November 14, 2012 11:20 am EST
We are limited only by the limits which we set upon ourselves.
Most of us, instinctively and intuitively, know this to be true. That life is unlimited, but for the limits we set with our own thoughts.
But what does it mean, really? And why, knowing this to be true, do we still have difficulty manifesting our dreams?
Is it our duality, that we are both divine and human, that we are both infinite and finite? Is it the external limits set by others individually and those set by the common base of knowledge that governs us as a society? Or is it simply old experiences and illusions which, we think, necessarily predict our future outcomes?
I think it’s all three of these. And I think, further, as we accept these limiting factors in our thinking, that we can begin the process of transcending them and living closer to the boundless creatures we are capable of being.
What then, is transcendence? Let’s begin there, at the height of our possibilities, then move down through the lower levels of our thought processes.
As I began my journey, years ago, I learned from others, mostly others no longer with us, spiritual giants like Buddha and Christ and Rumi, that it was possible to break through the barriers of self and to become enlightened, to transcend this perceived reality and realize a higher one, one of pure light and love. As many others, I worked hard to climb the mountains of understanding and to break free to the realm of perfection, of Nirvana, of bliss, of Heaven. I traveled to the edge of the abyss. I traveled to the very edge of human understanding. There were no small steps remaining; all that remained were three options: remain in a place of “near-transcendence”, descend back into human reality, or leap.
I was at first elated. Enlightenment is a beautiful sensation, a perfect nuance, the intersection of sense and the senseless, of existence and non-existence, in a word, bliss. I tasted bliss. I was immersed in bliss. I danced in bliss. I merged with bliss.
But then, the experience drew to a close.
I was both overjoyed and terribly saddened. I was relieved to still be “here.” Here in the realm of the physical, here in my human form. Here where I could taste, smell, connect, learn, and teach. Here where I could <em>feel</em> the light tickling wonder of a slight giggle.
But saddened, too. And confused. If I was enlightened, why was I still here? If I was still here, was I really enlightened? Or was it all simply a pleasant delusion?
Until one day, an epiphany. Transcendence is not a departure and an arrival. Transcendence is an expansion. I exist, my expanded self, in both realms. Duality, which for a time was a curse, became a blessing.
And so, the simple truth of the Zen proverb “before enlightenment chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment chop wood, carry water,” becomes clear… This is my reality. I am both perfectly human and tragically divine. I am both tragically human and perfectly divine. I exist in two (or more than two) realms of thought. And so, I am both unlimited (in my reality of divinity) and limited (in my just as real humanity).
To transcend is not to leave here and arrive there; to transcend is to remain here and remain there—two realities in one perfect moment. Duality is lovely.
So if you’re standing on the precipice, waiting on the edge of understanding, staring blankly into the abyss… Fear not! Leap!
Love and giggles,