Reality Check: Brief Reflections on Un-Conditioning the Mind
Genre: Non-fiction; Spirituality, Self-Help, Philosophy
Price: 0.99 USD
paperback ISBN: 978-1-937796-92-1
Price: 5.99 USD
Available from: Barnes and Noble|Amazon
Cover art: Louca Matheo
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages. What we have here is a brief compendium of unconventional viewpoints regarding what is loosely termed “the spiritual path,” but what is, in fact, a return to our fundamental sanity. All this and more for only 99 cents!
Enlightenment, which is Reality, is self-love and manifests as compassionate non-attachment or liberation through understanding. When you see or understand that you are really good, already really good it brings happiness and a feeling of being completely connected to life., All the strategies to be good and the masks that have been created are seen as superfluous and simply fall away. This removal of the “veils” allows the direct and unclouded perception of what has always been there.
You don’t need to become a good or lovable person. You don’t need to make some herculean effort to become safe or happy or to acquire knowledge or to gain approval. That’s why real life is joyous, because it is effortless.
So much of what is called spiritual work is people trying to be good, to get it right, to succeed, so that the guru or god or mommy or daddy will love them. It is like some weirdly choreographed courtship.
In the first spiritual group I attended, the men were required to wear jackets and ties and the ladies had to wear long skirts no matter what the weather was like. Homosexuality was considered unacceptable. One had to sit in rock hard chairs, perfectly upright, for hours on end and listen to lectures and learn Sanskrit and calligraphy and sewing and had to maintain all the school buildings in immaculate condition as an unpaid service. One had to eat silently, work silently. All these things were required not elective. Oh well, you get the picture. All this to find what we already have. We need to stop denying how dissatisfying, dehumanizing and shitty this kind of coercion is. There is no heart in it at all.
In reality, the person struggling to connect with reality, struggling to find love, is already completely loved and connected but doesn’t recognize it. The old analogy is of a man standing in water up to his neck and complaining that he’s dying of thirst. This is quite literally true.
For many years I’ve been telling people that spiritual work is stopping or more specifically, surrendering. Meditation is non-doing. Surrender is non-doing. Love is non-doing. If you have to do something to get enlightened, then what you’re looking for isn’t freedom or love, for it is just another conditional relationship with life.
Whatever obstacles you may have to loving yourself as you are right now, I can promise you, they are all unreal. You learned them somewhere from someone who didn’t care and didn’t know you.
It doesn’t matter how awful or ugly your secret is, your past actions, your dreadful mistakes, lies or transgressions. One thing is certain, not loving yourself right now isn’t helping anyone, isn’t fixing anything or undoing any harm that may have been done. Seeing the misunderstanding that has been guiding the efforts to acquire love or peace will make you appreciate the uselessness of them.
The most unselfish thing is not to embark on some heroic spiritual journey but to drop or surrender any obstacles, any conditions to love immediately so you can finally make a proper amends. Do you see?
Spirituality is the unclenching of a fist, the unfolding of a heart, the non-becoming, non-forcing, non-attached compassion, which is, and has always been, the Real.