I’ve always viewed mystics as some sort of metaphysical philosophers who blend science and spirituality together into something only vaguely coherent to the rest of us. Couple that with my tendency to regard religious leaders as charlatans taking advantage of the poor and it’s no wonder how I ended up with the mindstate I have today. From a rebellious suburbanite who refused to believe anything the church had to say to an adult thirsting to unravel the mysteries of the universe, only one thing has never changed; I question everything.
Watching the movie “The Matrix” was the first time I can recall questioning the order of reality. The idea that we could actually be simulations running on a supercomputer forever altered my perception. Since then, I’ve learned to view mysticism in a similar fashion as Morpheus offering Neo his options. If he chooses the red pill he’ll go deeper into the mystery or he can eat the blue pill and be lulled back to sleep. Now obviously it wouldn’t have been much of a movie if our hero hadn’t decided to join in on the adventure and we all know how it turned out from there.
There are striking similarities to this idea of being unplugged from the Matrix and awakening to the Spirit within. While the movie was meant to be thought provoking one still can’t help but marvel at the sheer brilliance of blending philosophy of old with modern technology.
Many of our world religions follow along a similar path of the founders awakening to deeper understandings. From the Prophet Mohammed on the night of power and excellence to the Buddha under the bodhi tree we have mystics unplugging from the world of senses and awakening to the spiritual truth within. In fact, Christianity is the only Faith that doesn’t follow this pattern of man awakening due to Christ being divinity born in the flesh to live among us and die as an example of God’s love.
It’s in our nature as human beings to search for purpose and meaning in our lives. It’s the deeper questions that drive many of our accomplishments. We’ve sent shuttles to distant planets and peered across the universe in our quest to find our place in it all. It’s due to this drive that I have no doubt that we will someday traverse the stars and reach new heights of comprehension.
What if I told you we merely have to look within ourselves to find a world of mystery and intrigue? The human mind is, in many ways, just as vast and uncharted as the universe itself. People have dedicated their lives to studying it without even scratching the surface. A great deal of this investigation is just as question driven as any of the sciences. Why do we act the way we do? Why are we so hungry to explore and understand the world? Why is our desire so creative and yet so destructive all in the same breath?
It’s safe to draw at least one conclusion from all this. The exterior world of the senses and the mind perceiving them are obviously interconnected. Their relationship is beautifully intimate. Countless mystics have attempted to explain this connection but their messages get lost in translation. Why?
I’ve come to believe that the greater spiritual truths can only be learned through direct experience. Just think of the child who has to touch the stove top even after he was told it was hot. If that child is me he has to try with his left hand too, just to be certain. It’s almost as if the intellect is a stumbling block on the pathway to inner peace, language being another.
Anyone who has ever studied a language outside the one they think in will eventually come to the realization that languages are almost philosophies in and of themselves. That’s why some truly prolific phrases just don’t translate from one language into another without losing a layer of meaning.
Spirituality is almost like a game of telephone being played between us and God. Often times, mystical experience just doesn’t translate into language at all. It’s as if our minds are locked into old patterns of thinking that hinder our ability to comprehend the Divine. As a result, we’ve accumulated countless abstract quotes that convey the beautiful ideals in the most paradoxical ways possible. We can wrestle with their seemingly vague meanings until we’re blue in the face but until the understanding is internalized they’re just really cool sayings we share with each otherr.
How many of us have ever wandered into a restaurant just to look at the menu? I mean really take in that image of salmon until we’re salivating like Pavlovs dog. Then, having decided we’re satisfied, left our payment on the table and leaving without ever even taking a bite. As outlandish as this concept may seem this is exactly what happens when we read about spiritual principles and refuse to act. Every sage throughout the ages has urged us to love one another, or to look within ourselves. All of these suggestions are designed to make on INTERNALIZE lessons. If you notice, they all require action.
Why do you think we call them spiritual paths? Paths represent journeys. Each journey begins with a single step. To take the first step is to take action. Action starts with intent. Intent requires choice. Red or blue?