Tonight, at 12:01 (Friday), I'll start walking on my treadmill. I know that is a very unlikely start to a 7-day race. I prefer to stay inside in the middle of the night; but that is when the clock starts ticking. I want to honor my commitment and start when the clock does. So the treadmill it is. Then, I'll take a nap. Then I'll get back up in time to jog in El Lago for an hour. Then, I'll come home for a pit stop and head over to the park with my Nathan for as many hours as I can stand. Then, an afternoon snooze. Then more and more walking until I get to 100 miles and then 7 days. Hope I can do it.
My life has been about a desire to know God. Running got mixed into the God quest when I read about the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race (google it). It was a life changing mile stone. Other mile stones were: the trip to Israel when I was 22; sobriety at the age of 26; Zen meditation at the age of 38; 4 years of monastic life, getting out when I was 45; several years attempting to achieve enlightenment through fasting, meditation, prayer, running; then moving to Texas.
Just 2 days ago, a small mile stone which could be course changing. I read for the first time a paper discussing how "enlightenment" breeds dualism, hierarchalism, egoism in its own right. I've not heard someone speak of these aspects in relation to the sacrosanct "enlightenment" which I had been chasing for years. At least up until a year or two ago when I decided that enlightenment was a dopamine reward experience for most people.
I have continued to read other people's writings about God and Christianity and philosophy. I have continued to be a student of A Course in Miracles. I grow in gratitude that "Spirit" continues to teach me the fallacies of religion and enlightenment. I might just die happy because I continued to lose delusions.
Jesus said, "my god my god, why have you foresaken me." Not, "My Creator, why have you foresaken me." Not "The Good, why have you foresaken me?" Not "My Father, why have you foresaken me?" I am the first in history to make this distinction. Jesus was talking to the lying ego, the tiny mad idea, which left at the moment of death. True, I don't need to die. I don't need "enlightenment". I just need to live.
I am however a renunciate. I can't go back on that. When I came popping unexpectedly out of the convent, I didn't want a great deal of what society has. I don't want the food, the alcohol, the sports hype, the entertainment, the religion, the politics, the gadgets, the clothes, and many other aspects. I don't participate. I have convictions about these things. I recoil from them.
Returning to my 7-day race, my running is totally selfish; but also an inward journey. It is true that Houston heat, sweating and walking, causes my ego to shut up. In a perverse way, I like sweating. Since I am on my own, me and my thoughts, walking to nowhere, I can only turn inward. This walking activity, however, is totally futile in a spiritual sense; except every time I quit doing miles and go inside like a sensible person, my ego's grandiose dreams die. Humanity wins. I go back to being just a person who needs to eat and sleep and gets blisters and has pains in the foot. A 7-day race by myself is a futile effort. Nothing to brag about. Just something I want to do because I like the park and I like the freedom of doing miles with nothing but a Nathan hydro-pak and a couple of energy bars.