One of the things I had playing in my favor when I woke up out of myself was that I didn’t know much about meditation or yoga or chakras or any spiritual teachings outside of those culled by Ken Wilber. Truth told, I thought it was all hogwash and I stayed away from hogwash as much as possible, because I knew I had seen a UFO that looked exactly like something out of a science fiction movie, with its self-luminescent green color, its blinking red and blue lights, its porthole windows, its circular shape, and its impossible movements. I knew I had experiences that, while murky in detail, smacked of reported encounters with the intelligent other post-modernity had labeled “alien abduction.” And I knew that in order for anyone in the mainstream media to believe me about that, I needed to be clear-headed and presentable. I couldn’t just believe that any old piece of toast was Jesus smiling and then expect those who scoffed at it all to take me seriously. (Why I thought the mainstream media needed to or would hear from me might be where the foggy-headed delusion comes in.)
Reading Ken Wilber and Krishnamurti forced me to get over my prejudices, my ignorance of the difference between Eastern spiritual modalities and Western New Age bastardizations, and myself. Far easier to do when you don’t have anything to compare their ideas to. It is far easier to wake up when your inner critic has no background knowledge to say, “Oh, that sounds like this… that sounds like that… I read somewhere that this can work differently than what you’re saying….”
When the mind is innocent and uncluttered with comparisons, the truth of what one is reading trickles through as insight and what is commonly called “gut feeling.” But when it comes to matters of spiritual authenticity, that gut feeling has a misleading nuance that I’m going to disavow you of right now.
Something can either ring true to you based on your studies or based on that ineffable force pounding at the door of perception within: Truth. Universal Truth. And when you’re reading the true, Universal Truth shouts, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” But because it’s shouting the universal through the personal, and because that universal is a dissolution of the personal, the brain distorts the inner feeling while scoffing at what you’re reading. When this happens, at the same time as you’re resisting what you’re reading you will likely be entertaining a suspicion that your resistance is… off. There’s something not quite right about it. And if you don’t block that out and go about your day, you will come to the epiphany that there are certain things in life where your gut reaction is a saving grace, but then there’s also this rare circumstance when it’s not—not because it is wrong, but because the brain is lying about what it means, in an attempt to save the integrity of the brain’s sense of self. Your gut feeling, in this circumstance, isn’t saving you from physical danger, or from a crap decision, or from befriending a shady person. It is saving you from the “danger” of annihilation through understanding Truth. This, because the brain wrongly believes ego-self is fundamental being, soul, spirit, whatever word you like. The brain is saving its psychological construct known as I.
Yes, that’s right, when you read or hear something that is of Universal Truth, your gut feeling is likely to deny it, be angry about it, ignore it… but also be intrigued, because on some level you know you’re wrong, you just don’t know how or why. It’s confusing. And that confusion is the brain saving you from transcendence.
The key is to neither run nor accept. Sit with it and understand it. If you watch how you move with the information, the watching will reveal why.
Observing yourself. Understanding yourself. That’s all. That’s everything. Observing and understanding reaction is the authentic action that tears down the wall between the personal and the universal. In this circumstance, doing anything about how you feel is always reaction based on fear and that great tool of fear, memory. Doing nothing in that alert state of observation brings its own action not born of fear, not born of memory. Not born of you.
If there be anything spiritual in this world transcendent and inclusive of you, it cannot come from you. But it may come through the body when the brain relaxes and releases self. The brain, which says, “I think therefore I am” resists at all costs the Truth that thought must cease for transcendence to happen. A band-aid also resists when you rip it off to set your healed skin free. The brain imagines the worst about ceasing thought much like when you flinch in anticipation of the band-aid rip pinch. But unlike that, there is no pain in thought ceasing. In fact, there’s nothing at all.
And that’s everything.