For a long time, now, I have been struggling with some personal issues that I have not been able to resolve.
When that happens, I tend to withdraw into the quieter recesses of my life and reach out less into the wider world.
It’s not that I become a recluse or hermit, because I still engage on practical levels, still do my work and ply my business, and still interact in small moments as I meet people in those activities, but generally I go into a mode where you could say that my mental and emotional interactions with most others outside of my intimate circle is on ‘standby.’
This is more about a process of realignment.
When things are overwhelming and nothing can be done about them, outwardly, the only way you can really deal with them is internally.
But when your internal processes are full of pain, misery, perplexion, doubt, confusion, vacillation, ceaseless questions, etc., you cannot deal with such overwhelming things until you have first cleared the inner work area.
And that means a need for inward focus and concentration.
It means an inner-dwelling, and withdrawing somewhat from the outer world to enable that self-examination and cleansing process.
This is the same sort of process that buddha used to find enlightenment.
The buddha, himself, became so perplexed and despairing at the futile results from his teaching efforts, at one stage, that he went and sat under a bodhi tree, determined not to move from his meditative pose until he either got some answers, or died.
I’m not quite ready to be that extreme, but I do know that the enlightenment the buddha received was simply that__life is ruled by certain embedded laws in the physical realm__that form the destinies of those incarnate in it__and which cannot be changed until the people involved in those destinies are ready for change.
So the best thing you can do is to be merciful and compassionate toward those caught up on that worldly merry-go-round and just get on with the business of enjoying living.
For me, this mode is enabled because I have an eclectic spirituality that recognizes the creative force of god in all things, in all elements of creation, and in all people.
Now, I’m going to do a lot of talking about this god force, in the following essay, along with gods, goddesses, and supernatural entities.
I also have friends who are atheists, and they jack up whenever they hear the word, god, so let me say here that these words are just definitions used by humans to explain concepts. You can call them whatever you like, so long as the end concept is the same.
For myself, I believe that this god force not only creates our physical universe, but the spiritual and transcendental universes, as well.
I believe it creates the many other dimensions of parallel reality to our own, and the many levels of reality above and below our own.
And I believe it creates all the inhabitants and consistent elements of any of these, inclusive of gods and goddesses, devas, devis, asuras, demons, and elemental entities.
My god is neutral in all areas of its manifestation.
Because it is the beginning and the end of all manifestation, and the source of all existence, I believe it refers only to itself when it creates.
For the god force I believe in, there is no black or white or shades of grey, in such matters__there only is what is.
This is no different to how any artist in any medium might express themselves.
Just because a painter might paint a ‘dark‘ subject matter, or a film maker might produce a ‘horror‘ story, does not necessarily reflect on their soul or inner purity.
It is usually for them just a creative expression which examines such a subject or a story thread, and so it is for the god force I believe in.
The trouble I see in this, for us, is that we are the subject matter, and ours is the story. We are the elements of this creation.
This means that, caught up in the inherent rules that hold our reality together, we are embedded in the process of that examination, and so the bad stuff affects us as much as the good stuff does.
For the god force I believe in, however, none of this matters in the end because, like a replicator machine on a Star Trek spaceship (or like one of the artists I previously mentioned), it just pulls in the matter it was experimenting with when it is finished with it and recycles it into something new.
That is akin to us examining our thought processes, discarding what is useless or obsolete, and capitalizing on what remains to forge a new thought process.
In our physical reality, though, I believe we are the thought processes of the god force, feeling and living as apparently separate entities.
And as those apparently separate entities, we don’t want to just suffer and be discarded, because that feels meaningless to us.
Such modes feel like our life has no purpose other than as a plaything or as an experimental expression of the god force.
Spiritually, the truth I believe in goes something like this__we are the god force__so we are never lost, we are never non-existent, and we are never discarded.
When you are struggling with the storyline of your life, however, and dealing with what definitely feels real and assailing, it is extremely difficult to align yourself with such a concept.
The absolute and only way to deal with it is to recognize the schism between reality and spirituality.
Even the Tibetan Dalai Lama has expressed this mode in reference to his own life, where he admits he is both a human being, with all the flaws and failings that may go with that incarnation, and an enlightened spiritual being.
On some days, he says he gets pissed off if the radio is not playing his favorite channel, or he tells of how he used to get jealous seeing his brother riding a bicycle when he was a kid and he was forced to study. Yet he is also an enlightened being who can key into the truth of the cosmos whenever a question is put to him, providing answers to those who ask.
This is what I believe to be the nature of the reality we live in.
It is what I believe is the nature of any level of reality__even the levels of reality where the supernatural live__the levels of gods and goddesses, etc.
In my estimation, we are both expressions embedded in the reality created and the god force creating it.
I believe we are both human and god.
This is why I feel that our human lives can be so frustrating, because it takes a lot of enlightenment, or awakening in the mind of the cosmic divine, to make the flexible adjustments necessary to be able to deal with that apparent truth.
Most people don’t seem able to. And religion doesn’t seem to help them to, because religion is usually about aligning people to a notion that god is a distant figure, a figure to worship and kowtow to, and a figure to honor as being separate to oneself.
Yet, if we are god and all is god and we are the recyclable expressions of god, then we are never distant from god and never separate. We are god, itself.
In the Vedic stories of the creation of our universe, the gods and goddesses and demons all churned the milky oceans of the cosmos to bring our reality into being.
In the process, they got caught up in the endless struggle between good and bad – gods and demons.
They got caught up in their own level of ‘reality‘, that seemed to be an endless fight for the upper hand.
The god force decided to alter the game play and sent in an element of itself called Dhanvantari (pronounced dah-hun-vun-tar-ay).
Dhanvantari came bearing gifts, including the nectar of immortality, or amrita.
Now, as human beings caught up in our own story telling, when we talk of immortality and elixirs that enable it, we usually think only that it means living forever.
But if you put aside those stories and concentrate on the spiritual truths I referred to__the god force is already immortal, and all elements of it are therefore already immortal, and so we, too, are already immortal.
We’re just not immortal in our present incarnation or in our worldly expression as a human being. We’re only immortal as recycling elements of the god force.
The only reason that such a notion seems to pain us is because we like to think of ourselves as completely separate entities, with free will to be and do whatever we want to be.
We don’t really like the concept of being swallowed up into some greater being that rules over us.
To define this, I remember going into a trance mode in my shower many years ago (odd place, I know) and seeing a vast wonder of (what I can only describe as) an orgy of slithering cosmic energy slugs in a rainbow of colors.
I ‘knew‘ that this thriving and burgeoning energy was the god force in motion, creating. And I felt that if I stood there watching long enough, I would be absorbed into those colors and become part of them. And that thought made me feel panic that my life may about to be over. Which made me wake up from the trance, so I could return to my husband and children, who I was thoroughly enjoying being with at the time.
I believe that this mode, however, of wanting to feel alive and of wanting to feel individual is just part of the worldly process that shapes us.
We are born into the world with ambition, with a willingness to grow, to prosper and thrive, to fight for survival, and to interact with all other elements of our existence in order to do these things, and especially, to explore relationships.
This is how I believe the god force has fun through us, and with itself. It creates challenges to explore, and we are the pieces on the cosmic chess table.
Yet I believe we are also the god force moving the pieces on that table. It is us, playing with ourselves through this divine thought process.
For me, it is us imagining scenarios and playing them out.
And that is the only way I believe we are really separate.
In the manifestation of all the levels of reality, I feel that the same challenges apply. There may be different scenarios to deal with, and different character applications, but the same effective schism between what appears to be and what is applies, whether you are human or a divine being.
So even those who are enlightened or who are divine beings manifesting in human form, can temporarily feel lost in the play.
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, he is said to have cried out ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?‘
When buddha sat under the bodhi tree looking for enlightenment, he did so because he had reached a state of despair that seemed to have no answers.
When the gods and goddesses churned the cosmic oceans with the asuras and demons, they, too, forgot the cosmic reality and got caught up with the physical expressions of their own level of reality.
So Dhanvantari arrived with the amrita, which was not a pot of elixir enabling immortality__in truth, it was a reminder that all is not what it appears to be, and that, being the elements of the god force that they were, they were never impotent and were always immortal.
The only thing that they had to learn to deal with, then, was the knowledge that they were in a process of the game play, and that all game play eventually comes to an end.
In our human world, sometimes this cosmic game play only comes to an end when our lives come to an end.
But for me, embedded in all existence is this knowledge of the god force and how it expresses itself through us.
In my belief, all existence is the expression of the god force, for better or worse.
In all such existence I believe, as elements of the god force, there is an inherent mode for change.
Dhanvantari also expresses this mode because he is also known as the healer of the gods, and the father of ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient art of finding the spiritual element in plants and mineral elements, that can help to readjust the spiritual element in ourselves, and therefore lead to physical healing.
Like the amrita, ayurvedic medicine is a knowledge of the divine that is embedded in our physical reality__because no matter what game play we are embroiled in, the belief remains that the essential god force is always present.
Therefore, by referring to that underlying and inherent factor, I believe we can realign ourselves and our lives.
We may not be able to change the game in play, though.
Buddha‘s physical body got old and died.
Jesus‘ body was put to death on the cross.
When the Vedic gods went to Vishnu and asked for their power to be restored because the demons had usurped it, they were simply told to wait things out, because this is the nature of things__nothing lasts forever.
It seems that even gods and goddesses, and the enlightened, can become caught up in the nature of their physical existence, and in the assailments that come to them in that existence.
Illness and assailment seem to come to anyone in any form and on any level of manifesting existence, no matter how pure of heart or mind they are, or how much they do to keep themselves healthy and peaceful__even to gods and goddesses manifesting in transcendent realms.
And even though the god Shiva is said to have consumed the poisons of the cosmos that were created from the struggles between the gods and demons during the churning of existence__he, too, remained marked forever by the blue of that poison. (So long as he incarnates as the god, Shiva, anyway).
It seems that such threads being explored by the creative god force just need certain things to happen, and those things can feel very bad to us, and can have a very bad apparent effect on our incarnating lives, and even on the lives of those incarnated in divine realms.
I’m not saying that good effects never happen, but I am focusing on the bad stuff that undermines us, here, so please go with that flow.
Nor am I saying at all that, since we have little control over what happens to us, those who are inclined to do bad things should be allowed to do so without resistance.
Remember that Vishnu says that all things are cyclic and all modes come to an end, so there is a time for reckoning and adjustment at the end of each phase. Bad modes will always be adjusted by good ones, even as good ones can temporarily be assailed by bad ones.
On a more human level, I have taoist friends who still take umbrage against buddhists because of the political turmoil between them, and because of dogmatic differences.
Yet, in the expression of taoism, it is said that we are all on par, all equal, and all part of the flow of life, of whatever is, and so all elements of creation should be met equally and with aplomb__and still my friends sit in opposition to the buddhists and shudder when buddhist images are shown to them.
Even the most enlightened of us can therefore become too embedded in the reality of our game play.
The picture on this page is of a brass statue of Dhanvantari that I have on one of my altars at home. He reminds me of my divine self.
This is not about promoting myself as being better than anyone or anything else. It is simply an enablement.
Because by remembering my inner truth, and the truth of my existence on this planet, I can align better to the game play.
I can remember that the processes of what is happening to me, that rattle and assail me, and that seem to be causing damage or awful situations is part of the game play.
In remembering my inner truth, I can understand that such processes are not me. They are not part of me. They are only what is affecting my body and the life surrounding my body.
I never have to let them into my soul if I choose not to.
And in not letting them into my soul, I am not letting them affect my attitudes or self-aligned modes.
And I can remain detached even in the thick of it.
And I can remain accepting even of the fate of it.
This what I believe is amrita, the gift of the god force that is present in all elements of existence. It is a knowledge of divine truth and it’s ceaseless immortality.
Finally, part of my daily mantras are om ma ni pad me hum and om namo bhagavate vasudevaya.
These are important to me because they reveal two basic keys to living – may all beings be happy, and may the joy of god be manifest.
Whatever happens in life, we can still know happiness and joy, simply by realigning our attitudes.