Spirituality – you are, and beauty

There is this curious worldview that you’ll come across the moment you begin to explore spirituality… that is… that we have souls… that we are spirit first before we are matter… material and flesh… and that… we chose what we wanted to explore in this particular lifetime. Perhaps not from the perspective we hold as these conscious beings. 

It’s the morning after an evening of conscious dancing. And… as I’m dropping into my yoga mat more fully today… I’m realising… going through my Brahmihavara practice… and all that I am grateful for… I realised this funny, funny, thought. Last night as the session came to a close and I sat down to meditate through the ending… I practiced gratitude for everyone I met on the dance floor, for what they brought, what they triggered… and all that made them the way they are, as what made me the way I am… and this thought shifted something in me: I am grateful that you chose to come here. I am grateful that you chose to be here. I am grateful that you came to experience this human world with its chaotic messiness. 

It moved something in me.

Even if there were times that I pulled away, that I struggled to connect… that I didn’t want to… or that our energy connected us in the dance with no eye contact… that our energy spoke volumes, or our energies smiled before we did… by the end of that session, I was grateful. None of it happened in linear order.

On my mat, moving through my Vinyasa flow… I could feel this internal dilemma, processing last night, this internal dilemma about how I was going to respond… react… and whether I still wanted to respond and react that way, and why? I couldn’t put quite put my finger on it, but the feeling of this shifting quality was vaguely palpable to my mind and my being. 

And then as I leaned into it… a variation of this thought cropped up again, on a deeper level… that everything that happens… that could possibly happen… operating with this worldview of spirituality… was something, everyone that is experiencing life including myself… as spirit, knew… and came anyway. 

Without a doubt, I cannot know that for sure… but the moment this worldview envelops me… I want to cry. Last night after I came home, I found myself going through the tags on this blogging platform… and I come across so many people writing sad poetry, writing angsty poetry, writing about their lives, about their traumas… about all that is painful. And I see that in me too. I see that in me and I feel tired now, I feel tired, adding my voice to that. I wanted to see something else. I went and read a YA novel. 

(It was my first re-experience of YA… now that I am no longer a teenager and haven’t been for quite some time… there were moments that I couldn’t stay in the plot, in the simplicity of it, in the unlikely characterisation and dialogue. No longer ensconced in the world of that audience… I recognised the escapism for what it was… for the underlying desires the author was catering to and catered to successfully… hope, determination… friendship, bonds.)

In the world outside of imagination and books, our emotions and our experiences are valid too… they are more than valid, they are real and powerful, I just wish… we were better at loving ourselves… that we will take our experiences and bring something beautiful to our lives for having experienced them. 

And a poet said, Speak to us of Beauty.

And he answered: 

Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide? 

And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech? 

The aggrieved and the injured say, ‘Beauty is kind and gentle. ‘Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us.’

And the passionate say, ‘Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.

Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us.’

The tired and the weary say, ‘Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.

Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.’

But the restless say, ‘We have heard her shouting among the mountains,

And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions.’

At night the watchmen of the city say, ‘Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east.’

And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, ‘We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset.’

In winter say the snow-bound, ’She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills.

And in the summer heat the reapers says, ‘We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.’

All these things have you said of beauty,

Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy,

It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,

But rather a heart inflamed and a soul enchanted,

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, 

But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.

It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,

But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight. 

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

But you are life and you are the veil.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

Khalil Gibran

Sand