Back in the days when I was only responsible for myself and had a job that paid well enough, I was able to indulge my attraction to mysticism.
Mystics hold that there is a deeper, more fundamental state of existence hidden beneath the appearances of day–to–day living (which may become, to the mystic, superficial or epiphenomenal). For the authentic mystic, unity is both the internal and external focus as one seeks the truth about oneself, one’s relationship to others and Reality (both the world at large and the unseen realm).
What a luxury that seems to me now, when day-to-day living is all that I have the energy to accomplish.
I think of this now because for many of those past years, I often joined a close friend of mine at workshops, seminars etc. that were based in the processes of the mystic, particularly as they attract creativity and artistic inspiration. Married and childless, she has gone on to teach some of these processes on the college level. Without responsibilities to any dependent, she can continue to explore the ideas and philosophies and spiritualities that well-known modern mystics such as Matthew Fox and Jean Houston continue to publicize. I think of this now because I had lunch several weeks ago with her and her husband as they passed through town.
I am at times envious of the luxury of time that she has – the luxury of being able to place a priority on her psychological and spiritual development, of not being the one grounding factor in a dependent person’s life, of having time to contemplate…..
I wonder, when I am done with the physical and emotional requirements of caregiving — after I have done with confronting, every day and night, the struggles of human life on its most elemental level, if I will again have that hunger for the expanding horizons that mysticism has to offer.
When I think of my life after this difficult piece of it, I think of moving to live near my daughter, spending lots of fun time with my grandson, doing the creative homey things I don’t have enough time to do now (sewing, knitting, cooking what I like), sitting under a tree and reading well-written fiction, visiting my women friends in Albany for days at a time. Getting in my car and visiting people I know up and down the East Coast. Spending February with my cousins in Florida.
I don’t think about taking workshops or mind-wrestling with the unknowables or mining more of my sub- and un-consciousnesses.
But, of course, you never know. The mystic in me might just be biding her time, waiting for the luxury of freedom.