Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | October 2, 2010

Bypassing the Experience

For those of us who choose to follow a contemplative path, who seek an alternative, we may sometimes think we are choosing to bypass the life experience. After all, if God created us to be human beings, and to live in this world, why would we choose to eschew it?

So here’s the deal. A contemplative rejects the broken, secular way of living and offers a witness to the alternative. Choosing to strive to be holy is in fact striving to become what we truly are as human beings and that we don’t have to be caught up in the selfishness of secular living. There is an awareness of our true selves as divine, as holy, as connected to the source of life. The path is not one of bypassing the experience, although some may fall into that trap and use the path as a form of escapism. It is a path of truth and experiencing life to its fullest, a desire to be a bright light in the midst of darkness, to offer a smile instead of a scowl, to send goodness into the world instead of evil.

Another pitfall for those on the path to be wary of is that somehow they will develop enough on the spiritual level that they will then be able to manipulate and control people and events through acquired magical powers. The mythology of the contemplative life is replete with stories of healing,bilocation, levitation, invisibility powers, hearing and seeing God directly, having other prophetic visions and on and on. But the moral to the story is always that a true saint, in whatever tradition, does not practice his or her way of life expressly to gain these powers and abilities; they are simply a side benefit that rarelt gets used and is never to be used for selfish reasons.

I’ve been tempted to go down that rabbit hole on more than one occasion, mostly to “prove” that I was on the right track. But it is too seductive a thing, and better left alone. Live the life of truth nd contemplation and it will be alright. I have not attained any superhuman powers, although intuitively I do believe that many things are possible and that humans will achieve insight in things which we now consider superhuman but will reveal themselves to us as totally natural. Is it possible years rom now we will look back on the age of computers and blackberries and i phones as so insane when we will be able to do all those things using our own minds? I think something like it is possible. In the meantime, stay grounded, and do good.

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