There are many kinds of goals. The obvious ones are easy: to lose weight, to find a partner, to get rich. These you might call instinctual goals, because they all have to do with survival. Then there are goals that reach beyond the instinct to survive to the desire to thrive. These might include learning a foreign language, seeing the Eiffel Tower, or standing at the tip of the Cape of Good Hope. But while these are invigorating, they are very much a part of this world, this body, and they are (dare I say it) narrowly human. And while it’s relatively easy to connect with our instincts and our desires, as mystics we have to ask, “What does my spirit want?”
Our instinctual nature is like a train. We are all passengers on it. We share the same drives to survive. When we have been on the train long enough, it starts to get boring, and we start to look for something more. This often takes the form of travel, as in seeing the Eiffel Tower. In the analogy of the train, we start to explore the different cars, talk with the other passengers, enquire as to how the train works. No one asks, “Where are you headed?” because we are all headed for the same place. People locked into instinctual consciousness all know where it ends, and they either ignore that fact, or they do everything they can to get all they can while they can – this is the boring part. Those who want more out of the ride do everything they can to make it interesting. But they too know that it will all eventually end, which leads them to make up all kinds of stories about the nature of life’s origins and destinations. At some point, this also becomes boring.
Our spirit, on the other hand, never actually got on the train. From its perspective, the track goes in a circle, like the model train in your grandfather’s garage. The circuit never changes, neither does the scenery. The train just keeps going around in circles (Hindus call this the Wheel of Karma). But the spirit within us has a wider view of the Cosmos. And, it has its own goals. To understand those goals, and to get in touch with the spiritual part of our being, we have to see what it sees. We have to get off the train.
There is a larger circuit that we all travel. But, unlike the meaningless path of the train, this circuit is a pathway through the stars. It is a journey not driven by necessity, but by ecstasy. The more one tunes into it, the less boring and more fascinating it becomes – in fact, thrilling. The more of it you get, the more you want, and the more you want, the more you get – an upward spiral of brightness and aliveness.
The Greek word planetos means wanderer. They called the planets wanderers because they seemed to wander through the fixed stars of the constellations. We are all planets. The planets, it could be said, are part of the Sun, comprising one system, one organism, one central campfire around which they all dance. Just as our physical body is the vehicle of Spirit, the physical body of the Sun is the visible manifestation of a larger Spirit too great to comprehend, a Spirit not driven by necessity but by ecstasy, the ecstasy of Life and its perpetuation, its evolution, and ultimately its transcendence. For that is the key element of Life – its ability to transcend itself.
The lower nature of life – instinct – is all about perpetuation; it is the engine of survival. The mental part of life is about possibility, variation, and exploration. The spiritual part of life is about transcendence. Transcendence is about rising to a higher level of consciousness, a higher level of being. It is, in Christian Mystical terms, rebirth. In prayer, in meditation, in spiritual ecstasy, we rise up into higher states of being, higher levels of recognition of the unity of all – the Body of Christ, the Mind of God. We shed the skin of earthly consciousness and take on Cosmic Consciousness and thus join the heavenly host in their songs of praise and exaltation. What is “praise and exaltation”? It’s when our spiritual eyes are opened to the splendor and magnificence of it all, and we say with our spirit, “Wow, this is really great!”
The cosmo-conception of spirituality, recognizing the Sun and planets as the “body of God,” is a recognition in the most rational sense of what is actually going on in our experience of life. The vast distances between our Solar System and its nearest neighbors underscore its organic individuality, its unique identity as a cell in a larger organism. It is literally an island, an oasis in a sea of light. It pulsates with its own rhythms, its own organelles. And for those who have eyes to see, it teems with spiritual life, the forms and manifestations of which are too numerous to count. Consciousness is its life-blood; organic life is its expression. Air, Earth, Fire, and Water are the modes of that Consciousness, its Four Directions, its Cross, its Cube of Space. Mathematics is its language, music its expression of that language, geometry its physiology, light its mind. Everything we are, it is, and everything it is, we are.
Read more about the Son/Sun of God.