It struck me, looking at difficult contemporary affairs and thinking about how people are processing it all, to say a few things about mystical enlightenment as it is usually understood, and also about personal accountability as it relates to the human enterprise on this planet—and how, in the end, there is no difference.
When a Guru dies in a Hindu-oriented following, it’s often described as a “final merging with the universe.” When enlightenment occurs however, that actually happens while we’re alive—that’s how much our identity gets transformed (as in, annihilated)! This means that, ultimately, we are “more alone than you can possibly imagine,” as contemporary SIG* teacher Bart Marshall puts it. We are each “the being and source of all things,” and therefore, paradoxically, we each constitutes an entire universe. This is the monistic enlightenment that all the mystics say we are heading for.
The miracle is, that we all also (at least seem to) share a creation. Indeed, we let others interact with us and affect us! Monistic believers are not solipsists. Solipsism rejects that shared miracle of creation, and selfishly asserts that the experiencer’s ideas and viewpoints are, by definition, the only really valid ones.
I say all this because it has direct bearing on the point I want to make about accountability. Again, the external world is created by our thoughts at a profound, collective level. The fact that this year, worldwide, has been the most politically violent since the 1960s—perhaps even since WW II, if you count the refugee situations and scattered, smaller-scale events—that has personal significance for everyone. It is this: each of us must claim personal responsibility for this planetary turmoil.
That’s right. To the extent that we are emotionally perturbed by all this, we need spiritual purification through meditation and other practices. Affairs around ISIS, Syria, US presidential politics and all the rest are essentially “old tapes” as they say in therapeutic circles, collective samskaras to be processed and detached from, ultimately in the same way that we processed personal issues connected with an abusive father or whatever. Those of us who are harbingers in this effort will leave the collective behind as we awaken, hoping all the while that enough of that collective will be influenced in our direction, to make a real difference.
Taking that responsibility is not easy. How to get personal, specific direction in your own efforts most easily and conveniently? Start heeding your dreams. Every second of the day, the way we live our lives poses a question to the universe, and the universe is always answering in our dreams. I’ll talk about dialoguing with your dreams next time.