by Michael Maciel
For every spiritual process, there is a physical bodily function and structure. Our body truly is the microcosm of the macrocosm. It changes over time, that’s true, but over eons of time, vast stretches of time that might look insignificant in terms of the cosmos but on our scale seem like an eternity. It may not be “forever,” as the saying goes—it just feels like it.
We can take great comfort in the fact that the physical vehicle we have is somewhat stable, that the myths and spiritual practices we have inherited from the distant past are as applicable now as they were then. The story of the Hero’s Journey is eternal. The Crucifixion and Resurrection experiences are eternal. And not just eternal but universal. Everyone, regardless of sex, race, or religion, goes through them in exactly the same way, even though their individual experience, seen through the lens of their life history, makes each event seem unique.
When we focus our attention on the Divine, the same effects produced in the cells of our brain are exactly the same as those in everyone else’s brain. When we practice pranayama (spiritual breathing exercises) we are affected in exactly the same way the ancient Hindu masters were when they invented those techniques. And when we voluntarily submit ourselves to the suffering of the world and do so with joy and gratitude for the magnificent gift of life, we experience the same elevation of spirit that every other human being who ever lived experienced—in exactly the same way. The only thing about it that changes is our unique, individual perspective.
There is only one mountain but it can be viewed from an infinite number of vantage points.