Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Category: Philosophy

Fear is the Absence of Love

After my awakening my heart opened, and I was raptured with divine bliss. But while the bliss has never left me, my heart almost immediately began its retreat. I awakened to a life built by a self that did not know love, that could not understand it or believe that such a thing existed as a real force in the world. It was an unconscious and loveless life, and my newly awakened heart was horrified by what it found.

I knew that embodied love could not live the life I was living. Love demanded I change everything about my life at once to serve god and my fellow beings. Love asked me to forsake my identity, my profession, my ambitions, and all my preconceptions about the world. Love demanded that I die completely to myself – and I feared death.

So my heart retreated, but did not close. It stayed open just as much as my life could bear. Like a candle in the night it continued to burn, illuminating those things that were loveless and wrong, and calling me to change them. First it illuminated my violent and selfish thoughts. Then it came for my careless and loveless actions. One by one, on and on, it has illuminated my sins and called me towards conversion.

I have changed much over the years, and have shifted many things about how I choose to be in the world. But many loveless circumstances remain that are informed by major life decisions undertaken by my former self. I brush up against those circumstances with love, and try to shift or transform them. But I fall short of rejecting or abandoning them outright.

So I allow them to do violence to my heart, because I fear letting them go. I hold onto an identity that is no longer true, a profession that does not serve me or others, and remain attached to habits, big and small, that separate me from god and others. Truly, fear is the absence of love.

 

Violence to My Heart

I cannot keep doing violence to my heart. I can no longer ride the inertia of the great omnicidal world destroying machine. I am asked each day to deny the god in others and the world, and with each denial my heart grows more heavy and finally numb. Then the greatest sin of all. I no longer feel the suffering of the world. I no longer notice the god in my fellow beings and the creation. I turn my eyes upward and cry out, “God why have you forsaken me!”…and he responds, because you have forsaken me in others and my creation.

I can no longer keep doing violence to my heart. I can no longer forsake my god in others and in his creation. I can no longer passively ride the inertia of the great omnicdal world destroying machine.

I Noticed God Noticing Me

Did I notice god, or was I noticed? I think he must have always been there, waiting to be seen. Supporting me as he supports the universe, with tenderness and infinite love. Always reaching for me, and waiting patiently for me to reach back. Yes, that must be it. I noticed god noticing me, and I reached back.

I noticed god noticing me and reached back, and I was welcomed by a bounty of bliss. I was invited into the divine dance between finite mankind and our infinite god. But we aren’t just dancing, we are drawing closer.

I prayed that there be no separation between us. I prayed for all that does not serve my highest good and the good of others be taken away. I prayed for sanctity. I prayed for the dance to never end and that I be drawn into unending union.

I prayed many prayers, with no small amount of trepidation. How I sympathize with St. Augustine’s wayward words, “Lord make me pure, but not yet!” But the time for wayward prayers has passed.

Armor of Heart

The ego cannot be conquered by the will alone. You may slay self-seeking and self serving thoughts one at a time, with the blade of your will. But they will continue to arise as long as you wield the blade of reason alone. Victory is won only when armored with a heart that loves others at least as much as the self.

A Great Turning

When I began this blog in November, 2011 I was an atheist, and wanted a place to espouse the virtues of rationalism. That led to several diatribes over the course of several months that extolled strength and the virtue of reason without passion. Then in 2012 I had a spiritual awakening that continues to transmute the dross of my being into the sublime bliss of our infinite and loving god. I followed reason down a rabbit hole of mysticism, and have lived in Wonderland ever since. As a result my posts have slowly shifted from diatribes to prose and poetry. My mind has slowly drifted from the analytical, to constant blessing and praise of the infinite mystery that is you and me.

With each new stage of my spiritual journey I revisit whether “Fearless Reason” is sill an appropriate name for this blog, and each time I quickly conclude it is more appropriate now than ever before. I began this journey as a rationalist and atheist, then in 2012 had an awakening that transformed me into a spiritual seeker and solitary mystic.

Over the years I have allowed god’s grace to transform me from the inside out. The bliss of my initial awakening has never left me. It is always with me, waiting to be noticed. Asking only that I turn my attention towards it and enter the divine embrace. At first this communion was limited to periods of meditation, but is increasingly an abiding companion. As a result, my prayers have been reduced to one: for sanctification and perfect union with the great mystery.

I have often thought that god hid from me until I was thoroughly enmeshed in the world in order to keep me out of a monastery or cave; and that also seems more true now than ever before. Throughout my journey I have continued to live the life of a  householder. I have practiced law, built a home, and found a mate. I have been extremely active in the world and honor my obligations to family, friends, and community. But along the way I have always had beating within me the great mantra and sublime bliss, growing ever louder, waiting to be noticed, and now impossible to ignore.

I am now at the beginning of yet another turning point. In recent years I have felt called to share something of what I have found with others. But the appropriate expression of that sharing has eluded me.

However, as I begin moving from solitary mystic towards spiritual community, the mode of that sharing and service are becoming more apparent. Increasingly I find myself in the midst of beautiful souls who wish only to see god; but karma, pain, and suffering hide him from their eyes. Yet by god’s grace and their willing heart, I can alleviate some of their burden. I can hold them in the stillness of my samadhi. I can take their karma and burn it in the fire of my love and bliss. No suffering is too great, no trauma too daunting. We can give it all to god.

Blessings to all the beautiful strangers and soulmates who have read this far. Pray that I have the strength to follow the path god has set me upon.

Namaste,

Zachary

Seek God Within

It is sad to see the spiritual ambition of seekers without a contemplative practice turn to heresy. It is only by our regular pilgrimage to the well of faith that we cultivate discernment, and purify our hearts and minds. Those who forego this sacrament inevitably get lost in the false corridors of the analytical mind, and worship the false gods of their ego. Forsake heresy and seek union with god through inner silence.

Unbend your neck.
Get off your knees.
Sit upright with poise.
Seek god within.

I Lost My Perspective

My mind
wandered behind
another’s eyes.

To see
what they see
feel what they feel
know what they know.

I was blind
to the suffering
that was not mine.

Numb
to fear and pain
not personally
felt.

Ignorant of the cruelties
dispensed by those
lost behind their own eyes.

I lost my
perspective
behind that
gaze.

Mystics of Every Religion

When religion serves as a road to connecting with the infinite creator, it serves us well. When religious identity and its finite conception of the creator becomes the object of veneration, then religion becomes a dead end, and religious identity a form of idolatry. Idolatry being the worshiping of anything less than the infinite creator manifest in finite forms. So beware the idolatry of faith, and seek instead the infinite creator.

Mystics of every religion have more in common with one another than with the average adherents of their faith. When we sit in meditation or centering prayer, we sit in the same infinite field of awareness that is the one infinite creator. By returning to that silence time after time, we attune with the infinite field of awareness, and thus purify our hearts and minds.

When religion encourages a silent mind and open heart, one inevitably comes to express the universal humanistic values of the religion’s founder. These values become inverted when religious mythology encounters one with a raucous mind possessed of fixed ideals and a closed heart. Such a one has little interest in the infinite creator, and is more concerned with protecting, promoting, and expanding tribal identity as defined by a set of religious dogmas. In this way religion becomes an idol, and a dead end for spiritual aspirants.

Love Thy Enemy

The only way to destroy one’s enemies is to have none. There is no evil, only delusion. There are no enemies, only god. Only the heart’s capacity to disintegrate the differences between self and other-self can end the cycle of fear, hatred, and ignorance. That means blinking at neither the light nor dark, and looking even at one’s enemies and saying, “We are one body. You are me as well, even though you hate me and wish to destroy me.”

Love is the radical and unconditional acceptance of another being. It is the acknowledgement of other as self, and the acceptance of that other-self, even though they hate you or wish you harm. Avoid or withdraw from those beings who seek to harm you, but never make them your enemy.

 

 

I Believe in Progress

I believe in progress. Not necessarily at the social level, but at the level of the hearts and minds of each sentient being. As a pantheist the only difference I see between the creation and god is the illusion of separateness. The former being a fragment of the whole experiencing separateness to learn, grow, and enrich the creation/creator. This perspective assumes a certain evolution of consciousness/soul from the elements, to animals, then humans, and ultimately beyond. Each stage with its own lessons learned over many incarnations, as god becomes individuated consciousness on its long path back to source.

This perspective views the human incarnative experience as the stage of self-awareness working on the lessons of love. Love being the means by which we pierce the illusion of separateness and remember that all is one. What comes next is indeed the Kingdom of God, but this perspective requires each individual to build it in their own heart and mind. Therefore, the Kingdom of God is already among us.

This perspective believes each individual is responsible for their own salvation; that salvation is the work of many lifetimes, and that all beings ultimately find their way back home. We live on a planet of incarnative humans at all different stages of their journey, and the free will of each must be respected to learn their lessons at their own pace. Unfortunately, the instrument of instruction is suffering, and when the values of souls who haven’t learned the lessons of love takes over a society suffering ensues.

While I can work towards building a more loving society through politics and other mundane means, when the majority of people in my society insist on learning the lessons of love in a different way, then that is as it must be. The question for me and my journey is do I stay and witness the suffering and alleviate it where I can, or do I find a society more in alignment with my values?