Always and forever I know that I cannot go back to the old dichotomies of monastic versus married householder, of me versus you, of pleasure versus pain, of good versus bad. These are the false surface divisions inherent in dualistic thinking which is the non-thinking of the prevailing global culture, which pursues the borrowed elitism and the supposed virtue of a name-brand lifestyle. This is the unacknowledged slavery of a capitalist aspiration where it is the good of me that is promoted as opposed the good of we, or us. This is the failure of community in the 1st world nations where individuation is prized above the democratic values of the commons. This is the false virtue of limited self-interest where possession of the artifacts of the “good life” are the things we are driven to aspire for and struggle towards the acquisition of. The absurdity of this as a desirable social value is demonstrated most comically in the surging self-empowerment of the 3rd world youth cultures where the virtues of the American Dream are unquestioningly and thoughtlessly adopted.
If you don’t wear this uniform of social elitism you are deemed valueless in a brutal culture of unchecked material acquisition. It appears that in Africa, and possibly in South America, and certainly in India, all the positive communal virtues of the indigenous view of life are swept aside in the pursuit of pitiless consumption all in the name of self-promotion. It is no wonder that there is a current plague of suicides in the U.S. by returning veterans, because to face death in the name of “civilization” or the American way, and then to return “home” to the now patently absurd soulless values of a culture of competitive materialism is to ask oneself if facing death is now to be replaced by the fear of facing a meaningless life defending and promoting thoughtless, needless, heedless consumption?
I have lived too long in the either/or mindset – too long in the attachment to personal preferences. All that personal preferences do is to instil a sense of self entitlement as a virtue of individualism. Furthermore, to see things in terms of yes/no, or likes and dislikes is to entrench the sense of personal self of a distinct and different self than others, a self to defend, promote and protect. Too long have I lived in that sense of separation from the All of my being.
Having now so deeply tasted of the undiluted sweetness of an impersonal/personal divinity I cannot afford to return to the desperation of the partial divided self. The wanting in us to be more is really an admission of how circumscribed and claustrophobic our sense of self has become. We only want to have or to be what we don’t already have or are. So to want is not the assertion of self-destiny fulfilled, becoming all you can be, it is instead the admission of an abiding sense of lack which drives us relentlessly to seek more, to be more, to want more, to do more. That desire is endless and its unrest can never end or be fulfilled. Only the infinite can fulfill an infinite desire.
This is not to promote a form of quietism, but simply to look at, to seriously consider how to live and how to be when you know that you been given the cosmic jackpot, not just a portion of it, but the whole pot and caboodle at the end of the religious rainbow! It is to ask how does one live in a world of lack knowing endless surfeit? It is to ask how to be in a world of unfolding and limited perception when one has been gifted with the view from the summit of creation? It is a serious question as there are not too many authorities to enable one’s continuing on a path few historically have been a significant distance down.
So one has to maintain a grip on one’s own sense of reliance on an unseen presence in a language beyond the capacity for speech to hold and to walk a pathless path through a gateless gate to a destination one is continually arriving at, a destination one has never left!
There are few guidebooks to lead one here or guides to walk with. It is a position beyond time and space to contain. So the Lord’s humor is in the fact that to mystics non mystics appear to be flat earthists and to non mystics mystics appear to be wild, woolly and dangerously subjective. How to share garlic with those who shun garlic?
This raises the reality that difference is the flavor which spices the soup of life, yet no difference can contradict the essential oneness and unity of all things within the wondrous gifts of the vast diversity of expression and available vantage points.
I see the discordances and mismatched half truths and the sheer provisionality of this life in a world of conditions, names and qualities. But I cannot take them too seriously knowing that I am not a single voice, mind or body, that this is simply the localised experience of a universal awareness, which understands that there are no others or things separate from this local substation of the cosmic broadcast comically misnamed “me”. I know that the pathologies of separation-sleepwalking are cured by simply waking up from the dream of separation. So now, the task is to to walk in a human body knowing that it is an instrument for localised communication and perception, also knowing that it is a way for the cosmic and timeless to see and enjoy the particularities and delicious peculiarities of time-based perception.