Friday, April 18, 2008

Over the years I have identified myself at different times as a Reaganite, Evangelical, Christian Anarchist, Baby Boomer, Country bumpkin from Bakersfield, mystic, Pomoxian, Obamamaniac, and modern day hobbit. Personally, I don’t like labeling others, but I don’t mind labeling myself as this or that if it stimulates conversation. I also enjoy the shock value but I also don't mind making fun of myself either.

Recently I have been reading a book called, “The Translucent Revolution”, by Arjuna Ardagh. While I can’t relate to some of the Eastern leaning philosophy I do identify with a number of the characteristics of a Translucent Revolutionary. So what is a Translucent Revolution and what are the primary characteristics of someone who fits the definition of a Translucent Revolutionary? …Rather than try to explain the answers to these questions I will include a series of quotes from the book that define the questions at hand…

Some definitions:

“Webster’s dictionary defines translucent as “letting light pass through, but not transparent” A transparent object, like a clean sheet of glass, is almost invisible. You see everything through a transparent object as if it were not there at all. An opaque, on the other hand, blocks light completely. A translucent object allows light to pass through, but diffusely, while maintaining its form and texture. Objects on the other side cannot be distinguished. A crystal is translucent. So is a sculpture of frosted glass”….A translucent person is an individual who has undergone a spiritual awakening deeply enough that is has permanently transformed their relationship to themselves and to reality, while allowing them to remain involved in ordinary life in a process which is evolutionary and endless.

Characteristics of today’s Translucents

“Today’s translucents live for the most part outside the context of organized religion and hierarchy. They no longer need to have one teacher or teaching, but rather have many teachers or experiences of life as a teacher. Ram Dass speaks of no longer being a Buddhist but being a generalist. Richard Holloway, a retired bishop of Edinburgh, has reevaluated his relationship to the Christian church since recognizing God to be everywhere, both behind the eyes and in front…Cynthia, who has attended events with the Dali Lama, Wayne Dyer, and Thomas Moore, says, I think I’m as much a Buddhist as a Christian, or maybe I’m just all of it and none of it” Right now I’ve got Eckardt Tolle, The Tao Te Ching, Cosmopolitan, and a thriller on my bedside table. They seem to be getting along just fine”

“Today’s translucents have fallen in love with the present moment and the possibilities of living right now as a gift of love, as a work of are. They’ve lost interest in potential future states. Translucents have seen past the dangling carrot of future enlightenment. They live for now, and now, and now”

Translucents speak of life as a rivering, a process without end. Like a fountain that is always pouring forth, it is an endless and spontaneous enlightening, not a fixed state. Unlike the goal- oriented self improvement industry that has dominated our culture for so long, this process is an endless unfolding of discovery and delight. There is no attempt to fix a problem or to achieve a final higher state. Translucence is more a direction than a destination. Like heading East, the process doesn’t imply a specific point of arrival. It is a way of living life with art and humor, returning continuously to here, and here, and here, always steeped in the vastness of the view and blessing each moment with a gift of creative presence.

Translucents are always evolving, but they also display an extraordinary and often humorous acceptance of themselves just as they are… Translucents have canceled their subscription to the self-improvement industry; They no longer pin their sense of well-being, their connectedness and peace, on the process of fixing themselves. Yet they fully recognize the dysfunctional habits that hurt people and create separation, and they take a tremendous amount of energy from the simplicity of this moment, from being able to live fully and acknowledge the gift of life.

Translucents delight in color, sex, children, blood, dance, and music as the very expression and demonstration of divinity in flesh. Art, music, images, and sensations are just as sacred as words.


Kansas Bob said...

I like this Bill..

"fallen in love with the present moment and the possibilities of living right now as a gift of love" resonates with my current reflections about being content with living in and through difficult season of my life. I have been realizing that the only way that I can "consider it all joy" is to be content with this bad health stuff - it is in my power.. through prayer anyway :)

Bilbo said...

Hi Bob,

The difficult seasons of life have a way of forcing us, often against our will, to move in the direction of living in the moment, because it is the only way we can survive. It's too bad that it often takes challenges to move us someone once said...Experience is often a cruel teacher but it is still the best teacher we have...

Dave said...

This seems like a significant development for you, Bilbo. It's the first I've heard of "translucents" desribed as a group but the description seems to fit you and certainly intrigues me. Got a website to link me too? Are there groups of translucents meeting here or there, or is this more of a bookish phenomenon of people readng and identifying with this new spiritual niche? I'm interested to know where you learned about this and also curious to see where it leads you from here!

Kansas Bob said...

Thanks for the lind words Bill. Often I hear God ask me this question..

Why do you want an easy life Bob?

I hate that question because it confronts a weakness that is within me.. a fearful and cowardly character flaw. The truth of the matter is that I have grown exponentially in hardship.. in pain.. in suffering.. these things bring out the absolute best in me.. it is what they were designed to do.. but I don't have to like it :)

Bilbo said...

Hi Dave,

There is a website connected with the book which can be found at I don't know how organized or influential this group or movement is, if in fact, it is a movement. I get the sense it involves more a networking of like minded people who are "spiritually open minded" but not particular interested in organized/traditional religion, if you know what I mean. I don't remember how I found out about the book but did find myself connecting with certain things said. Ken Wilber wrote the forward so I bought into the rest of the book because I am sympathetic to his vision of integration. The book talks a lot about "spiritual awakening" which to be honest, I am somewhat skeptical of, but it does so in a way that is accessible to the man/woman on the street which I find appealing. The book hasn't radically changed the way I see things but rather has put into words a number of things I have been mulling around in my head and heart for many ways I think the book is more or lees "Pomoxian" Dave...fwiw