I Love a Parade

It’s very humbling to observe how judgmental I can be. These judgements seem to pop up continuously. All of the “spiritual” teachings I have encountered are geared to stopping our judgements, but good luck with that.

If the judgements ever stop, it won’t be because I decided to stop judging, or because I meditated or spiritualized them away.  (If I do decide that, I’ll weigh 300 lbs., as all the sublimated judgements accumulate in my physiology.) It will be because there will be less and less identification with an “I” that needs to defend its very existence, thus creating beliefs, boundaries and limitations which act to define it.

Then there is the matter of judging my own judgements (as right or wrong), and judging that I am having judgements in the first place. (See what I mean about spiritual teachings?) It’s like an unending parade of judgements and criticism….but then, who doesn’t love a parade?

So I watch this parade of judgement, somewhat in awe at how all-pervasive it is. Thoughts still occur that attempt to rationalize many of them away, or seek justification for having them in the first place. I watch all that too, as I notice the righteousness, arrogance, and ultimately, shame, that seems to follow in their aftermath.

I do notice this mechanism weakening in its intensity, as I take my “self” less and less seriously. I can’t say that I am completely comfortable as I watch this parade, but I no longer expect it to end, nor would I be shocked if it ceased.

Well, OK, maybe I would be shocked if it ceased, but it would be a wonderful kind of shocked. Kind of like waking up to the headline that the war in the Middle East had ceased. Something like that.

A Oneness Experience

The girl was about five yards away, sitting to my left. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t identify her as someone I knew. She was young, perhaps in her early 30s. We were sitting next to a stream, which is normally a power spot for me.

I looked at her intently, not really knowing why. Then it was as if a switch got flipped, and I was no longer separate from her. I still maintained my seat on the ground, but yet I was one with her in a way that I had never experienced before. I knew her thoughts – I wasn’t “reading” them, because that would imply separation from them. This was not that; I just knew the thoughts, and we were sharing them, as well as emotions and sensations, on a level of intimacy that would be impossible to do justice to in words.

It was a union that was completely impersonal, and yet intimately personal at the same time. There was no attachment to her as anything but another human being, playing the same human game as I was. In other words, there was nothing special about either of us, or about our relationship to each other. We were just one in that moment.

This oneness came as such a relief, that all I could say or think was, “Finally!”

That word was on my lips when I awoke.

This occurred in that twilight state between sleeping and waking up for the day. In my experience, this state is extremely potent, with many realizations, insights, and mysteries revealed.

This episode happened a couple of months ago, but I find myself drawn back into the spirit of it many times. It’s as if Truth is beckoning me with a curled index finger, reminding me of what has been promised.

This afternoon I finally decided to put this experience “on paper.”

The Fog

Those of us who have been on the spiritual path, for even a short time, have a lot in common. Perhaps the deepest and most profound of these commonalities is also the most elusive. Because it is so prevalent in our consciousness, it is a real trick to become aware of it. It just seems as if it is a part of us, a part of who we are.

It seems to me that many of usl carry around a goal, some state we must attain, some achievement we need to accomplish, some realization that needs to be realized, before we can ever relax, before we can feel true peace, before we actually arrive “there.”

This morning, I am experiencing this as a sort of fog. It’s like a residue in the mind, a vague yet omnipresent feeling that my entire life is being lived within the confines of this fog.

It feels as if the search, as I have referred to it in previous posts, is a way I am trying to emerge from this fog. But that is a fool’s errand; taken on its face, I can never escape through searching, as the search is what maintains the fog in the first place.

This morning, as I write this, I have been able to feel this fog as it actually feels in my awareness. Fog is the right word here. It is a context for my entire life. The borders of this fog are the borders of my judgements. I measure myself according to how close I am to breaking out from the borders of this fog. Judgements are therefore built-in to this dynamic. But like a physical fog, the borders will keep shifting – they are vague and undefined. The only thing I can count on is that I will never cross over to the other side of this fog, that the search will continue unabated.

The foundation of this particular machination of the mind is the idea of enlightenment as a goal to be achieved. I must become enlightened in this lifetime. No time to waste, do the right thing that will get me there. What a joke we have played on ourselves! Really, I marvel at the genius of it. The one that is searching so hard is never going to achieve that goal. The actual goal is to continue searching! Who is doing this searching anyway? Oh yeah, it’s the one who will never get there. Really, pure genius. It’s the most incredible maze imaginable.

Perhaps I’m afraid of seeing through this fog for some reason. Would I see that what I have given so much importance and bestowed so much meaning to is basically meaningless? That life itself has no meaning? That I would have nothing to compare myself to, to judge my progress by, that I would be floating around in some pointless, empty void? Of course, that is from Paul’s point of view, from the point of view of this “I.” That is what “I” fear, that if this fog didn’t exist, neither would the “I.” That it can’t exist outside the context of the search.

All that would exist would be, well, existence, whatever that is. The past and future would exist only as concepts. The present moment would be everything – nothing to attain, nothing to achieve, no enlightenment to run after, no more racing around on a spinning wheel to nowhere.

I do feel afraid of this prospect of truly being present to life, yet I know that emerging from this fog is happening. It is happening right now. Not through any effort on my part – it is just what is happening. Truly experiencing and appreciating life is happening.

Freedom is happening.