To Lose One's Self #17
Bruce Springsteen, when asked why individuals went to his performances time and time again, said that he thought the desire to lose one’s self was great, that music, the experience, somehow brought them closer to godhead, to their life force. Indeed. Individuals are drawn to music, dance, theater, to performance, to lose themselves in the vision of the artist that speaks on subtle and powerful levels to each one individually in the collective moment.
The artist too is moved to lose him/herself in the music, the art, searching for source. There is a sort of fatigue with the individual persona and it’s limited concerns that we all experience. We yearn to break free, seeking a kind of purification in the desire to burn the remnants of the day after day after day existence that can become the almost white noise background of life, dulling our senses. There is an inkling that somehow there is more and diving into the force, that profound artful experience can bring about, somehow proves this. We long to be shaken, woken up!
Oh to experience that incredible light filled feeling of being in an altered state! A state that is momentarily timeless, free and utterly transporting. A state that somehow makes you feel more your true self, giving context to the individual in the universal. It is attributed to the artist though, they are the ones with the magic, the talent that can cause this sensation to come about. And while listening at home, or viewing a painting in a book can leave one with a beautiful feeling, it is not quite the same thing as the immediacy of being in the same space, the same room.
I do not have direct access to Bruce no matter how much I may feel connected as the girl of the Jersey Shore that I am. All the countless times I saw him play, all the many iterations before and after fame set in remind me in wondrous ways, of my precious early years and of the richness of life as I move through it. He is an artist and like all great artists, his work touches me because it puts me in the story, it tells my story. I grew up there, I know those places. We were young together. But of course, it’s not my story, it’s his. And as incredible as I feel hearing the songs, the immediate transportation they provide me to this altered state, the feeling, sensation always leaves as I go back to my ordinary life.
As incredible as these moments are, they are fleeting. Even the artist must leave the stage. How then to have access, immediacy to that same source whenever desired? To stabilize this condition and live from this place is the agenda of Neelakantha Meditation. It is the trajectory of growth in consciousness, providing a pathway in to source and in that, to our life force, to godhead, to what is felt in our best experiences.
Releasing the individual self momentarily, just as in sublime art, we are driven straight to the heart, but in doing so, we find something too, our higher iteration. There is a recognition in the feeling of eternality and fullness as awareness comes to rest and something is profoundly altered. You are changed and not just for the time the experience occurs, but for all time. It is subtle at first, but as practice continues the change becomes more and more apparent. Over time, as stabilization takes hold, transformation occurs . Not as other, but as a better, fuller version of you, as your more whole perfect self, flaws and all.
Just as in the profound experience of art, you are touched and powerfully changed. There is no mistake or mystery as to why the Tantrikas put such a high premium on the arts, not only our ability to take in, but our capacity to express out fully. Consciousness is the source of creativity.
Meditation hones and increases our sensitivity and our capacity for expression. Expression of every sort and, in that, the expression of who we most profoundly are, no matter the offering.
There are many ways to lose oneself, in the absorption of art, meaningful work, an engaging task, intense activity, volunteering and precious moments of intimacy.
Knowing one’s truest self is the most absorbing, meaningful, engagement of intimacy one can experience. Totally self reliant, it is the relationship upon which all others flourish, requiring no special talent or skill, only the innocent commitment of simple daily practice.
Creative expression is a necessary and joyful component of the human condition. We crave its reward, both as maker and receiver. Adding this one thing brings color, vividness and profundity to the life of our choosing. We are able to give more fully of ourself and, in that, gain more out of life. There is nothing to lose but our limited identification and constructs.
Through meditation we are truly more. When art touches the soul we are brought even more profoundly to the heart, to the deepest core of being and are more able to bring the taste of that out into life, experiencing the truth; there is nothing ordinary about life at all.
I’m nobody special. I have no jaw dropping talents or ability.
And I am a miracle of incredible proportion, daily sharing the gift of who I am.
How can both be simultaneously true?
I am completely alone.
And I am totally supported by the force of nature that contains the poet’s multitudes.
How can both be simultaneously true?
Paradox merged. To know, to authentically experience this is to be held in the very embrace of life’s force. An altered state of the most natural and beneficial sort. One that is not temporary in nature, but a foundation that life is built upon and lived from.
What then is the method? How do I wish to move through this life?
Yoga is skill in action, whatever the action, by whomever performed, on whatever stage.
This I know to be true. Direct immediacy to expanded perfection is ours to be known. Meditate.