About two years ago, I read a book with the title, “Love’s Quiet Revolution,” by Scott Kiloby. I began doing what was suggested in the book, that is, noticing my thoughts, and noticing as well what they were upholding. It’s not like it’s a secret or anything; almost every thought I had was upholding a search of some kind. That search could be for enlightenment, for more happiness, for greater pleasure, for improvement, to correct some perceived mistake, to correct something about me that was not the way it should be, etc.
Put another way, things had gone wrong in the past, the present was not the way it should be, and there was a possibility that if I did things right this time, the future would be better than whatever was happening now. Funny how that future where everything was OK never seemed to arrive.
The wonderful thing about noticing is that it doesn’t mean doing anything about the thoughts – I just noticed them and their common theme of, “The Search.” After several weeks of intense noticing, I had the experience of watching my personality move totally out of the way, and being left in a place of……..emptiness and peace, although I didn’t have much time to experience that state at the time. What I was subsequently shown was that it is impossible to lose that state of awareness and spaciousness, since that is who we are! We are not these personalities that are constantly on a search that is never meant to find anything, only to continue searching.
What a revelation this was, and still is! I had been a so-called spiritual seeker for almost forty years, and had basically been on a fool’s errand. This search was never designed to reach a final destination; it was designed to be a perpetual motion machine that would keep me searching until death. The final destination was the ultimate carrot I had been pursuing seemingly forever, when everything I had ever sought was here all the time! All I can say is that it gave me the ultimate respect for the design of this impenetrable maze that we have apparently put ourselves into. This maze is beyond ingenious!
Currently, I have begun a new round of noticing thoughts and what they are upholding. “The search” is still a theme, but it has cooled down quite a bit. However, I have noticed another theme running through many of my thoughts. These thoughts are upholding a sense of a separate self, one that needs to be defended and protected, and doesn’t particularly care how it’s done. By that I mean that these thoughts can be downright nasty, dogmatic, judgmental, illogical, intolerant, self-aggrandizing, pompous, and, ironically enough, self-destructive. It is quite a revelation to see how often these thoughts occur, and how identified I have been with them.
Trying to fix these thoughts, to somehow reason my way into having different, more loving and all-encompassing thoughts take their place, is another fool’s errand. By noticing them without trying to get rid of them, or deny them, is so far bringing a sense of peace, and I can feel myself catching them earlier, before I buy into them. I am really amazed at how prevalent these thoughts of separation are, and how I have unconsciously been buying into them for a very long time.
I have caught myself expecting and actually hoping for another so-called “peak experience,” and I can see the trap in that. So, working as hard as I can, I have rid myself of any of those expectations. Only kidding.
Noticing these thoughts does seem to be my next chapter in Love’s Quiet Revolution.
By the way, I looked up the meaning of fool’s errand, and found it is a task that cannot be accomplished because of fate or because it is a joke. [Some joke! Ha Ha!] It comes mainly in two varieties: trying to find something that does not exist [the separate self], or trying to accomplish an impossible task. Others who are aware of the prank will often redirect the victim to several different places. [That last sentence really resonates!]