The strongest lies we tell ourselves are the ones we live by. Here are five to consider. These may not all apply to you, but you’ve likely heard someone say them. Perhaps you saw through the lies; perhaps you never gave them a first, never mind second, thought.
While you’re considering, if you’re an Our Undoing member, consider leaving your top five in the Sitting Circle.
05.) You will achieve the next level when you are ready.
That when you are ready line, which we apply to moving up in the world spiritually, is one of the biggest lies we live. There is only one Ready! Set! Go! moment, and that’s death of self. Anything “higher” is faking it.
The moment comes spontaneously when we are clear-minded enough to fully understand all that we’ve been discussing here so deeply that the understanding dissolves us. It can happen after a lifetime of meditation or with none at all. A lifetime of meditation will not make you more likely to dissolve. Neither will slogging through this website. There is no getting ready for it beyond developing a curiosity without an answer or an intention of one.
04.) We’re moving Into A New Age of Understanding.
We often think fatalistically and say that now is the time for change, or this is the crucial moment where we understand something that fundamentally transforms humanity. Well, here’s the thing about these large-scale cosmic time schemes: So what?
Even if it’s true that we’re on some larger, mysterious schedule, what good does it do us to say it out loud with satisfaction, as if that alone means something? The fact is, whether or not now is the time when we can clear the scales from our eyes, we still have to clear the scales from our eyes. We have to do it, not the timing. Not everyone is magically transported to a higher frequency, a new density, or whatever the term is these days. Because this is so, the odds against you making good use of fatalistic timing are even. The timing might as well not exist.
Moving into deeper understanding is a great concept for motivational speeches that ultimately leave you lethargic and buying more motivational speeches.
03.) You cannot love individuals if you are enlightened.
I’ve heard this used as an excuse for a father not to love his daughter because he felt he couldn’t concern himself with the needs of the few for the needs of the many. I’ve read it used as a reason for divorce—because how can someone who stumbles upon enlightenment possibly commit to the small notions of love they now see past? Apparently, enlightenment doesn’t include caring about the people you’re abandoning because their pain is an illusion anyway, they just don’t know it.
Perhaps the so-called enlightened ones had a legitimate piercing of the veil, but then translated compassion into narcissism as they fell into denial about the fact that their selfless experience gave way to the self again.
Because it is true that we use relationship to distract us from I AMness in everyday life, those of us living in emulation of what we think enlightenment is believe that this holds true for being in love after the fact. As noted above, that goes not just for people faking it without ever having had such an experience, but those faking it after the fact. Having had a taste of selflessness, it is tempting to pretend—by conscious or unconscious choice—that you never left the state of selflessness, that you didn’t have a mere taste, but are always and forever drinking the waters of enlightenment. So, you fake it after the fact by acting like the allegedly enlightened people you’ve studied.
I, too, made the mistake of assuming that I had to be alone in the world after the I AM experience because there was a sexual component involving my then-girlfriend, which felt like a message that I had to walk alone in this life. I forgot that we don’t transcend and abandon, we transcend and include. We transcend personal love and we also include it, because impersonal Love contains the personal. So the relationship you get to have, if you so choose, healthy and loving. It’s not born of compatible dysfunctions or the passions of a young sex drive. It is a partnership transcended and included within oneness.
02.) You must quiet or kill the self for enlightenment to occur.
Often confused with what we talk about here, the notion that you can quiet or kill the self is a false one. You are the self, not separate from it. It is the brain that must understand the futility of the self as the seeker of enlightenment. In understanding this, the self dissolves (or dies or quiets). The moment the brain gets it, the seeker is finished. There is no further action it can take through or as you. Certainly, you can’t do it because you are the problem to begin with. You are the projection of the brain/body that must be understood and thereby dissolved.
01.) All spiritual roads lead to the same enlightenment.
Nnnnnope. By now, you can predict what I’m going to write here, so let me throw you a curveball—something I’ve never talked about and will undoubtedly be wildly unpopular. Have you ever heard the Zen definition of the Pure Witness? It goes like this: think about your thoughts. If you are thinking about them then who is thinking? If you are not your thoughts, who are you? Now do the same with your feelings. If you are not your feelings then who are you? This is where the mediation of watching thoughts and feelings float by without attachment or judgment comes from. Do this and realize you are not those.
Then who are you? Who witnesses this?
These types of exercises may bring you to Big Mind, but will they bring you to No-Thing? Will anything?
Denying that we are our thoughts and feelings may create another “self” who is transpersonal, but it is still within the realm of thought. The Zen Pure Witness may be one who can consciously delve into the toy box of Big Mind, but that is not the same as transcending and including mind. If the ultimate goal of such meditation is the nondual, all-encompassing Truth of No-Thing, then seeing through the personal self to a higher self—or even the pure consciousness beyond—is the long road to No-Thing. And as we’ve seen time and again, every road great and small exists precisely because thought, or mind, does not want you to get there. Mind creates an everlasting journey and tells you, “It’s all about the journey, not the destination.”
Regrettably, that creation is.
No-Thing creates and is all of mind. To see from the point of view as No-Thing is to understand and be Big Mind, personal mind, and every mind in between. To achieve Big Mind through repetitive meditations and exercises is to strengthen mind and misunderstand No-Thing.