Dec 26, 2005

The Big Idea

Something compelled me to go out tonight, for an hour. Just one hour. Actually, it probably wasn't even that long. Nothing extraordinary occurred outside of my own mind. (Do extraordinary things ever occur outside one's own mind?) Yet, I mark it as the most memorable event of the past 24 hours. Nothing extraordinary occurred, or perhaps the entire experience was so extraordinary that I am incapable of comprehending how extraordinary it was.

I was just wandering about the yard, basking in the jovial glow of the holiday lights as I have done every evening for the past week. As I have done every other night, I glanced up our lonely narrow road. Past a single streetlamp illuminating the dry, cool pavement with its dusty amber gaze, the road makes a 90° turn uphill, into a realm of darkness and whispering ironwoods. It ascends steeply, straight an an arrow, before writhing about in gentle curves beneath a dense tunnel of trees. A main by-way is crossed, itself rugged and underused as it twists around carved out forested banks. The road changes its name and becomes even narrower, dramatically curvier, and significantly steeper, always cloaked with the thick canopies of wind-taunted trees. It leads much farther up the mystical mountain slopes than I ventured tonight.

I brought my bike along. I walked it more than rode it up the road, but going back down, sitting, rolling, and brake-manipulating substituted for a mile of walking. The night was so dark, my fine-tuned night vision could not even perceive the road upon which I was traveling. It appeared to me as a deep narrow void, and I half expected to tumble into a canyon any second. I was that delirious... delirious with wonder.

The outlines of the trees that grew beside the road, their swaying tops visible against the overcast night sky, were my guides; those boundaries I knew I must stay between in order to avoid plummeting into a ditch. At one point I overhead eerie children's music emitting from a wooded area just above a steep bank alongside the road, and glanced up to see a small shack flashing with ethereal blue and green light. A shack where no one would expect there to be a home. Children singing in the brambles. The only other sounds I could hear were occasional rustles in the trees, the constant mellow drone of the insects, and the gentle breeze soaring through the trees. Easy breezy beautiful, and extraordinarily cool and dark.

After crossing the highway, I continued up the newly named road, but not far. I dumped my bike and sprawled out on my back upon a nice grassy ledge, not expecting any traffic. Portions of the sky were beginning to clear, and in these patches, the heavens appeared crowded with billions of brilliant cosmic lights. An ideal song played in my head, an elaborate song of entirely my own creation that was conceived only in my mind. I became unaware of my own body. No slight itches, no minor aches, no involuntary twitches that constantly remind one of their cursed blessing of participation in the physical plane of existence. I was alone with my mind and spirit, my body lost. I was convinced my soul and the one soul beside me were the last remaining on Earth. The world spoke to me very gently, through the chittering of very small critters and the whooshing of the air. Everything seemed to coalesce in perfect harmony.

It was then that I concluded that I really am beginning to believe less in coincidences, and more in a higher power.

I have always been highly spiritual, and have recognised and acknowledged that for years, but have never been religious. I have no intention of being religious, either. I believe spirituality is good, for I do greatly accord with the words of Socrates, "the unexamined life is not worth living." I do not, however, see the good in religion. I believe it is ultimately the root cause of much more damage and suffering than good. At this point in my life, I could never become brainwashed enough to subscribe to a conventional set of beliefs unless circuitry was implanted in my brain.

I do not wish to refer to this superior intelligence I perceive as "God," nor am I going to accept that it identifies with or should be classified into either gender or other human construct. I do not believe it serves or favours humans to any greater extent that any other organism on earth, microscopic or colossal. I do believe it is everywhere at once, and well beyond our capacity to physically sense. Humans did not invent the intricate and spellbinding mathematics of nature; the sublimely intelligent power did. Everything in nature serves a purpose, whether it is known to us or not. Everything exists for a reason.

So, rather than lead myself on to believe that life is based around a series of disconnected disposable coincidences, some of which seem so striking we are blown away by them, I am now much more content to accept that nothing is coincidental. Everything is connected. And when my mind first came to this conclusion, a profound sense of warmth and reassurance surged through me. I hadn't felt quite so sure about anything in quite some time. I have no reason to doubt the very essence of my soul, and what my heart tells me is right.

I feel like I have taken a very big step forward in my spiritual journey, tonight... and that is extremely fulfilling. I feel more connected with ... everything than ever before.

Anthropomorphic, planetary, planetary, anthropomorphic...

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