Some passing thoughts, subject to change and error. Any offense is certainly not intended. This is just the temporary rambling from the inside of this dark head.
I have this (very small, irrelevant really) bugbear about the plethora of masters out there, doing the Big Sell on Awakening.
Have you noticed? They are ubiquitous. They multiply like rabbits on the rolling plains. They have glossy magazines, (blooming expensive) conferences, youtube channels, skype sessions, meet-ups, retreats, humming get-togethers with all their lovely limber clear-skinned devotees on Hawaiian beaches.
They speak in sweet soft neutral tones, preferably Mid-Atlantic, unless they are really exotic and maybe come from Russia or something. They always have a half-smile pinned to their faces. They wear pretty pastel shades, and look very neat. Clean. Blissed out. Patient. They sparkle with an esoteric glow.
They look good enough to eat, the lot of them. Who wants an red-nosed, hunch-backed Sensei these days, after all. No swarthy Bodhidharmas for us, thank you very much.
But whoa, so many of them nowadays, these easy-on-eye Masters. They used to be as rare as hen’s teeth, these adepts, and secluded in hard to get to caves in various mountains. Now we have an embarrassment of riches, when it comes to Gurus.
They tell us all of how easy it is to awaken. We just have to remember somehow. They motivate us (repeatedly) to buck up and allow the mud in our infantile illusory (of course) minds to settle so that the Truth will be then instantly revealed. Keep up with the program or feel the burn (of non-awakening shame).
Discipline is not necessary, perish the thought, for this truth is as close to us as our own skin, a mere sheath away from our heart space. Teachers, books, techniques, all those instructions and observations that the archaic Masters took the trouble to record, pfffffttt; they are for the deluded and confused. The path we walk in this moment, the simple here and now, is what is leading us tantalisingly abreast of the Truth, if only we had the requisite eyes to see.
And how do we open those eyes. Just Be, people, Be!! Drop the illusion. Just do it now. Cop on. basically…(And on your way out please book in at the desk in the Atrium for my next glorious retreat…)
But really? What of the vast unconscious within us that is a repository of lifetimes worth of impressions and seeds? Does it all burn up with one group Om chant? What about the cultivation of virtue? And so on.
Okay, fair enough. I get the general point about Be Here Now. And it’s true. (But not that simple.)
Still, it must be nice enough to be interviewed as the last word on esoteric wisdom in the New Age magazines, and to have your own channel where you can broadcast to the scattered masses who are eager to soak up your zen. It must also be nice to see the fees and donations rack up in the bank account; those eco-compliant ranches come at a price, after all.
So far, so cosy.
And yes, it is lovely. All the Vedantic Voodoo Vibes. The Zen. The sitting room Nirvana. The macrobiotic Gnosis. The catch phrases. The flowing clothes. The Groovy One Love.
But what gets me confused (a little) is this. How come when one looks back into the elder traditions there were long induction periods when seekers practised various disciplines that involved intense cognitive training, emotional and bodily restraint, surrender of Will and Ego, prayer, fasting, vision quests, moral living, devotional rituals, repetitive training routines, psychedelic initiations, and so on and so forth, etc? How come in the olden days Awakening was not a matter of simply wishing it was so, or clicking the fingers and dropping the veil and then Taaa-daaaa!
Were they kind of dumb back then? Were they not as advanced as us, those eager men and women in ancient times who entered as acolytes into Monasteries and Universities and Ashrams and Medicine Circles? Were these once-upon-a-time aspirants just all blocked up with oceans of that crazy crappy deluded stuff that stands between the average bear and enlightenment?
Hang on though. They did not have TV. Laptops. Phones. Trains. Cars. Chemicals. Porn surfing. Electromagnetic smog. Wine-bars. The Kardashians. Junk Magazines. Junk Food. Sci-Fi Block Busters. Waxing salons. Techno Trance. E. Festival Wellies. Hadron Colliders. Infinitely Musing Bloggers. Breast Implants. And a skadillion other distractions…
So, how could they have been so clogged up, these old fogies?
But still because it seems they had to work so jolly hard at figuring stuff out it must have been because their psyches were awash in debris that was holding them back from the Truth. That must be why they had to take self-responsibility, make the effort, endure ascetism and trial, trust, surrender, exert, sit still and keep vigil until they had callouses on their bottoms.
Sounds about right.
But not like us. All we got to do is tune in. Listen up. Get with the program. Repeat I AM. Open the third eye. Raise the snake. Unzip the Void from its keep-fresh, plastic wrapper, and glide on in. Easy as pie. For us.
Okay, yeah. A bit sarcastic. Forgive me. Or don’t. I don’t mind. I am going to go wallow in the fabulous guilt of not having cracked it. I’m ordering a double helping of delicious angst for being a flake in the awakening race. For it seems that not only can one never be thin enough anymore, or rich enough, good-looking enough, slinky and fit enough (in yoga pants), sexed-up enough, cool enough, hip enough, clever enough and ….what’s this now!….actually fully awakened to a Non-dualist experience quickly enough for a fast-food civilisation that wants a side-serving of cheese and jalapeno nachos, (honey), with its drive-through, quick-step, main-course of enlightenment.
Have our souls become commodities?