Anyone who has met me knows that I have the personality trait of being brutally honest (it is sometimes nicely called being blunt). Generally, I call things like I see them, and the fact that I have had the capability of seeing so much from a very early age and think differently than most other people because of this, as well as have had a significant meditation practice for going on 15 years now means that sometimes I get upset by what I see.
A word before I go on… I am certainly not perfect, and I certainly still have things to work on (it would be boring if I didn’t), and the false notion that once you are “spiritual” or “awake” that you enter this happy blissful place of being okay with everything and everyone in the world is simply that… false… an illusion. Something that is marketed by people who want others to strive for a state that really doesn’t exist, and certainly doesn’t exist in the guru that espouses it. It sells books, it sells workshops, and it makes the guru feel enlightened (I always laugh at the current “gurus” who espouse killing the ego and then sell head shots on their website).
Another word before I go on… what I have discovered, and what I have seen, is that the entire spiritual community lacks any sort of pragmatism, or realness. There is this idea of this perfect state that you get to where you no longer have anger (or any emotions at all) and you just simply flow with the Universe. This is yet another falsehood… it is an illusion engendered so people do not have the messy business of dealing with their very human bodies and their very human senses and emotions… they are “bad”, anger is “bad” and so it is castigated away as something “shadow” that is hypothetically talked about reconciling (kind of like the ego) but nothing is done about it.
This is why I am so real, and truth-telling (from the vantage point of my own experiences, of course). I make no illusion about being special, or perfect, or the “chosen one”… there are other people I have met who are way beyond my experiences, especially in certain realms or traditions. I think a dose of realness, of honesty, is desperately needed in a current climate of people thinking that if they just took more classes, or were more spiritual, or got rid of more of their possessions that they would no longer feel anything and would enter this exalted state where they would never have to think about money, shelter, or anything concerning the human experience.
That all being said, I sometimes have weeks, or days, where I am confronted by the b.s. of the world, specifically the spiritual world:
- I have weeks where I get fifty or so emails from people who went to “shamanic practitioners” who didn’t know what they were doing and either just didn’t help the person or really, really messed them up… and then refused to take any sort of personal responsibility for it.
- I have weeks where I am told to read certain books because of how wonderful they are and I can see that the authors (we are talking famous ones here) are simply deluded or that they are so on the surface level of understanding that the book is simply a series of new-age memes and feel good anecdotes so that people will fall in with the illusion that there is such a thing as the “chosen one” (a common theme in new-age literature), thus believing that the teacher, or guru, is special and their consciousness level is out of reach.
- I have weeks where I am send workshop flyers, or told about specific teachers and it is all marketing. They have no abilities, no talents, no power (except for marketing and P.R. of course) in the spiritual realms and they have successfully marketed a course that has nothing to do with spirituality… based on surface level understandings that could really harm people, because the “teacher” has no idea about the subject matter they are teaching. It is all feel-good new-age fluff.
- I have weeks where I see that most of “spirituality” is marketed towards upper-middle class white people who are always interested in the next thing they need to “do”.
- I have weeks where I see or interact with people who have been on a spiritual path for decades be stuck in spiritual immaturity, never proceeding beyond the surface because it would cause for them to look outside of their ego, their pride, and their cosmologies.
- I have weeks where I see the entitlement of people who feel as if they have a right to anything spiritual that they want, without much (if any) work or effort. Whatever the flavor of the month, or week is in terms of spiritual path they have a right to follow, and when that doesn’t “work” for them in a very short period of time they will move on to the next path… not even thinking that many paths take years, if not decades, to even consider or understand appropriately, or that it isn’t their right to appropriate anything they want spiritually just because they want it, and they want it now.
- I have weeks where I see the militant sorts who say that you “must” do this (raw vegan or a specific diet, a specific path, typically whatever they are doing) to be awake /enlightened… and all of these people finding other people exactly like themselves to congratulate one another on how “awake” they are.
- I have weeks where I see entire communities, like occult, new-age, or shamanic communities (or individual gurus) come up with chaos and infighting again and again… of course not realizing that they are creating such chaos to look away from their own trauma, or their own lives, and they are creating persecutors, the persecuted, and all of the players again and again in a trauma loop (the same fight again and again week after week in the community or by the guru).
As I mentioned, I am certainly not perfect, and the anger, frustration, fear, or sadness that comes up about these things is often replaced by an understanding that people are where they are. I know for a fact that people who want to go beyond these surface illusions, the charlatans, the gurus, and the “Shaman” will often be able to find someone to help them out. They might have to wade through years, if not decades of this material to find it. I had to wade through thousands of books and interact with many teachers, healers, gurus, and institutions before I could find a few that could help me.
It is unfortunate that we have to wade through all of this in order to find anything of real value. There is so much illusion out there, and most people have no interest in going beyond it. And that is okay… as is any sort of emotion that we personally have in reaction to it. I realize that it is not my job to force people to awaken. People will awaken, and when they do they will go beyond such constructs.
In a more awakened state it is hard to not see the illusions, the fears and marketing behind them. It is hard not to see the reasoning behind why there is this illusion of “awakening” meaning that you are a certain way, or certain things happen to you. If most of us truly knew that we were enough.. that we do not need to do more or be more… and that these gurus were not awakened themselves… if we were able to see that most of the teachers and books do not know more than we do internally… we would react differently to the world. If we knew that all emotions were okay (yes, even anger), all experiences were okay, and that when we are “spiritual” or “awake” we would still have days of being angry (and yes, happy at the same time), we would stop judging ourselves for having what is a beautiful experience of anger, or involving ourselves in the delusion that an awakened state means feeling nothing, being nothing (certainly not human), and being in this state of oneness oriented bliss all the time.
I realize that I spend a lot of time on this blog deconstructing, meaning that I am largely focused on dispelling illusions and saying what things are “not” so to speak. I realize that this is very necessary, based on feedback that I am getting. But I will begin to speak about what awakening “is” in my next blog, rather than what it is not… as a sort of companion piece. I do fully realize however that before we are able to open our minds, our hearts, and our cosmologies, most of us need to confront what “isn’t” so we can have a new framework to move to.