So much of what goes under the rubric of ‘enlightened wisdom’ is the most unequivocal nonsense. The worst of that nonsense is that the world is unreal – mere appearance. Such false spiritual writing asserts that the only thing that is real is the ‘nothingness’ that undergirds all experience, for it is this same ‘nothingness’ that never changes. Thus nothing is real.
Just because the mind cannot truly know anything – this is not the same as negating the reality of the universe.
The proposition that nothing is real represents a half understanding. Yes, at the center of experience is the mystery that seems like nothingness. That is a truth. And it is also true that what stands between the recognition of this truth and delusion is the belief in an independent self. The one belief that is most resistant to deconstruction through open awareness is the belief in this seemingly independent self that I refer to as myself. Much of the difficulty is a consequence of how we use every day language. There is just no escaping referring to this body mind as “I” or “me”. Thus the myth of ever present nothingness is founded on sound realization.
But when the “I/me” embraces the position of nothingness exclusively, which is, in itself, an ironic contradiction of the first order for how can what is nothing embrace that which is nothing (?), a new false-self arises; this is the false spiritual self. This is yet another Fear-Self, but now in the guise of alluring spirituality. It is one of the oldest purposes of religion to neutralize the complexities of daily living by transcending them through the handy process of negation. The moment we reject the sensed world as illusion, we have, effectively done away from the complexity and messiness of daily life. In this case, we assert the primacy of “nothingness” to negate the total “appearance” of reality as it is actually experienced by the person, bird, cockroach, shark, or plant. None of it exists because the spiritual Fear-Self, who has self anointed itself as enlightened says so! It is mere spiritual authority telling us and hwat to think. This is the purest form of spiritual crap. It is but a scrap of authentic realization desperately clung to by people fleeing the inherent difficulties of life.
My own teacher spoke and wrote at length about the fallacy of getting stuck at the Zero point. And I will go as far as to say that those who claim their own realization have probably not even experienced this Zero point in any prolonged way. Perhaps they have had a taste and from that taste, they make the most absurd and incorrect conclusions drawn from the ever-increasingly pop-spiritual literature of the day. Great teachers, like Eckhart Tolle, have made it easy for any “tom, dick, or harry” to make the same claims to the same level of realization. They are fooling themselves and providing enticing but false teachings to desperate followers.
But negation of the perceived world is just part of the continuing story of invalidation and negation projected outwards. It is, at best, a way-station on the journey – the journey that never ends.
The great spiritual challenge of our time is not negation of the real, but heartfelt connection with it. When we finally see through the false belief in the independent I, we don’t make the decisive error of negating the real, as so many do, but we move on to the far greater realization that everything we experience is who we truly are in this very moment. When this is lived as reality and not just as mere thought or projection, then we will have found our Authentic Being. The best metaphor that I can use to describe this Authentic Being is that it is the light that illuminates all things as itself.
We are able to make a loving mark in the world once our connection with all of it is fully integrated within the light that sees everything as itself and just as itself. This is the truth that cancels all false belief. Liberation means freedom from the enslavement to any and all belief. Liberation is unity and solidarity with this single truth.
How does one make one’s mark in the world?
First know that what we justifiably experience as the problems of the world, environmental destruction, violence, poverty, and want or all, without exception, a direct consequence of greed and greed is a direct consequence of personal and group invalidation, as I have discussed in many other posts. The healing of this invalidation is a matter of reversing its effects through seeing it, directly, in action in our own selves. I have addressed how this is done in great detail in my book and in many other posts.
We make our mark on the world in a way that is strikingly individual. For while the light of the Authentic Being is the same, how it manifests through our distinct and individual minds and bodies is always different. This is the diversity that the universe so greatly loves and nurtures. Some of us will express our connection with all through science – others through art – others through social/political action – others through raising children free of the self-negating beliefs that so profoundly effect our world.
But it is never our purpose to condemn greed. Rather, our purpose, is only to see its primal legacy in our own being. The immense challenges that we now face on our planet Earth may be a consequence of greed and faith-based beliefs, but all of it adds to the fun and challenge and tragedy of daily living. It’s all part of the mix that is real and vital in our own lives, now. Just as culture and society have changed through the many centuries, each generation faces new and different problems. Nature and the universe perfectly adapt to change and the nimbleness of our own capacities to meet these challenges is powerful and effective to the extent that we too can adjust to these changes. Everything is new all of the time – yet everything is also not new all of the time, for that which becomes new is forged from what has gone before. This is the very subtle and paradoxical nature of change – the engine of the universe itself.
And we are all parts of that ongoing engine of the universe. From the vantage point of the light of Authentic Being, the engine is complete within that light. And it is through the light that we change and make our mark on the world. We take the plunge into the vast river of the universe through the love we manifest in making our mark as we are and as it is seen by the light of the Authentic Self freed from its shackles of belief and fear.
This is how we each make our mark in the world.