Life and Living are two different concepts. I thought about this while on my treadmill this morning.
Life or Life Itself is an abstract concept. We can imagine a pure energy which seems to create living things and even animate us with consciousness. Many of us humans never think about this except to think that Life is God. Maybe it is; but not in the Biblical sense or religious sense.
But living is the daily process of getting out of bed, looking after our survival needs and, hopefully, finding some joy along the way. Many of us humans hate living.
My point is that I can return my thinking to life itself, assume a quiet mental stance, and then living doesn\’t seem so bad.
In my opinion, the only reason we have religion, philosophy, psychology, history, etc. is to find a way out of the horrible process of living, or at least explain its difficulties.
If it is an illusion created by me, then I can change it.
Returning to life itself means letting go of my thoughts about living, or at least lowering their priority and believability.
It is the last day of January. I\’ve had a fantastic fitness month. I completed 90 min this morning, with more to come later. But here is my graph so far:
So fantastic. It is not really for health. It is something beyond that. But I am not sure what.
Lesson 220-224 in A Course in Miracles:
Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still.
God is with me. I live and move in Him.
God is my life. I have no life but His.
God is my Father, and He loves His Son.
One of the things that has bugged since leaving the monastery is whether I can be a mystic if I have a job and live in the world. See, I went to a monastery because I believed that you had to in order to achieve the necessary environment and teaching which would make a mystic.
The people who write books about enlightenment and mysticism are usually people who are able to achieve a life outside the work-a-day world.
Sort of like, if you were called to be a mystic then you\’d have succeeded at monastic living and have a teacher. If you have a job, you weren\’t called and God won\’t come to you. This worry about God is a false teaching and can\’t be true.
Living in a world of people who have not placed any priority on spirituality does lead one to think that only monks could be successful.
I am not able to talk face to face with anyone about mysticism. This means that instead, I am talking about work or running. So people think that these are whats important to me. But not so. Being a private mystic makes it less \”real\” because there is no ego validation.
Monastic or not, I feel my first priority in life is spiritual growth, connection with that mentality beyond my worldly consciousness (mysticism). And I am so dedicated regardless of whether my job hinders the relationship or not.
My life is my dream. I can change the God rules in my dream. In my dream, God just is with is. No need to a drastic mental or physical circumstance. Only thinking I can\’t hurts me.It is highly likely that all I\’ve learned about God from society and religion isn\’t helpful. I have a second hand God.
The real God would just be……
Truly, the relationship is there whenever I remember it is there; any brief moment of remembrance and boom, there it is.
I have to put some active conscious priority on my desire for God.
Yesterday, I was talking to a lady who runs 60 to 70 marathons a year. There was a man in the race who has run 250 and another lady who has run 350.
I\’ve been a runner for 40 years. It has never crossed my mind to focus on that many marathons; or even keep track of how many I have run beyond the past year or two.
I was realizing the human propensity for raising the bar on ourselves. Nothing is ever enough for us. Bucking this trend is part of my spiritual program. My life is not based on achieving higher numbers. So after my marathon, I return to metaphysics. What was I creating in that day with those people. The man who ran 250 marathons is also a preacher. He managed to give our little group of runners a 2 minute sermon about Samuel which was interesting and not mention Jesus Christ at all.
Today I run/walked 18 miles. This run was on top of yesterday\’s 26 mile race. I could feel the tiredness after about the first hour. I didn\’t plan to go more than 13 miles, but I wasn\’t able to stop myself. Give me some water and a couple of Clif Shots and not much pain and there is no telling how long I\’ll go.
After 17 miles, I realized: there is no chain, no end.
This evening I went to an AA meeting. It was a birthday meeting so 2 people told their stories. Other people have such dramatic stories. I don\’t really like listening to them. But just sitting in the meeting gave me the humility to be grateful for sobriety.
I am no longer jealous of people who had gurus, who had magnificent spiritual teachers, who channelled wisdom, or had supernatural help. I\’ve come to believe in my inner Teacher. My moment of clarity came yesterday. I was thinking about a Course in Miracles. If I project this dream of a world, then I also projected the course into my life. In a sense, I created it and my Teacher speaks through it.
The dream of my life does keep getting better. I don\’t really know why I had to move to Texas. But I feel this place embracing me. Even as I meet the same people at races, I know I\’m becoming Texan. I don\’t think I ever was a mid-westerner, or felt like Missouri wanted me. I know that I am a 60s style Californian. But I see that it goes ok with Texans.
Yup! Did it. 26.3 miles in 5h53min (includes pit stops). I enjoyed myself and met some new people. I was not interested in doing faster than ultra pace. I just wanted another 26 mile run and to see how well the race director did. All was good.
I think since I ran a private 26 miles 2 weeks ago, today\’s 26 miles seemed easy and over quickly.
Part of it says: \”Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.\”
I have signed up for a marathon this Saturday. I was investigating the outfit who puts on \”I Ran Marathons.\” It turns out the originator is a lady I met at Ultracentric who walked for at least 48 hours with one arm in a sling. Very inspiring. She did always smile at me. I\’ll be rubbing shoulders with some hardcore marathon addicts this weekend.
In a sense, dreaming of endless marathons is dreaming BIG.
My spiritual quest goes on. Sometimes I take a break from A Course in Miracles and read the notebooks of Paul Brunton. I\’m reading number 8 now. I think I have about 20 or more. He claims to be an independent mystic, with a background in the east and in Quakers. He seemed logical enough, but ….. this morning I read where his major spiritual experience took place in delirium from a tropical disease.
Back to square one.
Most of the enlightenment experiences I read of are related to drama, physical or emotional. Like, God doesn\’t come til we are desperate enough. I somewhat reject the idea that God only comes to the desperate. If God is love, then there must be another way.
We rarely read of the spiritual experience which comes from a long term intentional sanctification. Mine is the long term variety. My quest is a daily effort of letting go of ego and listening to the Voice for God. The dopamine or the hormones are not doing the job.
This path requires attempting to believe there is a higher consciousness and entrusting more each day to that consciousness. At the end of the day, I\’ve had a happy day. That is all I have.
Here is where I hope to spend my July Vacation:
How could this blog have been going that long?
It is Sunday. I slept poorly and so slept in. I woke up thinking about alcohol. In particular how I can\’t believe people drink the poison at all. But they cherish it and never grow out of their immature lust for inebriation. Last Thursday, I watched colleagues think something great had happened that they had the chance to pick a six pack of Heineken off a gift table. Or to pretend how mature they were picking a bottle of wine.
Drinking is stupid.
So is eating meat.
And so is almost everything we do as persons.
I switched to my lesson: \”I call upon the name of God which is my own. The name of God is my inheritance.\”
I wish to touch the divine source now, not as I die.
I went running, its now 16 miles, a shower and a salad later. During my run, I remembered a decisive moment in my life. It was a few days after being kicked out of the monastery and I was staying with a friend until I could get an apartment. Her husband was having a few health issues which would be typical for many 50 somethings in the US.
I remember making a secret vow to myself: I will NOT be like them.
I know that I do not want to be normal society.
Don\’t lurk at the foot of the cross.
I completely believe that all of us should move on to: the sunlight of the spirit, or heaven or whatever you want to call the resurrection world.
If you practice Lent, practice the idea of being alone with God and having loving conversation.
If you lurk at the foot of the cross, you\’ll never realize you are not guilty. If you want the sunlight of the Spirit, step into it right now. It is yours. No suffering needed. Accept it.
After all, you get what you project. If it is light, then that is what you get.
Today, I ran a private half marathon in the pouring rain, to finish my 54th birthday weekend.
I made myself a commemorative plaque to hang on my wall. Quite frankly, I sort of like the idea of making my own event and commemorating it. For one thing, its much cheaper. And for another, I can do it when and where I want.