Running on Empty; The meditations of a cyclist.
Historically, humankind matched their emptiness on the inside with a lack of almost everything they needed to sustain life on the outside. Unless you were rich and a part of the elite, you lived on the edge of life, waiting for the scourge of disease or a crop failure that would bring on either disease or starvation or both. Your internal emptiness was matched by the awaiting personal apocalypse and there was no discrepancy between the emptiness in your soul and the brutal poverty you existed in. This created institutions like the Catholic Church who offered a meager outlet in mindless liturgies in a language you probably could not understand. You lived in shit, died in shit and spent your conscious hours being feed the same from the elitist clergy who taxed you into oblivion for the sake of your soul. This addiction to the church was based on being empty on the inside and hoping and praying for some tweak of enlightenment from a church that was the model of the blind leading the blind.
The first tsunami that hit the beach of consumerism in the fifties and sixties was the wave that lifted me up and then threw me face down into the crap that made me aware of the emptiness of my soul, my personal experience of running of empty. I turned to psychedelics for enlightenment and hard drugs to dull the pain. I searched the wilderness to find inner peace and found it one day, as a still small voice on the inside, the last place I expected to find it. I seemed to be in the extreme minority for when I would share this with my peers they would look at me with bewilderment and then ask me if I had anymore of that drug left. The Television sets, stereos, automobiles, kitchen appliances and all the other crap we found, that once we had them we couldn’t live without them, alienated me from my culture because I knew intuitively that none of that crap could fill my inner void. I have spent my life examining the spiritual vacuum at my centre, which has never been filled by anything physical. So at times professionally, which I was really quite bad at and for the rest of my life as an amateur enthusiast, I have spend years. months, weeks, hours and minutes spiritually exploring the human condition. That inner longing, that inner emptiness, that spiritual vacuum at the centre of our souls, which has produced the best the humans have ever attempted but also the worst.
In 2013 our youth have moved into a new era. The inner longing that young people should feel is now drowned out by endless video games, where they throw their avatars into mortal combat to kill and maim as many of the enemy as they can before they have to hit reset to start it all over again. These enemies now seem to look a lot like those whom our current government has a beef with and I am sure that hidden watchers guide gamers into covert contests so that they can find the elite. Those who have natural reflexes and hardened souls so that when ready they can step into their new age drone wars to take on the very terrorists that were created by such actions.
I work with such children who have been hardened by their music, their video games and their lifestyles. They are not looking for enlightenment, they are looking for anything that will fill their brains with distractions so that no even a whisper from their inner lacking will get through. Like a giant trout that takes a fly off the water’s surface with a smallest of gulps before returning into the depths their consciousness of their inner selves is only made manifest by the disturbance on the surface and if a tiny splash does occur, they quickly self medicate with E, Special K, Crystal Meth or some other designer drug of the week created to specifically distract them from any form of self understanding or inner enlightenment.
This is not to say that they cannot be reached. I returned from retirement to face this challenge head on. A careful word here, an insightful statement there or maybe a metaphor at just the right moment and light can sometimes flood into their inner being. Sure it may cause an initial discomfort, it sure did with me when it first happened, but I believe that just like in the metaphor of pregnancy, it only take one microscopic sperm to fertilize an egg, which will eventually lead to a human with full potential. So I am not being pessimistic but realistic. I don’t expect miracles but I do expect that if I am faithful to my belief that being there at the right time and place with the right word is all that is expected of me and just meeting their basic needs for the rest of the time will take up the other 99.9%. Nature abhors a vacuum and spirit will always rush into the gap when given the slightest chance.
I had a great ride yesterday which gave me an hour or so of meditation time to conjure up the above.