My late afternoon appointment the other day was with a very nice guy, around my age, who was stuck in the Bubble of Self-reflection. It’s where nearly all veteran seekers are stuck: same place, different fixes tailored to where the student/client is when they get to me. The Bubble of Self-reflection is when we know there’s a larger truth, but we’re caught in a translucent bubble, like a soap bubble. We try to look outside, but when we do, we only see our own reflection showing up on the inside of the bubble.
All veteran seekers who come to me are in the Bubble of Self-reflection. There may be something else going on as well, but the bubble is a guarantee. They are “almost there,” but that teeny-weeny gap between “almost there” and experiencing living as True Nature is one that we can spend a lifetime trying to close and still be unsuccessful.
This gentleman had read some of my books, so I deliberately steered away from the Awakening Session formats in The Book of Undoing and Awaken NOW. By using stuff I knew he couldn’t be familiar with, I soon spotted the problem–and the solution. After listening to his five-minute spiritual story, which is an Awakening Session ritual, I knew precisely where he was, and what was going on.
I could feel that he was not bent on awakening, on surrendering up his belief in a make-believe character in exchange for the experience of No-thingness. In other words, he was not anxious to trade nothing for everything, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. It happens more often than you might think–and this from the ones who are stepping out into the playing field! Short of a big-time miracle of God, the majority of seekers–the ones filling the bleachers, who are simply reading about other people waking up–will not awaken.
The great majority of seekers don’t really want to wake up. They think they do, but I promise you, they do not. They’re scared, fearing public ridicule. They don’t feel worthy. Well, don’t hold out for “worthy” to show up, because I wasn’t worthy then and I’m not worthy now! Or maybe they are one of the multitudes who are simply enjoying the seeker lifestyle. It’s a pretty desirable lifestyle. After all, we seekers are part of a nice community who get together to eat, drink, and maybe sleep with each other. The more prosperous among us meet up at cutting edge art openings together, where we drink white wine and talk about which guru is the hot one today. Many of us even travel together! Sometimes we put on robes, and at other times we all wear white to make sure people can spot our holiness from afar. None, or maybe a tiny-tiny percentage of us genuinely want to wake up.
We’d have to give up our seeker friends, because in my experience there is no place in the seeking community for finders. We could lose our friends! We might be called frauds or heretics. So no, we don’t really want to wake up. Our seeking is really the search for an improved unit and a better grade of dream. I’m not being critical. We need all of these seekers. I know that for sure because we have them, and there is no room in Oneness for mistakes. It simply isn’t possible.
The desire to awaken is typically critical–unless it isn’t, which is rare. So things were not looking great for my new friend. But as we went through our inquiry and investigations, I discovered that he had an abundance of one extremely helpful desire–the desire to quit seeking! I know we’ve all heard we’re supposed to get rid of all desires to prepare for waking up. All I can say is, “Good luck with that.” Didn’t work for me.
If getting rid of a character’s desires was actually necessary for liberation, then Conscious Awakeness would never have burned through this typist. The make-believe Fred character still has desires, and plenty of them. The trick is, I’m not married to any of them. If they come to pass, great. If they don’t, great. As J. Krishnamurti phrased it, “I don’t mind what happens.” I still have preferences, but I hold them very lightly.
Lots of people come to me wanting to find peace. But I notice that not many want to live as peace. You can’t have one without the other. As Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Translated into nondualese, this means that Awakeness must be willing to drop the character, which it rarely does. It still wants to ride the human roller coaster for a while, maybe a long while, which requires misidentifying with the unit/character. This is Lila, the play of God, showing up as Maya. But in Awakening Sessions, Oneness has at least become willing to live dangerously, meaning that it is willing to have a conversation with itself via the client and Fredness hand puppets. It is enjoying living life on the edge.
The drama of Unconscious Awakeness coming to an Awakening Session goes sort of like this:
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re here today with Unconscious Awakeness and Fred Davis.
Mr. Davis is known around the world as the single-session wake-up guy.
Will Unconscious Awakeness wake up?
If so, when?
Will it be explosive, or subtle?
Will it be durable, or just a glimpse?
Will the lucky unit now put on a loin cloth and move to the jungle?
Will it write a book?
Will it become a spiritual teacher???
Will it become rich and famous?
“We’ll be right back, folks, but now a word from our sponsors.”
We have to be willing to give up the drama of seeking and suffering. Few of us are, because it’s all we know, and who among us wants to move into The Great Unknowing? Here’s a link to a New York Times article I read today about Katy Perry declaring she has awoken and is now a changed woman. She also talks about not knowing anything–at all. It might really have been an authentic seeing. Judge for yourself. I don’t know enough to offer an opinion.
Sounds like me when I woke up!
Anyway, since there’s actually no “us” here, and there’s no “there” out there anywhere, but only Awakeness, we just have to figure that Awakeness is enjoying the show. There’s no one there to take a contrary step, because there’s no room for contrariness in Oneness. Everything affects everything else. It’s perfect, no kidding.
I usually say that I need people to want to wake up more than they want to continue as they are. Typically that’s true. But every once in a while a unit/character goes into session with me and they are dead on the 50/50 line of wanting it/fearing it. (I am languaging, so what I’m writing isn’t true, it’s symbolic of what’s true, and can be no more than trueish.)
Furthermore, every now and then, I can coax it over the line if one quality is present: the genuine desire to quit seeking. Shortly before I woke up, I would have happily given you my media library, emptied my head of all things spiritual, and given up all opportunity to wake up, if only the seeking would cease!
It turned out that the guy I met the other afternoon was exactly where I had been–scared to wake up, but petrified of endless seeking. I got a little wedge in there and began to pick at that motivation to see if it could be used to pull this guy over the line to 51%. It worked, and he woke up quite clearly. I walked him through the fear, and there was nowhere left for him to stand.
The average seeker thinks that waking up is going to be a matter of addition: more information, more practice, more holiness. But in fact, awakening is a matter of subtraction. Once we scrape away the false, the Truth is left standing out in the open. It is naked, and it is not ashamed.
No one leaves an Awakening Session with more than they brought with them. If it’s successful, and most of them are, then everyone leaves with less than they brought. That was the case with my new friend. He despised seeking more than he wanted safety. It’s a lesson for all of us.