Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Good Stuff

Another unposted essay, without a real ending, evidently written a couple of years ago.

 After a lifetime of living with myself, I’ve learned to identify the Good Stuff when it comes. Hot from the Muse. Or as my Inner Scientist would say, "a clear expression of the automatic synthesis function in my brain." Whatever. "When you’re hot, you’re hot; when you’re not, you’re not." Who was it that said that?
There is so much I have inside -- bursting, or usually, not bursting to get out. I have this thing about wanting to produce finished essays, which requires a lot of work. A lot of editing. The final product is worth it (but is it really, considering how small the audience is?), but sometimes I wish I would just spew a little off the top of my head every day. That’s what Laura wants, after all. "Just write," she says.

I want to write an essay entitled: "Stranger In A Strange Land: Confessions of a Mysterian." Because that’s what I am. After 62 years on this planet, I am finally able to articulate that truth. I’m not a Mystic; I’m a Mysterian. And I’ll bet plenty of other people are, too. Or at least a few people.

In my Grassroots Press column last spring, I talked a bit about mysticism, and promised to "muck about in that realm." I did, in my way, and I learned a thing or two. For one, I learned that I’m not a mystic. Mystics believe, absolutely and literally, that space/time reality is an illusion. As a scientist, that’s a mighty big pill for me to swallow. As a mysterian, I’m not inclined to dispute what the mystics are saying. I would just tug on their robes and say, "Some mystics say the best teaching is done in the silence. If so, why don’t you just shut the fuck up and teach from the silence, then? Let the few who can be taught that way be taught. Sure, I realize that by speaking about Illusion you are Hammering the Darkness in a creative way (or so it must seem to you), but sometimes I wish you mystics would stop writing so many books, stop giving so many lectures, and just blast us with your pure, exalted PRESENCE, dig? We’re already drowning in words as it is."

Or words to that effect.

Last spring, while in the throes of the whole Eckhart Tolle/Oprah thing (which released a lot of energy into the world), I was sitting in my chair doing a noonish meditation with Laura, and thinking (as I am wont to do when meditating)... but this time, rather than idle monkeymind chatter, I was pondering on the whole deal about Consciousness, which is to say, Myself, which is to say, me sitting there meditating, I was pondering about Consciousness not being constrained by space/time reality. Consciousness is not "outside" space/time reality, it’s not located "somewhere else," it’s just that the concept of "location" doesn’t apply to consciousness. This line of thinking triggered a subtle little shift within me that I immediately noticed. That "extra buzz" as I call it in my casual way. No big deal, really, but definitely there.

I went to bed as usual that evening, and about 2 AM I woke up as I often do... to pee or whatever. But when I woke up, whoa baby, I woke up into it, if you know what I mean. It was like the consciousness aspect of my total awareness package had been ramped up by a factor of ten and the monkeymind chatter, while still there occasionally, had been toned down by a factor of ten. Now there’s a balance I can live with! Peace that passeth understanding and all that. I spent a couple of hours (or so it seemed) basically just enjoying and appreciating the experience (which seemed very familiar somehow). I went outside and looked at the stars. Or more accurately, just was with the stars. No merging with the Godhead (I’m not a mystic, afterall), just infinite peace. I lay back down and wondered if I could learn anything from this enhanced bubble of consciousness I was presently inhabiting. Question One: Is there anything inherent within this experience to imply that Consciousness, which is to say, "I," am not limited to space/time reality? Question Two: Is there anything inherent within this experience to imply that consciousness is immortal, and that, therefore, "I" am immortal? The conclusion, or so it seemed to me at the time, was that maybe if I was able to spend more time within this state, I would be better able to answer these questions (if they indeed have answers), and that the state I was presently in is where spiritual growth BEGINS. Hokay then. So I’m not really very spiritual. I already knew that.

A couple of months later I remembered that I used to occasionally have this exact same experience when I was in high school. No wonder it all seemed so familiar! I would be lying in bed waiting to fall asleep and it would just happen. Existence would become transcendentally pure and crystalline. (Even more than usual!) Nothing would change except for the quality of my experience. I remember once a mockingbird sitting on the TV antenna outside the house singing at midnight and I just went outside to get closer to the bird music. I also remember sometimes feeling slightly frustrated by a sense that there should, somehow, be MORE. More what, I had no idea. Maybe sending my mind through the ether or something.

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