Privileged pilgrim on a fantastic journey: inspiration, transformation, stillness, and ennui
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
There is no man or woman who walks upon this crazy earth who is not a privileged pilgrim on a fantastic journey to the temple of their own immortal soul. There is no life cast upon the wild shores of this mysterious world which does not belong intimately to the fabric and fantasy sewn inexorably into the all. There is no separate individual who is not therefore part and parcel with the whole. For the all is without division, without futility, and within us all. We are the all that is the all. There is nothing but the everything that we are. For we are one. Amen.
Our journey takes us from our personal myth and mystery, on to the Great Myth and Great Mystery. Our path leads from our separate body to the One Great Body.
It is a hallowed and never ending journey to this oneness that ends as it began- in confusion; a confusion which is both the substratum of life and the very goal of life which has no end. For a goal which can be completed is of little value to the eternal Self.
In this way existence is quite like a fractal; the more we go into it, the more it expands, the more patterns emerge from within other patterns, universes emerge from the smallest iota, solving one problem often creates many others, coming to one realization uncovers multiple enigmas, attaining one peak reveals a higher mountain range behind it, and the threads of the overself paradoxically cover and yet also reveal the limitlessness of the magnificent cosmic carpet running out ineffably before us.
Nothing ever finishes. Impermanence is everlasting. Through the temporal we find the eternal, and through the eternal we find the now.
The journey never ends, it merely changes direction. Eternity spills into us from without, and pours out of us from within, and we are the open, ephemeral gate through which the divided waters of heaven and earth mix into the roaring confluence of immortal streams. And yet we are the calm depths beneath the crashing surf as well. We are the stillness behind the fabulous change.
Life is thus an ongoing banquet of possibilities, implausibilities, challenges, miracles, boredom, distress, lunacy, euphoria, awe, and affirmations. And the show will go on and on and on, and until an individual realizes this predicament of eternity, he or she will continue to pursue a goal whose reward is only another challenge, which is why it is important to love your soul, because nothing suffers more from a lie than the soul. And the immortal soul, trapped within the ephemeral show, will suffer from the lie of time worst of all.
I should know, for I have drunk the blood of woundedness and loss, and I have raged against the folly of our incorrigible predicament. And I have gnashed and wailed before the portal of infinity. But I have done this because of growing pains I did not know were there, for I had covered them over with the illusion of tomorrow; I had entertained the idea that there was a splendid reward waiting somewhere in the future. But then I realized that there was no such thing as a future except within the lie of time; outside of time there is only eternity, which is what we call now. And so now it is my time to shout the roar of immortal glory, instead of wailing the tears of time. It is now my non-time to rip the world open with a mind that cannot understand what comes through it to rip the world open. This is the mystery of now. This is my inspiration.
It is my inspiration because I have dwelled within the paradigm of time and of our erroneous separation for a lengthy duration, but while drowning in the depths of such an ensconcing sea I unexpectedly found that I had learned to breathe under water. Which is to say, I had discovered inspiration.
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