Just now, still half asleep, I had one of these big insights where suddenly everything makes sense. They come so suddenly, are so wonderful, and everything seems to fall in place so beautifully – it’s no wonder they have been given the status of divine insight. And no wonder some of those who experienced them saw themselves, and have been seen by others, as spiritual authorities.I think it’s the human brain having a strong need to make sense of things, to see an order in the world. Some more so than others. This morning, my thoughts went to how I need to do something with the rest of my life. I tried the ‘leave the world and go to India’ thing, I tried the ‘help the world and go to Africa’ thing. I’m a mum now, a lot more grounded, and really happy where I am (hello lovely people of the United Kingdom), but still want to do something that matters. Anyways. To the bit I actually wanted to talk about. I think it’s quite easy to be religious about moments of inspiration and believe in them coming from god. They tend to happen during altered states of consciousness – meditation, drugs, mine usually happen while I’m half asleep, since I’m avoiding meditation these days. I still go into a trance really easily if I do sit down to meditate, but I don’t like it. If you think a state of half-consciousness links you to transcendence, you’ll also believe that reality is your enemy. Meet the concept of maya, illusion, which is to be fought by all means both in Sikhism and Hinduism. In Hinduism, samadhi, complete trance, is a kind of perfection. Those to can divorce themselves from reality and completely live in a world that only exists in their minds, are revered by everyone. Ramakrishna was a mystic who lived in an almost constant trance somewhere in rural Bengal – yet he inspired Vivekananda, who is credited with bringing Hinduism to the world stage and giving it the status of a world religion in the late 19th century. I think people will always follow someone who is 100% convinced. That’s valid for cults AND world religions. Yet, every single religious scripture was written down by someone who ‘saw the proceedings in his mind’s eye’, however this is translated in that particular culture. Well – I’m sure JK Rowling saw Hogwarts in her mind’s eye. (I’m so glad I live in England.) But if half-consciousness, or loss of consciousness, means transcendence, means you have a link to a spiritual world that ‘regular’ people can’t experience, and these people believe you are their link to a spiritual, you wield a lot of power. Incidentally, I now have quite a good idea how to start a cult. Start with believing in something yourself – or take acting classes so you can pretend you do. Get an initial group of converts. 12 is a good number. Then, group think will spring into action, and you don’t even have to do anything – write a few letters, give a few speeches. You can even completely change your mind on the basics and people will still follow you (see the Children of God). Anyways. Back to myself. I quite like to do things 100%. (actually it’s really difficult for me to do something I don’t believe in.) So I’ll keep spinning wool and clearing out old priorities.