Look man, I’ve seen some shit

12 07 2021

I could come up with a bunch of complicated and well-developed reasons for why I’ve come back to belief after many periods of unbelief. I could ultimately say that it’s all due to grace, that at the end of the day one must have a personal relationship with God that is hard to describe, and so on. But really, I have to say that the reason I am a believer is that I’ve seen some shit.

I’ve seen things that shouldn’t have happened happen. I’ve had the proverbial near death experience. I think I’ve seen angels, or maybe people who seemed like they were angels. I have seen too many eerie coincidences, too many symbolic dates where crazy stuff transpired. I have long given up trying to square any of them with one particular tradition as written, because all of them fall short on a exoteric level. You see, God doesn’t come down and speak to you like you speak to other people. God speaks in signs, He taps out messages in code, and sometimes He’s just yelling at you and you have to be a real idiot to not hear it. I’ve had examples of all of this stuff in my life. I won’t get into specifics, because in purely human terms, I couldn’t prove that these things were what I think they were. There could be “perfectly rational” explanations, but there’s no way of going back and finding them.

I have never shared the modern tendency to interpret all the signs and wonders of the past as hoaxes or mass hallucinations. I think a lot of them are “true,” maybe most of them are, maybe all of them. I see weird stuff being described, and I am just like, “Sure, why not?” It doesn’t happen everyday. To some, it might only happen once in a lifetime. But it does happen. The world is very, very strange.

Agree with me or not, but my spiritual journey is an attempt to interpret this weird stuff in a way that makes sense to me. It may not make sense to you, but that’s okay. You may think it’s all demonic, to which I say your world must be rather small. I don’t know your weird stuff, I can’t really interpret that for you. I am not offended that you think I’m crazy. I wouldn’t believe myself if I described the things I am insinuating here. But I wouldn’t be able to explain them away either.

Maybe others can cut the “weird stuff” into a shape that fits into one religious explanation perfectly. I just can’t do it. I will say that Krishna in what is known as the Uddhava-Gita in the Eleventh Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, states the following:

Lord Kṛṣṇa replied: Because all material elements are present everywhere, it is reasonable that different learned brāhmaṇas have analyzed them in different ways. All such philosophers spoke under the shelter of My mystic potency, and thus they could say anything without contradicting the truth. When philosophers argue, “I don’t choose to analyze this particular case in the same way that you have,” it is simply My own insurmountable energies that are motivating their analytic disagreements. By interaction of My energies different opinions arise. But for those who have fixed their intelligence on Me and controlled their senses, differences of perception disappear, and consequently the very cause for argument is removed.

I guess I am settling for the religion which can make room for all the weirdness. If you think I’m totally off, I don’t know what to tell you. Look man, I’ve just seen some shit, and I am trying to process it the best I can.


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5 responses

29 07 2021
CKJ B

I have seen some strange shit too and damn if its doesn’t cut right across the rigid boundaries that religions set for themselves. I’m a cradle Roman Catholic who followed a Hindu guru for 25 years, who embraced materialism after that guru fell, who then began practicing Tibetan Buddhism during a period of abject addiction. Buddhism is still my path, but it’s madness to think I can abandon all that led me to it. Catholicism has its own ineluctable gravitational pull that is very hard to escape. It is my moon pulling on the tides of my belief. I get you, brother. Write on.

12 07 2021
Anonymous

“Everything that has parts relies on an outside force, transcendent of itself, to keep its various pieces together.”
That’s assuming an external reality though. For all I know when I look away my body disappears! So that leaves me with my mind and sensory output which then I have to ask “what is the source of this?” If I dig deep enough (for a spiritually novice person at least) and I only find Emptiness then I think it’s fair to assume that this at least points to something since eventually we have to put faith into something or else we’re stuck being perpetually agnostic about everything. If this is my starting point for making sense of anything then what is the nature of this Emptiness? Is it the Buddhist Sunyata? The Tao? Eckhart’s ‘groundless ground’? Simply an aspect of the overarching Brahman?

Of course I probably haven’t gone far enough in this endeavor (since I’d probably be a Buddha or a mystic at least in that case) or missed something along the way but it seems that we can at least reach the fringes of this Emptiness. Though I also could be misunderstanding these teachings entirely as well so forgive me for any ignorance.

I also know that Prabhupada addresses these sorts of issues when speaking of the “impersonalists” as well by just saying that we need to just place our faith in revelations from God Himself but so far from reading him it seems like he doesn’t really make a case for why we should specifically believe in Vedic ‘revelations’ but to be fair I only have a cursory reading of him.

12 07 2021
youOnlyNeedToKnowTheNameOfGod

Sorry but it looks like first part of my coment went missing. it was about my other difficulty with going over to Hinduism: Karma. I cannot reconcile it with any notion of free will (since Karma requires agents to work for its mechanisms to occur). And without free will i don’t understand how it can provide a moral explanation for the existence of suffering. and coupled with the lack of knowledge as to why one is being punished, it looks more to me like a theory of eternal vengeance than justice. Although perhaps one day i’ll find a way to make sense of it all. but untill then, Hinduism just can’t work for me

12 07 2021
youOnlyNeedToKnowTheNameOfGod

The other is divine simplicity. I don’t see a way that God could be the answer to the question of being if he is not simple. Everything that has parts relies on an outside force, transcendent of itself, to keep its various pieces together. Sure the aidvatins believe in divine simplicity but then they believe in Karma. And the whole “I am the ultimate reality” thing seems like a statement of faith i just cannot find any reason, from my experience of God, to make.

12 07 2021
Anonymous

I’ve had a fair share of interesting spiritual experiences as well but ultimately I’m not too sure if I could actually base anything too substantial off of my experiences or anyone else’s. Of course I could theoretically pray to some Deity or spirit and see if they can wash away these doubts I have but for all I know that could simply be entrapping me further into some sort of delusion (e.g. Samsara) so wouldn’t it be better to ask oneself what the source of all these experiences are by digging deep into one’s own soul? Of course after stripping everything away I get nothing but perhaps Meister Eckhart is correct in saying that ‘God is Nothingness’.

I’m still working through a lot of doubts of my own but perhaps this observation could be of help of some sort.

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