So I realize now that my current “journey” is actually two:
- A striving to Become Present, to awaken to the reality that self, separateness, mind and time are all illusions, constructs, and that there is only one consciousness.
- A striving to Become Animal (in the David Abram Spell of the Sensuous sense), to reconnect with Earth and all life on it, and with the senses, the body and the instincts, and get out of the head with its preoccupation with habitual, mostly negative thoughts and reactive emotions.
These are of course related, and steps along one are surely steps along both. But I think they are worth being aware of and “seeking” independently.
In some sense neither is really a journey at all. They are both aspects of being fully aware of what is. They ‘simply’ require opening to, recognizing, appreciating, accepting, seeing. I’m convinced it’s not a matter of practice or self-discipline or 10,000 hours of effort, though practices might (or might not!) help to become ready to let go and realize them.
I’m not much for teachers or “gurus” (probably because of my experience with schooling and unschooling). I like the way Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti and Mooji express the process of the journeys (they seem to have followed similar paths to my own, and use similar vocabulary that I can relate to).
But I am not inspired to sign up for courses or retreats with them. Perhaps that is because most of their adherents seem to me (yes I know this is my ego speaking) utterly clueless about what they are really talking about, and not even vaguely ready to make such a journey.
Instead, I would like to find a small group of (or even one) other(s) on the same journeys, people who come from the same place with a similar sensibility to mine, to make these journeys with. And while I appreciate that some aspects of these journeys (e.g. inquiry and contemplation) are pretty intellectual, I’m really not looking to share the intellectual aspects. Rather, I’m looking to:
- Hear their stories about their journeys and what “pointers” they’ve tried. Eckhart and others talk about “pointers” as the many different ways of “getting to” realization that they’ve found work for different people.
- Just be with them as a means of mutual encouragement that this journey is worthwhile and not foolish or impossible.
We’re all so different that finding such kindred souls might be a futile task. And there are also two risks of such ‘collaboration’: That it could turn into an unwitting competition to see who gets “there” first, or that it could become too comfortable and reassuring to stay where we are and hold us back from completing the journey.
In the end, my sense is that it’s really about Being Ready to walk through the non-existent door/gate to awareness/awakening.
As I tire of conversation and useless words and thoughts, I see value in “this just being together”, a kind of marshalling together to provide the reassurance that it’s time, and I’m ready, as I take a deep breath, and jump into the unknown.
You might enjoy this poem…
and this, from the band “Live”:
“and as the final sunset rolls behind the earth
and the clock is finally dead
I’ll look at you, you’ll look at me
and we’ll cry a lot
but this will be what we said:
Look where all this talking got us, baby.”
we are human BE-ings, and we don’t have to figure everything out, we never can anyway…so let’s simply BE.
Reading this I am moved to suggest the work of Douglas Harding.
Douglas died a few years ago, but there is a website that has videos and the simple but profound “experiments” that he shared to help others discover the true nature of self.
The Headless Way.
In my meetings with Douglas, I always found him to be wonderfully present.
Have you seen the book “This is It – The Nature of Oneness,” edited by Jan Kersschot, with entries by Tolle, Harding, Tony Parsons, etc.? I recommend it.