Being Spiritual

‘Sea View’ – J.M.W. Turner, 1820-1830 – WikiArt

This whole adventure of knowing oneself is not about being spiritual. It’s about being alive. Not just a little bit alive, with holes here and there, where unconsciousness can creep in, and steal us the best portion of what it is to be truly alive. For life is not a collection of deeds or experiences. Life is an energy and an essence that you can feel or know as the totality of your own being. And life extends to everything and everywhere. It is not about you. It never was.

To realise our true nature is not about being spiritual. It’s about being happy. Not the happiness that shakes and crumbles at the least twist of life’s circumstances. Happiness is not meant to be so fragile. And it is not something that you have to attain, or perform. You are not meant to work for that which is your inborn due and essence. Happiness is when you cannot even form or comprehend the concept of unhappiness. It is the distinguishing trait of being.

This understanding is not about being spiritual. It’s about being wholly a human being — inhabiting this whole experience while staying rooted in your true essence as awareness. There is immense delight in being awareness through your whole body and mind. Don’t leave your human experience at the door of consciousness anymore that you should leave consciousness at the door of your human experience. Include your humanness in your understanding.

To recognise our real identity is not about being spiritual. It’s about being in a world. Feeling what a world is — its golden nature — its sacredness — its dazzling presence. Having a world as our own being. Don’t think that you cannot know it through its essence. Knowing the world is like knowing yourself. And that will make you equip the world with ravishing beauty. The world is not about an outside. It is all inside yourself, curling itself into your own being.

I don’t want to be spiritual, or special, or humble. I want to be so fully being that I cannot even formulate such ideas. I want to be so fully myself that I cannot even know the meaning of these words. And I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be soft and malleable, and utterly vulnerable. Not fragile or brittle, but open to every passing feeling, to every hue inherent in living. This is how life shows its greatness. This is how you are truly grateful for being human.

I don’t want to have the identity of being spiritual. I want to have no contours where I can be fixed and localised. I don’t want to be anything that can be bumped into, and get hurt or scarred. I want to be being only being, to leave no room for an other, or for a difference. Why should I define myself? To be truly living is to be undefinable. And to be without objective identity is to belong in everything and in everyone. This is the true meaning of love.

I don’t quite fancy being tagged as spiritual. Being spiritual is only a nice word for everything in myself that cannot quite let go and espouse the pure essence of being. These are the leftovers on the failed path of being one with my essential being. I don’t want to be spiritual any more that I want my true nature to be identified with being French, or being this or that. I want to be what I ought to be when every form of control is seen detrimental and abandoned.

.

~~~

Text by Alain Joly

Painting by J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)

~~~

.

Website:
J. M. W. Turner (Wikipedia) 

Suggestion:
– Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…

.

The Contemplative Mind

Contemplation is a place of leisure and space. It is, as its etymology conveys, a ‘place for observation’. It has space within itself. It is a temple, which in Latin means an ‘open and consecrated space’. It is a sacred spot. A place where you find yourself meditating without having initiated it. It means that you — your Self — are on an equal footing with the objects of experience. You have not been absorbed, or engulfed by them. You are rather with them, hosting them all, embracing them in your emptiness. You see life from the standpoint of your temple of being. This is the position where from things acquire beauty and meaning. This is how you contemplate — by looking at everything from within the position of your Self. This is like being at the beach. The beach is a threshold, as are the front stairs that lead to the Ganges in Benares. This is when or where the city life is left behind and we come to be on vacation, on a holy-day — which is always a holy ground — to have leisure, freedom. To meet a certain form of death. To face the emptiness of the sea, the river, and the sky in front of us. We know intimately, or have the intuition of this place in ourself — this threshold, this passage from a dull and empty sense of acquired fullness, to the fullness of emptiness which is nothing but our natural, god-given state and being. This is the temple from which objective experience ought to be contemplated. This is where the contemplator is felt to be the contemplated. Contemplation then becomes a prayer. And such a prayer asks for nothing but the fact of being. This is the place of convalescence, where you come to heal from the world, from yourself. This is where you come to paint, to produce a new world out of your Self. This is where you get healed by this new vision, where your life finds a reorganisation, a new standpoint, a new temple where you can breathe at last and be content. Contemplation is completion. Sitting in an empty boat, or amongst dirty laundry, and be taken far out of yourself into your newly discovered sense of Self. This is a cleansing process, both of yourself and of the world. This is the contemplative mind.

.

~~~

Painting and text by Alain Joly

~~~

.

The painting was made from an original black & white photograph by Bjørn Weinreich.

Bibliography:
– ‘Benares, A Sacred City in North India’ – by Bjørn Weinreich and Ulla Mørch – (Denmark, 1983)

.

Other ‘Ways of Being‘ from the blog…

.

The Substance of God

‘Neubrandenburg’ – Caspar David Friedrich, 1816 – WikiArt

How can we account for the beauty of the world? Because in spite of everything that is happening within and without, and afflicts us, leaves us distressed, the world bears at its core an intrinsic perfection. It’s not difficult to see. You only have to stand back, to release the grip, be less involved. To look afresh at the blue sky above your head. To see that a blue sky is an extraordinary thing. As is a tree, and the song of the wind in its foliage. As is a cloud, and the sudden tapping of the millions of drops that come to wet the land. As is any human endeavour, and the skill it takes to play a symphony from Beethoven. As is a chair, a blanket, a paper bin, anything that exists. Existence is a baffling thing. It is the core of the matter — that anything exists — and to understand it is to crack the nature of reality. What is the secret hidden behind any appearance? How can a form acquire beauty, a movement express harmony, a shape provoke love? And more interesting even, how is beauty made ugliness, harmony turned into disorder, love transformed into enmity, perfection changed into chaos? What are the workings behind it all?

[…]

A meditation on the beauty and substance of the world… (READ MORE…)

.

A Thing of Beauty

‘Saint Peter’s Basilica’ – Rome (Vatican)

Isn’t the world the most extraordinary place? I’ll explain. Take a tree. A single tree, with its roots spreading and fiddling deep into the soil. And its erected trunk that divides itself into branches, and a thousand twigs, and a whole foliage of leaves. The shadow it gives. The home that it is for birds and little animals. And the shelter. And a thing of beauty. To be admired, listened to, touched, felt. The roughness of its bark under your fingers. And the presence. There are millions — most certainly trillions — of such trees that spread over the world to form groves and vast forests. Extending their sheltering embrace to countless beings. And to you too, today. A tree! The strangest thing there is. To look at one is to be taken into a well of wonder. Feel that amazement. See where it takes you. You will be surprised.

[…]

A reflection and meditation on the beautiful world that we are… (READ MORE…)

.

There is No One and Nothing

The world doesn’t exist
and we just come to see that clearly. 
It’s all an illusion. It never did exist. 
There is no way it can exist —
it’s all the reflection of a concept attached to inside. 
There is No One and Nothing. It’s literal. 
Are you ready to live without a world? 
Is that what you really want? 
Are you willing to lose the moon?

~ Byron Katie

.

~~~

Quote by Byron Katie

Photo by Alain Joly

~~~

.

Bibliography:
– “Loving What Is, Revised Edition: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life” – by Byron Katie – (Harmony)
– “A Mind at Home with Itself” – by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell – (HarperOne)

Websites:
Byron Katie (Wikipedia)
The Work of Byron Katie

– An article on Byron Katie’s life and work by The Guardian

.

The Great Mystery

‘Lake George’ – Georgia O’Keeffe, 1922 – WikiArt

Bernardo Kastrup is my newly invited guest on ‘The Dawn Within’. Bernardo is a Dutch philosopher and computer scientist who is reflecting on the questions related to mind and matter. His field of study is the nature of empirical reality — of the world we see — which our culture has defined to be fundamentally outside consciousness and made out of matter, with consciousness or mind being a product of that matter. Bernardo Kastrup is tirelessly challenging that idea through his proposition that ”reality is essentially mental” and that “matter is nothing more than the extrinsic appearance of inner experience.” 

Bernardo has worked for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the ‘Casimir Effect’ of Quantum Field Theory was discovered). His writings and essays have been shared in his website  Metaphysical Speculations’, in his ‘numerous books’, and in many ‘thought provoking videos on YouTube’. His ideas have also been featured in scientific or philosophical magazines.

As an invitation to discover Bernardo Kastrup’s work and ideas, I have selected here a short essay, a few excerpts, and a poem that I hope will unravel this great mystery that lies beyond the nature of our every day reality and world. I hope you will enjoy…

~

I argue that we do not need to postulate a whole universe outside consciousness – outside subjective experience – in order to make sense of empirical reality. The implication is that all reality, including our bodies and brains, are in consciousness, not consciousness in our bodies and brains.”
~ From Bernardo’s article ‘My philosophy and quantum physics

[…]

Explore Bernardo Kastrup’s work on the nature of reality… (READ MORE…)

.

A World of Delight

If the doors of perception were cleansed, 
everything would appear to man as it is: infinite
.”
~ William Blake

 

I have borrowed the words of the title to another of William Blake’s poems. It points to the realisation that our true nature is intimately married to the world, and that the expression of this understanding is pure, unconditional delight or happiness. This is the Tantric view: in Rupert Spira’s words, “the intimate knowing that Consciousness, what we truly are, is the substance of Reality, that there is only one thing, that there is only Being.” I have gathered here many quotes and pointers on this subject, from various spiritual teachers. They will tell you the story of the world…

 

~~~

 

Tantrism aims to allow man to achieve liberation without renouncing the world, to achieve the paradoxical coincidence of manifestation and divinity.”
~ André Padoux

~

Take the mind away from the world. What remains? You can neither say that it exists or that it does not exist. So you alone remain. Therefore, the world is only a thought.” 
~ Atmananda Krishna Menon

~

An object exists because we think about it; we don’t think about it because it exists.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

In tantra, sadhakas look upon this world as the manifestation of Shakti, the Divine Mother. It is real — not absolutely real, of course. But consider this comparison: Vedanta says, ‘Get away from maya, get out!’ Tantra says: ‘No, no, worship maya. Don’t get out; don’t throw it away; don’t discard it.’ This is the beauty of tantra. It doesn’t deny the world; it says, ‘The world is beautiful; it is true; it is the playground of the Divine Mother, and we are all her playmates.’ According to tantra, we have to realise Brahman through this world, not by negating this world. People are often confused by and fearful of the world, but God did not create the world to frighten people. There must be a purpose of this creation. What is the purpose? Play.” 
~ Swami Chetanananda

~

8495DFA1-7799-4ACE-8506-F602FCCE6ECD

We do not perceive a world outside Consciousness. 
The world is our perception of the world. 
There is no evidence that there is a world
outside the perception of it, 
outside Consciousness
.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

Discover more of this inner intimacy with the world… (READ MORE…)