It’s very difficult to explain exactly why meditation is so necessary and so powerful without using words like ‘spirit’ and ‘energy.’ These words are not adequate to represent what it is that can touch a person during a meditation session. They do not describe its substance or character. These words leave us flat, with no intellectual access to the function of meditation- to what exists beyond the door that opens.
But that’s just it, isn’t it? Intellectual access is not something we can achieve through meditation, not really. You can come to an intellectual understanding of what happens through the meditation process, but only after the fact. It’s trying to understand the process using rational means during the meditative state that leads us astray.
The mind, we fail to understand, is the product of the brain- just as circulation is the product of the heart. We go wrong, and do ourselves injury, by associating the self with the mind. The mind is a running guidebook to living in the world. It is a constantly updating companion for the body as an agent in the world, but it is not what we are.
The purpose of meditation is two-fold. It is to first, clean the house we live in- to sort through and remove those sticking, stinking thoughts that fragment our existence. We are meant to deal with our demons, so to speak. To put distracting and degrading automatic thoughts in their place, as background noise. But this is not the whole purpose of meditation. The true goal of meditation is not just to clean the house, but to live in the house properly- to occupy that house and- god-willing, to live in it in a productive and creative way.
Few meditation practitioners ever get beyond cleanup- and experience the true and total meditative state. To do this, we have to understand what we are doing, and this cannot be accomplished without stepping into the realm of the mystical. Fortunately, for the average practitioner, you do not have to talk about what you experience during meditation. You can make yourself available to grace and make contact with the Great Spirit without ever having to expose yourself to scientismists who thrive on mocking people who don’t always use the left hemisphere of the brain exclusively. They are as annoying as they are callow.
I, on the other hand, am a rhetorician- and I am compelled to share my ideas. That means the abuse is forthcoming. So, to any meatheads out there nascenctly walking the Left-Hand Path, you can go fuck yourselves- in advance.
Here we go.
There is a spirit, an energy, a creative force that lives in us and connects us. It is like a power source with an awareness. Imagine electricity that doesn’t bite when it touches you, electricity that flows like wind and moves like a snake. It comes in green, white, purple, and red. And you can commune with it. You can sit in its presence, and if you know how to do so quietly- it will free you from the thing that generates those anxiety-producing, anger-inducing automatic thoughts that are ruining your life.
The Bible says that the Kingdom of Heaven is within. It impels us to invite the Christ figure into our hearts. Eastern teachings also tell us to go within.
I recently stumbled on a Christian preacher called Jesse Lee Peterson. You might have noticed the similarity of his name to that of Jordan B. Peterson. Jesse teaches a meditation called the silent prayer. I had been meditating based on eastern practices for a couple of years. I knew my goal was to put my automatic thoughts in their place as background noise- to stay within the knowledge that I am not my thoughts. What Jesse teaches is that by putting your automatic thoughts in their place- by doubting the validity of their reasoning, and the legitimacy of their source- you are moving away from evil and toward good. He teaches that you are leaving the influence of Satan, and returning to God the Father.
He reminds us of the Psalms verse which says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
I believe we have been poisoned with the idea that we are being told this by a man-like God figure who wishes to dominate us. But when we experience the higher fruits of meditation, being still and knowing that it/He is God- not ourselves- we begin to turn our lives over to the thing that truly composes and animates life. We allow that cosmic, living energy to move us- instead of the hate-filled and pain-nurturing thought products of the mind.
The first argument against this type of thinking is that it is anti-intellectual. But I am no more opposed to the intellect than I am opposed to the body. We care for our bodies with good food and activity, and we care for our minds with engaging learning material, work, and creativity. But we should be still and know that there is something other than the body and the mind that should have the captain’s seat in our lives. Christians call it God. Others would give it many names. But, those who Seek properly are talking about the same thing.
Out of curiosity, I had prayed (in the traditional sense) for God to show me what he is- if he exists. It is a very common and sensible type of word-based prayer. Any rational, compassionate, and reasonable God would be sympathetic to that sentiment. It wasn’t long after asking the question that I was lead to Jesse Peterson’s silent prayer.
While I cannot say what anything is with much conviction- I am more confident than ever that meditation has been bringing me into contact with something I have been calling Grace, with a capital ‘G.’ When I speak to it, I call it The Lord- for connotative reasons.
I will leave you with one final claim, and it is the only effect within yourself that you should look for when you try to do the things I attempt to describe.
The spirit of anger, that has been with me all my life is growing weaker- just as Mr. Peterson says that it will. It is an empirical change, and I can assure you that my children have noticed it.