Sunday, 12 April 2020

Lent 2020 - the summing up

Lent 2020 - Easter Sunday

We start with the basic. Your consciousness. Pure, free of ego. Your subjective experience. Detach yourself from your here-and-now material concerns and look around you. Feel; observe. What you are aware of is your soul - your consciousness. Free of ego.

Consider the Universe. Expanding; a billion galaxies each of a billion stars. It started with Big Bang. How will it end? God is the totality of awareness of all matter across the Universe. And your place in that Universe. Our understanding of it is extremely limited - like a cat trying to figure out how a light switch works.

Our destination is God; it is a continuum that tends towards wholeness - All in God, God in All. The journey is, quite literally, eternal. You will not be one with God after just a single lifetime! You will need myriad lifetimes; each one a tiny step nearer.

Reincarnation is the thread, the continuum of consciousness, unfettered by the bonds of biology, by your capricious ego. The pure subjective experience of awareness knows no you - it is ageless, it does not anger, it observes. Here I speak for myself alone, for no one knows what goes on within the conscious minds of others. You may have experienced this yourselves or not - I can't tell. My qualia memories are of place and time rather than of my ego. The purest flashbacks, either triggered (by smell, sound etc) or unbidden are of sensations experienced, rather than things that I did. And such flashbacks from lives outside of my own (xenomnesia, anomalous qualia memories) have convinced me that this thread, this continuity, is real.

These 'intimations of immortality' will get stronger from life to life, gaining in intensity, awareness, insight and understanding. This is spiritual evolution. At present, such metaphysical phenomena are extremely weak, in most cases too weak to even recognise. But great artists, musicians, poets, can touch it and communicate it clearly to humanity. Over Lent, I have mentioned several that have moved me sufficiently for me to consider them as being driven by a consciousness above time.

We need to pursue spiritual goals, to deepen our understanding of our place in the Universe. We are best placed to do this when our material needs are satisfied. Find the balance. Live in comfort, not in luxury. Know when enough is enough, then focus on reaching the Higher Ground. It is difficult to be able to do that when you are struggling to make ends meet, distracted in unheated, cramped or dingy accommodation. So work hard enough to achieve material comfort - but no harder. Shun ostentatious displays of wealth for yourself, shun those who show off - a sure sign of vanity, of an ego that has shut off the consciousness from the Eternal and Infinite. Power-play and office politics should also be shunned for the same reasons.

Complacency is our lifelong foe, we must be on guard against it creeping up on us. Because yesterday was good and today is good, it doesn't automatically mean tomorrow will be good. The best defence against complacency is consciously grateful attitude. There will always be another go - if you want it.

Thank you Jed, thank you Adam, for mentioning kindness, for it is the basis for human interaction. Thank you Beata for stressing the importance of gratitude in one's spiritual life. Thank you Jacek for questioning my assumptions so thoroughly. Thank you Teresa for your insights into the role of epigenetics in our lives, the biology we need to rise above. Thank you Adelaide for your thoughts about Spirit of Place. Thank you Bożena for mentioning suffering and epiphany. Thank you Marek for walking alongside me and constantly offering me new ideas (and the artwork below). And thank you everyone who's been following the blog this Lent - I hope in some small way it was of value to you.

Golden ratio ellipses

Lent finished well - no alcohol, no meat, no salt snacks, no confectionery consumed; exercises done, paces walked - the physical side of Lent taken in my stride.

This time last year:
Strength in numbers

This time four years ago:
Cultural differences: distance to power

This time eight years ago:
Painting the Forum Orange

This time 11 years ago:
That's what I like about the North


Otis Kaputnik said...

Thank you Michael for your sincere and passionate presentation of your exploration of our place in the world. As well as considering a great many important threads of thought you weave together a deeply engaging view of this great and sublime being of which we are a part on many, many levels.

Michael Dembinski said...

Glad you enjoyed it, er, Otis! :-)

Teresa Flanagan said...

Thank you for thoroughly taking your audience through the many facets of creating your own religion. Made me pause, especially this Lent, when we have nothing but time to think. I am not a religious person, but the essence of spirituality, which you compellingly discuss, is meaningful to me. Good for you, for your unfailingly optimism - that a future for our Earth does exist.

It will be a different world post-pandemic. A better one? I would like to think so, but my pessimistic nature, holds out. Not a big fan of humanity. I hold a small circle of family and friends dear to my heart and am grateful for their presence in my life. I think this group will continue to be fine, for a host of reasons, including the values we cherish, many of which are identified in your post today.

Enjoy a nice cut of meat, a sugary dessert, and a glass of superb wine today!

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Teresa

Meat yes, wine yes - sugar - no!

Optimism even at such times is important. Humanity has survived worse. (Still, we must not allow ourselves to get complacent in case this bastard virus mutates into something even more communicable and much more deadly).