Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Tax for Having a Life

You have not been educated to that you could be perfect from the beginning.
You think you will be perfect at the end.
And therefore a journey comes into play, the birth of all religions comes out of this.
So do we need the journey?
For a while, that seems unavoidable… we must taste the tax for having a life.
Mooji, You Can Be Free Today

Thanks to FaceBook I have reconnected with a friend I’ve not seen in over twenty years. Mark and I taught TM together in the late ‘70’s.
What a marvel to compare notes about the path after thirty years.
We speak the same language. We share the same roots… and a lifetime of practice has flowed past the bridge.

I asked Mark which non-dual teacher he likes the best.
I wasn’t that surprised that he said, “Mooji.”
Mooji’s soft, gentle, loving manner feels so like Maharishi to me.
Turns out, Mark had the opportunity to sit an hour with Mooji in personal dialog:

My question was about my teacher of Vedic wisdom (MMY, of course) teaching that the human nervous system over time and through repeated alternation of meditation and activity develops the ability to maintain pure awareness 24/7.
His response, quite lovingly, was, "Bullshit."

Ah! So Maharishi’s teaching left Mark with the same question I had – is awakening spontaneous and in the moment, or is there some kind of process, a ripening, that’s required?
I tried to look at this sometime ago. Now’s as good a time as any to revisit the subject.
Why? Because paying the tax bill has become just about unbearable to me.

Or, perhaps these words of Joan Tollifson will make the point from yet another angle.
I came to Joan on a tip[ from another FaceBook friend. Someone I have never met and known less than a year.

Some say enlightenment is the absence of suffering,
some say it is the absence of non-functional thinking,
some say it is the end of identification with the thinking mind,
some say it is the absence of ego or the dissolution of the separate self,
some say it is the absence of any sense of agency or of being the author of the thoughts and actions that arise.

Some say it is the realization of Oneness,
others describe it as the merging of difference and unity.
Some compare enlightenment to lucid dreaming in the waking state and say that it is the abiding realization that all of consciousness is a dream state, including the entire movie of waking life and the whole spiritual search.
Some insist that enlightenment manifests only as saintly behavior and is characterized by being soft-spoken, generous, kind, vegetarian and pacifist, while others insist you can be enlightened and still be an alcoholic, a meat-eater, a womanizer, a thief, a warrior, or someone prone to angry outbursts.
Some say enlightenment happens suddenly and irrevocably at a particular time on a particular day, and that it is a permanent, final shift;
others describe it as a gradual unfolding;
and some say that it only ever happens Now and that it never happens to somebody…

Who has it right?…
Who (or what) is it, exactly, that would be enlightened or unenlightened? …

Enlightenment doesn't “happen.“
It is.
It is neither gradual nor sudden, and what is realized is both ever-present and ever-fresh.

It can appear gradual in the story where it seems (in retrospect) that awakening was a shift that unfolded slowly over time—that which is false was seen through ever-more clearly, ever-more deeply, ever-more subtly, ever-more often, ever-more completely….

To say, “I am enlightened and it happened on May 2nd at two o’clock in the afternoon,” sounds to my ear like a good story.
To say that “I am not enlightened yet, but maybe someday I will be,” sounds like a different story.
Both stories refer to a “somebody” that I have been unable to actually find, a “somebody” that is the bottomline myth or idea (the snake in the rope).
Joan Tollifson, Am I Enlightened?

I like Joan. Reading her entire article is worthwhile.
And if that is too many words, click here and watch a bit of video.
How very different from Mooji.
I just love to see the packaging!

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