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jim, your post, your retirement, lil' jimi

Posted by habbyshabit on August 22, 2003, at 23:47:01

In reply to Re: spiritual experience OR hallucinatory delusion ? habbyshabit, posted by lil' jimi on August 22, 2003, at 10:55:48

Hey Jim,

Congratulations on retiring! We're retired now since last Oct. It's a new day. Is your wife a Buddhist? Do you have month long retreats on your retirement schedule?

You honored me with your last post, deeply. Here I was thinking my thinking (writing) was obtuse and whining.

Bill Maher, Real Time on HBO tonight said that he thought Religion was a neurologic disorder! He wasn't joking! While he didn't elaborate, It was interesting to see someone who's intellect ( and political persuasion) I admire, kind of validate my thoughts. Not that I think all religious folks, or spiritual folks are disordered, not at all.

It seems, now, at this juncture in my process, to be some function of the central nervous system to alight one's mind with a pathway that allows one comfort in the midst of what is surely chaos on this planet. Could it be an evolutionary advantage? Fear is dis-advantages. Faith makes for boldness and fearlessness. Just ask the suicide bombers.

I was lying in a darkened room yesterday, quite distressed with all this when suddenly I was just empty of thoughts about it or anything else. Shunyata! Could I have stumbled across a secret of Buddhism? Emptyness? I've meditated to the point of quiet - not emptiness. Could all this be some cerebral Koan that has no answer and leads, Zen like, to emptiness.

I have to admit I have felt better since. Not that I have answers or faith or am a born again Buddhist. It was a curious thing. One minute tears, fear, dispair. Then next minute, emptiness. No fear, pain, processing, thinking. T'was very wierd.

Has my central nervous system shifted gears into normal, everyday conciousness? Or worse, am I escalating into a hypo-mania? Two years ago, I never had to ask these questions. My cycles were years long and normalcy and spirituality live side by side in relative peace.

It is an interesting topic - eh? - spiritual experience and faith and it neurological underpinnings. Hard to believe I never looked at it before. Oh, I've heard the near death experiences of moving into a tunnel with light at the end is just the firing of a dying neurology, but I never gave it much thought, or credence. That too I wanted to believe in. Life after death. You know, dying faith, takes that with it, the belief in an after or before death. And I'm a channel for God's sake. I don't even want to go into just now what these thoughts have done with that avocation!!! Arlon!!! In that darkened room yesterday, I couldn't even turn to them for answers.

Oh, Jim, I'm so glad this conversation inspires you. While I bless your joy. It gives me great hope that maybe shunyata is really the only answer there is. Can you live in emptiness? Buddhism is so full of ritual, mantra and color that emptiness always seems so, well, empty! A contradiction.

Hope your party was more fun than the anticipation.

With deep respect,




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