I love a good Hero’s Journey as much as the next person. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a common story arc found in movies like Star Wars, The Matrix, and Lord of the Rings where the hero goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home changed or transformed. The hero can also be female, as we see in The Hunger Games.

However, despite swapping out a male character for a female one, the hero’s journey is not the same as the heroine’s journey, meaning it doesn’t address the psycho-spiritual journey for many women. (I’ll also add in here it’s likely the hero’s journey doesn’t work well for some men either.) Joseph Campbell popularized the Hero’s Journey in 1949 with men in mind and said “Women don’t need to make the journey. In the whole mythological journey, the woman is there. All she has to do is realize that she’s the place that people are trying to get to.”

Um, thanks Joe. I mean, on the one hand I get that he’s pointing toward wholeness and encouraging men to embrace the more feminine aspects of themselves, but on the other hand, what about us ladies?!? For women, there’s the Heroine’s Journey, developed by Maureen Murdock. If the Hero’s Journey is about ascending a mountaintop, the Heroine’s Journey is about descending to the underworld. When a friend said that to me recently, my response was, “Yeeeesssssssss,” because that’s EXACTLY my experience. All of my demons have been internal. All of my personal development work has been about confronting my own shadow and reclaiming wholeness.

spiritual writing

For some people, they undertake the heroine’s journey. Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

Part of confronting the shadow comes from interacting with other people of course. I’m not saying the Heroine’s Journey takes place in a locked room. We see this in two popular movies that follow the Heroine’s Journey arc: Pixar’s Brave and the first Wonder Woman movie. I remember when I watched both those movies for the first time how touched I felt afterward. They impacted me in a deep way and I could see myself reflected in the characters that I couldn’t as much when watching the original Star Wars, for instance.

What makes the Heroine’s Journey different? Instead of ending the story after successfully conquering ogres and dragons, the heroine becomes disillusioned and realizes she feels unfulfilled. Something is missing in her life and she falls into despair because of it. She yearns to reconnect with her whole self – the feminine, soft side and the wounded masculine – and integrates the two. After doing so, she interacts with the world beyond binaries and understands complexity.

This is forever what I’m working on and in fact is a part of the spiritual journey as well as the journey society is taking. My spiritual teacher says, “Until recently there was a defective idea in all the corners and amongst all the groups of people on the Earth, that males are blessed beings, and not females. In your family life, you know, you feel that the parents cannot have any sense of disparity in their mind regarding their sons and daughters. Both are equally important; both are equally loving. I said my sons and my daughters are just like two hands of mine. They are just like the wings of a bird. A bird having one wing cannot fly.”

My teacher is speaking specifically about the role of women in society – women need to be respected and treated just as well as men – but I think the concept also applies within a person as well. We are like birds and can’t fly properly if one wing is more dominant than another. The Heroine’s Journey is one mechanism that supports our return to wholeness and one that I’m now embracing.

I dream of a world where we realize the Hero’s Journey is not everyone’s journey. A world where we understand the alternative, the Heroine’s Journey, could help us become more whole. A world where we integrate all aspects of ourselves – masculine and feminine – in order to fly freely through the world like the beautiful birds we are.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

This week I read a Twitter thread about the creator of the latest Netflix phenomenon “Squid Game.” According to several news pieces, Hwang Dong-hyuk wrote the show in 2009 but was rejected by studios for 10 years. He once had to stop writing the script and sell his $675 laptop because of money struggles. The Twitter thread author, Ifę, @ifetalksback, said as a writer they find the story terrifying more than inspiring.

As part of the thread, Ifę said, “They’ll be like ‘I had to wait 15 years, my mother don’t speak to me anymore, I lost a finger to typing so much, I can’t remember the last time I saw the sky. But now I have a show,’ And the comments from everyone who ISN’T a writer is like ‘NEVER give up bro, so inspiring.’”

I agree – on the one hand, it’s always inspiring when long-awaited dreams come true, but on the other hand, I find the story to reflect poorly on not only the film industry, but also us as a society in general. Hwang had to literally sell one of the tools of his trade in order to make ends meet. That’s not OK.

pay for spiritual writing

The picture says it all. Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

My spiritual teacher says it’s the duty of society to support its artists because artists are pioneers. “If those who are the pioneers of society … if they are forced to starve or half-starve, this will certainly not be to the credit of human society. It is unthinkable that these creative geniuses should curse their own fate.”

Seriously. Artists – and that includes writers – have a special role to play in society and letting them struggle is not cute or inspiring or romantic or whatever notions we have in this modern world. It’s a travesty. Especially during the pandemic, we’ve seen the importance of art and literature. What would we do, how would we survive if we didn’t have books to read, movies to watch, games to play? For many, escaping into entertainment was, or is, the only way to feel joy during an otherwise extremely bleak period. And yet we let artists like Hwang Dong-hyuk toil away and then romanticize his rags-to-riches story? No.

What would happen if artists were supported and didn’t need to work “day jobs” or have numerous “side hustles” or live with 10 roommates just to survive? What sort of art would they make? What would they be able to accomplish if they weren’t constantly worried about money? In case you can’t tell, I’m PISSED this is the situation we find ourselves in. Not only for artists, but for everyone.

Who does this capitalistic, hypercompetitive economy work for? Very few, that’s who. And the reality is we don’t have to live like this. I don’t know how we release ourselves from the shackles of capitalism, but I do know there are other ways to live. Ways in which people are guaranteed the basic necessities of life like food, clothing, education, shelter, and medical care. Ways in which people are valued over profits, the environment is respected, and we as a society are able to satisfy our higher intellectual, artistic, and spiritual aspirations. Ways in which artists like Hwang Dong-hyuk don’t have to sell their laptops in order to pay their bills.

I dream of a world where we not only praise artists and writers, but we value them with our wallets. A world where we support artists and writers so they can do what they were put on this Earth to do – create. A world where we understand artists barely making ends meet is appalling, not romantic.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

P.S. This might be a good time to mention I have a Patreon campaign. If you value my work, consider contributing.

This weekend a friend told me his friends are getting into cryptocurrency so they can make a lot of money. My response was, “So they can do what? Retire early and satisfy every pleasure they have? Or build a rocket ship into space while there are people literally starving to death?”

I mean, I understand the impulse. Our society lauds the accumulation of wealth. When Jeff Bezos launched into space, morning shows allocated 212 minutes to discussing it. In contrast, they spent 267 minutes for all of 2020 discussing the climate crisis even though the climate crisis is a far bigger story that impacts the entire world. In the U.S. anyway, we treat money like it’s the most important thing, as if being wealthy is the greatest accomplishment of a person’s life. We see this not only in media coverage, but also in how wealthy people are allowed to become richer. We aren’t taxing the rich to fund things like schools, roads, bridges, healthcare, or anything that would benefit the many. No. Instead we’re letting people accumulate wealth unchecked so they can visit space for 10 minutes on the backs of people who are working in inhumane conditions.

I’m not someone who thinks money is the root of all evil. I don’t think we should go back to a time of bartering for all our needs. Money makes life more comfortable, absolutely, and being poor is one of the hardest, most stressful situations a person can find themselves in. But why are some people allowed to make millions in one day while others are working multiple jobs just to cover all their expenses? And furthermore, what’s the point of making so much money you can buy a private island?

spiritual writing

The point of life is NOT to buy a private island. Photo by Sam Deng on Unsplash

My spiritual teacher says:

“A mind, driven by many psychic [desires] is the prisoner of innumerable predicaments. In such a condition, the human mind becomes extroversial, multi-directional, weak, and static. It is propelled by the principle of selfish pleasure, which leads it down the path of counter-evolution. … As people have to satisfy their unrestrained psychic [desires] with limited objects of wealth, they often create interpersonal and inter-group conflicts. The collective psychology arising from many objectified human minds gives rise to social inequality, economic exploitation, political repression, religious bigotry, cultural perversion, and the all-round degradation of the individual and society. Crude psychic [desires] cause the degeneration of individual and collective mind, and thus bring about the downfall of the society.”

I’d say we’re seeing that now. Society certainly seems to be moving in a downward direction in many regards. So what’s the point of life if it’s not to get as much wealth as possible and satisfy every selfish pleasure that enters your brain? Take it from someone who is rich and famous, Jim Carrey, who said, “I hope everybody could get rich and famous and will have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that it’s not the answer.”

The answer instead is to eradicate all inequalities and contribute to society in such a way that we’re supporting each other, taking care of each other. The answer is to live in this world, to ensure everyone has their basic needs met, but also recognize there’s more to being alive than material gain. Ultimately what we’re seeking is infinite pleasure, infinite happiness, and that only comes from something that is also infinite: communing with the loving consciousness that pervades this universe.

I dream of a world where we understand despite what much of society tells us, the point of life is not to get rich and famous. A world where we realize satisfying every selfish pleasure only leads to our downfall and the downfall of society. A world where we appreciate material goods, but also recognize ultimately life is more enjoyable if we serve society and commune with spirit.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Don’t Look Too Far

Anxiety kicks up for me when I start to contemplate the future in a negative way. When I imagine worst-case scenarios like all my clients will end our relationship, I’ll drain my savings, and I’ll never move out of this one-bedroom apartment. It’s not a pleasant rumination. The answer seems simple, doesn’t it? Stop imagining a negative future.

Instead of imagining a negative future I could imagine a positive future. I could also do that thing spiritual teachers everywhere advise: be present. The latter is what’s coming up for me today. In fact, there’s a quote I like from a daily reader and this morning I planned to thumb through the entire book until I found it, except no need. I opened the book to exactly the quote I had in mind! It’s by Pindar who said, “Do not peer too far.” The affirmation in my daily reader is, “For today, I neither want to know the future, nor to live in it before it arrives.” Truthfully, I do want to know the future, but only if the future is line with my dreams, not my nightmares. However, the message for today is, “Be where your feet are.”

spiritual writing

Keep a little mystery. Don’t look too far. Photo by Katie Gerrard on Unsplash

In the present moment am I OK? Am I able to pay my rent? Is there food in my fridge? Do I have a place to sleep? Am I getting enough connection? If the answer to all those questions is “yes,” I’d say I’m doing alright. What also helps me become grounded is to use my senses. What are five things I can see? Four things I can feel? Three things I can hear? Two things I can smell? One thing I can taste? Being in my body brings peace because the body only knows the here and now, nothing else.

It’s also helpful to remind myself life can be surprising and delightful. For instance, in the middle of writing this, a friend called me up and asked me if I’d like to go to an outdoor party in the redwoods with a pickup in 45 minutes! I said yes because why the heck not? I love redwoods and I haven’t been to a party in ages. If I knew the future, I wouldn’t be surprised or delighted by the spontaneous turn of events, and spontaneity goes hand in hand with joy, according to research.

Eating lunch sitting among redwoods and then lounging in a hammock afterward while I watched the wind blow needles off the trees was pretty delightful, I must say. And it’s not what I had planned for my day, which made it all the more enjoyable. Eckhart Tolle speaks to this in his book The Power of Now when he writes, “As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love — even the most simple action.”

So that’s what I’m doing today, living in the now, being present, reminding myself the future is an ever-evolving situation that I’m not able to predict anyway. But this right here I can do something about, and for today, that means not peering too far.

I dream of a world where we realize looking too far ahead will likely cause anxiety and instead we stay present. A world where we understand the present moment is a point of power. A world where we remember life can be surprising and delightful, but only if we let it.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Whenever I’m waiting on checks, like I am now, I think, “Maybe I should get a part-time job,” and then I apply for part-time jobs and never hear anything, not even a “no.” Inevitably I get reassurance from the universe that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing either because I’m contacted by a potential new client, I accept another freelancing assignment, or I receive a sign. This past week the universe sent me all three.

What is the sign the universe sent me? The animal totem giraffe. A giraffe was mentioned in a book of essays I’m reading, during a Zoom meeting someone held a small giraffe toy in her hand, and giraffes were mentioned in another book I’m reading. Sometimes animals are just animals, but in this case at the sight and mention of “giraffe,” I felt a zing in my heart and my brain seemed to zero in on the word so I know it’s a sign and not a mere coincidence.

spiritual writing

Giraffe wants to say hi. Photo by Photo Lily on Unsplash

There are numerous interpretations for the symbolism behind giraffes, but the one I liked the best comes from uniguide.com where Kristen M. Stanton writes, “The giraffe totem is a helpful symbol for reminding yourself that what makes you unique is one of your gifts to the world. It is your unusual qualities and life experiences that will help you to fulfill your purpose on Earth.”

If that isn’t the most perfect message to receive when I’m doubting myself and my abilities, I don’t know what is. Just as I think I should throw in the towel on my business, the universe tells me, “No. Your uniqueness, what makes you ‘you’ is needed in this world. Keep going.” While this post is about me, I’m pretty sure my experience is a universal one. How many times do we compare ourselves to someone else and find ourselves lacking? How frequently do we feel like we’re not doing the “right” thing because our life doesn’t look like someone else’s? Giraffe reminds us our uniqueness is a gift to the world. That it’s precisely our personal qualities and life experiences that matter and are worthwhile.

The concept is also in line with my spiritual philosophy. The central tenet of my spiritual practice is the universe is coming to know itself through me and you. We are the human expression of divinity. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience, to quote Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Other people who speak to this idea eloquently are Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Pope who write in their book Journey of the Universe, “[J]ust as the Milky Way is the universe in the form of a galaxy, and an orchid is the universe in the form of a flower, we are the universe in the form of a human. And every time we are drawn to look up into the night sky and reflect on the awesome beauty of the universe, we are actually the universe reflecting on itself. And this changes everything.”

I am the universe reflecting on itself. The skills and talents I possess are gifts to be utilized. I am here to share those gifts and I’m privileged enough to be in a position to make money from them. The universe keeps reminding me, “Yes, you should be writing. Yes, that includes ghostwriting. No, working for someone else isn’t in your best interest.” Sometimes I remember that on my own, but sometimes I need encouragement. And this week that encouragement came in the form of a giraffe.

I dream of a world where we understand we are each unique, talented, and special. A world where we understand we were not meant to fit in because we are the individualized expressions of cosmic consciousness. A world where we realize we are the universe coming to know itself through us and that means we are wonderful just as we are.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Something that’s been on my mind a lot, as I’m sure it has for many others, is the situation in Afghanistan. I’m watching in horror as the Taliban is taking over once more and all the progress from the past 20 years is disintegrating. How does this happen? Why hasn’t the narrative we’ve been sold – that the U.S. brings democracy and freedom to other countries – work? (I know we invaded Afghanistan in response to terrorism, but we also tried to establish a Western-style democracy.) It doesn’t work because there’s a very specific dynamic at play.

When a foreign country invades to supposedly make things better, they are often viewed as a bully throwing their weight around. They become resented and are seen as meddling in affairs they know nothing about. And if the foreign power does set up projects and organizations to aid the local denizens, those projects and organizations often crumble when the foreign power leaves. Why? Because the foreign country is enacting subordinated cooperation instead of coordinated cooperation.

spiritual writing

Coordinated cooperation all the way. Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

Where people do something individually or collectively, but keep themselves under other people’s supervision, that’s subordinated cooperation. It’s the traditional power structure we see, well, pretty much everywhere. It’s the traditional work situation where a boss issues commands from on high and the employees follow those commands. The employees have less agency or power and aren’t as invested in their work because they don’t have a say.

In the case of Afghanistan, our military trained and equipped nearly 300,000 people to take over when we left. It was justification for our withdrawal. What happened when the U.S. withdrew? That army dwindled to only about 500 people.

U.S. News and World Report stated the local forces “simply put down their weapons, defected to the Taliban willingly or because their families faced threats, or succumbed to the other forms of bribery and waste that American inspectors general have been publicly documenting for at least a decade.”

In the same article, Army Gen. Mark Milley is quoted as saying, “They had the training, the size, the capability to defend their country. This comes down to an issue of will and leadership.” His quote is very revealing – he said the issue came down to “will” and “leadership.” He’s a military man looking for a military solution. The military is all about subordinated cooperation and not coordinated cooperation so of course as soon as the head honchos left the army fell apart.

Imposing ideas and dictates upon another group doesn’t work. What does work is coordinated cooperation. It’s when cooperation is between free human beings, each with equal rights, mutual respect for each other, and they are working for the welfare of the other.

To quote my spiritual teacher, “Only the cooperative system can ensure the healthy, integrated progress of humanity, and establish complete and everlasting unity among the human race. People should work to enjoy sweeter fruits by establishing the cooperative system.”

A cooperative system cannot exist if one group is considered inferior to another. Nor can coordinated cooperation exist if it’s imposed upon the group. They have to believe themselves equal, to demand it, and not take anything else than they deserve. Local culture and customs must be respected and the local people must be the ones to initiate change – not someone who is considered an outsider. The situation in Afghanistan is a clear example of that.

I dream of a world where we employ coordinated cooperation and not subordinated cooperation. A world where we respect local customs and cultures while also empowering the disempowered. A world where we support change not in the form of imposition but instead in the form of nurturing.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Typically, when I want something, I want it with a fiery passion. I want it intensely, as if my insides are burning and the only way to cool the flames is to get what I want. However, I don’t have a magic wand so it’s very rare that I get what I want when I want it. That means I spend much of my time feeling frustrated and disgruntled. A friend asked me, “How can you make peace with wanting but not having?”

It’s a good question because the reality is I’ll always want something. There will never be a time in my life that I’m perfectly content with every single thing and waiting for that day to arrive before I feel peaceful sounds like a terrible idea.

What comes to mind is a concept in my spiritual tradition that states attraction underpins the universe. Not sexual attraction, just attraction, or a “force acting mutually between particles of matter, tending to draw them together, and resisting their separation,” to quote the dictionary.

spiritual writing

This little cutie wants something. I can tell. Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

My spiritual teacher says, “To maintain harmony and balance within the universe, there is a mutual attraction among all objects: each microcosm is attracting the other microcosms. All finite microcosms … are entitled to [God’s] deep universal love with which He has bound each microcosm to Himself and in which His divine ocean of bliss is perennially flowing. Attraction is the innate characteristic of microcosms.”

Attraction is the innate characteristic of all living beings. That means we’re all attracted to something and that “something” is divinity. Knowingly or unknowingly, all living beings are in the process of moving from crudeness to subtlety. They are attracted to a divine center and thus heading closer and closer to pure, divine love, my philosophy states. What that means for me is instead of spinning out because I don’t have a bigger house or a book deal, I can pause, relax, and feel the sweetness of what it means to want something.

To want something, to be attracted to something, is an inherent characteristic of living beings and is a signal that I’m alive, that I’m moving, that I’m being pulled toward a deep, cosmic love. Ultimately what I want is infinite happiness, unlimited happiness, perennial happiness and that sort of happiness never comes from material objects. I’m not advocating for a life of abnegation because I don’t think that’s possible for most human beings, but a little awareness goes a long way.

Having an awareness that the object or experience I’m seeking will buoy my happiness for a little while before I go on to wanting the next thing, means I can acknowledge wanting itself as a sign that I’m alive. “Wanting” transforms into something I can accept, that I can have patience around, instead of a thirst that must be quenched immediately. If I recognize that wanting is a signal I’m moving ahead in life, that I’m on a path from crudeness to subtlety, then suddenly wanting a big house and a book deal but not having them yet doesn’t feel so excruciating.

I dream of a world where we recognize wanting something is a sign that we’re alive. A world where we’re able to make peace with wanting something without having it yet because we recognize ultimately what we’re desiring is perennial happiness, and that doesn’t come from material objects. A world where we understand we’ll always want something and that’s a good thing.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

I had an interesting experience on Friday. I walked by the yoga studio where I used to host a weekly group meditation prior to the pandemic. I discovered the building is no longer safe to enter and has been stripped to its studs! I don’t know if they’re renovating the building or tearing it down, but regardless, I likely won’t be in that yoga studio again because someone in my community has an office space we’ll be able to use for free when meeting in person resumes.

I mention all this because passing by the yoga studio had me reflect on what it now turns out is the very last time I was in that space. It was March 2020 and I waffled about whether to host a group meditation that night. The pandemic was just getting started and we thought Covid was spread via touch. I wasn’t sure whether to proceed or not because I didn’t want anyone to catch the virus, and at the same time I felt a nudge to host.

In the end, I said, “Let’s do it” and brought alcohol swabs to wipe down every surface. No one attended the group meditation and instead of shrugging my shoulders and leaving, I decided to go through with the routine anyway. I meditated with myself and whatever ethereal spirits were in attendance, and walked home, still unsure if I had made a good decision.

As if in answer to that question, when I rounded the corner from the yoga studio, I spotted the rainbow pictured below.

spiritual writing

I’m so glad I recorded this moment.

Even at the time, I laughed and texted my family, telling them I was glad I went, that it felt like the universe affirmed my decision. Now I’m doubly glad because that day in March 2020 was my chance to say goodbye to a space I’d used weekly for years, a space where I met new people, strengthened existing bonds, and supported spiritual development.

My experience from Friday reminds me that love knows. The cosmic intelligence that’s at play in the universe knows everything, knows what I need and want before I need or want it. Love knew I wouldn’t be at that yoga studio again and needed a proper goodbye. Nor is this experience with the yoga studio an isolated incident. This has happened to me before in myriad ways – not only with saying goodbye, but also calling someone just as they needed it, or opening a book to the exact page that provided solace I sought, etc. Love knows and love always knows.

My spiritual teacher says, “The Macro-psychic Entity is omniscient … There is no special endeavor, and no necessity for special effort, to know anything, because all things are within Him and all are within His ectoplasmic dispersion …. Everything is His internal mental projection, intra-psychic projection. That is why He knows everything and will always know everything.”

The Divine Beloved knows everything and will always know everything. There’s relief in that and also a sweetness. I don’t have to know everything; I don’t have to figure everything out because there’s an entity that already does all that. And that entity is guiding me, letting me know for instance when I should visit a yoga studio for an unbeknownst-to-me goodbye.

I dream of a world where we recognize there’s a divine intelligence at play in the universe that knows everything. A world where we understand that omniscient entity guides us, loves us, and shows us our next steps. A world where we realize love knows and always will.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

I keep thinking about an essay I read in the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. He writes about how he lived at the dead end of a dead-end street, two blocks long, at the bottom of a hill in north Seattle. At the top of the hill, two big yellow and black signs declared: STREET ENDS. And at the end of the street where Fulghum resided, another big sign with stripes and reflectors stated the obvious: DEAD END.

You could see that “DEAD END” sign a long way off – in other words, the dead end didn’t sneak up on you. However, what’s so remarkable is people drove down the street anyway and seemed to be baffled when the street did, in fact, end.

spiritual writing

These signs are pretty obvious . . . if we accept them. Photo by Gabriel Soto on Unsplash

Fulghum writes:

“Not just part way, mind you. Not just to where the reality of the situation cleared up. No, sir. They drove all the way down, right up to the sign, the big black one with stripes, the one that said DEAD END.

“And they read that sign two or three times. As if they were foreigners and had to translate the English. They looked on either side of the sign to see if there was a way around it. Sometimes they sat there for two or three minutes adjusting their minds …. There was no pattern. All kinds of vehicles, all kinds of people, broad daylight and pitch dark. Even a police car a couple of times. And once a fire truck.

“Innate skepticism or innate stupidity? I confess I do not know. A psychiatrist friend tells me it’s a sample of an unconscious need to deny – that everyone wants the road or The Way to continue on instead of ending. So you drive as far as you can, even when you can clearly read the sign. You want to think you are exempt, that it doesn’t apply to you. But it does.”

His last two lines especially strike me. We want to think we are exempt, that whatever we’re confronting – a dead-end street, a deadly virus, whatever – doesn’t apply to us. But it does. I’d wager the majority of us want to feel special. We want to be right, to know the truth, and even when there’s evidence demonstrating we’re wrong, we can’t accept it. Why is that? I think one reason is U.S. culture doesn’t have many examples of people saying, “I don’t know.”

Instead of saying, “I don’t know,” we make something up, we pretend to know. We try to save face versus practicing humility and admitting, “I don’t know,” or even, “Maybe I’m wrong.” Who says maybe I’m wrong these days?!? I can’t remember the last time I heard in a public space someone open to the possibility they don’t know everything. It’s as if due to the internet and having so much knowledge at our fingertips we’re loathe to say, “I don’t know” or “I could be wrong.”

Also wrapped up in “I don’t know” is fear, in my opinion. My spiritual teacher says, “Humans do not fear to tread a known path, but they always hesitate and fear to travel unknown paths.” Sometimes those unknown paths are intellectual ones. It’s far easier to cling to a thought or belief you learned early on and is corroborated by friends and family than to change your mind and believe something new. I, for one, value bravery and I want other people to be brave too. I want us all to say “I don’t know” and “Maybe I’m wrong” when that’s the truth for us. And also, to pay attention to evidence when it stares at us in the face. We’d all be better for it.

I dream of a world where we recognize we aren’t exempt. A world where we understand if there’s a road sign that says “DEAD END,” that the street ends. A world we understand if we think we know something other people don’t, we’re likely deluding ourselves. A world where we’re OK with some uncertainty and we embrace the power of saying, “I don’t know” and “Maybe I’m wrong.”

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

I watched a viral video of a woman in California arguing why her kids shouldn’t be required to wear a mask to school. She told the school board they don’t have the authority to make that decision, and she cited the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and for some reason, the Federalist Papers.

My first response was to mock her, tell her what an idiot she is, why she’s wrong, etc. As we’ve seen though, fighting fire with fire only results in a conflagration. I kept mulling over the video and stumbled upon a passage from my spiritual teacher that softened me and offered some perspective on the situation. He said, “Everyone longs for liberation because bondage is not conducive to happiness …. all long for some kind of liberation – some in terms of freedom of action, some in terms of freedom on the intellectual level.”

spiritual writing

No one wants to be in bondage. Photo by niu niu on Unsplash

We are all longing for liberation. We all want to escape from chains whether literal or metaphorical, and now when I think about the video, I start to wonder if maybe that’s what’s going on for this woman too. She doesn’t want someone else to tell her what to do or what her kids should do. She wants freedom but it’s coming out skewed. What I mean is, we as a society are brushing up against the confines of freedom in the physical and mental spheres. People want more and more freedom but the physical world imposes limits. You can’t have unlimited freedom on the earthly plane. You just can’t. But we still long for that so some people are taking that energy and ranting about wearing masks. I think what people are actually longing for is liberation from the bondage of being human.

According to my spiritual philosophy, every living being is on a journey from crudeness to subtlety. Every living being evolves over time to become more and more complex in all ways until finally that microcosmic entity becomes one with the macrocosmic entity. In other words, the source of all things. That’s what we’re all doing here. We’re constantly evolving physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually until one day we’re no longer even human. Watching this woman yell about freedom of choice, I now see her soul is yelling about a different sort of freedom. A thirst for freedom that will never be quenched on the physical plane and instead can only be satisfied on the spiritual one.

To quote my spiritual teacher again, he says, “There is in the living being a thirst for limitlessness. It is not possible for limited objects to quench one’s thirst. Brahma is the only limitless entity, and so establishment in Brahma’s bearing alone puts an end to all thirsts or cravings …. [A]nd so knowingly or unknowingly, human beings are indeed running after limitlessness.”

All of this is to say, I hear you, anti-mask lady. I hear your desire for freedom, for limitlessness, for no longer being ensnared by various bondages. I long for the same things and that’s why I have a devoted spiritual practice because I know what I really, really, really want cannot be found on Earth. And what you really, really, really want can’t either.

I dream of a world where we recognize the physical realm has its limits. A world where we understand our thirst for freedom can never be satisfied here, and instead, we turn to a spiritual practice to quench it. A world where we understand ultimately what we’re all longing for is liberation.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

1 2 3 67 68
Plugin Supporter Smooth Post Navigation