Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Enlightenment Perspective

Been thinking about thinking: alot. Particularly since the topic of creative thinking, innovation and high performance culture seems to be on my work agenda.

I freely admit that I am not that original with my thinking, but I am very good about shifting patterns of thoughts. I've decided to change channels on my spiritual reading for a bit. Last night I began to read a book I've had sitting on the shelf for quite some time: "The Varieties of Religious Experience" by William James.

This morning I got his perspective on the topic of enlightenment. I have for some time wondered if enlightenment was really just a chemical reaction. Below is his way of saying that, which I found interesting. But it does provoke me to extend my own thinking and change my beliefs about whether I am or not a spiritual failure.

(These come from pages 25-27.)
"When we think certain states of mind superior to others...It is either because we take an immediate delight in them; or else it is because we believe them to bring us good consequential fruits for life."
"It is the character of inner happiness in the thoughts which stamp them as good or else their consistency with our other opinions and serviciability for our needs, which make them pass true in our esteem."
"...not a single one of our states of mind, high or low, healthy or morbid, that has not some organic process as its condition... So all of our raptures and our drynesses, our longings and pantings, our questions and beliefs. They are equally organically founded, be the of religious or of non-religious content."

Also mentioning that almost all religious founders could be viewed as diseased or crazy, Mr. James mentions: there is no psycho-physical theory connecting spiritual values in general with determinate sorts of psychological change.

My point is that spiritual experiences could be drug induced, diseased induced, starvation induced, sleep deprivation induced or even ultra-marathon induced. They are all the same and equal. But who is to say cheering over a touchdown or eating turkey is not just as valid in terms of spirituality?

God comes to people in various ways, and sometimes whether they are interested or not. God is capricious and only comes to certain lucky people.

Oh come on. Is that the sort of God or spirituality I want? Could that possibly be the definition of love?

My life has been devoted to: spiritual investigation, running and daily work. But in this very instant, I'm a spiritual zero; unless I can take myself completely out of the standard spiritual concepts and find something true. But almost anything I do would be framed in biology, and my worldly programming. I can't define what is true. Pause.....cr@p.

For the past 9 or 10 weeks, I've been running about 80 miles a week. In 10 days, I'm going in a 12 hour race (although I plan to stop when I get to 50 miles). Today I've been up since 3:20 and I had a nice 9 mile run in the early morning darkness after my spiritual study. I can either be ecstatic or depressed. but since I just made a pot of nicely aromatic Starbucks Vanilla Fusion in my office: I choose ecstasy. Caffeine is as good as psilocybin or traumatic brain injury, and I already had my LSD today. (Long Slow Distance)

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