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 a
ngel-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.

 


Comments

maggie
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.

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