Enlightenment is Only the First Step

Thursday, July 16, 2009

(December 18, 2022: I think this is a long-winded way to say you have to handle your “Vasanas” – tendencies, karmic predilections; e.g. Transcend your own psychology)


We all seek so hard of enlightenment, nirvana, grace, heaven, the peace that surpasses understanding. Buddha hood. Christ-power. God. Call it what you will.
And what a cosmic joke, it’s only the first step on the mysterious road of awakening. Of discovering myriad innumerable infinite expressions.


Until one stops believing, well, basically everything. Stops believing one’s own shit – just gives it all up. Stops believing in one’s own physical mortal existence, one’s own power and ability and infallibility and mind and intellect and kindness and will. Learns to see through or underneath the veil of perceptions, the thoughts, feelings…one is lost in a world of never ending show and story. Forever chasing one’s tail of happiness, sadness, highs and lows, pain and pleasure. Are you willing to give everything up for the unknown? For nothing at all?
To live and die unknown, uncared for, unnoticed, a pebble on the road, a moldy crust of bread? A torn sleeve a missing button. Forgotten, amidst the lights and colors and sounds and thousand voices that swirl in the light? Are you willing to live in the dark? A voice, a color a shape in someone’s eye that they are not sure they really saw. Unsure, unlovable, undeserving, undifferentiated, undefined, unknowing, unknowable. But, once that link is broken, once the story ends, then what has always been there, underneath, behind everything emerges and can be clearly not seen but sensed. In every thing. It’s touch, the Vibration of Being. The itchy urgent tingle of life whispering incessantly, unceasingly to come, rest, fall into our arms. Leave it all go.
Allow the waves to come and go, waves of experience washing over and under and through. No boundaries no separation, no bindings. Just freedom. Pure, unfettered soaring amidst unimagined heights of expanses never visited. It’s all there for you every moment. But, your body can’t go, and your mind is a leased Seeing Eye dog.


We call to you! Leave all the torments and cities and people behind, come here where nothing needs be done, nothing needs be attained, nothing needs be learned or known.
Are you willing to die? Would you take your own life for eternal life? And what happens when you read those words? Words YOU wrote?


Everyday I see people; pass me by hurrying nowhere, fears aplenty. Lose some, pick up others. What would life be without fear? Why, it wouldn’t be life at all! It would be, well, I don’t know what, but it wouldn’t be life! Life is made up of fear. Have to be careful – could slip and hurt myself, do I have insurance for that? Or maybe one of the crazies will get me. They’re out there, you know. They’ll cheat or steal from you or just hurt you for no reason or any reason! People do that you know, can’t be too careful. Or I’ll say or do – something – and someone will laugh or poke fun or just Single Me Out In The Crowd. There’s safety in numbers. If I can stay hidden, I’ll be fine.
Hidden, from WHO? Who are you hiding from. Stop, even for a moment and just look around, look at what is really happening. No, no, can’t stop, can’t stop, too much to do, prepare for, set aside for, make up for, plan for, spend for, impress, distress, suckcess, it never ends. It never can end. But You can end. But will you? Will You?
Oh My God. My head fills with all things they would be thinking about me. If I started to cry I’d never stop. All the long nights alone waiting for someone, anyone and then all the longer nights waiting to be rid of them. It will be better tomorrow; I just have to get through today. A day at a time if I can just make one more day, one more hour, then the next and the next and the next. And if not tomorrow then the day after, surely. It can’t go on like this forever. It just seems so. What are you waiting for?


What color sunset does it have to be before you’ll stop and watch. No, don’t make plans and bring a blanket and picnic basket and Off! and thermos of cool drinks and a piece of cake wrapped just so and a napkin and that nice blouse and short outfit. Just sit down right here in the dirt and bask in the free show. Always there, regardless. And, what if I told you that you were only projecting a reflection of yourself into your mind and there is no sunset? There is only you?


Can you ever really see what you look like? Of course not, yet that won’t keep you from trying to see yourself in a myriad of admirers, lovers, friends, family, public grandiose works and private unspeakable horrors.


Kids, pets, cars, boats, building, clothes, ideas, visions, promises, therapy, spirituality, God, it never ends. All but a vain, useless attempt to see that which can never be seen, know that which can never be known, touch that which is always just…out…of…grasp’s reach. But keep trying, maybe you’ll see your reflection in clouds on the top of Mt. Everest or the waters of the Amazon or in the surface of the Moon or an electron cloud.


But, what do you think you’ll see? There is no YOU! This is what keeps me laughing on subways, no people, no things, just the appearances arising out of nothing registered by that same nothing.
Endless reaching, grasping pushing past the limitless limits of the body by bodiless nothingness. And when I reach over to touch you, reaching out, you pull away. A million stories, a million reasons to say no. But only one to say yes. And the stories become real. They become who you think you are. One story hiding behind the next and the next and the next. Until there’s almost a tangible thing. It can be weighed measured and gauged and compared using their stories. And where did THAT get you?
You can have any reality you want and look at what you choose.


In the dark moments of the night it comes to you but you push it away. Certainly heaven can’t be that simple, that easy, that near at hand. It must be hard, impossible, many lives, much effort and pain to show your worthiness, your clean mind and body and spirit. But wait, you’re not quite clean enough, are you, can you ever be? No, not really, so we’ll let that one go, like all the others and worry about the little ones that can be easily seen and felt and have to be dealt with. One has to earn their daily bread, No? Yet, do you REALLY? Where does it come from? Is it not all a gift, free? The air, the sun, the water and the earth and the food that comes for free. True, iPods don’t grow on trees, but what would you rather have: the leisure and grab an apple when hungry or work your life away to buy an authentic Apple product?


But OK, does it have to be work? Being is its own reward and purpose. Maybe you love what you do. You’d do it for free if they’d let you. All 27 of you out there. And the rest? Drudges, scrudges, smudges and lost phantoms, hurrying their lives away, trading their birthright-Big Bang for a promised buzz tomorrow.
A life of barter, trade, give to get, building bigger and better sandcastles, mine has more turrets that yours, look aren’t his silly, while we meet every Sunday to pray to hold back the tide. Hurry! Here it comes now. Run! Build walls and bridges and circuits and accelerators to hold off the coming of the sea! Keep looking, the secret is just up ahead, a bit more, don’t stop, more money, more research, more prayer. What do you mean you’re starving! Well we must sacrifice one to save the rest.


But there ARE NO OTHERS there is only you. And even you don’t really exist!


Just stop. Let it go, build with all your might and then stand back and gaily watch the sea melt your dreams, mix your salt water with the ocean and dive in and start again.


Better this than protecting something that never existed. Can never exist. Is no more real than a ray of light or a bit of fog or a shadow. Or the glow of the sun setting behind a high misty tower in the far distance.