By J.L. Spinner
My journey has had such an amazing effect on who I am and how I live my life. There have been so many paradigm shifts and “Aha!” moments in my time here. More so than I could possibly hope to share within the confines of a single article. However I can speak a bit about the most important realizations that I found and how they are so vital. For the most part they involve two umbrella subjects. Time and experience. Be warned now that I speak of my experiences and realizations. I do not speak as an authority or with the intention of changing you in anyway. This is simply in hopes of sharing what I have found.
My name is JLSpinner and I am a member at the Temple of the Jedi Order. I was born and raised a Baptist. Saved before I was 10 and Baptized at 14. I originally attended college with the goal of becoming a Youth Minister. However this path wasn’t the one I ended up following. I began to take a hard unbiased look at myself and my beliefs. There were questions and lines of thoughts that I followed like Alice down the rabbit hole. Eventually, after some tough times, I found the TotJO.
Time is the master that has enslaved us, and we have allowed this willingly. Almost all of our suffering comes from our relationship with time. You see, time is an illusion. An illusion that we created with good intentions. It has helped us to become more efficient, keep better records, and make predictions. However it has also stolen more from us that we realize. The past consists of memories. There is absolutely nothing we can do to alter the past in anyway. Yet we regret, we wish we could have done differently, we dwell in good memories, and we fear the bad ones. We spend so much time and energy reliving the past in our minds. More so than it would first appear. In fact every thought we have is memory. Our minds themselves are completely constructed by our pasts. Because of this even our thoughts about the future are based in the past. We worry because we don’t want to experience the bad feelings we dislike. We grow anxious because we fear the unknown. We fear change.
Thought itself is a powerful tool that has allowed mankind to become so innovative and intelligent. We have discovered maths and sciences. We have tamed the elements. We have constructed works and arts worthy of admiration. However thought is also why it is so hard for us to find peace. This is because we are everywhere but where we are. Our desires, our expectations, our dreams, they pull us from the moment and create conflict. I’m not saying that having goals and dreams are inherently bad. However sacrificing our lives for the mental glorification of those dreams and the fleeting superficial ecstasy they lure us with can be detrimental to our emotional state. Dreams themselves can help guide us but only if we know how to do the work, which leads up to my second topic.
The only time we will ever experience is right now. This moment. Every moment we will ever experience is this moment. This eternal moment. The eternal now that is experience. It was through meditation that I found the truth of experience. At first I struggled significantly with meditation. I couldn’t understand why I was doing it wrong, or how I was doing it wrong. I had entered into it with preconceptions and expectations based on what I had thought I knew about it. It was only after I gave up trying to meditate that I did. I sat and simply let my mind wander on it’s relentless march toward the superfluous. That was the trick. My mind wandered and I listened. I wasn’t in control of my thoughts. It was as if I was listening to someone else say the words in my head. This was my first meeting with my ego in which I was aware of my true self, yet I didn’t fully grasp it.
Our ego isn’t some villainous and malevolent force that conspires against us. It is how we conditioned ourselves to survive. It is how we learned to avoid pain and to seek joy. It is a part of who we are but it is not us. Unfortunately we have become so intertwined with the ego that we forgot to be. We forget the way. The truth of experience is that we are the experience. If you remove the layers of self and thought what is left but experience of the eternal now? This realization caused a lot of distress as my ego refused to release it’s clutches from my being. There was depression and I felt similar to how I imagine a zombie to feel. However soon I realized the most beautiful and powerful realization in this truth.
Our purpose is entirely ours to create. We are not bound by the limitations that we have imposed. We are not strangled by our petty emotions. We are capable of becoming so much more because we have less. Ironic that the key to reaching our potential is actually in losing who we are and forgetting what we know. It is in the understanding of our shared experience that we find love and compassion without selfish motives. It is in the understanding of the fragile mind that service becomes joyful. It is in the peace of the moment that we learn to adapt without expectation and find peace the twisting currents of life.
There is so much more to talk about and I hope that perhaps I will again be asked to share with you from my journey. I hope that something I have said will be of use and I encourage anyone who wishes so to contact me. I am always up for some lovely conversation.