I regularly see folks on various Facebook threads and groups writing enthusiastically about the joy they feel in various aspects of their spiritual practice. No, I do not feel they are ramping up their giddiness quotient to be noticed or celebrated, but are revealing an almost childlike happiness they have discovered lying latent in their consciousness, ready to be unwrapped by practice, ritual or spontaneity. Although I rarely feel such bubbly emotion myself I do not for a moment resort to some cynical critique but feel a companionable cheerfulness in their celebration of life in all its gaudy glory.
I can recall the days of my youth, and to be honest, early middle age, when sudden passions and enthusiasms would do the same for me. Esthetic and psychic experiences had the ability to thrill me for days. Music, literature, art, and esoteric teachings would reverberate through my psyche, upending whatever apple cart I was clinging to at the time. There goes that limitation or paradigm, I would chuckle as I moved on. The years of astonishment I came to call them. Of course astral projection and past lives surfacing were a big part of all that, lots of which are detailed in my second book More Adventures In Eternity.
Now that age has taken control of my life, I see things differently. You are only as old as you feel, folk will advise. Well, I feel old. A different old from the sense of ‘eternal and ancient’ that past lives insist on. Old as in creaky bones and joints, old as in in reduced energy, old as in susceptibility to illness and depression. What has emerged from this refining fire is serenity, an even deeper serenity than I knew years ago, when the insights of Zen and Taoism made a deep impression on me. While the serenity that sunsets and full moon nights invoke is palpable and enduring, this serenity emerges from within, a knowing that nothing really matters in the long run, that one’s suffering in 1527 or 786 is no more or less real than the shocks felt this year. And as I have been suffering from an acute medical condition this summer of 2023, this serenity has been a great help in coping. A calm acceptance of pain and acute inconvenience, coupled with the knowing that many are suffering more egregious fates than I, including the 2000+ citizens of Morocco swept away in yesterday’s earthquake.
So to those of you who regularly feel the joys of unconditional love pouring though you I say ‘more power to you’ and ‘may it continue unabated’ as I squat, somewhat contentedly, in my next of serenity.