Saturday, May 11, 2013
Turning Point: Embracing Skepticism
One needs only to scroll down the titles and peruse the content of my recent posts to know that I have been really struggling to make sense of things lately. Battling between mind and heart and trying to find clarity amidst two different paths that seem to call me both to them with nearly equal strength.
The following I wrote a few days ago in my online journal. I believe I have been really battling with my skepticism for some time now. It has been an aid for me for sure in the past. It has helped slough off layers of misconceptions that clouded my perception of things and was key in bringing me into awareness of the attachments that I needed to let go of at the time in order to pursue the truth more rationally. But then I believe it kept taking off layers that were perhaps just as necessary to remove as the previous ones but the difference being with these was that I started to feel uncomfortable when they were threatening to come off. So I found myself struggling mightily to resist skepticism and maintain that which preserved my sense of security. Now, after considerable reading and reflection and angst, I am deciding to embrace my skepticism and endure what is hopefully temporary discomfort in order to pursue the truth less tethered by illusions.
Well, I don't want to write too much because I believe my entry will speak for itself. I just want to note beforehand that I hope none of my readers are offended at some of the conclusions I have been coming too. It is not my intention to offend but to be genuinely honest in revealing, stage by stage, what I am encountering and experiencing in my search for the truth into the nature of reality.
It started to occur to me lately that I have potentially been caught up in a futile endeavor. I've been looking only into the areas of spirituality and religion in my pursuit for truth into the nature of reality. Thinking that within ancient texts, within the teachings of saints and yogis, there can be precious jewels of realization into the Absolute to be found. In exclusively looking to those sources I contradicted my own rule of not using presuppositions while digging for the truth. It was like at the beginning of my journey I set off knowing whereabouts my destination would be-in the region of the Divine somewhere. I presupposed that wherever my journey would take me it would lead me closer to God, whatever or whoever He is. That even if He wasn't personal that there were transcendental realities that existed. I also naturally assumed from the very start that within every living being there was an eternal essence which came from something Divine, that is something that I have always maintained.
All of my presuppositions could very well be true and for sure there are seemingly intuitive moments of clarity where they most definitely seem true. But, what I'm coming to find is that really nothing into the transcendental nature of things can truly be known with any substantial certainty and the plain fact is that they could also be false. It doesn't mean that there aren't realities that we cannot perceive that do exist. Certainly there's lots of things that we have not been able to detect in the past that we can now-like radio waves, waves of light, etc. via new technology. And we are sure to discover more as time goes on. But when it comes to questions of whether or not there is a soul, maybe there is no real point in asking such questions because there's no real way of finding an answer. Or, maybe before considering such questions and looking for religion/spirituality to provide an answer, we should first look at what can be known and after that re-assess the question and see if it still has merit.
I'm finding that religions and spiritual philosophies fall exceedingly short if not impede greatly in any potential glimpse or experience one can have of what really Is. When I really think about things objectively I am finding myself agreeing with many philosophers and great thinkers that I have come across in their conclusion that religion and even God are artificial constructs. Simple as that.
Even though reality in its entirety seems nearly inconceivable to ever truly "know", there are things that we can know and discover. We might not be able to "know" the nature of things in their entirety but we can come to know a lot and in the process come to realize and appreciate reality in a deeper way than we wouldn't have otherwise because we are coming to understand different and very real facets of it, rather than ascribing to speculations and conjectures towards it.
So, I guess the theme of this stream of consciousness entry is that I'm starting to wonder what the point is of chasing after what really can never be known with any measure of certainty when one can discover what can be known?...Is the former merely akin to chasing a mirage while the latter can be perceived as plunging into the roaring ocean's tide , tasting and feeling, truly experiencing, a tiny fraction of its greatness for oneself? Yes, we might not be able to canvass the whole ocean for example (yet), knowing intimately its depths. But we can learn to understand as much as we can, and find ourselves in a reverent sense of awe while doing so, digesting the fact that there are even more untold treasures teeming beneath its waves. So, true, of reality as a whole and all the mysteries it holds.
Your thoughts are always welcome. Please consider leaving them in the comments section. Thank you!