I SPEND A LOT OF TIME WRITING AND TALKING to people about waking up; about the true nature of reality. Other than some splendid down time with my wife, Betsy, and our three Beasts Without Value, whom we both adore, I am not good for much else. I read spiritual literature every morning, at meal times when I’m alone, and most nights. For two years, which began in a very difficult time in the awakening that took place here, I was sucked into the world of comic books, like a child trying to go back to the breast of its mother. Go figure. But they’re out the door now, along with nearly everything else in my life that is not directly related to This and how to better communicate it. I spend many hours a week working on this blog. Several times a week I cut on a related audio or video to play in the background while I'm working. What I’m saying is that while I’ve always heard it’s good to be well rounded and broad minded, I know nothing about it. What I know is single-minded passion.
I SPEND SO MUCH TIME TALKING ABOUT WAKING UP that I fail to talk enough about waking down. It’s not what people want to hear about. Scott Kiloby has a great video out that talks about the difference between “what sells” and “what frees”. I hope this essay is going to be in the “what frees” category. I didn’t invent the phrase “waking down”. I first heard it from Loch Kelly, who’s a terrific experiential-type spiritual teacher. He’s done a terrific video with Adyashanti, called The Journey after Awakening, which is about just that. You can get it through either one of their websites; they’re both easy to Google.
AWAKENING TO THE DREAM—the dream of our individual selves, our baloney beliefs, and our skewed world—is really very similar to waking up in the morning after a long night’s sleep. The analogy is hard to top; I won’t even try. What we are talking about when we discuss it, however, is that we begin to see life simply through “non-conceptual awareness”. If you are seeing anything around you as a distinct and separate object, you are in the dream. I am sitting in front of a computer. There is a pen and pencil holder to my left, a tea mug and stainless steel carafe to my right. I see them just as you see them. Sort of. In all likelihood, while you may hold some intellectual notion of “it’s all One”, you will still see these objects as separate from you, the you who is the apparent subject that is seeing.
WHAT I SEE WHEN I AM LOOKING through an apparent object (Fredness’ body), which is like a pair of glasses for a person with serious far-sightedness. Without Fredness, I could be called (rather humorously) legally blind. I can’t see a damn thing. I’m still aware that I Am, mind you, but that is all that I’m registering. When I slip on my Fredness garment, a miracle occurs instantaneously. I see, hear, taste, feel and smell a whole world instantaneously. It’s great! The detail that is conjured is dizzingly magnificent. So, we could say, so far, so good.
BUT LET’S BE CLEAR ABOUT SOMETHING. When I (I am, at this moment, speaking of the Writer here, not the typist), slip into my Fredness garment, I get a world that is totally colored by Fredness. It is an utterly subjective view of an absolutely objective world. When we say, in a throwaway sort of way, for perhaps the ten-thousandth time, “It is what it is,” then we have just uttered as profound a spiritual truth as can be possibly be spoken. We say it, but we don’t hear it. We are as happy to ignore truth the ten-thousandth time as we were the first. What Is is where and what this body-we-think-we-are finds itself “in and as”. What Isn’t is what this mind thinks about What Is. It takes pure information and weaves a completely imaginary world around it; a world for us to resist and complain, moan and groan over. In case you hadn’t noticed, we are right back to Beliefs, Opinions, and Positions: BOPs, which have been discussed here several times. We are right back to being BOPped into suffering.
WHAT I MEAN BY “WAKING DOWN” is that our “quest” is simply to have the mind wake down into the space where our bodies already are. Get out of your head and into your body. Get out of fantasy and into reality. These bodies I AM wearing, all 7,000,000,000 of them, are already living in What Is. That would chiefly be because there isn’t anything OTHER THAN What Is! The bodies-we-think-we-are simply sense what’s going on here, within this dimension of planet Earth. They transmit that sensed information, BOP-free, to Mind. I could say “minds” here, but there is really only One Mind, and you are living right smack dab in the middle of it, exactly where you are, at this very moment, even as you read this sentence. I can look around and say hello to Myself, but I am not conditioning-free and never will be, so I am still seeing Myself as viewed by Fredness. We are all familiar with the great spiritual question, Who am I? Well, one answer few teachers would argue with me about is that “you”, which is a figment, a total invention, is simply a point of view.
HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED THAT YOUR BODY DOESN’T COMPLAIN? Oh, we surely say it complains. We may go to the doctor only to be asked, “What are your complaints?” But when that happens you’ll notice that a knee doesn’t suddenly pipe up and say, “I’m stiff and sore and old, and by God I want something more than this damn glucosamine and ibuprofen you’ve got me on. This is Serious Stuff down here, you lousy quack!” No, the body just sits quietly on the table. It's not even awaiting instructions. Even THAT is mind. All waiting is Mind. The knee just presents itself when it’s told too. It moves or fails to move in a fashion that is 100% normal for it. It hurts or it doesn't. Mind, however, always tends to think that the knee should be doing something other than what it is doing, and that the doctor should be doing something other than what he or she is doing, and that the receptionist has a bit of a smart mouth and should probably be fired or perhaps hung to teach ALL those smart-mouthed receptions a lesson. Plus the curtains are awful, and the paint! Yellow! Who in the hell would paint a doctor’s office YELLOW? Fools, every last one of them.
THAT'S PROBABLY WHY YOU'RE PAYING THEM hundreds of dollars an hour, huh? Because you really think they're fools? Let's tell the truth. Body, under outside direction, is going to the doctor because The Director knows they know what needs to be known, and do what needs to be done in that office. Body is going, regardless of the complaints of Mind. It doesn't even pay Mind any attention. Only Mind pays itself any attention. Only Mind believes itself. And only Mind suffers.
BODY HAS NO COMPLAINTS. It’s living in What Is. It’s part of What Is. It’s doing its job perfectly, however poorly we might judge it. It’s Mind that’s creating the entire ruckus. Yet once we begin to see a little light—we don’t have to even be awake to begin spotting it—we see that the ruckus may be mandatory, but the suffering it causes is entirely optional. A body feeling pain is not a problem. It may not be pleasant, but it’s not a problem. It just is what it is. However, MY body experiencing MY pain is a problem. MY knee misbehaving (as little, separate me sees it) is a problem. We can extend that out to anything. A tsunami is not a problem. People being washed into the ocean is not a problem. It is what it is. ONLY. There is not a what isn't. What Is has to be, because it already is, and that's ALL there is!
BUT A TSUNAMI THAT SHOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED—in MY precious opinion—is a Big Problem. People being washed into the sea who shouldn’t have died, at least according to MY ‘sacred’, self-centered, completely skewed, groundless, baseless opinion, is a Big Problem. They are such Big Problems that I can suffer as long as I want to over them. That suffering keeps ego—which is just a thought on the move—alive. It gives it purpose and life. It gives it food. Life goes on and on like this until it doesn't. For me, my story got so bad that it crushed me. I wanted out so badly that I didn’t give a damn about dying, and so I died. Waking down is dying before we die. Then we get to live until we die—freely. And after that? Stop right there. There is no “after that”. That's a story of future. We're back in "what isn't". There is just This. There is just What Is. Come, I invite you, wake down, my friend; wake down.