Too Much Icing – Part 2
In my last blog entry, I wrote about my perception that, at least in North America, we are out of touch with something important and satisfying in life, so we try to compensate through activities which produce adrenaline. This makes us feel more alive, but in a temporary way that doesn’t satisfy at a deep level.
On the other side of that coin are those who choose to numb out rather than over-stimulate, with the most common tool of numbing being the TV. There is comfort in the numbing out, and the comfort masquerades as satisfaction, but it is a poor satisfaction which can make us feel like we are sleep walking.
Beyond adrenaline and numbing out, at another level altogether is the experience of the mystic. A mystic is defined as someone who has a direct experience of the creative force, by whatever name you give it. One of the most famous mystics with whom many are familiar is the Persian poet, Rumi. When you read Rumi, the exquisite depth of his experience of life is palpable in his words. He tries to describe in so many different ways that life is rich and deep and delicious beyond measure, and he experiences that richness in elements as simple as a blade of grass. He can feel the pulse of life in that blade, and is completely filled by it.
How is it that Rumi can be filled to overflowing by a blade of grass, while we, in one of the richest parts of the world, feel no such fulfillment and continue to starve? I believe that the enlivening force within the blade of grass is what we are searching for without knowing that is what we are seeking.
We tend to confuse the feeling with the conduit it comes through. We think the feeling that we are looking for is in the new car, or in the perfect relationship or in the right job or in drugs, sex or alcohol. No one has ever taught us that the feeling is everywhere and in everything so we look in all the wrong places for that intoxicating spark of aliveness that Rumi describes.
Most of us lurk somewhere between numb and numinous. Most of us don’t have the gift of the mystic to see and feel the ecstasy of life in every tiny thing. But knowing it is there, knowing that depth and richness is available, we are much further ahead in how to look for it. For most, it is not an easy search but there are indicators and clues which we can learn to follow.
It is a little like the “hotter, colder” game we used to play as children when leading someone to find a hidden item. “You’re getting warmer – warmer, warmer! No, colder, colder!” I’m sure you remember the game. The clues are like that and feeling better is the guide. If we move steadily in the direction of what feels better, we can begin the journey. By feeling better I don’t mean feeling stimulated, I am referring to a feeling of “rightness” inside which may be very tiny at first, but baby steps is all we need to take in the beginning.
We may not have the capacity to be a mystic, but everyone has the capacity to begin to see beauty in life and to be touched and fed by it.
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is people who
have come alive.”