Editor’s note: We are adding summary reports on the “Classics” presentations here after the presentation. The original announcement post remains below (in this case there was no advance description).
Joel Lesses approached his title topic obliquely on January 7th, but the presentation and discussion were fascinating and wide-ranging. From Zen koans to existential crises, he skillfully led us into an exploration of the deeper self. Citing Rumi, he noted that “when we do things from the soul, there’s an effortlessness; the energy comes.” The trick is finding that inner message, something that can plunge us from our mundane reality into contact with chaotic, and sometimes psychotic, realms. This is also where revelations happen. “Labels matter,” he said. What one culture calls “crazy,” another considers sacred.
“The psychotic drowns in the same waters the mystic swims in.”
An existential crisis happens when a mismatch occurs between the Deep Self, the embodied self, and the world. Depression, Lesses tells us, represents the Deep Self, the unconscious self, going on strike. The Deep Self has a divine mission: Intention, thought, action, and speech are the clothing of the soul.
Indigo children, the oracular message from the Oversoul that saved the Dalai Lama, and the Buddhist traditions of bodhisattva and the platform sutra—all were topics touched on in this talk. We can only capture a few random impressions, but more on Joel and his ideas… [link to be provided].
The Guest House, by Rumi:
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.