THE POINT OF THE BACKWARD-LOOKING examples of struggle that I used in Part I is simply to strongly make note that truth is not always easy or pretty, it’s often not what we want to see, but it’s always available. We have to want the truth more than we want the lie. And since the lie is often far more comfortable and attractive than truth—at least until it isn’t, we go for it over and over. What’s stopping you from waking up? You are. What else? Nothing else. I'm not saying that from some standpoint of blame. I'm saying that the price of awakening is the giving up of being sure, of being right, of knowing what's going on, what should and shouldn't happen. The price of awakening is only one: giving up the illusion of You, Separate Entity, Esq.
THE MYTH OF ENLIGHTENMENT is that it’s some kind of one-time deal and then life is easy and automatic and there’s no more struggle and no more suffering. That’s not my experience. Ask Jesus, and see what he has to say about it. Ask all the mystics who’ve died by fire and drowning and stoning for trying to live the truth we’re openly, almost casually sharing here. Ask the gurus and teachers who have fallen from grace through scandal. Enlightenment is all about right now. Am I willing to tell myself the truth right now? Surely this thing must be an exception, right? Surely that thing isn’t really important, is it? In reference to Part I of this post: How properly a picture of Ramana hangs is relatively unimportant. Yet I notice that Zen temples and gardens are not exactly examples of disarray, are they now? And respect should be paid where respect is due, and no one is due more than Ramana. Still, all that is the Little Lesson in this example. The Large Lesson is the noticing, acknowledging, and rectifying the lie I told myself about whether they were properly hung or not. They weren’t. I didn’t want to re-hang them, so I put it off. I “didn’t exactly lie to myself”, which is a nice way of covering that I blatantly lied to myself by saying “I wasn’t sure”. And then one day I spontaneously rehung them in response to my current relationship with truth.
NO MORE LIES. Everything is important.
TRUTH IS ALL THAT COUNTS. It’s the only thing that’s important. And you don’t have to go looking for it. It’s right here, right now, wherever you are, even as you read this line. Adyashanti has a wonderful question that I don’t think he’d mind my borrowing. He asks, “What do you know that you don’t want to know?” That question exposes lies immediately upon contact. Turn that kind of focus onto the lie that’s now been exposed, and it’ll explode, or whimper out; but it can’t stand the light of truth. If I’m standing in a dark room and I cut on the light, what do I need to do with the darkness? Do I need to put it in buckets and carry it out? Do I need to hold a service for its death? Do I need to wash the furniture now, to get rid of what remains of the dark? No, no, no. All I have to do to rid the room of darkness is be willing to cut on the light. The light does the rest; the light does all the heavy lifting.
THAT'S FINE IN A DARK ROOM, but I notice in my conventional life that I don’t like to fess up to less than pure motives. I notice I don’t want to tell you the truth because I don’t want to hurt your feelings. In truth I don’t want you to hurt my feelings after I’ve told you the truth instead of a comforting lie. This doesn’t mean that I scream, “Your new car sucks, you idiot! What a color! What the hell were you thinking?” No. I can say, “Ohhhhhhhhh, I can see where you’d really like that.” That’s the truth. I already know he or she likes it, because they just agreed to pay thirty-five grand for it! I don’t have to step on other people’s toes in order to stand on my own feet. I can’t even know it’s not the best looking car in the world in the best color ever invented in a lab. I DON’T KNOW. I don’t need to retrain that unit, I just have to let it do what it’s already doing, and give it the least resistance that I can, otherwise I’m suffering over YOUR new car!! I just have to figure out the nicest way to tell the clearest truth while being open to the idea that I may be the one who’s the idiot here. Or perhaps there’s no idiot here at all. Perhaps there are just two people looking at a new car. Why complicate it with my heavy opinions?
I NOTICE I DON'T LIKE TO REHANG pictures that are already hung almost-okay. I don't really want to live in truth, I want to live in a world of almosting. I want to almost tell the truth about where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing, how I feel, what I think, where I’m at spiritually, what’s right for you, or a bunch of you, otherwise called the world. I want to live in an easy world of almost correctly hung pictures, of almost getting sober today by promising to get sober tomorrow, of being almost as deep as my spiritual teachers. I want to almost do my conventional work well—at least well enough to credit for having done it well. I want to tell you that “you can call me anytime”, but then, for God’s sake, recognize that it’s a canned lie designed to make me look good and us look and feel for the moment like close friends, but please, please, NEVER take me up on it. I want to go through the world almosting, but I want credit for going through the world honestly.
I DON'T THINK IT WORKS THAT WAY.
I WANT THE BIG KAHUNA. I want enlightenment. I deserve it and I’m willing to shuck the bucks to acquire it. I’ll “namaste” you until I’m sick of it, and eat vegetables as long as people are watching, and walk little old ladies across the street that have no more damn sense than to be out and about, perilously endangering both themselves and more importantly, MY schedule in MY world, and thus putting ME to time and bother when I’m on the way to meditation class. Goddammit.
YET SHOULD GRACE, in a fit of the highest wicked amusement, actually slap me with a touch of Self-realization, it’ll hang here for about fourteen minutes, if that long. It’s all about right now. First off, after clearly seeing that there is no Fred actually here, that it’s a pure figment, an almosting ego will immediately claim that Fred got enlightened and ain’t he special now! The next thing ego will notice is that the living experience of awakeness has now disappeared. No matter; no problem at all. An almosting ego will next claim that IT had it, IT lost it, and now IT is going to get IT back! We are back in the endless loop of ego feeding upon the lies I want to believe. The clearest teachers I know--or me--can believe ONE thought and awakeness, what Scott Kiloby calls Living Realization, what Wayne Liquorman calls The Living Teaching, the tip-off being the "Living" word in both characterizations, is gone. Poof! And any thought will do. Being awake doesn't mean being lazy. It means being alert. All the time. It means knowing and respecting and living a life that knows and shows that everything is important.
DOING MY LITTLE BOOK COMPANY'S shipping chores is important. I want to do that promptly and properly. THAT is the living truth. I'm pressed for time today, but writing this post for Awakening Clarity is important. I want to get it out on Wednesday night like I promised I would. THAT is an expression of the living truth. I have a student whom I’ve been emailing back and forth with today. She’s just beginning to see that she’s completely IN a lie, which is the first step to getting OUT of the lie. It's a crucial point. So it's important for me to follow up, and up, and up again; to do it and to do it as well as I can. No almosting there. THAT is living in the truth. The animals need to be fed, I need to shave and shower, and get ready for yoga, and be on time, and every last bit of it is important. Because every last bit of it can be done in the light of truth, or it can be done in shades of gray, which is just a nice way of saying I can lie about my performance in life with words or actions, and call it almost the truth. And then I find myself back in the dream.
EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT. So, let me get to my shipping. Namaste.
IN THE FORTY-EIGHT ESSAYS that I have written in the three months since the inception of Awakening Clarity, I’ve posted well over sixty thousand words in the main posts alone. That is more material that 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 my development as a teacher. There is some pretty good stuff in there, I think, and surely there are some pieces 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.