Mortal existence is not easy. It never has been, and never will be for any creature sown of this garden world. What follows are thoughts about the human journey, the fare existence offers, and the choices each must resolve alone in the sojourn through the veiled maze of space-time, of consciousness with all its dualistic notions. It is a journey of ecstasy and agony, courage and fear, love and hate. It is the mystery born of the passionate mind, and the flowing array of perceptions every human being faces in the movement though birth, sickness, injury, aging, dying, and death.
These reflections are written to help promote a larger vision of where we as a species are heading; one that attempts to look beyond humanity’s many seemingly irreconcilable divisions, one that values insight and wisdom, one that elevates rather than detracts, one that seeks to foster a sense of guardianship, rather than destruction and manipulation, of our little dust ball and the many life forms it has spawned.
We live in a time period similar, yet increasingly unique among the many cycles come and gone before. Excessive population, coupled with unprecedented, unrestrained technologies, are driving our petri dish experiment of free will toward a rather bleak outcome. All the insanities we have so carelessly, foolishly, needlessly wreaked upon the earth’s magnificent diversity, are huge rebounding tsunamis awaiting our arrival in time. The rules of the manifest game are simple and uncompromising, and those who bend and break them must eventually pay the price that Mother Nature is more than capable of exacting.
As long as we human beings battle over pride-filled differences, we inevitably embrace a fate of our own synergistic, instinctual, self-absorbed design. The monopolistic win-lose divisiveness wrought since history’s invention, since our egocentric, competitive, voluntary secession from the garden, spirals us down a path of annihilation. What we have done in all our arrogance has created a time already nightmarish for many, and will only exponentially accelerate for those to whom we are now ancestors. And we are nowhere close to discerning a common vision, a truly cooperative paradigm that might sidestep it.
We leave it to future generations to create solutions to problems we have all aided in forging. We vainly hope that political, economic, and religious leaders will shepherd us to salvation, but they cannot because the collective vision is too full of limitation and division. Despite all our canny attributes, we as a species have not yet fully fathomed our interconnectedness, our inherent kinship to the indivisible totality. We have not grasped that time does not exist as any more than a play of consciousness, a collusion of imagination. Nowness is the only ephemeral, eternal reality, and the decisions each of us make in this moment-to-moment flowing create the dreamtime future.
So many of the leaders we have chosen to follow with all their insecure, parasitic ambitions for power, glory, and wealth only wax the slide with empty promises and compromising, shortsighted decisions. Though many are highly intelligent in many clever ways, too few have the wisdom and integrity to truly serve those they pretend to lead. The result is that along with there being no political or economic solution to the dilemma now unfolding, our dysfunctional paradigm has created a spiritual crisis well beyond all the vain pretensions so many call religion.
No one will ever see the world exactly the same as anyone else. We are like snowflakes and fingerprints, patterns woven of a mystery to which all creation is witness in one form or another. Time and space are magical illusions, and each and every one of us is an equal participant in a vast theater of consciousness spontaneously playing itself out in seemingly every possible way. All our knowledge, all our histories, all our schools of thought, the countless frames of reference we imagine individually and collectively, dreamily overlap and merge like ripples crisscrossing to and fro upon the same sea of relativity.
Words, whatever the language, are conceptual icebergs each and every one of us envision differently. Thoughts of god, love, morality, money, tradition, politics, ad infinitum, inspire a myriad of responses, often conflicting because of rigid, dogmatic attachments to time. Yet, at the origin of all consciousness, that quantum field from which this grand three-dimensional mirage has come to pass, is very much the same oneness, the same universal, eternal truth, despite all our sophomoric arguments over the endless permutations of knowledge we ourselves have contrived.
All differences are fabrication, fantasy, make-believe, delusion, born of imagination. All polarizations, whether cultural, racial, sexual, geographic, economic, political, religious, mythological, and on and on, are illusive deceptions born of the play of light and shadow, and the musings it weaves. Each of us imagines a personal universe in which all travel very much alone, despite all the sensory evidence to the contrary. Until one can see past the attachments to an individual life, the many differences seem real, but, ultimately, they are not, never have been, and never will be.
We are passing through a holographic sliver of time in which the seemingly countless dramas of human existence are available for all who have capacity and means to explore. What evolved of geographical isolation can now be witnessed in whatever fashion predisposition allows. There is a tendency, due to the aberration of pride and the quest for false glory, to argue one mythology’s supremacy over another, yet is any collusion more than a conceptual adaptation to time and circumstance? Is any one version, any one play of consciousness, in reality, ultimately superior to any other?
No one gets out of this manifest existence alive, and every human being ever born comes to grips with that truth in whatever way capacity and limitation allow. Some create hells for themselves, while others discern within, a quality, a harmony that has been given countless names across the world. Most of us, of course, wander the purgatory between. In the journey of life, each of us swims an ebb and flow in which the individual mind plays out incalculable variations of passion born of desire and fear.
The life any of us creates, with all its perceptions and interpretations, is a blend of voluntary and involuntary choosing. Traditions are creations every cultural grouping, every societal mindset fabricates in order to maintain continuity in those the genetic lottery casts into its geographic realm. No one is bound to continue believing anything but through the conditioned choices of imagination that some call free will. Those who discern their own law see this manifest play far differently than those who, for whatever reason, cannot see past their attachments to the narrow propagandas of history, whatever the scale.
The gist of these reflections is to encourage those who see their immeasurable nature to become that to which they aspire; intuitively, spontaneously free to meet the moment as it unfolds, whether or not it fits the vision of any other individual or group. In the statistical bell curve of any rise and fall, of any creation and destruction, there are always the initiators, and those who tag along well after. Those who entertain the greatest vision are already among the many who do not. Whether the reader sees it as a fact or not, we are all that which is the same indivisible upwelling, the same inexplicable mystery. Eternity is very much present within every part and particle, every quantum of the drama to which all are witness. It is a vision so infinite as to include each and every one of us, along with all the other myriad life forms across the planet, as its source.
Is the human species, with all its competitive predispositions, capable of comprehending and responding to a larger vision of itself? With all that is facing us, do we have the luxury of time? Probably not. Though the transformation of consciousness is an instantaneous matter, we are caught in the juggernauting wave of collective delusional ignorance and countless attachments to choices made in times long before our brief little window. We may agree the problems ahead are nearly insurmountable, but a paradigm shift into a cooperative, balanced, intuitive, holistic, realistic mindset, is too much of a change for most to even begin to fathom, much less enact, at this point in time.
Despite the countless lessons offered by history, we are too attached to building mountains of false gold, practicing divisive religion, maintaining rigid traditions, following insincere leaders, promoting the idolatry of personality, supporting destructive institutions, fabricating egocentric class structures, producing adverse technologies, consuming insatiably in every way imaginable, destroying irreplaceable diversity, and killing one another because our ancestors could not get along any better that we, for all the same myopic, greedy, time-bound, evolutionary reasons.
Recognize it or not, the human species is fast-approaching a tailspin of its own design. It is inevitable that this garden planet, and all life that dwells on it, will someday return to its origin. That is the nature of the vast changing, the creation-destruction of each passing moment in which we all choicelessly, spontaneously participate; the indivisible, impersonal totality relatively few truly discern.
The question is, will we go out with nobility, humility, integrity, and discipline as true human beings, harmoniously realigned with the source of our origin, guardians of what is left of the garden that birthed us all? Or will we exit like fruit flies churning feverishly for the last dollop of honey in the bell jar; like rats vying savagely for the last crumbs at the bottom of the cage?
Each of us makes that decision in every step, in every breath, in every deed, word, and thought. We individually create our own unique version of the universe, and how we work it out together in the theater of consciousness, only time will tell. The essential reality is not about contrived differences. It is not about futile, conceited pursuits, meaningless paths to glory. Life is an opportunity to discern within a vision of an integrated relationship with that which is infinitely, infinitesimally greater than its many parts.
It is the true discernment that each and every one of us, including every angel and every demon, including all creatures great and small, including every infinitesimal, absolute speck of quantum dust swirling within, to the furthest indivisible reaches of the unknown, is equally That I Am to which mystics across the world throughout time point. There is no other.
Each and every one of us is the same indivisible clayness, the same absolute, immeasurable, eternal oneness, playing out the relativity of dreamtime. We are all connected, no matter the exterior, no matter the capacity or frame of reference. No religious middlemen, no stairways to heaven are necessary. This indelible insight is free to all discerning enough to see that truth is the momentary, intangible, undeniable birthright within. This intuitive vision of the clarity beyond form, and the exploration of right living it brings about, is the only true revolution.
This inexplicable mystery we call life is an opportunity to witness the vast unfathomable diversity of this manifest theater, this grand play of creation and destruction, of known and unknown, in whatever way each imagines. It is the potential to see that every form born of space-time is merely one of an infinite array of masks veiling the same source, the same awareness, the same witness; nothing more, nothing less, nothing but.
The singularity of totality is beyond the scope of the mind, beyond the irrational concoctions of superstition or the rational explorations of science. It is beyond the wordplay of any belief system, beyond the egocentric weavings of individual persona and the countless delusions spawned of ignorance. We are all alone together, and how we as a species finally choose to dance the dance, sing the song, walk the walk, and talk the talk, is ultimately, in this mind’s eye, the true legacy of the human journey.
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Of the Human Journey
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Of the Human Journey
© Michael J. Holshouser 1996
© Revised Edition 2007
© Revised Edition 2017
World Rights Reserved
© Revised Edition 2007
© Revised Edition 2017
World Rights Reserved