On the mysteries in our lives
There are moments in our lives where things that appear to be so natural and normal begin to stare us right into our senses, and that our consciousness is eventually turned into a fixed gaze upon the things which thought we have already known all along. The simplicity that we attribute to the things we usually experience in our everyday lives makes us feel as though our lives are becoming mechanical, or that it might have become mechanical already, to the extent that we no longer function according to what we desire but rather we are functioning because we are already conditioned to function in such and such ways we are accustomed to.
It brings us to stillness. Every moment becomes the moment moments ago, and that, eventually, the stretch of all the moments we had are all but one that there is no point in time where we come face-to-face with something new and reinvigorating. Apparently, without our noticing of this condition, we become swallowed by a singularity in our lives, such that everything is neither red nor yellow, or neither black nor white, but is merely color in its most general sense. We, then, become pinned to a wall where our gaze on life is fixed and where everything else becomes devoid of a deeper meaning. We become unfamiliar with the familiar. While we are engrossed over the things that had become typical to us, everything else dissolves into mere stillness where our consciousness has turned into a metaphorical nose frail of recognizing the distinctions of smell such that everything else is smell.
The beginning of this staleness of consciousness is when we fall back into the arms of apathy. Nothing is new as it seems to be. The trees that sway in the fields and the leaves that brush against the wind simply become trees and leaves. The cars that race down the empty street and the architectural masterpieces erected on stony ground become mere cars and buildings. The numbers that constitute the famed equations and the thoughts that were poured into noble writings simply become numbers and thoughts. Our consciousness of things is transformed into an unconsciousness of things, such that what we are usually exposed to becomes typical and that ordinary life, and even the extraordinary life, becomes plainly ordinary in the strictest sense of the word.
At the point where the curve lines on the horizon of our consciousness become straightened to a fine line, the absences of these curves carries us to a consciousness where all that remains is nothing more than the line. Apparently, there is no more room for mystery since all that we know is never questioned and all that there is in our consciousness has turned out devoid of the spark of being trivial. We do not get to reaffirm ourselves that the situations we have in life are not merely as they are, and that things and events have causal relationships in one way or another, and that this interrelationship that surround us should prompt us all the more to look into things beyond what we may have known or what we were made to know.
There are many ways to achieve the recognition of the mystery that lie in our direction, or at least there are ways to begin what seems to be a realization of the situation we are in.
Through introspection or retrospection of the things that we have taken for granted as they have been nothing more than habitual, or mechanical and is laid down before us like a daily routine, we begin to realign our gaze, our consciousness, which has become so determined in that state of staleness. By bringing back into our consciousness our familiarity on things in the sense that our awareness of these things is brought back into not mere awareness alone but awareness in its truest meaning, our consciousness of our daily affairs is sifted from the repose, the slumber of it which has caused the unfamiliarity with the familiar. Our recollection of the states of objects around us gives us a wake-up call that they are indeed right before us and not objects where our consciousness pierce right through them barely unnoticed. The once so familiar trees that had become absorbed into the deepest part of our consciousness become trees that wrestle with the easterly wind and pronounce itself before the mighty sun. The once so familiar buildings that stood in our midst yet remain unnoticed become architectural masterpieces built on stony ground. We introspect or retrospect, we are brought back into the awareness of our lives, and we realize that what has become unfamiliarly familiar is originally familiar.
In the spiritual sense, the instance where we can begin to float from the commonality of things which appears before us like a vast ocean of endless water is when we begin to realize the incompleteness of this stale state. Most often than not, hope is clamored in the saints and other religious artifacts by the seemingly hopeless, or wishes are directed towards a divine entity. Cases such as health depreciation, financial instability, moral problems, family disputes among any other, bring most people, if not all, closer to their religious ties. These instances initiate a sense of unevenness and affect our very consciousness to ourselves and to the rest of the world, bringing us to the point where we realize that our consciousness has regained awareness of the things that are happening, things that may have been either directly or indirectly affecting us. And in this very reawakening of our sensibility through those callous occasions, the discomforted individual seeks resolutions to these instances in the arms of religion, much more in his spiritual self. Whether or not the individual’s problems were resolved is not much of an issue. The fact that the consciousness of the individual was steered right back into the state of being able to recognize the uncertainties in the world.
With the unfamiliarly familiar becoming more and more familiar to our awareness as they once were, objects that stood unnoticed become noticed by our consciousness. As we regain our consciousness of these objects and events, we become more consciously aware that in the apparent relationship between the things and events that occur almost simultaneously in a seemingly fluid yet unpredictable manner, we realize that this very relationship among events and objects as well as the realization of the individual objects and events themselves teaches us that the more we know about these things the more we realize that lesser we know about them. And in such case, all the while we may have thought we have been seeing more light alone. But it is also that with more light we get to realize further that there is a growing darkness, the absence of light, farther and farther from what we have already known. And the mystery becomes more and more realized in the sense that we become more aware of the mystery as something which is there.
An awareness of these mysteries can bring about great impacts as well as subtle ones to our lives. Once we get to experience any of these mysteries, knowledge of them can help us realize to ourselves that there is much to be learned and more to explored in our daily undertakings. A realization of this leads us to realign every decision that we take and every thought that we may have in our lives, such that these mysteries may serve as reminder that every decision should be at least molded in a way patterned from, say, the spiritual mysteries that one may have and the spiritual journeys one have already taken. The task may not be simple, but the attempt in itself can be far more worth rewarding as the very awareness of these spiritual journeys contributes to the shaping of the choices one may take and that, consequently, our forthcoming choices become more sharpened up and the way we deal with the world is hence developed.
These mysteries may come in various forms, one of which is leaning towards the spiritual aspect. In the multitude of individual spiritual journeys that human beings may have, a common underlying theme can be observed. Spiritual journeys are basically intertwined with each other—though not in the sense that they almost come in bundles whenever we get ourselves to engage in any of them—in the sense that these journeys are more or less aimed at completely uncovering the spiritual mysteries or, at the very least, chipping-off the roadblocks that hinder our consciousness from ever reaching the truth regarding, say, our spiritual and moral life. The common theme can then be interpreted as a quest for attaining a better life.
A Buddhist monk, for instance, may meditate in order for one to identify the negative mental states (delusions) that occupy one’s mind, and out of this act of meditation one understands to conquer the delusions and to grow positive mental states. This wisdom helps the Buddhist monk solve the daily tasks of life and reach a satisfied state of spirituality. On the other hand, the Roman Catholic clergyman and the Christian may seek the blessings of God through praying and reflection on what one has done so far for God and humanity, and through the repentance of sin as well. Through these, both the Roman Catholic clergyman and the Christian not only satisfy what is being asked to them by God but also develop a better personality framed upon the moral edicts of the religion. Having a personality bent towards the moral and religious scriptures and doctrines is more likely to help one accomplish a better life in contrast to the life devoid of the guidance of moral prescriptions and religious proscriptions. Tribes in Africa may also perform their respective rituals to please the gods for several reasons. One can be that they are seeking favorable conditions for their crops or for successful hunts in the coming days and to, generally, do away with the starvation of the entire tribe. These very rituals may have varieties depending on the occasion or on what they are asking for from the gods, but nevertheless the essential element that should be taken into consideration is that the practice of these rituals all amount to the uplifting both of the entire tribe and the individual tribe member’s affinity with their gods and the welfare of every one of them and of the tribe as a whole. A Muslim, on another note, may very well practice Zak?t or the compulsory donation of alms to the financially deprived and implies both cleansing and development as an individual and as a Muslim. Through this act, Muslims help the needy and at the same time contribute to their growth as believers of the Islamic faith. A dying cancer-patient may also gain a closer affinity to a Divine entity in whatever religion he or she may belong in such a way that one’s hopes of recovering from the terminal sickness, or at least the hope of being granted an afterlife, are channeled to a Divine entity. In this way, the patient becomes more focused on the spiritual journey and on the quest for a better life in the most turbulent times of the patient’s life.
These separate individual spiritual journeys, though differing in context and details, all have one common theme which sets them altogether in a single tray: these spiritual journeys all purport a pursuit of a better life through the moral edicts and religious directions.
Moreover, these spiritual journeys are manifested in our lives in many different instances. From having a traumatic health condition to simple jovial celebrations, we are, in one way or another, guided by what we have traversed upon in the spiritual journey. By the time we wake-up early in the morning until the sun falls down the western horizon, and though at times we even barely have full notice, our actions are primarily geared towards our desire to obtain a better life regardless of who we are, from what nation we were born or under which religion we profess our faith.
As a result of being able to regain familiarity with the once unfamiliarly familiar, our very consciousness becomes more aware of the details of the world surrounding us, and with this very awareness the mysteries are brought before our consciousness like an object filled with triviality which opens up our sensibilities. And with this opening of the layer of our sensibilities, our actions are then geared towards meeting the desired life—the better life.
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