Friday, September 12, 2008

Hitting a spiritual stumbling block - the delusion of isolation

Can you imagine anyone who has never felt abandoned? Yet if you believe in God, or in a psychic unity of sentient beings, or in the interdependent notions espoused by dependent co-origination (wherein the proper conditions cause previously latent phenomena to manifest themselves), how does that happen? You don't have to practice a sacred tradition to see the disconnect. Some people feel miserably isolated in a crowded room! Such a sense of separation - from everything and everyone - cannot physically be true, much less spiritually true. So, what gives? This is a difficult question because like many of the ones that give us the most grief, there is no simple one-size-fits-all answer. Yet there are some things we can try to do about it whether we fully understand it or not.

Some of us struggle to be honest about our desires - the disconnect between what we crave and what we wish we wanted. And part of that can come from not wanting to face the more common and base parts of our desires and our past and current failings to privately live up to the standards we may publicly cherish. Yet for some admitting the most embarrassing failings isn't as hard as to accept genuine affection, sincere compliments, and other expressions of kindness and charity. These things may make us uncomfortable. Perhaps this is because they are an invitation and a request for communion and fellowship. If we aren't comfortable with ourselves we are generally not comfortable around others, so opening ourselves to receive such generosity is a response to a call to be acknowledged and participate in a larger community. Even if it is only a community of two. The largest catapults and siege engines may not breach the walls of the hardened misanthrope, but a single act of true charity can plant a seed whose roots will one day overturn the foundation of the entire edifice.

There is no single way to combat problems such as persistent loneliness, spiritual apathy, or metaphysical cynicism. In severe and debilitating cases these issues need to be addressed by a trained professional. However, one step we can all take is to open ourselves to all of the prayers, well-wishes, positive thoughts, and good intentions that people have been making for us from before we were born to the moment we started reading this post. The millions and millions who sit or walk or bow for our well-being. Who have cared for us when we didn't even care for ourselves. Who have worked to leave the world a better place for us. We can be grateful, and if we are so moved, we can return the favor. When we do this we can realize or remember that we are not truly alone - we are not abandoned. There is a greater and more meaningful existence that awaits us beyond on our own boredom and dissatisfaction if we have the courage to accept the gifts we are being offered.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello! Thanks for leaving a comment.

Everything but spam and abusive comments are welcome. Logging in isn't necessary but if you don't then please "sign" at the end of your comment. You can choose to receive email notifications of new replies to this post for your convenience, and if you find it interesting don't forget to share it. Thanks!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...