We are inundated with spiritual books. The sheer weight of them would sink a million Titanics and put a billion Rip Van Winkles to sleep for eternity. It seems to me that the waters of Lethe flow out of the pages of these books. The unfortunate truth is that spiritual books are as dull as they are infrequently inspirational. Surely the words of The Christ have a power to galvanize the searching heart, but even these words fall like tares upon generally infertile ground. Even I am beginning to put myself to sleep just writing this.
Pressing within to the source of the origin of the words of life is a laborious business. The personal mind wars against the revelation that would dissolve it into The One. The heart goes fickle at the mention of surrender. At any time when we sense our own end in the face of the luminous light we fall back into the commonplace. The requirements of movement into rarified planes of being are beyond all but the exceptional soul. The surround sound of materialism has never been so dense and pervasive. What can you do?
To speak of God is to alienate your listener, unless you are somewhere in the dreary halls of fundamentalism. The God they speak of there has never existed, so the destination point can not be arrived at. There are as many chants and common prayers as there are passengers on the subway systems of the world. Religion is a fashion show of competing cuts and colors. The paraphernalia cannot be counted. The symbols defeat the minds ability to comprehend them all; each of them contains some mystery that leads only to further mystery or temporary magic. But the books and articles and discourses and multitude of ways in which words are combined to express the ineffable exceed even the total combination of all I have just mentioned.
Somewhere in the mass of this is the living light. More correctly it could be said that somewhere in the mass of this lies a portal into the living light; some highway exit, some indication of where to go and how to proceed directly. There are some few texts that I have encountered that serve in this capacity. They are slim volumes, often written in suggestive codes or wrapped in parables; submerged in fables. We know that some have found their way. We also know that none have ever given the immediate and absolute location of the light switch in the dark. Maybe they have and we do not understand. Maybe an immediate understanding defeats some divine purpose or is against the rules of pursuit. Maybe the switch is everywhere and no where at all times. Where is the switch?
Let’s think about this. There’s only one God right? Of course there are many apertures with names like Mohammed and Buddha and others. But these are portals, not the thing itself. In a manner of speaking, you are a portal even if the door is not yet open. In other words, if you are looking, if there is a ‘you’ that looks, then that is one part of the equation. The other part of the equation is the thing itself which you are looking for. It stands to reason that you and the thing you are looking for are contained in the same unit. Somehow you and the thing you are looking for are connected. In failing to see what this connection is you are in the place you are in now at some imagined distance from the thing itself. It is to be assumed that this imagined distance exists within your minds perception that there is a distance. No doubt you feel closer at some point than at others.
In all your lifetimes and in all the moments of this lifetime you are sometimes closer and sometimes further away. You are sometimes considering the thing itself and sometimes utterly oblivious to its existence. How is it that this simple thing, which has to be a part of you somehow, continues to avoid your possession of it? How is it that this thing which is looking for you and which you are looking for continues to remain beyond your grasp?
How is it that this thing, this consciousness which looks through your eyes, which watches you, of which you are composed and within which you live and move and have your being... how is it that complete union does not occur?
Forget all the books and the outfits and the churches and the priests and paraphernalia for a moment. There’s just you and it. Perhaps that is the problem, the idea that there is you AND it. Does it have something to do with the idea that there are things that you are meant to do that set you apart from the thing itself living the eternal life of infinite being? Is it all about having ideas? Is it about the minds way of separating things in order to perceive, compare and label them? After all, ‘Adam’ translated means “namer of things”.
It’s a simple construct, you and it. Since it is far greater and more real than you and exists forever and stretches beyond forever on either side it seems logical that grasping it, attaining it, must involve something like surrender. There you are and there it is. It seems logical to assume that you cannot grasp it you can only allow it to grasp you. It’s there all the time. It’s everywhere all the time, more palpable by presence in some places than others but no less there since everything is composed of the substance portion of it. It is obviously in the heart of a star and on the sidewalks of Las Vegas. On the one hand it is in essence and on the other hand it is in costumed layers of concealment. Even in the heart of the star it is still a subtle substance.
Part of me gets the feeling that everything is alright and always will be because of the encompassing nature of the thing itself and because I am made out of its substance. Once again, it is the mind that tells me otherwise. So if there is a devil it must be the mind in its ceaseless operations that are carried out in respect of phenomena. If only God is real then I must be either God or unreal. This has been a stumbling block of religions through time. The Mormons and certain Eastern religions recognize this though in no way does this endorse the former with any extra legitimacy in the face of their history as an organization. Christ spoke of it but it gets bypassed by the priesthood which becomes redundant in the face of it. Maybe I and you are both God and unreal. Perhaps at present we are unreal in respect of the real, because only the real is real. In other words there would be no us left in the aftermath of realization, although I suspect we do still remain in a new and unique way.
So it seems to come back to the exhortation of Brother Lawrence to “practice the presence of God.” It seems to echo the direction to ‘pray without ceasing’. It seems to indicate that constant remembrance is the key. It appears that half measures really do avail nothing. It seems that we must by persistence continue until we have gained the attention of the thing we seek. It is obvious that we do not know how to achieve our objective so it stands to reason that it is achieved for us by the thing we seek when we put ourselves in the way of it. It’s there all the time. We are not there all the time. We must be there all the time. In our constant remembrance we engage the company of the constant conscious companion. How can we keep this companion constantly unless we are constantly conscious? So it stands to reason that realization is an ongoing process dependent on the intensity of our desire for contact. God’s not in the ordinary habit of breaking into our day unless we break into his.
'Every Day' is track no. 11 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)