After my last blog entry someone made the remark “Ben, I like your blog but you always write about the same thing.” I thought about it for about half a second and realized that this was a very accurate observation. I don’t write that often but it makes sense that I would have a tendency to write about what I think about most often and so there is this recurring theme of integrating the spiritual life into this age of materialism…or something like that.
I’m going to try to get away from that for awhile but I doubt I can eliminate those undertones completely from much of anything that I take the time to write about.
But before I move on… let me just say that it is possible for any person to have an experience that completely transforms their view of, well, everything. Let’s say that from the time you were born the world has told you that the sky is blue. Everyone knows the sky is blue. It’s just a fact that is taken for granted and – for the sake of argument – let us imagine that a good portion of the world’s knowledge and what is considered normal is based on the initial premise that the sky is blue. Now let’s imagine that you wake up one day or perhaps have some strange but undeniable experience that reveals to you that, in fact, the sky is NOT blue. All of the sudden you now know, from the very core of your being, that the sky is not blue and therefore all of the concepts that were based on that initial premise are no longer valid either.
The caveat to this little revelation is that you cannot actually share this information with anyone else without sounding like a complete lunatic. Even hinting at the possibility will get you nothing but strange looks from most people. But at the same time, the implications of such a thing cannot help but affect your life in a profound way and somehow creep into every aspect of your day to day experience. It cannot help but become a recurring theme in your consciousness because it touches every facet of life as a human being.
So what does one do if they find themselves in a situation like the one described above?
At first you probably go on the best you can and don’t mention it and do what you can to fit in. Externally, life goes on as normal. But internally there is a new dimension to your existence that seems to deepen as time goes on. With it comes the incessant desire to go even deeper, explore a little further. Occasionally you feel a bit like an alien being on a foreign planet but you make do.
That is a nutshell and slightly exaggerated analogy of something that I have been through. It has been a neat thing to get older and more comfortable with it and to realize that it isn’t that uncommon. It’s been neat to discover other people of a similar disposition and a wealth of literature and information on the subject.
Hopefully that serves as some kind of explanation as to why I end up repeating a similar theme whenever I sit down and try to write a blog entry. I don’t usually have the benefit of starting out the process with something in mind for a topic. I just let my thoughts carry me where they will and inevitably end up back on the same thing.
The inner life is something that has been devalued in our time but here and there you can see subtle signs of a comeback. Unfortunately commercial culture is so all pervasive that it defines our priorities and value system from birth to death. Pursuing the inner life puts you immediately at odds with popular culture and normalcy. This however may be starting to come to an end as people gradually grow weary of living in a society defined by consumption and fueled by insatiable appetite.
I think about these things a lot and so I end up writing about them even when it’s not necessarily my original intention. In an effort to challenge myself and add some variety for the hundreds of thousands of readers that visit my blog every hour (heh heh), I will make it a point to address some completely different topics the next few times I sit down to do this.
There’s no telling what kind of topics might pop up. I might discuss the ins and outs of owning an English Setter, or maybe why I think those clear plastic blister packs are incontrovertible proof of demonic influence in human affairs, or maybe the pitfalls of trying to make your vertical leap higher at age 31 than it was at age 19. Might delve into the ridiculous world of politics or other areas where I can proudly display my ignorance on certain subject matters. Maybe talk about marriage and relationships and try to get myself a big ole hug from Oprah the demigod. Who knows? I might even share some of my personal bathroom experiences. Point is, it will be something different. I promise.