Episode 17: Trusting the Wild Self — Stewart’s Story (Part 2)

May 25, 2015

In this podcast, Stewart Cubley tells the second part of his story — how giving up a career as a scientist eventually led him first into the Alaskan woods and then to the founding of The Painting Experience.

An excerpt from Trusting the Wild Self, Part 2 . . .

In my last podcast I was walking down the trail to the road after having lived by myself in the woods for the last three-and-a-half years in Alaska. Now I was leaving on a new adventure, not sure of what was going become of me. I didn’t know who I was any longer in terms of my relationship to the world. I felt very grounded in my internal sense of who I was, but what was going to become of me? Where was I going to go?

I mentioned that I had a hard time reading when I was living alone those last three years. It was because reading, whether fiction or nonfiction, pulled me away from my immediate experience. I found it confusing and not satisfying — even spiritual books were disturbing to me. There was a subtle or not-so-subtle emphasis upon attainment and achievement, on arriving someplace. Whether it was the carrot of enlightenment or some other state of being, there was a place to get to, and I found this disturbing. It didn’t feel true to me, there was something that felt shallow about it.

There was one person that I could read during that time — a man named Krishnamurti. His writings spoke to me in a different way. They opened the space rather than closing it down, and there was no feeling of false achievement or trying to attain some internal state. Yet he didn’t deny the existence of potential within us. One quote that really spoke to me strongly during that time was: There is no way to the other shore. There is no action, no behavior, no prescription that will open the door to the other. It is not an evolutionary process, it is not at the end of a discipline, it cannot be bought or given or invited. This opened a great space in me; it allowed me to feel like I had everything I needed. The richness of my own psyche was enough for a life of exploration. There wasn’t a map to follow, comparisons to be made, or stereotypical states to be reached.

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