Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Tag: Awakening

Poverty of the Soul

My karma predisposes me towards asceticism. That may have been a virtue in a different culture and age, but in this world it has made me a slave. I grew up poor, in a poor community, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I have never prioritized pleasure or happiness, because I was taught those were luxuries we could not afford. That fidelity to joyless duty has followed me into the middle class, and along my spiritual journey.

Even after awakening to my true nature as an infinite being of love and bliss, I have remained in some ways impoverished. I have passively accepted things that serve neither my happiness nor that of others. I have retreated into inward bliss, as the inertia of a middle class life set in motion before my awakening consumes most of my time with things that serve a life I do not desire.

This world rewards those who doggedly pursue their desires to the exclusion of all else, no matter how misguided. I have seldom had strong desires beyond my desire for union with god. Before awakening I did not know yet what I sought. So I set about building a safe middle class life designed to alleviate the condition of material deprivation.

Then within months of starting that middle class life, I awakened to my true nature, and realized the worst poverty is that of the soul. I now wistfully reflect on the freedom of that materially impoverished child from the mountains. He wanted to seek god, but had no one to show him the way. I now know the way, but have less physical freedom than ever before. How long will I continue serving a middle class life designed to alleviate a poverty I no longer fear?

Inward Regression or Outward Reform

Though I have undergone drastic internal transformation since my awakening, the external aspects of my life have been more resistant to change. Each year brings gradual reform to my habits, circumstances, and outward identity. But the outward circumstances of my life are ever lagging behind who my soul is calling me to be.

Since 2011 I have changed political affiliations, cities, jobs, adopted a daily meditation practice, become a vegetarian, and have found spiritual community. There are many other outward changes I might list, but these are a few that stick out. What is most notable about these changes is that all of them have slowly been moving me towards a more loving and peaceful way of being in the world.

Over the years I have come to see a decided pattern to these periods of change. Each major change is preceded by a prolonged period of discomfort and unhappiness. A circumstance or habit simply has to become unbearable to my soul, until finally, I reach a point where I must choose between inward regression or outward reform.

I am still moving toward a more perfect alignment between my soul and outward circumstances. But as I become more inwardly peaceful, I have become more acutely aware of those places in my life of tension, discomfort, and unhappiness. I know what makes me happy and what does not, and I know the direction I need to move in, if not the destination.

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.

 

Emerging from Cocoons

We are
awakening
one being
at a time.

In different ways
to different degrees
at different times
to the same reality.

We are
learning
the wisdom
of the heart.

We are
realizing
the folly
of egotistical desires.

We are butterflies
emerging from cocoons
marveling at our wings.

Joyous
that we did not
transform alone.

We fly together
Earth bound forms
merely a dream.

In Silence

In silent
surrender
I purify
my soul.

In silence.

I cleanse
my mind
and open
my heart.

Finding myself.

Formless
creature
of the
now.

In silence.

I grow
virtue
and god.

Finding myself.

Timeless
creature
of love
and bliss.

In silence.

I vanquish
darkness
with the
presence of
light.

Finding myself.

Awareness
in an
awakening
world.

Accidental Saint

Accidental Saint.

I lost myself.
I lost my mind.

I lost my past.
I lost my future.

I lost my pain.
I lost my hate.

I got drunk on being.

I discovered god,
I gained eternity,
I found bliss.

I have peace.
I have joy.
I have love.

I whisper prayers, and silent blessings.

May all beings know peace.
May all beings have joy
May all beings find love.

May all beings awaken.

Don’t Be Clever

“So, whenever there is a negativity in you, if you can be aware at that moment that there is something in you that takes pleasure in it or believes it has a useful purpose, you are becoming aware of the ego directly. The moment this happens, your identity has shifted from ego to awareness. This means the ego is shrinking and awareness is growing. Having realized: “At this moment I am creating suffering for myself”, it will be enough to raise one above the limitations of conditioned egoic states and reactions. It will open up infinite possibilities which come to you when there is awareness—-other vastly more intelligent ways of dealing with any situation. You will be free to let go of your unhappiness the moment you recognize it as unintelligent. Negativity is not intelligent. It is always of the ego. The ego may be clever, but it is not intelligent. Cleverness pursues its own little aims. Intelligence sees the larger whole in which all things are connected. Cleverness is motivated by self-interest, and it is extremely short-sighted. Whatever is attained through cleverness is short-lived and always turns out to be eventually self-defeating. Cleverness divides; intelligence includes.” – Eckhart Tolle, “A New Earth”