A lot has happened to me and to many Sangha members since then, and we are getting close to publishing a new book that emphasizes love and personally owning every experience as self.
Waldo, Lila, and I will be scouring through the last year of writings for material to edit and include. If any of you found particular writings in the past to have helped you, let us know.
Yesterday the substance and scope of the book came to me out of nowhere, which is usual, and it is included below as the introduction.
Forty-five years ago I left my job as a demographer in the Midwest to begin my journey looking for the true thing, whatever that was. I had studied both Easter and Western philosophies, had practiced meditation, had read extensively in Zen Buddhism and decided finally to stop wasting time and to emulate the Buddha who left his home in search for the meaning of life and death, in my own search for the “quantum” of truth, the basic “particle” or idea around which all others revolved.
After study with six Zen masters, Muktananda as comic relief, and after having met every famous Zen Master and High Lama that came to the United States during the 60s and 70s, I found my guru, Robert Adams, who led me to discover the “God Particle.”
The God-Particle, the central core concept behind everything, was the I-thought, and it pointed to Nothing!!! What a discovery!! There was no I-entity that the I-thought pointed to, and without an ‘I’, there is no ‘Thou’. That is, neither an inner entity existed, nor an external world opposed to the inner witness of that world. Both were mind-stuff that the brain turns into a representation of the underlying “real,” which is ineffable, unknowable, as is the subjective witness itself.
However, I was to make even greater discoveries later, which led me to reject all spiritual ideas and philosophies as distractions from self-discovery, and to reject all concepts such as enlightenment, awakening, liberation, which are purely subjective and personal.
That is, no two teachers, even from the same tradition, had the same concepts about what enlightenment is, what an awakening experience was, and what a “perfect master” or “Mukta” was. Everyone argued with each other about concepts and opinions. Was Krishnamurti totally enlightened, was Muktananda, was Nisargadatta? Did Ramana Maharshi trump all?
I saw so much arguing about these “rarified” states and speculated perfect masters, and perfected enlightenment. I saw so many claims of perfected wisdom, and concepts of spiritual evolution, from gurus who styled themselves as finished avatars, to writers such as Ken Wilber and Dan Brown who talked about transpersonal psychologies that took off from where Freud and Jung finished.
Gradually it became more and more clear that none of these people knew what they were talking about. As the ancient Zen masters had attested, they were only flapping their lips and there was no truth anywhere to be found. As the Sixth Zen Patriarch had said, “The only truth is that there is no truth, and beware even of this truth.”
It was all bull, much about nothing, dwelling with energies in the head regarding words and experiences of others, that ALWAYS led the readers away from the direct experience of their own selves.
To me, the only truth to be found anywhere is one’s own truth as found in one’s own, uninterpreted, experience left unexpressed, for as soon as you open your mouth, you have lied. You have told a falsehood, which someone else will interpret in their own way, and then tell a different lie to someone else as a new truth. Only when you are silent, with mind quieted, living from one’s heart, only then will you live in truth.
This is so very, very important. You do not live in truth as long as your attention and energies are focused in your brain, dealing with images, concepts, ideas, communication, and doing.
As long as you look to perfect yourself, to “kill the ego,” to become more “pure,” to become enlightened or more loving, to become what you think you should be, instead of honestly being who and what you are, you will always be unhappy, dry and incomplete.
O.K., here is where I lay it on the line. The only spiritual concept that means anything to me is “Self-Realization,” gaining knowledge and acceptance of who and what you are, and you are so very, very extraordinary.
You have no idea of how extraordinary you are until you start looking within yourself instead of outside into spiritual books, poetry, the various gitas, Bibles, Koran, and all the gurus in the world. None can show you how extraordinary you are, because your inner and outer worlds are unbelievably rich far beyond your present imagination, once you begin to explore all levels of your existence with an open mind and heart.
The world you will discover is like a mansion with a thousand rooms, and each could take months to explore.
There are vast riches inside, many, many kinds of emptiness and Voids that act as containers for all inner and outer experiences. There is love and self-love, so deep, so vast, yet so ephemeral and so sweet that you will drop to your knees in awe and utter shock at the grace someone or something has bestowed on you. You can feel love as grace, as healing, as an all-filling sweet fragrance that then dissipates into objectless samadhis and utter devotion to God or Consciousness, whatever interpretation you bring to that experience.
You will have experiences of yourself as the rising of a deep power and energy from inside your torso and heart, that arises and shows you, the human you, the splendor of your true deepest self, the I Am, the so called Fourth State of Turiya that Ramana and Nisargadatta talk about.
You truly will experience love so deep you feel like you no longer need to breath and you have become as light as a cloud, totally complete and fulfilled, and this experience will fill your life and body with such bliss that you will feel you cannot tolerate it any more, that you will explode in ecstasy.
You will fall in love again like you were 20 again.
You will discover an aspect of self, one’s sense of presence, or the ‘I Am’ that permeates both body and mind, and fills us with energy, love, and the life force itself.
Finally and gradually, all the great spiritual sayings, all the works of all the masters will become increasing clear to you after you have let go of the need to understand, for you will be dwelling in your heart, operating from the heart, with a silent mind that is the heart’s perfect servant. One will “reach out” into the world from your heart, feeling it, touching it, loving it, and others, and yourself, totally, tenderly, compassionately.
This is what this book is about, it is a manual on how to escape being the servant of your mind, to find your true self in the heart as well as all the other mansion-rooms of existence that are also you on many different levels. You are a very, very complex entity, with many levels of existence. Yet, the paradox is, the more you know you, the less you appear to exist!
You become an empty drum upon which both the inner worlds of you, and the outer worlds of the other, each message the other in perfect harmony.
As wondrous as these discoveries are, I am not saying the “path” is easy. In a sense it means a radical falling away of all ideas and self-concepts, of all beliefs, and of the conventions which are your life. I am not saying you will lose everything, but you must be ready to lose everything, and much will be lost, such as ignorance, pain, and a numbness to life, and with it, you will also feel more deeply the sorrow of the world and an awakened sense of compassion and the need to be your brothers’ keeper, along with the power to actually make changes in the world. Yet, some of you will find so much peace and happiness at discovering who and what you really are, you will not be able to move to change or perfect anything in the world. You will be at peace and at love.
You may not experience all of the above, but you could, or you could experience an entirely different sequence. So much depends on you, your dedication, your openness, your willingness to take risks, and the people with whom you travel your path, your teachers, your lovers and your Sangha. All together create the context for your own self-realization.
So, this is a spiritual book probably unlike most you have read before. It urges you to study yourself, find you sense of core existence, the ‘I Am’ and to love it. Also it teaches you to find someone or something in the world to love, to awaken the ability to love in you, watch the love grow until it is almost unbearable, and then you will discover that love is from you, you have created it, YOU ARE LOVE ITSELF! That is one of the major rooms one finds in that inner mansion.
With that discovery and many others like it, you will become complete, whole, loved, find that your essence transcends even life itself, that all of existence is only your plaything. Not that you can always change any of it, but the bite, the sting will be gone from your own suffering, and one finds a profound self-courage, self-belief, and self-acceptance, along with an acceptance that the path never ends. Each new step becomes as breathtakingly magnificent as the last.
Please, come walk with me.