|Enlightenment, moksha, liberation, wonderment,
samadhi, rapture, and awe.
The following excerpt is from IN, AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey, by Jack Haas, "The Kerouac of the new millennium." (FW)
| I was ambling along, most likely deeply invested in one or more of the many questions that chronically plagued me at the time- the whys? and whats? and so ons of our existence- questions for which no one has of yet provided any reasonable answers. And I suppose that I had chased these fantastic conundrums down to the furthest reaches of which I was capable of attaining at the time, and from which, like a fool, I had expected to return to the surface with a proper answer and so be done with the business of thinking then and there, and then get on with the rest of my awaiting life. Boy was I in for a turn of events, for the exact opposite of my expectations happened; which is to say, at the height of my questioning I was suddenly and inexorably struck dumb with the very fact of existence itself, and, more specifically- my existence. What I mean is that I came to an abrupt halt in my peripatetic speculations, my mouth slid helplessly open, I clenched at my forehead and froze- I had become immobilized by the implausibility ...of being, and, more specifically- of my being. And yet this barely describes the state of mystic exasperation into which I had fallen.
I was in the mystery, and ...I was the Mystery. Finally I had forgotten everything. Everything. Nothing but a blank, brilliant slate remained. Even that nebulous, impossible word 'God'- even that- I forgot what it means, and, more importantly ...what it does not mean.
Everything came unglued. Everything melted away from probability, imaginability, and conceivability. It was as if my own I had suddenly seen the unlikelihood, absurdity, and inexplicability of being such a thing as I- of a self who, moments before, knew what a self was, and was nicely contained in names and ideas and the soft numbness of little understandings. But now that very self was the disbelieving center of its own incredulity. That self, which had been nonchalantly pondering over the hidden secrets of existence- that self was suddenly struck and amazed and shocked and stupefied by ...itself; as if the whole universe had inverted, and only mystery remained, and at the core of that mystery stood an I which did not know what I was, and was now so utterly flabbergasted that all the walls of meaning came shattering down and there was nothing this I could do to recreate, or define itself because what was this I and what could or would it do if it knew what it was. I was back again at the center, and the I alone was there; only the I, peering in and astonished that it existed, finally uncovered, finally cast back upon itself with no foundation to support it, rapt and stupefied, wondering and gasping for a way out but there was no way out and the awe turned into exaltation and something fell away from me at that moment which has never again re-grown. And thank God for that I say.
As I stood there in the middle of the night, holding my forehead, I slowly regained some of my faculties and walked on further, but then the whole mad show came tumbling down again, and again I stopped without intending and grabbed at my head and my mouth drew open, and again I was caught at the center of the fabulous miracle of self. The surging wonder and questioning went on and on right to the hub of the wheel, so to speak, stopping all and everything in its tracks. This happened a number of times and my life was inextricably altered forever.
Oh, nothing was solved in the maelstrom of my new, immanent ignorance, but, let me tell you, life became a mystery again.
The marvelous magnitude of being had suddenly swelled ferociously up and consumed me whole. Nothing was left which was able to obstruct it; no walls, no thought, no intention, no me. There was neither curse nor praise, but only a transparent, sober nothingness. I was the dumbest man alive. I was free.
Jack Haas is a wilderness explorer, world traveler, and independent researcher and writer. He is the author of four highly acclaimed books: THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, ROOTS AND WINGS: adventures of a spirit on earth, THE DREAM OF BEING: aphorisms, ideograms, and aislings, and IN, AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey.
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