Imagine with me a spiritual experience.

Imagine spending the next five minutes breathing deeply.

How profound an experience would that be? How long would it stay in your memory, and how much would it alter the course of your life?

Now imagine spending that five minutes alone, focusing on your breathing. With every deep inhalation you visualise the positive influence of the cosmos streaming in and filling your body, the unlimited possibility of what can be, and the sustaining power that gives you the ability to achieve it. Then you pause, and through pursed lips you exhale deeply, expelling your failings, worries, and character flaws, discarding them like the spent carbon dioxide from your lungs.

Now imagine spending some time preparing for this spiritual experience. There is somewhere you go. You tidy that space, making it ready. You light a set of candles and arrange them in a circle. You kneel, weight rested on the balls of your feet, lit only by the candles. With this space readied you begin to breathe deeply.

Now imagine spending time preparing yourself. After making the space ready, you go to your bathroom and shower thoroughly. Physically ridding yourself of the grime and debris of your life, just as you are about to rid yourself of your spiritual burdens.

Now imagine how you take out a special white robe and slip it over your shoulders. It is clean, crisp and soft to the touch, decorated sparsely but beatifully in gold thread. It is a robe reserved only for this purpose: to be worn as you enter the circle of light to find your spiritual strength.

Now imagine that, up to now, you have not been allowed to do this. You have spent two years preparing, learning about your spirituality and the deepst truths of the spiritual realm. You have now received the blessing of your spiritual mentor: you are ready to take this step. The circle awaits and now is your time to enter it.

Now imagine bringing to mind the long history of this ritual. How the great exemplar of your faith, hundreds of years ago, instigated it. How it enabled that person to finally carry out their destiny, to reach their full potential and to achieve complete spiritual enlightenment. Imagine your feeling as you are now free to follow their path and to join your spiritual quest to theirs.

Now imagine that this act can only be carried out in one place. High on this particular mountain deep in the rocky wilderness. You have saved your money for years to be able to be here, in this  place more sacred than any other, where your great spiritual ancestor kneeled and found their fulfilment. You flew out with nervous anticipation, felt the unreserved warmth of your fellow pilgrims, and have now arrived at the point you have imagined for so long. You are washing and donning your robe in preparation to kneel on the same rock, worn smooth now by thousands of devotees before you.

Now imagine that this act can only be carried out on one morning, on one day of the year. It is the most sacred of days. Once every year this day appears. Around the world people are observing the day in meditation and prayer, but you are here, on this mountain, on this sacred night, waiting for the first glimpse of morning over the horizon to tell you it is time for the ritual to begin.

Imagine spending that five minutes breathing deeply.

How profound an experience would that be? How long would it stay in your memory, and how much would it alter the course of your life?

What are the factors that make rituals significant? How do we invest actions with meanings? How do we maximise the enjoyment of our own psychologies? Could the profundity of this kind of experience be available to those who don’t believe in ‘spirit’? Would you want it if it were?


Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “Imagine…

  1. Imagine all the self-involvement, self-delusion and important things ignored to feed these. The rush of the moment may be wonderful, and if life is supported by all this, you may have no regrets. But imagine if the ugly means build ugly self and luck just ain’t on your side.

  2. Ian

    Profundity I think is related to investment. If you want to increase profundity, you have to invest more. Sure, it is important to pick things that make you a better person through that investment (for whatever constitutes ‘better’ in your eyes). I don’t think it is a ‘rush of the moment’ thing – quite the opposite. That’s not to say I disagree that it could be a waste of time.

  3. I might have gotten some of what you said. But it seems we agree that just because something is profound, does not mean it is also not a profound waste of time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s