“THE GREATEST OF ALL THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF 20TH-CENTURY SCIENCE has been the discovery of human ignorance.” Lewis Thomas, Lives of a Cell. “OUR IGNORANCE, OF COURSE, HAS ALWAYS BEEN WITH US, AND ALWAYS WILL BE. What is new is our awareness of it, our awakening to its fathomless dimensions, and it is this, more than anything else, that marks the coming of age of our species.” Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Notes from the Ground

Too much of Eastern mysticism seems overly eager for death, The Great Return to Original Perfection, liberation from the limits of ego and embodied experience.

Death of self… What about BIRTH? What about creativity? What about being wholly and miraculously HERE?

Some might protest that I’m only critiquing the immature phase of Eastern mysticism, and that such wisdom traditions as Zen criticize this very attitude (calling it “void sickness,” “the stink of enlightenment,” etc.). But I have usually seen this life-negative (and thus body-, sex- and female-negative) disposition exemplified by the teachers themselves, right up through the highest levels of the various schools from India and the Far East that have emigrated to the West.

When I was 18, I began my personal “Journey East,” seeking peace within several paths. In my early 40s—two ashrams and two narcissistic gurus later—I utterly abandoned the career of the chronic seeker. Now I’m nearly 61 and I’m reporting from the ground. I’m not going anywhere. I’m home.