For a close-up look at the freshly awakened state from the viewpoint of other
Awakening Clarity readers, please check out the brand new Letters from Ground Zero page.]
Welcome! Hello, everybody, it’s great to be with you again!
For those of you in the US, happy three-day Labor Day weekend. We have a nice custom with a funny name. “Labor Day” is not about laboring. It’s about not-laboring! Most of us get a holiday on the first Monday in September. This custom comes from the same country that calls the place where your car sits still outside of your house a “driveway,” and a place where cars drive fast, a “parkway.” Go figure.
It’s due to the holiday that I’m putting this out a couple of days early, and it’s long enough to keep you informed and entertained for most of one of the three days!
I’m confident that you’ll find this week’s “regulation post to be worthwhile,” but a lot has been going on, so I have some things to share with you first.
HALF-DAY SATSANG IN ASHEVILLE
I will be holding satsang in Asheville, NC on Saturday, September 21 from 2:00 to 5:30. The last I heard the venue was not yet set, but the person to call if you’re interested in attending is Georgette Cressendat 828-645-0514. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgette is arranging for The Book of Undoing to be on sale at the famed Malaprop’s Book Store prior to my arrival. I bought Zen books at a well-stocked Malaprop’s on my first honeymoon, back in 1984. Who on earth reads Eastern philosophy on their honeymoon—you know what I mean? Clearly spirit already had me by the throat way back then! Does that sort of behavior ring a bell with anyone out there?
VIDEO SATSANG IN CHICAGO
I’ll be holding satsang via Skype in Chicago at 7 pm on Monday, October 7. What I mean by this is that a number of people will gather in a private home to engage with me via Skype. It will be mostly in a question and answer format. There is no charge, but seating is limited. Expect the session to fun from ninety minutes to two hours. If you’re interested in attending, please contact my friend there, Eliane St. Marie, at email@example.com.
FREDNESS IN THE BAD OLD DAYS
My dear second ex-wife, Tammy in PDX, who is now my wonderfully close friend, has a genuinely hilarious new blog called Funny…Peculiar | Musing of a girl who shoulda known better. Trust me, she is bothfunny and peculiar!
There are a couple of posts about me on her blog that’ll give you an amusing snapshot of how it used to be for this unit in the bad ole days. If you’re at all interested, click the links below for instant weirdness.
Warning: What you about to see has not been judged spiritually fit for human consumption.
As long-term readers already know, I have long talked about “coming out of the bleachers and getting on the field.” Spirituality is simply not a spectator sport. The fastest way to make a lot of apparent spiritual progress is by getting involved. It’ll do more faster to clear you than anything I know.
An absolutely amazing example of spiritual activism is being lived out right now by my new friend K.C. Oon, in Singapore. K.C. retired early from corporate life in order to carry out what he saw as a higher mission—he faithfully served as a meditation teacher in Asia for 20 years. He taught mainly in Singapore, but also in Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Germany.
Somehow he recently stumbled across The Book of Undoing, and it shook him from stem to stern. K.C. came to an immediate awakening. With all of that context he had, there were a lot of “spiritual synapses”available to catch the truth. This is where we see the value of years of study and practice really come into play—in post-awakening.
Beyond his own experience, KC recognized a clear and powerful vehicle for sharing the message of freedom. He started buying copies and distributing them to friends. Awakenings have already occurred, and more surely will.
KC is writing and calling friends all over Asia, Australia, and Europe to bring this teaching to their attention. To be fair, all of his life he’s hung out in the right circle for introducing something like this. Be that as it may, he’s been a storm. I’ve gotten emails from him that he wrote in the middle of the night, telling me that the excitement was just too great to allow him to rest.
Some of his friends are now following K.C.’s example. This is the kind of ripple that becomes a wave, and such waves, my friends, have the ability to wash away the old, and bring in the new. Which is precisely what our planet is calling for. Loudly.
Let’s look at Singapore for a second. It’s a tiny, but very important country for both the banking and shipping industries. With something over five million residents, Singapore’s population is a few hundred thousand less than Houston, Texas. Despite the small number of people, for the past ten days it’s been the country with either thesecond or third largest Awakening Clarity readership, right after the US, and sometimes after the UK.
Let’s remember that the US has somewhere around 315 million residents, and that the UK has close to 65 million. Singapore has a small fraction of those—a mere 5 million people—less than the population of Greater Houston, yet it’s handily beating out all of AC’s usual crew of European powerhouses, such as France and Germany, along with faithful English-speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and South Africa. In case you’re wondering, mainland China and Netherlands round out the top ten.
This is what one man on fire can do. It’s so inspiring that my eyes got full, and I nearly wept over some of K.C.’s letters. I could feel spirit working through him, and it touched me deeply. That kind of energy is contagious—there’s no question about that.
I don’t mean to imply that spiritual activism is just about this teaching. Clearly that’s not the case. It’s about getting behind any clear and useful teaching—even if that’s your own! “Hiding your light under a bushel,” is what my friend and psychologist Bradley Mills in Australia calls silent grandiosity.
If you have something to share, and there is a latent pull to do so, then it’s your responsibility to share it. There are some strange-to-me ideas floating around about how we should all keep our heads low. That’s for the people who feel that from an authentic place, and it’s just fine for them. But let’s not make a decision to not share what we have in the broadest possible way.
Other than ego, who is it that’s so terribly concerned about how we look to naysayers? We’ll have naysayers no matter what we do. My suggestion is to do what you’re drawn to do. Eventually you can’t notanyway, so why suffer over it?
Let me give you back the gift of the importance of relativity: so long as there is someone who feels like s/he has to make a decision, then make the wisest, most compassionate decision that you can. And then don’t second guess it, or wonder what others will think. You’ll be second guessing divinity, not yourself. The divine really doesn’t need our 20/20 hindsight in order to make good decisions.
The best essay I have ever read is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self Reliance. It’s nothing like you might think; it’s deeply spiritual, and incredibly freeing.
It’s about the willingness to be an expression of truth right here, right now, in this arising in your way. Waiting for the right conditions, or the right time, is a story of future, and nothing happens in the future. There is no future. When the future arrives, it’s always now.
I had a Clarity Session early on what is now yesterday morning with a friend of mine, Greg Darnell, who lives in Ashland, Oregon. Greg woke up with me some time ago and has cleared considerably since then. Interestingly, his priorities have begun to shift, without either his direction or permission.
Like me, he’s an entrepreneur, and we are known to be a compulsive and driven lot. He told me that when he reported his post-awakening goals to a business group they all looked at him sideways, like a dog does when he thinks you’re one crazy human. What he said was that his goals were about living an authentic life—serving the cause of freedom, and living in freedom, as freedom, not just reading and talking about it.
To the degree his fellows were shocked, so was I completely impressed. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who simply can’t loosen the grip on their businesses, and thus have no hand free to truly grab hold of the new life we are being offered. Greg is not one of them, and he’s motoring on into spiritual activism–and greater clarity.
Live skillfully. Make money if you do; it’s fun stuff. But don’t build a gilded prison around your spirit. Greg is not. We’ve talked and he’s is on his way to becoming a spiritual activist. How about you?
Nothing is mandatory in the search for enlightenment and clarity. Everyone gets it differently, and everyone does it differently. Yet there remain some striking commonalities among those with really clear seeing, and service is one of them.
Find a way to serve.
Find a way to get involved. Don’t wait for God to do it all, or planetary alignment, or for when you have more money, or better health, or it’s more convenient. Don’t wait for anybody, or anything. Be the person you have been waiting on to bring change. Let now be the time. But heed this suggestion only if you want to wake up and continue to clear.
Any positive mission will do. It doesn’t have to look spiritual. None of that matters. In the end we discover that there’s actually nothingunspiritual, so that leaves you a wide open field. I suggest you not find something to be against, but rather find something to be for. Don’t beagainst loggers, be for trees. Don’t be against grey businesses, be for a green planet. Don’t be against haters, be for love.
Bringing in positive energy for positive change is the way to promote both better practical living, and a higher grade of spirituality for yourself and others. The two are in no way exclusive; they are in fact complimentary. Enlightenment is totally practical, and utterly simple. Bringing the light of truth that comes from beyond the dream back home into the dream is the ultimate purpose of enlightenment. As abonus, it’s a better way to live your life—I can promise you that.
Thank you, K.C. for helping to brighten the planet. While I’m at it, let me thank some other spiritual activists who’ve played a role in growing this teaching.
Thanks to Sharon Desjarlais for your priceless introduction ofstructure. Thank you, Roland Jackman, for your selfless help with the new website. Thank you, Duke and Evelyn Warren in Charleston, SC for hosting me for a talk and satsang in that city, and for sending me a long line of referrals. Thank you, Georgette Cressend and Eliane St. Marie for helping out with the satsangs mentioned above. Thank you,John Ames, for the editing skills you apply to the website, and for your topic suggestions.
And oh my goodness! Never let me forget my lovely wife, Betsy Hackett-Davis, for her never ending encouragement, physical and spiritual support, and for helping to make Awakening Clarity a beautiful place for people to come rest. Thank you all for takingaction. Thank you all for getting involved.
And now to our official post…
How Things Look
When We’re Seeing from Truth
This post contains and answers another bright letter from my friend and client, Mike Leahy, of Orange, New South Wales, Australia. You may recall that I ran his first post-awakening letter in a column called, “An Example of Claiming Your True Identity After Awakening,” which was a follow-up and companion article to a longer column, “Claiming Your True Identity After Awakening.”
Mike had what I term a “brilliant” awakening. I see a fair number of them, but it’s certainly the exception and not the rule. What I mean by a “brilliant awakening” is that not only is there immediate clear seeing, but deep seeing as well, which is reasonably, or very well sustained over a period of time. There may still be the experience of oscillation, but if so, it’s not fully believed. The dream package arrives on our doorstep, but we don’t take delivery of it. What’s great is that Mike is one of those rare people who can adroitly speak about his experience, and is also a good writer.
Here’s his unedited letter from August 20.
From Mike in Oz
Just over a month ago you took me through a DPS [Direct Pointing Session–ed.], at the conclusion of which you invited me to keep in touch. It’s been long enough for me to gather a few coherent impressions (and a question) together – so here goes!!
For starters, any sense that “I am this unit” has gone. If I look for “where has the “me” gone”, there is no sense of it being anywhere. In fact, the futility of even trying to locate “me” is very obvious. So I’ve given up even thinking about “the sense of me might return” How can something that doesn’t exist make a return appearance? The concept of “me” is irrelevant. There is no need to “kill it off” or even stun it into submission. If it appears, it appears. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Simple.
Which is not to say that the me-that-doesn’t-exist hasn’t made a surprise appearance at times. It occasionally shows, but so too does the certain knowledge that I’m not that which has made the surprise appearance. It’s almost as if I’m beyond the me and can see the me doing its thing with an attitude of tolerance and affection. It’s not a sense of being separate observer, but rather of an observing. Sort of “there’s silly Mike doing something dumb” Only once did cloudiness linger – when Mike got cranky over something – and the knowledge that “I’m not that” took a few minutes to kick in. When it did, the me faded, and peace returned.
The seeker died with the DPS and has not returned. That is a mixed blessing in some ways, as I quite enjoyed surfing the internet, or reading books to find the answer to some spiritual-type question. There is simply no urge to find the answers to anything – which sounds boring but is very gratifying. I still visit some “spiritual” sites, but not with a fevered focus. I sort of “graze” through them without feeling that I have to act on what is written or viewed.
The acceptance of what is simply happening is deepening. I no longer look for the “answer” or a “sign” either “out there” or “in here” I just take what appears. Sometimes that means that I’m aware of stuff that’s “good” and sometimes I’m aware of stuff that’s “not so good”. There’s no sense that the good stuff must be encouraged or the bad stuff pushed away – what is, is what is!
I guess one of the stereotypical expectations of a “seeker” is that things will be different after the realisation of what I am dawns. My experience is that things still look the same, but that the relationship to whatever appears is subtly different. I guess I could say that there is awareness that nothing that appears is of a long-lasting or separate nature to that which is seeing. But trees, birds, people, buildings and cars still appear exactly as they did before awareness dawned – and that’s a relief if only because it adds to the ordinary pleasure of everyday life. I have read some pretty nihilistic impressions of “what is after realisation” looks like. I’m relieved that life continues as life always has (because, I guess, that which is has no time dimension and has always been unchanging, perfect in it’s very being).
My relationship with other people has changed insofar as there is no desire to change whatever they’re doing, but rather a loving tolerance that whatever they’re doing is what they’re meant to be doing. There is no reason why they should be doing anything else. Previously, when someone did something stupid, I would quietly rail about their stupidity and what they should be doing. Now I simply observe without feeling the need to do anything about it. Life is sweet.
I have a question. In the Book of Undoing, you have a scene where you take Brooke through the seeing that a lamp is not separate from here, but that “she” is joined to “the lamp. I read that just before our DPS and I guess a pre-DPS expectation of post-DPS clarity is that I should see myself in objects external to this unit. I didn’t and that bugged me for a while. I know that all is Oneness, that I am that and that apparently separate objects have no long-lasting or independent nature. Every apparent ‘thing” is an expression as Oneness. But the gate of vision is powerful and I got hung up on the word “seeing.” I know the lamp is not, in truth, a separate object from that which I am – but the eyes still portray a separate lamp that I am seeing. Did Brook visually meld into the lamp (as an seen expression of oneness) or did Brook know that the lamp, in truth has no existence separate from consciousness/Being/Oneness and therefore came to realise that “distance from something” is a concept with in truth has no meaning – there is no separate place, just as there is no dimension of time. There is just here, right now. I’d appreciate your clarifying this for me. Am I missing something? If I am, I need a clarity session with you!!
That’s probably enough for one email – I could rattle on, but I will stop
In continuing gratitude and love,
Is that a clear and beautiful letter, or what? I told Mike I’d try to answer his question in a post, so here it goes:
This is very subtle stuff. So I’m going to pick it apart. Some of what I say you’ll already be clear on. If I’ve misread your question, you could already be clear on all of it! But here I’m writing not just for you, but for the larger AC audience as well.
You’re generally clear, and have certainly had a very profound awakening–I recognize and respect that. Even still, there is a bit of mist, and since you’ve asked me to do so, I’m happy to try to help you see it.
Let’s look at this together. You feel like you should see yourself in objects, but you don’t feel that you do. Let’s take this on a couple of levels.
First off, “You feel like you should…” Who’s talking here? Does Awareness really feel “should” about anything? Or is that Mike-who-doesn’t-really-exist calling from the sidelines? See how subtleidentification can be? Our stories are extraordinarily sticky, and few of us—none that I know—wake up into sparkling clarity.
Another belief might be, “Your experience should be like Brook’s.” Is that true? Says who? Awareness, or Mike-who-doesn’t-really-exist? Where’s the benchmark for that assumption? In your head, maybe?
Let’s look at yet another belief hiding behind that thought. “All experiences of awakening are the same.” Is that true? Where’s the benchmark for that assumption? Is it not just an opinion that’s arising within You, which Mike-who-doesn’t-really-exist is grabbing hold of and claiming?”
It is my experience that every awakening is like a snowflake, absolutely unique. This is because every unit it’s coming through is absolutely unique and the unit’s conditioning, both hard (DNA) and soft (the accumulation of post-birth conditioning) colors the awakening experience. The most awake being on the planet is still one step removed from truth. It may be a tiny step for some, but so long as there’s a body, there’s a step.
There is the subtle underlying gnawing that, “There is something missing from “my” Oneness.” Is that true? Who feels that?
Secondly, you feel like you should see yourself in objects, but you actually don’t. Is that true? In the experience of Brook and the lamp s/he first looks at the lamp and discovers that s/he cannot find an actual line of separation between what’s looking and what’s being looked at. There is in her own experience—you try it again!—only a single continuum, which exists without division of any kind.
We can hold the knowledge of oneness in our heads, and the feeling of oneness in our hearts, but nothing beats show-and-tell! That’s the whole concept of The Living Method of Direct Pointing. If concepts were efficiently freeing, millions would be awake. They aren’t. So we put down our concepts and go into actual experience.
We DO it. And when we do, the evidence is clear. We see it for ourselves, and it moves from being dogma and hearsay to being our very own truth. What a difference!
Secondly, Brook, who is by this time already awake and knows there is no separation, is asked if there is still a sense of distance between her and the lamp. She answers, “Yes.” She is then asked what causes the sense of distance between her and the lamp. She answers, “The space.”
Before we go any further, let’s look at what a sense of something really is. My favorite example is that I could be in a dark room and be just fine and then suddenly I get a sense that there’s a snake in the room. I believe that thought. My body starts to sweat and hyperventilate from fear. And then someone pops on a light, I see there’s no snake in the room, and I let out a huge sigh of relief as my body begins to calm down.
I say, “What a relief! I had a sense there was a snake in the room, but there’s no reality to back that up! All is well!”
Brook has reported that regardless of enlightenment, s/he still has a sense of distance between he/r and the lamp, due to the space. This is because Brook is believing a thought. That thought is, “Space is separating everything from everything else.” But is it true?
I ask Brook to look at the lamp again and tell me what happens when she tells herself the truth for the first time in her life. I ask her to notice that space is not what’s dividing everything from everything else, it’s what’s connecting everything to everything else. At that point there may—or may not—be a visual shift. I experience one every time Ido this exercise. I never experience it thinking about it.
Some do, some don’t. It doesn’t matter. We get a clear message anyway: we’re not the object (body) in the space, we’re the space that the object is in! We are not an arising, we are what arisings appear in! We can “feel” that with or without a visual shift. This is one of the many, many 180 (degree) Paradoxes, as I call them.
It’s like the well known optical illusion of the faces and the cup. What you get is what you see.
Now, before we make a dualistic decision about this, let’s remember that anything we can describe with a yin yang is of the dream. Due to our conditioning, once we either genuinely see or “see in our head” that we are the space and not the object, we claim space as our identity.
“I used to think I was an object, but now I see that was incorrect. I am the space instead. I’ve finally got it right!”
See the 180 degree shift from one to the other? There’s the mind, doing its usual thing of opposites. That’s how it works. And it’s the essential mechanism of the dream. Pretty much anytime we think that spirituality works one way or the other, we’re seeing from delusion.
What’s the answer? We are both! It’s always BOTH! It’s always paradoxical. I am frequently amused when I get an email about how a seeker held so-and-so in high esteem until they contradicted themselves. Rubbish. Nonduality is contradiction. It is paradox. That is it’s very nature.
If teachers never contradict themselves, they are not stretching to share the truth.
I think that’s about it, Mike. Let me know if this helped. And just a note to readers and clients. I would not have been able, or willing, to answer Mike’s question in an email, beautiful though it was. That’s why I don’t teach via email, other than a short, sharp pointing, and that is typically with active clients. It’s just the way things are.
P.S. It’s 1:40 in the morning, and I have been steadily working since 8:00 this morning. Doesn’t that 18-hour day sound like fun? I have a DPS at 10:00 a.m. so I can’t sleep in. That is spiritual activism in motion. Welcome to my life.
Yes, it’s worth it.
How To Make Oscillation Worse!