’t get what they wanted from Jesus either, and they crucified Him.
I don’t compare myself to Him, just to the dynamic of having been the target of other people’s expectations. Now, just so you don’t start accusing me of comparing myself to Jesus, let me repeat what I actually said. “I don’t compare myself to Him, just to the dynamic of being the target of other people’s expectations.”
I could have made the comparison to that of Joseph Templeton, rather than Jesus, but you don’t know Joseph Templeton. Probably never heard of him.
So what would have been the point of that?

Too many people have, over the years, had too many preconceptions, false impressions, and expectations, about who, and what, I was. People have measured me by their own social, religious, and political leanings, or by the kind, and degree, of attention they may have, at one time, received from me. They have measured me by their own assumptions, rather than by my own spiritual imprint. Consequently, I have been gradually disappearing from their world, choosing instead to live in my own.
I don’t really see anything the matter with that. In fact, I like it better here.
And I think you would too.

But the interesting part about it is that most people seem to have liked me better in that other life, when they had me stereotyped, defined, labeled, and confined in a very harmless and predictable little box. Of course, who wouldn’t like it better that way? It’s more comfortable for us to keep other people assigned to places where we feel secure with them, where they don’t threaten our status quo, our belief system, our psychic inadequacy, where a person can remain in an image of our making. I must admit, I may have played a part in that creation of myself, but only in unintended collusion with the actual engineers.

I have actually always lived in an alternate space, in a broader expanse of the visible, of the unspoken, the unbroken even, and certainly the unadorned. It’s just that not everybody has known that about me. People have always mistaken my quiet for agreement, my tolerance for affirmation, my moderation for timidity, my compassion for weakness, and my modesty for apprehension.

And they have always been wrong about me.

I will no longer, even inadvertently, reinforce that illusion.
It would not be an honest thing for me to do.
And I think you might know that by now.

So, what ever happened to ‘Dennis’ McIntosh?
Well, to put it simply,
the boy became a man.

I understand the general discomfort with that.
Boys are, in fact, less threatening than men.