Question: Is the point of a spiritual life to live in a place of high vibration or of balance?
Well, here I sit at the end of the day. By all practical measures it was good, but I’m emotionally spinning away inside that tornado I’ve mentioned. I need a break from it so I’m going to write something else. I’ll start with a response to the question above that stemmed from a discussion I had with a friend.
Answer: Fuck if I know. Honestly, I don’t know that anyone can authoritatively answer that. And I suspect that anyone who claims that they can is selling something. I have some thoughts and feelings about it that I will share for the purpose of discussion. I’m not your leader. Don’t follow me. You can give me money, though.
So let’s talk about vibration. In this context I am talking about energetic vibration, not physical vibration. You are a physical being and you aren’t going to evolve into a light being. Sorry. One of the easiest ways to get the concept is with simple emotions. Joy is a very high vibration. Desperation and hopelessness are very low vibrations. Getting lots of hugs from people you love will raise your vibration. Driving in Seattle traffic will definitely lower it. Pretty easy, right?
It is possible to exist at different vibrations. And it isn’t like you are just joyful or sad all the time. Depression is an easy to understand example I think, because so many have experienced it. When people are depressed they inhabit that vibration. They seek similar vibrations to their own because it is oddly comforting. Depressed people don’t listen to John Denver, they listen to Damien Rice and Radiohead. They can cease to recognize or appreciate things that aren’t energetic matches to themselves. It is possible to live in a container of energy where you can (mostly) control what comes in and out and how you perceive it. The glass is half empty. Life in the bubble. Now imagine living a life where instead of being depressed bubble boy, you are ecstatic container girl. What if you felt high vibrations all the time? People in this state can actually alter the way they perceive everything around them so it seems better. Sounds pretty fucking great, right? Like living an orgasm and eating nothing but chocolate covered ice cream sandwiches. Sign me up!!! Some people even go so high they can see faeries and talk to spirits. Shamanic journeying is entering a state of ecstasy to communicate with those beyond our world. Shamans only journey for short periods of time, though.
There are real problems with living in an vibrational bubble, namely, it isn’t real. How do you relate to your family and friends? How do you shop for car insurance? What about trying to drive safely on a road, surrounded by other motorists, staying between the lines, while orgasming and eating your chocolate covered ice cream sandwiches? You might be blissed out, but you are also blissfully unaware and functioning on a level that doesn’t work in society. I think that’s great for spiritual adventures like vision quests and other ceremonies. It doesn’t work in day to day life. You will spend so much energy keeping yourself in that high place that you won’t have any left over for relationships.
Enlightenment is a solitary endeavor. A personal quest. What happens when you get there and have to take a shit but there isn’t toilet paper? No answer intended for this, I just wanted to write it.
Grounding is a hugely important spiritual topic. So many people don’t know what it means. They might come out of a big, spiritual ceremony altered to high heaven and unable to do basic math but say, “Oh man I feel so grounded!!” Wrong. You feel high. You just came out of a womb, rebirthed into new life and are a spiritual newborn taking in everything for the first time. You are high as a kite.
Grounding is when you come back to earth. When you sit under a tree and smell the air and feel the moisture in the soil. When you connect to all things in our physical existence. When you see the mountain lion staring at you and it scares the shit out of you. When you feel your cat purring on your lap and reach down to pet him. Grounding is connected awareness. It is knowingness. Grounding is our collective reality.
For where I am at in my life with my experiences, balance between high vibration and being grounded feels the most right. I feel all of my emotions, the full spectrum of vibration, and acknowledge them. I spend time with each and try not to prioritize one over the other. I listen to the wind skimming over the treetops.
Familiar with the tale of Icarus? His father makes two sets of wings for both of them to escape the chaos of their homeland. His father tells icarus not to fly too high or too low and to follow in his path. Giddy with the excitement and thrill of flight, Icarus ignores his father’ warning and flys higher and higher until the sun melts the wax on his wings and the feathers fall off and all he is left with are his bare, flapping arms. At the moment of this realization he falls to the sea and perishes.
I think this works better as a spiritual metaphor than the traditional one warning of setting your aspirations too high. Icarus didn’t make the wings, he was gifted them. He didn’t start with aspirations of glorious flight. With his gift he followed in a path set out for him and as he experienced new and greater sensations the higher he flew, he became oblivious to the reality of his physical world. Only when he sees and understands the disconnect does he fall into the sea.
A good life requires balance, I think. Go have your highs, allow for and honor your lows, and remember toilet paper.