Lately, I've felt a windstorm of cultural critique brewing within me, related to the "Me, me, me" bent of so much modern pop spirituality. It seems to be popping up everywhere! Recently, I've watched dozens of videos on Instagram made by young American "yogis" promoting one variation or another of the "Law of Attraction" or the idea that "I am guiding the universal intelligence through MY intentions." Just the other day, I was having a conversation with someone about the seeming "Trickster' nature of the creator or of the universe, and the person subtly shifted the conversation to the idea, as they put it, that "I am simply tricking MYSELF."
Well, I want to say emphatically that spirituality is not about "me, myself and I." What claustaphobia such a view creates! How can people endure it? True spirituality is not about the "I"; rather, it is about "Thou." Indeed, even our own self is a "Thou," In fact, even the Creator's "I" has been mysteriously self-emptied in love and bliss into the world. EVERYTHING, including what we think of as "myself"or as a First-Person Creator is actually a "Thou" echoing endlessly through the universe. This is NOT a dualism where "Thou" requires a correspondingly separate "I" in seeming opposition to It because even the divine "I" is ceaselessly lost in "Thou"!
Whatever I might consider "me" is actually simply a uniquely original creative power that is able to imagine the ceaselessly echoing "Thou" of God and Goddess in fresh ways. In fact, "I" am actually that part of the divine "Thou" that mysteriously adds new "words" and a fresh "voice" to the echo whenever new myths, metaphors and images arises within "my" psyche that help interpret life in a fresh light, thereby adding to the awe and wonder of life.
True spirituality is, I'm convinced, not about "me" but about releasing increasing amounts of awe and wonder into the world. That is precisely what I appreciate about true science. Spending time at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science several days ago, I felt reaffirmed in the sense of awe that scientists have - whether they be astronauts, geologists, paleontologists, fisheries biologists, ecologists, chemists, physicists, atmospheric scientists, etc. In fact, true scientists are refreshing in the way they perpetually lose the "I" in the wonder of what they are studying. I've always viewed scientists - especially when in the field - as simply "big kids" lost in the excitement and wonder of it all.
If we have any "I" at all, it is simply in melting into something Larger - in becoming the mind and heart of a cosmos in the act of knowing and celebrating itself in and through us. In this kind of vision, there is simply no time to be concerned with "me, myself and I"!
Photo: I could hardly take this shot of yesterday's windstorm on The Loch in Rocky Mountain National Park (CO) without getting blown away!
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.