A Pearl of Great Price

I often wonder why people don’t involve themselves in spiritual life. Yes, many folks go to church on Sunday, which is a comfort to them, and I’m sure it does them good in numerous ways—points them in the right direction and makes them better people.

 Still, actual spiritual life isn’t just words. That’s what I want to emphasize here. In spiritual life we’re not just talking or listening to empty, though majestic, rhetoric.

 So I’ve been thinking that perhaps many individuals don’t realize what a shift into experiencing the realm of the spirit means. The most exalted experiences in life are those we partake of in a spiritual mode, but getting there may sometimes require a little bit of trying.

 I say “may sometimes” since I know that many people stumble onto this gift because they simply have what it takes, whether they or the outer world knows it or not. In fact, we all have what it takes, ultimately.

 The work we do is the work of opening and then accustoming ourselves to entering spiritual states and opening further. But some people are simply given this type of experience out of the blue. The…“I was walking in the mountains, and suddenly I felt (or saw, or heard)” kind of thing.

 Those of us who’ve become habituated to these shifts join groups of others who regularly partake because nothing is so sublime as those glimpses of a different—and higher—state of being. We want more.

 But a great many people, especially in our cynical age when nonbelieving is thought to be “smart,” either haven’t yet gotten a clue, or forgot the clue they were once given. Or they think digging up that clue again would be too hard. Or they suspect God doesn’t or won’t favor them. (After all, their parents didn’t.)

 Still, the thing is, nothing is of greater value than this shift in perceiving and feeling, which takes us from the mundane to something entirely different, entirely elevating, entirely wonderful. That’s the pearl of great price, the kingdom of heaven, which is within, and is currently (and forevermore) available.

 I’ve had many spiritual experiences over the years and I hang out with people who also have a lot of wonderful inner receivings—experiences, knowledge, and abilities—and that tells me how marvelously varied these things can be. And though we probably never quite get back to the one peak moment we had before (but may have other types of such moments), we can often have shifts that throw us into a higher background state. I see nothing as being predictable in all of this, only something that we want to chase.

 Those of us who know, know, and those who don’t, don’t—to date, anyway.

 Let’s stop being cynical and disbelieving what venturing into the world of spirituality can offer us because nothing means more than this.

 You don’t have to stop your life midstream or your pursuits of whatever. You want money and power, go for it, though the warning here is that you could be changed by the wonderful pearl of great price. Then you’ll find yourself giving up some of that seeking in the world to have more of these magnificent moments.

 It’s the real thing. Life is short and we’d best get hustling.

 Speaking of hustling, here’s my science blog with a new post coming soon: http://gmikihayden.tumblr.com/

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Is It Love?

Positive emotions generated by the ego already contain within themselves their opposite into which they can quickly turn. … What the ego calls love is possessiveness and addictive clinging that can turn into hate within a second.—Eckhart Tolle

 Love is a spontaneous phenomenon, associated not so much with a person or persons as object as simply being an energetic condition. Love may also be beyond energy, at emptiness or the proverbial still point, but I haven’t gotten there (yet?). I do, however, sometimes feel the love and I can say nothing is more gratifying.

 The problem comes when we correlate the emotion with a human, personal object. We feel we’re in love with someone when what we have is simply the arising of an emotion. In short, the feeling may or may not have to do with another individual.

 Do you know a man/woman obsessed with a love object? Maybe you’re the one who’s focused on Lucy or Gary or Jean. That could be fine, or it could be entirely inappropriate.

 Thinking of that feeling of love as love for all beings is probably a good approach even if the love is sparked by the presence of or thoughts of another, specific human being. Not that personal love can’t appear, but until a personal love is tried and tested and sustained over time, love is best accepted as an impersonal love, a love that arises from a state of good fortune, even grace, and that has as its object all who live. Nothing is to be done with love, except to feel it and to express it to all.

 To immediately enclose the love as a singular love directed at one person would be short sighted. Indeed, in that case, we allow the individual to evoke and capture our love entirely for that one person’s sake, which limits the feeling that might let us grow into a full human being.

 Individualizing love also creates a condition of potentially truncating the emotion itself.

 Personal love isn’t always well suited to a situation or idea. Should it arise in a mutual, fulfilling way, then we’re blessed. But, really, the larger vision might be less arduous and invoke a lot less struggle.

 Love of all sorts waxes and wanes, even the impersonal stuff. But think, if we awake one morning and feel grumpy about humanity as a whole and disenchanted with the universe, that doesn’t imply an irrevocable split. We suppose our mood will lighten later in the day after we exercise or have breakfast, and nothing is lost. But waking up and realizing the love of “the one” is rotten to the core means a whole big mess ensues, starting with self-questioning and self-doubt and a whole lot of “what do I do now”s.

“I loved her,” said the boy who shot his beloved—and her mother and grandmother—after she’d broken up with him.

Emotions arise, and that’s perfectly fine. Love is a wonderful emotion to feel, a universal solvent that heals all ills if felt often enough for long enough. Love is, in fact, grand. But suppose we take it with a grain of salt when it settles on a particular trigger lest a heart beating with this exalted stuff later fills with a much less pleasant emotion. No, no, I have nothing again love at all. My beef is against our impulsively leaping into…trouble.

For another take on the perils and promises of love: http://profanelight.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/the-madness-of-falling-in-love/#more-148

And for the perils and promises of the universe: http://www.amazon.com/Strings-G-Miki-Hayden-ebook/dp/B00KQ35ZW4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401814674&sr=1-1&keywords=Strings+by+G.+Miki+Hayden

Or wait for STRINGS in paperback. .

Resist the Tyranny of the Human Mind

You might recognize the fact that your so-called human mind bosses you around—not to mention the way that other so-called human minds try to dominate you as well.

 I say “so-called” because the human mind isn’t a real, genuine full-functioning Mind, only an idea of a mind, a construct made up of old thought patterns along with newly acquired ones, gained by mimicking what we see around and about, ideas handed to us by consensual thought forms.

 You might not get what I’m saying and/or simply don’t agree because you’re under the impression that you think fresh thoughts: your own, individual thoughts. We all are under that impression. Yet it’s simply not true. I can’t prove it to you; I can’t even prove it to myself. Still, I do believe the outside-the-box premise. But digging deeper and eliminating the tyranny of the individual, human mind presents a challenge. This so-called mind persists in its dysfunctional patterns handed down through individual ancestry and species inheritance.

 So my question is, if we’re really thinking the thoughts we want in our own private, separate minds, why can’t we control said thoughts? Why do thoughts slip in that we’d like to eschew, that preoccupy us, that pursue us—such as a song we really don’t want to hear anymore and that drones on in our so-called minds.

In short, we’re being tyrannized, made to allow in thoughts that really aren’t helpful to us and to entertain detrimental fears and imaginings. Help!

I mentioned the idea of resisting the tyranny of the human mind to a friend of mine and he had just been reading the advice to let the whole mess be—to merely observe. That’s a traditional suggestion advised by lineages of Buddhist and other meditators and Gurdjieffians who talk about self-observation. http://www.dennislewis.org/articles-other-writings/articles-essays/gurdjieff-the-further-reaches-of-self-observation/   and http://www.michaelteachings.com/self_observation.htm

 Those two articles are good and so is the practice.

 To resist is maybe a little different, however, and may be counter to Jesus’s advice to resist not evil. But remember that Jesus is the one who threw the moneychangers out of the temple and tossed Legion out of a poor suffering madman. In the sense that thoughts foreign to the natural, wholesome, human condition continue to plague us in this day and age, we might try the suggestion to “resist.”

As Mary Baker Eddy told her readers: “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized…you will control yourself harmoniously.”

 That’s different advice than to merely observe. (However, she also said, “Error, when found out, is two-thirds destroyed, and the remaining third destroys itself.” That would advocate, I think, self-observation.)

 Maybe self-observation is what Western psychotherapy is all about, with help in pointing at what isn’t being observed by the “patient” or client.

Spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen tells students not to believe their own thoughts or emotions. That, I think, sparks both watching (self-observation) and resisting.

 What do I think is a good approach? Hmmm, I was taught that strategies are useless, that only God can correct us as He will. In the meantime, we try to transform by any means possible.

Coming soon: Strings http://curiosityquills.com/strings-cover-reveal/ . The novel is a tongue-in-cheek look at string theory and the universe and isn’t just for chronological kids.