Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oneness here and now

We so badly want to help our friends, our co-workers, our parents, our children, and of course our selves, to feel better, to become more “awakened,” to feel less pain, to know more joy in life; to experience deeper levels of meaning, of fulfillment, of peace. This is so natural. We so badly want to tell all of our friends to try this or that meditation, to take on this or that new series of spiritual beliefs and superstitions; we so badly want to be one of the awakened ones who has come to liberate humanity. We want to be on the side of the divine, specially-selected to usher in a new age of love and enlightenment; freed from all of our past, our pain, and our worries—in one blast from some cosmic consciousness.  

These stories are so compelling. They offer hope out of a life of boredom, unmetabolized hurt, undigested trauma, meaninglessness, and habitual resistance to this moment right now, exactly as it has been given. This frenetic movement away from embodied immediacy and into some other wildly fabulous “divine” state of consciousness is the very movement of suffering we are trying to free ourselves from.

It seems that many people these days are convinced that this “freedom from suffering” is coming for them soon, that soon they will be whisked away in some golden chariot of grace, taken into some transcendent realm, blasted into some new cosmic reality, where everything is accepted all of the time, where yucky emotional issues involving deep human intimacy no longer arise, where they’re served up plate after plate of divine nectar in the form of one sustained transcendent experience after the next.  

But I’m hearing from many of you how exhausting this whole project has become, this heady rush into some 2012 fantasy of “me and my experiences”, this constant trying to ensure that you are one of the Lucky Few, one of the Special Ones (and it’s ironic that awakening and enlightenment and freedom from “me” have somehow become about “me” being “special”).
Many ancient and contemporary spiritual and religious teachings are filled with these fantasies, and they are so compelling because they do touch a very deep place in us that authentically and genuinely wants to go home… to finally, once and for all, rest our weary hearts in the center of our being. 

Let us cultivate deep compassion for those who are waiting for freedom to come in the future! It is so very understandable that we look outside of present experience for home, and take on the most unbelievable spiritual superstitions and magical thinking, as these habits and patterns formed very early in the development of our sensitive little brains and nervous systems. We are so dependent upon others for our physical, emotional, and psychological survival.  Many of us were simply not validated, seen, or held when we were little ones; we were not offered an empathic attuned environment where our own subjective experience could be metabolized in the intersubjective field of our early caregivers and ourselves. It’s so sweet, really, and so very understandable. 

I really enjoy hearing from you all about what is going on in your lives and feel honored that you’re always so open in sharing with me. And I also find myself feeling sad at times—deeply vulnerable and broken-open and tender and fragile—when I hear how you are struggling to live up to some second-hand, constructed, conditioned spirituality that has been taken on in the hopes of being saved “one day”, as a way to avoid life as it is, in a way that is driven by longing and fear. The ego is so creative, so intelligent, so ingenious really. It has a way of inserting itself into any and all aspects of our lives, infusing every nook and cranny with its longing for specialness and a future salvation—including throughout the spiritual project of “me.” 

The human journey, in all its perfection, in all its grace, in all its sweetness, and in all its pain - who would ever trade it in for any other? Call me crazy, but I’ll take radical humanness over the divine any day.