Wednesday, April 23, 2014

All Sanity Depends

All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh.

- Doris Lessing

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Too much time contemplating one's navel makes one an ass. There is a certain hubris that sweeps down the mountainside of spiritual growth, of pride in how fucking holy one has become (or presumes to be). It is rank, foul and a marker that you are still fucked and stuck. Beneficence wafts off you like diesel fumes. Your goodness is simply an ego trip. Like Little Jack Horner you've pulled out a plum. Bully for you.

The thing you have to get past is the false assumption that things of the spirit have nothing to do with the flesh, or that things of this moment aren't eternal, or that sanity and wisdom aren't bones and skin and sunlight and movement. It is a terrible thing to have caught a glimpse of something, a glimpse of something other than you, larger than you, more suddenly perfect than you could have imagined. Call it what you will: God, Life, Pure Mind, the Logos. The name doesn't matter, but when you catch it for a moment you are in thrall of it. You can't believe it has broken into your life. You are changed. You hunger for it again and you retrace your steps hoping to trick it into appearing again. You practice. You devote yourself to ritual. You read. You meditate. You pray. You carry the memory of the moment inside you like a secret message and everywhere you can find no trace of it except in your memory.

You go a little crazy. Maybe a lot crazy. You think you had something in hand and it has slipped through your fingers. If you stay on this path you realize it was evanescent, but you take comfort in that it was shown to you - you saw it - you felt it - more importantly, you recognized it. You become insufferable in your pride.

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There is this: if you pay attention to the sun on your skin, the knowledge of bones moving under your flesh, you have slipped the bonds of categorizing your experience. Why must there be dichotomies? Why must God, or Life, or Pure Mind only be revealed in spiritually exalted circumstances? Why not in a bowl of pasta, or earthquakes, or wiping a baby's ass, or fucking, or noting the color of roses, or just walking down the goddamned street because it feels good to walk and feel heat strike your skin and delight in being upright at this moment?

We are not here to ignore the world of sensation, to reject our physical selves for the higher arts of spiritual cunning. We are here to discover the spiritual in the world, in its ordinariness, in its profanity and grace, through our limited resources of touch and taste and smell and sound and sight, through the limitless resource of our desiring.

Know this: in this exact moment you are alright, you are perfect, you are the heat and the skin and the bones and the sanity and the knowledge you need to be in this moment. The exact now is always bearable, is always ready to reveal itself to you. The pain of the past has no bearing on this one moment, nor does any fear you may harbor for the future. The only spiritual exercise worthy of your time is to be here: now. You have to get away from the blind side of life - pride, arrogance, fear, anger, et al.

When you are here you are the glimpse of eternity itself.

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