Going Deeper

by E. Raymond Rock

Where do we find our security? Where lurks our pleasurable experiences? What is it that we couldn’t do without? Many things might fall into this category; our family and friends, careers, cars and homes; but especially close to our hearts . . . our spiritual beliefs.

Whatever we find to be our security, especially if it is beliefs, perhaps based on actual spiritual experiences and therefore seemingly irrefutable, could we simply walk away from them? If we can’t, then we have formed an attachment, and if for some reason that attachment is broken, we suffer. Therefore, logically, we are not free; we are dependent upon whatever it is that keeps us happy.

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This, actually, is a definition of bondage, even though that which makes us happy doesn’t seem to be bondage. Our spirituality, which, on one-hand, offers feelings of purpose and growth, actually stymies, on the other any advance toward authentic freedom if we are attached to it. This is not what anybody wants to hear, but it is factual. So, if not spiritual beliefs, what can we hold on to? Actually . . . nothing.

Holding on to anything closes the magic door to freedom, and that magic door is emptiness — not forlornness or hopelessness, but clear, bright emptiness — where we are not pressured to fill the void with stuff, and realize that happiness, like any emotion or feeling, comes and goes. Whatever fills us on this earth is not spiritual, i.e., just as thoughts of spirituality are not the same thing as a spiritual experience, anything having to do with bodies, or minds (or thoughts) restrict us to earthly existence, fraught as it is with so many problems. But we just can’t let go. Why should we; it’s all we seem to have, as untidy and unpredictable as earthly existence is!

So we remain anchored in our warm and fuzzy life, playing with the things of this terrestrial existence and praying that when our time comes, we can magically let it all go and transcend to another realm. Hah! Fat chance! If we are uncomfortable letting go while alive, why would it suddenly be easy to let go when we are looking down at it all? I’m afraid that our attachments, especially to our bodies and minds, aren’t broken that easily.

Personal transformation is a steady journey from the physical to the spiritual, while remaining on earth — a big order! Our hang-ups with the physical (our personal thoughts and physical bodies) will, of course, create problems on this journey until they are seen for what they are . . . transient, without an underlying reality, and stressful. After this is seen (with a lot of introspection), the problems will cease and we can naturally be what we are; a consciousness, free and bright, which merely bopped into a human body and mind this time around, but is unconditionally free.

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