Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Namaste Anyway

I've been trying lately to pin down what it is the mystics are doing, precisely, in their quest for union with the divine. It is often expressed as the relationship of the Lover and the Beloved, such as in the poems of Rumi. It is often expressed as a dance. It is often expressed as the absence of Ego (the "I") and the ecstatic feeling of being One with All. It is, in fact, impossible to describe. I suppose the mystics can only point to the way. Or, not even that. They point to a way.

Others describe psychedelics as providing the same experience, and some scientists say we are wired for religious experiences. It's just biology--DMT, for instance, made in the human brain giving you this feeling.  If we stimulate this area of the brain, the subject "sees" or at least senses a celestial being.

Does that make these experiences no less real, no less spiritual? Visions on vision quests, hallucinations during long periods of fasting, hearing that "still, small voice" when pushing the body to its limits, near-death experiences: are our minds playing tricks on us, or are there truly other dimensions, time/space are merely social constructs, and we're just stuck on a materialistic third-dimensional plane and don't even know the half of what "reality" actually is?

Well, I don't know. My mind is open to all possibilities, but I can say, like Jung, that the more you peer into this stuff, the more you stop believing in coincidences and start believing in synchronicity. Everything starts to become imbued with meaning and you start having dreams that answer your questions and you begin to wonder. Surely we creatures have purpose--we have consciousness. Then again, how do I know a tree or a rock doesn't have consciousness? Better yet, what is consciousness? If you've ever had a lucid dream--a dream in which you become conscious of the fact that you're dreaming, and, fascinated, you continue to watch or even start directing your own dream--consciousness starts to become a slippery concept.

At risk of sounding moronic, I guess I have created my own little cosmology. I realize it's not the truth: it's just a way of articulating the basic concept. It goes something like this. The universe is One; the Divine is One. We are all parts of the One, which is full consciousness--or an entity coming to full consciousness, evolving or self-realizing as if each of Its individual cells were becoming conscious, one by one. (See what I mean about it being impossible to explain?) Each human being is a part of this Cosmic Consciousness. We consist of physical body (a material body that holds your soul or divine spark); mind (which we all have, a thinking, rational brain that consists of conscious, unconscious, and collective unconscious); and then your Ego personality (the "you" of this incarnation). The purpose is to evolve through multiple incarnations as human being until you "get it"--remember Cosmic Consciousness, and all else drops away; you become a conscious cell of the Divine and there is no longer any need to incarnate as human. Then perhaps God will have another task for you--as helper or guide or who knows?

So this sounds like a lot of New Age gobbledygook. It is just possible that you live, you die, you rot away, and there is nothing else.

My intuition rejects that notion--and not because I need some sort of dogma or religion as if it were a life insurance policy. I'm not afraid of death or Hell. I just intuitively "know" we have purpose, and that the purpose is to return to God. We each carry inside the breath of God, the Divine flowing through us, if only we will see it. Knowing that, it is impossible to not love one another. Everyone is a flowering plant in various stages of development. If bad shit happens to you, worry not: even if you die, you'll be back, until you get it right.

When I look at the world this way, and I look at my credit cards and social security number, and I think about bills to be paid and how much we all worry about debt and how so many of us make ourselves sick working our asses off at jobs we don't care about just to get money to feed ourselves some non-nutritional crap brought to you by Monsanto or DuPont or Dow Chemical and how everything has been reduced to profit-making--water is for sale, for god's sake. Next they'll be charging us for clean air (don't laugh--walk through a casino in Las Vegas and you will find "oxygen bars"), you just know the modern era is absurd. If some company making an extra dollar is valued more than seeing to it every human being has the basic necessities for life without having to hock everything they have just to get those things, and if the same people owning the companies claim to love Jesus, you just know the modern era is absurd.

And so if I reject materialism, then you'll understand the appeal of spirituality. And you don't have to believe a word I say. Namaste. Namaste anyway.

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