Gratitude Unbound

Consciousness, Poetry, Spirituality, Writing
(Image: “Turning Contrast into Gratitude”, Amrita Grace.)
Gratitude brings us immense joy
when we see the delicate magic in its translucent wings
that flit quickly past in our field of attention
sprinkling our eyes with stardust, and allowing our vision to expand.
We then have the startling realization,
that we are swimming
in an endless sea of divine blessings.
Something wondrous is awakened
possibly for the first time in the painful brevity of our lives
wonder comes alive in our mind with sharpened senses, refined by grace
which gives us the power
to behold a multiplicity of kindnesses.
We become intrepid soul explorers
Intimately tracing the subtle, ever-changing geography of bliss
by expanding the limits of our vision.
We can still perceive ugly truths
when judgment displaces generosity of spirit
otherwise, the all is seen for what it truly is.
We see the cosmos as good and bounteous
every little experience is understood to nourish the soul
this, in spite of the well-meaning admonitions of others.
These bosom friends, who we hold in great esteem,
nonetheless
warn us away from soul lessons
because, friends though they may be
they lack a certain spiritual perceptiveness.
Namely, the ability to understand
that contained in even that which is judged to be horrific
is a certain divinity, able to only be discerned
by those with intuition enough
to glimpse into the mind of that who we might call God
even though we are not big enough to name this thing
that is too big to be named.
They do not yet understand the greatness of the cosmic map
These beloved companions
see only treacherous shoals, upon which,
our pitiful vessel buffeted on all sides,
by waves of unimaginable power,
will be utterly destroyed,
and our dreams with it.
We, on the other hand
see goodness everywhere
our bounteous joy expands, and our
eyes agog with a million and one exquisitely beautiful examples
that are a part of our lives every day.
Nothing but goodness
nothing but kindness
we train ourselves to perceive the hidden good
that is contained in the unfathomable depths of the ordinary.
We set out on a venture to encounter goodness
anywhere and everywhere we look.
The stones arrayed in simplicity at our feet
sing to us hymns particular to their singular place in the celestial hierarchy.
No good thing will escape our sight
we increase our joy beyond measure and see delight everywhere
when we sip the indescribably sweet wine of gratitude.
We rediscover the eternal part of ourselves,
and we wear the filigreed garments
of ecstatic awareness,
when we are grateful for every part of existence.
We array ourselves in this sort of splendor,
everyone and everything who enters our field of vision becomes a god of sorts,
but a god, nevertheless
worthy of our devotion.
And when we don these garments
we are only capable of seeing great joy, and an all-encompassing transcendent love
expressed in an infinitude of forms.

To See That Which Is Invisible

Consciousness, Nature, Spirituality, The Outdoors, Writing

Despite what some have told you, we can see into the invisible realm. We can go there when we suspend our disbelief, and when we discard out our cynicism and our jaded world-view. If we surrender to the magic around us, the universe will collapse in grateful awe. How can it not, when we connect lovingly with the majesty of everything? You must see the magic that is everywhere and let it entirely swallow you up, until nothing is left of your former self except for pure awareness, and you have the power to exude magic to everyone you meet. The air itself and the molecules of our body have a kind of magic in them. We need to get far beyond all that interferes with our seeing the infinite glories hidden in plain sight in the material world. I for one am a firm believer that there are wondrous things entirely hidden away in the velvet folds of the fabric of reality that cannot be seen by the human eye. This does not make them any less real; only that in order to be able to see into the invisible places where things of a spectral nature make their home, one must have a clarity of perception that only is only realized when you are seeing with the inner eye. What I am really talking about are phenomena like parallel dimensions, space-time singularities, fairies and elves; angels and demigods, extraterrestrial visitors, and angelic entities, of such otherworldly brilliance, that if they ever appeared in front of you in their naked beauty, would make you drop to the ground and you would be completely agog and entirely unable to utter a single word of human speech. There are many other wondrous things that are too numerous to catalogue. But I am not here to provide you with an astral field guide to the amazing sights we cannot see with our physical eyesight, nor offer you field trips into these transcendent landscapes, but instead, to inspire you with your ability to see, and even interact, with these magical manifestations of the divine.

Our perceptions become clouded over when we are no longer able to muster enough faith to believe in the unseen, and because we cannot do this, we will be wholly unable to see the glittering strands of sacredness out of which the entire universe is woven. We need to burnish our perceptual mirrors, so that they can brilliantly reflect the blindingly white light of the indescribable beauty that emanates out of every pore of creation.  It is tragic when we cannot remember how to do this, for our potential for joy greatly decreases when we cease gazing with awestruck eyes into the multifaceted jewel that is the transcendent. We must look penetratingly into the very heart of the universe with a clear and discerning eye, and we do this by becoming intimate with the holy innocence that dwells in the center of our being. There are many things in this invisible kingdom that are much more real than anything in our so-called “real” universe.

You know this, without a shadow of a doubt, when you look into the eyes of a young child, and see the effervescent magic that lies therein. Or, when you ponder the starry skies on a moonless night, and feel an inexplicable kinship with these distant suns, who you may recognize as beings in their own right. There is a whole kingdom of astonishing things we will be able to see if only we cleanse our perceptions, and when we do, we will become quite overcome with such an immensity of joy, that it will knock us to our feet. But that’s not the end of it, because we will be stunned when we discover how unimaginably sacred and holy creation really is. We must always remember, too, that Nature is a cathedral, and to be able to see the invisible choir of blessed beings who fill the forest air with joyful hymns, you need to bring a profound reverence with you into this peaceful place. Walk out into the most beautiful forest you know of, and become intoxicated by the exquisite beauty.Watch it in the spires of the pine trees reaching out to touch heaven. Observe it, with reverent attention, in the decaying logs as you watch their atoms breaking down into a nourishing chemical stew. These particles are destined to compose a future body of yours. You are constantly exchanging your molecules with those of the universe around you. Is that not miracle enough for you?  What other magic or miracles do you need? You can and should be the witness as your physical body dematerializes and is replaced by one that is celestial in composition. Don’t worry – you can always come back to the earth in physical form. You will eventually discover that the universe is much more beautifully alive than you could ever possibly hope to understand.

Magic is merely the ability to see the miraculous in everyday life. Nothing more and nothing less. Magical awareness is something that we can cultivate, and should work on cultivating. It is not something frivolous, but should be an essential part of the way we look at things. It is a recognition of a sacred aspect to existence. Magical awareness is to see the ethereal splendor that we are literally swimming in, which includes all of the bright worlds that co-exist peacefully with our own. Without seeing how we are connected to a myriad of other realities, we limit our glorious possibilites to a mere sliver of what they could be. We are magical beings, with magical bodies, and to not see ourselves in that manner, is to do a grave disservice to both ourselves and all the other wonderful human beings with whom we share a planet.

 

Writing is a Holy Act

Writing
“I write to discover what I know.” -Flannery O’Connor

It’s interesting, because the standard advice given to writers is “write what you know.” This takes that quote to an entirely different realm. The act of writing has always been a revelatory one, and always will; it bares all of the layers of your soul, and you will be astonished at the unexpected delights you find therein. The pen helps you to uncover certain truths about yourself. You mine the wealth of your unconsciousness to discover these rough-hewn diamonds, and then you ceaselessly polish them to bring out their inner light. In that way, the act of writing becomes self-remembrance, and thus it becomes a continual process of self-exploration. Writing is also a two-way street – it changes you, as much as you change it. It ever so lovingly plumbs your psychic depths.

You always uncover unexpected epiphanies about yourself, and there is no end to this process. They were always there, waiting to be unburied. Writing is also an exceedingly brave act. You have to brave enough to see what is inside you, and sometimes you don’t know something until the words are put to paper. Great writers know that the words do not belong to them…that they are bringing something from the realm that transcends space and time, which Jung called the “collective unconscious.” This term is all-too clinical sounding and a bit clichéd by now for my tastes. We almost need to reinvent language to describe this rapturous process wherein the writer is able to somehow become deliriously at one with the transcendent realm, and allow the raging river that is the universal consciousness to flow through him unabated. Only the most heroic amongst us have been brave enough to fully give themselves over to the tumultuous splendor of this force. This is how new realities and an infinitude of possibilities are birthed. Holy warriors, otherwise known as writers or artists, have had to consent to becoming willing vehicles for these transformative energies. These eternal forces are aching to be harnessed.

O’Connor’s quote resonates with me on a personal level as well. When I write, stuff comes out that has the ring of truth. I did not know that I know it, but I do now after I wrote it. I had a supposed talent for writing but for years, I did not enjoy it. I do now, but I am not attached to the fruits of my actions. It is a sacred practice to write. I feel as though in an egoless way, I am bringing more spiritual energy into the world. The only moment that really matters is the writing itself.  To be gloriously immersed in the process. If I were to burn the words after, writing would be just as valuable to me. Perhaps I should do that. It would be a written mandala to teach me the impermanence of myself, my words, and my world.

I could burn my work, and see the curling of the pages from the intense heat of the flame. Not unlike my body, when the spark of life leaves it and it is incinerated in the crematorium.  I would watch the effulgent sparks of my words ascend heavenward, dancing and sputtering in an ecstatic joy, and be gloriously unattached to the final product. My words would return to the source – the same realm to which I will one day return. By doing so, I emulate the Buddhists who practice the art of painstakingly creating beautiful patterns in the sand, and then gently giving them back to the formless with one holy breath. I have been thinking about that quote a whole lot today.