Happiness, Fulfillment, Meaning, Separation, Ego

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While exercising earlier, I arrived at several conclusions, and perhaps these conclusions are springboards for even more complicated levels of reality.

Allow me to preface this by saying that I recently discovered a few things: a statement that I deserve happiness and fulfillment (and that everyone deserves such) causes a boost and a swelling in my otherwise typically damaged second chakra. This means that a key to healing this chakra has to do with allotting happiness and fulfillment for one’s self, perhaps even on an ego level.

Happiness and fulfillment are not the same, as one implies fullness or completeness and the other does not. The question is whether or not it’s perfectly possible to experience each independent of the other.

My experience is that an empty happiness is possible; one can be happy without the happiness having any kind of meaningfulness to it. Fulfillment seems to bring about what I would call “deep” or “subtle” happiness, perhaps more of a sense of contentment because one feels complete or whole.

Moving on. The striving for meaning relates to something I’ve questioned and mulled over dealing with the notion of something greater than us and independent of us endowing us with things such as meaning and ethics.

I read a long debate between some Catholics, non-Catholic Christians, and atheists on an apologetics blog recently; I took something like two days to actually read through the whole set of debates that were going on.

The essential notion is this: if a god or gods don’t exist in some capacity, then everything boils down to relativism or utilitarianism. The atheists attempted to argue back, but on this particular point, the notion of appealing to an objective set of ethics, they were completely and utterly lost; the only real answer that can be given at this point is that everything boils down to one’s subjective experience.

One could argue that meaning, ethics, and such things can only be given by something external to one’s self that is also greater than one’s self. Of course, the question here is: why would the existence of a god who gives such things imply that they have any more meaning at all? It’s strange to say that god’s existence somehow validates ethics, meaning, and so on.

And the point that the atheists and non-crazy Catholics could argue is that the assent given to the Catholic Faith, for instance, is a subjective assent- and the crazy Catholic arguing on the site couldn’t grasp that his subjective assent to the Faith was just as subjective as an atheist’s worldview.

Also, as I pointed out early on in my own theological adventures, arguing that a god exists or proving that a god exists is only one step in the process; the next argument, of course, is to prove the god in question is the “Christian” version of god exactly, yet the crazy Catholic didn’t even bother to go there.

That’s fine, though: the debate was forced to stay on topic for the most part, and this wasn’t a question that proposed or debated.

So, to break down what’s going on here, the need for something “greater than one’s self” is how we create meaning in life. Our ego, in other words, the very mechanism separating us from God, is what creates the contrast of experiencing meaningfulness in the universe.

I’m reminded both of the Hindu saying, “I don’t want to be the sugar; I want to EAT the sugar!” and the Sufi saying, “I want union, but He wants separation; thus, I leave what I want behind so that His wish comes true.”

So perhaps, then, the existence of the ego isn’t quite as big of a tragedy as we’ve thought it to be; perhaps the ego is meant to exist and be exhausted with the ultimate meaning, and then, and only then, can theosis occur. Only when God has been grasped by the ego’s experience as an infinite meaning can it be dissolved in a blissful moment of awe and triumph.

One might say that no god is necessary for this as society is greater than the individual. While this point may be the reference some use initially, society is ultimately a collection of subjectivities, and in a way, society is NOT “other” to one’s self.

A crude example that will be emblazoned in your mind from now on is that a little piece of shit can be compared to a big piece of shit, but they aren’t of a different substance; they’re the same shit, only one is “more” and “bigger.”

Thus, when making this statement, God’s being “bigger” than us is not enough; our substance must in SOME way vary from His own, for if it does not, then God is simply some variation of Man, and that’s not the case.

This isn’t to imply or suggest that the technicalities of, say, our soul ultimately being a spark of God can’t be dealt with or looked at, and maybe one might say that in the ultimate sense, we are not different than God, that God is NOT so other.

In this instance, I would argue that the mind’s mechanism of separating us from the God-stuff within prevents us from experiencing that God-stuff, and thus a part of us is experienced all too painfully as “other” or “separated” as well.

This may sound very cerebral, but my experience of it all was very lived and awe-striking.

Stevo

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Spiraling Path

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The path to God is, oddly enough, not linear by any stretch of the imagination.

In the Western word, we have largely inherited a linear, rationalistic explanation of the world that is rooted in the philosophical traditions of Greece. For scientific purposes, this worldview is absolutely top-notch and has yielded many fruitful results; consider the miracle of the computer I’m using to write this, and you need to observe no further!

However, somewhere along the way, we largely have forgotten that life is not always linear, logical, neat, and organized. This is an aspect of reality, yes; it is not the same as reality overall.

Earlier in the year, I read an incredible book called The Celestine Prophecy. The book gave a brief synopsis of the condition in which we live, which is to say the historical context in which our modern-day American worldview has evolved, going back to the Middle Ages and then proceeding through the Reformation, the Renaissance, and so forth.

The explanation was essentially what I’ve already set forth above, in case you’re wondering.

To my point: when it comes to dealing with God, or if you will, the Truth, the Ultimate Reality, things start getting…weird. Things are not easily packaged or constrained. God cannot be put in a box, so to speak. There is no progress from point A, to point B, to point C, and then BOOM, you arrive. There is no magical formula of 2 + 2 = 4 when it comes to God.

Rather, the path, as I have experienced it, is very much a spiral.

Perhaps this is the inner meaning of why churches build labyrinths for people to walk.

To exemplify what I mean: one day, or perhaps for a few weeks at a time, there is a huge sense of separation from God. I feel irascible at best and outright hateful at worst. No matter what I do, somehow, I see to largely be unable to make any kind of progress spiritually or otherwise. Things for which I should have the utmost gratitude are taken for granted, and my heart is largely closed off to others.

Then, for no apparent reason, days later suddenly I will feel the presence of God in my heart. I will perceive God in the world around me, in the people around me. Life will have a meaning, a purpose, suddenly endowed in it again, and none of it is by my own effort. In this moments, I have gratitude, I have peace, and I want to share the bounty of my joy with others.

And so it is for those insane enough to make the journey to God. Ms. Tweedie, the Sufi mystic, says in a video that in their group the spiral path is called the “yo-yo syndrome,” because you are up and down, up and down.

Spiritual practices are the same way. Some days, prayer and meditation are extremely enlightening, and I feel the love of Christ pouring into me. Other days, God seems to not care, to not be listening, to not exist.

Perhaps the most annoying feature of the spiral path is when I get hurled between two or three different religions. The essence of Sufism burns deep within me, but the beauty of Catholicism and Gnosticism allures me. Then I see the Hindu deities and think, ah! They’re so brilliant and creative, so vivid!

Either way, making a formal commitment to an organized religion is difficult when you’re suddenly tossed in a different direction.

That is the essence of the path, though. You cannot escape it, not really. Or perhaps you can; perhaps there are indeed people who do not go through so much as trouble as I. Ms. Tweedie certainly went through far more trouble, as you can read in her diary, Daughter of Fire. Her trouble was of a different sort, not nearly as intellectual in nature.

To my knowledge, I have never met my so-called “Guru” or “Teacher” in this life, not in a physical sense. Energetically, I seem to have been connected to a Teacher at some point in time, who is perhaps actually my own inner Guru teaching me. Of these things, I cannot be sure at this moment, and with that, I am fine. I have faith that later on, things will be explained and revealed, and I’ll be able to see what was going on in retrospect.

And the path spirals onward.

Beaux


Foreshadowing: Basic Info on Craving Aletheia

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As promised, I’ll address the differences between this blog and Holy Poached Eggs.

1. Here, I’ll be dealing with spirituality and mysticism. Likely I’ll cover a huge amount of territory and will not be as coherent or focused as HPE. Religion in general is an enormous topic that cannot be succinctly described and neatly pushed into a specific topic. To the extent that I can, I’ll attempt to give a break-down of things and make short blogs on occasion, but don’t expect that to be the norm.

2. Very likely, my blogs on here will be lengthy and spattered with a greater degree of verbosity than Holy Poached Eggs. In other words, I don’t plan to write simply for the sake of other people’s pleasure; instead, I’ll be writing intense articles that otherwise would stay swinging around in my brain, and I’ll leave the reader to his own discretion of what to think or take away from the conversation.

3. While I have no problem with people commenting or opening a dialog, any kind of argument that is begun that is disrespectful will quickly be reduced to silence. In the domain of my blog, I maintain the autocratic, god-like position to determine who can and cannot speak, and while I encourage differing opinions and varying perspectives that are not necessarily synonymous with my own, outright flaming and idiocy are not only discouraged but prevented.

4. I am passionate, if not outright obsessive, about religion and spirituality, and I choose freely to channel that obsession for the sake of other people along with the sake of sheer expressiveness and creativity. This is a huge component to my personality, so much that I created this new blog for the sake of sharing it.

5. Always read between the lines. In reality, I plan to say more than I actually say, and it’s quite likely that on some level of the Soul, I’ll express things that I didn’t realize I was going to express. Be prepared. Once this unleashed, once the floodgates open, nothing will stop it.

6. I will record and detail things such as dreams and actual mystical experiences I’ve had. Mystical experiences can seem to those who have not had them to be alien and perhaps delusional; without making judgment, I would like to ask everyone to understand that no matter what the reality behind an experience is, the experience still happened nonetheless. Please bear this in mind.

7. If anyone, at any time, needs any clarification about what I mean or the terminology I use (which may be full of jargon or have a specific meaning or background), please, feel free to ask for clarification, as said clarification may lead to writing yet another blog and will further us all.

Beaux


Outlet

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The truth is that I’m after Truth.

The truth is, spirituality and religion mean so much to me, so much more than I can begin to express to anyone at any given time.

But let’s be succinct in sharing this history.

I blogged on DeadJournal for years, then on MySpace, posting over 1000 entries. In the Spring of this year (2010), I gave up blogging on MySpace for a more “professional” attempt at writing on a blog on the South and more specifically on food (which you can find at holypoachedegg.wordpress.com.)

The lack of blogging on religion has really gotten to me, whether it’s the need to connect with others who have a similar world view, to gain their feedback, to educate them, or to simply express something about reality that has excited me so.

In an effort to not bore those around me who have different interests, I’ve decided to open this blog on religion. Things will be a little different here than on Holy Poached Eggs, and as I’m tired, I’ll address these things in blog number two.

This is my outlet. Welcome, one and all.

Beaux