I have written two essays this week that were funny and had a kernel or two of truth in them. They were written because we are all in information overload about awakening, or enlightenment as some choose to call it. Names are non-essential except for getting on in this world of dunya, as the Sufis call it.
I never call myself by name when I am alone. Why should I? For I know experientially who I am. I just never know what to do next. Oh, I know how to bathe and get dressed; that is Living 101. But as far as awakening to my true nature, I don’t have a clue. And that is exactly how it should be.
There has been a true online disgust with everything falsely spiritual. Even hard-core Pollyannas are fed up with what is passing as nonduality. Some of us are able to joke about it, but that doesn’t solve the root issue. If you are asking what it is, you are getting close to the Self.
I write because it keeps me alive in the cold days of January and the scorching heat of August. It seems to be in my DNA to write. And yet books are no longer being read very avidly. People don’t have time for nonessentials like true inner growth. Too much Kardashian in the diet. We need more roughage than we are getting.
My teacher, Vernon Howard, made sure we were kept internally clean by making us eat massive amounts of self-awareness. In his school, there was work to be done and it was always more than any one person could ever hope to accomplish. There were floors to sweep, food to cook and mental chores to be done. If stamps were put on mailings, they had to be in the right place or a chastisement would follow.
I heard an alcoholic say that these tasks had kept him sober. They kept us all in touch with the rawness of our suffering in this world. I had lost my only daughter when I first went to study with Vernon. The wounds were overwhelming, yet he saw to it that the fire in which he immersed me was a cleansing one. For I had no time to think about my losses. I was too busy gaining knowledge of my selfishness and immaturity on a daily basis. That is what true inner growth is about. Seeing what failures we are.
Long after his death I can still easily admit that I haven’t yet made the great leap into eternity. Many claim to have done so but I doubt them all. Especially those holding seminars and being on camera with glibness and ease. It is this which is sickening all of us. It isn’t just the GMO; it is also the food of untruth that we ingest with every breath we take on this sick planet.
The old prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, a sinner” is a good one. So is “Thy will be done.” Such statements brings us back to our knees, which is always a good place to be.