Our lives are lived in such a crazy dichotomy: we are born alone, will die alone and can never truly be anything but alone, and yet, we need human connection and interaction.
It is through relating to other people that we come to see ourselves more clearly. The desire to merge fully with another human being is so strong, for some of us, because it is a powerful way to experience the divine. Seeing our true essence reflected in another and connecting with their essential being transcends, if only for a moment, our limited perception of self.
It is a beautiful, if somewhat painful, dharma to love another person. The discomfort is found in the fleeting reality of shared experience—memories are ultimately dreams from the past.
They do not exist in this moment any more than a future dream exists in this moment
We are like ghosts playing out a scene from our life, over and over again. Are we just reliving heart break and love and desire and confusion and anger and joy from the past? And if so, how do we get to the now?
This is when I come back to the essence of the moment, because I think the essence is eternal. To witness the essential being of another, the pure energy of a given moment is a reminder of our spirit. It is why we are here…to remember.
I have heard that many great mystics spent their lives in great torment searching for the connection to the divine that they once found but could not access again, for whatever reason. The desire to be close to god is much like the desire to merge with another human being—one gets horribly lost in the memory and experience. Those moments of satori, small Samadhi, are always fleeting, I suppose, until we reach absolute enlightenment. Whenever that might happen and there is a part of me that wants to sustain this moment of searching.
There is something so fulfilling in the search.
So much of our human experience is like this—drugs and alcohol, sex, relationships, food—the pursuit of the high that we experience from these things is the most enlightening part of it all. The moment just before orgasm is the most precious, the high we get from drugs or alcohol can never be sustained, however delicious the food is eventually we are full, and our interactions with others ultimately end and we are left with ourselves, alone, where we began and will eventually end up…
So how is a connection to god any different?
It cannot be sustained until it is entirely fulfilled and then there is a loss of one’s self into that pure bliss. A lot of seekers I know think fondly of this concept, even, like many mystics before them, desire it and are saddened at the lack of it. I am not sure that I want to step out of the ocean of life.
The vastness of human experience is, in itself, intoxicating. I have cried a great many sorrowful tears, felt like my heart was being torn from my chest, so open and so exposed. I have seen god in the world, in the eyes of another, in the sunrise and for a moment felt pure, unadulterated bliss. I have loved unconditionally and I have hated irrationally. I have felt such anger and frustration and resentment that I thought I would ignite, I have also felt such passion and desire that I’m pretty sure I did ignite.
What does it all mean, my existentialist thoughts will ask what is the point? This array of emotions and human experience at the end, is it not empty?
I think to share this with another human being—to find someone who you truly can and do reflect the soul of each other—may be the most precious and concrete experience of humanity in all its forms. This may be misguided and spoken at the behest of the romanticist thoughts that have a pretty loud say about things much of the time.
The transcendentalist thoughts always step lightly through to say, keep it up. The experience of the now is what is. We are sailing the sea of this incarnation to remember our immortal and eternal spirit.
That’s all; nothing big.
So everything we do, or don’t do, every joy, as well as every pain, is in line with the process of our soul’s journey.
Author: Ashley Celeste Leal
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: author’s own