Its 4am and evidently I am awake. My mind feels like the inside of an American supermarket – 57 aisles of over-processed, nutritionally empty packaged, canned and tinned thoughts, some with grossly inflated shelf lives.
I am not deliberately awake. This is not my idea of ‘quiet time’ although Wayne Dyer, who I greatly esteem, would say this is the ideal time to engage in spiritual work – between 3am and 4am. But of course it is. It would have to be smack bang in the middle of the night just to make it as inconvenient as possible. And why, specifically, is 3am the best time to do spiritual work? Who said so? What random theory is that based on? In all fairness, I believe there is some fact based evidence to suggest that between the earth’s circadian rhythms and the meridian lines, 3am-ish is the optimum time to connect with Source – when the channels are clear and open so to speak. At the moment however, I just want to connect with the pillow and I’m annoyed that this middle of the night brouhaha is plaguing me again. 4am and I know each other a little too well for my liking. And so, once again, I am awake at 4am and it seems all I can do is surrender to wakefulness.
So this is my idea of surrendering – dragging myself up to the computer to see if my fingers will disspell any insights or wisdom my left brain has been holding prisoner. The truth will set you free. What truth? What is “THE truth”? There’s no such thing. Every man’s ‘truth’ is true for him and you can’t argue that. There is no one ‘truth’ about anything, only many versions of the same thing. Even the word itself is starting to bug me – I’ve heard it bandied around lately like some new political slogan by people who claim to be ‘on the path’. Another meaningless cliche – ‘on the path’. What path? There is no path. Ken Wilber makes a great point about distinguishing people who say they are spiritual versus those that really are. People who call themselves “spiritual” are generally speaking from the side of their ego that has adopted a spiritual mantle. People who are truly spiritual don’t label themselves as such. My father used to say “people with money don’t need to talk about it, or flaunt it.” This is the same thing. My understanding is that as you evolve in the ‘waking up’ process (Ha! Hilarious to be writing that at 4am) you become non-egoic (and I use that term loosely. Clearly, it makes sense to hold on to our egos at a fundamental level – it is our egos that tell us to get dressed, to bathe, to seek shelter ) and you lose the need to identify or distinguish yourself as separate – you no longer need to identify where you are in ‘the process’ because the identification itself keeps you separate and in your egoic state. Through the process, you lose all judgment – of other people, events, situations, behaviours, feelings, yourself – all of it until ultimately, things are neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. They just are. But before that happens, there is the process.
There is a stage in the process where you think you’re King S**t and you tell everyone you’re “on the path”, “seeking truth”, and/or “as One” or some other such nonsense to describe how evolved you are. But that’s the irony! When you are in that particular phase of “the journey” (another phrase that should be tarred and feathered) you are even more egoic than you were before because you are still speaking from your ego (but you don’t know it), which is now hyper-inflated because it now believes it is ‘spiritual’ and thus, superior to everyone else. But you don’t recognise that you are still in an extreme egoic phase because you are standing in the middle of your own shadow, in darkness.
Case in point – I was recently at an Anthony Robbins seminar and anyone who has ever attended one of these events knows that Tony Robbins likes to keep people’s energy levels up by getting them out of their chairs and dancing like Lady GaGa, or Madonna, or Michael Jackson, massaging each other, bellowing incantations, marching around the premises … whatever it takes to keep people in a ‘peak state’ for the very long days. Its like a caricature of a cross between a Pink concert and Boot Camp.
So, at this last event there was one participant who was “on the path” and whose mantra was “Truth is Beauty. Beauty is Truth” and “we are all one” and other similar bumper sticker proverbs. He wore a beautific smile and appeared serene and zen-like. When it came time to stand up and dance like no one was watching however, he remained seated – coolly surveying the rest of us with an expression of bemused sympathy and an ever so slight sneer of distaste and discomfort. And when we were asked to go outside and march around the premises of the JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Palm Springs chanting “Now, I am the voice! I will lead, not follow….” he just walked on the outskirt of the group with that smirk of surveillance on his face and did not participate. His expression seemed to be saying “You sad little unevolved beings. I don’t need to engage in these theatrics because I have already graduated and I am on another level”. I wanted to walk up and smack him on the head with my manual and say “wipe that smug smirk off your face and get with the program! What are you doing at an Anthony Robbins seminar if you didn’t want to participate? Did you just come here to gloat! I am just as evolved as you are – if not more so!!” (you see how mature I can be? How “evolved” I am?? Nothing like a little regression to remind you of how little you really know).
A bit later, I was thinking about the rather extreme response I had to this person (I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to flounce him with the manual) and I realised, a bit reluctantly, that the reason I so vehemently protested his ‘too cool for school’ demeanour is because the ‘spiritually arrogant’ jacket is one that I still keep in my closet, too. But I deny that I do. Can I tell you how uncomfortable that is for me to admit that? Its a big ‘eeuuw’ and I feel a bit of ‘shame’ coming up in my stomach but there it is… my 4.30am “truth”, now purged.
Okay, so here is the drop – and let’s continue to use the Anthony Robbins participant just for simplicity’s sake. The thing is – if he had been truly ‘spiritual’ or in that space of ‘oneness’, he would never have evaluated whether the activity was something he wanted to join in on – he would have just stood up and danced (or marched, or chanted, or bleated like a sheep or whatever was being asked of us) with everyone else – without thinking. It is the ego that thinks, not the spirit. When you think before you feel, you are putting the natural order of things in reverse. When you are in feeling mode first, the adage “dance like no one is watching” is just what you do. And when you are in that space where you are evaluating before participating, you are not being ‘spiritual’. You can’t say your philosophy is ‘oneness’ and then separate yourself from others (either through identifying where you personally are ‘on (you_r journey’ or by actions) because you have an image to protect. Its like people who say they are ‘religious’ because they go to church every Sunday but spend the rest of the week violating the very principals they swear by.
This is a lesson I seem to keep repeating myself and so, I am humbled in my reflection. For the past two months, I have had several experiences where I have observed what I see happening for someone else and then Boom! No sooner have I disspelled my sagacious insight about their life then I am faced with the perfect parallel projection of that ‘issue’ in my own life. I’ve watched myself fall off the platform of integrity so many times I’ve developed vertigo. I don’t walk my talk all of the time. Sometimes I am full of more s**t than a Thanksgiving turkey. But alas, the point is to learn, right? Learning is growing and if we’re not growing, we are dying. So hallelujah!! I am definitely alive!
I do passionately believe that we really are all in this together so the message here is to lose the “I AM” ness. The next time you think or say “I am” or “You are” remember that everything you are, I am. And everything that I am, you are.
And now… finally… the land of Nod beckons. Good night.
p.s. I have absolutely no idea why that guy chose not to participate (he did eventually btw) and I absolutely recognise and own that all of my speculations were nothing more than blind assumptions with no basis more reliable than my own meandering projections.