It's Independence Day here in the United States. July 4 is a great time to remind yourself, no matter where you are in the world, "I'm free -- independent of religious fantasies."
This afternoon I'm going to ride my newly-beloved Suzuki scooter through some beautiful countryside to nearby Independence, where a Fourth of July celebration is happening (seems appropriate to visit Independence, Oregon on Independence Day).
A very bodily activity. As if any of us can do anything else, so long as we're alive. What isn't bodily? Meditation sure is. Ditto for every other form of supposed "spiritual" practice.
Yesterday I started reading, "On the Warrior's Path: Philosophy, Fighting, and Martial Arts Mythology" by Danielle Bolelli. Already I can tell that I'm going to enjoy this book. A lot.
It's right up my alley -- a blend of religious skepticism, physical attunement, and martial arts realism. Here's some excerpts from the first few pages that I liked:
Forgetting that true spirituality is not ascetic nor against life, both its friends and foes call "spiritual" what is remote and beyond the material world. But spirituality is just the opposite. It is the quintessence of life. It is a way of waking up, of walking, of smiling, of dancing.
Spiritual are those who are not satisfied with surviving, but want to turn daily experiences into sources of ecstasy.
...Imagine Jesus Christ preaching after a session of Tai Chi Chuan. Probably, the entire Western culture would be drastically different. No rivalry between spirit and body. No tug-of-war between the soul yearning for Heaven and the body restraining it on Earth.
...The only thing that matters is the stream of energy flowing within us. The strength of an adult mammal, not different from that of a buffalo, a wolf, or a jaguar. A wild being aware of the life-force pulsating in every pore of the skin.
This is not just a physical experience. It is spiritual. It transforms the body as well as the character.
...Such an individual is a threat to every form of established authority. A wolf that can't be tamed. He is not under anyone's orders and doesn't accept dogmas because he already has within himself everything he needs to face life.
When streams of power flow in the veins of your body, dependency on external factors is reduced to a minimum. Confidence follows your every mood, and thus it is a pleasure to be surrounded by animals, mountains, and trees, since you don't have the feeling of being in a hostile environment.
It is a splendid, thrilling experience. Pure euphoria.
Happy Independence Day. Be wild.
You are your own commandments.