Let me quickly say to those of you who are Jonesing for another video, I’m going to take care of that just as soon as I can. I’ve been busy with meditation, jogging with Willy in the cemetery, and even working out with my dumbbells for the first time in a l-o-n-g time. I’m going to do some more soon, I promise.
And it wouldn’t be right for me to publish a column without mentioning The Right Annoying Sir Henry Hackett. Henry was a little tabby cat, a rescue, who had been with us ten years. This last week nature did what it does, and we had to have him put to sleep and then cremated. He was the single most loving, annoying (very bossy and very loud), and brave little animal I ever saw. He was full of spirit all the way to the end, and he’ll be sorely missed, even though he hasn’t gone anywhere.
Here’s a photo of him guiding me through a Skype session. He taught me most of my best stuff.
This past Sunday morning I was Skyping with a Canadian client, a woman, who’s woken up a couple of times with me at the wheel–call her Molly. Saying that Molly has previously woken up is, of course, just languaging around and about what actually happens when awakening occurs. My client never woke up. None of them do. Neither did I. Neither will you.
Awakeness itself is what wakes up, or more accurately Awakeness comes to conscious awareness of itself, but unit memory will, in its muddy hindsight, nonetheless tell us that it was an apparent individual who had an “awakening experience,” Once again, when we say “awakening” it’s good to remember that we’re using language to describe Truth, but we are not actually telling the truth, which is patently impossible.
Regardless, unit memory will report to the ego that it woke up, which means almost inevitably that at some point ego will think that it screwed up and lost it, and now, lost again in the dream, it demands to know how in the hell do I get it back? Well, I’m sorry, but you can’t “get back” something you never had, and ego never had squat. Yet for someone on the outside looking in on the session, it would have certainly looked like it was the human client woke up in our meeting.
Those are the apparent mechanics of it, but they are not the facts. You have to actually be sitting in the client’s chair (or already have conscious Awareness flowing through your unit) in order to know what’s actually taking place. It ain’t what it looks like!
I remember exactly what that experience is like. I don’t imagine I had it more than about forty times–I didn’t have a teacher, I was not a quick study, and it took me three and a half years to really stabilize–to move into ongoing abidance. I vacillated between ecstasy and torture until I actually talked with an outside teacher who was himself brightly awake.
This slowness on my part during that time is today very useful, because I know pretty much every misstep that can be taken in the clearing process, because I took all of them–more than once. I know very well how long-term thinkers think, I know what they experience, and I know the ground they have to cover, and without all of that The Living Method would never have been birthed through this unit. It takes one to know one, but once you know the seeker’s mental map, you can essentially trick it into doing what it wants to do in the first place–come to know its True Nature.
And then comes the clearing game–active, passive, or most often, both. It’s the clearing aspect of our journey that I actually want to talk about. But let’s answer a key question first: Why do we have to clear? Why can’t we just get it all in one shot?
Didn’t Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie and Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta get it all in one whack--complete awakening and complete understanding in one fell swoop? The answer is no, they did not. Eckhart had his years in the park. Katie had her time in the desert, during which she developed The Work as a counter-measure to the madness still patterning through the unit. It was long years between his initial awakening and the day Ramana began to teach. Any devoted student of Nisargadatta can see a maturing in his teaching as it progresses.
Sudden awakening is not the same thing as sudden complete understanding. At any given point we know what we know, but we don’t know what we don’t know, and anyone who’s had an initial awakening is like a brilliant first-grader. I see teachers backing up on what they’ve said all the time, particularly those who have early on in their careers sworn that there’s “Nothing to do and no one to do it, nothing is real and therefore nothing matters, and that’s the Way of It, and that is that.”
One of the more famous teachers in Nonduality has in recent times been restating his position on that sort of thing. I admire him for having done it and done it up-front, in public. His short word on the change in his teaching? “My first two books? Not so much.” And no, I’m not going to tell you who he is. If you’re a close follower, you already know. If you’re not, it doesn’t matter anyway.
So why should you and I be any different from all these shining examples? Well, typically we are not. I say “typically,” because I like to leave the door open to all possibilities, but I know a lot of awake beings, and I don’t know a single one who woke up once, got it all, and has now retired in Brightness, and gone back to drinking beer and watching football from a fetal position on the couch.
The reason that we drift or jump back into unconsciousness is always the same: ego picks an argument with What Is. It may even win the argument, but it will always do so at the price of freedom. As I love to remind myself, we can be free, or we can be right, but we can’t be both at the same time. I have seen Molly (remember her??) absolutely clear as a bell. We have even talked about her possibly becoming someone who can live this Truth well enough to share it in a public way. She’s got a gift for that anyway. It’ll be a little while yet; I see that now.
Stabilization is not easy unless it is. I have what I call Rocks all over the world who got a good look at this in their first session, and though the experiencing of Truth may run from sharp to dull, from bright to dim, clear to cloudy, they never revert back to full unconsciousness. In my case, I moved back and forth in and out of the light for quite sometime, but from the day of my awakening onward I always knew authenticity when I read it or heard it. I couldn’t feel it inside as my experience, but I knew what it’s tracks looked like. Conversely, my bullshit meter rewired itself during that first awakening, and from then on it would start beeping at bullshit from a distance.
Back to Molly. My God, will I ever get done with this article that I thought was going to be about 500 words??
When I met with Molly on this past Sunday, I could see she was terribly frustrated and she told me, in so many words, “I am out cold.” (Actually the fact that she knew she was “out cold” is a clear indicator that she wasn’t. Regardless, it was close enough.) And then she said, verbatim, “Now, please, you do whatever it is that you do!” She tossed me the hand grenade with a look of, “I’m sure the pin is around here somewhere; good luck!”
I went to work on her and tried several angles–experiments, investigations, and inquiries–with no success. Forty-five minutes into our meeting I saw I was getting nowhere. Now she was not only frustrated, but she was stressing that I wasn’t going to be able to help her. So, I had made things worse. Could I perchance make them better?
I wish I could tell you that I have no preference as to whether my clients wake up or not. Wouldn’t that be lovely? The Great Unmoved Sage. But I can’t tell you that and tell the truth. I care. Maybe I’ll graduate to Great Unmoved in another life, but in this one, it matters. Granted, I’m not married to any particular end result, but I certainly have my preference.
I want people to get it if they’re supposed to get it. Since I can’t know if they’re supposed get it or not, I give every single client my very best stuff every single time. I take nothing for granted, and I keep nothing in reserve. Every session is do or die. I win or lose my fake little angel wings every day, every session.
If I wake you up, I’m your hero, and you think I’m much wiser and more skillful than I actually am. If I don’t, then I’m probably a fraud and should be run out of town. It’s harsh, but comes with the territory. It’s me who’s backing up against the wall and taking on all comers. No one’s forcing me. I don’t think.
On this day, as I say, nothing worked for Molly. I really didn’t know what to do. And I didn’t need to. Something popped in my head. “Okay,” I said, “try this.” Words started coming out of my mouth, and a whole new narrative track arrived and arose spontaneously. Not only was it brand new, but it was nothing I had even thought about before. It came out of nowhere, whole cloth, rough but powerful.
For those of you who’ve been through an Awakening Session with me, this is exactly the same way the Homecoming Story–what I used to call the Void Story–arrived. It popped out in the middle of a session, and so did this. Conscious Awakeness was again flowing through Molly in about fifteen minutes. We talked for another fifteen, and then we parted, both of us tired, both of us happy.
She sent me an email that night that contained a line that let me see she was doing fine.
I’m not confidant that this new narrative, call it a story if you must, would work to wake up anyone who has not already had an initial awakening. But if someone has had an initial awakening, and has then slipped back into the dream, this thing appears to be dynamite. It’s also fast and has the potential to sustain itself–forgive the language again–until attention has been completely pulled from it. My friend Georgette up in Asheville and I “played with it” for about ninety minutes before we finally ran out of time. At the start, right after it hit Georgette, she said, “My God, everything is looking back at me!”
What you get from this is the visceral experience of being Being. It is strong. I’ve thought about this New Thing, analyzed it, worked with it alone and with others, and tweaked it ever since. It’s early-early Saturday morning–or late Friday night as I write this. It’s still rough, but it’s worked wonderfully every time I’ve used it but one. That time the client was distracted by events in and around his home, and I don’t think I had him completely on board.
One other time I started it, then switched to something else before the end, because of something I’d heard the client say that went off in my head like a gunshot. He was already awake anyway, and the exploration ended up birthing a new, singular inquiry tailored to him and him alone, and he got what he needed. So that time was not a fair trial. I have tried it seven times in a row since then, and it’s worked brilliantly every single time. It’s a keeper.
For those of you in Asheville who are coming to the first Clarity Gathering, you’ll get to experience this. I’m probably going to very nearly start with it. Might as well get everyone brightened up to begin with–after all, clarity is the name of the game. For those who’ve been through an Awakening Session, but need some further tweaking–as I did–give this some consideration. For the moment I’m calling it “The Attention Narrative”.
Be well. Be clear.
Fred Davis 3.15.14