Chapter 1The Lasting Appeal of Melodrama
"The river sang with the voice of suffering, longingly it sang, longingly it flowed towards its goal, lamentingly its voice sang."
"Siddhartha listened. He was now nothing but a listener, completely concentrated on listening, completely empty, he felt that he had now finished learning to listen. Often before, he had heard all this, these many voices in the river, today it sounded new. Already, he could no longer tell the many voices apart, not the happy ones from the weeping ones, not the one of children from those of men, they all belonged together, the lamentation of yearning and the laughter of the knowledgeable ones, the scream of rage and the moaning of the dying ones, everything was one, everything was intertwined and connected, entangled a thousand times. And everything together, all voices, all goals, all yearnings, all sufferings, all pleasure, all that was good and evil, all of this together was the world. All of it together was the flow of events, was the music of life. And when Siddhartha was listening attentively to this river, this song of a thousand voices, when he neither listened to the suffering nor the laughter, when he did not tie his soul to any particular voice and submerged his self into it, but when he heard them all, perceived the whole, the Oneness, then the great song of the thousand voices consisted of a single word, which was OM: the Perfection." Hermann Hesse
This marvelous story, written in terms to which you can relate, sums up nicely the image you hold of the trek towards and into "enlightenment". It illustrates how tenaciously you hold onto your identification with the firmness of your world. It upholds the path to enlightenment as a lifelong struggle (maybe many lives long). It affirms enlightenment to be an achievement reached through effort and knowledge and a touch of divine intervention. It even asserts that only very few who struggle and practice and learn the mysteries of life can hope to cross that threshold and know the true inner peace and joy.
We tell you now, as emphatically as we know how (in words) that enlightenment is who and what you are right now! It is intrinsic to consciousness. The awareness of Oneness is the most primal awareness of all. There is no "I AM" without it. ALL THAT IS is ONE! Each and every pulsing awareness from which all of creation springs is ONE. You see all of creation as the "Myriad Things", separate and independent because you choose to see it that way. You have come to identify even your own source of being, your own Self as separate and independent. The very source through which you can directly experience the Oneness of All Things, the perfection of the Infinite, you have divorced from your own definition of Self.
So, Stop That!
Everything you have learned in your lifetime is but a story. It contains only portions of truth, as do all stories. None of your stories, be they history, science, religion or your own feelings, contains the wholeness of truth. So why base your identity upon them? Why not recognize that these myriad little lies do not describe who you are or what your world is made of?
We have shown you that even your physical environment is produced through the lens of your identity, projected upon the fabric of the universe. We have offered step by step instructions in how to manipulate your projections into form intentionally. We have delivered occasional guidance in choosing what to create and what to ignore in order to bring you to this moment, ready to step away from identifying with your body, mind and spirit. By surviving both the highs and lows of human experience and realizing the futility of enmeshing your Self in them over and over again just to prove to yourself that you Do Not Know What You Do Not Know, you have encircled your Self, which can experience the wholeness of being, the Oneness of ALL THAT IS.
Your life experience has followed your natural and personal predilections into being, no more, no less. These predilections are mere patterns of motion, set by the first glimmer of consciousness out of which you emerge. They form the iconography which you have followed into psyche and physicality. They are neither good nor evil, valid but equal to all other patterns. Though you have lived them as personal, they are definitely Not Personal. They just ARE. They suggest your pathways to wholeness as they suggest your every expanding step through life, but they do not power them or command your choices. They do not require your journey at all nor do they inhibit it. Wholeness is already what you ARE.
These patterns, predilections, images through which you have projected your identity into being comprise the melodrama of life which has held you spellbound and convinced you of your Eternal Aloneness. You carry into each moment each experience shaped by these impersonal patterns and you judge your Self by the standards you have extrapolated from them. The farther away you see the goal, the wholeness of your beingness, the longer and more daunting that goal appears. The melodramas of life in your world command your attention and draw it away from this ultimate aim.
We use the term melodrama to illustrate how ridiculously unimportant the actions, feelings and thoughts you engage, which are focused upon your life in the physical world, really are. All of your mundane concerns are driven by fears that are inspired by past melodramas and projected into future melodramas. Whether you have enough money, people, love, safety and so on are concerns which mean absolutely nothing in the experience of your Self in the infinite universe. At their best, these concerns are distractions from the quest for the truth of you; an entertainment form like the weather, the machinations of the human horde, the drive for food or sex or sleep or a good B.M.
From the perspective of real self-awareness, these dramas do not describe any but the most peripheral aspects of the Self. When you see the perfection of the universe, the total inclusiveness of infinity and the boundless consciousness that you ultimately are, the minutiae of daily human living can be seen as the meaningless trivia that they are. For you there is a choice to be made in every moment. What is the core of thought, feeling and action? Now! If you choose, as is your right, to live in the world you see as if it is real and important and life threatening at every turn if you do not, in this very moment, then you shall have melodrama. You shall play a role in the soap opera of your own creation. You can go to church, praise God, study self-help books, even give classes in such things, but you are still caught up in meaninglessness. You will still be mired in unanswered questions and still separated from who you really are.
An enlightened being is simply every being. To know enlightenment is to open to Self without condition. It is a choice, in the moment, available to everyone. So, the active side of the effort to navigate infinity lies in every moment. Choose that focus as your core thought, your primal intent; over and over again. Choose to focus on life as navigating infinity, not just in meditation or conversation with your New Age friends. Choose that core as you brush your teeth, cook your meals, vacuum your home, ply your trade, drive your car and so on. See these activities and the fears they kick up for what they truly are, symbols of your identity in action. Many of these symbolic projections into reality will be cherished ones, things you love to do or feel or think. Beliefs are such as these, so oft repeated as to become unconscious, tenacious and sometime even literally etched in stone. Do not be fooled! Even your beloved activities, inner and outer, are meaningless in the light of your infinite depth. The good news is that when each arises in your thoughts, feelings or circumstances in the world, the very next moment you have the choice. What is your core identity? What is your primal intent? Who are you really?
The passive side of this focus of attention is where the answer to these questions can be uncovered. In the dark, silent realm of spirit, pre-thought, pre-identity, pre-historic on the most intimate level, here is where your core Self resides. It is from here, in silence that your \self explodes into infinite experience. The vastness of "I AM", ever bursting forth, forming infinite universes and infinite yous, permeates every idea of you, every cell, every experience. You can open yourself to the awareness of your infinite Self, the "I AM". You just cannot manage that while you are asserting that you are the focal point of your life in the world. You will not know yourself as ALL THAT IS while you grant meaningfulness to the world like you have in this lifetime.
Quiet now. Sink into the meditative trance state that you have practiced for so long. Open your mind to "I AM" and let it fill you like water to a thirsty soul. Know the "I AM" as first intent, first thought, first knowledge. Open to it as the core of ALL THAT IS. It permeates the infinite potential of the universe. It IS the universe. Allow every thought and feeling you have ever known to expand outward into all dimensions. Let every cell in your body effervesce and expand into energy. Let every fear be released in the absolute safety of your infinite Self. Sink deeper into the dark silence, releasing your identity, your me-ness. Let the equality of everything include even you. Ride the ever expanding unconditional love which embraces all of creation.
There are no details of your life which are more important, valid or real than all the rest. Even the most mundane activity, eating, sleeping, passing wastes et al are melodrama luring you away from the focus upon awakening to your true desire. Every moment of communion with core of your awareness, the great "I AM", opens more of your Self to the infinite mind from which you spring. The more you refer to this deepest source of Self instead of answering the pull of the melodrama and granting of reality to its trappings, the more you will be filled by the ever expanding love and joy.
We are not just blowing smoke at you with the imagery. The direct experience of infinity always leaves its mark on your inner Self. It trains you to look for and find the inexorably expanding love which is the primal nature of consciousness. Even when your immersion in the mire of physical life is most compelling, the faintest hint of this unconditional love has given hope and light a pathway home. This is amplified with each moment of inner silence, each effort to open to your inner Self and each burst of infinite consciousness to which you strive.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to consistently and consciously pull back the energy you have invested in the life of your body. All of the circumstances of that life, the relationships, the striving for security, the greed for experience, are to be known for the meaningless distractions that they have been and now are. You need not stop living or join a monastery but you can withdraw your emotional, energetic investment in all that you do in your world. Grab the opportunity in each moment to recognize the metaphors enacted in your world, how they describe your definition of Self and Reality. Draw back to yourself your attachment to this ersatz "reality".
Begin a practice once a day of instituting a moment's pause with a deep breath. Take in all the sights and sounds of that moment, all the feelings and thoughts, all of the iconic definitions that inspire these experiences, the entire gamut of invested intent which powers the experience of this present moment. Reach out to the sides of your body with both hands. With cupped fingers scoop your arm's length hands, inhaling as you do, forward to directly in front of your heart and then pull them in to the center of your chest as you exhale. Release all of the meaningfulness with which you have embued the present moment. Take it back in through your heart. Know it all for the illusion that it is. Then go on with your day.
Think of this single breath as a cleanse of your spirit, a letting go of all that does not matter. With practice you will begin to notice more and more that your ties to what you have called "reality" will loosen. You have invested every waking moment of your life (and many not so waking) in this "reality". Do not expect it to dissolve before your eyes. You are opening a window in your reality to peer into the infinite, your true home. You can rely upon this simple technique to relieve the angst of life in your world. A single breath and letting go; let it lead you to a moment of profound silence, fleeting but impactful.To: Chapter 2
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