Some remember & dramatically experience life as INFINITELY MORE than our tiny little concepts can possibly hold, as they AWAKEN, opening up to REALITY.
However, our ordinary mind (ego, left hemisphere) tries hard to convince us that it knows & can (or some day will) control everything. This ("promissory materialism") has slowly transformed into a secular belief system ("scientism") with much of the hubris, dogmatism & intolerance associated with theistic "religious exclusivism."
Actual scientists are usually surprisingly humble. The world's foremost expert in a very small area of knowledge, when asked about it will usually start by saying, "I don't know. There are four main hypotheses about this," then go on to succinctly summarize these, say that her team is investigating one of these, then finish by saying, "I don't know." This is a top expert truthfully expressing the humble limits of ordinary human knowledge - even about relatively simple "physical matter" we can all see & touch!
“One of the key spiritual adventures of the last hundred years (is) that of fusing together the best of the Western philosophical & mystery traditions with the highest understanding of unity & divine identity of the East. This is an adventure that many of us believe provides the fuel for the next evolutionary stage of humanity and for the birth of a universal mysticism that can lead to a wholescale transformation of all forms of earth life."
Andrew Harvey, preface to Hermann Hesse. “The Seasons of the Soul: The Poetic Guidance and Spiritual Wisdom of Hermann Hesse.” North Atlantic Books, 2011.
“To me a mystic is someone who is really after facts. And to me someone who really sincerely is after the facts, becomes a mystic sooner or later. Often people will say to me, ‘Oh I feel skeptical.’ And I say, ‘Wonderful, but be skeptical about your skepticism! And keep on being skeptical. Go all the way with your skepticism. Go right to the end, because when you come to the end, then there is the inner reality.”
Peter Kingsley interviewed by Adyashanti : https://beingunlimited.org/being-rooted-in-the-eternal-with-peter-kingsley
"... among the earliest Greek philosophers were people who couldn’t have been more different, or more distant, from the curious & simple-minded rationalists they are made out in the West to be. They were extraordinarily powerful mystics who had the spiritual methods & meditation techniques needed not only to bring people to reality but to bring entire cultures into being."
Peter Kingsley “A Book of Life.” Catafalque Press, 2021. POWERFUL BOOK
"We are stars wrapped in skin.
The light you are seeking
has always been within.” Rumi
If we're being honest, most of us are far less open-minded than we claim or perhaps would like to be. We instinctively grip unexamined dogmas - religious or secular - like those drowning grip bits debris knowing that these won't help.
A Cup of Tea
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
‘Like this cup,’ Nan-in said, ‘you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?’
“Zen Flesh, Zen Bones” compiled by Paul Reps, Anchor Books, 1961.
“We have our outer lives with their bumps & smoothnesses. Then we have our inner lives with their threads along which we guide and help, are helped and guided – the ties of love, the delicate threads that link and bind us.
But behind our inner lives is the secret that lies hidden even from ourselves: the life that connects us straight to the root of our being.
If something bursts in from another reality, that’s a regrettable embarrassment to recover from as quickly as possible; to rationalize away with our skillful choice of labels and words so we can keep clinging to the thread of what’s most familiar by breaking the thread of the sacred.
And, of course, this is a problem for everyone without exception because we all need continuity so we at least can seem to function. But even those of us who think we’re most awake are so easily lulled asleep by the sweet lullaby of routine – never quite able to take the next steps needed.
... wisdom doesn’t come from building clever structures or thinking things up. It comes from being ground down, because the only way to get to the truth is to let yourself be cracked open so that the truth can get to you.”
Peter Kingsley “A Book of Life.” Catafalque Press, 2021.
Contemplatives & mystics often point to the critical turning point in their practice when they finally, often (but not always) after utterly exhausting themselves through heroic efforts, they completely gave up the DIY project - when they finally "surrendered," "got out of my own way" or experienced "ego death." THIS is when we break through from the common shared self-concept / worldview "consentual reality"
to what is real - "ultimate reality."
“Surrender is the letting go & peeling away of identity or beliefs. In that process of letting go or peeling away, there’s a deeper relaxing that happens inside the body & nervous system. Surrender is a deep, deep relaxing of everything, acceptance of things in the moment - not adding to it, this feeling of deep resting. Sometimes, when things get really, really difficult, when you really don’t know what to do, and you’ve meditated and, you’re just really stuck, then there’s a deep resting, and I might call it surrender that you can do, but it has to be very real. It can’t be, ‘Well, now I’ll try the surrender thing.’ So you might say, ‘I don’t know how to do this.’ You might even ask for help. And you don’t even know what you’re asking help from. It’s better if you don’t know. You’re not asking of anything in particular, you’re just saying, ‘I need help. I don’t know what to do.’ As soon as that is real, you have let go, you’ve surrendered. And you’re not trying so hard, not working so hard, and you’re not frustrated with it. And so it’s in that, ‘I just don’t know.’ This surrender really is an acceptance of everything just as it is. And you don’t know what to do next.” Lissa Friedman interview: https://batgap.com/lissa-friedman/
I HIGHLY recommend listening to this 2-minute talk by Bill Hicks:
LISTEN to "Joyride" (below):