Friday, October 30, 2009

Let the Guru Bow to You

Your words enthrall me, your thoughts are clean. You tell me everything is not as it seems.

Are you my teacher? Are you the wise master-guru that "I" seek?

The egoic self-construct will discard that which is not already there IN the student. The idea that there is something new to learn is a trick the student plays on the guru.

This way, the 'self' can be retained as not 'realized,' but forever seeking realization.

The dynamics of the 'enlightenment game' are cyclical, since you can dump all your ignorance on the exalted guru, who's job is to dump it back on you. This is how you maintain the 'cycle of ignorance' and your experience of the world never changes (Yet, you claim to be getting 'closer,' which, of course, only takes you farther away).

However, you can break from the 'cycle of ignorance' when you trust in the ignorant to teach you, because the ego will deny learning anything at all. In that denial, realize that you have learned more than could be learned from a million wise gurus.

But this is virtually impossible, because the ego-self seeks out what is useful based on its own requirements. Even before the teacher speaks, the ego-self knows what is said and so...

...listens intently.

If it resonates, then most likely it's what you've asked for... but not what you need, because you don't know what you need. (and if you don't know what you need, then it's best to trust in everything except what you've asked for).

The real teacher is the one that bows to you. But, most likely, "you" will have none of that, since that would negate the enlightened teacher and your goal to be 'one' (...of them).

Nevertheless, essentially, you teach yourself. The "teacher" only confirms what is already known by YOU. In that sense all teachers are useless and any enlightenment, realization, awakening, etc, etc, you give yourself, as there are no intermediaries for the contents of your mind since all intermediaries are content too. (although we tend to project it outward in the desire for an external reference point, but that's just Freudian "wishful thinking"). The "guru" always gives you what you ask for, although you may deny awareness of the asking.

Seems kinda silly when you really get down to it.

However, there are those who can give you what you do not want, nor ask for, but need. They are all around you. When will you bow to them in the realization that they are your teachers?

The real learning happens when you excuse yourself from the classroom.

Well the dawn was coming,
heard him ringing on my bell.

He said, "my name's the teacher,

that is what I call myself.

And I have a lesson

that I must impart to you.

It's an old expression

but I must insist it's true.

Jump up, look around,

find yourself some fun,

no sense in sitting there hating everyone.

No man's an island and his castle isn't home,

the nest is full of nothing when the bird has flown.

So I took a journey,

threw my world into the sea.

With me went the teacher

who found fun instead of me.

Hey man, what's the plan, what was that you said?

Sun-tanned, drink in hand, lying there in bed.

I try to socialize but I can't seem to find
what I was looking for, got something on my mind.

Then the teacher told me
it had been a lot of fun.
Thanked me for his ticket
and all that I had done.

Hey man, what's the plan, what was that you said?
Sun-tanned, drink in hand, lying there in bed.
I try to socialize but I can't seem to find

what I was looking for, got something on my mind.
(Jethro Tull - The Teacher)

(Image by Saturno Butto)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Rewards of Silly Wisdom Games

You struggle daily and work hard (working weekends!) to become "enlightened," because you believe that you have something to do with it. That's because you've been taught that you can make truth 'happen' and in some way 'manifest' the signs or symbols of an absolute truth.

This is essentially an unconscious hoax perpetrated by the "wise" seekers who have forced the "wise" teachers to play their silly games. If you didn't want it, they wouldn't teach it.

Problem is that this "ancient wisdom" is based in reality (learning paradigm, which demands you first be stupid and then get smart) and found in the world (it's 'ancient' and comes from the past). Yet, ironically, they claim that if you 'learn' what the world teaches from the 'past' you can transcend the world and "awaken" to timelessness.

Yea, right, in your dreams! (literally)

Nevertheless, this is what you demand they teach and they've had no choice in the matter. But, if "enlightenment" was not taught in the past, then how would you learn it? Yet, if it's past info, then what good is it anyway? It's the student that determines the curriculum and not the teacher.

Spiritual paths, no matter how ancient or austere, simply help you negotiate a very absurd reality and nothing more than that. Even calling the absurdity "all beautiful," instead of "completely absurd," is merely one way to cope with the absurdity. So, in that sense, you must follow the prescribed "Path" in order to minimize or mitigate your conceptual suffering. But recognize, it serves that purpose only and stop 'expecting' more, which only maintains your absurd suffering.

The world you experience 'exists' only for 'seeking'... not for 'finding.'

Or have you found something and now must teach the world? The problem is that if you 'found' the truth, then there would be no one to teach, because it would be known. Unless, of course, you think you're separate from everybody else and that you can get "The Truth," same as you got your high school diploma.

Enlightenment is a certainty. That is, until you attempt to learn it and, by doing so, put everything in doubt.

Spiritual concepts are convenient in allowing you brief, sporadic respite from guilt. Spiritual and religious ideologies have existed for centuries as the means of getting all "jiggy with it." The religions of the world serve no other purpose than helping you escape guilt (by making it more "real," through concepts like "karma" and "sin"). That's because if we all have to die, then we must be guilty of something, right?

So just keeping repeating your mantra, "I AM, I AM, I AM..." and the guilty ones can all go piss off.

For instance, if I slap the spit outa you and call you “a good for nothin’ butthead,” that’s okay, because my slapping the spit outa you and calling you "a good for nothing butthead" is a part of 'oneness.' HA!
Everything is a part of oneness and oneness is the essence of everything. Every choice is the only choice that could be made and therefore, we can define it as a “good” choice. It must be, since it was the only choice that could be made, based only on the fact that it was made.

Whew! Lucky you. Now you don’t have to experience guilt, remorse or regret, because... well... everything happens as it must and "everything is beautiful" (sing along with me brothers and sisters!).

However, the devout would argue that "I" just don't understand 'oneness' or "non-duality." I can only respond that if it is not understood by just one single separate mind, it's not true whatsoever, just more conceptual hogwash that you must eat with a spoon so you don't miss a drop.

Truth available to only a few, might be "real" just not true (but then, you really don't want the truth, just for your truth to be real). If you don't already know what they're teaching, then it ain't worth learning. And you thought that after all that hard work, it finally belonged to "you" (sorry, bro, we're all in this together, cause although "you" are certainly "real" you're just not true).

Let me put it to you in a different way:

Nothing “you” experience is a part of “oneness,” because "oneness" is not a 'part' of anything. You won't find the whole in the parts, but the parts are in the whole. See parts and, rest assured, you have missed the whole. Duh!

The ego is incredibly brilliant in the ways it seeks to avoid others in an attempt to find itself and the “I AM” is probably the most subtle.

"I AM not speaking to any 'body'.
I AM not speaking to any 'mind'.

I AM speaking to THAT I AM that I AM,


that expresses through
the mind as the thought I AM.
Just THIS and NOTHING else.
(Sailor Bob)

In your egoic state, negate other bodies and you automatically negate other minds. But then, who will help you find "the promise land"? Do “you” know the way to enlightenment (or just the way to San Jose?) You are your own savior? Just “I AM” and nothing else?

How convenient!

Thank God you don’t have to rely on anyone else! Just think... what if your "awakening" was contingent on everybody else awakening with you? Now that would suck and make all your hard work and sacrifice a fools errand.

Good thing "you" know the way to San Jose, cause enlightenment ain't on the map.

"Do you know the way to San Jose
I’ve been away so long
I may go wrong and lose my way
Do you know the way to San Jose
I’m goin’ back to find
Some peace of mind in San Jose"

"LA is a great big freeway
Put a hundred down and buy a car
In a week, maybe two, they’ll make you a star
Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass
And all the stars that never were
Are parkin’ cars and pumpin’ gas"

"You can really breathe in San Jose
They’ve got a lot of space
There’ll be a place where I can stay
I was born and raised in San Jose
I’m goin’ back to find
Some peace of mind in San Jose"

"Fame and fortune is a magnet
It can pull you far away from home
With a dream in your heart you’re never alone
Dreams turn into dust and blow away
And there you are without a friend
You pack your car and ride away"

"I’ve got lots of friends in San Jose
Do you know the way to San Jose"
(Burt Bacharach/Dionne Warwick)

(Image by 'Libby')

Monday, October 26, 2009

CONVERSATIONS WITH EGO: Transcending the Transcender

ego: (sigh)…Mike, really…all this “ego dynamics” stuff is hard for people to click with. I mean, people want to develop the ‘self,’ not strip it away.

Mike: Well, maybe that’s the problem! Maybe if we had less ego involvement in the world, we wouldn’t be having all these problems in the world.

ego: Mike, Mike, Mike….You and I both know that I ain’t going anywhere. And that’s just as true for everybody else.
You can’t transcend the transcender

Mike: Yea, I get that. But maybe we can have significantly less of you. Wouldn’t that be nice!

ego: So, then… if you had “less” of me... what would you be left with?

Mike: More of my “True Nature”!

ego: What’s that?

Mike: I like to think it’s my deeper self... minus you.

ego: But, how would you know it without me?

Mike: Good grief! It’s like I can’t do anything without you!

ego: Unfortunately, Mike, even trying to be without me... requires my assistance.

(Image by De Es Schwertberger - "Facing the Light")

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Interlocking "Stories" Create Worlds

Certainly we are always in relationship to everything in our experience of a world. Yet, the primacy of all self-defining is through others first, everything else is a sloppy second.

Who "you" are is contingent on others, because they have defined "you" and "you" have defined them (although "you" like to take all the credit).

The German philosopher Heidegger emphasized that there is no experience as "man" or "human being" as a separate isolated experience or 'story.' Of course, man and human being are separate ideas or concepts that can be strung together in numerous narratives. But the experience is only in relationship, or "Being-in-the -World," as unified

You experience your greatest joy and your most intense suffering through and with others. But "you" believe this is not to be trusted and so rely primarily, and often exclusively, on your 'self.'

Make no mistake, sitting on your cushion meditating is not free of others, since who "you" are, or the concept you identify with as you "meditating," is an interdependent construction extracted from a world of others. Your 'world' provides you with everything you need and even your belief in transcending the world was given to you from your world. But if the world is "you," and there is no division, you give to yourself.

Your "story" is not about you, but about you in relationship to other stories that relate to other stories, which relate to other stories, on and on, ad infinitum (such are the tangled webs we weave). Yet, your desperate attempts to identify and isolate an individual 'story' against and in contrast to other individual stories is the root of your suffering.

Even in the relationships you claim as your most intimate, you barely touch the depths of intimacy even though you sense that all experience is unified. Unity frightens the poop out of the sociopathic ego, which revels in its separate individualism, but wouldn't know itself from spit if it were not for the shared experience which defined it. So it adopts complicated and austere 'spiritual' practices, which only reinforces its desire to revel in itself, denying that it would not even exist without 'others' to give it meaning.

Nothing wrong with meditation though, especially when used by ego to come out from its protective shell and engage with its experience of others. Only then will it know itself as engaged with a world in which its greatest joy is from shared consciousness.

Certainly engaging with a 'world' is crucial to the 'self' since without the experience of a world there could be no experience of 'self.' Nevertheless, all experiences are intensified when combined. This idea is so counter to the usual mode of your egoic relating that it's hard to grok and you become acclimated to separating your relationships from your spiritual practices in the belief that once your "spirituality" has sufficiently intensified (whatever that means), the trickle down theory will then insure that your relationships benefit accordingly.

Yet, this is counter to the fact that relationships are your spiritual practice and your only purpose.

I meditate fairly regularly (actually, I just call it 'sitting still for a spell') but for me this is nothing but prep for engaging in a world of others. It's the old parable, "seeking the face of Christ in another" is "awakening," since it's through others that such a maximal experience is attained. Intense solitary experiences are grand, but I contend this is multiplied exponentially when engaged in sharing with and through another. This is how we learn who we are in truth. Yet, it's also how we create a shared experience of reality that may not be true if our purpose is denied.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Interdependent Non-Dual Nature of Christ Consciousness

Ego’s experience pain and suffering and because of that, we fear each other above all else. This is because nothing causes more pain and suffering than "man's inhumanity to man." In fact, it is often our most significant others that cause the most pain.

Yet, the inverse is that those you have joined with to experience “love” are often cause for the most joy (you may even have briefly touched this, but have long since forgotten due to the desensitizing angst of daily egoic existence).

To trust in your ability to heal yourself, you must trust in the healing ability of another, because the world is an interdependent unity of transference and counter transference and you cannot extract your ‘self’ from that experience, because it is inherent to your ‘Being.’

Not one concept of your ego-self was constructed in isolation from other self-concepts. Waking from the dream is an interdependent project, because we do not dream alone.

But then, why do we seek to ‘awake’ alone?

See everyone as facilitator to your awakening, even those whom you judge has having little or no value. Since, who are “you” to judge?

Nevertheless, the ego-self expects ‘healing’ on its own terms. It will seek out healing through conflict, because it was designed from conflict and in conflict, and it believes that it alone has the power to heal itself, because it alone made it what it is.

The ego seeks out conflict through which to define itself in opposition to the world. Therefore, the more actualized the ego, the more it believes it has transcended conflict. It believes that through actualizing itself in the world, the world will heal it, based on the world’s rewards (in other words, “if only this, than that”). Only by following the world’s prescribed ‘laws’ will you achieve your ‘reward’ and the world reflects that expectation in widespread discouragement and despair.

The law of the jungle is survival (everybody for himself) and the more "enlightened" and powerful the 'self,' the greater your reward and the more your chances of survival (in this life and after).

Your ‘self’ is an abstract concept developed purely to protect from fear and, through that function, actually manufactures the fear you seek to evade. The irony is that what you protect from is what you made “real.”

To replace the “real” with the truth you must let down your defenses. But, the world can be a very frightening ‘experience’ and you need a ‘self’ you can count on to protect “you” from what’s ‘out there,’ denying that what’s ‘out there’ is entirely experienced ‘within.’

Instead of seeking to protect from it, through your concepts, maybe it’s time to engage with it?

What was developed in the need for protection (ego-self) merely magnifies your alienation from others. Make no mistake, it’s not others that threaten you, but your inner experience of others. There is a very distinct difference that you will not realize alone through intellectualized ‘spiritual’ games. You need others to aid you in unifying what seems a distinct division of mind.

Unification of these two distinct and opposing perspectives is the non-duality of Christ Consciousness and it is an entirely interdependent experience.

Your world is your experience, both inside and out. Many spiritual paths emphasize that by changing the ‘inside,' the ‘outside’ cannot harm you and this alludes to the “kingdom within." Yet, what they fail to address is that you cannot change the inside alone, as this only reinforces that you are alone and separate from what is ‘outside.’

Healing is an absence of conflict in all experience and there are many you have chosen through which to encounter that perfect peace. Did you think that 'they' came into your life by coincidence? Is it all simply a matter of chance?

Take a long look at the one next to you. Extract from that “look” all past concepts, or expectations, superimposed upon them and then communicate to them what you see. When you superimpose your concepts upon physical “sight,” you lose vision, because your concepts are hinged on egoic self-preservation and, therefore, based in fear.

Fear obstructs vision through self-protective, seemingly impenetrable, veils. Healing is nothing more than seeing through the self constructed veils of fear and realizing perfect safety. Do you feel perfectly safe with everyone you have chosen to love? Can you reveal your ‘self’ to them with excruciating honesty? (or must parts be kept undisclosed). If not, then you have abdicated your function as healer by denying this function in them and this is because you believe that healing is impossible from them and this makes it unavailable to you.

If healing is impossible from them, this only means protection is still necessary, because only egos require protection. You believe you must heal your ‘self’ regardless of the fact that the self was not constructed in isolation from them and they are as much a part of you as you are of them.

Individual fixation on your ‘self’ does not change this equation. Every individual problem you experience is always in correspondence to others. It has been said, that we are like the walking wounded, numbed by fear and closed off from any depth of engagement and so we do not understand one another and have given up trying.

Relationships steeped in the depths of intimacy are healing “places” for all who enter and join. We all feel the pull toward healing, but deny the source could ever be with another, because the experience within you cannot be trusted and so, neither can they. The ego-self must engage and engage deeply.

The ego will contrive strategies to evoke conditioned love as a way to personal happiness, but this is an egoic ruse and is destined to fail. Your lacking the motivation to heal the ones you have chosen to love, means you have simply refused to be healed by them. Love is interdependent healing exchange and, if you are not healed, than there was no love, but only conditioned behaviors rigidly based in conventional self-protective duality.

There is no other way to spin this, although your ego will try.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Know-Nothing Neutrality of Non-Duality

One of the chief misinterpretations of non-duality (for those relying on interpretations) is that non-duality is an acceptance of all that is.

This is opposed to rejecting or invalidating all that is, because, as they claim, all that is emerges from “oneness” and, thus, to reject anything is to reject "oneness," so accept it all, because “everything is good and beautiful!”

Notice the duality here?

Acceptance is opposite rejection and both distinctions are nothing more than dualistic judgments, no different than good/bad, right/wrong, etc, etc. You Make judgments between two modes of conventional perception; reject or accept. Only you choose acceptance, because you were taught that this judgment is more advantageous to your spiritual evolution and is, incidentally, the way to non-duality or "enlightenment."

Therefore, from this choice you accept murder and war.

Ha! But that’s absurd. Why would anyone accept murder and war?

Well, based on the "acceptance" premise, you accept murder and war because non-duality demands acceptance of all that is.

But wouldn’t your acceptance of murder and war, thereby, assert murder and war as “real”? If murder and war is a part of your experience, whether directly or indirectly, doesn’t accepting murder and war continue to make it “real” and part of your experience?

But, wouldn’t you rather that murder and war weren’t “real”? Wouldn't you rather it were NOT part of your experience?

On the other hand, if you do not accept, or if you reject murder and war, does this not also make it “real," since you assert that it exists simply through your desire that it NOT exist. Why would you reject what is not a part of your experience of "reality." Therefore, to reject is to accept, just as to accept is a rejection.

Seems like either way you go, you’re caught in the web of duality. But then, some like it hot, while some like it cold.

Is there anything else besides this either/or perspective?

Maybe you just don’t know? Maybe you shouldn't apply meaning one way or the other, because you have NO idea what anything means? Maybe you need to detach from the egoic capacity to judge altogether, which means to neither accept nor reject (is your ego screaming yet?).

Maybe even your whole experience of “reality” was simply manufactured by filling that blank slate (consciousness) with rejection and acceptance?

'Knowing' is so over-rated. Maybe neutrality changes everything.

Can you return to that ‘blank slate,’ that neither accepts nor rejects? Maybe this is the "Know-Nothing Neutrality of Non-Duality" or the state of consciousness that neither rejects nor accepts.

Can you accept you know nothing by rejecting everything or can you reject what you know by accepting nothing?

Should you seek neutrality in the realization that you don’t know? Those who don’t know neither accept nor reject. How could they, in the realization that they don’t know. Maybe you should return to the blank slate that you were prior to judging your experiences as “real"?

More importantly, if you choose to believe you don’t know, then you will be open to learning, because, obviously, those who already ‘know’ have nothing to learn. In fact, when you know nothing, you immediately become vulnerable. Of course, even though your ego is deathly afraid of being vulnerable, it is probably the most spiritually advanced state you could attain prior to realizing your infinite invulnerability.

You have come to realize you know nothing and desire to learn everything, because you’ve entered the neutral state of non-dual consciousness, which knows nothing. Of course, since you know nothing and are neutral about everything, then you cannot possibly judge who the best teacher is and, therefore, remain neutral about 'who' knows and does not know. This means you must be open to learning from everyone and everything, even those who claim not to know and are blank slates themselves.

In that way we all come upon truth together, since it can't be known any other way.

Obviously those who claim to ‘know’ merely fear being vulnerable. But then, what should you do upon meeting up with someone who claims to know and wants to teach you?


(but then, don't accept what I say, but don't reject it either)

(Artwork by KH Blackwell "Pressures of the Non-Blinking Third Eye)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Does Adyashanti Cherish Illusions?

Adyashanti is currently one of the most revered of the internet's neo-advaitist’s messengers. I enjoy reading and listening to his philosophical discussions. However, over time I’ve come to recognize that he is as deluded as any other postmodern Non-Dual/Zen "teacher" and this delusional mindset is contagious, since the message is passed from one idolized messenger to another.

The quotes used here can be found at, “The Quest”

“The quest for enlightenment is the quest for truth or reality. It’s not a quest for ideas about truth—that’s philosophy. And it’s not a quest to realize your fantasies about truth—that’s fundamentalized religion. It’s a quest for truth on truth’s terms. It’s a quest for the underlying principle of life, the unifying element of existence.”
The “quest for the underlying principle of life, the unifying element of existence” is not found in solitary excursions through the mind, since this only results in egoic conceptual “fantasies." It is encountered in the depth of relationship and that is "the underlying principle of life, the unifying element of existence" and the reason you're 'here.'

Truth is not available to separate individuals outside relationship, since this makes it 'proprietary truth,' which must belong to an 'individual' (just not you). The truth, simultaneously experienced by two or more who have encountered it together, is not relative to any individual ego-self. However, truth encountered together can be negated as truth, especially for those who believe 'truth' belongs only to the individuals we have designated as specialized "Wisdom Masters."

“In your quiet moments of honesty, you know that you are not who you present yourself as, or who you pretend to be. Although you have changed identities many times, and changed them even in the course of a single day, none of them fit for long. They are all in a process of constant decay. One moment you’re a loving person, the next an angry one. One day you’re an indulgent, worldly person; the next a pure, spiritual lover of God. One moment you love your image of yourself, and the next you loathe it. On it goes, identified with one self-image after another, each as separate and false as the last.”
Yes, however, this 'wise man' (with the Hindu name) fails to address the fact that all of these “identities” are manufactured in relation to engagement with the identity of others. The ‘self’ was not constructed in isolation, but immersed in relationship with a 'world' of other identities. Even the illusion is communal and was constructed in collaborative engagement. Unfortunately, this may make it “real,” just not true and it is truth that we must seek together.

Therefore, if the “real” was constructed in cooperative engagement, the truth will be discovered in the same way and this lends credence to the fact that we are powerful beyond belief (since it is belief which limits us). The illusion is that by seeking the truth as an individual, more illusion is what you will find. An individual must always discover illusion, because an “individual” is a concept that 'we' made "real." If your "quiet moments" were truly "honest," then a desire to engage the 'others' of your world will be the result, in the realization that this is the only way to encounter truth.

“When this game of delusion gets boring or painful enough, something within you begins to stir. Out of the unsatisfactoriness of separation arises the intuition that there is something more real than you are now conscious of. It is the intuition that there is truth, although you do not know what it is. But you know, you intuit, that truth exists, truth that has absolutely nothing to do with your ideas about it. But somehow you know that the truth about you and all of life exists.”
Therefore, from this "unsactisfactoriness of separation," seek out the ground of truth through relationship (why choose any other 'individual' path?). From a depth of engagement with the illusion, together we overcome it in realizing we united to make it “real.” Now we simply unite to make it true.

It’s not the space between thoughts that need be discovered, but the space between minds that need be converged because, from that space, ”individuals” emerged and, in that alone, illusion was made “real” and egoic compromises, or distinctions, were manufactured to define illusion as “real.” Unfortunately, we have yet to realize the true, simply because we seek to find it as 'individuals.'

“Once you receive this intuition, this revelation, you will be compelled to find it. You will have no choice in the matter. You will have consciously begun the authentic quest for enlightenment, and there is no turning back. Life as you’ve known it will never be quite the same.”
Although the revelation (or revealing) is through another, the ego will insist that you engage the "authentic quest for enlightenment” alone. This is because individual ego-self relies distinctly on distrust and, thus, alienation, from others in order to advance itself through delusional inequality.

This is why so many fail to realize truth undiluted by egoic constructions simply because they seek to attain it as an individual, while other minds remain in absentia of that truth. Unfortunately, “master teachers,” such as Adyashanti, perpetuate that same delusion and, therefore, become victims themselves, as the past is repeated, ad nauseam, from individual to individual.

“Seeking truth can be a game, complete with a new identity as a truth-seeker fueled by new ideas and beliefs. But ceasing to cherish illusions is no game; it’s a gritty and intimate form of deconstructing yourself down to nothing. Get rid of all of your illusions and what’s left is the truth. You don’t find truth as much as you stumble upon it when you have cast away your illusions.”
The one illusion you must cease to cherish is that you, alone are "truth-seeker" and can access truth, because that “game” is finite. Discard only this illusion and “what’s left is the truth.” We will certainly “stumble on it” together, but only in realizing it cannot be discovered alone. Until we all join in the infinite game, individuals will continue to access finite outcomes and call these individual rewards "enlightenment," "awakening," "revelation," etc, etc, etc.

“Truth can’t be found by seeking it, simply because truth is what you are. Seeking what you are is as silly as your shoes looking for their soles by walking in circles. What is the path that will lead your shoes to their soles? That’s why the Zen master said, “Do not seek the truth.” Instead, cease cherishing illusions.”
Which is exactly what we do, as the ‘ego-self’ travels in circles by following itself. All the self need do is realize that even its illusions are not manufactured in solitude. This halts the ego-self in its tracks, as it must now join with another to finally understand itself. It is this collaborative understanding that ceases to cherish illusions and discovers truth together as one.

“To cease cherishing illusions is a way of inverting the energy of seeking. The energy of seeking will be there in one form or another until you wake up from the dream state. You can’t just get rid of it. You need to learn how to invert it and use the energy to deconstruct the illusions that hold your consciousness in the dream state.”
Exactly. But that “energy” remains contained and limited because “you” seek to deconstruct “you.” Go ahead and deconstruct "me," as "I" simultaneously deconstruct “you,” and from that ground of relating the Truth-of-Being (hyphenated to denote unity) will be discovered together, because no one individual could possibly realize the absolute and unconditional, in which making such a discovery is conditioned solely on an ego-self. The idea that one must first become "enlightened," or experience the non-dual, and only then teach others, is absurd and makes suffering true for all but the 'enlightened masters' like Adyashanti.

“This sounds relatively simple, but the consequences can seem quite disorienting, even threatening. I’m not talking about a new spiritual technique here; I’m talking about a radically different orientation to the whole of your spiritual life. This is not a little thing. It is a very big thing, and your best chance of awakening depends on it. “Do not seek the truth; simply cease cherishing illusions.” And if you’re like most spiritually oriented people, your spirituality is your most cherished illusion. Imagine that.”
There is nothing threatening about solitary seeking and the ego relishes the chance to be the ‘one’ to spend years "discovering truth" and all the paradigms of the ‘dream-world’ piggy-back off this basic delusion. But truth discovered by an individual can only be relative to that individual and therefore, NOT truth at all.

The most "threatening" ego endeavor is to discover truth through, and with, another, because in that discovery love is experienced unconditioned by egoic constructs. Yet, in that discovery “you” cease to be experienced as “you” now know your ‘self’ and “we” takes on a new perspective never before encountered.

There is nothing radical to Adyashanti’s teachings, only the same conventional wisdom pointing to the way that “you” can find truth. Unfortunately, what “you” find is what Adyashanti has found, only more illusion. Sadly, this distorted view continues to be the path of the neo-Zen, non-dualers and this individual “hero’s journey” will only continue to demand seeking truth by inadvertently excluding it.

However, the truth available in the depth of relationship was always the archetypal Christ/Buddha message until ego-self got a hold of it and made that message it’s own. Now we have lost the message, but have gained many messengers still cherishing illusions.

(Artwork: "Delusion Dwellers" by Laurie Lipton)

Friday, October 16, 2009

CONVERSATIONS WITH EGO: Our Never-Ending "Story"

ego: Mike, we need to surrender the story of “who” we think we are.

Mike: Uh...what good will that do?

ego: Well, obviously, by surrendering the 'story' you become liberated from the suffering of the self. Besides, transcending the ‘story’ is all the rage in spiritual circles these days.

Mike: Ok, what ‘blog’ did you read that from?

ego: But it makes sense!

Mike: The problem is that “my” story is interdependently interfaced within the stories of everyone else. I can seek to transcend my story till the cows come home, but the moment I encounter a story in another, my story becomes fixed. In fact, the moment I perceive “someone else” a story automatically materializes.

ego: So what are you saying, we have to surrender everyone else's story too?

Mike: Actually, there are NO separate stories, only the "story” of separate stories and we’re all in that together because it's infinite. If I seek to surrender or transcend my separate story, I’m then caught in the "story of separate stories." The moment I assert liberation from my story, but then encounter the story of someone else, I can no longer assert being story-less and my advising another to surrender or detach from their story only makes our story more “real.”

ego: Good grief, Mike! We can't count on other people. We just need to focus on our self for now. Once we awaken to our True Self we can teach others.

Mike: By surrendering the story of everyone we meet, we liberate the 'self' because the self does not exist without engagement with others. However, the moment I try to teach another to transcend their individual story, as if I had experienced transcending my own, I become a fixture of our never-ending story. Therefore, I must be liberated from their story, because their story is mine, as mine is theirs. We are all interdependently interconnected and no one transcends alone (even though many have become deeply mesmerized by the "individual transcendence story").

ego: Wait a minute! Surrendering your own story was taught by the Great Masters of the past, you can’t go trashing centuries of wisdom tradition!

Mike: Ah yes, the “Wisdom Tradition Story.” We certainly love that story! Which, of course, is predecessor to the “non-duality story” and “surrender your story,” stories. The very moment you attempt to detach from an individual story, the individual story becomes "real." Maybe it’s not about surrendering 'my' story, but about surrendering 'theirs' because every judgment I make about my ‘self’ is always and forever in relation to ‘them' and every judgment upon them defines 'me.'

ego: Damn, Mike! It would be so much easier if you could just do it all by your ‘self.’

Mike: Yes, that does seem to be the most convenient "story." No wonder so many faithfully follow it.

(artwork: "Buddha" by Octaviao Ocampo)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Toxic Being or "Pure Being" is Pure Bullshit.

Here is a typical non-dual quote: “Awakening is the experience of Pure Being.”

Abstractions such as this compel the non-dualer wannabes to consider "Pure Being" as individually attainable and then work to attain it.

“Hey, Joey, look at me! I’m Pure Being, bro!”

The problem is that "Pure Being" is another egoic delusion and, therefore, you will never access it, because it’ll never be “pure.”

So maybe you should accept the toxicity of Being?

If it’s relating to the world that you find ‘toxic,’ and thus seek to ‘purify,’ than count Being out of that equation (oh, it’s still there, you just don't realize it because you consider it 'impure').

Of course, you can conjure up all manner of meditative neurochemical imbalances, get some great whiz-bangs, and call that an experience of “Pure Being.” But then, you can also have an exhilarating bowel movement and call that an experience of Pure Being. What's the difference? (had one just this morning!).

Being is experienced in relationship and it is never “pure,” or free of engagement, although the depth of that engagement may be self-limiting. Pick and choose a "path" to Being and, make no mistake, your engagement with Being may Be significantly curtailed.

Being don’t need no stinkin “spiritual path” to Be.

You certainly experience a separate ‘self,’ but that self is always in relationship to other separate selves. Being knows it is Being through engagement with an experience of a ‘world.’

Hey, maybe that’s why the experience was conjured up in the first place! Ya think?

Your Being is never NOT in relationship. Being does NOT exist free of engagement and the fact that you believe it does, results in your failure to experience it (because you’re off on some mountain top seeking “Pure Being”). Being is always engaged and Being NOT in relationship, is just NOT Being and that’s impossible! (so furgetboutit).

Just because your not all comfy cozy with what you’re Being with, is not the fault of Being. Nope, that’s just ego-self informing you what you should and should not Be with (or ‘do’). But that’s Being too, only you think not and decide to meditate for 20 years to find it (lucky for you that too is Being, only stop complaining about needing to "awaken").

However, you may find that the deeper you engage the ‘world’ you are Being with, the more intense that relationship is experienced and the more Being is accentuated and 'known.' (so come down from your mental mountain top and engage with your experience of a 'world').

The I AM” is another mirage of an ego-self relating to its own self-construction at the expense of Being.

There is no “I” separate from Being engaged with “them.” You will know your Being through Being with others, all Being in a ‘world.’ However, you’re gonna need to BE with all of it. Exclude parts and ego has taken over and you’ll just complain about it not Being the way you want.


However, one day your ‘self’ will choose another ‘self’ to deeply engage with and we all feel that pull eventually (although we erroneously attribute it to bodily drives and instincts). This can actually be a quick and easy way of experiencing Being. Unfortunately, the very nature of your ego-self (“I”) will impede and limit the depth of that engagement and you will come close to the opportunity to experience Being (as 'one,' with and through another), only to extinguish it with "your" conditions.

You may never forget the intensity of that experience, and how it caused you to fully and deeply engage WITH your ‘world,’ but you may fail to realize that it was “you” who chose to end it. Nevertheless, when this is finally realized, you can always choose again and this time make the right choice. Eventually the right choice will be made and that's certain, so don't sweat it.

(Artwork by Leo Plaw)

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Reality of IT ALL is that IT's ALL a Lie and that's the Truth, so help me God

“Yet I also sense a great fear of honesty, as if we don't really want to know how bad it is. On one level, this is understandable. Many of us sense something is terribly wrong, but like people who sense they might have cancer, we don't go to the doctor to receive the diagnosis: we react with denial and magical thinking, thus dooming our chances of recovery. I see plentiful evidence that honesty is extremely threatening to the status quo.”
Your ego-self is a liar by nature, but you like it that way because, as Jack Nicholson proclaimed, “You can’t handle the truth!” However, your world is certainly “real” and you count on that always being the case.

Yet, the question remains… is it true?

The above quote is from Charles Hugh Smith's article entitled When Honesty Becomes Threatening (OfTwoMinds) and addresses the dishonesty occurring with the current financial collapse and government’s deceit and misrepresentation. The article highlights the point that we all have a general fear of honesty. However, I would add that this fear is evident not only in the macro-world, but in our tiny personal micro-worlds as well.

If honesty is absent, then trust must also become extinct and this is how civilizations crumble, and individuals die alone.

A labyrinth of incomprehensible complexity allows you to hide your 'self' within the seemingly infinite folds of confusion and misunderstanding.

Come out, come out, wherever you are….

The truth may prove that it’s all very simple, but we’re not ready for the simple truth, because the ego-self is a composite of intricately complex lies and subterfuge. Perfect honesty would dissolve the self-construct, and then who would “you” be?

The fact is the collective ego must defend against honesty, otherwise the truth might be exposed and that'd ruin everything. Deception breeds conflict and conflict makes for war. Honesty dissolves conflict immediately, but this causes vulnerability and egos hate to be vulnerable (that's why they have bumper stickers on their pickups that say "No Fear")

So everything is beautiful and Walmart's prices are unbeatable! (what else do you need?!)

Your ego thrives on hiding from truth and consciousness is a perfect place to hide cause there’s nobody there but "you" (which seems "real" enough, but is it true). Actually, truth is your greatest fear and you will do anything to avoid it (why else would you watch "American Idol" if not to avoid truth?).

You feel cursed by truth, but proclaim it’s needed. You experience a world always in need of consistent truth that, ironically, changes incessantly. Has the world ever NOT conformed to this “truth”? So, what has been your reward for all the “truth” you’ve endured?

What you really desire are more lies. So, keep ‘em coming, yo!
The egoic self-construct does not provide you any consistency whatsoever and therefore, it cannot be trusted. You must always maintain a safe distance from your ‘self’ because, as much as you try, you cannot predict with any degree of accuracy how it will respond to what the next moment brings. As much as you seek to contain and regulate your ego-self, it often seems to break from your grasp and bring you discouragement and disappointment. Better to trust in the lies that everyone else believes, because there's safety in numbers.

You do not trust your "self" to deeply engage with your world and so the world must always be misrepresented because how can you know what you cannot engage? If your ‘world’ is experienced within “you," how can you trust the ‘world’ if you can’t trust yourself? Therefore, you wait for the world, while the world waits for you, and always, both demand truth and circumstances continue to demonstrate this fact by constantly changing.

When will “truth” meet your criteria? When will it bring the consistent happiness you so deeply desire?
In NOT accepting the “self," you define its “truth” and this defines your limits. Your ‘self' is a product of your mind and exists nowhere else IN time or space, but it was constructed to deceive you about time and space.

You have never truly felt welcome in the "me” you call home. Therefore, you have exiled your “self" to a place where growth eventually must end in death and where “happiness” is endlessly sought, but never found. You are a “stranger in a strange world” and this feeling of dissociation attends your every waking moment (even your dreams are not "true").

You will never trust your ‘self,’ simply because you do not trust others. You live in a complicated world of strangeness and this makes you a stranger to 'them' and your ‘self.’ With all your strength, you have resisted honestly asking “who is this beside me,” because when the question is asked, without the slightest doubt of an answer, the answer will be instantaneous and fill you with complete understanding. Until then, you cannot possibly KNOW your ‘self’ and therefore, you will continue to lie to yourself and the world must always reflect that inner experience, since dishonesty ‘within,' breeds deception ‘out there.’

Until then, lies and subterfuge will become even more complex, incomprehensible and common place and soon you won’t know what to believe, because everything is nothing more than a manufactured mirage.

But just think how happy you'll be... believing in nothing.