A few days ago, our neighbor generously shared a magazine with us which I have never seen before. I don’t remember the name, but you know — it’s one of those magazines about spirituality, unity and healing with lots of ads for Whole Foods and organic cotton yoga wear — well, you get the picture.
So here I am, the ideal target demographic: mid-fifties, college-educated, devoutly liberal or progressive – I forget which term is in right now — vegetarian, “airie-fairie” kind of a gal. I remember the 60s with a little bit of nostalgia and a little bit of a shudder. You could guess how I have voted since 1968, and you would be right (I would be left!).
So. I’m leafing through this magazine rather mindlessly, and I stumble across the gleaming countenance of a beautiful woman looking to be, perhaps, Indian, and perhaps of a certain age. She is radiant, dressed in a sari. Below her picture is her “bio”, which describes her as a “Divine Spiritual Luminary”and a “Great Mystic”. I have the same feeling I have whenever I see a picture of the Pope, Queen Elizabeth, or for that matter, Mick Jagger. I mean, I know these people are extraordinary. I know they each possess a unique insight informed by a unique vantage point on the world. And each of them holds a mystique, an aura of power that transcends the mundane. They are icons, and as such, they command a certain respect.
But at some point, I’m sorry to say, a little voice in my head says, “Is it real, or is it just pretend?”. And if it *is* pretend, is that such a bad thing? Or, is it as real as I allow it to be? Or should I be offended by pretense that basically, sells us snake oil? Or. What if it’s not snake oil? Is the believing itself the real magic?
You see, I am very, very confused. Part of me wants so badly to believe it all. I want to just swallow the Divine Light whole and let it illuminate my very being, curing me of everything from cancer to cataracts, from indigestion to indiscretion, from ignorance to inertia. (Okay, I’ll stop now). I think there is a secret, and that once I *divine* this secret, all will be well.
But then I say to myself: There is no secret. There is only the truth that is staring me in the face. There is only this moment where I am sitting in front of my computer, confessing my self-doubt before an imaginary audience (which, by the way, seems to be my calling in life, whether I am writing a song, composing a letter, or sobbing in front of a therapist. All one and the same. Me, confessing). There is only here an now. And isn’t that miracle enough?