Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rainbows and Unicorns in Jail

Readers of this blog already know I don't like much of what goes on under the rubric of New Age because it lacks seriousness and discipline. I also don't like the bulk of it because, even as it grants the most fantastical and unreal ideas a place of honor and credibility, it suffocates the human spirit in jails built of its own lack of imagination.

I'm thinking in particular of the "Mayan elders" and the "13 crystal skulls" my New Age friends are excited about. Aside from the easily proven facts that the people involved are not Mayan elders, the crystal skulls were carved with modern jewelry tools, and authentic Mayans would have no use for Western numerology (yes, that's a big aside, but I'm willing for the sake of argument to suspend my judgement)--- aside from everything about this that just isn't true, the event and the stories told of it are so very confining.

The most spiritual time is now -- regardless of whether "now" for you is a few minutes after I post this article on 11/11/11, or five years from now, or whether you're examining this blog as part of the archaeological record 20,000 years from when I've written this. It's any now that you have, with or without any putative elders of any sort doing anything at all. It's now,  no matter what numbers or letters have been assigned to this now by calendar makers and timekeepers (as someone whose desk once sat exactly one floor above NBS-6, I can assure doubters that the world's timekeepers are largely atheists and agnostics, not prophets).

The purest, most powerful "crystal" is the structure of reality itself. The only skull that need be involved in its perception is the one housing one's own mind. To attribute to age, status, ethnicity, time, number, object, or any other externality any attribute of necessity or importance is to turn away from the extraordinary freedom of right here, right now -- anywhere, anynow -- in one's own awareness. It is to imprison oneself in status and stuff, none of which has any good claim to spirituality.

There is sometimes a usefulness for spiritual tools and rituals. The usefulness of tools is as a treatment for spiritual ADD -- the tendency for humanity to go stare at the latest spectacle or wander off in search of a trinket, or to become wrapped up in the pains and limitations of human flesh. As I type this I have been fingering a miniature string of prayer beads, counting off prayers in lieu of, say, going off on a wikiwalk or getting lost in You Tube. Good tools properly used point to the crystal of Truth one can discover with one's own skull. They point emphatically to Now! They point to Divinity! Right here! Nearer than your occipital plate! Closer than your sinus cavities! They never, ever, point to themselves.

They have no intrinsic value (aside from aesthetic and financial considerations), and no special properties (unlike the magical qualities attributed to "Mayan" crystal skulls), because the magic of Truth is expressed in all being, even, as Chuang Tzu put it, "in the piss and dung". They need not be dug out of the wreckage of a civilization superior to our own (as it is alleged was the case of the crystal skulls) because Truth is not bound by the doings of any civilization. Carrying them across the country or even across the galaxy would not create any greater effect than, say, tossing them in the trash, because while tools may be carried about and thrown away, Truth is unmovable and impossible to get rid of.

The New Age movement is looking to superior beings, powerful objects, special locations, and magical dates and times, any or all of which are expected to usher in a future sacred time (i.e., not the time of now, but some other time). It's easy to document and criticize the sheer fraud behind much of that status and stuff, and that's where most of the criticism of New Age thinking begins and ends. But the real tragedy is not the money lost to fake gurus and overpriced rocks. It isn't even the deaths that have been caused by gurus who promise miracles and rainbows and unicorns for a fee. It's the spiritual opportunity lost when people imagine a spirituality so brutally confined by externalities of every sort. It's all those rainbows and unicorns in jail.

If there is any message I wish to give to my New Age friends, it's a message of freedom. I'd invite them to breathe in this liberty and know they need neither the dispensation of a superior race, nor the advantage of a sufficiently aged soul, to know -- not know about, not feel emotions about, but know -- Spirit.  I'd invite them to know that now, not some future age, is sacred time, and right here, is sacred ground and sacred space; that even the spit of their mouth and the content of their bladder has power equal or greater than all the power they've ever imputed to the crystals of Atlantis and Lemuria.  I'd invite them to unburden themselves, of the clutter of belief in special spiritual stuff, and of the clutter of supposed spiritualities, like "The Secret", which revolve around stuff. I'd invite them to free themselves from the mental clutter of having to find credible the incredulous simply because someone claiming special status said the incredulous was credible.

I'd invite them to throw away everything, in fact, as is their birthright as a free being.

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