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Dustin LindenSmith

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Alone in Enlightenment, by Howdie Mickoski

In Issue 3966 of the Nonduality Highlights, Jerry Katz presented the following blog entry by a young-looking guy I'd never heard of before named Howard "Howdie" Mickoski. From Howdie's website, it's hard to tell how old he is or where he's from, but he posted some wise words here that Jerry reprinted. Here's a tasty excerpt:
Everyone has the constricting belief that enlightenment or God is over "there" somewhere and their job in life is to "find" it. The problem is that we are "here" and will always be "here"- but if enlightenment is over "there", how can it be found? Actually enlightenment/God is also here, always was here, but what it is, is actually not what 99% of seekers really want. Seekers want the enlightenment they have been sold: being happy, important, full of love, no more problems. Like a continuous orgasmic or drug high. That is the reason they are seeking in the first place, the wished for blissful finish line. If anyone really understood what awakening was, no one would want it. Enlightenment is about "alone."

A true encounter with the Absolute/God reveals that no one is doing the experiencing, only the absolute revealing itself to the absolute. Nothing exists, yet there i s the appearance of existence. Realization is alone (all-one). But everyone fears alone, so they run to spiritual practice, patterns, lovers, food, booze, any distraction to avoid the only true fear. The fear of no self (often called emptiness) the fear that "I" do not exist. Fear of no self is not the fear of death, but the fear that you as a human being do not exist at all. That is where all the "spiritual groups" get caught, they are looking for what's in it for "them" or "us". Realization is one and alone for there is no other. Everything that tells you that you are separate from a nything else falls away. Thus you are alone, with the appearance of others. The initial glimpse of this is so terrifying to ego it responds with the emotions of meaninglessness and despair. But as soon as the mind falls away, those emotions go too and all that is left is What Is, and the marvelous curiosity about the dream and what is going to happen next.

Suffering is the belief in the story of me. The question is, who are you without your story? Too frightening is this thought, so everyone keeps struggling because ego wants to keep the story of "me" going. Seeking becomes the strategy to overcome this fear, for as long as there is seeking, there is a seeker. Asleep people have experiences to confirm their existence. I am good, I am bad, I am in love, I am working hard, I am eating ice cream, I am suffering. All are defined with I, but if there were no more I, then who are you? This is the question that takes us to see there is no True Self. Only false self and no self. You don't try to improve self, you kill it to break free of the illusion of the dreamstate. You kill it by finding out it was never there to be killed. The trick to this is to die while alive and then see what is left. Form will still be here, but now you will no longer be a person, just look like one, but who can you tell this to? and that can make this process a lonely one at times.

We can be in a room full of people and still feel alone. The deepest truth is that everything is a dream or a movie, nothing exists, not even you. Connecting and relationships are the way fictional dream characters hide the fact that nothing exists, and if anyone pulls away, the other characters (your friends and family) will do everything to pull you back into the dream to confirm with them that everything exists and has meaning. Waking up is willingly drifting into that fear to see what will happen, doing it because we can no longer stand the alternative of not doing it.
To read the full article on Howdie's site and browse his many others, click here.

Not much particularly new is being expressed here, but I believe it's being expressed quite lucidly. What rang my bell in this excerpt was the sentence, "Suffering is the belief in the story of me." My own personal struggle right now is with my diet and my weight, and despite how wise and spiritual I feel sometimes, I still find myself more often enmeshed in mindless eating habits that keep me terribly unhealthy from a physical perspective. I read passages like these every day, but they obviously don't quite sink in all the way. If these statements are all true, then why I am I still so apparently wrapped up in my own story? Why do I continue to turn my back on the truth of my essential reality? Why, after all the exposure I've given myself to these wonderful teachings, do I act seemingly in opposition to them?

I think that the answer to this probably lies somewhere in the fact that I'm still thinking of myself as a separate "I" with problems to overcome and obstacles to climb over. I'd hazard a guess that when I completely "get" that there is no separate "I," that there is no separate entity to which I can ascribe these qualities, then the worldly behaviour of this so-called "I" will settle down into something more natural.

Augh, what a mind-bender. I think I'll go outside and meditate now. God knows that sitting in front of this computer isn't helping me! :)

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story of me

(Anonymous) October 24th, 2010
hi dustin,
Happened to be google searching and came to your post. Thanks for the kind words.
As for why your story of me might be hard to break- in this case around food- is that it is the only story in your mind. Focus let on the speration thing right now, and simply play a game with duality. Think back to a time- even just one day or one hour, when your eating and diet were just what you want. In a sense prove that for one moment of time "you" were the opposite of your story.
Then everytime you tell the new story- to yourself or others- also add in "but there was that other time when." What you are doing is cancelling out the current story by placing in a moment that proves the oppostie is also true.
That is how any part of duality story is burned, showing that at least for one tiny moment, the opposite belief or idea was also true. The main story can no longer survive on its own

Howdie

Re: story of me

iamom November 1st, 2010
Howdie, thanks for your message. I'm out of town on vacation at the moment and haven't had time to reply to this thoughtful comment, but thank you. I've been thinking about it for several days, now. I appreciate you stopping in.

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