Thursday, July 10, 2014

You Are a Spiritual Donut (Who Wants to Be a "Whole")


Have you ever thought of yourself as a donut? Hmmm, not really...though there have been times when I wanted to eat enough of them to possibly become one myself. I'd like to become a pizza too, occasionally. Becoming a pizza won't do much for you, but becoming a donut, just for a little while, can be instructive – as crazy as it may sound.

Here's how it works: A donut is a mix of elements that generally takes one of a few different, but similar forms. It arrives at its structure through a difficult transformational process. Usually, it gets fried. Constituted of fairly predictable ingredients, surrounded by The Universe, it features a small space in it's middle that contains another little piece of The Universe. A hole. Nothing (or "emptiness," the Buddhists may say), surrounded by more donut.



If you look at the diagram above, you'll see how we're a bit like donuts ourselves. Our outsides, where the glazing is, is our physical interface to the world – our sensory selves. Sticky and delicious. Sticky and unpleasant (with uncomfortable stuff sticking to us). There's everything we feel and sense: hot, cold, pleasure, pain; arising unexpected waves of intense sensation, torporous states of inexplicable numbness; bitter and sweet; an erupting giggle, or a fit of uncontrollable sobbing; some coming from without, some coming from within.
Our sensory selves are our human covering. Our senses. The feelings that arise and dissolve; the physical joys of being human, and the source of our unwanted pains. It's very seductive, even addictive at times. It can also all be rather relentlessly brutal on occasion. But by themselves, these sensations and reactions are not completely, not actually, who we really are.

The inner ingredients of our personal donut consist, in part, of thoughts – like who we think we are, and how we see ourselves in relation to the surrounding Universe. What do I look like? What do I do? How much money I have. Whether I see myself as a success or a failure. Whether I'm happy or not. "T'is the stuff dreams are made of," because an awful lot of it just simply isn't real. It only looks that way to us, maybe not even to anyone else.
It's hard to get perspective on this part of ourselves, probably because our ego mind tends to make us feel so separate, self-contained, and unique – despite the fact that our donut is made from the exact same ingredients as everyone else, arranged in slightly different ways, and is always changing. If we identify ourselves with this "separate," ever-changing, often imaginary self-portrait, filled with inaccurate judgments and comparisons about ourselves and others, the result can be painfully over-indulgent, and lead to  discomfort and "dis-ease."


Did you know that the rich, handsome, successful actor Cary Grant was really a donut? He was heard talking to someone, confessing his profound insecurities, and when the man said, "you don't have anything to worry about, you're Cary Grant!" The actor replied, "I wish I were."

"To identify consciousness with that which merely reflects consciousness – this is egoism."
Patanjali, Yoga Sutras, II. 6.

Our ego keeps wanting us to somehow control The Universe, not to just be a part of it, and in doing so, demands the constant judgments, inventories, and evaluations that further separate and disconnect us from that truth that lies right in our very center, in that eternally grace-filled and easy space that also happens to be made of the same stuff that surrounds us. I'll just call it Love – our authentic Source.
So, in the diagram, I've made that hole in our middle heart-shaped because that's where The Universe, Grace, "God," lives in us, and how it is connected to us. That's who we really are.

Since that's where our Universal Consciousness, our "God Consciousness" lives, when we can unify that  space within with that unifying space that's all around us, we'll become both "hole," and whole. Our donut, and all the misperceptions of "who we really are supposed to be" begin to dissolve, and life becomes much easier and more comfortable as we become the Grace that we're truly meant to live within, and that lives already within us. There's not much there...but there's everything there too.

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