On the Matter of Spirituality

In the present moment, I am sitting next to a pile of notebooks, an astrological journal/planner, a deck of tarot cards, and an oracle deck. Tools for assessing the energies of the day, instruments I am employing to tap into this nebulous, intuitive side that has been bursting to come out since I’m not even sure when. Looking back I believe there were glimmers, I just didn’t recognize the signs as clearly as I do now. The fact I am even typing anything about this is strange in and of itself. Two years ago if you had asked me if there was any meaning in anything, I’d have told you no. Life is just a random jumble of circumstances and in order to not feel crushed by existential loneliness, humans invented systems to try to make sense of things. And maybe that’s still true, but there are just some things my science brain cannot explain yet also cannot help but notice.

I’ve transitioned from being a devout Catholic to an agnostic to a couldn’t-be-bothered-to-think-about-it to a “wow that was some cosmic synchrony wasn’t it?” to a fuck-the-universe-and-all-of-this to what I suppose is my current state of being a spiritual atheist. This path had some pretty stereotypical turns, specifically the part of going from Catholic to non-Catholic, and that is a mostly boring and not worth telling side-story.

The biggest change came through the ways in which my adult life completely came crashing down around me on June 29, 2018. Sitting across from the man I promised to love forever, watching the shock spread over his face as the words “pancreatic cancer” coldly drifted out of the mouth of the oncologist. I wasn’t aware of it then, but the weeks leading up to that moment were already interwoven with weird as fuck signs that there was something occurring beyond what I can wrap my human brain around, and even in the depths of my memories I cannot fully make sense of what happened. In the moments that followed, I didn’t have the capacity to dissect what exactly was going on. I was in survival mode, caregiver mode, keep our heads above water mode. You do whatever you can when the person you love the most is swiftly dying of an incurable disease, including shelving any thoughts of yourself and what this means for you until the time comes when you have no choice but to think of those things.

That comes after the death, in the quiet moments. The moments where you really feel the absence of presence. It was in those moments I suppose my deep dive into my own spirituality began. When you have nothing else to focus on other than how one day everything you thought your life was going to be suddenly wasn’t anymore, you can’t help but hyper-focus on every little detail. As a scientist, I have been trained to pay attention to the micro-details. It’s how you figure out why a procedure works one day then fails the next. It’s how you improve the robustness of your methods. And it’s how I began to see the bread crumbs from the other side.

Do I sound totally out there yet? I fully admit typing this out makes me feel like I am. My science brain/ego gets really noisy when I openly talk about messages from “the other side.” It hates it. It’s embarrassed about it. It thinks I must off. And yet, I don’t know how else to explain things. I’m fully open to and accepting of having a valid, rational explanation for everything. And I’m sure many things can be written off as odd coincidences because you can’t un-notice something to which you’ve become accustomed to seeing. I don’t know. But, do any of us really know? Until we do, I’m just going to keep stumbling through this strange experience: documenting, observing, and noting when the inexplicable micro-moments happen. And the big ones. But I feel the real magic of spiritual exploration lies in those tiny ones.

I’m feeling called to begin sifting through them, sharing what some will likely write off as woo-y woo woo weirdness. Go for it. I’m not for everyone, and neither is my life experience. But, if you’re as curious as I am about where the hell all of this is leading, I welcome you to stay and see what unfolds.

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