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May 12, 2014

Confessions of a Spiritual Materialist. ~ Vanessa Kent

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Okay, I admit it, I’m a spiritual materialist.

I collect concepts, ideas, thoughts, insights of seekers, sages, saints and seers. I find them inspiring, like clues along uncharted paths of awakening. I read, I study, I listen and ponder. I analyze and meditate, sit with and stew. I’m aware that all of these things are shared gleanings of those who have walked upon this same earth that my feet step every day.

They’ve breathed the same air, felt the same breezes, been privy to the same sunlight.

Awareness has a similar flavor, scent, theme, light, yet, individual experience is different. The lenses of perception and language of shared gleanings are each unique. Am I simply collecting the thoughts, concepts, awareness-es of others, piling them onto a heaping mountain of mental clutter, disguised as inspiration? Are they a crutch, a distraction, a spiritually materialistic addiction, habit of practice actually postponing the diving inward, forging my own path through the jungle of the unknown to the light of “my own” understanding, polishing of this lens of this unique perception?

I “suffer” from a drive to figure out this thing of life, a mental propulsion I’m sure.

The egoistic mind attaching more value to my personal existence, fueling a drive to succeed in the unveiling of mystery, compartmentalizing it into words, to be classified as shelved understanding. There’s a feeling of imperative despair that accompanies this drive to “know” the unknown, an unwillingness to even conceptualize that the mystery may indeed be unknowable.

Perhaps, as so many have suggested, the knowing lies in the living of that which is the mystery. The unknowable can only be experienced through action, not through concept, words or language. What is described in the gleanings of others, sages, saints, seers, prophets are merely invitations of inspiration to fuel the fire of one’s own quest.

The quest, the journey into the question of experiencing that which cannot be known, but can be glimpsed, sensed as a scent on the breeze left on the trail of one who has ventured before. The familiarity of a heart’s knowing, a distant call to venture down the path, through the jungle of this mysterious thing of life, to ride the wind to that which cannot be named, but can surely be known through the experience of life.

When I lose sight of “the way,” when I feel uninspired, stuck, at a loss for meaning, I revert to habit, to my crutch, to my comfortable practice of collecting.

You see, I am a spiritual materialist. I collect the inspiration, gleanings, awareness-es of others who have forged their own way into the mystery. I do so to find the courage, strength, the will to continue into the unknown. To feel the call of inspiring invitation to continue on, to awaken, to clearly see, feel, do and be.

There may come a time when I am comfortable to venture down this path into the questions without the attachment to these my guides, but, until that time, I remain a spiritual materialist forging along this journey of mystery with gratitude for those who have gone ahead.

Gratitude for those who have found the words to share their personal experiential wisdom. Inspiring wisdom shared as invitation for others who wish to find their own way into the unknowable, the question, the mystery which can only be known through one’s own unique direct experience, but can surely be inspired by the journey of others.

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Apprentice Editor: Kathryn Muyskens / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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