I am driven to understand my world. I share Anthony Kronmans reflection that “every increase in our understanding of it, and in our power to sing its song, is a further, deeper experience of the deathlessness of the world.” A meditative and contemplative life allows for greater seeing and clarity and If I am able, at all moderately, to move from the distraction of the fixed and deluded and conventional self that I have known myself to be, to a place of greater clarity than this is a more suited place from which I can look to understand and be in my world.
Meditation has been a key part of my way back to clarity of consciousness and through the time that I can find for contemplation I am able to question directly what I have been spoon fed to be true. Inquiry involves reflection and questioning such things as how I am to know for sure the truth of what I perceive and if there is something of our inherent being that we have lost our way from; that is a better guide than our conditioned conscious self. I can explore and discover for myself these and other questions without the need for outside expertise. In fact the only way to know for oneself is to be involved in inquiry in this way. It leads to a questioning of what is beyond the ego consciousness; something I have been trapped within; at the same time yearning for a way to see what lay beyond it.
Something has guided our evolving planet and all its creatures prior to the development of the human brain and ego. In fact it seems that since the human began using the higher cognitive processes such as discursive reasoning we have done more collectively to perpetuate crisis and abuse of the planet in a shorter time than ever before. I am not sure that human kind is clear at this point in time what the benefit has been. Our human, over reliance on words, perceptions, cultural and religious dogma, and rigid and closed conceptualization of our world seems to have enveloped us in fear and a fragmented envisioning that has closed us off from an openness required in a greater understanding of truth.
There is something of the mind that is, albeit, a product of evolution itself and perhaps it is in a more inner connection to something more of us, that has been excluded with our modern development and use of knowledge, that we will find our way. Maybe it is a re-orientation to something more Devine of us that all humans and all of earths creatures are inseparable from that we are best guided. Through a contemplative meditative way we can discover that what we have been led to believe; where the focus has been an external one, is only part of the way to be wholly in life. In that re-orientation it may be that we will all find greater clarity although it may not be familiar or perceivable to the mind that has become separated through conditioning.
It seems to me that human beings will do almost anything to avoid facing their own human weaknesses—anything, that is, except face themselves. Even in the spiritual world I don’t think that it is uncommon for humans to pursue what they believe to be an omnipotent state in which one is superior to others or which we might see ourselves transcend and/ or control all of our own human failings. I have in the past thought that being enlightened had something to do with this in my own unique way of projecting what I thought perfection was, and in the achieving of that I would somehow be above human frailty.
But it is not such as this. In becoming aware I am moved to see that life has a way of moving us toward surrender. In that seeing we find the space to begin to experience glimpses of the reality of our own, and all others, impermanence. In relaxing effort at becoming something, that has been a creation and fixture of mind, I am able to realize and be with a more fundamental and comprehensive truth, revealed in my embracing of my vulnerable form and its limited existence. It is in the letting go of what I thought and hoped myself to be and what I should become, that I might one day rise above the weakness, imperfection and fear that was all a part of that mythical perception of self.
In coming to the realization of what I do not know and what I am not, there is quite a sensation of liberation and expansion into something much more vast than anything I could know or think myself to be and it seems to be the place that I am best able to realize what It is that I am in fear of and what the truth of that fear is or is not.
And than there are those moments when that self that believes and knows, finds it way to contributing to a contracted and fragmented projection and manifestation of itself.
There is knowing in the first person objective and there is stepping out from that.
I am returning to my wife in Germany in two days. Something has been resolved this time around. I no longer seem to be as attached to my home in Canada in the same way that I was. I know that I will miss friends and the peace and vast space here. I always enjoy a peaceful abode close to nature and Canada may be one of the best options in the world for that. But people are people and egos are egos. They separate us from being; under a collective disguise and facade of knowing that is a part of that. That separation is a deadly phenomenon; to humanity, to other beings and to the planet and this is so in a variety of ways.
Canadians are no different then people of other lands in this way. They may be more polite about how they interact but they seem to be just as blinded as most in their confidence in knowing and the fear that it arises from that. In that reduced place of awareness our “belief” in what we know separates us from the whole and a greater truth that comes with that and this general lack of awareness of this truth is most concerning. We are all fundamentally connected to each other and in our conditioning there arises a disconnection from that realization such that greatly contributes to the cause and perpetuation of the global crisis that is now looming on our planet.
A contemplative life has encouraged awareness and I now come to realize that humanity as a whole is responsible for taking the steps that would lead to a more comprehensive envisioning that transcends the fixated self that is the root of limited responses and interventions. This is a knowing of a different essence than can be realized by all.
The reality we live in is one created out of mental concepts that encompass a relative truth; meaning to some degree and that is not one of absolute truth nor a synchronisation with the reater reality. So how should we live in this existence of relative truths?
If we can come to understand the limitations of our human mind and how it has come to be conditioned and in that awareness come to find ground in direct experience and reflection of the kind of truth that Kierkegaard suggests, (truth of Subjectivity) here is the possibility that this influence can transform our conceptual orientation..
George Feurstein describes the classic Advaita-Vedanta perspective on enlightenment by defining it as “the shattering of all mental constructs about existence, including the notions of voidness and chaos or fullness and harmony.” He further suggests that, “Enlightenment is that condition of the body-mind in which it is perfectly synchronized with the transcendental Reality. It is identical with Self-realization.”