Feeling Sikh.

Having difficulty restraining my urge to be consumed by social media, I sometimes browse reddit. And, last time, I fell on this documentary about Sikhism. I’ve always been puzzled by the Sikh people I’ve seen (I’ve never really talked to one): They had nice color turbans, and word on the street was they were the nicest.

What I learned was amazing! Precisely what I’m looking for in my quest of mystic experience to compensate the extreme rationality of my professional life as an IT/process engineer.

Sick meme for dank pun
Sick meme for dank pun

Looking for completeness.

If you consider time as we live it, the present is very concrete: it’s what’s happening right now. From the past, you have traces: memories, texts, debriefings, etc… Combining what is happening in the present with the traces of the past, traces from previous quantum fluctuations of space and time, is supposed to help you predict the future: what’s the next fluctuation going to be, if nobody does anything while you figure it out. That’s the kind of answers we want intelligent algorithms to help us predict. But if you’re familiar with Quentin Meillassoux’ notion of human being’s finitude, or with Maurice Merleau Ponty’s philosophy, then you know rationality is neither all nor Whole. There is perception, our present interface to the current world, something that cannot yet be described.

And, if you fall for this Jah featured scenario, or any close one that enforce what you feel in front of what you know, you might now want to discover what’s above rationality, or under it, at its base. It’s only a matter of perspective, but there seem to be more.

If there is, maybe we’ll discover it in a future time and space, when formalized knowledge will reach a new step. Or maybe, we can find it in the present moment, practicing present centered techniques like mindfulness or Yoga. Or, we could also find traces of that “what else?” in the past, in the various knowledges that haven’t been tagged rational, like religion or art. And you should read about it. Prioritize! What do you want to learn first? What’s luv, for example? It’s about us, it’s about trust, babe, but what else?

All religions talk about it, but there is one that considers it the concretization of God. They have felt it so intensely, that it has become their sole worship. It’s Sufism, the mystic branch of Islam. The meditating aspects of Sufism brings Islam closer to oriental doctrines, as if the geographic location of its birth (Persia), on the crossroads of most land, helped defining its believes. Apparently, the recipe to find Love is to annihilate your ego so as to drown into life and merge yourself with The One. So romantic.

Anyway, trying to understand what — even if I did understand it — is by definition unspeakable, I found myself reading about the Persian religion of Love and how it connects to surrealism, the art movement promoting creation in different levels of consciousness. To both, sufism and surrealism, these levels of consciousness are parts of our existence, and they should be considered as such. Dreams and hallucinations matter. I also started practicing Yoga and reading more about its philosophy, like trying to wrestle with the five Klesas (Ignorance, Egoism, Attachment, Aversions and Fear). In this process, I think I’ve become a better person (even if this former statement could dismiss its trustworthiness, decreasing my level of apparent humility): I call my parents more often, whenever I have coins I give them to beggars, I have become so left-wing that I tend to be libertarian, etc. All these things that make you think you’re better than someone who does them less (but remember, the path of yoga is no contest…). All these various practices, reading, meditating, smoking, seem to have make me a nicer person, just because I feel connected to everything around me. I mean , “the world is made of the same stuff as the body […] the undividedness of the sensing and the sensed” (M. Merleau Ponty). Need to know more.

There is no divinity except the One.

So, there I am, entangled in wholeness, looking for answers on different paths. I watch the said documentary and realize that some people seem to have merged my various interests in one religion. Sick! I might only have One way to go now. Everything will be easier from now on. Several Gurus have been working on this throughout the ages, and I might just have to convert to learn their lessons. I must now read what they’ve written, look for their holy book to find the One true god, formless, genderless, universal and within everything, escaping any more definitions.

SIKH DHARMA “El camino del estudiante de la verdad*
SIKH DHARMA “El camino del estudiante de la verdad*

The trouble is that learning the knowledge of this book, embracing the wisdom of the last existing guru, Guru Granth Sahib, comes with wearing the five K’s : Ker (uncut hair), Kargha (a comb), Kirpan (a sword), Kacchera (underwear) and Kara (a bracelet). If I could adapt to the Kacchera and Kara, I am not sure I can go with Ker, Kharga and Kirpan. First, I like going to the hairdresser, and I look younger with a moustache than with a beard. But, maybe, the path of Sikhism will help me build enough confidence to apply the practice of my faith.

Nevertheless, I am pretty sure I’ll have trouble bringing my Kirpan with me everywhere, like to a concert or to any public gathering. I might even have to ask the unions at work to make sure I’m allowed to express my beliefs on an everyday basis.

Anyhow, as for today, I am not able to be Sikh, but only to feel Sikh, as I might have somehow experienced what I believe to be the One true God. I saw its absolute beauty in my Lover, as Rûmi saw it in Shams Tabrizi. I feel wholeness everytime I’m practicing Ganja Yoga, and I tend to feel so connected with the people around, that I would try my best to avoid harming them. Nevertheless, I don’t feel like binding to new rules that are supposed to define a specific practice, giving body to an acknowledged religion, since such a label comes with a precise cult, such a wisdom is reached on a specific path.

From feeling to being.

Feeling is what is happening inside of us, may it be wittingly or unwittingly. It is our unique experience of the present moment. Being, on the other hand, relies on others. I am not much of an engineer to many, if I don’t have the according degree, or at least enough experience in the said “engineering” domain. Now, for a religion to be, you need it to be recognized by society (At a time in Europe, it used to be the opposite way, but things have changed).

Apart from enabling the identification of your cult by society (society needs to identify to acknowledge), a practice is required to transform your spiritualy poor being to a wiser one. You need a method applied consciously in the sake of awaited effects, as “a goal without a method is nonsense” (W.E. Deming). To move forward on the way of spirituality you’ll need to learn and work out. And if you think you found a way, and you want people to experience it too, you’ll have to tell them how to get there. How dit you do it ? Maybe, you reached wisdom beginning with accepting yourself the way you are, and thus stopped shaving. But, for these reasons, I now know I won’t be Sikh, thank genderless God (I only thank them to pursue the quest of a never-ending pun) . I don’t feel like adding a whole new system of conventions and practice to a life I love, but which is already full of hardly handleable codes. Still, it was pretty enjoyable to know there are such people on planet Earth, people that love life enough to accept its meaningless meanness as part of it, and embrace it to move forward. They are the next ones I’ll be reading about.

Massimo

IT + culture = <3