I wrote this in December, 2016. It was my first attempt at putting together both my beliefs and the inspirations that were coming to me as a result of meditation and study. This is an area I want to stay focused on in my writing. For me, spirituality (or whatever you want to call it) not only underscores my life, but is one of the driving factors in me writing in the first place.
Meditation has been the most beautiful, powerful, difficult endeavor I have ever undertaken. Meditation, like apathy, is nothing. A state of nothing is essential to finding truths. If you have an emotional imprint or conscious thought, it prevents you from seeing truth, because you are guiding and driving, and you are flawed. You are the sum of what you are taught, and you are taught by other people, who are also flawed. Meditation trains you that your thoughts and feelings will come and go. In practicing meditation, you must allow this to happen without following them. It is to allow everything to happen in your body, heart, and mind with no intercession on your part. If you are trying to meditate, you’re not actually meditating. There is no try, there is no do, there is the complete and utter surrender of your mind, body, and soul. In surrender, you find acceptance, love, peace: happiness.
I think the best part of meditation is that it allows your subconscious to overtake your conscious mind. When I listen to the songs that I love, I see the power of my subconscious. It is hearing without listening, which means I can’t mess it up with my own thoughts. Music is what opened the first door, writing opened the second, meditation and Yoga combined have opened the floodgates of joy, struggle, growth, and life. When I meditate, it allows me to dream while I am awake. It allows me to hear and feel the things that my conscious mind cannot comprehend. The subconscious, to me, is the soul’s ability to intersect reality, but it does not work if the conscious mind is on. I believe that all souls are one, and we are all called to serve a higher purpose.
In Yoga, you say Namaste – the divine in me bows to the divine in you. I think God can be a bearded dude in the sky or the person you see in the mirror, it is irrelevant. God is the divine, the higher power. Whatever or whoever you give your power to is your god, and this is not necessarily be a good thing, because the human Ego is inherently flawed. In order to find true divine power, you must find your true self. You must strip away what you think to find what you know. Yoga and meditation gives power to self by staying present by connecting your breath, mind, and soul. In harmony, you do not abide by the flawed conscious mind, which allows you to find the Higher Power. I’ve been calling it The Universe, Jung calls it the Collective Unconsciousness. Prayer is the same mechanism, it is turning off your conscious mind to hear what your God is saying. You use the recitation of words to cease the thoughts of the conscious mind.
Yin and Yang – everything exists together – you must have movement and stillness, happiness and sadness, darkness and light. In meditation, I feel one-ness in myself, which opens one-ness with everything. I ascribe to no religion, because to me, organized religions are man-made and inherently flawed. Buddha makes equal sense to me as Carl Jung, so I mash the two together to help me find my own understanding, which is exactly what Jung had said you were supposed to do, except I only read that today. I have lots of Jung’s quotes, because I liked the way he thought, but his actual theories are brand spanking new to me. At the same time, they’re almost exactly what I have always believed. I started reading about Jung and then I realized what Maynard is talking about in TOOL, APC, and Puscifer. I did not understand it when I heard it, yet it resonated with me, which is proof of the subconscious power.
I always struggled with Catholicism, but I went along with it because I was supposed to. My first step of becoming me was breaking away from Catholicism. On the other hand, I know many people who are very happy Catholics, Baptists, etc. Whatever works for you is what works. I believe that science and religion are two sides of the same coin, and I always have. Man fights the difference, nature shows the truth. I infuriated my father in High School when I called Catholicism a bunch of Pagan rituals – except that’s exactly how it is. It’s modified routines, etc. that pagans and every other religion does while arguing they’re the one true blah. To me, everything is the same, and it always has been. Catholicism does not work for me because it’s overrun with people who use the word of God to justify hate, and that’s about as logical to me as shooting an abortionist in the name of Pro Life…Oh, wait… It does not matter what religion you ascribe to, because it’s people talking about the same stuff using different words. When you look at nature, the cosmos are organized by a logical order, seasons are cyclical, and almost everything can be explained by both science and religion. Life is natural, organized, logical chaos, and there is a higher power that oversees – it doesn’t matter what you call it.
Yin Yang – everything in life exists in balance, night before day, sadness with happiness. I see absolutely no point in applying a label to it, because all you will do is argue your label versus mine. To Jung, he was a spiritual scientist, and he and Maynard are the only men who have make sense to me, which likely explains my inability to have successful relationships – I kid, I kid. I drew the Yin Yang obsessively as a child because I liked how they look and understood white and black together, and now Yin Yang is one of my primary beliefs. It’s a Jung synchronicity, what I keep referring to as “hippie shit”; here I thought I was so unique. It is something I was aware of as a child with no one to teach it to me. I was raised in Catholicism, yet believed deeply in harmony and balance, which to me, shows Jung’s Collective Unconscious. In Catholic school, you are taught one thing and one thing alone – blind obedience. Love your God who loves you more than anything, but He will send you to Hell if you fuck up, but he loves you: 12 years of Catholic school in a nutshell. At the end of the day, teachers and believers can be flawed, because all Jesus really said was “Love your god, love each other – these are the two greatest commandments” Where hating anyone who doesn’t follow Jesus came out of that simple line is exactly why I hate organized religion for myself, but truly appreciate it for anyone who follows a path of Love.
I believe that we are all here for a purpose, everything in life happens for a reason, and that we are all souls with knowledge that we cannot tap into because we’re too busy worrying about the wrong things. Ego makes people argue that their x is better than your y, but true happiness is found in acceptance, harmony, and love. At the end of the day, religion and science both exist – yin and yang – and if people would stop arguing about which is right, we’d probably have greater understanding of self and a rise of philosophy versus a rise in escapism. I believe things are so shitty nowadays because Ego is running rampant in the guise of enlightenment. I think people medicate too much versus pushing through to find self. I believe there is too much focus on easing struggles to make life easy versus struggling to live a life worth living. I believe that all of our struggles are there for a reason and your duty is to find out why. Jung calls this individuation and it is our divine purpose. I literally just read that today, but it is exactly what I have been doing since Evan and I separated, because I knew I was seriously fucked up, and I wanted to know why. Catholicism was step one, and when I found that I felt worse, I dropped it and focused on finding my beliefs.
Buddha has taught me to come away from struggle, and to allow being one, harmonized, in unity with yourself and the world. Jesus taught me to love one another as you love yourself. I think Buddha, Jesus, Maynard, Jung are all wise teachers. I have great respect for all, because they have all helped me find my true self. I believe everything essentially is discussing, explaining, and attempting to heal the same struggle, wounds, and problems. Everything attempts to answer, “Why are we here? How did we get here? Where do we go when we die?” To me, everyone struggles between what they are taught, what they know, and what they feel. Freud’s Ego, Id, Super-Ego was my obsession in grade school; I thought Freud was fascinating. To me, the center is the linkage of Id to Super-Ego without Ego’s intervention. Ego is usually a hot mess – parent shit, life shit, shitty shit. Ego is nothing but your Id arguing with your Super-Ego – i.e. what you know versus what you are taught. Ego is the mask you put on to face the world and survive. Ego is only concerned with self. I could not, however, reconcile that understanding with where God came in, so I found myself confused until Meditation came into the picture.
Center/harmony is different for everyone, because no one person has the same path, experience, or life. Jung says individuation is stripping the masks of persona to find the Higher Power and Self. Another synchronicity for me – guess who used to work with Freud until his theological perspective could not find accord with Freud’s focus of self alone. Carl Jung intersects spirituality with Freudian theory, and Freud is the only one that made sense to me as a child. I will admit that I was a weird kid – I collected rocks and obsessively studied Freud and Greek mythology. Logic organizing chaos is what makes me happy: the contrary union, the Yin Yang. The Pythagorean definition of music is the most beautiful phrase I’ve ever read: A Perfect Union of Contrary things. To me, it is life, and actually a definition of music, which is my life. (It’s also Maynard’s book title, which I still haven’t finished, because I am sure he’s going to talk about all of this, and I wanted to figure it out myself first, because I’m a stubborn ass.)
However you wish to explain it, everything boils down to we as individuals know nothing beyond ourselves. All religions tell you that you are frail and easily misled and to follow a God. It’s all different labels and practices with the same hope – Heaven, Nirvana, etc. It is the struggle to be good and achieve perfection above your desires, sin, shadows, etc. and that it is impossible without a higher power. Everything focuses on a higher power, something bigger than self. Let your thoughts go and allow for the higher power to speak to you via prayer, meditation, etc. If we all behave as one closed off self, hatred, fear, and sadness abound, so we all must serve a higher purpose/higher power to find love, peace, acceptance, and harmony. The human ego makes us all argue the same truths versus uniting, as we are meant to. In Jung’s philosophy, we all have the same archetypal struggles, and we are inside a perpetual struggle of Ego. In coming away from struggle of Ego, you find the Higher Power. We all have knowledge in our collective unconciousness, and we are all ultimately one with each other and the universe.
There is a reason why hippies are potheads, it allows them to tap into these truths without the work of meditation. This is the shit I love pondering when I am stoned, but by meditating, I can ponder it no matter what. In stripping away the struggles of ego by accepting them and enduring them, I free my mind to go to cool places, and I have been doing it more often than not lately. When I achieve my Zen, it is pure peace and contentment. I have mistaken happiness as never feeling pain, always smiling, always laughing. In expecting that, I never found happiness. Happiness is peace and contentment. It is seeking, wanting, and expecting nothing, as Buddha taught. To expect something is to ensure disappointment. Expect Nothing allows delight, pain, sadness, and happiness with no intervention by living life in a centered, meditative framework. In finding center, you can grow, because you will accept the pain and override base instincts of Flight/Fight, leading you to greater awareness. As you grow, you will learn more truths. The truths will have the label of whatever higher power you turn to, but it will always be love of self, others, and Higher Power leading you to happiness. Any change from that is Ego manipulating the message.