Tonight was beautiful. One of those rare spiritually transcendent experiences… A small group, only 24 total, we’re gathered in a tiny dimly lit chapel. No sit down stand up sit down stand up, but rather soft singing accompanied only by piano, set apart by a few touching and at times thought provoking (or confusing / challenging depending on how you look at it) readings, followed by a very simple but impactful sermon encouraging those in attendance to not give up anything (for Lent, as is the custom) but instead to remember that “the kingdom of God (think “enlightenment” if “God” isn’t your thing) is near, here now, close at hand, and that we should/can keep it close to us, inside of us, at all times”.
There truly wasn’t a moment during the entire service that i personally felt bored distracted mentally or intellectually compromised or critical. In other words, I was present nearly the entire time. Meditative. This is rare for me in “church” I must admit, and I consider that a blessing in and of itself. I would never want to wake up one day and realize that my spiritual practices come from non-deliberate, non thought out indoctrination — as in “i was raised _______(fill in the blank with a religion or non-religion of your choice. They’re all the same). So I’ve always had a soft spot for healthy skepticism in regards to believing in a higher power, or religion or spiritual practices, especially any of the “big five” so called organized religions. Luckily for me, I’ve never had to worry about this. My path to the Divine was a windy one, filled with many questions and many answers, chock full of wonder, truth seeking, and a determination to accept nothing less than what i deem supernatural. Its been nothing less than deliberate. So when i do find myself questioning or thinking when in a church or any kind of religious or spiritual practice, i honor it. I know my aim is true and my heart is pure. I know my mind is a gift.
More on this subject later, in another future entry, for those who want more but haven’t yet found a way to “get faith” or believe… But just so i don’t leave you hanging: believing or having faith is NOT the answer, despite what 90% of those who call themselves religious may tell you or will claim when asked. No, blind faith, or even rational faith (an oxymoron if you ask me) is not the solution to the quest for spiritual enlightenment, and I don’t care how many millions of scholarly books have been written about it. The answer is EXPERIENCE. You either experience profound spiritual transformation in your day to day life, or your just pretending, hoping for some sort of miracle or sign one day or worse yet hoping that your “faith” will get you into some special place after you’ve died or allow you some good karma while you’re still here.
To me personally that road is paved with self doubt, guilt, regret and pretense. Up and down and up and down. Nope, faith is for pussies not courageous enough to admit to themselves that they aren’t sure what they believe and afraid that if they admit it that they’ll discover that there is nothing there to have faith in to begin with. Not feeling strong enough to go it alone, they use faith as an excuse to believe in a whole host of things that other people have taught them to, without ever taking their hands off the steering wheel long enough to see if they can drive the car themselves. Personally I can’t live through faith. I need experience. Supernatural life altering transformational experiences that prove to me that a God-force exists, that paranormal supernatural divinely inspired events transpire in my life and the lives of others. And lucky for me I’ve experienced too many of them to count.
But a caveat: one needs to let go of two things: the thinking mind — FEEL instead — abandon thought for intuition; and faith — let go of the idea entirely. You wouldn’t use faith if I put a gun to your head and told you I took all the bullets out. You’d want to see it for yourself before I pulled that trigger. Well the universe and the Divine Force that created it, sustains it, and comprises it is as smart as you are. Trust that. You’ll be surprised how smart God is. Ask for it. Be honest. Demand it. Not with faith, but with brutal radical honest humble but deliberate “I wanna know and I’m not going to stop asking until I get some answers” diligence and desire.
We are each and every one of us made up of nothing that was not already here long before we were. If you can think it, so too can God / the Divine / the Universe. After all, what do you think you’re made of? So don’t be afraid of the answers. Don’t be afraid of the silent moments on the path of the search. If you want to know, sincerely and resolutely, and you do not allow your ego or your thinking mind or your prior indoctrination to get in the way, there is plenty to know. The answers will come. And they won’t be in a book and they won’t come through having faith. True spiritual enlightenment is downright cosmic. It is supernatural. It is paranormal. If it weren’t, then it wouldn’t be worth calling enlightenment or transcendent. I hope this makes sense. More on this later. I promise.
There was just something special about this evening and the simple somber atmosphere and the utter lack of pomp and glitter that we usually encounter in our home church in New York City. But from this point on in the service we entered a 20 minute improv new age like piano piece played by one man in while everyone sat silent and prayed or meditated… I fell into it with ease, all else fell away, just melted into this oneness with a divine sense of all that isness… The more I stayed centered and focused on nothing but this feeling, praying, connecting with this all encompassing love grace power beauty… the more joy I felt inside me and all around me.
I could tell I was kind of Stevie Wonder swaying a bit but I didn’t care. My eyes were closed and I was just in it, going for it, soft subtle slow loving but deliberate almost mantra like prayer… I was reminded that to expand out to an outer bigger higher dimension is not from or through imagination, it is not envisioning anything, not “going somewhere else out there”, but rather it is remembering that the outer bands of each smaller dimension touch the inner bands of the next larger / higher dimensions… And further, based on both intellectual flat-world / fourth dimension research and studies, and many supernatural experiential intuitive events from the past, I remembered that every dimension is contained withIN a successively larger / higher dimension, thus being and feeling right here/now IS the path to experience these higher dimensions where everything from spirits, angels, the deceased and the Divine must exist.
Even if they exist in worlds hundreds of light years away from “here”, they still aren’t going to be in ‘this’ dimension. And I’m not one who believes that traveling to and from and between other dimensions requires the death of the body, or mind altering drugs (though that’s not a bad way to experience them initially when first starting out, as long as one recognizes that what’s at play there is more neurologically induced rather than spiritually accessed), or through long hours of meditation, chanting, yoga or prayer, nor is a guru or a master needed. Accessing higher dimensions is a here-now experience readily available to us all if the desire is there and the will is strong enough. Not necessarily visible, or even audible. But certainly visceral, palatable, tangible.
So I sat, with eyes closed, and continued to meditate and pray, communicating and connecting, listening and feeling, until the piano playing stopped. A soft wide smile was on my face. I felt like jelly. I felt at one with IT; a soft beautiful merciful loving graceful He/She isness. It was comforting, encouraging. I felt content. Satisfied. I prayed for anything and everything that appeared in my mental space. I prayed for me, my family. I prayed for you. I prayed for us all. For world peace, for honest government, for the end of the bullshit and the beginning of the kingdom of Godliness on an earthly paradise. For an enlightened planet. I felt great. All is well. I ended. Slowly opened my eyes. I was surprised to see that we were alone in the small chapel. The others had all left. My beautiful new wife sitting quietly beside me smiling and patiently waiting for me to awaken. The pianist was packing up his few belongings. I walked up to him, thanked him and gave him a big hug. And we left, ashen crosses on our foreheads and unexplainable happiness in our hearts.