Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Nondual Diary: Everything Is Important, Part I

Housekeeping Notes:

IN THE FORTY-SEVEN ESSAYS that I have written in the three months since the inception of Awakening Clarity, I’ve posted something over sixty thousand words in the main posts alone.  That is more material than is contained in the average book on Nonduality.  So we now have a base, a foundation, upon which we can build.  I encourage you, new reader or veteran, to go back through the archives and read or reread the posts you are drawn to.  A lot of issues have been addressed; a lot of questions have been answered as well as they could be at that point in my awakening, and in my development as a teacher.  There is some pretty good stuff in there, I think, and surely there are some pieces that are poor presentations.  I say this with little sense of either pride or shame; I remain merely the typist and the “translator”, so to speak.  If a piece is good, the credit is the Writer’s, not the typist’s, or the keyboard's.  If it is poor, I accept full responsibility.  There is no end-point to clarity, and mine is still clearing daily.  I failed as highly and as well as I could with each piece; I can promise you that.  That’s the best one can expect when writing about a topic that is completely beyond words to begin with.

GOING FORWARD, it is my plan to update this blog twice a week, instead of the three or more times that have heretofore been the custom.  It is my intention to post an essay late on Sunday night, so you may look for it on Monday morning.  The second piece will go out late Wednesday, thus you may expect it Thursday morning.   Two essays a week is a lot on a regular basis, but since it’s less than I’ve been doing, I’ll be able to free up a bit more time to spend with my wife, and maybe even enjoy someone else’s writing more often, without feeling like I'm cheating on my blog.  It will also allow me more freedom to respond to those of you who write in.

MANY OF YOU WILL NOTE that I have removed some sections of AC and heavily edited others.  I never expected to have a blog, and didn’t know what the hell to do with one once it was started; I’m learning as I go.  At one point I had it so jammed with material it wouldn’t even properly load.  Sometimes less is more, and I think this is one of those cases.  I originally created more of a real website, and now I'm paring that down to more of a blog.  It’ll ease navigation by readers and maintenance by the compulsive custodian--me.  I hope you find these changes agreeable, unless you don’t.  I don't want to set myself up to suffer over your opinions!  However, you might as well like them if you can, because just like everything else in What Is, they already are.

Thank you for your interest in Awakening Clarity and this budding teaching.

THE NONDUAL DIARY: Everything Is Important

THE KNOWING THAT EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT is something that is playing out more and more in both mine and Betsy’s lives.  As I have indicated before, we live small, private, ordered lives.  We pay attention to detail.  The old saying that “God is in the details,” turns out to be a statement of truth.  I have just this very moment proven my point; let me share it.  Just as I finished the sentence, “We pay attention to detail,” I looked up and saw that pictures of Ramana Maharshi, and his sacred Mount Arunachala, which I have framed and hung one atop the other, to the right of the window I face when I’m writing, were too far apart.  I immediately stood up from the chair, pulled out a little hammer that I keep in this room, and raised Ramana so that he is now hanging at a proper, artful distance underneath Arunachala.

UNTIL RECENTLY, OTHER THINGS HELD THOSE SPOTS.  When I switched them out, it was a speedy change-out and I was simply glad of the change.  I didn’t see, at least on a conscious level, that the spacing needed changing.  Stop.  That’s not true.  We are here to investigate the truth, so we’d better start with me telling it.  I did see it. Immediately. Yet rather than take action, I questioned it, rationalizing that I ‘wasn’t sure enough' to take action.  That’s such bullshit.  I didn’t want to see it, because it would necessitate a bit of work.  Denial in such cases is 100% effective.  Until you allow yourself to really see the truth, large or small, nit-picking or life changing, no action will arise to correct whatever is at last showing up as false.

I WAS A DRUNK, sometimes reaching high points, more often careening to low ones, but a drunk either way, for almost thirty years--from somewhere in my late teens to the age of forty-seven.  As I approached fifty, I clearly saw the detritus of the life that lay in the scorched earth behind me, and I was finally willing to project that truer vision forward.  As soon as I did, denial dashed itself upon the rocks of my shattered situation.  Once I was finally willing to really and truly see the problem; I was automatically willing to be other than I was, and a solution immediately arose.  All that needed changing was the point of view.  Once I took my vision and blame away from glowering at the world and turned them onto myself, change happened.  It couldn’t have failed to do so.  There is just One.  Since that’s the truth, and I’m conscious of being conscious, that One has got to be Me. 

AS GOD, I GET WHAT I WANT, but only every time.  I may not get what I think I want, but I get what I really, really, really want.  So long as I wanted to be a drunk more than I wanted to become what my projection of what a sober person was, I stayed drunk.  I wanted to want to be a sober person, but I just didn't until I did.  And it was all your fault.  Neat, huh?  Once the point was reached where I didn’t give a damn WHAT a sober person’s life might be, because it HAD TO be better than what I had, I got willing and I got well.  Now my life is better than I ever dreamed it could be.  I don’t have everything I casually desire, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ve got everything I really want.  The denial in me bred false projection, and I fashioned my life around the fear of that illusion.  Perhaps that’s why the words “alcoholism” and “insanity” often end up in the same sentence.

I CAN SEE NOW THAT FOR MOST OF MY LIFE I wanted two things more than anything else.  First I wanted a home.  A home was a whole lot more than a roof over my head.  I actually gave up a roof over my head over and over (I was homeless nine times.  As I sometimes say in my public talks, that’s not luck, it’s skill.)  Google up sannyasi, and then put the word “unknowing" in front of it.  No, I’ll save you the trouble.  It means, according to Princeton-via-Google, “sannyasi: a Hindu religious mendicant”.  I was such an idiot.  I had been running all around the Western hemisphere for almost fifty years looking for a home that couldn't exist until I first discovered myself. At one time, when I was living in Portland, I even took on the pen name of Bodhi Sannyasi.  Bodhi means awake.  If ever a lie was put before truth, it was in that pen name.  A home was my synonym for Love.  I wanted Love.  I had no clue that I was love.  I thought it was something you had to give me, and I was pretty sure it had something to do with sex and drugs and money.

THE OTHER THING I WANTED, probably for as long as I wanted a home, but consciously for twenty-five years, was to wake up.  I wanted enlightenment, whatever the hell that was; the way a flower ‘wants’ the sun.  I needed it and I didn’t have a clue why.  At first.  But as my life declined faster and worse, I sought an obvious-to-you awakening as a replacement for my obvious-to-me total failure.  It went sort of like this, though it was unacknowledged, or at the very least not shared.  “Sure, you’ve got success and money, a home and family, love and respect; I conceded that.  But I have the best of the best, the most elusive of the most elusive goals: I have enlightenment, whatever the hell that is, which shows me clearly that your success and money, your home and family, your love and respect, mean nothing.  Zero!   So all you need to do to become as happy as I’m pretending to be is give me your success and money, your home and family, and of course your undying love and respect.”  Enlightenment, I imagined, was like a set of keys to the backdoor of the kingdom, a secret, devious route to the very-material, Promised Land.

THAT SLOWLY—VERY SLOWLY—BEGAN TO UNRAVEL as first I got sober, and then became more serious about spirituality (though I was still trying to win the Spiritual Sweepstakes and become Eckhart Tolle’s richer-than-God neighbor).  Then came the Great Horror, which beautifully and magnificently crushed me, followed by an actual big-time awakening that I’d just about ceased to believe could happen—at least to a loser like me.  Still, the allure of the Promised Land beckoned for a long time, even as I stumbled and fell toward a fuller awakening.  (Some people ‘flower and unfold’; I stumbled and fell.) I can truthfully say the desire for the keys to the kingdom had died in hot flames fed by the remains of my shredded ego by the time I emailed Scott Kiloby for the second time.  In my first email I had more or less offered him (yes, this is humiliating, but at least it is true) my undying support and allegiance as a follower-to-the-Master if he would simply recognize my spiritual superiority to most other living beings, his Beatific Lotus-presence Self being the primary exception.  Scott wrote me back a very sweet email.  It was just as sweet as it could be.  But he didn’t take the bait.  

SCOTT GENTLY AND KINDLY let me know that he actually didn’t need my undying devotion, or my approval, and that if I was the way-far-developed Real McCoy that I was clearly implying I was, then I wouldn’t need his either.  Ouch!  Oh, the sting of it!  I was completely humiliated.  And that's just what I needed. I discovered that for sure and for real, I wanted truth more than I wanted comfort.  I discovered that if I wasn't yet the full-blown Real Deal personified, then at least I had found the full-blown Real Deal personified, and that he would write me back.  I think that second email to Scott is one of the four most important 'spiritual' moves I ever made, after first getting sober, and then hooking up with Betsy Hackett.  It was on a scale with the first reading of Eckhart's The Power of Now in 2002, hearing Adyashanti's The End of Your World in 2008, and my first phone call with Scott, in the spring of 2011 when he slew the bogey man in my life, the dragon that was keeping me out of the castle and out in the yard..

NINE MONTHS AFTER my first initial contact, after reading all his books, watching and reading interviews and You Tube videos, after many emails, phone calls, and video meetings on the Internet; I had dug a fast, deep well to Scott Kiloby, just as I had previously done to Eckhart and Adyashanti.  What I'd really done, of course, was dig a well to the most Truth that I could see or take in, all three times.  All of the teachers had what I wanted, but I couldn't accept it until I could.  I notice that the progression got more and more personal, more and more close to the personification of Truth, which I'm sure is not always important, but I'm equally clear that it is for me.  I do think it's better to dig a few deep holes than a whole lot of shallow ones. Unless you don't, of course.  For me, after a lot of shovel work, each time I hit cool, clean water.  Only this third time around I was not only drinking it; It was drinking me.  There was no more oscillation between the Truth and the dream. Consciousness was and is aware of Itself, right here, right now.

ON A SUNNY SUMMER AFTERNOON, almost five years after my initial awakening, when Scott actually did venture to give me his 'approval', so to speak, he was proven right once again: by the time I got it, I didn’t need it.  But I’ve promised to tell the truth here, so here goes; judge me as you will.  It did feel really good.  It was on a Saturday.  The rest of that weekend glowed, or at least I did.  And still do.

To be continued…

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