I am the everyday un-illuminated, the New Age un-enlightened. I am the group that sought God in every possible way, from conservative right Christian to pseudo-Buddhist to channeled entity to sweat lodges, vision quests and labyrinths. In the convent, I sat for hours adoring the Blessed Sacrament. Post convent, I fasted for extended periods of time and then ate only raw foods. As far as I know, Revelation didn’t happen.
What I am I is a mature American woman, single, professional, white, educated, vegetarian, long distance running, health freak. I have been in pursuit of God since an unfortunate (or fortunate) trip to Israel at the age of 22. But my actual life has mostly been about going to work in order to have money and staying straight emotionally. I’ve not succeeded at suburban family life, nor at weirdness pretending to be wisdom. The heroes of my cultural heritage are the ones that retire young and live comfortably. Since the American economy no longer plays that game for us, I am one of many who will not retire young, if ever. The crumbling of the United States is just enough to show us its false unfounded delusions of grandeur.
My culture does not have a class of wise ones.
My problem is that my story is not a hero’s story. I have done what is heroic in other people’s stories, but in mine it is ho hum. I am done with the pseudo-Buddhist bullshit and the romance of suffering for Christ.
Before I went monastic, I fit in. Post monastic, I scorned society. I did not settle for a life of fitting in with ordinary social groupings (and everyone is encouraged by psychology to fit in somewhere). My scorn turns out to be pure ego. It is not based on any real advantage. I don’t have a special place in anything to justify my position. I just don’t want to be like “them,” to be contaminated by their corrupted food, overeating, television programming or useless conversations. But I am not special either. So I have sunk into nothing.
Nothing can be made of nothingness. I’ve tried that too; the romanticizing or spinning of nothingness into a prized position, close to God. Recently, in a brief interlude of difficult emotions, I came to the truth. I suddenly realized that I am in a valley, not the inhabitor of mountain tops at all. It is a delusion to think some sudden discontinuity in reality will save me. Not even A Course in Miracles, which offers a way out, has transported any of its followers in THIS lifetime.
So I guess I will go running, lift weights, collect my paycheck, eat tofu, drink coffee and quietly grow. That is the blessing of my life: I do keep growing.