knowing truth. realizing who you are. that's the game we are in right? we can call it enlightenment, seeking, whatever, but we are driven to know, to understand, to find peace. and the process to finding peace may not always be peaceful. there is a restless stirring of the soul that initiates the practices for peacefulness. and this restlessness is a vigilant friend, pushing further into the mystery of our universe and our own selves. this restlessness is full of questioning and doubt.
the most painful doubt is self-doubt. and if you walk the path of inquiry, you will carry the cross of self-doubt. without stumbling and falling, how will you find your own way? you cannot follow someone else's way. if you can, leave the path now. go to an organized religion and say your prayers and follow the commandments. if that satisfies you, then let it satisfy you. but i am speaking to those who are not satisfied. those who have tried to fit in to the organized religions and philosophies, to get it right, but found a gnawing questioning still living in their souls. have you tried to be a good girl? a good boy? have you tried to follow all the rules and still come up empty? because it is not possible to be perfect. not in this world, not in this life. because this life is made of contradiction and friction. without friction there would be nothing created. like your mother and father creating friction to create you. that's how we all got here. and we are ashamed. there is some very deep seed of shame in us, for our spirits to live in these bodies.
confronting fear. to grow, we must confront our fears. this is part of waking up. we must break free of our conditioning. which way to turn? take a left turn. there are two directions, clockwise and counterclockwise. turning clockwise is turning to the right, and activates the left brain. this side of your brain is responsible for logic, reason, survival. the conscious mind. this is the masculine side. turning counterclockwise is turning to the left, and activates the right brain. this side of your brain is responsible for space, emotions. the subconscious mind. this is the feminine side. so to explore more of yourself, you cross over to the unknown, the mysterious right brain. ritual opens that door. testing taboo opens that door. taboos are usually built around survival instincts. to test taboo is to explore the shadow. and what is sleeping in the shadow? sex and death are two of the biggest things we have pushed to the shadow. vama marga tantra has practices, meditations and visualizations that confront and stretch into sex and death.
what does taboo have to do with spiritual awakening? it is a path of un-reason. going the opposite of reason. breaking down fear and investigating the shadow. there are no promises here. you explore because you must. because you are full of questions about yourself, the purpose of yourself, the purpose of life. and to answer these questions you have to un-do yourself. let go of needing a guaranteed outcome. there are no guarantees. only the honest exploration of the questions. learn to love the questions themselves. let them softly undo you, exposed your soft pink underbelly, your heart. to really live the questions, you need to let go of security. because security means you have something to lose. only when you are ready to lose everything are you ready to begin. because the hardest thing to lose is who we think we are. we will fight and kill to protect our identities, our ideas of ourselves. we have spent a lifetime building up a persona that we want other people to see and believe. and then we try to convince ourselves too. and underneath that persona there is a grumbling. you will have to let go of that persona to learn who you really are.
jesus said, "for i have come to set the world on fire, and how i wish it was already burning."
The day will come when you will have to burn down everything you have built
and whether that day is your own death or if you die many times before that, death will come all the same. and with death comes re-birth. the desire to be born again. what is left when you die? when all that is left is darkness and space. what creates the big boom? what creates life again? there is something lurking in the dark mystery of the sky, the womb from which all that we know was birthed and spawned. something wants to begin again. in varanasi, a city in india where hindus believe is the holiest place to die, they carry the corpses through the streets. the dead, stiff body is wrapped in bright silk fabrics and tied to bamboo poles. the people carrying the bodies shout, ram nam satyahey. this means, all that is true is the name of god. when you were alive, all you really owned was your own body and when you die, you don't even own that.
but the hindus have many names for god, and it is interesting that in this chant, the name they use is ram. in the holy trinity of 3 male gods, ram, vishnu and shiva represent the cycle of life. ram is the god of birth, of creation. vishnu is the god of maintaining life. and shiva is the god of destroying life. these three deities represent the cycle of our own lives. birth, growth and death. at the time of death when they carry the corpse through the streets, they chant the name of the god of birth. because what comes after death is re-birth. all that is left is the desire to re-create, to live again. we spend so much of our lives fighting life. because it is not fair, because the world is full of suffering, because we will die someday. and yet, when we die, we will desire to begin again. to watch another sunset, we will ask for another set of eyes. to have another first kiss, we will ask for another set of lips. who knows how long your spirit waited for another body to journey through the confusing joy of love again?
can anyone truly know these answers? and the few that have perhaps pierced the veil and seen the underpinning, the peep show behind the universal curtain of this stage that is life, can they ever bring that back to share with clumsy language for the rest of us? that is why the best way to approach a master is with no questions. the sufis say you can only enter the durga when you have only 1 question left. if you have many questions, your mind will drive you mad and you will run away.