Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Positive News   

Awakening to the Energy We Call God - Part 1

Author 71296
Message Blair Gelbond

Big Bang
Big Bang
(Image by kevin dooley)
  Details   DMCA

"We cannot solve our problems with the same mindset that created them."

Albert Einstein

Introduction

I have been on a spiritual path since I was 18. As an adolescent I came to the conclusion that the most vital question regarding how I would live my life was whether or not "God" was a reality or an illusion.

If it is not already crystal clear, I want to begin by saying that I am far from being an enlightened soul who has transcended the separate ego. I would describe myself as a seeker (and to some degree a finder).

A note: it would be foolish to expect the current piece to do anything but scratch a tiny bit of the surface of such a huge topic. Beyond this, there are countless, varied experiences of Divinity and a multitude of ways these have been expressed. As human beings, it seems reasonable for us to use the term mystery to refer to something that is infinitely deep.

In a sense every religion is the product of the conceptual mind attempting to describe the mystery. While scriptures have attempted to guide us in aligning with God, they commonly become rigidified, and too often reflect the millennium-long dominator era during which they were founded.

I have had the experience of - but do not yet permanently reside in - a sense of the profound oneness of all things and beings; an intensely alive and expanded consciousness; an awareness of the spark of the Infinite at the center of every person; many astoundingly Grace-full synchronicities; and the presence of other dimensions of being.

In the course of my search, I have come to the following conclusions:

1) Each wisdom tradition (almost all of them thousands of years old) is, at its best, like one facet of the jewel of spiritual awakening;

2) Every path has both an esoteric and exoteric component. The folk religion practiced by the majority of human beings constitutes the exoteric way, while the esoteric dimension is the path practiced by mystics, those on the way to becoming authentic saints, and deep meditators;

3) Because human beings have come to a critical point in our evolution, we are living in a time when the previously esoteric (or secret) teachings are being shared with the world.

My journey began with the use of entheons (psychedelics), which in turn led me to practice meditation and study with spiritual teachers. My wish was to find teachers who came from wisdom traditions with a time-tested and ancient lineage. Due to my experience with entheons, I was drawn to "non-dual" paths of spiritual awakening.

I am sharing the following not to be ostentatious, but rather to be completely open about my background, and about the paths and teachings that have informed my perceptions and experiences.

Early on, my meditation teachers included Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Christopher Titmus and Larry Rosenberg - all teachers of Insight (mindfulness) meditation. I continue to value their teachings highly. I briefly practiced meditation with a Korean Zen master, Sung San, as well as with Thich Nhat Hanh, an activist Vietnamese Zen master who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.

I spent 8 years studying and practicing Kashmir Shaivism with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, had a few contacts with her guru, Swami Muktananda, before he passed away, and made a deep spiritual/vibrational contact with his guru, Bhagawan Nityananda, which is alive to this day. I also took initiation with the Tibetan master Kalu Rimpoche, and studied directly with Isabell Hickey and Tom Yeomans. In younger years I practiced Tai Chi and other martial arts, while contemplating the Taoist way of liberation via the scripture known as the Tao Te Ching. I have deeply studied the writings of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

I have spent the last 20-some years learning from Mata Amritanandamayi (Ammachi) and have been blessed by Mother Meera on a number of occasions. I have studied the teachings of Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Carlos Castaneda and the Dalai Lama.

I have some familiarity with the teachings of the Jewish Kabala and the contemporary Rabbi, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi; I've enjoyed and been deeply inspired by the Sufi poetry of Rumi and (Muslim/Hindu) Kabir, as well as being influenced by Christian mystics such as Meister Eckhart and St. John of the Cross.

In terms of recent teachings, my strongest influences have been Ram Dass, his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, and Ammachi - all of whom teach a path of service, devotion and meditation. The words and actions of the Christ and the Buddha have provided food for transformative contemplation and guidance for decades. Philosophically, I am most aligned with Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.

In this piece I hope to share what I have harvested so far on my journey. I do not pretend to have definitive answers. Rather, this is the report of a "scout" who has traveled into foreign terrain and is sharing his own tentative observations and conclusions. There is no need for you to sign on or agree with anything. If you have a tradition that works for you, stay with it. If none, that's fine, too. Obviously for me, this has been a passionate search for truth and the nature of the universe in which we live.

The title of this piece refers to "the energy of God." This can tell you a few things:

1) I don't regard God as a person, although I honor people who do; and

2) I see God as a process - a dynamic Consciousness - rather than an entity. It is important to acknowledge that, for many, the word "God" tends to evoke the image of a remote, masculine, authority figure who is separate from this world. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the word, "God," because it has been so distorted over the years. (On a lighter note, it is also the word "dog" spelled backwards!)

And, let's face it: "God" has been one of the most embattled ideas in the modern world. The lives of many people revolve around God; without God, they believe, life would be unbearable. Others regard the idea of God and religion as one of the worst, most destructive, ideas ever invented - and an historical source of enormous bloodshed. One group finds the evidence for God overwhelming; others find the same for atheism.

Increasingly in the West, many are tired of the hypocrisy, staleness and emptiness of the various contemporary forms of religion. This was true for me regarding Judaism, and only recently have I come to appreciate its finer points.

It is also helpful to remember that many of us in the West have been raised on an outmoded, but deeply entrenched (and often unconscious) version of a scientific materialist ideology - within which the concept or reality of God is basically irrelevant.

It would also be laughable to think we can capture the Eternal and wrap it up in a bow. My understanding is that there are beings throughout history who have apparently merged with the Infinite; however, I am also aware that it is not possible to experience "God energy" as an intellectual phenomenon. This is due to the fact that it can be (imperfectly) described as the "Eternal Subject" or "Ground of All Being." The existence of God cannot be proved objectively, because - as "the field which contains all fields" it contains everything, including us. We cannot step outside it, in the same way that a fish cannot prove that water is wet.

Regarding the Infinite - at times I have favored the image of a super-dynamic, omnipresent, ever-evolving Source, following Gebser's designation as "The Ever-Present Origin."

I also want to make clear from the start that I view religion and spirituality differently. As I see it, religion can and often does involve authentic spirituality, but just as often entails rigid adherence to doctrine, dogma, and legalisms from books written thousands of years ago.

Religion usually involves hierarchical institutions with centralized control and power. Too often religions thrive on domination - and lacking authentic love - ironically help to create lost souls who feel separate from others and from Divinity.

Too often, religion serves to acculturate us, such that profound, seemingly miraculous experiences, insights, and states of consciousness are often dismissed or kept hidden. These states and stages of growth are available to all humans; yet, many of us have been unconsciously trained to regard them as aberrant, abnormal, inaccessible - or even forbidden. Historically, many religions have done so, because these experiences would upset their power structure.

To my mind, spirituality - although it can be shared with others - is essentially a personal, individual, and intense, solitary pursuit involving the growth and deepening of consciousness, insight, and love.

Many of the most "spiritually evolved" people have never set foot in a house of worship, and many religious people use their faith to cover up dark, less-than-stellar (and at times, evil) qualities, which they act out in the world and do not admit to themselves. For the least mature, both spiritual and religious groups often function more like a pre-pubescent club or clique.

In the process, both spiritual and religious individuals and groups frequently fall into the trap of narcissism: the familiar claim that their path is the only - or best - way, often twisting the words of their founders to make this claim.

What is most important to emphasize is that, authentic spirituality - as opposed to religion per se - is not about belief, but rather focuses on experience and real-ization - a radical transformation of one's own being. While we know that physical bodies evolve (as per evolution), it turns out that consciousness can evolve as well.

Deepening and Expansion of Consciousness

According to teachers from around the world, the authentic expansion of consciousness - because it involves developmental stages - leads to outcomes that are both unique and predictable. The universe is increasingly experienced as a unified whole. As we transcend (without excluding) our ego, our sense of separateness begins to fade into the background. While lightly retaining our conventional identity, we tend to have the experience that there is only one of us: one consciousness manifesting into different forms.

We gradually grow into an experience of non-egocentric love for all beings, which in the Greek language is called "Agape." A desire arises within us to relieve suffering in whatever form it manifests.

The entire universe - All That Is - as experienced is nothing but the energy of God. This means transcending dualistic perceptions; (As the 3rd Chinese Patriarch comments: "When doubts arise, simply say, 'not-two'").

This cuts through the historically embedded thought-form of the monotheistic religions, which hold notions of "I," on the one hand, and "God the Father" (or "The Almighty"), on the other.

As we mature into a higher level of awareness and love, we find ourselves relinquishing notions that have given us (and our ancestors) a certain solace. Losing the image of a loving parent can create a certain sense of loss, which may need to be worked through. It is also true that, at this level of realization, we need to inhabit more than one plane of awareness simultaneously: both 1) the practical and individual, and 2) one that is transcendent and universal. As Ram Dass once said, "It doesn't matter how high you get, you still need to remember your zip code."

The Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) has articulated a simple and straightforward path for achieving this kind of growth, which involves the cultivation of specific qualities of mind. I hope to speak more about these qualities in a future article.

For now, I would mention that the Buddha called these "The Factors of Enlightenment." An essential quality is "mindfulness" (present-moment awareness). Equally important are those qualities that are called "arousing" - including energy, investigation and interest, and those called "stabilizing." Among these are calm, concentration and equanimity. The key to cultivating these states of mind is practice.

At the Evolutionary Crossroads

Coming back to Earth, research published on 1/18/21 authored by 17 leading scientists, reviewed more than 150 studies to produce a stark summary of the state of the natural world and identified likely future trends in biodiversity decline, mass extinction, climate disruption and planetary toxification. It clarified the gravity of the human predicament and provided a snapshot of the crises that must be addressed now.

The problems, all tied to human consumption and population growth, are expected to worsen over coming decades. Schismogenesis, a term that is used in cybernetic systems theory (given our faulty basic assumptions), can be expected. This process will likely entail ever-increasing vicious circles, leading to collapse. It is probable that this damage will be felt for centuries and threatens the survival of all species, including our own. Humanity needs to understand the enormity of the challenges we face and the losses that can be expected in the future.

What to do?

We are already facing a time when humanity will be faced with a stark choice: to join and work together for the benefit of our own species and the Biosphere - or push apart - remaining divided, antagonistic and in conflict. Should we choose the later scenario the Earth may become a wasteland.

In short, we are in over our heads, and, although at this point, it is predictable that much denial will prevail - if we want to preserve our world, we have our work cut out for us. In reality, we need to work on many problems rapidly and simultaneously.

The fundamental issue is our failure to see through the illusion that, below our surface differences - and below all the politics and worldly power struggles - we are not separate, but rather are expressions of one consciousness. The bottom line is that we need to be willing to make the effort to allow our consciousness to be transformed. This will entail both loss and gain.

To begin, we need to cultivate our own awakening and active love on both practical and transcendent levels. We each have unique gifts, which can be shared with the world and help address our predicament. We need to wake up together.

 

Must Read 2   Inspiring 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Blair Gelbond Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I work as a psychotherapist with an emphasis on transformational learning - a blend of psychoanalytic and transpersonal approaches, and am the author of Self Actualization and Unselfish Love and co-author of Families Helping Families: (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Some Thoughts on our Collective Predicament -- The Recovery of Humanity

Jean Gebser and the Recovery of Humanity

Mechanisms of Escape from Freedom

In a Relationship with an Abusive President: Will the Country be a Trauma Victim or Trauma Survivor?

Turning Within and Envisioning a New World

Umberto Eco's 14 Common Features of Fascism

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   


You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 

Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

5 people are discussing this page, with 16 comments  Post Comment


Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

"Self-awareness gives us a vantage point or a perspective on reality that goes beyond the senses and the mind. It opens the possibility that other planes of consciousness are just as real as this physical plane that we have become habituated to. How do we know that? Perhaps we had an ineffable experience through a piece of music, literature, or took a psychedelic, or were out in nature, or were inspired by somebody more liberated and not so caught in the material world."

Submitted on Monday, Feb 22, 2021 at 4:03:27 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
Indent

Irene Fowler

Become a Fan
Author 514273
Follow Me on Twitter (Member since Sep 24, 2019), 6 fans, 21 articles, 281 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linked In Page Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

Boiled down to its bare and most potent essence, the spirit of God is love, peace and justice.

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 9:39:54 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
IndentIndent

Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

Irene,

I would agree wholeheartedly.

And, Divinity being infinite - I would add that there are many subtleties, planes of awareness, and degrees of realization. As I see it, in the final analysis you are both correct and not necessarily doing justice to the Transcendent. Again, speaking about the long haul re- the evolution of consciousness, the eventual goal is to be present on multiple levels of being without being attached to any one. However, we need to master love, peace and justice right here on Earth as a beginning. I wonder how, when, and if humanity will evolve to this level.

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 10:39:22 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
IndentIndentIndent

Irene Fowler

Become a Fan
Author 514273
Follow Me on Twitter (Member since Sep 24, 2019), 6 fans, 21 articles, 281 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linked In Page Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

Call me a sceptic, but I doubt that humanity will ever be blanketed by or saturated with love, peace and justice; which is the necessary atmosphere we need to thrive holistically as a species. I suppose the fact that we are all at some point or another, deprived of this fertile soil, which is conducive to our flourishing, blossoming and being fruitful, keeps us searching for the Divine. We know instinctively that these attributes are reposed in God.

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 11:26:48 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
IndentIndentIndentIndent

Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

Irene,

A few things to say, which I'll do one at a time

1) A number of ancient and modern traditions suggest we are coming to an end of 3 major cosmic cycles - 2K years, 25K years, and 125K years. It is proposed that the negativity accumulated during the past cycles are being gathered up to be released in the present period.

We are in the middle of a most difficult period and it is certainly a challenge to have hope.

While I do not necessarily foresee the emerge of "heaven on Earth," I do think it is possible for humanity to evolve much further than we have so far. May more and more of us become involved in this work!

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 2:25:34 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
IndentIndentIndentIndent

Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

Hi Irene,

Your post made me think about Duane Elgin's work. He tracks the evolution of humanity through the phases of our growth - from hunter-gatherers, agrarian, industrial, and our current early communications era (via the Internet, etc.). Subsequent to Jean Gebser's research, Elgin argues that each of these phases involves an expansion of our worldview.

Elgin writes: "With each successive dimensional epoch there has been a dramatic collapse in the span of time required to move through a given stage. Where roughly thirty thousand years were required to move through the epoch of awakening hunter-gatherers, roughly five thousand years were needed to move through the era of agrarian-based civilizations. With the scientific-industrial era now giving way to the communications era, it is possible to estimate that the time span required for civilizations to move through an industrial stage of development is no more than three hundred years. Evolution appears to be quickening at a remarkable pace...

"The extraordinary compression in the amount of time needed to move through successive stages of dimensional development indicates that humanity has reached a critical mass in perceptual evolution and could move very rapidly through the stages of growth essential for realizing our initial maturity as a planetary civilization. Because the pace of change is accelerating enormously, we should not assume that thousands or even millions of years will be required for us to achieve our initial maturity as a species.

"We have entered a time of explosive development, and historical experience does not provide an accurate guide for the span of time required to move through the dimensional transformations that lie just ahead. In my judgment humanity has the potential to reach its initial maturity the eighth stage within another dozen generations or roughly five hundred years."

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 11:22:59 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
IndentIndentIndentIndent

Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

This is not to say that there are many possible pitfalls ahead that could act as detours re- our healthy development and path to maturity. And these diversions could preoccupy us for thousands of years.

That said, if we look toward the future, we can notice two trends that may speed our awareness, social intelligence and compassion. We are experiencing an exponential growth in electronic communication that has the potential - over time - to knit us together as a world.

The second factor can be compared to the ice ages of the past. It is believed that coping with the great trials of an ice age, pushed humanity to evolve in a variety of ways.

In the same way, today and in the near future we can expect a series of global crises, where the push of necessity can combine with the pull of opportunity, both of which have the possibility of propelling humanity forward to a new level of consciousness, communication and community.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 at 1:41:43 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
IndentIndent

Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

Irene,

From my perspective we need all the help we can get in transcending the tricks and self-deception built into the ego.

"We have the capacity to be a wave, but we also have the capacity to be still water. So, we look for peace, we look for stability, we look for well- being within ourselves, and these things are not something that we can acquire from outside. But maybe there are those of us who are only used to being waves, and we have forgotten how to become still water again. We know that we have the capacity of becoming still water again, but we have forgotten how to do it.

"That is why we need the practice. We need a teacher who will tell us how to restore our stability, our stillness. We need a [spiritual friend and community] in order to learn how to be stable and still again.

"Peace is first of all something that you are, not exactly something you do. That is why we like to use the expression "being peace," the way to be peace. Peace is there, only if we allow it to be, then it will be. Because we have not allowed peace to be, that is why peace is impossible. We cannot say that peace is not there, peace is there somehow, but we have to allow it to manifest. It's like in a wave, there is water, and the capacity of the water to be still is there inside the wave.

"That is why learning how to be peace, to allow peace to be, is very important. There is a kind of energy that is pushing us day and night, preventing our becoming peace.".

Thich Nhat Hanh

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 4:05:26 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?

John Hawkins

Become a Fan
Author 517692
Follow Me on Twitter (Member since Aug 11, 2020), 2 fans, 185 articles, 1 quicklinks, 266 comments, 2 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)

"All, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves this Maginot Line against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy that never attacked that way--if he ever attacked at all. If indeed he was the enemy."
       -- John Knowles

Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter Page Linked In Page Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

I like your vibe, man. Me, I'm a phenomenologist, an interpenetration of all things kind of guy. Big on consciousness, maybe as a space travelling virus that lights things up, like an angel, and a pan-psychist to boot. We can learn to dig each other, one molecule at a time. I almost went to Brandeis because that's where Abbie'd gone, and where Abe Maslow taught others about peak experiences. Then I read Timothy Leary said Maslow was a Gloomy Gus who never experienced a peak moment himself. More 'do as I say not as I do", I guess, although his would qualify as positive hypocrisy. Abbie dated Maslow's daughter; they reportedly had many peak experiences together, while changing the world one acid trip at a time. Look what they have bequeathed us. It's all Nam now.

No, but I like your project Blair. It's full of positive, productive, and insightful inciting. One wonders, however, if it scales. It's always the problem. Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, come back from the wilderness (or psychosis, some say) and lavish us with perfectly reasonable solutions to tide us over until Dad gets over his hissy fit and let's us back in the Garden again, but here we are again, corrupt and leaning evil, but now postmodern -- nobody has time for some wilderness wisdom from an Unshaven -- and this time we seem doomed to blowing up the whole shnickleboogle. If I may coin a realm.

If I could I'd walk away in one direction and cry thunderous tears for a million years to cleanse my self of Self and its pelf the Soul. Woe is we.

As Bobby D put it, "Oh I awoke in anger, so alone and terrified / I put my fingers against the glass and bowed my head and prayed."

Never did get to Brandeis, knocking back a full scholarship there, turning my back on an enriched humanity to fire up my core, and opportunities for peak experiences with Maslow's great grandcoeds, to instead wage a quixotic war of trials and ordeals with chimerical dragons of phenomenology at RPI, in gloomy upperstate NY, listening to Lennon sing "God" between headphones under clouds too bored to snow.

Thanks for the reminder that humans still exist in this universe.

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 12:38:55 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
Indent

Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to John Hawkins:   New Content

Hi John,

You are truly a wordsmith (with integrity and vision)! Duane Elgin's books - Awakening Earth and Choosing Earth offer a vision of this period as very difficult - like moving through a birth canal (that is, if we don't take the Armageddon Bypass). Detailed, with much science, and worth checking out. Likewise, Gary Zukav, in Seat of the Soul, suggests we are coming to an end of 3 major cosmic cycles - 2K years, 25K years, and 125K years. He argues that the negativity accumulated during the past/present cycles are being gathered up to be released in the present period. A challenging, stimulating book.

Meanwhile, thank you for your positive feedback. As my article expresses, I have learned from many teachers.

I believe - in the coming years (and now) we will need to learn to grieve - and "cry thunderous tears for a million years" (or less).

Vipassana meditation is like applied phenomenology.

The presence of extraterrestrials, who are already here, is a wildcard on our journey.

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 7:19:27 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
IndentIndent

Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

In Mysticism, Evelyn Underhill gives another perspective on the Withdrawaland Return stages of the Hero's Journey through which all heroines and heroes, all spiritual initiates and sages, must trek.

We've just forgotten what many of our ancestors and the wayshowers among them knew. Reclaiming that lost knowledge and wisdom is a purpose of the Hero's Journey.

Once the journeyer has persevered and moved through the previous stages of the great initiatory journey, she or he,

"becomes a source, a 'parent' of fresh spiritual life ' This forms that rare and final stage in the evolution of great mystics, in which they return to the world which they forsook; and live, as it were, as centers of transcendental energy "

"But, having established that communion, re-ordered their inner lives upon transcendent levels " they were impelled to abandon their solitude; and resumed, in some way, their contact with the world in order to become the medium whereby that Life flowed out to other men."

"To go up alone into the mountain and come back as an ambassador to the world has ever been the method of humanity's best friends." ~

Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism

Chinatamani - Treasure of the World, 1936, by Nicholas Roerich (See Roerich Museum, NYC)

Come back as an ambassador for what, exactly?

Transformed by the journey, embodying a new gravitas, and ready (or at least willing) to share the hard-earned wisdom gained through the journey the missing something that the Journeyer was called into the wilderness to seek and find the hero or heroine becomes a source or 'parent' of 'fresh spiritual life' and an 'ambassador' of what's been lost and is now needed " - a part of the world's lost heart.

That's why, as Joseph Campbell said, after we've "separated from the herd" and wandered the wilderness, the Return is considered to be perhaps the most difficult part of the journey, even more so than taking the uninterpreted path, the trials and dark night of the soul, which are not for the faint-hearted.

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 7:49:56 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
Indent

b. sadie bailey

Become a Fan
Author 56818
(Member since Dec 5, 2010), 15 fans, 5 articles, 25 quicklinks, 1306 comments, 5 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to John Hawkins:   New Content

Thank you - this made me laugh out loud in a good way. Where can I read more?

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 8:22:35 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?

b. sadie bailey

Become a Fan
Author 56818
(Member since Dec 5, 2010), 15 fans, 5 articles, 25 quicklinks, 1306 comments, 5 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Thank you, Blair Gelbond. This comforts my soul. Thank you for writing it. There are humans all over this world who have made vows that until all Beings are free, they will stay. I'm for anyone who gets it that we can't explain away or understand all the facets of the Mystery of many names.

I lean toward animism, and somewhat toward Buddhism. The innate intelligence and basic beneficence of molecules in whatever form, comes closer for me - that consciousness is in everything, even things that appear to us slow humans as inanimate objects or 'dead.'

The one thing I take issue with in Buddhism is the idea that we humans are the most evolved of any other species. It may appear that way from our limited standpoint and our limited science, but that doesn't make it gospel. Anyone who's lived among animals understands this. One of my favorite books ever is Kinship With All Life.

All for One and One for All - the 3 musketeers had the right idea. Imagine no class or caste systems...

That said, it is so much easier to have compassion for other species who must live with the fallout of what we opposable-thumbed homo sapiens have wrought on this beautiful planet. The collective grief of that can make whole new oceans. We're only beginning to see the dire times ahead. So thank you for this writing because it points toward how we can withstand what we're going to have to feel, and own.

You had many great teachers! I love Ram Dass and how he brought humor into it all; we're all bozos on the bus, and in that realization lies the seeds of our compassion for self and others. I think most kids come in knowing this stuff we strive to return to the rest of our lives.

I always appreciate your writings and your thoughts. In these times of ignorance and collective pain, I find your words especially helpful.

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 8:18:13 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
Indent

Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to b. sadie bailey:   New Content

Thank you so very much for your words and acknowledgement, b. sadie. It's wonderful to hear a kindred spirit.

My understanding is that Buddhism does not regard us as the highest species by any means. What I understand is that, as humans, we have a unique potential for liberation, which animals do not possess. Ie., only ignorant Buddhists regard animals as lower. It is said that "all beings have 'buddha nature.' Yet, evolution has blessed us with the capacity to "be aware that we are aware." And mindfulness is a cornerstone of the Buddha's teaching.

So we are called homo sapiens sapiens: the human who is aware that they are aware. Animals are aware, but relatively few have to the ability to have a sense of self (see mirror studies). Animals are certainly more at one with Nature. Animals appear to be run by fixed instincts. Yet, we humans have the capacity to intentionally transcend ourselves and consciously merge with the Infinite. Liberation is neither possible nor necessary for animals, other than occasionally through the grace of a master (see Ammachi).

Buddhism posits 6 realms of existence. The human realm is said to be fortunate, because we have just the right mix of awareness, pleasure, and pain to work on ourselves and in time merge with the Infinite.

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 8:55:47 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?

Erik O'Dowd

Become a Fan
Author 51446
(Member since Jul 24, 2010), 5 fans, 7 articles, 37 comments, 1 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

This essay conveys the hunbleness, the soundness of a person truly seeking a ''truth" even while acknowledging there may be, likely is not, some such thing. I await with pleasure his earnest musings as he continues his quest.


Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 12:08:30 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?
Indent

Blair Gelbond

Become a Fan
Author 71296
(Member since Sep 8, 2011), 7 fans, 42 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1283 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Erik O'Dowd:   New Content

Thank you, Eric,

I certainly have been on this journey for some time.

I pray that it may bear fruit!

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 12:13:49 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment