How can I explain?
Words can’t make you feel the deep, spiraling well I felt burrowing in my lungs as I stood in my verandah, staring at the clouds and knowing silently, calmly but profoundly that I exist.
No arguments can justify my fervent faith and devotion which I experienced as I sat everyday in front of my own sacred idols and prayed to them when I was six.
Not a single poem has been able to capture that of pain of realizing that my first lover didn’t really love me back. No verse can really explain the suffocating agony which ripped my innards into shreds then.
People will laugh if I express that devastating feeling of being betrayed when my gods didn’t answer my desperate prayers at a time when I needed them most.
These are the moments which made me intensely aware of my being and that is precisely why words always feel so impotent when I try to express them.
Some philosophers say that language is the house of being. I think that is terribly stupid. Language might be the house of identity which can be communicated, but being precedes words. It is in fact a precondition of language. This is made obvious in those moments when language’s failure is so complete that it simply crumbles — in those events when we become speechless.
These are the times when life acquires a depth previously unknown or forgotten. It may not exactly be a moment of unbound joy (pain and sadness are just as adept). It may not even be a moment of uncontrollable emotion (people who practice mindfulness will know how calm observation has a silent profoundness to it).
I think these are simply the moments of intense awareness — the point when existence refuses to be ignored by consciousness. This is when we realize that the experience of life has a value independent of any more explanations.
You might have heard something similar from the New Age gurus and spiritual enthusiasts.
When they tactfully evade the use of ‘God’ to explain the meaning of these experiences, they often use words like higher consciousness, the divine, the supreme consciousness and so on.
What I found common in most of the explanations I’ve encountered is that theses moments are theorized as events when the individual psyche ‘connects’ with someone or something larger, higher, placed above the individual in the spiritual ladder.
I not only think that these explanations are absurd, improvable or unnecessary; I also think that they are an insult.
It is to say, as if, the experiences aren’t worthwhile in themselves. That you have to construct an elaborate system of theories to give that experience some meaningful value. And these constructs are ultimately equally unable to ‘explain’ the cause or logic of any value whatsoever.
What is this special higher consciousness which makes us feel like this? What is this god-like divine and from where does it derive this powerful energy from? If these ‘higher’ beings and energies don’t need anymore explanations then why does the experiences of depth need to be justified by theories?
These explanations merely transfer the experiential valence of the events of depth into something else. It’s the same old religious trick in the garb of spirituality.
Their hypocrisy is often revealed when they themselves admit that words can’t explain the spiritual experiences and then go on to create fun, often cliched theories of spirituality. (Putting faith or intuition above reason is perhaps their favorite one as it allows them to bypass science and gain a few blind acolytes.)
I think that the moments of intense awareness, the moments when life acquires an unspeakable depth are preserved and relived the best without any words or gurus.
I think its time that the spirit reclaims its independence from the shackles of God and theory.