Because meditation still seems exotic and inaccessible to some, I decided to sketch up a little diagram that articulates what it achieves by showing the typical socially conditioned consciousness of the average worker/citizen/voter/consumer in Western culture and the consciousness of one who has moved toward a relative state of wakefulness as proposed in most spiritual systems.
Implicit in the notion this graphic communicates is the idea of mysticism — that reality is something beyond science, religion or concepts that are used to define self (car preference, political affiliation, gender, race, nationality, hair style, preferred footwear brand, career etc.)
Whether you view this from an Abrahamic-Christian, Taoist, Buddhist, secular, psychological, Hermetic or mystical perspective, what I hope you find interesting is that when you acknowledge the artificiality of time (no past / no future) as an aspect of the fabrication of — and preoccupation with — the fictional, distinct self, you come to realize you’ve been tangled in a quagmire of conceptualizations and symbols that have kept you from engaging in the grace of reality.
Along the way, another beautiful thing happens as you grasp the concept of mindfulness. You begin to truly understand why forgiveness emerged as a vehicle to grace. Likewise for detachment. For once you break through, you begin to see that meditation and the mindful awareness that results from it are really just the contemporary terms for countless spiritual concepts, which in turn created countless religious concepts that all represent the one way to the one place called by so many names, of which salvation, enlightenment, wisdom, higher consciousness are but a few.
For me, in the end it all boils down to just two words…