From the moment we look out into the world and begin to uncover it, we configure a reality that is the sum of our perceptions and also of a certain “factory sensitivity” that all human beings bring, with which we sift through the world perceived by the senses. For babies and children, the perceptual realities of “how the world IS the world” are strongly imposed, but also from an early age (and sometimes more frequently than when we grow up) we imagine fictional worlds or dialogue with imaginary friends and different beings of a non-perceptual entity. There is a window into the non-perceived by the senses.
By Carlos Santos
Then “education” shows us more realities and those ethereal windows of childhood are diluted. But this education can offer us no other panorama than the one it knows: the world of things and physical people. There is no vision of what happens when we die.
As we grow up, death is presented to us as an unknown that certain religious stories try to resolve in some way. The influence of these stories sometimes gives some relief to the believer, as they consider and describe certain worlds beyond, where one can go on, but in general death is presented to us as something unknown and tragic.
There are explicit narratives and others that are more subtle. Religious narratives are by their nature explicit but in this materialistic, peremptory, consumerist world of programmed obsolescence, the larval narrative is that there is no transcendence, death is the real dictatorship that overrides your body and senses and that threshold would lead not to a beneficent light but to a dark pit.
Thus, the spiritual worlds become real on this earthly plane but only framed in our lifetime, that is, no one doubts a world of important meanings such as friendship, love, and all the manifestations of art but it is difficult to think or reflect sensibly about the possibility of transcendence, of some kind of continuity to our vital impulse when the body is no longer with us.
Many people who are not religious consider that “what is essential is invisible to the eye”, but it seems that everything is set up for “what the eye can see”, even for those who consider themselves devout.
Some religious positions even absolutely forbid the attempt to show the transcendent to everyday human eyes, I am referring to the impossibility for certain Muslim groups to show the image of Mohammed or not being able to write the word “God” for Jews.
Perhaps it is a misguided way of wanting to express that the profound or unfathomable transcendent experience is something that cannot be easily described or conveyed in terms of social communication, as if it were necessary to forbid it! All indications are that no matter how many attempts are made to translate these experiences, they all have a dress that is specific to the epochal or cultural characteristics of the translator and they all also have that profound impact on the lives of those who have these experiences.
So, it is difficult to speak of spiritual worlds or beings in terms of social communication because these experiences are framed in the intimate realm of the one who has them and their expressions take infinite forms.
In today’s world, to think of spiritual beings seems to be something close to new age aesthetics or something ancient, typical of the millenary universal religions, or simply framed as a crude superstition.
Nowadays, different genuine forms of religiosity or spirituality are beginning to proliferate, not linked to established religion, nor to leaders or initiates, and of course they also exploit different superstitious manifestations, spiritual commerce and all kinds of beliefs such as terraplanism and other anti-science expressions that seem to want to “escape from rationalism”, perhaps with the absurd pretence of approaching more essential truths in this way.
Neither contemporary cynical paganism nor religious fanaticism seem interesting ways to approach profound spiritual experiences.
However, many of us have felt at some point in our lives a “breath of eternity”, something that cannot seem to be destroyed by the relentless passage of time, that inner register is often “covered” by the daily noise, by survival or by the heavy materiality that covers even our deepest feelings.
Feeling oneself to be a spiritual being is something that stimulates, orients one to coherence, allows one to feel part of a larger web and also provides interesting wings to the apparent shortness of existence.
The need to seek these experiences can arise in different ways, but in any case, it is a path chosen by the one who so chooses. In social terms, however, I have no doubt that the organic prosthesis that today allows us to manifest ourselves will change profoundly and earthly life will lengthen, thus giving us the opportunity to “catch a glimpse of eternity”.
When robotics and genetics allow life to be prolonged, it will not be the mere technicality of these sciences that will grow, it will be the human spirit that will have more complex platforms to develop.
Increasingly we see science trying to find something it does not quite understand in the meditation or spiritual disciplines in a generic sense.
The technocratic and scientistic mentality will, perhaps of necessity, become increasingly imbued with humanity, and faith will join hands with reason in an invincible crusade.
In any case, the internal register that allows us to suspect a meaning beyond the death of the body is not to be found in the fibres of the digital fabric, it has nothing to do with “artificial intelligence” …..
The human being is bigger than his intellectual elaborations, even if they run very fast on computers.
What happens after the threshold of the physical disappearance of our body is a personal path of experience that each one of us will see how we will go through when the time comes, but it is also a very special moment for which we are preparing ourselves in every act of our life.
However, to talk about these things without experiences of “suspicion of meaning” can be misunderstood or to want to understand them by passing them only through the sieve of logic. For this reason, I allow myself to share with you a poem that, at its best, in its shock, brings us closer to those more intimate truths common to all human beings.
Onward we go on the consumerist merry-go-round
With no goal but to accumulate
Baladic, meaningless, frivolous
Thus, the present of the fool’s future
Thus, the present of finitude
Thus, the present eternalised in illusory conservation
Nothing more dissolving than the organic
And nothing more container than carbon
When it is a matter of soul to keep
The spirit in a transitory layer
So fleeting are we…
It is but an instant
On the scale of the macrocosm
A spark, a lifetime
A gleam, a glow, a lit look
And only that vital breath that carries me
Will continue to carry me beyond all limits
If the spirit grows in the attempt
If I can feel that cloud that compensates my heaviness
If I can feel it flowing through my whole being
That unseen something that sustains me in belief
It frees me in feelings
That something that pushes my body
That something that I also feel in the other
And if at every moment
The flame of eternity
Lights up in me
Almost touching that world that was before
Almost feeling that world that won’t die
If I can make that grow
There’ll be no hindrance that won’t stop me
There’ll be no difficulty that won’t seem like a haunting challenge
That won’t emerge as a new adventure to seize with all the strength
And feel that with the same impetus I can release
That ethereal something that sometimes I catch in me
It gives me life, it inspires me, it cheers me up, it allows me to be compassionate
It is that infinite energy that if it finds a place
In your habitat, it amplifies
And feels soul-full
It is felt and nourished
With every true action