Addiction, stillness, passion, and dispassion:
earthly attachment, and spiritual detachment
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
I know now that all of my compulsions have been the outcome of my primary addiction- the need for inspiration. Inspiration is my drug. Such things as spirituality, booze, travel, psychedelics, contemplation, music, dance, laughter, wilderness, and ribaldry- these have simply been the different forms of the drug of inspiration for which I have had great need in this confounding life. I could not live without being inspired, be it from beauty, wonder, intoxication, love, God, adventure, merriment, or profundity. And that means I have been an addict to perhaps the most relentless addiction of them all, because any moment I was not soaking in the thick tremor of inspiration was but an agony waiting to be relieved. And relieve it I did.
Oh, did I relieve it. I went mad with anguish and euphoria. I tramped and wandered and roamed this magnificent earth. I drank and smoked and ingested the bounty of the earth’s intoxicants. I studied and scoured and devoured this inexorable mystery into which I was born. I laughed and wept and played and roared at the glory and gore of this whole mad show. I walked away and came back again. I ran away and returned. I shouted with rage and bellowed with praise. I fought with fists and made love with wild abandon. I sought inspiration in the guts, the heart, the spirit, and in the bowels of our cosmic corpulescence. And whether it was right or wrong no longer matters, for I could have done no other. I could not live without inspiration. I knew this, and I resigned. Inspiration would be my oxygen.
And yet all the jangle and boom which resounded from my feverish endeavors were themselves but aspects of only one half of my true nature. The other half was stillness. Absolute stillness. And it was not until that stillness devoid of opposites arose within me did I truly realize my inexorable addiction. It was not until I blew apart in a subtle super-nova caused by the coalescence of all I had endured, that I then merged into the all from which I had been sucking inspiration.
It was from this apocalyptic transformation that I became still. But even as the peace and equanimity of the limitless void dissolved and became me, and I became that oxygen I once so feverishly inhaled, still did I look out from the eternal harbor of the eternal self. And with a subtle grin of excitement I learned to settle comfortably back into the flesh, knowing that no word describes this inspired life of action and peace better than Hallelujah!
Passion and dispassion now merge within me as if I am at rest amidst an apocalypse. I am at the still point, and I am in the maelstrom. I am calm, and I am exploding. I am full of faith, and I am wild with mania. I am love, and I am rage.
I am a rock rising inviolably out of the sea, and I am the roaring waves trying to break it.
I am the horror and the caress, the thrashing and the quiescence, the pandemonium and the peace.
I am the link between the one and the many, the perfection and the dross, the glory and the gore, the victory and the loss.
I am an invisible bridge between invisible worlds, a tightrope uniting spirit and flesh, heaven and earth, ennui and ecstasy, becoming and eternity. There is no end. And I am no longer afraid.
I am no longer afraid because I know now that fear is the wall which divides the ecstatic-All into agonizing parts. To take down the wall is to become the All. To become the All is to be torn into pieces like Osiris, only to then be re-membered into the eternal, divisionless realm of Love.
I am no longer afraid. And it is for this inextinguishable reason that like a madman with an unquenchable song in his tremulous heart do I now sing without shame for the glory. Om, baby!
by Jack Haas
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