“Many Miles Ahead” lyrics and music written and produced by Stephen Murphy (c) 2017
By Stephen Michael Murphy
It’s the year 2054 in the film Minority Report; Tom Cruise enters the Gap, is biometrically scanned, ID’d and sales pitched by an excessively perky 3D hologram. Brave new technology, it only smells like freedom and its global commercial message “buy this to be happy” puts us in a maze with no exit. We’re living in the golden age of the ego aka the “little self”. The animal reactor in each of us that left unchecked insists on everything now to the detriment of the tomorrow people.
Ironically, human beings are born more spirit than flesh as babes content and blissful. We’re taught to forget our true nature then convinced to leave the garden in pursuit of knowledge and experience. We head out there, get mortgaged, make a buck and join the rat race of full time problem solvers. You may have noticed, it’s not working out for anybody (except Tom Brady and that tattooed soccer player). Every person you meet is fighting a hard battle buying a lottery ticket or buying into the latest self fulfillment propaganda. The formula is if I expand myself and feel better about me, then true happiness and a release from suffering is around the corner. Dream on… reality is the little self can never be made happy; the prospect of self fulfillment IS the propaganda. For starters, this life is no heaven or place of satisfaction. Everyone we have ever known, everyone we have ever loved dies and our ego (which is nothing but a nonstop mental activity) pushes relentlessly to solve the paradox of its own mortality. Try sitting quietly and watching your mind. In short order you’ll find it insane with thought after endless thought¹. With “America running on Dunkin” and Red Bull giving you wings, the reality of death and the divine are easily filed away throughout a short lifespan allowing baser instincts to rule.
As a young guy my industrious suburban community always seemed out of synch. From the butcher to the baker, to the Greek sub shop, their honest work was laced with subconscious stress. Later my hip parish priest ran out of answers confirming that all the well intended elders in my life were clueless. No one who has ever lived understands what anything really is or how we came to be. So what if human beings are limited by a false view of reality? Our individual perspective is such a closed loop. such a tiny slice of existence that we’re forced to associate things virtually just to make order out of living. To truly understand anything, you’d have to see it from every point of view in space AND time, game on Superman. So instead of accepting our natural condition of divine ignorance as a basis for spiritual life, societies develop consoling belief systems letting people weave their own private Idaho. Today we spin this same limitation into philosophy, selling it to each other and handing out advanced university degrees to our finest limited minds, scholars and statesman². No one is in charge and everyone is faking it. Don’t get me wrong, the little tip of the iceberg we know we’re styling with; it’s the unseen mountain under the waves that’s the awesome controlling reality. Invisible forces are moving us, moving everything with effects we can only begin to fathom. The supernatural obsession in films etc. is a reminder that when we identify solely with the body and senses our intellects can reek havoc on our emotions. Yet in so many ways we’re brilliant while other times dense as a fence post, sulking alone with dark thoughts. Peace remains a dream because in all the confusion, the only thing egos agree upon is that they’re separate and suspicious of each other.
Could there be a profound truth half hidden from the planet’s six billion fragile me’s; a universal field of consciousness in which everything is arising that welcomes our wandering attention? As a child I remember feeling happy, limitless, embracing the mystery of life. I was trained with a legion of other young lieutenants to forget the mystery until my experience became a chronic thinking dilemma and search for release. The rest of the story is a well kept secret common to all the world’s major religions. We’ve only been exposed to their public teachings designed to keep the masses managed on a social level. Jesus of Galilee is a prime example. When the apostle Peter journeyed to Rome in the 1st century he related Christ’s teachings in a way that was palatable to those in an early stage of understanding, meaning everyone. Revealing the depth of spiritual practice may have gotten him fed to the lions like those in later esoteric Christians sects. Politically, the destabilizing infighting that occurred among dozens of polytheistic groups in Rome was eventually settled by banning their practice and declaring the one God of a toned down Christianity as state religion of the empire around 380 AD.
As a result, today’s heroes are quite ordinary; imbalanced intellectuals, needy celebrities, politicians into power, pro athletes, rap star gangsters even high flying business dudes bringing us the next hot gadget. All equally unaware of how their media saturated example reinforces further separation from the divine. Meanwhile, the spiritually wise remain in hiding to avoid becoming scapegoats under society’s collective gaze because the simple truth they embody challenges the status quo.
It is true that consciousness exists eternally and the life we know is a modification arising within it. Ordinary awareness/consciousness as light remains unchanged whether we’re sleeping or awake. The practice begins by assuming the witness identity with confidence as it exists in meditation, in daily action, in ritual remembering. Observing the voracious mind, one learns that true happiness is everything you don’t think about3. As the cycle of unnecessary thinking relaxes you’re still a “me” cooking out and watching the game on Saturday only the steady joy that comes from self knowledge becomes more evident. A natural detachment occurs, the material world becomes as Sri Ramana Maharshi put it “the Lord’s burden” meaning our powerful personal tendencies are karmic in nature with a preordained end state. Let it all be, do your intended work and leave all outcomes to God.
We end up worshiping what we don’t know, surrendering everything including the body-mind into the mystery. Nothing becomes sacred. This is the foundation of a spiritual culture where everlasting light outshines the relentless demands of the ego and harmonizes the daily grind. Man’s current POV is obviously self-destructive; technology is overloading the thought process creating more separation than freedom. The litany of problems will never stop, never be solved. This world is not meant to be perfected but to be transcended and seen as the illusion it is. All generations alive today travel blindly in a broadband of endless choice that only leads to more suffering. Right spiritual life is a narrow path chosen by few, difficult to walk but with profound reward. A Guru is our advantage by grace, and will appear at the right time. Realized individuals are always present somewhere as a function of this reality and when you find yours, it’s hot stuff.
What if you set your alarm clock, it didn’t go off and you never woke up? You’d “pray the lord your soul to keep”, right? Apparently there’s a whole lot of mind that needs transcending before we connect with the lord for keeps. The great masters have experienced these realms and say our subtle body (psyche) survives bodily death transiting bardo worlds, purgatories, in a disembodied dream-like state with eventual rebirth. From this standpoint all knowledge and experience IS our limitation and must be transcended 4. If you believe the next stop is heaven or dead is dead you’re probably on the universal long term plan. Being alive is a cosmic opportunity to exceed our limited self and for those ready it’s a necessary path. In practical terms though, very few are prepared to grow up or even move beyond the taboo of being “too mystical”. For now, the ego and America will continue on its self possessed journey. No worries, Many Miles Ahead a generation of Bodhisattvas will be born to serve a human transformation. This will prompt our descendants to inhabit primitive communities again bringing forth a long forgotten balance and conscious joy that will save all beings from suffering.
¹,²,³,4 Adi Da Samraj