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Denali Institute of Northern Traditions
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Alternatives For Healing

Being Human - The Missing Piece of the New Age Puzzle

by Leslie Caplan

I walk around town where sunlit smiles soar down like birds landing on the faces of people walking by. The soft-hued flowers of every shape and size kiss the day. Spring has sprung!

I go over to a kiosk that post flyers of events offered locally.  “Free the Light within!” I read one of them, designed with an image bursting with angelic light parting from the center of pastel clouds.  “Free your Inner Goddess”, reads another, evoking a subtle promise that if I chant the sacred hymns of the divine feminine under the full moon, I will transform into the Goddess that I am meant to be.   

I don’t have a clue what it means to spiritual or enlightened in this way.  The New Age wafts through towns all over the world like flowy clothed deities caravanned on a cloud of attempted attainment.  The underlying message seems to be that there is there is something intrinsically wrong with being human.

I circle the kiosk to completion, look at the myriad of other flyers telling me to experience Divine Bliss with songs of the Universe, Heal my Chakras, and ‘Om’ myself into a state of Godliness. My paraphrase.

I begin to wonder if there might be something wrong with me. 

A woman walks by, puts her hands in a gesture of prayer and says, “Namaste” to a friend. My third eye rolls.  Like a rubber-headed hammer being tapped against my knee causing my leg to involuntarily pop out into the air. Autoreflex.

I cringe at myself.  And at the word “Namaste.”

I want to shake the fluff out of the New Age like it’s a dusty old carpet needing to be banged out on the porch railing with a broom. 

Maybe I do need a chakra cleanse or a seamstress to repair the hole in my aura. 

If I am not blissed out by the love and light of the Universe, manifesting my soul’s purpose, then there is something in my energy field blocking me from obtaining the shiny trinkets of my heart’s desires. 

Am I doomed to a life sentence of She Who does not Live in a Perpetual State of Bliss?

I take along, deep breath of inquiry into what my bliss is. This is what I come up with:  Skyping with my son who lives halfway around the world, watching him throw his head back in full-bellied laughter from a twisted bout of healthy cynicism we partake in for comic relief.  

I am human. Edgy with grace, fierce with inflamed surges for the grave injustices in the world. I am impacted by the unconscionable acts of violence pervasive all over the globe.  I have been told I am ‘negative’ because I bring up the news like of the young man, with all the potential in the world, who goes on a shooting spree in his town, kills six people and then turns the gun on himself. All because he felt rejected by women.

I am not going to ‘Om’ that away. 

As a devout Mother of a budding young man, I am floored by how, as a society, we have failed these boys to a point of irreparable damage.  Not to mention glorifying war so as to lure them into combat to serve and protect our country at their own mental, emotional, spiritual expense.  Amongst certain crowds of New Agers, I am considered dark and edgy because I take these issues to heart.

I am a rip in the fabric of a silky veil.  

Why does blown-out by the pervasive insanity of the human condition become deemed as pessimistic?  I did not incarnate into this human body to  ascend into the light, glaze my self over with chants of mantra’s that come from a country I was not born to, just to mask the fact that I am as human as it gets.  I grieve, I bleed, I emote. I get irritated.  I even get enraged.  Dare I say that?  Rage and enlightenment do not go together.

Maybe the real definition of Enlightenment is to sit at the table with ALL that is.  The good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful; the rippling, shadowy waters of darkness, the down on my knees gratitude for being alive in this body, breathing in and out, and connecting with something larger than my self when the weight of humanity eclipses me.

As heartwrenching as it is, I would not trade being human for anything.  I am not interested in attaining a state of Godliness while I am here.  We are on this planet for a blink of an eye.  ‘Ascending to the light’ will come soon enough.

Weep your heart out for the travesties, surge with anger over the cavernous, unbridgeable disparity between the hungry swollen-bellied and the pervasive obesity of blatant over consumption.  It doesn’t make you any less spiritual.  In fact, it makes you real.

Being awake to all that is.  No fluff, no mask, no hiding behind the veils of yet another dogma masquerading itself as Pure Consciousness.   

Carl Gustav Jung says,  “There is no coming into consciousness without pain.  People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

I am making the darkness conscious.  I vow to live, dance, breathe, write and love inside the space that resides in the between.  It is my abiding fate as a human being.  If I can attain that, I’ll be as ‘enlightened’ as I will ever be here on the ground - on this pulsating, erupting, imploding, tenacious, rumbling, resilient ground that I love.

Here, deep inside the body of being human.

Leslie Caplan is a Writing Coach, Editor and Facilitator of Healing through the Movement of Writing.  She lives in Ashland, OR and can be reached atwww.courageousheartinmotion.com

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Article Archives  This Month's Articles  Click Here for more articles by Leslie Caplan
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