By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily
I used to love complicated ideas. I used to believe all kinds of things and entertain myself with grandiose concepts. If it was in the fringe category, especially in regard to spirituality, I loved it. The more detached it was from what we think is reality, the more it became my reality.
This isn’t a bad thing, because life is too short not to spend pursuing your interests. If you love tea or coffee, then enjoy them while you can. Run a mile every day if you love exercise. If you love the paranormal, new age spirituality, or anything society would make you feel crazy for, then dive headfirst into it.
I’ve long been unafraid to put my weirdness out there for everyone to see. Despite this, lately I’m not as interested in complicated ideas. I want simplicity. Everyone else can have their big ideas about angels, extraterrestrials, ascension, cities of light, 12th dimensional rainbow merkabas, etc. I’m not criticizing it – it’s just not for me anymore.
I’ve become aware that I know absolutely nothing. I cannot say with 100% certainty that I know how the universe functions, what happens when we die, or what the state of consciousness we access in meditation really is. Humanity as a whole knows very little about all this. Who am I to say I have the answers?
It’s humbling to realize you know nothing. To see that like everyone else, you’re feeling around in the dark grabbing at ideas that appeal to you. It’s easy to think these ideas are the truth. But if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the dark backdrop behind them. This is the inescapable void of nothingness and uncertainty.
No matter what we believe, the reality of death and the possibility of nonexistence plague us. One day, we’ll either leave this world for something new or blink out of existence entirely. Just as there’s a probability that consciousness continues after death, there’s a probability that it doesn’t. To me, that’s the scariest thought of all.
When you start thinking in this direction, you realize how starved for truth you really are. It makes you see everything in a new light – including the beliefs you once subscribed to. This leads some people to become atheists and others to become more spiritual or connected with themselves. I’m somewhere in the middle.
I am by no means skeptical of spiritual ideas, but I approach them differently now. I’m more discerning and willing to question an idea before letting it in. Generally, I approach spirituality more objectively than before.
I have no interest in proving any of the spiritual or paranormal stuff I write about. If I write about ghosts, it’s purely for entertainment. Not truth. The purpose of the spiritual writings is to search for truth via metaphysical outlets. But I know that I can’t prove karma, kundalini, or other concepts are real.
We can measure the effect meditation has on the brain, but nobody has proven that it gives you access to other dimensions. Most spiritual concepts have not been proven, as by nature, they run against the materialist mindset that dominates mainstream science.
Although I’m not a skeptic, I no longer take any idea at face value. Along with this, I’m no longer on a quest to prove spirituality is legitimate. I’ve torn down my beliefs and peered into the void behind them, realizing death is inevitable and looking for something real beyond this world.
From scratch, I built a new, simple philosophy.
This is where karma yoga, and by extension, the new Karma Yoga Daily blog come in. Obviously, I did not invent karma yoga. But I take inspiration from the idea of service (in my case, writing) as a way of life and a way to progress spiritually. Even if “progress spiritually” just means to become a better person, I’m onboard.
I love the simplicity of karma yoga. Be kind, work hard, help others, and include yourself in your service. Take care of yourself by doing good, healthy things that help you feel better. Appreciate your opportunity to spend your days helping others, and beyond that, enjoy your life while it lasts. Treat every breath you’re fortunate enough to take as a blessing. If you believe there’s a creator and other worlds we will one day inhabit, thank them for the gift of life.
My path has not been easy, but neither has anyone else’s. I’m grateful that I had to tear it all down and start anew not as an atheist or skeptic, but as a person with a simple philosophy that works for me. You can believe whatever you want, as I have no interest in making you think you’re wrong. It feels great to admit that this is all I need.
About the author:
I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, the environment, activism, music, and other awesome stuff. I run Karma Yoga Daily, a news blog dedicated to sharing daily wisdom.
This personal blog I run is pretty great, too.
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