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Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Skepticism's Spiral

My soul awoke parched and longing this morning. An emptiness calling out to be filled emanated from deep within me. Words rang hollow in Smith's book, further deepening my perceived drought, and all the sources I have cherished for so long seem tasteless and dull to my interior's palate.

I feel naked this morning, stripped of belief, stripped of the hope of ever knowing anything. I feel like an agnostic, or even worse, maybe an atheist, and that leaves an emptiness so vast it is like a bottomless abyss.

 Where is this fresh feeling of being alive with wonder? Of thinking anything is possible? And if all that there is , is all that there is, why does the thought of that leave me with such a feeling of despair? Is there some credibility to the transcendental in that my heart rejects the idea of reality as being almost like a mechanical web, of constantly shifting and interrelated parts, (though my mind draws me towards that idea), and instead craves for more depth, more meaning, a nourishment that is lost to me this morning? Or is this longing more some kind of deficiency in my sense of reason? Some weakness on my part of conjuring up artificial constructs in the guise of spirituality, which seem so real sometimes, and yet in a moment of lucidity seem so created: self-induced delusions?

Am I unable to face reality fully? A reality that might entirely be devoid of anything transcendental? I'd make a crappy atheist as I am always seeking for spiritual depth, yet I am hopeless as any kind of believer as I am continually doubting, questioning, and turning away from every ideology that seems, at least for a time, to call me to it. At the end of the day, even if there are transcendental realities, perhaps the fact is that our human minds and hearts haven't a clue as to their scope or form and any attempts at conceiving them are  but grasps in the dark, futile reaching for  revelations which will always be partial at best.

I find myself in a situation I've never been in before and it almost leaves me in somewhat of a mild panic. I can't find anything satisfying to read! Spiritual texts no longer resonate, more academic texts seem dry and lifeless. I am in a quandary. It is like the needle in my internal compass is broken.  I felt I was on a path that was right for me, I was finding inspiration and resonance in the Vedas, but I just haven't had any inclination to read them the last few days. Perhaps I will re-investigate the Tao to Ching, or Buddhism, which seem mostly atheistic but afford some sort of spiritual depth to the practitioner. Perhaps I should bypass spirituality altogether for some time and immerse myself in the wonder of the natural world-of what science has and is discovering. For sure there is an infinite material available for doing that. But can that bring about a sense of fulfillment, of nourishment, that I am craving right now? I'm not sure. If it would at least distract me from this aching and hollow despair that is creeping in, it would prove helpful and no doubt illuminating as I would learn new things. But I still don't think it would fill this emptiness that I feel. I have to ask myself, why not?

Is it because my consciousness perceives my soul and knows there is something more to things, or is it because I am inherently biased, perhaps sentimentally attached, to the idea of there being transcendental realities and truths?

Should I embrace my apparent attachment to spirituality or attempt to understand why I have it and move beyond it? To embrace it right now seems impossible. For when I try to cling to one particular path and grow roots in it, like a tree on the side of a cliff my doubts, in the form of rain and wind, sweep my newly formed foundation away, uprooting me and causing me to fall.  I keep trying to attach my roots once again but it proves a cyclical reaction, repeating itself over and over to no avail.

Will I ever feel conviction? Is that possible for someone so infected with skepticism? I seem to recoil inwardly from the side of me that presents itself as a skeptic, yet that side rises up and conquers anytime I feel like any sort of belief is settling in. It's as if I get caught up in skepticism's spiral...I'm not sure if it is leading me upwards or downwards. It's as if that part of my nature seeks to cleanse me from any ambiguities keeping me from seeing clearly...and yet I am seeing nothing at all right now but uncertainty. Thanks a lot skepticism, you have served me well, digging me a pathway to seemingly nowhere at all but a dark bottomless void. Is there hope to be found, meaning, peace, fulfillment, without a sense of conviction? If there is, I haven't found it yet.

The one thing that I can say is that if this is all there is...If this is our one chance at a life and we no longer continue to exist in any autonomous way after our heart ceases to beat and we breathe our last, then for sure it makes this one life that we are living all that more precious and to be revered. That's the only positive thought that I can squeeze out of any sort of atheistic view of things.

There is a series by Dawkins where he explores sex, ,the meaning of life, ,etc. from an atheistic perspective. In it, he gives an account of one man who went from being a believer to entering into an agnostic state, a stage of deep doubt and disbelief. Feeling such despair over what he was discovering he reverted back to religion. It was like the other side, the side of uncertainty, of doubt, of what really  might be the truth, was too much for him and he went into a contemplative monastic order to live out his days in religious fervor. I found myself understanding why he would do that. Religion, belief in something, provides a salve for our aching soul that seems to break open and threatens to die without some kind of intervention-some kind of hope, some kind of dogma to bind it and allow it to be whole. But while binding our souls with such a  poultice are we perhaps restricting the flow of truth to enter into our consciousness? Could injecting religion to satisfy our hunger and our desperate thirst for answers more be likened to administering a tourniquet on a damaged limb ,cutting off the blood supply, allowing the tissues and that part of the body to eventually become lifeless? Perhaps clinging to religion or a spiritual path could potentially be a way of forever subverting oneself from experiencing and knowing some real truths that, if really taken in and digested, have the power to breathe life into one's spirit, so to speak, to allow one to see life in a new and enlivened way.

I know I just wrote a lot about feeling despair and I do feel a sense of that today as I contemplate the direction I am heading spiritually. I don't want to sound too negative though for running concurrently alongside such despair is an underlying sense of hope. I know that any truth worth comprehending requires critical thinking and discernment and that sometimes we have to cross the desert to come to the oasis.

Thoughts? I'd  love to hear them. Please leave them in the comments section! Thank you!


  1. I agree with Alan Watts that there is wisdom in insecurity or, as I'm more inclined to call it, uncertainty. And it seems to me that the part of you that wants to worship stained glass windows is battling with the part that wants to strip the window of your soul free of millennia of caked-on paint and see the real sky beyond and that this is an encouragingly natural phase of your spiritual evolution that you can perhaps come to witness from a "still, small point" of equinimitous omnipresence as you worry not about becoming enlightened or accomplishing great things but focus, instead, on doing "small things with great love."

    1. I really enjoy Watts...and have found so many precious pearls of wisdom in his book The Wisdom of Insecurity. Thanks for bringing him up Steve! :) "Doing small things with great love"...May that be something we all strive for. :)

    2. Jessica, SO many atheists I know ARE what I consider spiritual. If Steve considers himself such, then he makes a great case for it with his thoughtful response. There is hope and optimism and awe in the realm of reality.

    3. Besides "doing small things with great love" (great post Steve), we need to consider that we have been disoriented (truly lost in sea dominated by misinformation). Each time that I assemble some pieces and gain some strength from the greater focus, it seems that something mounts to challenge the affirmation of the new energy. We may be in an uphill struggle to get oriented.

  2. Jessica, you have so poignantly and eloquently expressed here what it means to enter those rifts in our spiritual growth which leave us dry, uncertain, and, at the worst, despairing. When I have gone through such times in the past, when doubts cloud my thoughts and my heart feels so distant from the face of God, I've always, always, come out the other side with new insight and vision regarding my relationship with Him. These have happened more than once. I don't like being in that place. But, like you, there was always an "underlying sense of hope" within me.
    You may be in the desert now, dear one, but there is an oasis in sight. Trust me . . .
    Sending you much love and blessings!

    1. Thank you so much Martha for your encouraging and inspiring words. :) It helps to hear from others who have had similar experiences and made it out seemingly unscathed and perhaps even at a higher elevation of understanding and insight, making one even more secure from the tide that has a way of creeping up on us sometimes. Thanks for the love and blessings...sending some your way as well! :)

  3. As Martha said, you have so beautifully captured the feeling of going through a "dark night of the soul." Many people might suggest things to read or paths to pursue, but for me, I've learned that the best way to become "comfortable with uncertainty" (the title of one of Pema Chodron's books) is to sit with it rather than try to force it or escape it.

    I think times like these are perfect for discovering our faith. I don't mean faith with any particular label, such as Christian or Buddhist. I mean faith that opens a trust in the basic goodness of the universe, a trust that assures us that all is well, even when it doesn't seem that way.

    Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of accepting our experience with the words, "This, too."

    The Bible assures us that "weeping might tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning."

    Thank you for sharing your experience so honestly and bravely. This is so beautiful, I'm going to print it and keep it.

    You know, the more deeply I go into faith, the less the particular "beliefs" matter. I don't feel like I have to choose one to the exclusion of another. The Tao Te Ching says that the nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth; the named is the mother of ten thousand things. "Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations."

    So I agree with Martha, I suspect that you are poised for some deep growth. It is not easy to be in what Joyce Rupp calls the liminal space, that space (in a doorway) where you are no longer where you were, but not yet where you are going to be. But I believe that by going deeper into it, you will discover the vast treasures in your soul.

    1. Thank you so much Galen for your thoughtful response. I'll have to see if I can get my hands a copy of that book by Pema Chodron you suggested. I read her book, "Taking the Leap" some time ago and really enjoyed it.
      Thank you for your encouraging words. :)

  4. Jessica, it sounds like there is a lot of noise in your mind causing conflict. Uncertainty holds within itself wisdom and peace when you surrender to the moment and simply be. Just be. Withhold judgements and expectations and live this gift of life one moment at a time. The nice thing is that we are all here with you, experiencing similar growth and questions. Maybe a good movie, or some other benign treat is what you need. As a wise Christian Mystic, whose name I can't seem to recall...Madame Goyan? said, "it is better to engage in a mindless hobby than to entertain the spirit of melancholy."
    You're an amazing soul. Rest my dear.

    1. Leah,

      Thank you so much for stopping by. The quote you shared at the end does make sense, as well as your whole comment. Sometimes we all need time to rest, to be still, to relax our grip on our steering wheel and allow a little time in cruise control. I have sensed that as well...

      "surrender to the moment and simply be" resonates deeply as when I find myself in moments of pure uncertainty I seek solace in the present, which is probably where I should be a lot more often. I described this in the post I published before this one which was in the form of a poem. Here's a tiny snippet describing the solace and rest that I find in the present moment:

      "The only time they cease their droning,
      their lamenting for satisfaction,
      Their perpetual moaning,
      Is when I allow my senses to take in all that is;
      When my consciousness stands erect
      On this moment's narrow precipice.
      Then I am simply what I am, right there and right then
      And all that is, just simply is that,
      And my steady breath is a steady friend."

      Thank you again for stopping by. :)


  5. Thank you Jessica for inviting me to your blog. I sense thirst in your post. The beautiful thirst of the seeker, who yearns to know what one already is. But you know that already, do not you?

    I thought you might find interest in the following post titled "The ocean is one, is the human so?"


    1. Thank you Fira for stopping by. Yes, there is a considerable amount of thirst I am feeling right now...Thanks for sharing your link, I'm looking forward to checking out your article in a short while. :)

  6. « ...Also spirits, if they dared to speak, would say the same thing: “Give us God! Give us the Truth!” But they do not say that, because they know that man is not aware of, does not understand or mocks the entreaties of the “great beggars”, of the spirits who seek God to satisfy their terrible hunger: their hunger for the Truth.

    The idolaters, the Romans, the atheists, the unhappy we meet on our way, and you will always meet, those who are despised in their desire for God, either through politics or family selfishness, or through heresies born of filthy hearts and spread throughout nations: they are all hungry! They are hungry! And I have mercy on them. And should I not have mercy on them, being He Who I am? If out of pity I provide food for men and sparrows, why should I not have mercy on the spirits, who have been prevented from being of the True God, and who stretch out the arms of their spirits shouting: “We are hungry!”? Do you think that they are wicked, or savages, or unable to go as far as love God's Religion and God Himself? You are wrong. They are spirits awaiting love and light. »...
    − in The Poem of The Man†God. Chapter 221.

    1. There's something in that excerpt I find really beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. I think we are all hungry for the Truth, whether we are a believer, nonbeliever, undecided, etc. We all are hungry for meaning, for purpose, for understanding and knowledge. We catch glimpses of the truth in various ways and yet it is Truth in its entirety which is the goal for many of us...Perhaps it's too lofty of one, I'm not sure. Maybe that's where humility comes in-the humility of admitting that there are some things that we can never quite know fully. That certainly is the key that unlocks the door to faith for the believer.

      Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. « You cannot appraise the enormous harm that a man can do another man by means of his hostile intolerance. I ask you to remember that your Master was always very benign towards those who were suffering from a spiritual disease. You think that My greatest miracles and My main virtue consist in the curing of bodies. No, My friends... Yes, you too, who are ahead of us and you, who are behind Me, come here. The road is wide and we can walk in a group. »

    They all gather round Jesus Who continues: « My main deeds, the ones that bear the clearest witness to My nature and My mission, the ones upon which the Father looks with joy, are the healing of hearts, whether they are freed from one or more capital vices, or relieved from grief. Hearts are discouraged by grief when they are convinced that they have been struck and abandoned by God. What is a soul that has lost the certainty of the help of God? It is a thin bearbine crawling in the dust, as it is no longer able to clutch at the idea that was its strength and its joy. It is horrible to live without hope.

    Life is beautiful, in its hardship, only because it receives such warmth from the Divine Sun. The aim of life is that Sun. The days of man may be dismal, wet with tears and smeared with blood. But the Sun will rise again. Then there will be no more grief, no separations, no harshness, no hatred, no misery or solitude in an enveloping fog. Instead there will be brightness and singing, serenity and peace, there will be God. God: the eternal Sun! See how gloomy the earth is when there is an eclipse. If man were compelled to say: “The sun is defunct” would he not feel as if he were to live forever in a dark hypogeum, buried and dead before dying? But man knows that behind the planet that hides the sun and makes the world look dismal there is still God's bright sun. And the thought of being united to God during life is like that. If men hurt, steal, calumniate, God cures, grants, justifies. And He does so in full measure. Men may say: “God has rejected you.” But a confident soul thinks, must think: “God is just and good. He knows all reasons and is benign. He is more benign than the most benign of men. He is infinitely so. Therefore He will not reject me if I lean my tear-stained face on His bosom and I say to Him: 'Father, I have but You. Your son is in anguish and depressed. Give me Your peace....' ”.

    I have been sent by God to gather those whom man has upset and Satan has overwhelmed and I save them. That is really My work. A miracle on a body is a manifestation of divine power. The redemption of souls is the work of Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer. I think, and I am not mistaken, that those who have been rehabilitated by Me in the eyes of God and in their own, will be My faithful disciples, the ones who with greater strength will be able to lead crowds of people to God saying: “Are you sinners? So am I. Are you depressed? So am I. Are you desperate? So was I. And yet you can see that the Messiah had mercy on my spiritual distress and He wanted me to be His priest. Because He is mercy and He wants the world to be convinced of that, and no man is more suitable to convince than he who has experienced such mercy in himself.” Now I will put them on a par with My friends, and with those who have worshipped Me since I was born, that is, I will associate them with you and with the shepherds. Nay, I will set them alongside the shepherds, with those who have been cured, with those who without any special election, like you twelve, have followed My way and will follow it as long as they live. »

    − in The Poem of The Man†God. Chapter 141.

    1. Wow..thank you. I've never heard of this poem before..I'm going to have to google it. Thank you for sharing. I found it stirring.

      ~ namaste~

  8. At least once in our lives we all go through a dark time when we question our beliefs, when nothing we read or hear makes sense, when we don't want to know. That's okay because we eventually find the answers whatever they are. If you have the faith, you will be led there. If you want to keep in touch with Spirituality but in a light and airy way, read The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. Blessings Jessica, may the way present itself to you.

    1. Thank you Suzy for stopping by and for your book suggestion. I have seen that book different places and heard others refer to it. I'll have to check it out in the near future. :)

      ~ namaste~

  9. Wow, Jessica!
    So much of what you've written here resonates more deeply with me than anything else I've EVER read from you. Let's see if I can dissect things one passage at a time:
    -- I'd make a crappy atheist as I am always seeking for spiritual depth, yet I am hopeless as any kind of believer as I am continually doubting, questioning, and turning away from every ideology that seems, at least for a time, to call me to it.

    First of all, as I've said here so many times before:
    The fact that you are always seeking is an important trait that you own. You don't take anything at face value. Always digging, always searching for a deeper meaning. It's not a bad thing to question. That's how we find what's right for us. You said it yourself:
    You'd make a "crappy atheist." That should tell you all you need to know.

    You said:
    --I find myself in a situation I've never been in before and it almost leaves me in somewhat of a mild panic. I can't find anything satisfying to read! Spiritual texts no longer resonate, more academic texts seem dry and lifeless. I am in a quandary. It is like the needle in my internal compass is broken.

    I'm in the same situation at the moment. I can say without hesitation that I go through this reading drought all the time. There are times when I go months without picking up ANY book. It always returns, Jessica. and when it does, (for me at least) I better hold on because it's like a monsoon, almost as if I'm making up for all the lost time I spent NOT reading.

    You said:
    --Should I embrace my apparent attachment to spirituality or attempt to understand why I have it and move beyond it? To embrace it right now seems impossible.

    Now don't laugh, Jessica. The above passage reminds me of a song by .38 Special called Hold On Loosely. There's a line in that song that goes:
    Hold on loosely
    If you cling to tightly
    You'll lose control.

    I think you may be holding on to tightly. Remember one of my favorite quotes:
    "Row your boat GENTLY DOWN the stream." It is when you row AGAINST the tide, AGAINST the stream that challenges arise. I think if you let go and simply flow with where you are going you'll find the answers you are looking for.

    It REALLY is okay to doubt, to challenge yourself to discover the answers you are seeking. Heck, as Ive told you countless times before here Jessica, I've followed your spiritual growth here from ALMOST the beginning of this blog, and I've seen you make HUGE spiritual leaps. This feeling you have is just a momentary breath, a momentary stop, a chance for you to take a BREATH, to look around and see how far you've come. Don't struggle against the skeptic inside you. Embrace her. Were it not for your skepticism, you certainly would NOT have moved beyond the traditional practices you you rebelled against. I think from what I know about you you are in a MUCH better place now that you have discovered so much more about spirituality, about faith, about God.

    Keep that skeptic close to you.
    Keep seeking.
    Keep asking questions.

    But also embrace the downtime you have now. This is a time to stop and see how far you've come.


    1. Thank you so much Chris for stopping by and for your thoughts. You have been a regular reader of my blog since nearly its conception...It's been an honor to share my journey with you and receive your continual feedback and encouragement. :)

      "You'd make a "crappy atheist." That should tell you all you need to know."

      Yeah..at the same time , I'm not sure I'd make a very good theist because of my seemingly inherent and inescapable skeptic nature. I'm almost thinking that eventually I might find myself in the category of agnostic, if I'm not already there...but I'm not entirely certain of it. Something I read recently made me think that I might fit more into this camp. I'll share it with you.

      It's from a book I picked up at the library: "Agnosticism: A Very Short Introduction" by Robin lePoindevin. In it there's a part where she quotes Sextus, and then in her own words sums up the quote. I'm going to quote part of her summation:

      " What he means by 'opposition' here is that , for any reason inclining us to form a given belief, we can find another reason for the opposite belief. These opposing reasons are equal in power or persuasive force, the result being that, not knowing which belief to adopt, we suspend our belief altogether."

      I can relate to that scenario as there are times when realities, such as the soul, seem to make sense, especially in an experiential context. But if analyzed more by my intellectual side I can see just as equal of a case against the existence of a soul. So, what to do? Mind or heart? Perhaps the, at lest temporary, suspension of any belief other way and putting oneself, at least for the time being, into the camp of "I don't know", is the most reasonable alternative.

      As to "holding on too tightly"...I always like that song too because of that line! :) And appreciate it as holding on too tightly is rarely a beneficial thing and I agree with you in your points regarding it.

      I agree that it was my skeptical nature that caused me to move past the traditional religious view, and for that I am truly indebted to it, though it has caused me considerable angst. lol But, to me, ignorance is not bliss...the pursuit of realization of the fullness of reality is. Even if perhaps it is impossible to fully obtain it, which most certainly that is the case. But, that shouldn't stop any of us from trying. :)

      Thanks for your words of encouragement Chris. :) I always appreciate your comments!

  10. I think this is a very correct perception of an honest human view of existence. I often feel this way especially if I am not engaged in a demanding task. To some extent reality is a void that is up to us to fill. Sometimes, we feel this way because someone else has not poured into our void. Aware of this, I try to pour into others' void.

    The second view of this is that we, as humans, are taught many false views of reality. Having studied many religions and philosophies, I can say for myself, none desribe reality. So it seems we are on our own learning to unlearn and trying to assemble from the millions of pieces left over from the promoted views a new view. I keep developing a new view and then have to evolve it again. It is a long road.

    Ed Konowicz

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts Ed. I really enjoyed them and found them refreshing.

      "The second view of this is that we, as humans, are taught many false views of reality. "

      I think that's very true! And it's hard later on when we begin to seek answers for ourselves, to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. It requires study, introspection and the willingness to let go of those cherishes preconceived beliefs and ideas that have helped form our sense of reality and place amongst things.

      A long road indeed.

      Thanks again. :)

  11. Jessica,
    This was a great post to inspire me. I just recently experienced a situation where I wondered why I even had to deal with it. It is going to rock my world in some ways and at first I did panic and as time goes on, I realize my need for control tends to make me insecure when I feel out of control. It's then I often realize the pauses truly refresh and the changes are critical to growth. As someone once said to me, "Sometimes it is about just waiting and breathing." Enjoyed your thoughts very much.

    1. Thanks Kathy for stopping by.

      Waiting and breathing...sounds like a good formula for me. :) I think there's much value for seeking and digging, continually attempting to peel back the layers of illusions that have covered our clear perceptions of things..but at the same time, sometimes much insight will come in those moments when we allow our hearts and minds to be still.

    2. meant to say "sounds like a good formula to me" :)

  12. I haven't had time to read all of the replies above, but I am going to post anyway. It seems like life is such a rush, really more like Class IV rapids, that it seems amazing that Jessica has the time to reflect and write about it. I know that such reflection costs me a lot of sleep. But I think it has to be done to soothe something inside so I can sleep. You really can't win so you learn to enjoy losing a lot. I think we feel a loss if we are a sincere person.

    When I look back, I see such a loss of so many relationships. Many people fall into either two tendencies -- delusional references from society or delusional references from self. And then there is the agony of enlightenment for the few. People talk about coming into the light but it is more about being aware of the darkness. The more compassionate that I become, the more I suffer some of the pain of others. The more intelligent that I become, the more I am aware of my ignorance and the ignorance around me. It is a painful road to self-awareness.

    Few people, if any, sustain self-awareness of the delusions of self, others, and society. Most give up and accept some deception in order to "be" with others. Luckily, I found that I can focus on a little piece of goodness and truth in many people. So like a butterfly or bee, I keep dashing from one flower to the next, never staying long enough to drink the nectar dry. And like a bee, that keeps me busy so I don't feel the void.

    I have my theories about the void and I am still trying to prove them before really promoting them. That "proof" is the hard part to what we feel is real. We seem to be denied proof or affirmation about how "spiritual" that we feel. Some people have given up trying to prove and joyfully embrace the mechanistic view of science as if it is an answer and a solution. I haven't given up and that keeps the void at bay. I just happen to think that we have been fooled and disoriented so much, that to understand our existence is a mighty struggle with something seemingly always trying to mislead or frustrate us.

    I really can't say publicly why I think most of us are so vulnerable because it is very personal. Life is so personal that it is very hard to talk about what really matters. So the void or the emptiness leads me back to the struggle for truth. This is not some abstract Socratic ideal but a search for truly honest people. The question raised is Jessica becoming an honest person and one of the few on earth not subject to delusion?

    1. "it seems amazing that Jessica has the time to reflect and write about it. I know that such reflection costs me a lot of sleep. But I think it has to be done to soothe something inside so I can sleep."

      Sometimes I can't help but feel an inner painful twinge at not having enough time to reflect and write about these sorts of things. I agree...this kind of reflection has affected my sleep as well! Sometimes I will wake up with a thought or idea and, even if it's 3 or 4 am, get up and write about it. It's like this unquenchable thirst that sometimes feels like it has the potential to consume me..a passion maybe..an obsession, some might categorize it as, but if I'm not engaged in something with my children or family, these are the sorts of questions I am pondering and writing about. To me, understanding reality, our natures, the workings of life, is the greatest pursuit.

      "The more compassionate that I become, the more I suffer some of the pain of others."

      Yes, this is so true. I believe Eknath Easwarn refers to this as "universal empathy".

      "The more intelligent that I become, the more I am aware of my ignorance and the ignorance around me. It is a painful road to self-awareness."

      I can so relate to this. The more that is revealed the more you realize there is yet to be revealed. The more I come to know the more I realize how much I don't know!

      "Most give up and accept some deception in order to "be" with others."

      I think that's a very human reaction and one that I have found myself reverting too in times where I am going through a lot of personal trials. I think we are more susceptible in times like those because those are times when we long for a sense of fellowship, of community...something that seems really absent from those who seek truth on their own. For those that don't seem to really fit into one category or another.

      "So like a butterfly or bee, I keep dashing from one flower to the next, never staying long enough to drink the nectar dry. And like a bee, that keeps me busy so I don't feel the void."

      Maybe that's one key to avoid feeling the despair that can creep in...

      "I haven't given up and that keeps the void at bay. I just happen to think that we have been fooled and disoriented so much, that to understand our existence is a mighty struggle with something seemingly always trying to mislead or frustrate us."

      I completely agree with that...

      "The question raised is Jessica becoming an honest person and one of the few on earth not subject to delusion? "

      Well, I'd like to think I'm learning to become more honest and genuine with what I believe is true. It is a painful endeavor to be honest because it causes me to be blatantly honest with myself, doing away with sources of comfort in order to see things more clearly. I'm not sure I'll ever be without delusion, but it's a state to strive for... :)

      Thanks again. I really enjoy reading your reactions and thoughts.

    2. Jessica,

      I am amazed that you answer each post with consideration and thoughtfulness. I think there is an inner light that inspires us to "soften" the universe. It is easy to do here because you can filter out troll-like posts.

      However, as I finally mature, I realize that I can create a "spiritual - mental - consciousness - whatever" distance/barrier that allows me to be more graceful when confronted with a wrongful thinking motivated person. I do have to restrain my previous directness.

      Somehow, we create a mood-frequency that seems to be important. People often try to create noise in our leveled being. It seems that as we get more insight, a mood of more like mellow music is created. I try to transform the noise into cymbals and drums in the "music."

      We seem to be perceptual beings and wrongful interpretations even from childhood weaken us. As I go back and unlearn and open the doors especially to the perception of my heart, my energy from youth returns in breezes.

      I have found that no one that I have met or read has really grasped the unlearning of the misperceptions that weaken us. Of course, it is my theory or guess. But I have some recent experiences that seem to verify this.

      However, we seemed to be helped from a long distance by great intelligence that somehow leaks a few profound ideas or perceptions to us to counter the blocks that are created to restrict our perceptions.

  13. I have read your reflections many times and somehow I could resonate with that feeling of dryness and loss. It's like finding a doorway to an exit (momentary moments of consolation) and losing ourselves again in another labyrinth. I think these moments are crucial as we totally give ourselves to trust.

    I remember two books I came across with when I was younger, "When the Well Runs Dry by Fr. Thomas Green and the classic "Dark Night of the Soul" of St. John of the Cross.

    I might be clinging more to a religion I believe in but even so...we all have those moments sis. Continue walking the path (as I wrote earlier, through a spiritual guide who could help you through this).

    Lots of love to you!

    1. Thank you so much for your love and encouragement. You have always been there and I find your life and faith and the love and compassion you continually extend to others amazing and inspiring. Thanks for stopping by sis. :) <3

  14. Thank you for sharing so authentically and making yourself vulnerable, Jessica. I so appreciate your honesty and openness of spirit. I do believe that it is your openness that will lead you to examine various spiritual paths until you find the one that works best for you. The beauty of the spiritual life is that even when we are at our lowest, there is a Force greater than any of our questions and doubts, gently nudging us along the path we should explore.
    Loving you...

    1. Thank you so much Corinne for your encouragement and for stopping by. :)


  15. Hi Jessica,
    I found your blog while watching a Krishna Das video/Om Namah Shivaya chant today. I'm in that in-between space right now, afraid that what I had been doing for work isn't there anymore, and not knowing what I have to offer for different kind of work. I've had many long days of wondering, thinking, thinking, thinking, trying to figure out who I am and what I should do. Then I came upon the chant and learned that it is a call to Self, to Grace - as I was BEING in the chant, calling forth Self-Realization to replace Ego, I let go of thinking, and found joy. Peace to you...in the mystery!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Pam! I believe that's the video I made some time ago. I love that chant...and Krishna Das! He is a great artist! So glad you took away some inspiration from it..when we let go of thinking, and are just in the moment chanting, for sure, there is much joy and peace to be found.

      Much peace to you as well! :)