Spirituality in a Nutshell

Life is benevolent.
Life is limitless.
Never grab – allow scenes to pass.
Patience in all moments.
Devise a perspective of contentment.
Reality flows from the inside out.
While forgetting all else, remember this.

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Perspective and Focus

When we take the spiritual path, what are we actually doing? I’d say the spiritual path is the process of refining our perspective and focus. The perspective we need to develop is one that presents life as benevolent and without limitations. The focus we need to develop is actually an unfocusing, no longer zooming-in on particular aspects, but allowing life’s scenes to pass through unmolested by our otherwise grabby mind.

For those of us that start with the perspective that we’re fragile creatures struggling for survival within a chance-based physical reality, the idea of a limitless and benevolent world is quite the leap. It’s tough, but I was able to get there through the idea of simulation-theory, by believing that the world is simply a computer-simulation created for the enjoyment of its players. Once I got that down, it served as the inroad I needed to allow me to understand other aspects and viewpoints of spirituality.

It turns out, all this stuff was written down! But of course the material is impenetrable to a mind unwilling to receive it. For instance, the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita started making a whole lot more sense to me, Christian Science too, plus I’d hear preachers on TV and I could finally get what they were saying, and all that Secret and Law of Attraction material was no longer nonsensical. Here was a whole perspective I previously thought was proliferated by the mentally insane — what were these people talking about?! — I just couldn’t see it, my focus was too narrow.

And that’s the other part I needed to work on, my intense focus. All I could perceive or believe was whatever was right in front of my face — which obviously adds up to a very limited worldview. It’s downright claustrophobic. And from that tight little spot I could only criticize, picking out every problem I saw — life was a miserable affair. Whereas when we zoom-out, seeing the grand spectacle of existence with all its coordinating lights and sounds, we’re able to appreciate the cavalcade of characters and circumstances passing by.

It must be noted that we are affected by a persistent cloud of confusion, meaning this stuff has to be practiced and drilled, otherwise we remain lost in the everyday ongoings of the world. That’s why spirituality is a path, not a one-time revelation. For a game to be captivating, players require a gradually revealing fog-of-war or else they’re able to see everything at once — and where’s the fun in that? But for those of us completely lost in the fog, yelling for help, our voice is heard — that’s where the Admin comes in and we find ourselves heading towards the light.

Chasing Significance

What do the enlightened do after achieving enlightenment? The same stuff as everyone else, they just appreciate it more than before. As is said:

Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.

Enlightenment simply broadens one’s perspective, the content of life remains the same. Imagine a fairytale after the epic adventure concludes — what happens next? Characters go back to their everyday lives.

We so often sour our lives by lamenting a lack of significance. But even if achieved, things eventually normalize, becoming familiar and repetitive.

We therefore need to practice and perfect the process of extracting enjoyment from our everyday experiences. There is nothing but this.

In every moment of our day, we must be finding the fun, distilling the delight. It’s not an event that makes or breaks our life, but the routine we make for ourself from the components we’re surrounded by.

As the sun unceasingly rises and sets, seek satisfaction from simplicity. From the daily meals we consume, in the repetitiousness of rhythm, toiling upon our tasks, amongst the people we call family — comes the comfort of familiarity.

Dawn of Enlightenment

Jagged edges distort my view.
Thus I polish roughness with repetition.
As I shine, my source beams through.

A creator playing amongst his parts.
Trinity of author, actor, and audience.
Power surges from regular remembrance.

While in character, forgetfulness reigns.
Self-imposed fog blinds and binds.
Roots buried beneath a mirage.

Only when pausing, do I perceive.
I am no pawn to be played.
I am the programmer.

Middle Path

What are we looking for when we begin an activity? We’re looking to get lost in the activity. We’re looking to become so captivated that we forget everything but the task at hand — and so focused that we block out everything except what’s in front of us. That’s pretty much true with existence too. Life ensnares our attention to keep us constantly engaged. And if we step back a bit we can recognize the artificial process powering the spectacle — we can see there’s an underlying narrative to life.

Ordinarily we don’t need to think about the mechanics of a game, we just play it. But what happens when we become too overwhelmed by the intensity of a game, when we take it too seriously? Typically, we’ll fail to enjoy ourselves. The game will become a burden, perhaps even a torturous experience. At that point we could rage-quit, or we could step back a bit, perhaps take some time to understand the fundamentals of the game better and most importantly take a more lighthearted approach.

This is where the path to enlightenment comes in. It’s not some beam that sucks us up into the heavens upon attainment, it’s simply the way in which we learn to better engage with existence. When we develop problems with life itself, it shows we’re taking things much too seriously — we’re spoiling our own gameplay. Enlightenment is what allows us to reset ourselves to the middle, where life is not too somber or too silly (a game played too frivolously is no fun either).

Enlightenment alters our perspective of the world, allowing us to understand the game-like nature of it all. Fears and frustrations melt away as we see the fiction before us. And we like games and stories of all sorts, so no fun is lost along the way — only enhanced. There’s no pressure to perform anymore, the past doesn’t matter, there’s nothing in the future to lose, and we realize that the point of every game is simply the enjoyment we receive from engaging.

Purposeful Path

I would say the purpose of pursing enlightenment is to improve our experience of existing.

For instance, very early this morning I had an unpleasant dream — it woke me up enough to become the beginning of my day. Upon waking though, I said “Aha! Caught you! Trying to captivate me by my dreams again I see! Well it won’t work! I know your tricks….” Then not long after breakfast I watched someone vomit right before my feet. I was briefly captivated once again, but it didn’t take long for me to say, “Aha! Again!? Really!? Well it didn’t work before and it’s not going to work now….”

In other words, I’m not perturbed by things that would have otherwise perturbed me. I see the fiction before me. My question though, is why does life regularly attempt to captivate me in the most unsettling ways? Why can’t it be fun stuff? Why can’t I be enticed to participate by the most fanciful adventures and wondrous delights? Instead, it’s nightmares and puke. I figure my character just isn’t stimulated enough by the cheery stuff.

But I think life is just being lazy though, going for the easy scares instead of the refined amusements. For earthly entertainment, I always select funny or fantasy and stay away from the sad or scary. Perhaps life just isn’t that funny or maybe life’s sense-of-humor is different than mine. I mean who am I to judge, I’m not exactly a ball of laughs to be around. Or maybe the stimuli I receive is simply fulfilling the expectations I harbor about this world.

And it’s true you know, I have pessimistic tendencies. I tend to focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right. But based on counter-examples, I know my outlook is not fact-based, it’s merely a gloomy perspective. Yet whether I entered existence with a negative attitude or developed one from early circumstances doesn’t matter, it’s time to change it either way. And it’s the pursuit of enlightenment that allows me to do so.

Staying Lit

If you want to be good at something, you do a lot of it, right? You practice. So if you wonder about the difference between enlightened and not-enlightened, just think of the time invested. Enlightenment is not about one-time epiphanies, it’s about constant realizations of who we really are. Enlightenment requires consistency. The path is carved by reframing the world in such a way that circumstances regularly remind us of life’s illusionary nature.

For instance, I spend time detached from daily life contemplating existence, oftentimes noticing the unreality of reality. I spend time fitting life’s dramas into the context of virtuality. I spend time setting traps, noticing when my automatic reactions set them off, reminding me to refocus into mindfulness. I spend time observing myself react to stimuli, purposefully readjusting my perspective when emotions intensify. I spend time connected to my higher self, transcribing words flowing from my thought-stream.

If you want to be enlightened, then you do it, it’s not something you wait for. While alive we’re in constant motion, so wind blows the flame out every time we light it. We must keep it lit. And we do that by constantly engaging with the boundaries of reality. It takes no great mystery-solving skills to perceive the dreamlike nature of existence, it just takes focus. Within the quiet of the mind, the answers tend to pour in — so the first step is to regularly meditate until thoughts are adequately stilled.

Then you listen. But listening isn’t enough as ideas flow in and out while moving throughout the day. Write the ideas down — re-reading them over and over, noticing the overlapping themes. Once they become well-known, apply them to the spectacle taking place before you — use these ethereal ideas to set a new perspective from which to define the world. And once this foundation is established, notice how the world before you brightens.