Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Retreat 2013

I haven't had a week long vacation in over 2 years. Last year, vacation was messed up by work. Weeks out of town for work don't count as vacation. 2 weeks spent recovering from surgery don't count.

Finally, I have managed an entire week alone at home. No traveling and good health. I am rehabilitated enough from surgery to get some exercise done. I have been to a couple of AA meetings just to hear other people to discuss their spirituality. I am associated with a discussion of Plotinus' Enneads online.

44 days to my 55th birthday. I feel like I'm staring down the barrel of a gun.

In the AA meeting, a young women's statement about quitting trying to be something she wasn't is running through my head. Can I NOT be a mystic? Can I NOT be an athlete? If anything, I've been riding these 2 ethos into the ground. Various joints of the 55 year old body are wearing out. I AM a successful engineer, but not a cloistered monk. My life flows back and forth between inner solitude in my house and vibrant contributions to the world around me. Like waves I go in and out.

Plotinus interests me. He was a Greek philosopher around the year 250 CE. So, in his writings, I can see where Christianity comes from, minus "Jesus Son of God." I can see where A Course in Miracles comes from, minus the claim of being channeled by Jesus. I can see what I take to be the spiritual path of many books I have read. For the most part, these paths consist of 2 things: self purification plus an infusion of Grace.

Bang! My head hits the wall again. Every book says I need these 2 things! What more purification? When does God infuse ecstasy?

But, as I type that, I realize: let go of the emotional component. If I do, I know God has come into my life. I have in fact tapped the inner resource. Evidence? I haven't killed myself.

When I was 22, I stood in a square in old Jerusalem and got the idea I wanted to know God. About 15 years later, I heard about a man who spent a year alone in a room. I wanted whatever could be found alone in a room. Now, almost 33 years later, I have the same ideas. Just let go of thinking I've failed and I clearly see that I have succeeded.

I flow back and forth like a wave. Think of an ocean and the sound of the waves; in, crash, out. That is me. That is my truth.

In solitude, I don't participate in what society has to offer. My thinking changes. I control what goes into my brain; for YEARS.

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