Invisible Sun

OnTheTrek

New member
I've enjoyed browsing this forum, there's a lot of sage contributors on this board and it's a delight to feel that wind on my heart.

One thing I've noticed in these conversations is a recurring diversion into how to define "spritituality." Like most simple words, professional philosophy can't get to the bottom of it. :p Like bystanders on the side of a river, they can only observe and wave as the boat semantically drifts downstream.

So when Philosophy fails, I'll take Science next...which hopefully includes Anthropology on its good days. There's *something* people have in common. Despite the unimaginable differences in what they believe and how they revere it, they do it. They need it.

"There has to be an invisible sun
That gives its heat to everyone
There has to be an invisible sun
That gives us hope when the whole day's done."


Somewhere up the ladder on Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs, there's just something to this. We're not content without it forever. Even for those whom the words 'religion' and 'God' are not their cup of tea...there's some waterfall somewhere they go to get nourished, inspired, and purposed...to feel cosmic.

And it's not just hammy personal philosophy. Even if you're as skeptical about scientific methodology in this age of the Replication Crisis as I am, there's no one competent in Health Care who can deny that the body of evidence of 'religious'/'spiritual' activity in patients has a profound positive difference on health outcomes. This has been so settled for so long that it pervades medical practice standards, and the personality types of the most skeptical and innate trust issues becoming doctors will look you straight in the eye and encourage your spiritual activity in their care.

Gandhi helps me see what we all have in common---we understand it differently, and can bicker about the word, but whatever you prefer to call it:

"God is that indefinable something which we all feel but which we do not know. To me God is Truth and Love, God is ethics and morality. God is fearlessness, God is the source of light and life and yet. He is above and beyond all these. God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist. He transcends speech and reason. He is a personal God to those who need His touch. He is purest essence. He simply Is to those who have faith."

It's the invisible sun. I define "spirituality" as non-sensory experience: thought, imagination, emotion--this is the realm of our spirituality. There's something we all need in there that the five senses can't grasp.

I like "Dao" myself, but count myself blessed with other friends with different names. Matter in the slightest? Probably not. Bottom line:

Truth, Love.

There's just something that sticks in my craw about the line "Love isn't jealous." As much as I wanted to cravenly people-please and make a lover feel like a transcendant (monotheistic) goddess who owns my universe, there was something dishonest going on I couldn't quite see or consciously put my finger on for many years.

Different lovers brought out different sides of me. It was never the same. I was never the same. Love exists in a bigger universe than in a menagerie built by two, even if I capitulate to a custom of one-at-a-time.

By the time I stumbled into open, committed relationships, it proved true in concurrence as well. The honesty, the respect, the gracious humility and selfless pleasure in a partner finding and enjoying a piece of her heart with another--this is the Love that rings true with all the scriptures worth remembering.

Love is big. It is liquid. It takes the shape of the container it is given. It gives.

What was once a hopeful ideal is a life I get to live. Took honesty and bravery. I count myself lucky to be in the company of others who found theirs, too.

Doesn't much matter to me what you call your Invisible Sun. I'm just glad you have it.

Namaste
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
I have 1% belief, and 25% hope. That hope is my invisible sun. As for polyamory, I am 100% in support of it. :)
 

River

New member
I have 1% belief, and 25% hope. That hope is my invisible sun. As for polyamory, I am 100% in support of it. :)

For me, belief has almost nothing to do with so-called "spirituality". For me, it's not about belief -- or even ideas, notions -- very much. It is about feeling and experience and a certain kind of knowing which isn't about intellectually grounded knowledge, per se. (What of any usefulness or value is knowing about kissing from having seen pictures of it in a book?)

What kind of knowledge might that be? It's closer to knowing how to ride a bicycle or what it is like to be kissed by someone who genuinely loves you, whom you also love. It's also kindred to knowing that water is wet, by drinking water, being rained on, or swimming in it.

The wiser I become in "spirituality" the less of an intellectual grasp I get on it. And I really don't give a shit that it's not really about intellectual knowing. Who cares?! It feels better... this kind of knowing which -- for me -- is equal parts not-knowing.
 

Al99

Active member
Interesting discussion - I am reminded me of of a quote from one of the various texts I have studied over the years:

Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial, since they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. 5 A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. (A Course in Miracles, Introduction to the Clarification Terms).

I have devoted a significant amount of time in my life to the study of metaphysics from an intellectual perspective (but with an eye to the spiritual and mystical expressions) - simply because it is my nature to do so. And I have settled upon certain ideas that I find personally satisfying (for me, with no expectation that they would be for others).

Nevertheless, those ideas, profound though they may be, do not begin to compare to what I encountered in the mystical experience, although - in my case - those studies led me to the experience. Others' path will be different obviously.

Al
 
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River

New member
Nevertheless, those ideas, profound though they may be, do not begin to compare to what I encountered in the mystical experience, although - in my case - those studies led me to the experience. Others' path will be different obviously.

Al

Was your mystical experience an episode which began and ended, or is it ongoing? Were there many episodes (moments, periods of time) or just one?

I've had a series of what must probably be defined as "mystical experiences" throughout my life. Episodes, states less than stations. Each was unique and revealed something different about the rest. These are all best described as being mainly a dramatic shift in feeling state from states which are more compressed to states which are more expanded, expansive. And usually there was a shift in the experience of time, such that time basically fell away, leaving only "eternity" in its wake.

One of the most amazing such experiences was when I spent several hours in "eternity" at Mount Shasta in California -- barefoot, ecstatic, blissed out, light as air, open so wide that I and the very sky were experienced as a unified field of infinite, unknowable mysterious being. But not just the sky, of course, but the whole round Earth, and everything. The sky, though, almost felt as if it were seeing me.

No drugs were involved.
 
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Al99

Active member
I've had a series of what must probably be defined as "mystical experiences" throughout my life. Episodes, states less than stations. Each was unique and revealed something different about the rest. The are all best described as being mainly a dramatic shift in feeling state from states which are more compressed to states which are more expanded, expansive. And usually there was a shift in the experience of time, such that time basically fell away, leaving only "eternity" in its wake.

There have been a number of such "episodes" - sometimes meditation induced, other times spontaneously induced by particular situations, lasting from just a few moments to perhaps half an hour, but nothing like your experience of several hours at Mt. Shasta. The first such experience was the most memorable - just because of the initial "shock and awe" - complete and total surprise.

Your description is very close to words that I have used to describe these experiences - I have often used the expression "time collapsed into eternity -where was all was one", as well as "a sudden shift of consciousness into the oneness of eternity". There is an understanding that seems to run throughout the various mystical traditions that ultimately these experiences cannot be expressed in words because they are completely beyond human experience.

Of course, this is just my experience, and I have learned along the way when discussing these matters that it is often helpful to conclude with the caveat that "or, I could just be full of it". :)

(No drugs here, either. Other than an occasional Crown and Diet Coke, my experience with mind altering substances is limited to smoking a dozen or so joints with friends back in my college days).

Al
 

River

New member
There have been a number of such "episodes" - sometimes meditation induced, other times spontaneously induced by particular situations, lasting from just a few moments to perhaps half an hour, but nothing like your experience of several hours at Mt. Shasta. The first such experience was the most memorable - just because of the initial "shock and awe" - complete and total surprise.

Your description is very close to words that I have used to describe these experiences - I have often used the expression "time collapsed into eternity -where was all was one", as well as "a sudden shift of consciousness into the oneness of eternity". There is an understanding that seems to run throughout the various mystical traditions that ultimately these experiences cannot be expressed in words because they are completely beyond human experience.

Of course, this is just my experience, and I have learned along the way when discussing these matters that it is often helpful to conclude with the caveat that "or, I could just be full of it". :)

(No drugs here, either. Other than an occasional Crown and Diet Coke, my experience with mind altering substances is limited to smoking a dozen or so joints with friends back in my college days).

Al

In my first "mystical" experience I experienced what can only be called "infinite love". There is absolutely no exaggeration in what I just said. It was shocking, astonishing, intense, amazing... I cannot exaggerate the intensity of it. There are not numbers large enough to measure the love I connected with and -- for a brief while, became. This all happened outside of what we all generally experience as time. That is, there was no this moment in comparison to another. There was infinite nowness, only. That the now was infinite is not to be passed over casually. There is a feeling in the utter absorption in the present moment which can not be explained. Try explaining color to a person born blind. You can't do it. You might try analogies to sounds in music. Good luck.

I would wish this experience on my best friend. I'd wish it on anyone. I'd offer it up to anyone who wanted it, if I could deliver it. AND I would not wish it upon anyone. It is devastating! It is such a letdown to "come back" to what we regard as normal in our "normal" world! Imagine one morning you are a trillionaire; you have all of the gold and diamonds, emeralds and rubies..., everything the heart could desire is yours! But no! It's much better and worse than that! Your wealth is not only all of the gold and silver and diamonds and rubies of all lands, but you are … and everything is … infinite ecstatic love-bliss. Things are a hundred thousand times better than you ever could have imagined possible.

And then you return to your "normal" life, having experienced this vista on things. Now you are a pauper in a land of paupers. No one -- almost no one -- has ever tasted this experience. They have no idea what you just encountered, and have no notion of … anything related to it. They are entirely absorbed into the "normal" picture of things, entranced by it, caught in it. But you've just experienced another world, a golden world. Inexplicable, vast, infinite, blazing with ecstatic joy and freedom and bliss... and love. You've just been shown that everything is fundamentally about love, and is woven of the fabric of love. And then you "fell" back into something much more like the ordinary, normal, everyday world in which love is meted out in droplets or teaspoons full, at most. You came from an ocean of love and fell into a world which is FUNDAMENTALLY deprived of real love.

Could you wish this on your best friend? I certainly would not! And yet I would. And yet I most certainly would not!!!
 
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