I’m visiting my family in New Orleans, so I’ve been
using this trip as a convenient excuse busy and not writing blog entries.
I’ve been musing a lot on ego, and weighing how ultimately self- (or Self)-defeating it is to keep a blog in which I write about my worship, my thoughts and impressions, my ideas. I struggle with this.
Sometimes, it helps to remember the written works of spiritual greats who have shared their journeys, to guide others. When I think about this, I read those words for inspiration, and meditate to purify my own character like unto those exalted beings, and I spend time distilling the clarity of my mind, instead of organising jumping thoughts into journal updates.
More often than I’d like, I become listless and self-pitying, and don’t bother to record anything about my own piddling little plod down the spiritual path. Often I don’t feel I have anything new, unique, or worthy to say to anybody, and it seems such arrogance to write a single word. I just stare at a blank screen for a few minutes, then close the site.
Other times, I wish I’d recorded something of my thoughts and questions along the way. The other day, for instance, I realised that – while I respect pūjā as an intensely moving ritual of personal service, and I recognise temples as vital places of peace, worship, and divine presence – I am filled with an incomparable, burning determination to serve, to offer self-as-sacrifice, each time I light a fire. But how exactly did that happen? What bizarre celestial confluences were working the day that I read about starting a fire in an inverted copper pyramid and then throwing butter and herbs into it, such that I actually thought, well, now, that seems like a worthwhile use of my time? I wonder if I might see patterns and progresses in my journey through time, and then I wonder if recording my own past will just keep me mired in it.
These ceaseless inner debates continue, and still interfere with finishing my travelogue, despite more than two months passing since the trip ended. My heart is cracking with longing, to return to India and resume the learning of which I had only a tiny taste. Each time I start to write, I think or I could go meditate, or chant, or study, or do something that would actually help me go back.
So, bear with me while I try to pick up my self-esteem from the floor. Objectively, I know there’s a lot of value in the peculiar sort of satsang that we religious folks create online, by writing of devotion and ideals. I know that there’s a tremendous opportunity to share knowledge, ask and answer questions, a chance that exists every day because of this magical Indra’s-net of world connections that enables me to talk to people I’ve never even seen! And if everyone tore themselves up with questions like these, we wouldn’t have scripture at all; as early as the Vedas, the ṛṣi-s would have thought, oh, who cares? and abandoned their meditations in favour of a rousing game of Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy*.
(*Note: Anyone who instantly responded with a mental sigh and an exclamation along the lines of, No, not that soma!, good for you! Everyone else needs to read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, immediately, and that is a recommendation I will stand behind no matter how self-effacing I feel.)
Current Music: The Cadillac Black, Down to the River.
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