NOTE TO READERS
There is also a 15 minute video that accompanies this post.
If someone asks me, “How come I keep going back into misidentification (believing that I am the body), a couple of answers will immediately come forth, and since my “answers” usually spill out in the form of questions, here are the two that usually come first.
1) What is the relative age of your knowledge of your True Nature versus the relative age of your personal story?
Time In Story vs. Time in Truth
The story of Fredness has been here for sixty-one years. The knowledge of Truth has been here, in a conventional sense, for just over seven. The idea that Fredness should just automatically “fall away,” after a glimpse, or a day, or a year of seeing things as they really are is nothing short of absurd. Fredness is going to hang around until it doesn’t.
In fact, it’s inescapably clear to me that vestiges of Fredness will be here until this body dies. There may not be any Fred at the heart of that story, but Fredness is still dancing its way out. Which is actually fine. It’s not a problem, not at all. In fact, it simply is what it is. See how quick and painless surrender can be?
While I confess to being nothing short of appalled by Fredness’ lack of skillfulness from time to time, when I really examine that response, I discover that its Fredness that is appalled by Fredness!
Awakeness is never appalled by Fredness. In fact it welcomes Fredness exactly as it is, just like it does everything else. This unit is not special in a positive or negative way. It’s one more potato in the bag.
It’s only Fredness’ fantasies about how an “enlightened Fred”—as if there could be such thing!—either behaves, or should behave that gets upset. (Where’s the baseline for that projection? The answer is that it’s nothing more than an opinion, which I’m willing to suffer for until I’m not.)
Awakeness is totally accepting. Always. We could go so far say that acceptance is what Awakeness is!
That’s not quite true, no description of Awakeness is, but it’s closer to the truth, and a good deal less grandiose, than most descriptions. Nobody likes to polish up what our True Nature is more than ego, because the more it can polish, the more separate it can remain.
Everyone on the planet is at every moment operating from their highest spiritual understanding. That includes the bad guys. That includes the maniacs. The good news is that it also includes us, so at least on one level we’re off the hook.
But how about our intentions? Intentions are critical. Intentions tell the tale.
My second question, which could just as easily be my first question, but since it tends to get people’s backs up, I will see if the other question satisfies them first. If it doesn’t, and I’m asked again, or for more, then I’ll share the hard truth.
2) How much of your precious time and attention are you spending on raising the level of your spiritual understanding?
Integrity of Intent
We always get what we want. We may want to want something else, but we end up with what we really want. Rather than develop conflicting goals, an easy way to see what you want most is to notice what you’re thinking and doing most of the time. That’s what you really want. Mystery solved.
Do you desire fear and misery? That’s absolutely available. Success in business? Success in love? A forty-year prison sentence? Step right up and make your requests. I’m not talking about traditional burn-it-into-your-mind-and-talk-to-yourself-while-looking-into-the-mirror manifestation here. I’m talking about ordinary manifestation, which means time, attention, and work.
Believe it or not, pull together a hammer, a few nails, a bit of wood, a saw, and a reasonably strong arm, and you can manifest a rough picnic table in about an hour. It’s not instant or magical, but it’s a sure thing. You can also stay in bed and mind-meld about one, and who knows? One may fall off a truck out front. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
Betsy and I looked at our savings tonight and beamed like a pair of proud parents. We’re two old drunks who were bound for destitution and death, but who somehow, through a combination of grace, attention, willingness, and work managed to find ourselves sober, and then, through the same combination of the same elements, came to recognize our True Nature.
Behold, in just a few years of thrifty living and long hours working at two jobs each, we have manifested a savings account with something in front of the zeroes that isn’t a zero. Snap! All it took was all we had. For a long time. That’s all abiding, embodied awakening takes, too. And it won’t take anything less.
Spiritual understanding works in a far less magical way than we want to think. It’s mostly up to us. Don’t you hate that? Don’t you want it just handed to you? If you don’t, you’re the rare commodity. We should talk!
The way it works is that we get a blast of grace—even The Living Method is simply a vehicle for grace. After than initial blast, what we get is chiefly the result of what we do. I am talking daily, practical experience here, not the trap of dog-chase-tail, nothing-to-do, no one to do it, straight jacket of Nondual pseudo-philosophy.
Even if your attention is on your spirituality, what’s your intention? Is it to do whatever it takes in order to be a servant of awakening, or is awakening still something to master for our personal purposes? If we’re still hoping to acquire enlightenment for the benefit of ego, that’s going to cloud our intent. If we maintain that position, it’s going to kill it. It’s an understandable and forgivable, almost impossible-to-resist early phase (yes, I am guilty too), but it’s not the direction we want to remain moving toward.
Integrity of intent will direct us toward doing whatever it takes to achieve and accept higher levels of reality—for the right reason. And there is only one right reason: for the purposes of IT. Consider the depersonalization of “our” apparent awakening an offering, a Lent-style sacrifice.
If after an initial awakening I continue to strategize about what I’m going to do with “my enlightenment” so that Fred can get a payoff, I better find a way off of that, or I have already lost. I am declaring to those of the world who can hear these things, that Awakeness is no longer functioning through this body. I want what I want, and God can take a hike.
If you want to awaken more than you want to sleep, you will wake up. You can’t not. If you want to stay awake more than you want to sleep, you’ll stay awake. I like to say that I need 51% cooperation if I’m going to be successful in essentially inducing an awakening through someone. If I have 50% cooperation, and it’s a good day, I may be able to pull them over. But in the cases where 49% of you wants to stay asleep—sweet dreams. I can’t budge you.
This goes for your first awakening, or an apparent “reawakening” after a period of reidentification with the body. And with or without outside help, that level of cooperation—your integrity of intent—is going to be what helps or prevents whether or not you are going to be awake to this arising in this moment. Which is the only thing that counts.
If I want abiding enlightenment more than anything else, then at least 51% of my authentic attention is going to have to be on that thing, or I’m going to get what I really want instead, i.e., success in love or business, a low golf handicap, or a forty-year prison sentence. The amount of sheer time we spend on our foremost desire is not always the best indicator, but it is one of the most reliable. If I’m putting 90% of my waking hours on something other than what I’m declaring that I want most, does that declaration really hold water?
If you happen to blunder your way to this teaching through all of the worldly and spiritual mazes, the odds are wonderful that I can help you wake up in about two hours, whether it’s for your first time, or your last time. I’m game. Let’s go!
But if you’re simply interested in transferring your long-running “poor me/why me” victim story over to the spiritual realm, I’m not the guy to ask for help. After all, it’s my job to tell you the truth; to tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear. And I do.
So what have you got your eye on? You better like it.
Fred Davis, 11.16.13