“He who is without discrimination and whose mind is always uncontrolled, his senses are unmanageable, like the vicious horses of a driver.” -The Upanishads
The world if full of so many wonders, history, culture, monuments, lush lands and deep seas. A lot of people I have come into contact with, including myself, have put a lot of emphasis on trying to travel to as many places or the most exotic places in the country and/or world they can find. While there is nothing wrong with sometimes doing that, for me at least, the bigger journey, has been to travel within myself. For just as there is so much to explore in the external world, fewer have traveled within the world of the unchanging self, or consciousness. But there is even more to explore, more caverns, and mountains, and deep dark depths, more untapped wisdom and knowledge, more peace and answers than we could ever imagine.
Who am I, why am I here, what is my purpose, what happens after I die? Most people at one point or another ask themselves these questions. I know I have. The first spiritual teacher I had was the work of Wayne Dyer. I was a teenager, having an existential crisis, he said, we are not human beings have a spiritual experience but rather, spiritual beings having a human experience. Mine was a crisis of spirit, and may times I have short circuited and had to attend much more to my internal wiring. Fast forward to adulthood and I was profoundly impacted by Eckhart Tolle. He talked about the Observer and the Observed, and how shining a flashlight like pure consciousness, on the darkness, could transmute base metal into gold, as is done in alchemy. After having lost myself in the external world seeking pleasure after pleasure after pleasure, alcohol, drugs, work, achievement, clothes, relationships, etc. ad infinitum, the connection to my core being was broken. Bit by bit I had to repair the damage by throwing myself into action. And as this action began to allow me to recover and repair, I continued this journey into my soul. I read the Untethered Soul and again understood this idea of The Watcher, pure loving awareness, as Ram Das says, and the physical form, my body, and how they can work together, or how if I, the engine, becomes absent, can be pulled in every which way by the boat (my form).
The Baghavad Gita has helped me understand how I can be neither identified with pleasure or pain, for too much of either is unhealthy, and transient. Now reading the Upanishads, I can see and understand the journey I have been on my whole life. From letting in so many “visitors”, that is, both pleasure and pain (as they are just opposites of the same coin), into my temple (my body), I became so overwhelmed, and unconnected, that many times I left the control room. I’ll be damned if make that mistake again. Of course being human is to be flawed, but I know and understand deep into my soul that that flawed human is not me. I am the queen of the castle, and I need to be very protective of what gets inside. Moreover, anger, resentment, fear, and depression can easily take ahold of me, if I am not diligent to take care of my life force (as Stutz calls it) or my Prana. I vow to continue this treacherous journey, tidying up, digging, resting, and evicting whatever “visitors” snuck in while I was out.
Will you join me?