The spiritual journey is like a rocket launch with a series of booster rockets. The goal is the Sun of Awareness and freedom from the gravity of Karma or time. This lightness of being is a universal experience often associated with being in love. The “blow outs of the booster rockets is like the stages in the trajectory of one’s life. Our life may have many stages of growth of consciousness, or it may remain in one stage.
The rocket blasts off the ground of what’s called “naive reality,” which is the acculturated belief that the reality we perceive is real and external to us. This is the reality of a child that does not questions the reality created by its parents. The first Lift Off is when you suddenly realize that you are not your thought, and that reality created by thought is not what you assume it to be. The Great Doubt of Zen is activated.
Then successive “blow outs” occur as the rocket goes through more bursts of insight—Zen calls it satori—as your life breaks through the gravity of a conditioned reality. The Ego is the astronaut experiencing this ride as the astronaut. The Ego can’t say if there are going to be more booster rockets because from each stage of the journey you cannot know what’s coming next. All you see is the exhausted rockets (or selves) you have dropped behind. With each new stage the astronaut often believes it has arrived at weightlessness.
As you rise towards the Sun, the blow outs or boosts get smaller or at least feel smaller and not so dramatic because the contrast between the stages grows smaller. The first lift off is very dramatic and powerful. Like a first love, you cannot repeat the first lift off.
One knows, however, that a booster rocket is preparing to “blow out” when you once again feel the gravity in your life. We call that stress. Each stage gives a greater feeling of weightlessness, but since all you know is the contrast with the stage you just let go of you think you are free of gravity. But, like a new kitchen, you begin to discover flaws. The comparing mind comes back and gravity, though less than before, comes back. You compare the life your are with the imagined life of being free from gravity, since you know what that feeling is.
The comparing mind is the gravity in life, the weight to time and comparing the present moment to a better one in the future or past. Freedom from gravity is absolute surrender to what is. We experience gravity in the mind as tensions or pains in the body and tension in our relationships with the world. Each escape from gravity is felt in the body. Tensions in the body are related and your body feels young again. I love Avatar because the first experience of Jake Sully in his new Navi body was like that. One literally feels born again in a new body.
We are all on this journey to the Sun of Awareness and the extraordinary lightness of Being. The gravity we are trying to escape is called Maya, which is the deception of culture that tells us that there is nothing beyond the status quo. Be satisfied with what culture offers you: new products, fame, money, status or welfare.