Picturephoto: Tim D'Antonio
You know what annoygravates me?  
Planned obsolescence.
When I was a kid (Oh gosh, did I just write that?), things were built to last. A Lifetime Warranty was a thing. 
My clothes were hand-me-downs, and we actually outgrew our shoes long before they fell apart. In today's world, to maximize consumerism, everything is made to break. Everything, it seems, is considered disposable: from plastic wrap to relationships. Even the human body—the most amazing miracle—is treated like its expendable; as if we can just go in somewhere and have body parts fixed or replaced as needed. No biggie...

I'm not trying to get on a soap-box about smoking cigarettes, eating trans-fats or consuming sugar. Although, obviously, drugs are destructive. I am equally annoyed, however, with the tendency in our postmodern world to over-emphasize the psycho-spiritual quest toward transcendence. I mean, I get it. The rationalism of "the age of Enlightenment" has caused the pendulum to swing hard back toward the spiritual. We are in the midst of a mystical surge, one that calls for "rising above" the present situation—transcendence of the human state, transcendence of nature toward heaven, transcendence of self toward God. 
Yes, Yes, Yes. I agree. Rise, people, rise. There is no need to remain bogged down in the unnecessary limitations of the human experience. 

Unless, of course, you are interested in staying human. 
Which I am— 
at least for now, while I am here. Being human is the best that I can be. 
After all, isn't the body amazing? Isn't the Earth wonderful? Isn't the experience of being alive, right here and right now an absolutely glorious miracle? 
What I think—What I know—is that the guru in the cave of the heart is speaking to you right now, through your emotions, sensations and human experience. The quest for transcendence is a noble drive, as long as it doesn't pull one away from the exquisitely raw realness of being a human—essentially an angel-monkey...part transcendent spirit, part stinky feet. 

When the human experience is valued as perfect, exactly as it is—with all of it's beautiful blemishes—the body is no longer just a shell for the higher Self. It is a dear and necessary aspect of the whole Being. The Earth is the sacred home for the soul and ritual is equal to logic. Earthly possessions don't have to distract us from our Selves, but may deepen our experience of being fully alive. Every human relationship becomes an opportunity to witness the face of God. Every dark or dirty, grungy scene becomes an opportunity to be present to Love; not by lifting up and out of life, but by getting deep down in it. 

I don't have to be attached. I know I am more than my body...or my mind...or my family...or my things. Transcendence, however, is for the birds (or spirits) and I'm not dead yet. I want to get deep down in it. I want to value this life experience while I am alive. I want to value my body, cherish my relationships, 
appreciate my things. And I want them to last a lifetime.



03/25/2014 5:10pm

Yes, maintaining the balance between spirit, mind, and the reality of the body. Now, there's a challenge! Thank you for articulating this so well, Shakti.


Thank you for articulating what I have been thinking for a while now. I don't dislike the concept of transcendence per se. What I find objectionable is shift in focus to the beyond. My rational mind says focus on the here and now first, master it and then that's the only time you can focus on the next level of our existence. What can you achieve or contribute to the next realm if your existing mind and body are not in sync at all?


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