This is a deep topic, so if your eyes start to glaze over, might I recommend some of my lighter reading? Perhaps my blog about death? For all others, forge ahead.
I was first thinking about titling this blog: What if spirituality is scientific, not esoteric? The irony of that title is that most people probably don't have a handy definition of what the f* esoteric means. So...I still want to use this word, because it's the right word, but I'm going to define it, so you are officially part of the club. Welcome :) Esoteric: only taught to or understood by members of a special group, hard to understand, limited to a small number of people. We understand the meaning of scientific, but here is the definition of science just so that we're on the same page. Science: the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Spirituality is not meant to be esoteric, but I understand why it is. We are all fighting to surpass our reality, the life we were lead to believe was out there: those that would hurt us, the failures and heartbreak that were promised to lie in our wake, those we would be unequipped and unable to steer away from them before impact. By default, we adopt a harsh legacy. If I said that suffering was unavoidable most of you would nod your head in agreement. Change is unavoidable. Suffering is a choice, but I know it doesn't feel that way. The other part of this truth is that we make our own meanings behind the suffering that comes our way. We decide that we have been used, betrayed, bamboozled, or gas-lighted. We take on a lot of responsibility for others' actions, and hold onto them as if they were our own. These actions may have a thousand meanings, maybe most, if not all of them unknown to the perpetrator themselves, and yet we not only construe what their actions mean about us, we buy it, hook, line and sinker. We believe that it is us, that it is our fault. Then, the world becomes a small place in which is it unsafe to roam or be free. We must live the guarded life, hermetically sealed in our own emotions and ideas. The only way to break free of this is to start to unravel the story that you told yourself. The time to return every lie that someone sold you, purchased by your naiveté, is now. It is not you, but what you believed was you.
Faith, spirituality: these are lofty concepts. Implied within each is the idea that we must trust in something that we cannot see and rely on what we do not know. Honestly, this is completely terrifying, especially to our brains, which are very much grounded in the logical: the world that we can see, taste, smell, touch and hear - what we would call reality. However, reality in and of itself is always skewed by perspective. I'm sure you've noticed that when you're in a bad mood, the world is shit, everything sucks, and everybody can pretty much fuck off. On the other hand, when things are going well, there is an openness to possibility, life is good. Really good. You don't cringe at the person happily jamming to his music, the adorable baby in the stroller, the couples holding hands, or the gay guys grinding against the buildings, or any sign of the happiness around you that you do not own. You want to be a part of life, to smell the flowers, crack a few jokes, give that enigmatic homeless man a blueberry muffin and lie in the grass and dream.
The point to all of this is that everything that has been brought into this world or discovered was something not yet seen or felt, even our very creation. We start as two tiny cells merging into one and continue to grow and expand until the time of our birth. Up until that point, the outside world hotly debates if the growing human has a right to live, or what makes it alive because we don't know. We don't have the answers. Does it have a soul? Does it have the right to live? Ironic that a society who has so much invested in the sanctity of human life has little sympathy for the harsh realities of each of these sacred lives after they exit the womb. Welcome to the School of Hard Knocks, Sucker. Anyway, I digress.
Whether you agree with evolutionary theory or not, one cannot deny that we are always changing, evolving. Our old skin cells die and slip away into the air. We are always breathing in the past in our present moments; yet, we are chemically changing and emerging. The longest life cycle of cells in the human body is 7 years, so we are completely new from the inside out after completing the cycle of birth and death inside ourselves. The food we eat, the thoughts we think and our environment inform and stimulate us, initiating us into hurdling forward into time. This process began with our birth and we are constantly beholden to the invisible momentum that propels us forward, even without our permission, unless we decide to get off the merry-go-round.
What do we know then? We know in the least, that we are different, set apart from even the other mammalian creatures...we think. We have feelings. But are we truly that different or do we just exist on another plane of awareness? There is so much beyond what we can take in with all of our senses. We know these things, but we forget constantly and instead buy the bullshit on the news. We know that elephants communicate in a frequency that is inaudible to the human ear; that plants communicate with each other to try to protect themselves from an onslaught of hungry caterpillars. (Not much luck there plants, you're pretty stationary and defenseless against those of us who have teeth.) We forget that we exist precariously on a planet suspended in the middle of an unplumbable vastness. We forget that we can survive on this planet only by the virtue of symbiosis and we are by far the most parasitic life form on it. We are unnecessary to the survival of the planet and yet we cannot survive without it, all the while we poison it and poison ourselves.
The idea is that spirituality is not esoteric, but scientific. Simply put, it's the way the universe works. We cannot explain what is...yet. Perhaps our brains are not designed to wholly understand the workings behind the universal veil. Spirituality is not "out there" or "woo-woo" or "crazy pants", the very world that we live in is. Just look around. Every invention, every discovery made before it's time (hint: they all were) were labeled as pure insanity. It's not that these concepts are "out there"; it's just that we don't know how or why it works. It's time to accept and work with what we do know, what resonates and move forward to discovery. Nothing has come into creation that was ever seen in the physical form before and yet the process seems to astound and amaze us as if it this kind of thing doesn't happen all the time. We are always evolving and so is the world. As crazy as it may sound, now is the time to live from another kind of intelligence, one that is of the body and not of the mind; one of gut instincts, hunches and knowing that occurs beyond all reason. We can embrace experimentation through listening to ourselves and trying another way to live. Here we are caught in the place between mental awareness and spiritual awareness, we know how far mental awareness can take us, and so it is time for a new way. This new way will, of course, cause the ego to endlessly shit itself, so treat it gently but continue to listen to that still small voice wherever it may take you.
Are you trailblazing a new path into the unknown?