What Do You See In What You See?
Right now, I find myself having front row seats to a loved one’s pain and suffering while withdrawing from meth. This is hard to watch, but it is actually a necessary part of the process towards freedom. I am seeing so much more than just meth withdrawal symptoms. When you have spiritual eyes, you see what you see…and so much more. These are my current reflections while witnessing this very difficult process.
A drug withdrawal is so graphic and symbolic of spiritual truths that are relevant to all who have eyes to see. When we cling to powerful illusions of provision; of goodness, joy, comfort, control/power/security, and peace, that quickly handcuff us to these temporary sources at the expense of our souls and bodies…we are more vulnerable and fragile than ever. Why? Because these provisions provide something we crave, but are so extremely temporary and fleeting.
A TASTE FOR SOMETHING MORE…
An artificial imitation of a spiritual experience or awakening will provide an illusion of freedom from this world’s pain and suffering, making us greatly dependent on sacrificing more while enslavement to the source makes it feel intolerable to be away from it. Whether it’s meth, alcohol, shopping, sex, career promotions, romance, financial assets, reputation, health, relationships, material possessions, prestige, or caretaking people who don’t take enough care of themselves (aheeem), etc. it will all some day come to an end and come crashing down. We all know this. What watching a loved one’s meth withdrawal does for me is illuminate how clingy and sacrificial the human soul is, in a far more obvious way. What we cling to we sacrifice for, we’re tied to it. This is not good or bad, just is. We are made to sacrifice for something in life, this is your Higher Power. What do you and I make sacrifices for? Get clear on that. Is it a loving source that provides freedom and an ability to let go of the temporal, or does it provide mere handcuffs to it?
Everything in this life is TEMPORARY. Everything. The pleasant and the unpleasant. Our soul craves a resting place from the vicissitudes of life. This is the essence of a healthy and vibrant spiritual life to me. Yet, I have to be able to acknowledge paradox. A holding space for contradictions. If I try to hold onto pleasant experiences or things in this world that are so extremely fragile, fleeting, and precarious (some more than others), my soul and body will cling to these sources and make sacrifices for them. The paradox is that I am in a body that is physical matter, stationed in a material world, but my soul is made from something immaterial. Spiritual. So my human experience is both physical and spiritual, it involves both the physical here and now, and beyond it. I am a human being with a body that is fully inhabiting this earth, which also contains a soul that I believe and feel was made from and for reaching towards, craving, longing for something beyond this world’s matter and material. Call this something whatever feels right for you. Some call it God, the Universe, and some don’t call it anything because it’s unnamable, it’s ineffable. It’s mysterious but real. Paradox.
When I live in either-or space, I am living in an illusion. If I acknowledge only the physical material/matter realm OR only the non-material/spiritual realm, I will suffer from delusion. It is a paradox. It’s both/and, not either/or. A holding space for seeming contradictions or opposites is what spiritual meditation, contemplation, prayer, or whatever you call it, is for me. I’m in a human body, that also contain a spiritual soul. I need connection to both the material and the spiritual. I need to nurture and protect both realms. When there is such an extreme imbalance, I suffer greatly.
Mind your body and the physical matter but not at the expense of being unaware of your soul and the spiritual. Remember that the physical is real but it is temporary. All of it. Be mindful that what you cling to you sacrifice for, and we are all made to cling and sacrifice for something, and this clinging and sacrificing can easily shift when we aren’t aware. It isn’t static or stationary. This is why having a regular spiritual practice of meditation is so important: to stay awake. That is spirituality. Awareness of reality. What is your and my soul clinging to these days, and what am I making sacrificing for in this clinging? There is no shame in clinging, it’s human, the danger for me comes with blindness to what I’m clinging to, even though it’s so common and “normal”. This is the gift of pain and suffering, to use it to end it by waking up.
In this moment, stay conscious. Stay awake. Stay aware. That is where your true power and freedom hides in plan sight – your awareness to it.