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Valve stuck?

Sep 17, 1995 11:44 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

Here's a bit of personal experience that relates to the third
object in a way:

Last Friday was the closing date for my purchase of a house in
the country. I'd moved in some time before. It's 19 miles
from South Boston, which is not a very big town, and not closer
to any other. Since moving there, I've been in a state of
exaltation from experiences like sitting on the back porch at
night and looking at the Milky Way, driving to work through 20
miles of gorgeous Piedmont Virginia countryside with very
little traffic, listening to the silence at night, etc. So far
so good; it's as if some center had opened that allowed me to
see nature as divine, humanity as blessed (everyone waves when
you drive by out there), life as marvellous.

Then Friday night I drove up to DC for the weekend because an
old friend was visiting there. On Saturday I went kayaking
with another friend, and had a long, long detour from our route
looking for a gas station. Traffic was intense, drivers were
rude, and I found myself in a dreadful state of rage,
exasperation, etc., due to the stress. When it got really
explosive, I sort of "woke up" to the situation, separated from
it, and went on to have a fun kayak trip. But what I realized
was that my reaction to urban stress had gotten much more
extreme after only two weeks of life in the country. It was as
if the same valve that opened to the stars and the scenery and
the nice country people, was stuck in an open position in DC
traffic, and became a valve through which negative energies
started to pour. Although I was able to shut down the flow,
the question remains: does becoming more sensitive in a rural
retreat actually make one less able to adapt to an urban
setting? Don't the Mahatma letters imply this occasionally?
And yet, if one were really unfolding properly, wouldn't one
acquire the ability to control one's own receptivity and
function effectively in no matter what environment?

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