Recieved: 2000/03/01 19:29
Subject: Re: [K-list] EZ illumination
On 2000/03/01 19:29, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:
<< The main difference between the truly liberated person and us regular
people of mystical inclination, seems just to be the fact that the adept can
move into the unified consciousness at will... The rest of us still seem to
have to wrestle with karma and the limitations of our thinking and sensing
patterns, even though we might be allowed the occasional excursion into the
higher reality and understanding. >>
I agree with everything Michael said in this post and in fact I nominate him
the unofficial K-List mediator of Ultimate-Truth, LOL!
More on simple, if not so EZ, illumination. In my explorations of
spirituality, I came across the Native American notion that the purpose of
life is for each creature to express its own beauty. And if our purpose is
to express our beauty, enlightenment (from what I've gleaned from my own peak
experiences) includes perceiving and appreciating the beauty in all creation.
I think Wim is right in his contention that we get hung up on knowing about
rather than partaking of life. Conceptualizing and dwelling primarily on
intellectual abstractions is often a defense against the mystery and vastness
of existence. Feels so much safer to mentally concretize and thus distance
ourselves from experiential reality. The irony is that the more we try to
pin things down, the more they elude us, leaving us clinging to mirages.
More distressing, unconsciously shrinking down our perceptions to avoid the
mystery and vastness can leave us with nothing but a dismal view of the
banality and sordidness of life. I suspect most of us spend more time than
we care to admit with this claustrophobic perspective. Much of our anger,
despair, and feelings of humiliation, worthlessness and hopelessness come
from feeling marooned on Planet Cesspool, home of the absurd and the
horrible. It's hard to turn inward to discover the unique beauty we can
express when we're battered by commercial messages depicting beauty as
entirely a matter of culturally popular outward appearance... or if we're
shamed by religious ideals of unattainable purity and perfection.
Most of us were born open to the mystery and vastness, but learned to close
ourselves off to it to survive in a broken, jagged-edged world. It's easy to
lose faith in your own beauty in a world so shutdown that few see the real
value and beauty in anyone or anything. Being invisible to others, we become
invisible to ourselves. We feel hollow, empty, and to cope with this pain,
we hurl ourselves into myriad self-distractions, escapism or try to create
self-glamorizing personas. We accumulate stuff or jam our days full of
activities; we compete with each other for recognition, attention and
rewards; we orient our lives toward material or spiritual goals; we try to
lose ourselves in excessive, compulsive entertainment, sex, drugs,
religiosity, etc. In attempt to be successful or decent people, we numbly
stagger along under a crushing burden of responsibilities, obligations and
self-expectations... Or we turn our backs on all of that and drift along in
lives of unrelenting monotony, waiting for something good to happen.
So what's the alternative? Interludes of grace -- mystical, sublime
experiences when the veil suddenly lifts upon a vista of awesome, luminous
reality -- gives us glimpses of what unoccluded awareness can be. These
sneak previews can't be summoned by command or even courted by our deep
hunger for them. They come to us, if at all, magically and unexpectedly, as
spiritual boons. It's a blessing to have such experiences, but they don't
give us permanent enlightenment. We keep coming back to the land of the
blind (which is not so easy to navigate, even for those who get to travel in
company of a nice spirit-guide dog). As long as our journey here lasts,
whatever else we do, we can try to hold our hearts open to the
mystery/vastness and let our little lights shine.
We immerse ourselves in the mystery and vastness, express our beauty, and
receive beauty from everywhere around us -- all by opening our hearts. The
Buddhist teacher Stephen Levine speaks of this as keeping the heart open in
hell -- hell being a place where so many hearts are closed. That is why it
hurts so much to be here. And that's probably why this is such a great
testing ground: If you can open your heart on this plane, under these
conditions, you can keep it open anywhere! That, to me, is the secret of
"unified consciousness" and true liberation.
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