In previous blogs, I have noted the different perspectives of ascension and descension spirituality. Often people who have the worldview that this planet is forever the balance of opposites (e.g. the yin-yang symbol, Star Wars ideology) can tend to be more interested in ascension spirituality (enlightenment.) The drive to make this world a better place is essentially futile because ultimately duality is the best that can be hoped for – thus the drive to seek that which transcends this world.
Those that have the worldview that this world can become, through evolution, more of a heaven – where the good outweighs the bad – tend to lean more into descension spirituality. The focus is to be a vehicle for the infinite good of Spirit to be fully expressed in, through and as all form.
I have asked myself, where do I land in these 2 perspectives? My current conclusion is I tend to look at life a lot like the film Shawshank Redemption.
The prison represents the world of duality. Andy Dufresne did everything he could to make his experience and those of his fellow inmates better and it worked. Over time, Andy and his friends evolved the experience of the day to day life of the prison for the better in many different ways. Good moved through Andy as he created new possibilities.
At the same time, it was still a prison. Thus Andy was also secretly digging his tunnel to freedom beyond the prison. I liken Dufresne’s rock hammer to a mantra, so small it is imperceptibly powerful. If we keep saying our mantras (e.g. “Love Is, I Am”) in the secrecy of our inner selves, over decades, we will break free from our minds dualistic prison and move permanently into transcendent freedom.
Do I believe that if the majority of prisoners sentenced to the world of duality did their own secret transcendent practices, that one day the entire prison walls of duality would dissolve and heaven would be revealed? Yes. Do I think that will happen? Not anytime soon because, as in Shawshank, most of the prisoners don’t really know the power of the rock hammer or believe in life beyond the prison. In fact, the character Brooks was so identified with the prison, that even when he was free from prison, it was so unfamiliar and uncomfortable, he found a way to go back to the prison. This is the Hindu teaching of reincarnation – we are so attached to this prison of duality (the pleasure aspect of it) that we are unable to sustain the freedom that comes with bodily death.
Until we are ready to completely break free from our attachments and resistances to this dualistic world, individually and collectively, we can all be vehicles of Good to make this world better for everyone. It does make a difference.