On Spiritual Seeking

I just had some very clever thoughts, and I thought I’d share them with you, so here goes:

There’s a lot of spiritual seeking going on in this world. Millions, maybe billions of people are seeking their spirituality. Yet almost none of them truly manage it in the great scheme of things. What gives? I mean, what the eff? Why do they even bother?

The reason, as always, is already present in the term used to describe the problem. Here we have the problem of “spiritual seeking”. Since you’re probably not enlightened, you don’t know what or who your “spirit” is, you can only keep reading about it. It’s a very problematic term. I’m glad that on my own journey I didn’t bother with “spiritual” ideas at all, seeing as the terminology would probably only have confused me and I’d have started looking for something that was not already there.

Even worse than that, though, is the “seeking” part. Seeking implies a journey with a goal, undertaken by making up that goal in your mind and then following a set path to that goal. Problem is, it is impossible for you to define your goal in words, because you will only understand it once you’ve found it. You cannot seek something if you do not know what it is, it’s as plain and simple as that.

So my advice to you, and probably the best advice I’ve ever given (I am so fucking proud of myself right now, hahaha!) is this: stop seeking. Start looking. Don’t start looking for something, but start looking. And I mean everywhere. I am not saying abandon your spiritual practice, but widen it into every aspect of your lives. Do everything differently every day, try to find tiny different angles to look at things from. Meditate in the lotus position one day, cross legged the next, sitting on a chair the next, lying on the bed the next, with music on one day, music off the next, next to a busy intersection the next. And always feel the difference and feel what remains the same.

Get many different perspectives on everything, especially your spiritual practice. Don’t follow a teacher, follow all of them. Read all the religious texts, read all their translations you can get your hands on, learn new languages and read the texts you like in those languages. The Tao Te Ching is a great starting point, so many translations for that it’s not even funny.

Read science fiction, fantasy, biography, literature, historical novels, romance, vampires, werewolves, dwarves, elves, sad old men, gurus, teachers, students, suicidal teenagers. Try to understand them all, because understanding them all is what your ultimate goal truly is. Go out there and expose yourself to life. Live, learn, suffer. Do not try to reduce pain, because pain does not equal suffering. Look for pain. No, don’t stab yourself, but put yourself out there to be hurt. Make it your goal to embarrass yourself in front of others by speaking what you truly think. Alienate your friends, find out who your true friends are. Have sex every day for a year. Have no sex at all the next year.

The path you want to walk is not a single path. Single paths will always lead to failure. You want to walk all of the paths, because you want to find everything.

Specialization is for insects.

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Something New

Looks as if, while my mental “transformation” seems to have arrived at a very stable point, there are still changes happening to me that I did not anticipate. This one happened maybe 2 or 3 days ago and has only been becoming stronger and stronger.

My skin is smooth. Like, baby smooth.

Yes, you heard right. It’s a very weird effect, but very, very pleasant. It’s almost as if my skin is now glistening. It’s not oily, don’t get me wrong, it stays the same even after I shower, and it’s over my whole body. Even those dry elbows I used to have are now perfectly smooth and the skin on them is normal. My dandruff seems to have disappeared, my butt has no more pimples on it (yeah, I went there) and I’m now fully of the opinion I will never need any more moisturizing cream in my entire life.

Say goodbye to cosmetics and hello to enlightenment. Way cheaper on the wallet and a lot more effective.


Advantages #4: The Shiny Eyes

I’ve been calling this thing the “Shiny Eye Syndrome” for a reason, folks. Once you “become” “enlightened”, your eyes start shining. Whenever I look at myself in the mirror these days, I see this spark sort of pulsating in my eyes. Whenever I try to take a closer look, I shake my head and try to convince myself that it was just a trick of the light, but it’s consistently there.

And other People notice. Though they don’t realize they do.

People most of the time don’t look me in the eyes on the street, and if they do, they look away quickly. I wish more People liked to make eye contact for extended periods of time, but it seems almost everyone is afraid of something. It’s really rare for me to find a person who holds extended eye contact with me, male or female, but whenever I do, the moment’s always magical and the person I talk to and myself turn out to get along really well.

It’s a lot more fun to see the world with those shiny eyes. It’s as if everything were always new. Everything is always exactly as amazing as the first time you ever saw it. If you wanted, you could read your favorite book over and over again and every single time it would feel like it’s for the first time again.

Because it is.


Annoying Things #4: People Become Interested in Everything You Do

Dangit, it’s getting harder and harder to come up with “annoyances” the further this goes on. It’s hard to think back on the things that used to annoy me, I really am changing at a rapid rate. Anyway, today I did notice one that will still take me a long time to get used to:

People start being interested in what I am doing. I made a let’s play video for a game on the youtubes and my roommates obviously overheard me. When I apologized for the noise, they only seemed interested in what I was doing. Today in a restaurant I talked for a long time to some random stranger who turned out to be a nice woman with a learning disability who told me about how she was planning her new holidays. This sort of thing would’ve annoyed me to no end about a month ago, but now I enjoy all human company.

People comment on the little things I do these days. I was carrying a big suitcase around all day because of me moving into my new place and at school someone I didn’t know involved me in a conversation because of it, very friendly guy. This would’ve embarrassed me about a month ago, now it made me really happy. Not that I wasn’t already happy, so I guess “made me happy” is the wrong expression for it – problem is, there is no expression for it, so I’m kinda stuck.

Last of all: women. Women notice me all the time. I get hit on in the train for playing iPad games. Women give me eye contact like they never have before – and believe me, I’d been keeping my eyes open despite my social anxiety. Problem is: now that I’m certain I can get all the women I want I don’t really want all those women anymore. Funny how the world works. Though I’m sure I’ll be starting up a relationship at some point again. Celibacy is doctrine. There is such a thing as enlightened sex, and I know exactly how that’s gonna work, but I know it’ll definitely be a challenge. I can’t wait ­čÖé

Except, of course, I can. Because that’s what “enlightenment” means, in the end: you can wait.┬á


Wanting to Become Enlightened

I became “present” by accident. I wasn’t a spiritual person. Heck, I thought it was all hogwash and didn’t even care enough to read up on what “spirituality” actually meant. I thought it meant having visions and halos and turning water into wine and other supernatural bullshit. But in the end, it turns out that it’s the exact opposite of all that. Spirituality is the most natural thing there is. It’s the only natural thing there is. Sadly, for many people, it’s talking about it. Which is pointless.

Spiritual people want to become enlightened. This is a contradiction in terms. Not just in one term, I’m talking multiple. Those of you who have read up more about how to “accomplish” this thing will call me out on one of those terms easily, I’m sure. You will tell me “yes, you don’t ‘become’ enlightened, you already are” – but if you’re not enlightened, you probably have no freakin clue what it means. I agree that saying that is not very helpful, however true it might be.

The bigger problem, however, is “wanting” to become enlightened. The real mindfuck here is that “you” – the actual you, not the one who’s talking to you in your head – cannot want things. At least not in the same way you think of “wanting” now. True “wanting” comes from a space very deep inside you. Maybe you’ve felt it before, a few times in your life – I know I have. They’re the decisions that you are very sure about from deep within you. Radical decisions you make on a feeling alone that you just know are the right thing to do – and then it turns out they really were, and you’re not surprised, even though everyone else might be.

Becoming enlightened does not mean meditating for hours. That stuff’s useless, especially if you grow annoyed by it. If you’re annoyed by your meditation practice, you just piled on another ego layer that you’ll then have to get rid of again. You become enlightened by being the best you you can be. You become enlightened by picking yourself apart piece by piece. Lie on your bed for 30 minutes a day and just let your mind wander. Yes, I’m telling you to think. Think about all your problems. Think about all the things you don’t like to think about. Be your own therapist. Ask yourself questions: “Why do I feel this way?” – Or better, make them yes or no questions: “Am I afraid my wife does not love me?” if it’s a no you feel inside, continue asking. One of my last ones that turned out to be a “yes” was “Am I afraid nobody will ever love me?” – that one was probably the toughest thing I ever asked myself. It sounded so stupid, so clich├ęd, so much like a depressed little teenager who cuts himself. But it was true and I needed to accept that.

Accept it all, pick yourself apart, don’t run from your problems but confront them. Find out what your true problems are and start realizing that you don’t really care if your cats smash your precious new TV as long as you’re happy.

And there I go, going all spiritual teacher on you, even though I said that’s exactly the opposite of what I was trying to do. Well, fuck it, maybe the next post will turn out to be more fun. Sorry, guys, but this seems like the kind of shit I should be writing right now, apologies!


Realizing Things Never Stops

Okay, I’m back. Had a few days without time or internet connectivity because I was moving to a new place, but I feel like I’m finally settled in. Went for a run today in one of the hills near my new living accomodations and it was glorious. First time I went running in a while – after “it” hit me I pretty much didn’t feel the need to move my body at all for a few weeks, but outside activity appears to be just as amazing as hanging around doing nothing.

On my run I realized that this blog was probably a silly idea. Some remnant need to boast of my “accomplishment” of becoming “enlightened” or something. Indeed, that might be what this is. I was almost ready to give up writing it on that alone, especially since I don’t really believe this will help anyone do or see anything they have not done or seen before, but still, I decided it was not a bad idea after all to share my experiences. As long as I’m doing it semi-anonymously like this it won’t be traced back to me, and who knows, maybe I’ll teach someone something they didn’t know before.

In any case, I’m really excited for this new life I am starting. Everything I’m doing or saying seems to just fit. My biggest “problem” I have is that I have too much “stuff” I “collected” over the years, and my greatest aspiration is to get rid of most of it and not accumulate a lot of new “stuff”. Finally there will be space. Glorious, empty space! Who needs all these “things” when there’s a world outside, food to eat, and a warm place to sleep in? Hahaha! Looking back at how I used to behave, I find it quite hilarious. “sigh… maybe THIS video game will finally make me happy. I’ll make SURE to get the collector’s edition!” BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA┬á

Ahem, sorry, got caught up in my new, weird sense of humor there. But everything’s just so funny I can’t help it. I’m so happy I’ll never have to be “serious” again. Now to see what else I can throw away I don’t need…


Advantages #3: The Baseline

This is one of the greatest misconceptions I had about “enlightenment” before I got there. I might have been in the minority here, because I hadn’t ever been concerned with all that spiritual stuff myself and had never actually believed in it, but still, for those of you who don’t know how this works, like me, I put together a little graph.

This is what I thought “enlightenment” meant:

Image

I thought “enlightenment” basically meant balance. In life, you would have your highs and lows, ups and downs. Like, you know, like a normal Person. Some People might not be as erratic like the Person pictured above, but in general that’s how things work out. Think of the highest high as the greatest orgasm ever in that graph, while the lowest low would be the deepest depths of depression. Outside circumstances are always what you think are responsible for your mood swings, and so they seem totally out of your control. “Enlightenment” or “Nirvana”, as pictured in that graph, seems like boring apathy. Anything would be better than being such a boring robot with no emotions, right?

Except, the graph is wrong (despite me labelling the axis. Always label your graphs, kids, not doing so is impolite). That’s not what it feels like. While “enlightenment” is still boring as fuck (and there’s no shortage of spiritual teachers who will admit to this) that boredom does not feel bad. In fact, what you have come to know as “boredom” is simply your mind being restless. True silence and stillness feel amazing. I could just sit here for an hour with my eyes closed and a happy smile on my face. It would make no real difference to me. I don’t do this because I do enjoy seeing the world, but I no longer need to to feel good, I just want to.

Here’s the correct graph:

Image

You see, it’s all about that baseline level of feeling. Once you have all your bullshit balanced out (and this is an inside change, it doesn’t matter how turbulent your outside life appears to be) the baseline significantly rises. This is because you’ve quit all your addictions. It feels counter-intuitive, but if you’ve ever quit an addiction, you might know what I am talking about.

There’s many addictions that prevent you from reaching enlightenment, but the most persistent one of them, the hardest one to get rid of, the one that has come to be known as “the human condition”, is not to a substance. Well, I guess, technically it is, I’d say it probably produces dopamine, like pretty much all other addictions. For most People who reach “enlightenment” it’s probably the last one to go. (It wasn’t for me, but only because I’m extraordinarily stupid. Might tell you about that sometime)

The addiction I am talking about is the addiction to thinking. And yes, I think thinking and obsessing about our problems really does release dopamine in the brain. I don’t have any studies to back this up, but now that I’ve given up the nasty habit, so to speak, that’s what it feels like.

Think about it (haha, I’m enabling you, sorry): Can you stop thinking any time you want to? Can you control your thoughts? Sounds so impossible, right? You’ve come to identify with your thoughts so much, they’re an integral part of your being. But they are not. You are not your thoughts. Once you can see that, you’ve taken your most important step out of that prison. It’s a long way, though, and there’s a distinct lack of support groups, while almost all the self help books have been written by addicts. In any case, I wish you good luck on your journey!

(and to end it on a bright note: once you’ve quit your addiction, it’s no problem if you go back and think as much as you want, it’s not like alcohol that way. It’s just that you’ll find that you *want* to think a lot less than you thought you did. Hahaha)