I went in a marathon race yesterday. I ran very consistently at 10 minute miles with a couple of pit stops so my overall time was 4:24.
This morning the marathon experience wandered into my spiritual study. I wanted to invite God into the picture as this race was really not an ego inflating experience. So I ask the Holy Spirit, “What for?”
The marathon experience is symbolic of my life ethos and journey away from metaphysically unconscious masses and into an enduring solitude of spirit. Instead of chattering away life in a mirage of weddings, soccer games, TV shows and overeating, I choose the silent reflection, listening to the spiritual song, quietly doing my spiritual work. You might say, “In the world but not of it.” As time goes on, I find that the substance of my life is truly on a different experiential page. I am dedicated to being a spirit. In so far as any other person notices me, I have taught them about spirit.
So to have God instead of ego, I need to look for God. On one level, the marathon experience was totally annoying because of the tons of people and the way they hindered my running. This annoyance is the ego’s material world. But if I remain with that outlook then I have chosen to accept the ego’s story and deny the presence of God. I actively chose now to deny ego and look for God.
To find God, I look for love. Love was in the volunteers; so easily missed. Love was in the families cheering on the sidelines; including the three year old kid who high fived me. He didn’t care if I was actually his sister. Love was in a friend I met up with who is also an ultra-marathoner. It was a brief oasis. Yes, the ultra-marathoners are sometimes mixed up in the maddening crowds of half-marathoners and marathoners. Love was in the runners attempting to run farther than they had before; even if that was only a half marathon. Love was in the many people who were sweating; although I thought it was somewhat cool and hardly sweated a drop. Love was in the marathoners who hit the wall and were reduced to slow shuffles for the last 5 miles; but they persevered.
I spent the first 9 miles or so attempting to position myself away from crowds of people running together. That behavior is symbolic of my life where I have passed into and out of various groups but then left them as their speed or destination was not mine. At 11 miles, the course splits. Half marathoners are directed off the course. In these races, less than one in ten runners is a full marathoner. I am running next to another woman at this point, but I don’t know what race she is in. A volunteer points and her and says, “Half marathoners to the right.” He points at me and says, “Full marathoners to the left.” The woman looks at me and says, “Good luck full marathoner.” Ummm, this comment struck my heart like an arrow.
Thus I am sent off on the road less travelled. Surprisingly, it is this part of the course which is on a bike path away from roads and is the most beautiful. As time goes on, I pass more and more people who have hit the wall and become strugglers in sweat, heat and pain. I breeze past them and eventually, by the finish, I am totally alone. I can’t see anyone in front of me or behind me. I wonder if I am off course even though I ran this course last year. A photographer is my touch stone that this must be the right way. I have accomplished the journey away from crowds and into solitude. I am in the experience of myself, alone with my own inner energy and life force unrelentingly pushing me forward. This experience of the unrelenting life force is my experience of spirituality, which moves forward everyday and never lays about in bed. The journey from crowds to solitude is a metaphor. I started my spiritual journey in the religion of the masses but my dedication to spiritual truth led me beyond them. The choice to see this experience as spiritual instead of annoyance is the choice for metaphysics instead of the material as the predominant mode of my being.
Today, no serious injuries happened so I will go off now for a short run.