I promised a friend a few months ago I would send her a list of some of my favorite spiritual books. I’ve resisted the request and only recently asked myself why. The honest response was another question, which didn’t help clarify the underlying reasons. Don’t you hate it when logical requests are undermined by your own thinking? So I’m writing this post as an explanation of my tardiness and including some of the resources that have been transformative in my journey.
Why do I have to be this spiritual?
I started this blog as a way to share some of the small moments of peace that arise in my life, wanting to expand the definition of what peace was about, beyond the absence of conflict. As I experience peace as balance, calm, serenity, gratitude and contentment, I am constantly reminded of how fleeting these moments are. My journey continues to be a roller coaster ride of dips and hills, highs and lows, moments ‘in the vortex‘ and many more spent out of balance, riding the trains of dis-ease and fear. But even in the lowest of lows while I excavate the ancient caves of my own conciousness, there is always this annoying small voice that reminds me that I’m making this all up. All the meaning is meaningless, as all experience is reduced only to choice. Remember that scene in Matrix, when Smith asks Neo why he keeps fighting?
This scene is the most profound in the entire trilogy. Most people don’t think about why they live life as they do, relying on others to make decisions for them about philosophy, social behavior, political and economic persuasions. I too float along these currents based on the cultural views I was born into or resonated with over time. However, unlike most people I’ve interacted with in my 3 decades on this planet, that annoying whisper reminds me that at the heart of every decision was a choice. Which means every behavior is calculated reaction based on a value system I agreed to. In this way my spiritual journey has become a constant process of self-examination. A huge microscope into my internal decision-making. It’s freakin’ exhausting sometimes. And other times it’s simply awe-inspiring.
So now I realize why I hesitated, because folks should know what they’re getting themselves into if they begin this journey. It can be challenging and lonely, because once you break through the illusion that life is about consumerism and pleasuring the body in order to create a tiny circle of control over your life …. outwards experiences pale in comparison to the grandeur of the intersection of mind and spirit.
When I healed myself of epilepsy, I made a promise to pay attention. To stay attentive to the why. To will myself to continue the exploration. And it also means trusting that others will cross paths with me to mature that understanding with perfectly timed opportunity for practice. So this is what the day holds, another chance to choose.
…maybe this time I’ll choose something a little more aligned with peace.
What will you choose?