April 14, 2016 10:07 AM
It’s been a difficult few days: I stopped eating for three days to test a theory I had (which failed), and just this morning, questioned whether this whole spiritual thing was all in my head.
I’ll break these events into two posts.
I could very well have posted to this blog something like, “Shift your attention to the Sea of Love and Light and you’ll feel better,” but I’m a rational Mystic and it really bugs me when I hear spiritual teachers teaching “truths” just because they heard some thought in their head—teaching a thought as a truth without relating their experiences with these “truths” (the smart have their theories, the wise have their scars).
So I decided I needed to throw myself into a deeply depressive state and see if I could find my way out of it via focusing on the Sea of Love and Light (the felt experience of Her as the source of everything). I needed to dive into the Darkness to see if I could find the Light underneath it all.
From past experience, the only way I know of reliably driving myself into a deep and serious funk is to fast—to not eat any solid food. When fasting, you are so hungry during the first three days that it is practically impossible to think of anything but food (after the third day, the stomach kind of gives up on the idea of eating and the fast gets much easier).
So that’s what I did. And all I could think of was food and how hungry I was and how stupid an idea this was. Which, ironically, meant my plan was right on track. I was miserable and angry at myself and feeling stupid and unsure.
Perfect! My plan was working out wonderfully.
So, miserable and hungry, I put my attention on the feeling below the hunger and quickly found the Sea of Love and Light (capital-L Love manifesting as the body which loves the flavor of food and loves eating it). Excellent! More good news! My theory was working exactly as my thoughts said it would: Focus on the Sea of Love and Light, and you’ll feel better.
Until it wasn’t. Until the mind decided to focus on the Loud—the I’m so damn hungry and this is a stupid thing to do physical experience—and then I was the I’m so hungry thing (what you focus on, you become). Back and forth this went: Sea of Love, overwhelming Hunger, Sea of Love, Hunger, Love, Hunger, Hunger, Hunger, damn it!
Feeling like a failure and miserable but still not ready to give up, I started playing a computer game to distract myself. Suddenly I was the game (Eschalon, a role-playing game) and the hunger was gone as I fought spiders and bandits and rats and goblins. (Go ahead, pop Halo or some other combat game into your Xbox and see if you can stay spiritual and blissful and at one with the all. That’s a wonderful experiment in itself.)
Of course, when I quit the game, the hunger was back and I became the hunger.
So here is what I learned from this miserable experiment:
- The smart have their theories, the wise have their scars. So true. So very true.
- What you focus on, you become. Again, so very true. Amazing how powerful this is.
- While shifting your focus to something more pleasurable is effective, it is only temporary. It is just a respite from the pain—a time out, not a solution.
- “You” are what is doing the shifting. You can’t see this “You” though, so whatever you focus on, sort of “becomes” you.
- Both the pleasure (the Light, the game) and the pain (the Hunger), were temporary. Neither was a permanent experience, it was just easier to focus on the Hunger because it was so much louder than the Source of Everything (the Sea of Love and Light). This is not to say that She/the Sea is not permanent, it is just the experience of Her cannot be focused on continuously.
I have mixed feelings about these results. Reading over them, they seem obvious, but I’m still digesting them. There’s more here but I’m kind of distracted by Part II of this morning (Spiritual Doubts).
Anyway, while thoughts repeated as truths (“Live in the Now and you’ll feel better!”) are often excellent advice (the smart have their theories), they’re usually only half the story (the wise have their scars).
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