Sunday, May 28, 2017

the other end of the spiritual telescope

Winking and twinkling and nagging gently at the edges of my mental chatter lately is the question of what happens to spiritual life at the other end of the telescope.

Starting out, it all seems so distant and delicious and how-the-hell-could-I-ever-attain that? But what happens when it is not quite so distant. The flavor may still be there, but it's less insistent and wowsers and imperative. Not that anyone has or hasn't "attained enlightenment," but more like, OK, I did quite a lot of that so ... now what? The energy to chase after things has diminished or gotten vaguely boring or something. What do you do with it now?

Since, unless you have worked up a pretty good story line (or scam, depending on the point of view), the tide that comes in must likewise go out, where does it go? Can you make a living off it? Do you want to?

If I were to give some sort of talk, I think today, I would begin like this:

By a show of hands, how many people here can sneeze? And with a near-unanimous show of hands, it may be fair to say, "OK we're all on the same page." Spiritual life and sneezing are blood kin. No one "knows" how to sneeze. No one parses it. No one creates sects or belief systems or seeks out popular agreement or hosannas. It's just a sneeze, for Christ's sake, and when it is time, everyone just does it without a backward glance.

This is the spiritual life of practice.

But then there is the spiritual life of belief and hope and goodness and a hundred other post-it notes.

... I'll think about this some more ... and, I suspect, make as little progress. Just leave it alone and things will be fine. Do something useful and relax.

1 comment:

  1. We all want to be happy. But in my experience it's illusive, sporadic, subject to displacement by other feelings. Can we be content with those other feelings too? If there is suffering, is there equanimity?