Tag: Spirituality

What is “enlightenment” and how can we achieve it? Here’s one possible way

From my limited experience, my hypothesis of a way to become “enlightened” is to imagine that your chains will never be broken, you will never be free, and you will always be tormented. Then get ok with that. Once that striving part of you is dead, you will still strive, but not in a delusional “I’m going to finally be bigger than my enemies!” kinda way.

What is enlightenment? It is peace enough to be able to love everything and everyone. What is it not? Getting the magic answer to take your pain away, unless your pain is caused by neurotic striving, which it very well might be.

And achieving enlightenment is not imperative. It’s just a return to where you were before you convinced yourself that you are alone and separate. It’s an end to the game, and honestly, people like the game. God likes the game. It’s not inherently a bad thing to be in this game.

But inside of us is this crystallized voice that will say until death that this “IS NOT A GAME MOTHERFUCKER!!” You know that voice. It’s a game, and you can tell the voice that “we’ll always be chained, we’ll never be free, and we will always be tormented.”

The voice will work on convincing you for decades if you take that stance. And it’s a good fucking lawyer. Give up and die to this idea of “beating the game.” Then you’ll realize that your striving was the window blinds, and now the light can get in, and that the light was in your heart the whole time. Your mind just drew the shades because it was threatened.

The Secret Formula for all Religions

The Ultra-Secret formula for all religions:

  1. Learn how to tell your mind to fuck off.
  2. Follow your heart.
  3. Realize your consciousness is infinite, and the mind has been lying to you about death.

    The rest is really just filler. And the reason there are so many different religions is because #1 changes over time. 2,000 years ago the method was to join a cult and be totally surrounded by spirituality until you got to #2. Now, the method of telling your mind to fuck off is to transform yourself repeatedly while taking psychedelics and reading 2,000 year old texts until your mind gives up.

    That’s the cliff’s notes version, but just give your “self” to your heart, and keep going. Eventually, you’ll get to salvation. Lots of people think they can just keep at #1, learning every method in the whole world, but your mind will lie and lie, telling you that you already follow your heart and you’re already enlightened, blah blah blah.

Fuck off mind!
Hello heart!
ALL HERE NOW
THOU ART THAT

How do we deal with feeling incomplete? Are we ever incomplete?

I’m toying with the idea that this thing called
God or Spirit
is the mortar between our metaphorical bricks
except it is always invisible to us
so it looks like we are incomplete
when we actually are not

I thought of this metaphor
while studying how the
12 tone musical scale is mathematically created.
People think that music is a perfect mathematical system
but the math actually doesn’t work
and we have to split up this remainder amount
called the Pythagorean Comma
into little bits
and add them to each note or else all kinds of problems occur

But when we rely on that invisible mortar
we can do holy (whole) things
and the harmonies all work
but it requires that we are ok with not knowing
and that can be a hard thing to accept
because it is a form of submission
and acceptance of one’s
limitations

but when we try to make things
without the mortar
and only deal with the “known”
the harmonies don’t work
and there is breakdown
but we don’t have to feel
incomplete

so why do men and women dare resist this invisible bit?
because one must admit being submissive to something
the mind cannot understand

but the thing is that it never goes away
and there is only one whole
it just doesn’t develop if you don’t open to it

Before enlightenment, manage chronic disease and make the best of adversity. After enlightenment, manage chronic disease and make the best of adversity.

The most frightening thing I’ve had to accept in my life is that there is no liberation on Earth except liberation from death and rebirth. I thought that spirit would liberate me from the pain of my body, but that is not the way. However, the process by which we struggle can move us closer to divinity or not. God is selective and changes the path from time to time. Right now, in my view, if you want to struggle the right way, look to the Black American struggle mechanisms of the last 400 years: Spirituals, The Blues, Ecstatic Gospel music, improvisation, and protest, to name a few. From the utter darkness of being a chattel slave to then being a second-class citizen was born a new light that is now available to everyone. Add in psychedelics, and you got a good Gumbo going!

We are born into prison, and we will die in prison. Earth is a prison, the Sun is the warden. Pardons are available, but you have to go your own way. Society herds us away from the possibility of a pardon on purpose. Only those who go their own way will be rewarded. Otherwise, just get used to living in prison. And you can find ways of getting a lot of nice stuff in your cell and have the best cell in the block, but you’re still in prison. This sounds unbelievably harsh to many people, but that is only because most people have been told that they are free and have no chains. Those of us who have seen the bottom of this reality and have been beaten by metaphorical prison guards can see past the illusion.

This was Buddha’s message. Samsara is prison and Maya is the delusion that we are not in prison. Some people have such nice prison cells that they assume that this cannot be prison. They work tirelessly to arrange their prison cell to make it “nice” enough so that they forget they are in prison. Then, one day, a guard will come in and remove all of their property. Instead of realizing that they were wrong and that no one is outside of the prison in this plane of existence, they go mad trying to blame other prisoners for making life seem like a prison.

There is a famous verse from the New Testament of the Christian Bible where Jesus was asked by a wealthy man what is the best way for him to get into Heaven and escape prison. Jesus replied “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). Jesus was telling him that being impoverished is a great way of seeing reality for the prison that it is. He was telling the prisoner with the nicely furnished cell to clear out his prison cell to the bare minimum. He would then be able to see the bars on the window and the light beyond the bars, which is true reality.

I understand how painful and lonely it can be to see oneself as imprisoned in a painful reality with no hope of liberation beyond death. I have strained against the bars on my prison cell window, hoping to break them to run free. I have attempted like mad to find an escape route from the prison. My life has been very harsh at times. I have a multitude of labels even one of which would be a heavy cross to bear. Living as a second class citizen and having a chronic pain condition and chronic fatigue condition requires me to struggle daily just to survive. I attempted suicide many times until I realized that I would just be back in the prison after dying a self-murderer, filled with hatred for my Earthly existence and self.

God is real, but the path is obscured and you will be taunted mercilessly for following it. This is the esoteric truth of the Passion of Christ where Jesus was made to carry the heavy cross while others jeered at him, whipped him, and deprived him of any semblance of comfort. The cross represents the intersection of the spirit (the vertical line) with the limitations of material reality (the horizontal line). Pursuing God requires us to fully accept that life is a prison, but in the example of Christ, we can see how others will fight like mad to shut up those who dare to say that their nicely appointed prison cell is meaningless. Jesus was saying that their fancy cell was like a bow wrapped around a piece of shit. And they were not amused to say the least. But those with the barest of prison cells followed him. They did not have the delusion of those “on the top” in this reality.

Nearly five years ago, I was given a pardon, but I didn’t realize what it was until now. I still sought escape even though I was not suicidal anymore. The notion that one can be fully healed on Earth if we just get our prison cell nice enough is a really common delusion. There is an irreducible amount of pain and suffering that we must bear on this planet. However, we can accept that pain and not let it drive us mad. We can see the prison cell bars as not really threatening at all. We can see that through acceptance of the dark aspects of life, they lose their fangs and cease being horrifying. I have internalized this acceptance slowly over the last five years, but our society makes it difficult to have this level of acceptance because most people are obsessed with the delusion that they can escape the cross of harsh reality on Earth.

I still find it hard to accept that I am fully saved from death because I still have to endure such suffering, but I don’t know what human life is not mired in suffering. Yes, I can walk the line and do my best to attenuate my pain through self-discipline and acting on wisdom and not fear. But I will continue to be tested, strained, and challenged until I die, and this is fine. I have gained wisdom and peace in place of fear and madness. Today, I am sitting in bed, my nerves firing what feels like electric shocks throughout my body. The title of this article is a reference to a Zen aphorism that says “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” We might achieve total enlightenment, but our body, like a cow that we must care for, requires maintenance and care, and this will persist until we die. So today, I’m caring for my body, in prison, enduring the literal pain of this existence. But I bow to that pain as a teacher and guide. And I chop wood and carry water just like any other day.

David said in Psalm 23: “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me.” He did not say that he will be free of evil. He said that he will not fear any evil that he encounters. We all live in the valley. We can climb a mountain or build a tower to the heavens, but we are still in the valley. I know why I suffer. I suffer so that I grow into oneness with the divine. I have remembered my divine origin through the process of enduring suffering. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato asserted in his philosophy of anamnesis that true knowledge is gained by remembering our divine origin. I have remembered it. I wished with gigantic fervor to return to it. But I was denied. I internalized this rejection as a judgment on my character.

We are all prisoners, and yet, in being imprisoned, we have the ability to bring the light of the divine to a dark world. In this way, we are also born as unlit candles, may you find your fire, so that you may see, and others around you may see as well. The more people who have burning wicks, the more pleasant this prison life will be.

A quote and a picture of my altar for your Monday morning

“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.”

John Ruskin
My altar

Description of my altar:

-I use 3 tarot decks: Thoth for daily reads, The Art Oracle for aesthetic advice, and The Radiant Tarot Rider-Waite deck for weekly reads.
-The okra are for my grandmother and ancestors
-The tea kettle is meant to be pouring out water continuously
-Goats are good
– The drum is an old ceramic drum from India
-Obviously, the four elements are represented classically
-I have Scorpio rising
-Some holy water
-some useless crystals lolol
-Oh and the Buddha cat is wearing my ceremonial headpiece, which I call the Headpiece of Persephone
-lastly, the cat is holding found feathers which signify my writing ability

Down the mountain

And suddenly the storm is gone
the smoke is cleared
the fire is out
But was it ever there?
I doubt it

I conjured up a fiery storm
so that I wouldn’t have to face
the awful, beautiful truth
of love
and death
and peace from gods

and so I know how it will go
I’m down from mountaintops
and feel so slow
I’ll miss this mess called Earth
so much
after hating all the drama’s
crunch
for two long score
it’s all so much

With tablets in my hands
I walk into the fire
I will not see the promised land
that’s fine because I’m tired

Build your Astral Body and Escape Death

Life is a challenge on purpose because it is a proving ground for beings that live outside of our universe. There is a concerted effort to make us fail at the true purpose of life. This is what the gnostics knew. If life was easy, then just anyone could make it outside of the simulation. But we are foiled at every turn with adversity. However, you can escape. You will get more than one try, probably about 10 lives. After that you are just dust, no more chances…

Your only way out is to actually assemble a body on the astral plane. It is definitely not easy, and it takes quite a long time. Most of the time you are doing it, you probably don’t know that you are doing it. But when that life is fully assembled, they will tell you. The esoteric Taoists knew this, and George Gurdjieff, the Sufi, knew this also.

Most of the major religions have been poisoned on purpose. People go to church and think that they are saved just by believing. This is a lie. It is partially true that in order to construct your astral body, you need to have love and reverence for God. But it is much more than that. There are specific exercises and meditational practices that speed up the astral body construction. Participating in worship with others can speed the process, but it is far from the entire process.

I can’t say that I know exactly how this works, but over the last four years, I have had visions of a body being constructed in a parallel dimension. I didn’t really understand what was going on until 3 weeks ago, when a voice in a vision told me that I would not die when I “die.” From what I can tell, the Sun is the end of the path. The Sun is our God, and through it, you can be saved. I don’t mean you literally need to go to the Sun, haha, but you will know when your visions begin to show you the Sun.

There is so much information from my journey in my head that I can’t really offer a plain roadmap for you to do what I have done. I don’t think it is that simple. Each person has their own long and meandering path up the mountain. My path has been rough and arduous. I compare my path to that of Job in the bible. For decades I had little to no hope of ever having a “normal” life, and yet, I did not blame God. I soldiered on. I was raised in the protestant church, surrounded by false doctrines and delusional dogmas. I looked for deeper truths and kept going.

I do believe that Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha were able to construct astral bodies. But much of what Jesus taught was corrupted by the Roman Empire when Christianity became the official Roman religion. The bible, as you read it now, is lacking many important details. Recently when we discovered the Gnostic Gospels at Nag Hammadi, we learned that there were entire gospels that were purposefully destroyed by the Catholic church. When I read these books such as the Gospel of Thomas, I see my own path in the words of Jesus. My personal belief is that the four gospels in the modern bible are a comic-book style adaptation of the life of Jesus meant for people with orally transmitted cultures. They were meant to be understood as allegory, but I digress.

I know that if you are reading some random person’s spiritual text on the Internet, there is no way to fact check it in the modern sense. And yes, you have to prove this to yourself. The only way to test these theories is to practice them. But I have seen these practices transform my being from a rather profane child into a calm and compassionate adult. Also, please throw out your ideas of what an “enlightened person” acts like. The notion of what an enlightened person is has been purposefully destroyed so as to throw off the scent of what Jesus called the Kingdom of Heaven.

I know that I am meant to share my path with others. I probably will be persecuted for it. You can call the force that works against the truth of God, the devil, but I think of it more as a weight that slows us down and confuses our mind. Without this weight, they would not be able to use this simulation to weed out those who are unworthy of living in their beautiful world outside of the simulation. This life is a test. If you do not strive, you will go nowhere. You will start as dust and end as dust, a clueless automaton feeding its base needs with non-nutritive junk experiences.

Many do achieve. Many do make it out. But it is not guaranteed. And if you fail, you will not go to hell forever and be tormented. You will just fall asleep and never again wake up, a tiny blip in the cosmic drama. But if you seek, you will find. If you knock, the door will be opened to you. May you find your way out of the maze and into the embrace of a loving creator, outside of the simulation, home at last.

Those who speak do not know, but here’s a few words that might point the way

The key to happiness is to recognize where the river of your fate and try and align with it. If you’re in a raft and the river turns left but you just really wanna go right, you’re gonna hit a bank. Stay in the water, follow the stream. How you do that? It’s complicated, but don’t think reality can really fit in your head. We just have elaborate conceptual maps of reality in our head. But out there, in the wilderness, is the real real. And it is alive and trying to contact you. There is intelligent love in the universe, and you have a receiver for its communications called your brain and spinal cord.

It’s way better than Netflix or video games. It’s called the logos, the word, daimon, guide, etc. It has the answers to your questions, but it won’t tell you everything. It will tell you just enough to light the river in front of you. It is your lamp, but it is only a lamp. The idea that spirit will totally make you manifest everything you want is specious. It will give you crumbs, your daily bread.

The great all or God or Brahman or Allah cannot fit in your brain. Your brain is a God dissecting device. God is the totality, and every word is a dissection of that. Like the tao, it cannot be spoken. Words divide and section things apart. God can only be felt by the heart of the mystic, expressed in a joyous smile, or felt in the in the twirl of a sufi dancer spinning to experience rapture.

God cannot be communicated. The Tao Te Ching says “those who know do not speak, and those who speak do not know.” Our network cables called language cannot handle the infinite bandwidth of the totality which cannot be named. The teacher can only point at the moon, he cannot give you the moon. So I think it’s best to end this post with a big fat nothing, called…

masks

the masks we wear, they wear us out

from when I was a straightish man
to yes, a “sportsman,” I once deigned
and then the mask at once became
a gayish, 19 years of age
sweet Jupiter was wooed I’m sure
the cleverest boy, with boyfriends too
to married father, divorced rage
and this transgender thing they say
I’ve always been quicksilver
darting Mercury through the haze
and so a traveler wearing masks
becomes the masks he at once gazed

and then the deepness tackled out
to bring the truth with Hades’ clout
I’m won because I’m just so sure
Masks are all and nothing more

Deep lessons learned through loss, the Reader’s Digest version.

I think one of the best lessons I’ve learned while living in hardship is that you can always see the stars. You can always see the heavens, even when you are trapped in the mud or the gutter. You can feel real divinity and happiness and joy no matter how poor you are. You can feel peace no matter how many walls exist in front of you. Usually, we do that through our profession. We reach for the stars and find inner purpose in life through small tasks of seemingly benign averageness. I reach because I need to. I’ve survived so much deprivation. So, I have been broken down by grief. And now, I feel liberated. And so I reach. And I feel another hand reaching down.

What is a Proper Life? [My Sunday Sermon for 11.17.19]

The origin of my suffering was the pursuit of a life without pain. Acceptance of the element of chaos within every moment of my life taught me that I cannot build castles and towers of Babel to remove myself from pain. Pain is my teacher and should be befriended and listened to so that I might grow. A modest life in tune with nature seems to me to be the path or way. A life of poverty has been instructive to me.

One might ask “how do you know what is modest?” If you are not lying to get wealth through manipulation or directly stealing wealth, then you can do as much with your time as possible to build defenses against calamity. Unfortunately, our American lives are built on stolen wealth, and that wealth should be returned so that our lives are closer to Earth and closer to pain.

Our cultural notion that a “primitive” life, close to the Earth is a miserable existence is so baked into our collective consciousness here in the West that we cannot imagine a simple, anarchic existence of living in tune with nature. The very influential philosopher Thomas Hobbes described the primitive existence of humans as “nasty, brutish, and short.” And yet, now we have constructed lives that are nasty, mind-numbing, and longer.

Within our beings is a plant called wisdom. In order for that plant to grow, it needs to be watered by the tears of pain and lighted by the sunlight of humility or it will never mature. This is the present that we find ourselves in, a present without wisdom because we have vanquished pain and eschewed humility.

This life exists so that we might grow from children into adults. There is a seriousness that needs to be achieved in order to live a fulfilled life. That is my experience. Seriousness saved my life. Life need not be serious all the time of course, but until one can look life starkly in the face and have true acceptance for one’s part in what’s gone wrong and be able to make changes to correct the situation, you are not there. You can live without wisdom, but you will miss the point entirely and probably will need to distract yourself with shiny things until you die, unfulfilled.

We’re All Enrolled in The School of Life

I used to be a very “troubled” person. From the time I was 15 until about 36 years old, I had a consistent “mental health problem.” In January of 2016, I found my answer, and it was the culmination of a good deal of study, practice, and opening up. I found my peace, and I think that others can find that same peace, although it might require losing something to gain it.

My peace came by letting go of a “perfect life” or “perfect health.” I had to let go of my expectations and truly accept what was happening in my life.  I have not just “given up” if that’s what you are inferring. I am still striving for my goals, but when things don’t go as planned, it’s not really my fault, and I don’t beat myself up. The universe seems to be hard on purpose, and although I sometimes feel anxiety or anger, I am learning to have peace with this reality.

If you go to the gym, and you leave feeling sore, you don’t see that soreness as a failure. That was the whole point of going. Likewise, with your life, if you get beat up, that’s the point. This life is training or school for some higher place. We enter as little children, and through our struggle and adversity, we become spiritual adults. If you went to the gym and your trainer only put the tiniest weights on the machine, and you never broke a sweat, you’d want your money back. But when life makes us sweat, we cry that it’s totally unfair!

In modern society, we are obsessed with perfection, usually material perfection. We have created multi-billion dollar industries to give us the illusion of perfection on giant screens. But also, we seem to be constantly let down by that perfection. There is an everpresent juxtaposition of both the attempt at perfection and the revelation of human fallibility. It seems that the more “perfect” some person seems, the more jarring it is when they are revealed to be a human with flaws like everyone else.

I am not sure that everyone is capable of undergoing the spiritual evolution and rebirth that I did. To be honest, events in my life were so bad that I was forced to go deep and cut out parts of my psyche in a valiant attempt at regaining sanity. Being transgender confronted me with a ton of rejection, and so it was easy for me to cut out institutions and modes of thought that were outdated. They kicked me out, so I had to find new answers.

I could go through a “Top Ten Ways I Found Spiritual Fulfillment!!” clickbait style list, but I won’t here. The path that can be described is not the true path. Everyone has their own path for their own starting point on the giant spiral staircase of life. The one key that is utterly important is spiritual hunger. This is why Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” In other words, if you are hungry for spiritual philosophy, you will find your rebirth and see peace.

We all have to make basic assumptions about life and reality. Most of us in the Western world assume that life can be perfected here on Earth with enough technology and smart intellectuals telling us what to do. I’m not saying that technology and intellectuals are bad, but I do not assume that we can perfect this world. I believe that there is some chaotic constant that continually throws a wrench into whatever we’re doing so that we can be challenged. I see life, not as some playground for humanity but more of a boot camp for humanity before we graduate into the “real world” on the higher plane.

I am not exempt from this challenging force that I call the chaotic constant. Even though I have had certain experiences that have freed me from many of the anxieties and neuroses of my youth, I will continue to grow as long as I’m in this world. I’ve just found how to let go and be accepting of what happens. This required a LOT of training mostly in the form of meditation but also finding the right psychedelic medications. Meditation is the practice of ignoring your brain. You sit and your brain yells “Do What I Tell You!” and you ignore it. Slowly, that voice learns that you won’t be pushed around, and it calms down, but this takes time. Psychedelics show you perspectives that are hard to get in the everyday world so that you can check yourself.

May you find the small measure of peace that I have found in my heart. If you are interested in additional information in this respect, leave me a comment, and we can dialogue about it. I learn by teaching, so I would love to work with you.

To close, think about what you expect out of your life. Is it a realistic expectation? How does it make you feel if you think about not getting what you expect out of life? Does it trouble you? If you can handle “failing” in this life, you might just lose that persistent anxiety that walks around with you. If we love what we get instead of get angry about what we don’t get, we might live lives of gratitude instead of resentment, peace instead of self-loathing.