Rushing Towards Enlightenment
In spiritual circles, there often seems to be this mad rush to transcend our lowly human nature and physical form.
The goal of reaching enlightenment is lionized, and the simple pleasure of being a soul inside of a mortal human body is downplayed to a tremendous extent.
What happens if when we die, we realize we have to come back down to earth in an attempt to learn the lessons of incarnation all over again?
It’s a theoretical question, with no verifiable answer — I know.
And who am I to say we shouldn’t chase the truth of the great beyond.
This piece is really about finding a harmonious balance between the hunt for heaven and the afterlife, with remembering the sacred miracle that is being alive in a body today, right now.
I just personally feel that as we face the multi-layered crises of climate catastrophe and biospheric collapse — it’s a question that bears some careful examination.
Why is enlightenment seen as the ultimate and only goal if you are a spiritual seeker?
Focusing on the transcendent has pulled our awareness away from the sacred realness of this denser, more mundane world.
There are some spiritual philosophies that focus on the divinity of the immanant, physical experience of being alive.
I’m pulling up a memory of the beautiful Jeong Kwan from that episode of Chef’s table here, and her delight in the wildness of her garden. Her recognition of the sounds of nature as one, divine orchestra as she teaches the host of the show some stuff.
But as soon as you dive into the Abrahamic religions, and the tech-heavy, domination and violence ethos of the modern western culture — we start getting far, far away from the lowly body.
We’ve learned to demonize the weakness of the flesh, and we’ve been taught to fear the dark.
We shy away from the passion and sexuality of living in a human body, and cling to the intellect and innocence of the light — as if it can save us from…