I’ve been thinking about narratives and how they help us make sense of the world, stories that approximate a description of what’s going on essentially.

For me it’s a spiritual story, obviously. Something like; the soul comes to grow and evolve and ultimately to restore its dignity and wholeness and identity with its Divine origin. Something like that. And I’ve always trusted that there’s an inevitability about that, that however digressive and distorted the soul gets, that it’s all for the good, that even the worst experiences can’t help but translate into insight and spiritual growth, albeit eventually perhaps. And I don’t believe this in some naive way, I can’t help but see the trajectory of human life and always the breakthroughs are in the direction of love, kindness, gratitude, acceptance. Of course a person can be utterly consumed by hate and loathing and despair and all that rotten stuff, but always the light of innate possibility and potential is there, waiting to be rediscovered and kindled.

And I know many people die to the body before ever finding any personal redemption from their own misery, but we are birthless and deathless beings, our journey of ascension continues on beyond the seeming materiality of this life.

From the viewpoint of consciousness, spirit, true nature, this world is a waking dream, a passing show. And we in our essence are beyond its grasp and influence even while we play our parts in it. Our work then, and our opportunity, is to discover this truth of our ultimate identity, but also to learn what it is to be both beyond this relative world as eternal spirit, yet also living fully IN it as mortal human beings.

This is the work of discovery, integration, embodiment. And whatever transcendence is realised will be mirrored by the need to include that which has been surpassed.

So the spiritual path isn’t a path at all, it’s a process of transformation leading to its own transcendence.

Transcendence is a tricky word. I think for many it evokes ideas of going out beyond, away from, over there, above. When in fact the transcendence that I’m about here is closer, inner, prior to that which is transcended. We ARE the transcendent consciousness, the field of creative intelligence. Unmanifest, projecting our potentiality as time and space and form. But always beyond our own creation while including all in our being. It’s referred to as That, capital T. As in, TAT TVAM ASI, That Thou Art — That totality of Being. But That is This, is You.

The liberated view knows that I AM, this very consciousness right now that’s witnessing the world, this ‘I’, this You, this Seer, is That singular Divine consciousness from which and in which the world has its being.

We view ourselves with such limited conceptions, we tell such small stories about ourselves. And while there are plenty of flowery words about our true nature, unless we actually examine and discover and experience that nature for ourselves we’ll continue to imagine ourselves as fallen or incomplete or broken or limited. The greater, truer, more essential part of who and what we are is boundless and free. But the union that is the goal of true Yoga is the unity of BOTH absolute and relative aspects of ourselves. It’s not about escape to the transcendent being, avoiding all the messiness and contradictions of human life, rather it’s the living, integrated embodiment of true nature, here and now, in the world.

– Martyn

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