Experiential Spirituality = Existential Crisis
For many of us, especially those that are on a quest of one sort or another, these times have to be the most difficult times for the practice of Experiential Spirituality.
Never in history has there been such a wide chasm between the availability of true knowledge and the lack of desire for it. And standing in the midst of a field of people with their wide shut, it can be a despairing experience to say, for the millionth time, that the emperor really has no clothes.
In other words, most of the “real” world of the working peeps, is far far away in their heads. Virtualizing reality must have been a long-cherished goal of social engineers, because now, manipulation is easy. In our heads, in our virtual world of TV and Games and Websites (like theses even), we are all incredibly wise, experienced, strong and capable. We live like our heroes in our heads.
While those with eyes that see, are like Neo and his people in the Matrix. For the working peeps, you may as well not exist.
Look at that word Hero for a minute.
Hero = Valiant, brave soldier, often a martyr
Hero = Made-up persona, impersonating, with skill, another persona, which is further manipulated to give the impression of heightened attributes in said made-up persona, ie. A movie star
To have that word come up without strong context pulls a mind in two absolutely opposite directions, one real blood and gore, the other ketchup and an elastic personality. Hero-worship, such a common trait, yes? Else the cult of celebrity would not exist. I’d say that the word hero (now there are sporting heroes, who fall somewhere between those two extremes) is a polarizer, leaving you un-centered. Think about it.
And then think heroine and heroin. Think addiction. Words that re-verberate, resonate. These are not accidents.
From the writing of an excellent writer, Jim Kirwan:
But addictions are not the exclusive property of drugs, or alcohol or cigarettes. Some degree of ‘addiction’ is present in most of the things that each of us do everyday. Self-deception takes many forms and we have become very skilled at disguising these self-deceptions now for many decades.
The difference between being ‘an addict’ and having just a heightened concentration of interest, can be as fine as the micro-fine-line that exists between love and hate. Our owners know this ‘all too well.’ They’ve been playing us for suckers since long before they commissioned Edward Bernays to create the myth on which his “Century of the Self” was created.
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.” – Edward Bernays
So, for the struggling to stay truly awake, the experiential spiritualist must constantly rub up against the hero/ine addicted masses. I feel like I’m always en guard, in a world that does not feel like it fits and the conviction that we have the collective wisdom to wake up. Death and dying are all very well and seemingly inevitable, especially in this time, when we have taken the act of animal cruelty to and made it a sublime perversion. Of course the scales balance, but in cosmic time.
And this happens to be a tipping point, a pause on one extreme of the pendulum, coming right up. We are in it. An un-fearing look at the world would be too much for most to deal with. Thus, eyes wide shut. I think TV and maybe especially the already upon us HD 3D TV, when I say that.
Thus, escapism abounds. And it has been given great avenues to express itself, virtually. Virtual reality is safer, the reset button always right there. I’ve crashed so many cars in games, sometimes on purpose. 😉
If you find yourself in an existential crisis, where nothing feels right, this could be the reason. I’ve spent the better part of my last week or so in the company of a fascinating father-daughter pair, father a genius and daughter raised by him, bright, sparkling…. And in a constant existential crisis.
The world of thieves, cheats, liars, gallery owners, politics, devious property dealers, half-baked promise makers… leaves them stunned. So against their own grain. “Why would anyone do that???”….. a common refrain.
Likewise my brilliant friend, Somendar Singh, sitting for 15 years with a simple way to improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollution by an order of magnitude. He is indefatigable, with a pile of files on his interactions with all the world’s greatest (Hah!) automotive companies. All rejections, round and round. He was covered by Popular Mechanics too, that mainstream rag.
But his easy solution is too cheap and effective. No profit potential. Sitting in one of his modified cars is like an other-worldly experience. But no dice. So his life is one existential crisis after another.
The example list is long….
So take heart, you are definitely not alone. This is a dark night of the collective soul, and if you are already awake, you are fine. Things will come around again, in cosmic time of course!
Another millennia or two……but time is racing now, ever faster. Not much longer…..