East meets West. It’sa phrase conjuring images of mystical sitars plucked by the delicate fingers of Mother India but could just as easily read, West meets East. With invitations to explore Eastern Philosophy returned in kind, Western technology, fashion and lifestyle pursuits are seeping into even the most desolate of Eastern villages. Yet, where we reside on this earthen rock is becoming increasingly immaterial as morphing cultural identities redefine belief systems never before experienced on such an expansive global plane.
What this has this meant for most of us is, nothing. The interconnectedness of personal mastery, global spirituality and economic prosperity remain fundamentally pervasive illusions within today’s mainstream aspirations. Across the axis of these merging spheres, progressive leaders focusing on the enmeshed nature of religion, science and business, are rare anomalies. Outside of these modern-day seers, terms such as self-realization and self-actualization, continue to connote conceptual candy sucked on exclusively by psychologists and philosophers.
Insightful idioms passed through social media are as close as many of us are coming to the silent revolution bubbling beneath the stream of our current reality. But if higher meaning is what we seek, articulation alone isn’t capable of creating the momentum required to impel thought into transcending itself. Authentic insight cannot be known conceptually.
Just as hearing the word ‘chocolate’ is not the same as tasting chocolate, utterances of love are not the same as feeling love; words merely point to the truth. Words themselves, are not the truth. Conceptualization provides a universal means of sharing ideas. However, in the realm of experience, these little wisdom drops, splash pre-conceived tints over the full spectrum of our connectedness. This duality creates more than just a thin veil; it separates, divides and generates illusions that our mind readily accepts as reality.
Truth is not an outward projection as evaluated through the senses and our habituated views of the world. It’s what emerges as we move through the process of stripping away the conditioning that binds us. Conscious awareness cannot possibly be gained while we are steeped in judgment, addiction, self-absorption and greed. Yet this is often our expectation, and subsequently have determined that the divine gifts of insight are bestowed singly upon those deemed worthy.
This too is an illusion; anyone willing to put forth the effort is worthy. The methods of preparing for a shift in perception are simply called practice. It involves developing a routine that incrementally works through our layers of discursive tendencies. It takes work and moving through this process is intensely personal, sometimes painful and will not be accomplished by contemplating eloquent phrases, no matter how profoundly they resonate.
The inner development that takes place may be called many things: self-actualization, self-realization, enlightenment or liberation. The label is far less important than understanding this self-revolution we are on the cusp of, begins with a very personal quest. Man-made directionals, such as East and West point away from the location this Ultimate Freedom may be discovered. It is only through each of us, individually, guiding our own transformation that our innate wisdom will be revealed.
~ by Christine Fowle
~ Image Credit: Michail Fan