You know what annoys me?
When I was a kid, 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 the "lucky" parts of 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 it's expendable, as if we can just go to the "human parts store" and get replacements as needed. No biggie.
I'm not trying to get on a soap-box about the world's favorite vices: smoking cigarettes, eating trans-fats, consuming sugar... Obviously, drugs are destructive.
What I'm keying into, these days, is the postmodern tendency to over-emphasize a psycho-spiritual quest toward transcendence. Transcendental thinking, I have noticed, often comes with a notion that this whole human experience is expendable. If it isn't working, move on. Get up and out of the conflict. Ascend to mend a broken heart. And don't worry! ...a perfect, more peaceful, experience awaits beyond...
I mean, I get it. We have been 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. Rise, people, rise. There is no need to remain bogged down in the unnecessary limitations of the human experience.
Unless, of course, you are actually interested in BE-ing human. Which I am—
at least for now, while I AM.
Being human is the best that I can be.
After all, my body is amazing. The Earth is full of wonder. This experience of being alive, right here and right now is an absolutely glorious miracle.
The guru in the cave of the heart is speaking to me right now—and to you—through our emotions, sensations, and human experience.
The quest for transcendence is a noble drive, as long as it doesn't pull you away from the exquisitely raw realness of being a human, which essentially means you are an angel/monkey—part transcendent spirit, part stinky feet.
When the human experience is valued as perfect—exactly as it is—some important shifts can happen.
You come to realize this:
It is time to get real with the ego, to embrace the shadow. Let's get raw with each other, and celebrate the perfection of vulnerability. Let's fall in love with this messy human life.
I'm not advocating attachment.
I know I am more than my body; more than my mind...or my family...or my things. Transcendence, however, is for the birds.
Let the spirits ascend, but I'm not dead yet.
I want to get deep down in it with you. 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. ♥
(original post date: March 24, 2014)
About The Author
R.R. Shakti, PhD
Founding teacher of Inner Power Yoga®, Shakti is a Contemplative Mythologist, ritual facilitator, and writer who presents a Tantrik approach to personal empowerment and social action. Through contemplative story-telling and mind/body practices, she offers a vision of deep peace and radical freedom.
PSYCHE + SOUL