PRIME POST: Dealing with Unit Overwhelm
This post is about how morphing relativity can affect spiritual experience and equanimity. Call me unenlightened, but relativity still counts in my book. I don’t minimize or dismiss it, and I’m not trying to avoid it. This teaching is about embracing it exactly as it is. Fred Davis is wholly incapable of pulling that off. Fortunately he’s not in the room.
Fred Davis does not exist from a metaphysical perspective, but this unit, it’s make-believe attendant character and that storyline is still my experience. Who’s saying that? Awakeness. Nothing about experience amounts to anything in the end, but if that’s seen and said from philosophy instead of living experience then it is poison instead of freedom. And I, Awakeness, am not interested in any philosophy that attempts to negate experience. After all, I am experience-ing itself! It is the only game in town, and what a game it is! There’s nothing wrong with the Void, but look at how splendidly juicy Maya is!
However, the nature of experience is cyclical. Yin yang. Within every extreme there lies the seed of the other extreme. The entire world hinges on apparent contrast. If you are in a white chair at a white table surrounded by white walls, floor, and ceiling, there is nothing happening. There is no interest. There is no animation. The world is monochromatic and dead as a doornail. But slip a raisin onto that table, and you can build a whole world of stories around that contrast.
A novel is not worth reading unless there is substantial conflict; that’s what keeps us turning the pages. A movie is exactly the same. The turning of the wheel of change is what makes life life.
To keep things interesting, once in awhile – typically right about the time we’ve gotten really set and comfortable in our present life station – we’ll notice something falling down from above and landing right in our laps. In an attempt to be good spiritual folk, we smile in positive expectation, lean over with open heart and welcoming spirit only to notice that this newly arrived gift is in fact a live grenade. It go boom!
Our formerly gentle experience of the world suddenly explodes into a maelstrom of crushing noise and fiery chaos. Emotions begin to boil up and spill out of the body: denial, grief, uncertainty, agony, anger – and above all fear. But all the shoulda-coulda-wouldas in the world will have zero effect when the previously unthinkable becomes the utterly unavoidable. We are no longer inhabiting the same story that we were just short moments ago. We are in a panic.
A loved one dies suddenly in a car wreck, a career goes in the toilet on a dark Friday afternoon, some horrid disease is revealed in the course of a regular physical. Or we are leveled by news of an election. Like a tsunami, gargantuan momentum is suddenly crashing down upon us, wiping out the familiar and leaving only primal threat in its wake. We are thoroughly undone.
In the wake of the 2016 election I discovered that the country I thought I lived in was a dream country – apparently it didn’t exist anywhere but in my head. I was a stranger in a strange land. I don’t mind telling you that I, Awakeness, experiencing myself locally as Fredness, was completely stunned and so psychologically disoriented that it even effected me physically. I did not fall back into the sticky mist of misidentification, but only because I have been functioning consciously and continuously through the Fred unit for quite a long time.
Expecting unseasoned Conscious Awakeness to remain conscious – and not just conscious, but also alert and level during such moments of dramatic upheaval is ludicrous. Making such an assumption is simply asking too much of anything that’s functioning through the miles of confused conditioning that a human body-mind represents. Conscious Awakeness remains slippery and fragile for quite a while when experiencing relativity through any unit It starts overtaking. I’ve never seen an exception to that in the 1,000+ people I’ve helped come to know their True Nature.
A human unit is an ever-primed bio-bomb, and if it is ever going to go nuclear, it will be when it’s angry and fearful and feels out of control. This event is what I term “unit overwhelm.” Conditioning overcomes consciousness and then it’s a world of trouble until it’s not.
Let us recall that there is no such thing as a “permanent awakening,” because there’s no one home to have or hold such a thing. This is myth that has been passed down to us as fact, and it’s just nonsense. Awakeness itself is what wakes up, and it’s Awakeness itself – through a given set of conditioning – that either is, or is not, alert to the nature of the present arising, to this freshly morphed appearance we call Oneness; to this newly minted version of This That Is.
These units are bio-bombs and they can explode at any time over pretty much nothing. They do what they do. For example, I recently stumped my toe all to hell and back, and I have to tell you, right at that moment Buddha Nature was not seen to be expressing yet another perfect moment in the endless stream of perfect moments. Oh no. Nor was Conscious Awakeness experiencing relative toe-ness in some neutral, innocent curiosity. Not at all.
It was MY toe, and MY pain, and that damn table SHOULDN’T have been there! Case closed.
At least that was what was experienced for the first minute or two. Sanity slowly returned, pretty much in direct relationship with how quickly the pain of my apparent electrocution subsided. These days I notice many of my worst habits by their absence. In that instance there was no spontaneous cursing at myself for having not been holy enough to withstand this gross trespass upon Fredness’s biochemical mass without complaint. For me, this is a big deal. For most of my life, and most of post-awakening, I would have raised some mighty hell. The health and life of that errant table would have been in mortal danger.
There’ve been much larger events as well – numerous ones since awakening occurred, with the most recent being a couple of years ago. Trust me, it was a large and ugly event. I was initially awake to it but as it grew more and more intense, it became difficult for Awakeness to remain awake and alert to truth. The Witness – I – remained present, but moved to the distant background. That fuzzy Self-knowledge modified my experience, but it by no means nullified it.
In my heart of hearts I knew there was was no problem, but in unalert moments suffering in the form of fear and anger would kick in. When I became alert to the suffering – which I recognized as transitory misidentification – I would direct the unit down the steps and have it sit in the living room. I didn’t read – actually Fredness was incapable of reading during the worst of that storm – nor did I meditate, or attempt anything that might either distract me from or cover up the suffering. I let it my emotions overtake me as deeply as they wished while I remained conscious to them.
As that storm subsided I would look around at the quiet room and its neutral content, and this sort of manually brought I back to the forefront. In order to do that, I had to ritually “subtract” the make-believe Fred that wasn’t in the room to begin with. Only still, silent, awake spaciousness remained, because that was all that was there to begin with.
Next came the relative assessment, expressed as a willingness for I/i to tell itself the overwhelmingly obvious truth.
Would a stranger standing on my front porch and peering through the window be able to spot a problem anywhere in the living room?
In the absence of the Fred that wasn’t there anyway, and thus seen purely from the eyes of I, could any problem anywhere be found right now?
Was it at all possible that What Is somehow “shouldn’t be”?
That left clear, relative choices on how to deal with the presently arising arising. Potential actions spontaneously suggested themselves.
Could I/i further change the situation?
Could I/i leave the situation?
Could I/i fix the situation?
Since I was powerless, was the unit going spontaneously to hurl itself off of a bridge or shoot itself in the head?
That left the only possible solution for I/i shining like gold in sunlight: acceptance. We can go into the details of what that process is or is not at another time. Let it suffice for the moment to say that it felt like i surrendered to I.
And that acceptance somehow nurtured endurance. Even i’s hurt little human feelings played a role. There was no way in this world that i was going to let a crowd of unkind, unconscious sheep take it down. They were not awake to this arising, and i was not awake to this arising, but I was.
If you’ve read any of my life story, then you already know something about the Fred unit. It’s a survivor. And so it survived. Again. And then it positively thrived. Again.
It wasn’t all lemonade and sherbet, but it was “doable” – to use the rather silly relative vernacular. Two years later this teaching is twice the size that it was then and I know who my friends really are now. I’m experiencing the Fred unit’s life with more joy than ever. The character’s preferences still go unmet by the score on a daily basis, but it’s just not a big deal. Those preferences spring from an imagined, limited view and I is neither imagined nor limited in any way. Living as Awakeness through a unit is not actually about the unit.
When we look upon this wacky world, at human insanity and unskillfulness, we can begin to think we are looking at divine unskillfulness. Well, we’re not. There is no such thing. Life is a Persian tapestry 10 miles tall and 10 miles wide, and every unit has got a world view the size of a postage stamp. We feel sure our stamp is brimming with error and problems.
Yet it’s not the viewed that is the problem. It is the viewer. The viewer has come to believe it is a single unit, when in fact it is God. The revelation of Truth instantly heals every wound that isn’t there to begin with. Hang tough.
November 17, 2016 @ 5:24 am
Great post. Thanks, Fred.
November 17, 2016 @ 9:17 am
Hey, Harriet! Thanks!
November 17, 2016 @ 9:51 am
Love you Fred, thanks so much for waking me up… As a retired ICU RN I knew there had to be more to this life,,, Now thanks to you I know 😉
November 17, 2016 @ 9:58 am
Thank you so very much, Donna. It is my pleasure and honor to be of service to my Self.
November 17, 2016 @ 9:26 am
Got as far as “or Donald Trump is elected president of the United States” and had to quit !
Thought you were “experience itself” !
November 17, 2016 @ 9:55 am
I knew I was going to lose some readers over this post, and some YouTube subscribers as well. I’m okay with that; I lost some over last week’s post as well. I completely understand your position, because I know that conditioning rises to meet circumstance, it fires as it fires, and these units do what they do.
If I have not made it clear before, then let me do so now: I am not a cardboard cut-out of a spiritual teacher, nor a people-pleasing chameleon who’s going to always show up for the widest audience in the most broadly acceptable way. That’s not my job. I did that for fifty years and I found that after decades of wearing such disguises my own humanity and dignity disappeared. No more.
I Am Awakeness.
I am fully Awakeness and I am also a full-blown human being, exactly as Gandhi was, and exactly as the Dalai Lama is today. Awakening doesn’t make me stupid, and surrendering to this arising doesn’t make me passive. Nonduality is about Wholeness, not the ever sharpening division we playing out in front of us. If we cannot be open, honest, and tolerant here, in the midst of this vital work, then where are we to do so?
I am not against Donald Trump. I am for trust and justice. I am for inclusion, compassion, understanding, and the recognition of the equality of all beings – including you. I am for kindness, civility, and respect. I am for recognizing the value of education and the need for a humanistic perspective. I invite you, and everyone else, to make this work, The Only Important Thing, your most important thing.
November 17, 2016 @ 10:37 am
Thanks, Fred. Great article! Surrender is all it takes. But as you explain, that often takes time and working it from many different angles.
Regarding politics, I appreciate that you’re not afraid to voice your position. As oneness, I love Donald Trump, and am praying that he be filled with compassion and prove to be a great president. But as the unit, I am feeling afraid.
November 17, 2016 @ 10:46 am
Thank you, Kathleen. You are far from alone.
November 17, 2016 @ 11:21 am
Maybe this is why a couple of smart guys advocated principles over personalities some time ago. Yes, there were flowers amid snowflakes on the top of the mountain, right up to the point where the volcano erupted. Which was right, the flowers and snowflakes, or the incalculable pressure in the volcano? The answer, of course, is: Yes. It’s all getting easier as time goes on, though. Poor Arjuna needed Krishna jumping up and down on his head, in full public view of thousands of amped up relatives on both sides, to finally get it. These days, we read this blog instead; it’s the easier, softer way. Keep it coming, Awakeness…and thanks for the warning about “Fred” sometimes trying to heckle from the cheap seats. We do love him, though!
November 17, 2016 @ 12:24 pm
Thank you, George! Come to satsang!
November 17, 2016 @ 11:57 am
Thank you, Oneness, speaking as Fred, for manifesting a post that is so pointedly appropriate at just this time, at just this moment, given the both the collective and personal circumstances that have occurred in recent days. I am sure it has touched many of us deeply. It certainly speaks to me directly. How can it not? Through you, I have reminded myself of who I really am and to accept that which arises, no matter how painful (from the point of view of the character), and to see through the conditioned patterns clearly.
Thank you, Fred, for being the character you are through which this teaching is spoken! How clear! How open! How real! From the bottom of my heart, thank you! Wow!
November 17, 2016 @ 12:21 pm
Thank you, Vince! See you soon!
November 17, 2016 @ 4:18 pm
Great post, Fred, and very timely for me!
November 17, 2016 @ 4:21 pm
Hey, David! And hello to everyone in Wales! Thank you! See you soon!
November 18, 2016 @ 2:25 am
Thanks Awakeness for using your story to illustrate and reassure, and ever patiently mothering with repetition. I like the “miles of confused conditioning”. It’s just like the labyrinth symbol, which synchronistically(!) had just dawned on me that that’s the tangled web consciousness got itself into with its narrow micro-selfing. And only backing out with softening Awareness and the “help” of Awakeness’ vista from Presence is going to lead us back out.
And Trump?! – seeing him other than Awakeness just keeps Me other than Awakeness. A Course in Miracles goes to the extent of describing the seeing of others as bodies is maintaining guilt within myself. (If I’m affirming I’m spirit – unlimited, eternal, untouched – how does that not include Trump?). Now if I could just make everybody around me constantly repeat this back to me … 🙂
Thank you Fred and all for being on my bio-bomb diffusing squad.
November 18, 2016 @ 9:47 am
Hey, Mike! Carry on!
NEW VIDEO POST: Dealing with Unit Overwhelm – Awakening Clarity Now by Fred Davis
November 26, 2016 @ 10:57 am
[…] WRITTEN BLOG POST […]
December 4, 2016 @ 12:00 am
Hey Fred, thank you for your post! This thing has had a series of those “perceived” life-altering that at least from this angle appear and sound very much like those the Fredness spoke of in your post. The events that cut faaaaar closer to home than the mere election of one talking head over another talking head in this case were enough to knock the recognition of oneness off it’s “lofty” perch.
Interesting how the ‘thing that thinks it thinks’ has a gradation of upsets–much like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. When they get personal–the “thinking” thing (at least in the experience at this particular perceived time/place) was enough to knock this thing for a loop for some apparent time. Not that it matters, in the end. The story tends to run itself out, and at this point, and the purity of the what “is” Awakeness seems to pervade and then work its way back into the pole position.
Thank you for sharing the step-wise process by which the Fred-thing noticed it could slough itself back off again. Tools. We all are them, and we all require them. I truly appreciate your sharing some of yours so as not to unduly spend more time in whatever this is pretending to be the character, while being immersed in the play is so much more satisfying.
December 4, 2016 @ 10:34 am
Hey, Barb! Thanks for this. It’s wonderful to spend some time at Home, is it not? 🙂
September 5, 2017 @ 2:24 pm
Always nice to come back to your site to read, and sometimes re-read, your posts. (This one’s worth multiple reads.) Thank you for consistently shining a clear, bright light on the freedom that we are. Much love to you and Betsy. xo
September 5, 2017 @ 7:57 pm
Hello, Ireneness! It’s always good to hear from you!