Aja Blog - July 05

 

Aja-Blog July 2005                          

Welcome to Aja's online blog - an ongoing expression of what is arising in Aja's consciousness... random writings, musings, and more on the nature of consciousness, awakening, reality, non-reality, stupidity....

Each entry is chronologically dated with the most recent first and older stuff later.  Feel free to start wherever you want.  If you have questions or comments, you can email them to atma@atmainstitute.org

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Sunday  July 31, 2005

All I See is Me

Whatever you experience...all that you experience...all that you have ever experienced is YOU. Perhaps it may not feel like you in the way that you are used to (primarily full of doubts and confusions, big dreams, expectations, arrogance, and so forth) but it is You nonetheless.

If you are used to the ideas of Non-duality at all, the primary recognition is that what you are is Consciousness or Awareness. There is no localized individuality that is real. The thoughts swimming around, the body, etc. give an idea of a localized individuality, but when you inquire into who is perceiving those things, and the answer "I am" comes up, you find that "I" has no localized, stagnant, limited place of existence. It is what is happening...boundless Awareness is what is happening, and That Boundless Awareness is all there is. In that Boundless Awareness, infinite things are occurring (arising, happening, existing, etc.) Among them is an idea of you, an idea of body, an idea of universe, all appearing as experiences within the Boundless Awareness, including the experience of a localized individual who is experiencing them. The subject/object experience is one of the 'things' which is occurring in this Boundless Awareness that you are. So, YOU, that IS the Boundless Awareness, are arising (occurring, happening, etc) as this multitude of things, including the 'you' experiencing 'something else.'

The hard part in all of this is letting go of the habitual conditioning of seeing it as a subject/object relationship. If, for even a moment, you get a glimpse of the recognition, that egoic sense of limited individuality pops up and goes, "Cool, I want to experience this," and Poof, that recognition suddenly disappears again to become a memory to try and be retrieved. (By the way, never try to retrieve a history or memory of a recognition because it will always remain just that - a memory - not a living recognition in the Now.)

So, you have to look in this present moment - what is actually happening? Is there a localized individuality (subject) experiencing other things (objects), or is there simply an unbounded Awareness within which the feeling of individual and something else is arising. Dig deep into this. Question the nature of this sense of localized individuality to see how concrete it really is. Ultimately you'll find that You are what is happening...You are all that has ever happened...You are that Boundless Awareness.

 

Friday  July 29, 2005

"Ticket, Please!"

(First - my apologies for the long delay - sickness struck - I'm better now.)

Ticket Agent: "Can I help you?"

Customer: "Yes, I'd like to buy a ticket."

Ticket Agent: "Great. Where do you want to go?"

Customer: "I don't know. Somewhere nice that's not here."

Ticket Agent: "Well, I can't help you if you don't know where you want to go."

Customer: "Fine, then, how about a ticket to Earth."

Ticket Agent: "Sir, you're already here!"

Customer: "Oh."

This is, unfortunately, the way most people are in the West when it comes to understanding spirituality - "Just give me a ticket." I haven't a friggin clue where I'm going, but I know THIS ain't it." So, when they say they want enlightenment and you ask them what enlightenment is, the description could be anything; and it's usually more along the lines of something mystical, or magical, or saintly, or about mastery or about anything except what real enlightenment is.

Enlightenment is about the realization of Truth and knowing what and who you are (and are not). It is not about being a saint, or reading minds, or walking on water, or seeing the ends of the universe. It is actually far more profound and far more simple. It is seeing and being Truth with no blinders and is far more rare and valuable than mystical powers. Where part of the problem lies is that, depending on where you're starting from, the pathless path (or trackless track, or flightless flight) to your destination may have you going through numerous other stations and stops. So, some enlightened beings have powers and some don't. They don't care. Those just happened to be the stops along the way. But somebody else looks at that person, sees the ability to transmute water into wine, or read minds, or juggle four ostriches  while singing the national anthem,  and thinks, 'This must be the guy,' even though that guy may have no clue as to who he himself really is, or what the truth is. They're content with their juggling act.

Another thing about the destination is that it might look like some other destination or have similar qualities, but that doesn't make it where you want to go. It's sunny, so it must be California. It might actually be the Sahara desert. Certain symptoms are just that - symptoms. People often confuse the symptoms of something with that something itself, or as the means to get there. Love is a great example. If I pretend to be loving, I'll become Enlightened. Thus, you get a lot of people trying to be Love realized (a noble quality, certainly) but not interested in Truth, or in who is being love.  

A lot of people (probably the majority) aren't interested in Truth, they just want to "Get the hell out of Dodge." They don't care about where they're going, as long as it's not here. The funniest part of it is that, should they ever recognize Enlightenment, they'll find out that it is exactly right here. In fact, you can't get there without ultimately accepting and surrendering to exactly what is here, right now! (That's part of the whole pathless path thing.)

A more recent problem is that since we are now all 'Equal,' your understanding can't be any better than my understanding, so no one can tell me what it is and how to get there, because I know it just as well as you. (Ask one of these people to go to a shoe salesman when they need their next brain surgery.) Of course, they won't say it exactly like that, but that's the gist of it. There's this pseudo-understanding that there is no higher or lower, good or bad, and that everything is equal, so I can choose any path I want, any destination I want, and my understanding and wisdom is just as great as yours. (I hope you enjoy playing volleyball in the Sahara.) This is the height of today's arrogance (or stupidity). And the saddest part of it is, that while this equality thing is well intentioned, it is: 1. Wrong, and 2. Virtually guarantees that you will never, ever, ever see the Truth. Although it is now an outdated quality, a modicum of humility is an absolute pre-requisite to seeing (or more importantly hearing) the Truth. If you already know the Truth (or rather think you do) there is no way you're going to be willing to let go of those things and hear or recognize what is True.

So, the bottom line is, figure out what you want, what you truly want, where you want to go, and move toward that. Find out what you believe, and see if that is true. Research what is what, and particularly, research your own understanding or lack of it. And most importantly, be willing to do the work.

 

Tuesday  July 19, 2005

How to Understand Spiritual Writings

Like just about everything that deals with the spiritual, spiritual literature and the words of spiritual teachers must be approached or understood in an entirely different way than regular literature and regular words. When you read regular (or mundane) literature, you are reading with the mind. Your intention is to gather information - to increase the accumulation of 'useful' knowledge, or possibly for the enjoyment factor. Spiritual literature, however, is an entirely different animal. My teacher used to call his writings his 'spiritual ecstasies,' and I now fully understand what this means. Franklin Merrell-Wolff spoke of the 'golden nuggets' which would come from the 'mines' each day, and which, due to other mundane affairs, he was often unable to get down in writing fast enough. The words of the teacher, whether in person or in writing, are infused with transcendental energy. They come from the Realization of the speaker and therefore from the Absolute. They speak much more to the heart than to the mind. They are not meant primarily for information gathering or to increase the wealth of intellectual knowledge, but rather to effect the consciousness. In fact, sometimes the words may make no mental sense at all, but the power is there.

Words carry the energy of the speaker (or the writer). So it is important more to 'feel' the words, feel the energy, and contemplate the feeling which they impart. Spiritual instructions are to be taken, also, from a sense of how do they feel, or how can I implement these into my Being.  In the Vedantic tradition, there are three words that describe this process - shravanam, mananam, and nididhyasanam. Shravanam means simply to hear. Mananam means to think about, but more accurately to reflect upon, meditate on or deliberate deeply. And finally, nididhyasanam means profound and repeated meditation, essentially at the level of making it a personal insight or Realization. This is the way transcendental literature is to be understood. If it remains at the level of the mind, it simply and literally adds more garbage and beliefs to the mind and gums up the works and obscure actual Recognition.

This is why a single word or phrase from a teacher or spiritual work, if deeply pondered upon, and acted upon, can do far more good than volumes of literature or hours of 'spiritual sessions.' A single finger pointing in the right direction is more valuable (and more direct) than piles and piles of maps and guidebooks. Our natural tendency is to not trust our inherent wisdom. We seem to need to hear the same thing over and over and over, rather than taking it within ourselves and acting upon it; feeling the Truth of it, as it resonates with That which we already are and already Know.  For instance, when I began doing Self inquiry, I didn't know any Papaji's or Nisargadatta's. I had never even heard of Ramana Maharshi. I was only given the instruction to inquire, "Who am I?" And this I did continuously. That's all. Nisargadatta says the same thing. He simply followed his gurus instruction to stay in the "I Am" and did this for three years (I believe it was) until he gained Realization. It doesn't take a lot. It takes a deeper understanding and commitment to those words, rather than a mountain of words that are not understood or acted upon.

So don't make the mistake of becoming a spiritual 'junkie.' Commit yourself fully, not to gathering information, but to meditating upon and acting upon that wisdom which you have received. If you haven't received any yet, than try this...Ask yourself 'Who am I?' and don't stop until you hit 'bottom.' Good luck!

 

Thursday  July 14, 2005

Why Slash & Burn - The Process of Waking Up

This could also be entitled - Why am I such an asshole? 

The process of waking up or recognition essentially consists of two phases which I call De-ID and Re-ID, that is:

1. De-Identification: De-identification is about finding out what you're not. In Sanskrit, it is what is termed 'Neti Neti' or 'not this, not that.' I am not the body, not the mind, not the emotions. I am not a particular class of person. I am not the elements of the body, and so forth. However, our identification with this is VERY strong, even more so in today's culture. Our entire society, our media, our advertising, TV, culture, everything screams out every moment of every day - "You are your body! You are your prestige! You are your possessions! You are your job! You are your country! You are your religion!" Society either intentionally or unintentionally seems to be trying (and succeeding) to systematically stupefy, dumb-down, and keep asleep all of humanity. They keep them at an adolescent stage, not encouraging intelligence and philosophical thought, but in fact fighting against it. Above such a roar of lies and propaganda, it is necessary to scream at the top of your lungs and act as a madman in order to be heard.

Without this process of dis-identification, it is impossible to recognize Truth. Imagine that you have some vague idea that the world isn't flat, but might be round. However, all the evidence that you are given, everything that everybody tells you, is that the world is flat. There's no particular reason to believe that it's round. It doesn't look round. It looks flat. But your heart tells you that it's round. Unless and until you can let go of the conceptions that it's flat; until there is virtually no doubts left, you are NOT going to get in that boat and sail willingly toward the edge. You will remain relatively content with flatness, but never totally happy, because your heart will always tell you, "I'm sure it's round."

Our own flat world is society, media, our family, our friends, and our own minds telling us that this is the real world. There's nothing else. Make more money. Be successful by getting and being bigger, better and more. We can't even see the patterns within ourselves, they are so deeply ingrained. (This is the position of the teacher, the wolf crying in the wilderness, who points out these patterns and illusions, sometimes painfully.) It becomes necessary to gradually see these patterns, these illusions, these habits, and to recognize that they are not the truth...only habits.

2. Re-Identification: Simultaneous with the De-identification is a 'sort of' Re-identification. I say 'sort of' because it's not like you're taking on a new belief in exchange for the old ones, but rather recognizing what is really there when you get rid of the old belief habits and patterns. It is the recognition of that non-dual awareness, that pure infinite consciousness which has always been present. So, in the beginning, it may seem something like a belief, or an affirmation. But it's not. An affirmation is often the claiming of something which is not, or for something which is simply hoped for ("I have a billion dollars. I have a billions dollars.") This is more akin to "I am a human. I am a human." It's something that is already true, just not recognized. So, the great evocations, such as 'aham brahmasmi' (I am the Absolute), and 'tat tvam asi' (You are That), or virtually the entirety of such books as 'Ashtavakra Gita' and others are the pure expression of what you truly are - Pure, infinite consciousness within which this entire universe arises!

Self-Inquiry, the investigation into 'Who am I?' 'What am I?' 'What is Real?' and so forth, simultaneously fulfills both these features. While inquiring into who you are, you practically see what you are not. You also begin to taste that which is left over. You keep seeing the unreal and slashing and burning it out of the way. With each habit or old pattern you are able to see through, you begin to recognize more and more what is actually left - glimpses at first, but gradually tearing through that veil of illusion to the Truth!

Now, often what happens as one awakens is something of a third phase. This is what Franklin Merrell-Wolff calls:

3. Real Altruism: In Awakening, there is a total recognition that everything is perfect the way it is. There is nothing wrong, and in fact, everyone is doing exactly what they should be doing and are fine exactly where they are. However, a certain sort of sense of compassion arises. A sense that even though everyone and everything  is perfect as it is, there is a certain incompleteness - the Universe wants to wake up; this sense of wakefulness needs to expand. It is much like raising a child. You recognize that every point of development in a child is perfect. You can accept their mistakes and childishness and where they are at, and yet you work toward and look forward to that time when they are healthy, fully-functioning adults which contribute to your own wholeness or the wholeness of the All. The desire of a true awakened teacher to teach has nothing to do with ego, but rather a compulsion to fulfill the evolutionary agenda of the Absolute. It's like stepping into a rushing river. It's not my desire to get to the ocean. You simply surrender to the current and that's where it takes you. For those who actually teach Truth, they'll tell you there's no great glory there. From a personal level, it's often a pain in the ass. And yet, you can't help it. You are now Enlightenment - and Enlightenment must express itself through that teacher guy there. Sometimes, the teacher is sweet and flowing and loving and apparently compassion. Sometimes, (ahem) they're just plain butt-heads. As God says (and Popeye too), "I am What I am."

 

Tuesday  July 12, 2005

How Many Minutes?

Let's simplify this. Often, we may be very proud of ourselves and say, "Well, I spend quite a lot of time daily meditating (inquiring, reading, etc.)" But the real question should be how many minutes a day (or even how many seconds a day) am I NOT thinking about, meditating on, inquiring into the Absolute? How many minutes or seconds a day are totally wasted and lost for eternity as I contemplate some enjoyment, or worry, or success or failure or ...?

"If the time spent thinking about objects NOT the Self was spent inquiring INTO the Self, Self Realization would be achieved in a very short time." - Ramana

Being obsessive for Truth is not a sickness. It is perhaps the first and only sign of wellness.

 

Monday  July 11, 2005

Mental Media

I just watched the movie, 'The Corporation,' which goes into great detail about the history, nature, problems caused by, and so forth, corporations. Much of the movie dealt with how we are manipulated through corporations and their power to affect media, government, and everything else. When you examine how much of life (and the world) is dictated by and controlled by corporations, it's overwhelming. My friend who was watching it with me, couldn't even finish. She became far too depressed. The sense that you get is that they are all powerful and that there's nothing you can do. The world is going to hell in a hand-basket, and mighty, friggin fast!

Now, let's translate that into something much closer...the mind. Your mind has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT'S TRUE! It does NOT have your best interest at heart. It will NOT guide you toward Truth. And yet, everyday, virtually every minute, you greedily suck up those thoughts that come pouring into your head and identify them as being the Truth. Why? Because, like those who readily accept whatever is on TV and have identified the people on TV as the 'knowers,' you have identified with your mind as YOU. The thoughts are coming into YOUR head, and therefore they must be True, they must be correct, they must be RIGHT.

WRONG!!!!! They are just thoughts. They are not necessarily true or not true. Each one is just as likely to be absolutely incorrect as it is to be correct. This is why discrimination is SO important. You need to be able to dis-identify from those thoughts and assess them - is this real or not? Is this thought true or not? What do I know for sure??? Who or what am I really if not these thoughts? You have probably been believing a whole heap of crap for years and consciously, unconsciously or subconsciously just assumed it was true. This is why you have to start digging up everything you hold as dear, all those beliefs, assumptions, habits, general assessments, expectations, concepts - all of them, and look very closely at them. They keep feeding through your head as thoughts which you assume are true. Dig them up and assess them. Is this one true? Do I know it to be true? Is it Real? If not, throw it the hell out! In fact, you should probably just throw it out anyway, because what is really True can never be destroyed. Slash and Burn everything, and what is true will remain.

But most people, even those who claim they are seeking Enlightenment, won't do this. Why? Because they want to hold onto those things that are comfortable. They want to get rid of hate but hold onto love. They want to destroy darkness while holding onto light. They want to destroy Republicans but hold onto Democrats. That last one sounds ludicrous doesn't it? And yet, they are all the same. They are all just dualities created by the mind. See, you can't trust the mind. Inquire, Inquire, Inquire. Find out what is Real. Abandon your reliance and trust on the Mental Media.

 

Monday  July 11, 2005

Do You Have What It Takes?

Okay...You're reading this page, and the assumption is that if you're reading this page, and you're not a relative or someone else that's required through association to read this page, that you're theoretically interested in waking up. So, the question is...Do you have what it takes?

I deride beliefs endlessly, since beliefs are what generally obscure truth. However, there is a distinction between beliefs and genuine pointers, and I have found that many of the classic Advaitic (non-dual) texts of Shankaracharya and others, are bona fide pointers toward Truth.  Often they delineate what are the pre-requisites for liberation.

First, a clarification: What is it that you want? And in this, you must be very clear. Do you want to be special in some way? If so, go away. Do you want power? If so, go away. Do you want love and light and happiness, and for everything to be sweet and dandy? If so, go far, far away. Do you want Enlightenment? If so, first you have to define it. Generally it has way to many ideas and beliefs attached to it.  The two words I like best are Truth and Freedom. And as I've mentioned before, the two words generally used in the ancient texts are 'moksha' and 'mukti,' both of which essentially mean to be Free, and that particularly means free from everything that is NOT true, and thus to come to Truth!

So what are the pre-requisites?  In Vivekachudamani (The Crest Jewel of Discrimination), Shankaracharya describes them as follows:

1. Viveka (Discrimination) - the ability to discriminate what is real from the unreal,

2. Vairagyam (Dispassion) - to be dispassionate toward all enjoyments or the fruits of action. That doesn't mean aversion, it means dispassion. You already don't care what happens. You're not seeking the fruits. You don't care about any kind of enjoyment whatsoever.

3. The six qualities:  a. Shama (calmness), b. Dama (control of the senses), c. Uparati (Self withdrawal of the mind), d. Titiksha (Complete forbearance or tolerance of all afflictions), e. Shraddha (Logical faith [not blind faith] in the instructions of the Awakened Teacher and non-dual scriptures), and f. Samadhana (Self-settledness or constant concentration of the intellect (buddhi) on the Absolute,

4. Mumuksha  (Yearning for Freedom) - Again, that strong, burning desire to be free from falsity, illusion, bondage, etc. Not seeking power or grooviness, or anything else, but true freedom through Truth.

Now, remember, these are the pre-requisites, not what you get once you get there. Many of these qualities we associate with saints who have already achieved a great spiritual treasure, not with qualities you need to even be on the journey.  However,  he does point out that amongst these, numbers 2 and 4 are the most important that they already be there and that those two can be helped by the other qualities. But by far, the most important is number 4, that keen desire for liberation. So, again, the question is what do you want. Is this desire for liberation an all encompassing, burning desire that "I WILL know Truth or Die," or is it more of a hobby until something else comes along...money, fame, mystical experiences, a mate?  

 

Saturday  July 9, 2005

How Special Are You?

Everyone likes to think of themselves as special. Most people do think of themselves as special, and when it comes to alternative areas - new age, spirituality, yoga, healing, etc. everyone is CONVINCED that they are truly special.

Examples (To be said in a prideful sing-song voices) - I'm a healer. I'm a spiritual seeker. I'm a healer. I'm a yoga teacher. I'm a reincarnated merkabian tulku dedicated to the fifth dimensional jump of enlightened humanity to the post-enlightened avataric spatial spheres. I'm a tree-hugger. I ride my bicycle. I'm a democrat. I'm an enlightened master. (Oops, that's me.)

Anyway, let's put this into perspective. Take with me a little journey, if you will, possibly into reality, and possibly into the Twilight Zone...(i.e. this may be Reality or not. You decide):

In the beginning, there is That - infinite, absolute being...primordial IS-ness. In Sanskrit we might call it Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being, Consciousness, Bliss) or Brahman (the Infinite Absolute [God]), this latter word, important here, is derived from the Sanskrit root Brh, which means to expand. So the Absolute, although already infinite, is also expanding. A quality of being infinite and everything would include everything, including expansion. So for purposes of this journey, we will say that God is expanding infinitely, and has been doing so endlessly. Why? If you were all encompassing presence (Sat), and were conscious (Chit), it would be necessary to be conscious of something to bring you bliss (Ananda). In order to do this, you would need to expand endlessly. As you expanded, you would begin to form, so to speak, excretions of yourself, within which would also necessarily arise the same principles of sat-chit-ananda. Each of these excretions would, on some level, recognize themselves as that infinite Absolute, even though they primarily identified themselves as being excreta or excrement. (By now you should begin to recognize where I'm going with this.)

Now, let's get into the mind-boggling part. By definition here, that infinite would have to expand into not just one so-called reality, but infinite realities, or what scientists might call alternate realities or dimensions. Now within each dimensional reality, you have billions and billions and trillions of expansions of the infinite (humans, bugs, cows, monkeys, fish, and other creatures) each of whom (we'll assume) is seeing through an apparently localized perspective. In other words, "my" experience of the universe and "me" is completely different from "your" experience of the universe and "you". So even within this one planet, the Absolute has successfully created gazillions of different universes solely through perspective. Multiply that through the infinite number of universes/dimensions/realities that God is seeing through, and imagine (or try to) that mind-bogglingly infinite number of views of Him/Her/Itself that God has. Now how special are you? Or, another way of looking at it is...You are just the excretion of that Absolute as it expands infinitely to enjoy itself. You, and particularly your localized egoic idea of yourself, are a by-product of that expansion. You (and I) no matter how groovy, awake, special, etc. we might consider ourselves, are infinitesimally small drops of God poop! Yes, you are God crap; the shit of the Absolute. So, yes you are very special in that you are an expansion/expression of God. But, really....shit's just shit.

 

Thursday  July 7, 2005

Who's Aware of the Question?

Received the following question by email:

"Until awakening happens apart from the desire and/or effort(?) to awaken, is there any part of the dream that is changeable or can be changed by the volition of the dreamer ? or is the dream pre destined? While reflecting on this as I type it, I should say I operate more now in this life/dream without planning too much and as circumstances can appear to be very insecure it is probably fear of the unknown (in the dream !) - Pete"

Well, here's the predicament as I see it. First, Who is the dreamer? The question assumes that we are the dreamers of this dream, perhaps giving more control and credibility to the 'individual' than is actually real!. So, are we 'dreamers' or are we in fact part of the dream? Part of the illusion is in the very fact that we imagine ourselves (as the individual) to be the source, the dreamer, the controller.

The second difficulty is that the whole issue of 'choice' depends on who you ask. If you ask Ramana, he would say (and did say) that every single aspect of life is pre-destined - not just the big things, but every little thing. Yoga Vasistha would tell you that present action (of the individual) overcomes past karma (or action). Others would tell you it's all up to you.

Thirdly, and most importantly, going back to Ramana, he would say, "Who's aware of the question?" In other words, inquire to whom the question is arising in the first place. This directs you away from the mind/ego (which is in fact what or who is asking the question) back to That Self which is the Seer and aware of the question being asked. When you direct the mind back to the Self, and abide in that space, then, as you have noticed, you tend to operate your life without as much tendency to plan. You recognize that you (as individual) are part of the dream. The body/mind/ego is all a part of the dream or creation or phenomena, and YOU as the every-present awareness are aware of it. Further, that YOU is always the totality of the present moment. In that totality of this present moment, the questions don't even arise, because we see the moment as the perfection that it is - that there is nothing needed in the moment; there's nothing that needs to be known in this moment, and the questions generally arise from being out of the moment (having slipped into the idea of past or future....what if's).

Fourthly, the question brings up the suggestion of choicelessness versus effort. While Ramana said that everything was pre-destined, he also said that if one can't simply abide in Awareness, then one should make an effort by inquiring. So, how, if there is no choice, can one make a choice to make effort? This is the mystery or paradox of the Absolute. The answer is given - While the reality seems to be that there is no choice, one must act AS IF there were choice.  Let me give you an example to explain why.  True story: Years ago a friend told me that he had been in contact with some type of "extra-dimensional beings" whom he had asked if he would become enlightened in this life. They said, "We know, but we can't tell you."  To his inquiry of why they couldn't tell him, they responded, "Well, if we tell you that you WILL become enlightened, you won't make any effort. You'll just wait for it to happen. And if we tell you that you WON'T become enlightened, you also wouldn't make any effort, since there wouldn't be any point. Therefore we can't tell you the answer."  Now, whether these people really had access to this knowledge or were just full of shit, I don't know, however, there answer to him very nicely describes the paradox - If you know the answer, there's no mystery and therefore no reason for action. It is that very 'Unknown' that we both fear and drives us. So act as if there is choice; do what arises to do; but ALWAYS inquire who is aware of the totality of the moment in which these things and choices are apparently taking place.
 

 

Friday  July 1, 2005

First Grow Up - Then Wake Up

Most spiritual seekers really have no interest in waking up. They're not really looking for spiritual teachers or teachings as much as they're seeking a baby-sitter, somebody to spoon feed them pabulum while they continue to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. And the pabulum that most 'spiritual teachers' give is pretty much the same as a baby-sitter would give you - "Everything's okay...you're okay...Just be happy...Don't take your neighbor's toys or candy...Love everybody" and so on. Or they deal in beliefs - "If you're good you go to heaven (get liberated, find peace", etc.) They don't talk about the fact that all those enjoyments or beliefs are an illusion, because most of the teachers themselves are deluded, and don't have a clue. But the teachers are willing to spoon feed this pabulum because it gives them students, a means of subsistence, honor, fame, or whatever. 

Some of this problem stems from the "There's nothing to do" school of thought. That is, since there is no choice, you just sit on your ass, do what you've always done, focus on  the same thoughts you've always focused on, and 'POOF' as if by magic, one day you become enlightened. Now, I don't know about you, but as for me, the few people I've ever met or heard of who were truly enlightened (or even just spiritually advanced), spent months or years, if not decades, working seriously to wake up - even many of those who spout the "Nothing to do" school. I know, I know...people will point out Ramana Maharshi who seemed to spontaneously wake up at the age of 17. That may or may not be the case. However, what did he do after that? He went to Arunachala and sat in meditation 24 hours a day for the next many years! (By the way, sitting at the feet of a truly awakened master is NOT doing nothing. That IS doing something.) Even if you were to wake up strictly due to the grace of God or some teacher, are you going to count on that? Or would it be better to prepare yourself by serious, I mean SERIOUS work toward awakening? It goes back to the question, "What do you really want?" Take your time....don't rush it. I'm in no hurry. Got an answer yet? Okay, if your answer was something other than 'Truth,' 'Enlightenment,' 'Awakening,' or similar answer, then you're probably not really that serious about waking up. And that's okay. Just don't fool yourself with the idea that you are. Decide what your goal is and pursue it, happily and with vigor. But if your answer was to wake up, then look at your life seriously. Don't be a wienie.

A wienie or  those firm believers in what we fondly call "Wienie-ism" think that you can have whatever they want without doing anything for it. They hold that they are inherently right, no matter what the subject. They feel that everything should be given to them on a silver platter. They believe that "I'm okay and you're okay" and whatever anyone wants to do or whatever path they take to "spiritual" life is fine and perfect. They believe you shouldn't judge any body's spiritual path, because every one is just on a different road to the same place, that we're all equal and no one is any higher or wiser than anybody else (or at least higher or wiser than they are). Now, while it's true that some of these ideas are valid, particularly once you're already enlightened, in the non-enlightened state they are merely excuses for the ego to validate itself. For instance, (and unfortunately I can't remember who said it, but the quote basically says that) while people always shout about being equal, people only want to be equal to those superior to them. No one seems to be interested in becoming equal to those in a 'less fortunate' position.

The bottom line here is that if you want to wake up, you have to grow up. If you're serious about realizing Truth, then work for it. Give everything to it. Be willing to die for it. If you're not willing to die for it, and yet you think you're serious about waking up, then, excuse me but, you're full of crap! Ninety-nine percent (at least) of the people you see every day are spiritual wienies, and that may include the one you regularly see in the mirror, at least when it comes to spiritual reality. My teacher used to say that a spiritual life and a material life don't go well together. He didn't say it was impossible, but, for most people, damn unlikely. And don't look for spiritual life if you think it will fulfill some ego need. That's another whole topic, but this is where most people are coming from. They're trying to meet some adolescent need. Ask yourself why you want enlightenment or why you want truth. If it's for some ego reason, then grow up, or seek a therapist or counselor - not real spiritual wisdom. Seeking enlightenment is generally not fun. It's about dealing with shit, a lot of shit, every single day; being willing to thoroughly and honestly eviscerate yourself, dismantle yourself, and call yourself on the shit you try to pull and think you can get away with (and still be spiritual).

Or as some others might say, if you can't 'walk your talk' then maybe you should be crawling.

 

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