Amazingly it is around a year since I turned up in a chatroom on Paltalk on which was playing “Lark Ascending.” It feels like five minutes, or maybe five lifetimes.
I says to him “Do you know, that’s interesting, this is one of my favourite pieces which I was humming to myself this morning.”
He says to me “I know, that’s why I was playing it for you.”
I says to him “I’m here because I knew you were playing it.”
“OK” he says “we’ll go 50-50 on that one.”
And so its been ever since.
Thank you, DC, for your presence, your help, your friendship, your support.
This question came from a friend of mine who attends the dialogue group.
There’s no feeling good to awareness.
I don’t believe you
Feeling good, feeling bad, belong to thought, feeling and sensation. They are not awareness
Still don’t believe you
What do we make of this?
The quick answer to this is “get out of your own way.”
Unfortunately until you have developed some kind of awareness this will not mean much to you, so a good first answer might be “Develop your awareness to the point where you can get out of your own way.”
For most people that will involve dealing with the mundane parts of their life and relationships first to free their body up a bit. Abe Mazlow had a lot to say about this, but basically it is difficult to listen to the Self over the noise a needy body is making.
For most people who are stuck at one stage or another of this process, good therapy or good lifecoaching can help. Personally now I wouldn’t bother with any professionals who do not have a developed spiritual awareness, and believe me, several spiritual therapists and coaches have as their daily prayer this little tune.
Secondly, help others. If you don’t help others, why should you deserve help? Note, however, that this is secondly, not firstly. This is not a dig for you to click on the “donate” button on here from time to time, although that will certainly help others, and it is a painless process and a good use of your spare cash!
Thirdly, choose holy. Pray. Meditate. Read inspired works – plenty to go at on here, to start with. This will really test you as you will find every way possible to get in you Self’s way when you try this stage, but, hey, why else are you here?
Several times when I have been showing people who are not familiar with DC’s writings, one essay or another, a bewildered look will come over their faces, and, tentatively (for, rightly or misguidedly, many do respect what I have to say) they will point out – as if I hadn’t noticed – that he is writing something quite different to every other spiritual teacher they have ever read.
I have two answers to this:
The first answer is that DC’s purpose in writing the essays is to get the reader to think for themselves, and to wake up. Actually, the clue is in the menu titles: “DC’s Essays to Wake Up To” and “DC’s Teachings from Experience.” DC is quite clear that experience from within has to be the final teacher, and will then point out that most of the other writings we have read are by people who have not actually had the experience and then thought things out for themselves from the ground up.
The second answer is that if you look at history, you will discover that the prevailing wisdom is always, without exception, wrong.
For those who, like me, can’t count, there is a third answer which you will have to study quite a bit to discover, and that is that once you get past the differences in word and concept usage between DC and other original writers, it becomes obvious that there are similarities and correspondences, when considered from their own viewpoints and experience.
“… you have to choose holy.
Have you noticed that every so often in the chatroom DC comes up with a gem like this, which strikes one as totally obvious the second it has been heard, but up until that point might not have been obvious to those observing our behaviours.
If you read what DC has to say about Karma in the “Teachings from Experience” section you will find that the way most people define it, i.e. as a punitive system, he sees no sense in it at all.
Yet we do seem to have the ability to ward off our development by not playing our part, by not co-operating with the process, by not going with the flow, if you like.
Chatting to James on Paltalk last night it occurred to one of us that if we were to personify the Undertow it might look very like the Tarot version of the Devil, Atu XV. The devil has a very important function in the Tarot, and it is symbolised as male, therefore an active force, and not passive.
In Tarot lore, the function of the Devil is to help us find our true level. It starts with a small temptation, of the kind “Just a bit of this won’t hurt, even though you know you shouldn’t really.”
If you laugh with it – the correct and resourceful response – it will bide it’s time and return when your motivation is weaker, or it may try another tack “Oh you did so well not (say) joining in with that gossip, you can allow yourself something unhealthy on the way home as a reward.” It is laughable, really, although at the time it can be difficult to laugh with the Devil at the silly things that tempt us. If you can laugh with the Devil, he accompanies you to you next level of development.
If you don’t do what your intuition indicates is the right response, then it accompanies you down, and offers you something else as well, often co-opting people and things in the material world to help. Eventually, you both reach a level where you have both just had enough. After bumbling around on the bottom for a while, the devil will prompt you to get out and do something to improve. He is seen here setting fire to the man’s tail. “Take those loose chains and those ridiculous costumes off and claim your true heritage.”
The undertow leaves us washed up and exhausted, but we have no choice but to try again, wiser this time.
It is invariably heartening and uplifting to read about a genuine spiritual experience, as well as go on to read about how their life changed – or did not appear to change – after it.
I challenge anyone to read DC’s autobiography without being moved, for instance.
I will often read and watch comedy as a pleasant way to allow the body to unwind. Being aware of the gently humorous side of life is absolutely essential for most of us who are unfolding our awareness, in order to retain brain balance. I’ve been reading the autobiography of the comedian Jack Dee, and was surprised to read about several obviously genuine experiences that he has risked describing. Here is the first one:
“During one of the readings, my mind wandered and I started to stare at a large statue of Christ on the cross. I remember wanting to look away but being unable to. At the same time I became aware of a sensation of complete tranquillity, a feeling that I was cherished by God and that everything would be alright. I can’t account for why that should have happened other than to say that’s what happened.” (p110 Thanks for nothing, 2009, Transworld)
For those unaware of Jack’s “oeuvre” here is a sample.
In the chatroom, Cre8ting, Juxta and DC were talking about the difficulty of not repeating the body’s core maladaptive patterns, over and over, throughout life.
After a period of time, and a good deal of personal work, it becomes possible to describe this core maladaptive pattern to oneself. Here is what DC said about dealing with these uncovered patterns in his own words, more or less, prompted by the other participants. Juxta will write more about this, and in the meantime asked me to put something together while it was current/emergent. I have used DC’s words where possible because of the energy they contain, like a rapier reaching for the essentials.
I have put certain statements in bold, which seem greatly significant to me, but you may find other statements important to you.
At the centre of the spiral is the core pattern of the body/brain.
on the spiral you are both at the center
it is the hardset pattern to not identify with cause all other patterns grew from it
all patterns spin off the core pattern
the core pattern is the initial one
the core pattern is the first cognizance negative experience that was not processed successfully
it could have been anything minor
the body repeats the pattern by creating situations
in order to process it correctly
problem lies in toddler brain and emotions not being mature enough to understand all that is happening
so often it is a echo of the parent that is manifested
the key, and this is new info from me…
it is the first cognizant experience that is not ‘safe’ or
predictable’ that cements into the core behavior pattern
very few humans have the ability to recall the experience that started it all
that is why the fix is not in the past
it is in changing the behavior in the present
all the newage and self help in the world is not going to change the past – it is locked in to creation
you can only see what manifests now and not identify with it
‘no this is not me now – it is obsolete thinking’
to understand it
you were too young to process the experience
if you had been mature you would have responded correctly
‘do not hit me, i am a child and you are an adult and should know better’
instead it becomes ‘i get attention by being bad’
immature reading of the experience
it is the attention that we get addicted to
pain or pleasure is a side effect.
Now, pay attention.
the reason why the patterns repeat is because they never got processed correctly and are still not getting processed correctly – it is a brain trying to make reality ‘safe’ and ‘predictable’
it is trying to heal itself
because these patterns lead to cancer, anxiety, bad heart, disease, etc etc
it is mechanics
but trying to fix the patterns is trying to fix the body
you are not the body – you are the Self
fixing the body is not as important as waking up is
fixing the body is being part of its creation
you need to be creator in a new form
the chatterbox is the brain trying to process information that won’t process
now you know why it sounds so manic
To actively follow up on a conversation I had with DC last night, I decided to make an effort to write more essays for the blog. And, sticking with the thread of that conversation, I asked myself where should I start? As always, the best answer is at the beginning. When did my journey toward awakening start? It seems like it’s been going on all my life, even when I was a small child, but when it really started was after I walked away from teaching. This was especially hard because becoming a teacher would lead me to become a productive member of society, and fulfil my parent’s expectations of being a good son. Plus, I love, and still do, working with young people. But there was something nagging in my soul that said this wasn’t the right time or place, that being in the teaching profession wasn’t my calling. Needless to say, this decision made my life more difficult in many ways, but looking back I have come to realize that I made the right choice by walking away. Slowly but surely my true calling–writing for young adults–is presenting itself. I know now that I made the right choice. Some may call this intuition, or a gut feeling, but whatever it is it is important to listen to that feeling. Never go against it, otherwise you’ll end up causing more long term problems for yourself. Sure, in the short term maybe a job or money is the cure, but awakening the Self is a long-term cure. So where to start? At the beginning. With the mechanics. Start by making a choice to awaken the Self. The tools are on the website and the help is in the chatroom, which is currently undergoing a change–to the beginning idea of why the room was created in the first place. But no one is going to do this for you except you by actively pursuing this side of life. The ball is in your court. Start at the beginning.
I answered this question on another site, then thought it fitted well here.
The question was: What is more important: what others think of me, or what I think of myself?
Why should one be better than another? The fact is that from my perspective, both are largely illusory.
First: What I think of myself. How do I arrive at this valuation? Normally it is by my own impression of what “significant others” think and thought of me, in particular during my childhood. It is unusual for anyone to do any kind of accurate appraisal of themselves, or even to inquire closely into their choice of valuation criteria – which, again, is usually found upon dissection to be inherited from parents, family, society, etc.
Second: What others think of me. Narcissists should look away now! – I have bad news for you. As far as other people thinking of you are concerned, you barely have a bit-part in the story of their lives (This wonderful turn of phrase is, of course, taken from one of DC’s essays). Most people are so preoccupied with how they appear to others that they have little time or energy to really LOOK at you. Basically, your importance to them is dependant on the degree that you help or hinder them to feel as if they are maintaining THEIR image as they would wish.
Of course, we all hope that our parents and family are exceptions to this rule. Let’s hope. I suspect that for most of us the exception is only partial.