In solitude, I find the awareness of my self to come rushing through me in the most electrifying ways.
Only when I can detach from the world of distraction can I realize the essence of my being.
And yet, capturing that moment of Divine clarity is exactly what I spend most of my day inadvertently ignoring...
"Writing a book on yourself is a way of looking deeply to recognize the roots of your suffering and find ways to transform them. It will help you become a free and happy person, able to make others around you happy also."
-Thich Nhan Hanh
The Human Becoming was created in my head long before it manifested into something tangible, intelligible. The idea seemed to sort of assemble itself, piece by piece, without any real force or innovation of my own doing. I wanted to create something that would not only track the life and journey of Rhet, but also be somewhat of a beacon for others who may just need that one voice of relatable struggle to comfort them in their own midst of wonder. My intentions here are not to boast, but to humble. I aim to remain honest with myself and continue exploring the depths of my own reality; physically and mentally. I hope to expose myself to, well, myself. I hope to lay it all out there, my whole self, in such a way that it inspires others to do the same. I can only serve myself to a certain extent before realizing that I, too, will shrivel up and die someday, and nothing I gain or experience can be taken with me when I leave this place. Only my spirit will remain. The Human Becoming is my airway, my microphone, my stage of intellectual cyber journaling... This is where I come to perform. Not for you. Not for me. But for the sake of all life on earth attempting to shed old skin and conquer new obstacles. This is for anyone who has doubts about themselves, about others, or even about God. This is one way that I am becoming human...enjoy.
The more vigilant I became about protecting and preserving my mind, the more time I found myself spending in a purposeful state of concentrated solitude. I have used methods ranging from sensory deprivation tanks to binaural beats in order to achieve this "flow" state of feeling. I learned breathing techniques. I even ingested psychedelic substances. I did everything I could to create an optimal environment for communicating with God. Looking back, I am not sure I realized exactly what I was looking for; I only knew that it was heavy and finding it would violently shift my perspective.
So what was it that I was really looking for? Ecstasy? Nirvana? Enlightenment? Maybe I just wanted peace of mind. Or, maybe I wanted a new perspective of myself and the world around me. What I do know is this: I am not my body.
We have a mind. We have a body. We have a soul. AND we have a Spirit. This spirit is who you were before you came into being, and who you will return to when you are finished inhabiting your human flesh. The mind and body are pretty predictable aspects of our human being. They are things we can observe and analyze and conceptualize. We have bodies of knowledge and "scientific data" attempting to explain the mind, the body, and the soul. For a good while, I fell for it. I was distracted by all this so called "knowledge" of the physical world. I would often find myself overwhelmed by how much I DON'T KNOW. The more I read and studied, the more panic I would feel. Finding the answer to one question opened the door to ten more questions. I was living for the mind, the body, and the soul.
As an educated 20-something, I had inevitebly become a slave to my habits. Not because I was particularly weak or flawed, but because I was living in accordance to human nature. We are creatures of patterns and order. Our minds prefer that we live a predictable life, in order to better control the possibility for unforeseen damage. I guess it is a survival instinct that we just have a hard time realizing, let alone correcting. My faith was dependent solely upon my feelings, because I was living by the flesh, not the spirit. I was carnally minded, not spiritually minded. My happiness, my well being was reliant on a steady dose of dopamine and endorphins, and like a true addict, my mind slowly became less and less concerned with my moral values. It could rationalize nearly any behavior, dissolving moral boundaries in an instant. Anything to get that fix. Anything to feel good. I would've sacrificed 3 days of suffering for 1 moment of artificial accomplishment. Clarity at a cost, is a sure way to decrease the longevity of your vision.
This is where Buddhism begins to look incredibly sexy. Mastering your mind and body in ways that you definitively separate yourself from your feelings or desires. To slow the pace of your thoughts to the point where navigation of the mind is like a walk in the park. Now, that does sound delightful. The problem I run into with meditation, as well as Buddhist practices, is it only works as long as I am doing it. In other words, I am happy in meditation, but I may wake up the next morning with now "glow" left to me from the mindfulness practicing. Only when I got into the routine (HABIT) of meditation did I feel like it was carrying over into the rest of my life. I still make a point to get still, breathe, detach. I still do things like yoga and cold showers to create a physiological experience that elevates my thinking. I still intentionally do things to create a chemical equation in my mind/body that feels euphoric. I respect my body and treat it like a temple, like the House of God. What I no longer do is seek God through artificial means. I outgrew those insatiable thirsts for more that used to lead me astray. I don't look for quick fixes. I don't let my faith be manipulated by how I feel. I separate myself from my body, my mind, my soul.
I realize that emotions and feelings are very real. They are part of my being. But they are NOT my true self. My spirit cannot and will not ever die. It will transcend this place when my time here as Rhet is complete. Until then, I will use my mind, body, and soul as tools, as my weapons. I will trust that God will use me as living art. That my life will exemplify the spirit and glory of God. It is my duty, my responsibility, to know myself inside and out and realize my God given potential. Not only do I owe it to humanity, but I also need to seek it for myself. I have a purpose. My life meant to be lived as fully as only Rhet could live it. I am hear to rage against the tepidness of the mundane.
Knowing that you are not your body is a tremendous advantage. You no longer have to feel badly about yourself for how you look or how you feel. You don't need to feel guilt or shame for honest mistakes you make. You know longer need to accept failures of the mind or body as failures of you, your true being. They are not measurements of your character but measurements of your earthly mortality. You can now focus on living. You've been freed from the prison of self preservation or carnal obligations.
You are not this body. Say it aloud. "I am not this body" and truly explore what that means to you. I still do weird stuff like chant and dance and howl at the moon. I still eat a particular way, exercise a particular way, and chose to live a certain way. But I am not settling down here, I'm just passing through. Knowing this opens the door for such a broad understanding of God, greatly stretching your capacity for knowing Him. So, to me, this idea of the spirit being separate from the body is an idea that came to me (and still does) in waves. I assume I know, I think I've got it. Then, BOOM! The idea will hit me like a ton of bricks and I will understand it in a whole new light. (Especially in my understanding of the Holy Spirt. Everyday I am learning something new about my personal relationship with Him. This often happens while reading the Bible. I can "know" something quite certainly, until I read it in the Word of God and suddenly the message has changed...or perhaps I am the one who has changed...)