As the old joke goes, when you finally declare that “you are god!” – in the Western world the men in white coats start to take out their straight-jackets, when you say this in the East, people will say to you “So glad you finally got it!”
When one’s entire being is predicated on “being somebody” – the idea of NOT being somebody seems really alien and scary.
So much so that in Western Medicine we pathologise depersonalisation, and try to find a way to medicate our way back into “being.”
Psychologists will tell you that you are having a psychotic episode and that with enough therapy and medication they can bring “You” back to “Yourself”
In most of the Eastern spiritual practices the idea is to expressly divest yourself of this “You” – what a curious dichotomy!
Let’s look at what makes up “You” and why you might want to scale it down, and even step out of it, like a thin actor stepping out of his “Fat Man” suit at the end of a day’s work!
I can only scratch at the edges of this, like a fat cat trying to gain entry through a tiny cat flap.
I have had experiences of Depersonalisation, where the vastness of all there is has swept in, an in one case roared in like an ocean wave!
If you ever played computer games in the 1990’s (such as Red Alert) your little characters ran around a map. The map was shrouded in fog. As you wandered, more and more of the terrain was finally revealed.
This has been my experience to date.
Patches of wonder, interspersed through an ordinary yet wonderful life.
Of course like so many teachers, I have read much on the subject, talked with people who I suspect are already “there” – but am clear that I have not yet vaulted that bar. Beware of people who indicate that they are enlightened, but still shout at traffic wardens, and grope young impressionable ladies!
Further confusion comes when “I” use phrases like “get there”
The more I study and feel into the process, the more aware I am that “I” am already there, and always have been.
You are too!
Gosh we love overcomplication.
We love somebody to set us a target. (Sweep my steps for three years, then I might show you a practice that MIGHT help you to find your path.
But don’t expect anything to happen for the first ten years!)
If I manage to get the right hairstyle (Ponytail), a nice jacket of sky blue silk, a cool looking cave, the I’m certain I can con you into following me!
This cave isn’t going to paint itself!
We so love to have hurdles, and set ourselves on a spiritual journey of a hundred Guru’s and books, tough weeks of silence and self-serching, hours of navel gazing. We feel obliged to DO SOMETHING, in order that we finally receive what? Well hopefully “Nothing!”
I’d like to say at this point that this essay doesn’t invalidate my life’s work, or out me as a fraud, because I hope all of you who pay me, receive good information on keeping this “Body” of ours together!
We need to keep the body strong and working well, if we are ever to complete this task of depersonalisation!
So, finally we get to the big question; who is the “I” you speak of? Who actually are “You?”
I’m always drawn back to the Daoist image of the “Raindrop, returning to the Ocean”
As “Player No.1” in this Game, you arrive as a little rain-drop.
You do your rain-droppy things, and then you return to the Ocean.
The “molecules” that make up your “Raindrop” never break down, they never disappear, they just merge back into the vastness of the ocean, until one day they’ll evaporate into the clouds and rain down to become “Player 1” once more.
This is the same as with what you assume to be You.
You are the ocean, and so am I – when I look in your eyes, I see myself.
Every one of us is the Ocean.
How would the vast ocean ever discover anything about itself, if it only ever remained as “the one” – The Ocean needs the Raindrops to go out there and discover all there is.
As “player 1,” I navigate this life, and interact with you. As we do so, the Ocean, playing with another version of itself learns more. The fog is cleared away to show more information.
As “Player 1” – you start off with a variety of game-play options you can equip.
Do you start with a big bank, or with no cash at all.
Do you want one parent or two?
Do you wish to play a Boy or a Girl
Do you want to choose to be Black, White or Brown?
Catholic or Protestant
Conservative or Socialist
Healthy or Sick.
All options are available to you in this game.
The interesting thing to note is that the game has several phases, including Life and Death, and possibly “Life, between Lives” too, where you get to review your last game and decide what role you’d like to play in your next game.
You never leave the player lobby, until you decide to return to the Ocean.
The great thing is that the game is a “free world” – you can make anything happen you want.
In the Life state, you can make miracles, change your life, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, or shoot yourself in the head – no matter.
In the death and in-between stages, you can visit Heaven, Hell, purgatory, Nirvana (Either the band, or the place!) reincarnate as a donkey, or have a Near Death Experience, and then come straight back!
It’s all a fantastic simulation.
It’s up to you to make it heaven or hell.
In the Life state, your “job” is to experience as much as you can, gathering information for the Ocean and expand the map.
You can choose the easy way, or a path of total suffering. Your choice.
If you have chosen the latter, never mind, Its only a game, try to make some better choices now and make a better choice for the next time you play.
When you equip your raindrop, ready for the game, there’s only one rule to get started with. You have to forget that you were ever a raindrop.
(The game is littered with clues for you to play with. The OM symbol, books and Gurus to advise you, and of course your own deep intuition)
Some people crash through the game, step on a mine, and blow up!
Other’s take it easy and gently, and make it through to score 100! (Usually bowing out shortly after..)
We clad our Raindrop in so many ideas, “I” am a White, middle classed male, with a good education, an a lovely persona!
(Well, this Raindrop seems to fancy itself rather a lot, and has a very high opinion of itself!)
I could have easily chosen poor, single and unloved.
All of these constructs are just ideas.
If I’m born with only one leg, that’s just an idea. If I develop Cancer, it’s just an idea. It’s all part of this complex game we call “Life”
All of these attributes that “I” equipped myself with, and that “I” have gathered along the way make the “I” that I’m presenting to you today.
They are NOT however the Raindrop.
They are window-dressing FOR the Raindrop to play the game in.
They are just “Ideas”
What the hell Jeremy? How does this twaddle help me in any way!?
I’m stuck here with Cancer, Heart disease, Diabetes etc.. fill in the blanks.
I have an abusive wife/husband/boss/child/dog (delete as appropriate)
I have a mortgage I can’t pay, and the Bailiffs are knocking on the door, demanding my TV set!
Do some Qigong. That’s all I have!
OK, let’s dig a little further.
In my class, I teach about listening to yourself. Listening deep inside.
In this essay I mention your deep intuition, essentially, listening to your first thought.
I’d suggest you start with a modicum of pre-planning. It’s always better to use preventative medicine rather that needing help!
Fix your diet whilst you still have a chance.
Stretch your body, whilst you still can!
Exercise your body and your mind while it’s still flexible.
Fill your life with things you love.
But DON’T get too attached
I’m suggesting that if you consciously navigate this process, and it’s not already too late, then you’ll not slip into disaster, and should manage the process in a happy way.
If you choose to get attached to things, then you will naturally experience the highs and lows of ownership. You get a new Mercedes ! Elation! (Somebody steals it – you hit rock bottom!)
You love your partner, your children, your dogs SOOOO deeply.
When they eventually “run out on you” – your life is crushed!
Live life lightly
If you manage to not become too invested in the Game, if you manage to enjoy this life and navigate a middle path, then what?
I think that Enlightenment is a fun target.
I don’t think Qigong will take you there.
I don’t think Meditation with take you there.
I don’t think Buddhism, Spirituality, Hinduism or Jedi-ism will do that either.
I think the only way is to realise that you are the raindrop, and to understand that none of the Game is real.
I think you have to navigate life listening to your intuition, and NOT to your Heart or your Mind. (First impulse, no matter how crazy – Just do it!)
I suspect that more silence and less noise might make the path a little clearer.
I think that drilling deeply into the question “Who am I” might clear the path a bit.
From what I’ve read and heard, the lower slopes of Mount Enlightenment can be rather scary. The Mind is unable to grasp the nature of the Vastness, and tries repeatedly to think up other reasons, justifications and strategies to move you away from the Mountain.
When the Vastness of the Ocean sweeps in and stays for longer, the fear (if there was any) of losing yourself is replaced by the wonder of being “everything”
Eventually this gives way itself to Bliss, love and the Vastness of consciousness.
You’ll see that there never was a You, just your “Player 1” character.
You’ll see there was never a “Me” – Just another profile that the Ocean created to keep you company in the game.
In the game, it’s a free world – I suggest you choose love and happiness every time. Up to you.
Just remember, NONE of what you are experiencing today is real.
Anything can be changed. Nothing is of consequence. It might feel as if it is, but it’s really NOT.
If you die tomorrow, you can re-spawn the day after, and have another go.
If your family “believe” that they can contact you when you die, then that can happen too!
It’s a free world, life and death are all part of the game.
Lean to play it well people! Hun Yuan Ling Tong! (I translate this as “Qi and Consciousness Creates Miracles!”)
Live long and prosper! (Maybe there is something in hat Jedi-ism after all!)