Interfaith Now
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Interfaith Now

The Quest for the Grail is now Pressing

Photo by Neroli Wesley on Unsplash

Imagine the ultimate treasure hunt, an array of trip wires and dangerous potholes, misdirection at every turn, villains continually moving the goalposts and a portal so fine that only one in a hundred million makes it through.

That’s life on Earth, a game like no other, stakes now higher than ever and the discovery of the portal to the gold you seek (the Absolute) increasingly urgent.

Trouble is you don’t even know what real gold looks like; you may have heard of Nirvana, Utopia and Shangri-La but no-one ever said how to get there.

Even if they did, you would likely have dismissed such notions as bunkum.

Instead, you were offered an ersatz heaven of continuous experiences, rewards for hard work, shiny medals and a trillion dangled carrots and false dawns — if you followed the script.

But as the clock ticked towards the end of time, you realized with horror even the most wonderful fakery in the world, the stuff and the stories you trusted in since childhood, wasn’t it after all.

The money didn’t do it, the things didn’t do it, even the booze and drugs and sex instead of leaving you with a sense of completion, simply left a nauseous hole at the very centre of your being.

Suddenly, you found yourself at what just maybe the end of time.

In fact, a red alert is pulsing angrily telling you the way out of this maze of lifetimes soon closes; the rush to the life boats is frantic, each one scrabbling for safety in the one place they could never find it.

Almost no-one took the warnings seriously, the desire for liberation too weak to succeed, the temptations of the world too exciting, too filled with promise, that new show on Netflix another welcome distraction.

It seems we have reached the karmic full stop.

‘Those who simply enjoy the objects of the senses are merely human beings, while the one who is extreme in relinquishing everything is like God Almighty.’ Siddharameshwar

If you haven’t spent enough time cultivating inner light, instead focusing on the temporary and the finite, you fail to graduate, sliding down a snake to begin all over again.

There is only one way out; some call it surrender, the total renunciation of the life of the mind you have lived, and the complete reappraisal of what it is that lives.

To be aware that you are aware, in other words that you are the Self, is the fundamental duty of every human being.

But our species has failed to recognise the bliss on offer and refused the call, in very much the same way we devalue air and water until we are gasping.

It seems we have no regard for the transparent instead choosing objects in world and mind again and again until no clue to our true identity remains.

Our dance with Maya, the illusory world of the mind-made self that mistakenly takes objects to be real may be the slow waltz in one dreamed lifetime and the light fantastic in another.

But it’s all a dance within a dream within an ego that is entirely stitched together by concepts.

What has become crystal clear in these past two years is that human beings have little interest in reality which, resting in neutrality, is neither interesting nor charged enough to merit our attention.

We would sooner the buzz, the thrill, the competition. It seems peace is just too dull.

It may have escaped your notice, but many are now leaving this plane, bound for the great recycling plant in the sky; you can easily imagine an anthropomorphic god scratching his head in despair.

Yet there is still hope, the sands of time still dribbling away.

Amazingly, the answer to our dilemma, the route to the Holy Grail we were in fact born to discover, is utterly simple.

As a young boy, I was assailed by one recurring image: of being blind folded and spun around.

The mechanics are perhaps irrelevant, but most of us need a story as spur. Fortunately, mine was archetypal, which always makes mundane tragedy a little more interesting. Symbols, as Jung taught, can be helpful.

They make the hero’s journey more tolerable, at least when you learn to read the signs.

Perhaps it is enough to say that early circumstances of loss left me with a huge hunger for truth, for justice, for reality. I simply couldn’t understand how the world seemed so unloving.

It was as if I had been born knowing something about love yet I simply couldn’t find it here, my task its urgent rediscovery.

For many years, I pursued my passion with a rage-ful innocence, diving into every new experience, looking for that doorway we all seek. I tried most things during my long years of descent.

At 22, I had my first experience of enlightened consciousness but it did not stay, so I descended further.

By 25, I had reached my first and perhaps most serious rock bottom, which began my propulsion back towards the light.

Like the Prodigal Son, I wound up eating slops with the pigs, not recognising how close I was to death.

Yet through many misadventures, I slowly learned the Grail was tantalizingly close.

But believing I was an individual, the subject in an objective world, meant it could never be found.

Stumbling through various teachings, I eventually took up meditation with diligence until inner, often unseen shifts started to take place, others recognizing the changes long before I did.

Looking back, I can see my process was slow of necessity, arming me with what I needed to help those put in my path, those who like me were in want of something they could not fully understand.

Eventually, I discovered what was required and began taking my attention off the things of the world and those of the mind, instead worshipping consciousness or the sense I Am.

It takes readiness and practice to learn to watch the watcher and to value the seer over the seen and the knower over the known.

It’s also unbelievably simple, the greatest cosmic joke, reality right there under your nose.

For many years, I have worked to help clients on their individual soul’s journey — the descent into matter — but increasingly I find myself meeting those like myself who will settle for nothing less than the Grail itself.

Truth is, it’s the only game in town, and it’s time is now.

Copyright Simon Heathcote



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Simon Heathcote

Simon Heathcote

Psychotherapist writing on the human journey for some; irreverently for others; and poetry for myself; former newspaper editor.