The Abject Nothing Left to Give

Audio Episode: Primer Four: When I Stand Alone

It isn’t that I and my beloved celebrated without guilt the raucous ride through all three Iron Man movies over three nights, leaving popcorn all over the floor, and bathing in the rapturously beautiful and expensive Bose sound for the TV; and it isn’t that I escaped unharmed a revulsion unto nausea generated by a “spiritual” movie turning God/Christ/the Holy Spirit into trite, insipid, cartoon characters in the name of inspiration, despite the guilt and shame that was the film’s undercurrent to deliver and which I wrestled with in darkness for the entire two hours before escaping with the help of a friend; nor was it for that moment I cannot quite account for, when I found myself reading as sadhana Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Bhagavad Gita, and finding my mind, the bugaboo of all enlightenment seekers, nurtured down to its finest roots—that I felt hopeless gratitude;

but it was in that moment a few days earlier than these events, sitting out front under the newly risen sun, contemplating the parched earth and the weeks of no rain, that the merest unformed gesture out of the infinite unveiled itself, a gesture so tender it was that mere exposure to the grossness of me could only have brought abject revulsion and yet did not, such that offering even the profoundest devotion and gratitude a mortal soul could muster would be like tossing down a sack of garbage; that I, standing up in total acceptance of the stench of my existence, despite a lifetime of devotion to the pursuit of God, endless acts of purification and surrender, the deepest inquiries of my scarcely lighted mind, tore out of the bottomless caverns of my being the abject declaration

that I, a beast in clothing of mud and pretense with nothing left to give, capable only of the crudest declarations, affirmed with my hand on a stack of Bibles and Gitas stretching down into the unredeemable nothing, that I exist! No, never, could anything be more real or true! Why else to live or die than to know this? Tear my heart from my breast and the light from my soul if ever I deny that one tender wisp of knowing turning to know me.

Dying the Deep Death with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

There were choices to be made back then. Live a reckless and dangerous life and die early in abject despair, or follow in the wake of a divine traveler of the spiritual seas and perhaps ascend in spiritual awareness to know what he knew, not only surviving mortality but taking it on as a divine order of being. I, John, looking up from the mud and mire and finding a place among the stars and continuing the search for absoluteness with sword ablaze and cape blowing in the cosmic wind.
Looking in his eyes that day on the poster tacked to the telephone pole, I asked him if he knew. If he knew that existence itself was an experiential fact and that no matter where you looked or felt or sent your inquiry about God, there was always only this. The image above this writing was the face I gazed into. A few days later, I followed his beckoning and discovered that meditation suited me well. It was a practice that kept me focused, kept me from forgetting that the outer life was just froth on a wave on the ocean of being, and even forty years later long after the practice has returned to its divine source like a fully ripened piece of fruit falling from a tree, he is, nevertheless, still there, and the thing we started those many years ago has been ongoing and vital within the depths of my being that had been stirred awake when I had first followed his beckoning and made that first dive into the infinite.
Now the story is different. Things have changed. His face is no longer as important as it once was. Nor is the story he told about what is real and what isn’t. Of how it all happens and what there is to find. Of what to do and where to go. Those questions have faded. They used to be guides but now they are hindrances. The stories and ceremonies have also passed, and the books have been retired.
Now there is just him, and it isn’t really him. He is just a wisp of a wave of the tenderest state of being, still beckoning as before, but now the consequences of following are ultimate. Do I trust him in this arena, where absolutes splash in your face like spring rains? His is the beckoning that won’t go away, and who am I to die falling with him into the infinite ocean of being?

When You Turn Around and Spirit is All That Is

Primer Two: Unwrapping the Veils

I can understand your hesitation in listening to this episode. You know it's real. Once you know that, what a marvelous decision either way! It doesn't matter. Spirit is always there and the decision never goes away. It just waits till a time of your choosing. The choice to turn is, however, truth be told, not really a choice. It is a deeply private inner knowing, a decision that is more in spirit than in you. Back in your world, in the swirl of life experiences, it waits behind the veil deep in the silence while you go about your important business, which is never complete, as you know; it just runs out of gas. Look at the man in the picture above. His world is on the table. This other thing, which has been going on for eternity, has now made itself known.

Beginning Again For the First Time

Primer One: First Things Again

Even though one can put together a story about what these broadcasts are about, no words will satisfy; no concept will last. When we enter the invisible room, the stories of life and death and the world cease. This is who we absolutely are. We exist as the one thing that is. Come in, take a deep breath, and feel the deep currents of mystery running through your life.

The Primer Episodes are a first of a series of topical sets designed to open passageways for spirit to enter its creation through us. To feel it is to know it. That's all that one has to consider when entering the invisible room.

Here are the titles of the four Primer Episodes, which will be posted on Fridays as usual. The were all recorded in one sitting and rise exponentially in vibration as we move through them.

  1. First Things
  2. Unwrapping the Veils
  3. The Invitation to Explore Spirit
  4. When I Stand Alone

Headphones recommended so that your interior spaces resonate more deeply.

No Place to Park in the Grand Drama of Existence

A few years ago, I took a self-development course to clear out some of the “dark matter” in my psyche. My efforts met with enormous success. At the end of the course, a piece of the infinite burst into my mind and landed like a grenade rolling through my astonished thoughts. For hours, I walked around the hall beating my head against the desire to explain what this was, fully aware that it couldn’t go on like this forever, wondering if that grenade was going to go off; nevertheless, I kept exclaiming internally, “This is it! I want it! I want it! How can I tell anybody what this is?” Pulling at my hair because, you know, infinity does not run out and there is no place to park and regroup. Fortunately, the grenade did not go off and I am relatively sane at this moment though I know infinity is in there just behind the shadows of my thinking. How do I explain this thing? Impossible to do as everybody knows; nevertheless, once more into the breach! 

One of the reasons, I believe, that many Star Wars fans were disappointed in the three prequals to the original trilogy was that the mystery of the Jedi and the force got lost in the outer landscape of the sprawling capital city, the aerial traffic, alien races, rogue generals and their wars, a senate the size of a small city, and Jedi sitting around in chairs making political and military decisions. Contrast those scenes with Luke Skywalker crash landing on a dark, swampy planet and coming across the wisest Jedi of them all. Was it just one of those things Luke arriving there? Surrounded by an impenetrable environment, Luke takes his first deliberate steps in opening to the force. 

Both movies created by the new owners of the Star Wars legacy have been about, in my view, restoring the mystery of the force and revealing that mystery at work. Witness the last scenes of The Force Awakens. And what follows here:

In Rogue One, the spiritual force of the story is carried by Chirrut Imwe, (pictured above) a blind Jedi out on his own whose life mantra is, “I am one with the force, and the force is with me.” His companion, Baze Malbus, is armed to the teeth and thinks that he is the one protecting his blind friend. At the end of the story, he realizes that the force has always been working through him, including bringing him and his friend to their deaths when their roles are complete. He has been the blind one. The other characters, including Jyn Urso and her father, who carry the emotional weight of the story and a major Star Wars theme of reconciliation of child and parent, know little about the force. Nevertheless, all who are on the mission sacrifice themselves to the intent within the force of extracting a piece of information from the mind of the dark side of the force and transmitting it to the forces of light. In Rogue One, the force is at work in everything, whether one is conscious of it or no. “I am one with the force, and the force is with me.” 

If you have pitched your tent on the landscape of light and dark with Jyn and Cassian as one of the good guys protesting the evils of the day, then the question to you is this: “Are you available to the force?” Protesting evil is easy. Just roll down the window and shout. If you are ready to dive into the deep, swift flowing currents of the force, realize that there is no dark side and there are no exits, including death, except the ocean of being. “I am one with the force, and the force is with me.”

Now transport yourself to ancient Egypt and Pharaoh holding the Hebrew people in slavery as depicted in Exodus. This is the story of an ancient Jedi who is one with the force, as we see in his attitudes and behaviors. It seems not to bother Moses that it is the Lord who is hardening Pharaoh’s heart every time Moses pleads with him to relent. He never questions the Lord about the devastation of the plagues, and he effortlessly absorbs the people’s doubts when they become fearful of the whole idea of leaving Egypt. He has his moments of uncertainty, but they do not last long. The Lord shares things with Moses only as needed, such as parting the Red Sea at the last moment when Pharaoh’s army is rushing toward them and the people are beginning to panic. Clearly, Moses has become one with the force. He doesn’t have to understand the whys and wherefores. Once he saw the burning bush, he was all in. 

Not the same, you say. But hold on. Both the millennia old story of Moses and the decades old story of Luke Skywalker are waves of thought passing hand in hand as equals through the mind right now. If you get this point, then the mental barricades will begin to crumble. Think of formal religion as being like the three prequel movies, important people sitting around talking about important things, large numbers of deciders of what should and shouldn’t be, arguments over group membership requirements, wars and violence, etc. Now think Luke alone with Yoda on a dark and swampy planet; then think Moses alone on Sinai with the Lord. Once you unwrap the vast mental landscapes filled with epic stories, images, sounds, shapes, smells, textures, and grand personages, you realize that all of it is just the soul-grabbing geology of thought; and that whether generated by theology or fantasy, there is the unseen mystery of spirit playing itself out every moment and in everything, including your thoughts about Luke and Moses. Here is the decisive moment: Luke and Yoda, Moses and the Lord; they are showing it to you right now, standing on the rocky shores of your mind, dripping wet with the infinite mystery out of which they and everything else are arising. 

I cannot show you the thing itself or even convince you that all of this is real, but I can ask this, “Are you available to participate in the grand drama of existence, or would you rather just buy a ticket to a Star Wars movie, munch popcorn, and pretend that what you see on the screen is not about you?” In eternity with no place to park, it’s all good; yet here and now, there is that nagging question of what is going on in the bottomless caverns of you.

Enlightenment or What Does God Get Out of All This?

Ep 19 The Urgent Pursuit of Pure Knowledge

How much living does it take before one can conclude that life, my life specifically, is going nowhere? I mean, there’s no intellectual formulation that has brought me to my knees and had me declare with finality, “I have found it!” Nor surges of emotion, nor sensory experiences, nor memories, nor food, nor sexual partner, spouse, poem, nor scaled peak, nor anything else that might bring me to declare victory, after which I might tidy up and exit for other parts, dowsing the light on the way out the door.

Except maybe this urgent compulsion to keep digging, or to conclude from what saints, sages, and seers have said over the ages that something grand and conclusive is available for the having if only I can surrender my individual existence into the ocean of being. Plop, cease to exist, something. Endless cogitation may stave this one off, or it’s true and so be it.

Unless I conclude that none of it is about the me and keep digging because something urgent demands it. Never mind some future enlightened state, the something that is going on is going on now in these terms, just as I write this. Can’t you feel it in your bones?

The absolute spirit, the divine source and center, the Self, whatever you want to call this thing, it exists. Fact. Non-existence is eternally overcome in the irreducible “I.” How is non-existence eternally overcome, you might ask? If you really want to know, grab your cosmic staff and head out. You will find steadfast beings traversing that line of inquiry, possibly forever. Once you arrive at the irreducible “I,” there are all the things and dimensions of the cosmos to see and gesture into with intent, and we all are trying to manage that intent in whatever form it manifests as very particular particularizations, and not insignificantly, ones that know and think and can walk across a living landscape. On my bookshelf, I have mighty volumes of knowledge, wisdom, secret sounds, images, practices, and ceremonies, that will do nothing to affect that intent as it is working right now in me.

So, what does God want? Dammit! It is a fair question! As it works its way into this dense planetary creation, into the animate and inanimate things, into the conscious beings, and the human beings ready to kill and destroy because they don’t have a clue as to why there are a thousand million laws in the world pushing us this way and that if we are not desperate about this dilemma of not knowing and ready to lash out to avoid the emptiness just on the other side of the question! Have I caught you unzipped in front of the mirror?

But it knows. It’s looking around. Creatures little more than blind animals on the evolutionary verge stretch out their consciousness with inquiry that just might work for that intent looking around for folks like you and me.

Knowing spirit knows only existentially, but human experiencers implanted with godseeds generate experiences useful to the mysterious intent arising out of the unbounded reality just over the precipice of our personal existences; and perhaps if we put enlightenment back on the shelf as an ego intrusion, we might look at what is going on right now as some of those godseeds vibrate out our experiences as a human version of god-knowing, providing useful data to the infinite God on its journey into its creation. For us just to know and enjoy the show!

Plant the seed, see what it is, next. This is how things are in the quantum cosmos.