I can honestly say that the further one goes, the less one knows. That is a blessing, for sure. The certainty of youth is so often misguided and cruel. The judgements fly, relationships are chaotic and the donkey is lured on by the carrot of society.
In that environment nothing can happen but more of the same. For years I was, as the old expression goes, “of two minds.” I was one thing at home and another when out in the world. We think no one will notice. Ha ha ha. Everyone notices and no one says anything because they are the same.
Had it not been for my teacher, Vernon Howard, this behavior would have gone unchanged. But to meet him was to meet one’s conscience. He was the Jiminy Cricket of the inner world. He had the innate capacity to hold up a mirror to every student who sought him out. I had to see myself as I actually was. Not the prettiest apple in the barrel, but one with a worm called Ego.
This worm was keeping me from seeing the light I carried. It’s only job was to mimic the light. And if you watch TV, especially Entertainment Tonight, you will see this is the job of show business. As Vernon told us, the showcase personality must be abandoned.
What happened was that I begin to study my fear up close and personal. I saw how terrified I was of people. I saw the deep fear of displeasing people. I saw how I behaved like every other animal in the human zoo. I was a predator disguised as a pleasant little puppy.
It was not easy being a student of such a teacher. But now, these many years later, his books remain the ones that unlock the door to freedom for me. Most readers are turned off by what he says. Only the few can hear the truth and understand its healing medicine.
Sometimes I forget it for months. I really do. I think I have made some improvements and can now deal with life better. No. I am life itself. There is no one there to deal with it. I am, essentially, the light. The same as everyone else. This is a sobering fact, one best faced in the company of likeminded people. They can help each other stay awake.
I am no longer in a community except for the one I have found recently. That is the kirtan community. Here, one transcends the ego by celebrating the Word within us all. It is an effortless entry into love. I used to be in the Work, as taught by Vernon Howard, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. I still am. One cannot leave what one is. But now I am also in a bhakti community, which dovetails with what I used to study with my head. Now it is heart-centered and serene. I need people in my life. I need association with lovers of the Word. I need to hear the drums and the chanting.
Usually after a kirtan, I sleep like a baby. I wake in silence and that silence carries me back to the womb of the Word.