Today I had an interesting chat that was out of the norm after church. It was a young man from India, born into a Hindu background that had a journey to get to his current place in Christianity. It was interesting to hear how his quest for more has progressed in his young life. Just as he was somehow amazed that I finally got a taste of that which was beyond religion attending burning man.
Before anyone gets excited about finding god at burning man, let me clarify that it was at about 6 am in the morning, when about 7 people were actually up for the day, and the other tens of thousands had just gone to bed when I would go to the canteen for a coffee. I met a firefighter and his partner from San Francisco, and they mentioned, “you really need to take a bike, pedal for 30 minutes and then just stop, get off, and calm yourself.”
The firefighters le me borrow their bike, and not what I think about it, this was at a time when one was not locked into the camp, and there were not 70,000 people like today.
My journey with God, creator, or something far more significant in this universe had me going to church all the time, asking a zillion questions and getting regurgitated prose and answers from far too many people who were trying to be helpful, yet, probably never lived or experienced the words that they were preaching. There was always a disconnect between the stuff of humans, and whatever by faith one was told existed with creation, God, a supreme being, etc.
I also spent years doing analog biohacking on myself. Brainwaves, meditation, optimizing sleep, work, exercise cycles for high performance, and what I learned through this was I could take myself to a place where it was amazing, but I could never break through to whatever was another dimension or location. At the time it probably was a quest for something more profound in seeking God, yet, I had no idea what I was really looking for, only that, there was something else there.
when I did get off that bike after pedaling, all the years of church, all the various psychological, performance, meditation, and visualization work – was for the first time in my life, being in the middle of nowhere, in an ancient desert playa, and all I could hear was my heartbeat, and my breathing.
So I sat down and instead of me trying to break through, something else allowed me to come up to them. it was a spiritual moment, but the church was in the middle of a desert, far from ordinary humanity (and far enough from the lunacy that is burning man camp
What I learned that day, was that god is a bit like a gift. You can try to work or force your way into what religion says is the way to live – yet – “being” is more a gift of love and grace.
That was the first time in my life that I remember having an experience that something else really was there. t]This was built upon later in life when I met a monk in the middle of another desert, who looked me in the eyes and seemed to be able to see every weakness, flaw, mistake, and sin I had committed in my life – and yet, he looked at me and radiated love that surpassed all I had done.
That was the day I realized all the holy books are giving guidelines and pathways to the creator of it all – I call it god. The difference is that you can live in your head and read all the holy books, regurgitate them, talk about them – but unless you experience the words coming to life inside yourself and keep seeking a relationship with God – I doubt you will really be alive or understand what any religions holy books really mean.
The young man smiled, and I said, “after traveling the world, it is easy to see the impact of religion on human life and the human condition. I said, “I don’t know if when we all die, all the paths lead to the same place, as I have met Sufi, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Jewish people who all were Enlighted beyond holy books…all I know is my path, was given via the way of Jesus.”
Perhaps that is where the world of religion and selfish love and the space of spirituality and pure love with God – gets all screwed up.
All we can do is walk out our journey and have faith and trust that there really is something else beyond the books, temples, and services. I call it pure love.
The downside is if a drop of pure love ever hit the planet earth, I wager humanity would melt. We could not take power and essence of just how good it is.
It is a bit delusional to think we will “get it” while here on earth in our human forms. But everyone can get a taste of it if one chooses.
Now I go fix some issues where I did a “this is spinal tap” inversion of feet and inches on a beam. I guess I will call this “titanic beam texture” and it is not because the beam sunk, but rather it is what I had to do to keep it afloat.