I have a close friend whom I've admired for many years. I'll call her Ann. She's far from an atheist, but I wouldn't call her a "spiritual" woman. Without being in any way pretentious, she identifies primarily as an intellectual. Her pursuits are within the mind; she's constantly reading books and articles in her field of interest, attending lectures, and feeding her intellect anything that it fancies, which generally falls within the field of psychology and science, sometimes delving into art. She's a fascinating woman, and I've never tired of talking with her. Our discussions move mostly within the realm of psychology, touching upon mysticism, but since that's not very interesting to her, we never advance very far down that path.
The reason I bring it up is that Ann's going through the Self-realization process. The full-blown, in-yer-face, up-yer-spine, out-yer-crown experience of ecstatic awakening. I get all giddy (and jealous) just thinking about it, but Ann is pretty dismal. She never asked for this; it's not her thing. She says that the experience is at odds with her scientific nature, and not something that she cares to pursue. Her meditation practice is simply a way to relax her mind. She never intended for it to open a doorway to this; indeed, enlightenment is a concept which until now has been questionable at best for her analytic mind. But she's smart enough to know that despite her internal discomfort (which has been acute), she can't deny the effect that it's having on her disposition. She describes it as a deep, disturbing shift in her internal navigational system.
Now, some of you may think that I'm wryly talking about myself. You know, that old "I have a friend....." ploy, the oldest trick in the book. Rest assured, if any of the above had been happening to ol' Madge, you'd have read about it by now on my blog, and I'd have had T-shirts made to commemorate the occasion (similar to the one pictured above). I might've really gone wild and bought an ad in some uber-spiritual zine, and sold little Madge Buddha Magnets (Meg-Mags®) on the internet. Nope, Ann's a real person, and she's not liking her present circumstance. She's sort of heaving a big sigh, resigning herself to the big shift happening in her life, and moving into the mode of "allowing". Allowing herself to experience this friggin' weird thing that she never believed in.
I for one am blown away by it. It confirms that which I've quietly suspected all along, and now am ready to post it on a billboard. This:
God awakens wherever, whenever,
and in whomever the hell It wants to.
and in whomever the hell It wants to.
Period.How's that for holy rolling? Maybe I'll start a new religion. Just what the world needs, huh? But mine will be the gosh darn truth. I'll tell everyone to quit yoga, quit meditating, start drinking more gin & tonics, sleep with your neighbor's wife (hey, King David did! Heck, he even had her husband murdered!), just do and read whaddever you want to do and read, and forget about the whole damn spiritual thing. Unless you're seriously interested, in which case have at it, but don't be thinking you'll get brownie points by chanting at the crack of dawn. Just do what floats your boat, give it your all, try to have a morsel of integrity if at all possible, don't worry too much if you can't, and wait and see if God chooses to awaken in you. If so, you're golden, but realize that it's got nothing, nothing to do with you. You're basically a worm turd. But you might be a worm turd that God favors. And if you do everything you want to and God never awakens in you, well, at least you had a good time. At least you didn't spend your life reading Kierkegaard and watching the PTL Club, thinking that it would incur God's favor. I'm convinced more than ever that it can't be earned. God's will is a big mystery, more mysterious than existence itself. At least we can take a stab at explaining that. But I know of no one who's attempted to explain God's will without getting either humiliated or creamed.
It's not likely that I'll start a religion. I already got too much on my plate. Pity. The souls of the earth need me. Would that Ann was more outward with her transformation. I could be her manager, and we could have her awaken in every state in the lower 48. We'd make a fortune. Jeez, God's really missing a great opportunity to make me rich.