Category Archives: transcendence

THE BUTTON

No one of sound mind can with a straight face dispute the fact that the times in which we presently find ourSelves living are nothing if not remarkable.  In recent years all of the difficulties, conflicts, and disagreements of the past have taken on a new immediacy and increasingly frenetic tenor.  Differences in political and philosophical ideologies have been amplified and multiplied, and “coming to blows” has become much more than just a colorful saying.

In a world where battle lines have been drawn and “us-versus-them” is the order of the day, it is beguiling to think of a scenario where animosity has somehow been sidelined and strife permanently transcended.

Everyone has a position, everyone holds an opinion.  Just imagine, though, of how peaceful and harmonious things might be if only we all could agree.  If only there were some way to engender such a change immediately, without harm, and without resistance…

I have for several years given much consideration to a button.  The imaginary button of which I speak has a single function: to change the world’s mind.  Though the mechanics of this change are unimportant, the results would be far-reaching and absolute: whoever encounters the button and chooses to push it will instantaneously and irreversibly transform every single member of every society on the planet into a traveler of like mind, like attitudes, like persuasions, like philosophies, like outlooks.  This miraculous change would occur without any violence or harm wrought upon anyone.  The world and the button-pusher are in total accord.

If offered the opportunity to push such a button, to have every other person on this Earth agree with me, I would refuse.

Though the factional enmity I presently observe saddens me, despite the persistent violence of word and of deed, regardless of my mistrust for long-established institutions, and the machinations of unseen powers and principalities, I still would not push the button.  I simply could not do it.  I hold the position that the forceful imposition of my will on another, no matter how painless or even pleasant such a conversion might be for them, would still amount to an implicit act of coercion.  I would not wish to be converted by another.  I can only consider others through the same lens.  My teachers and their teachers before them have held as sacrosanct and unassailable the Self and the free will present in every Human born.  This respect for the Choice of others is no less sacred to me.

Though the button could reasonably be regarded an elegant solution to a perennial problem, I would judge such a solution to be at least as corrupted as the havoc it could in a single moment replace.

Not surprisingly, I know several people personally who would without consideration or even a moment’s hesitation press the button if given the opportunity.  They would do so from the perspective of it eliminating conflict and being for the greater good.  And, to my way of thinking, they could not be more wrong.

For me, the only viable and acceptable remedy is found in civilized discourse, rational Self-interest, critical thinking, unflinching Self-honesty, and mutual respect for the agency of others.

We don’t need a button.  We just need to employ those tools which we already have.

©Billy Red Horse

THE METAPHYSICS OF MANNERS

It is my position that the Life of a well-mannered gentleman is the superior Life. I find it most unfortunate that many equate kindness, consideration, patience, tolerance, courtesy, and respectful behavior with weakness.

Understand that the manners of which I speak are not merely a perfunctory etiquette, behavioral mores observed solely to facilitate routine coexistence.  As postulated here, manners go much further and speak more to a genuine and expressed dignity demonstrating a profound appreciation of and respect for Life, Self, and Others.

Metaphysics speaks to first principles.  To my way of thinking, there is nothing more fundamental to the Human Experience than the refinement demonstrated through and by the considered and genuine display of decorum in our interactions one with another.

When drilling down into those first principles at the heart of my affinity for gentlemanly conduct, it might surprise you to learn of the motivation underlying my appreciation for and expression of such propriety.  I don’t live as a well-mannered gentleman for the benefit of others.  I do it solely for mySelf.  I do it because it makes me feel good.  I do it because it engenders a feeling and experience of power unlike any I have ever known.  That others are able to profit from my unvarnished acts of Self-interest is a tangential (and delightful) bonus.

Those Times in my Life when I have comported mySelf as other than a gentleman, whether through ignorance or intentional animus, I have always and without fail been the lesser for it.  AnyTime I have acted in an unmannered way, no matter how justified or righteous such behavior might have been, I inevitably walked away from the encounter feeling somehow soiled, contaminated by an Energy that I, ultimately, found repulsive. An Energy which I created.

Manners do not mean cowardice.  Civility does not mean capitulation.  Kindness does not mean weakness.  Firmness, resolve, and determination are more than capable of sharing the same space as gentility.  Some of the most mannered gentlemen I have ever encountered are capable of expressing great violence should the situation warrant it.  And they can do so without ever losing their dignity or their gentlemanly gravitas.

How people interact with others is telling of how they interact with and think about themSelves.  I speak often and at length about the value I perceive to be found in the process of Self-refinement.  I wish for my actions and my interactions with others to speak volumes about those things which I hold dear.  The joy and satisfaction I find in a mannered Life is reason enough for me to carry on, regardless of possibly being viewed as an ambulatory relic.

Manners maketh man.

©Billy Red Horse

ON TRANSCENDENCE

People focus on the concept of awakening or the mystical event as though it is this god-touched experience, the be-all and end-all of spiritual development; it is not. Walk with me for a moment –
 
You and I are sitting together in a very heavily populated bar enjoying a fine Macallan Scotch and discussing all sorts of interesting things. Look around us, my friend. It is my position that very likely 50-60 percent of the people present in this bar with us have at some point in their lives had what could accurately be described as an enlightenment/awakening experience. Unfortunately, this is something we in the West are never told about and never prepared for. So what happens? Some folks think that what has happened to them is just some form of mild psychosis that will pass if they just ignore it; so they ignore it and any benefits they might have gleaned are lost to Time. Others actually go a little nuts as a result. Still others have no point of reference so they think that they have experienced some sort of religious awakening and they cleave to whatever religious mythology is comfortable to them to explain what has happened. The last group recognize that something Important has happened and they simply roll with it. So what, then, is enlightenment/awakening? It is the onset of potential spiritual adulthood, the innate recognition that all things are interconnected and interdependent, that Life is composed of Creation, Preservation, and Destruction at a cellular level and that this realization is beyond explanation by mere words.
 
So what’s my point in all this? Awakening is simply a developmental stage in what it is to be human, nothing more, nothing less. It has been my position and I have taught for years that there is something beyond awakening, and that something is TRANSCENDENCE. The highest adepts and spiritual masters are those who have attained to transcendence. To transcend is to go beyond the limitations imposed by Self and society, to, within Sacred Law, move beyond the fetters of Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, and Creative constraints and to experience a fullness of Life beyond description, beyond explaining, beyond imagination.
 
Awakening is an event; transcendence is an ongoing experience an ongoing experience an ongoing experience an ongoing experience an ongoing experience an ongoing experience….
 
Enlightenment/awakening is a peculiar thing. Far too many people labor under the Hollywood version of what this most natural state is. To be awakened does not grant one omniscience or omnipotence and you are not automatically endowed with the wisdom of a great sage. In fact, it is not uncommon for one such to turn into a babbling idiot.
 
What so many fail to recognize is that if you were an asshole before an awakening event, afterwards you’re more than likely just an awakened asshole. This is why so many who have experienced this shift don’t seem that different to an outside observer. Now, that being said, the awakened asshole DOES have at his disposal a new tool kit that can assist him in divesting himSelf of any Life-negating tendencies he possesses should he choose to avail himSelf of it. This is where transcendence comes into play.
 
Enlightenment and the subsequent ongoing process of transcendence are both ineffable. Awakening is more like a noun and transcendence is, indeed, a verb; a process that is never ending. It is this demand for persistence that makes transcendence at once so challenging and so fulfilling, a thing of Beauty.
 

On a bit of a side note, something I have experienced in my almost 31 years in the arena of spiritual refinement is the tendency of so many gurus/teachers/masters/whatever to obfuscate the whole thing, needlessly complicating and mystifying what is already complicated and mysterious enough on its own. I have been labeled a heretic more than once in my Life across multiple disciplines, told I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, even having my own insights and experiences dismissed as trifling and unworthy of consideration. As a teacher and healer mySelf, I take a very different approach: I go out of my way to hold people accountable for their own growth, experience, and state without qualification that nothing I share should ever be taken at face value or accepted as true.

As much as I may know, I don’t know it all. I am wary of anyone that makes claims to the contrary.
 
Remember: There Is Always More.
©Billy Red Horse