Whatever adventure presents the “unfathomable,” we may find ourselves enacting some of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ well known “FIve Stages of Grief,”
seeking the illusory comforts of denial, or an anger that masks deeper feelings of disappointment, or a bargaining for more time, before we finally turn towards deeply touching the experience and accepting that our old ways of interpreting life, the world, our relationships, no longer suffice.
It can be as radical a change of perception as an acid trip.
It can be as renewing as a life saving operation.
It can be as difficult as the journey through an illness or depression.
Whatever form this personal revolution takes, as the perceptions don’t fit our pre-arranged explanations, we’ll find the experience difficult, if not impossible to communicate. We’ll struggle with the words, how trite deep realizations can sound when articulated. And though we may become dismayed with the inadequacy of language in such instances; we must continue to reach out nonetheless, for without bonding with others, we’ll inevitably assume our journey is solitary and unique, and deprive ourselves of the wisdom and spiritual tools others have developed during their versions of transformation.
Yet mundane life remains despite the spiritual adventure; bills need to be paid, errands run, floors vacuumed. So the challenge becomes how can we bring our new understandings of impermanence, vulnerability, gratitude, kindness to routines we’ve tackled a thousand times previously? How do we maintain recognition of deeper truths, despite the numbing familiarity so much of life presents?
This can only be answered through the effort to stay awake and alert to the sacred within each experience: the normally unrecognized, subtle sensations of physical contact, background sounds, the play of light; the subtle feelings of resistance or ease expressed through the body; the moods of impatience or frustration that float through the mind like clouds; the fantasies and memories that would tempt us away from present time awareness. In short, we see life with a bare lucidity, free of the illusions of permanence and reliability we clung to previously. And in so doing we continue to extract the profound from the commonplace, and stay on the path to renewal.