Three Steps

I read this today in Brunton book VI: \”First the ego is only an accumulation of memories and a series of cravings, that is, thought; it is a fictitious entity. Second, the thinking activity can come to an end in stillness. Third, Grace, the radiation of the Power beyond man, is ever-shining and ever-present. If we let the mind become deeply still and deeply observant of the ego\’s self-preserving instinct, we open the door to Grace, which then lovingly swallows us.\”

So, that is beautiful. Is it not obvious that I would seek God if I thought I would achieve feeling loved? Well, it doesn\’t say I\’ll feel loved. It says I\’ll be swallowed by love. This really means relinquishment of the ego. I still say yes, but it is not so easily accomplished.

And there must be a higher Power for any of this to happen. I am still reliant on faith in that area.

Do I believe that I have help?

I think I\’ll go work out in my living room and ponder these things.

Grievances

It is an amazing thing, a gift from A Course in Miracles is the knowledge of grievances. And if you do the work book, you will be reminded from time to time to inventory your grievances and let them go. This morning while I was out running, I was repeating a lesson about grievances and then I would notice my small mind go to some thing from the world for which I realized I had a grievance against. I have grievances about almost every part of my past. So then I would wipe the slate clean and turn towards higher consciousness.

Then this evening I moved on to the next lesson: My grievances hide the light of the world in me. The lesson gives instructions on how to see the light in you. I did this. But, strangely I\’ve never realized this before, I clearly heard my small mind say, \”what good is this light?\”

See, real divine light does not provide any emotionally gratifying euphoric experiences. The Light of God is silent and still. When I sit and gaze inward at it, I find the ability to just be quiet and silent. But it is not productive for worldly endeavors. In fact, the practice seems quite useless and maybe not even real; at least according to my ego consciousness.

My silence and solitude and spiritual study is directed towards the purpose of transcending ego consciousness and gaining love based consciousness. Any progress I make could be indirectly applied to worldly living but its main results are not in this world. Lack of proof is the hard part, as I get asked what good my spiritual work is if its results not directly here. I can\’t explain but anyone who has connected with their higher consciousness would know.

I returned again to the light and watched it, sat with it. If I want inner peace, this is truly the where of it.

Ha, my ego hates walking around in the world as an apparently useless individual.

How….

Paul Brunton, in his 16 volume spiritual notebook, expresses over and over that the person needs to redirect from ego or small self to larger self, Higher Self. The idea is also in A Course in Miracles: the small ego is not real, the Christ, the Son of God within, is the truth.

From Brunton:

  • \”Blessed are the poor in spirit,\” said Jesus. What did he mean? To be \”poor\” in the mystical sense is to be deprived of the possession of the ego, that is, to become ego-free.
  • When all of man\’s thoughts are put together, this total constitutes his ego. By giving them up to the Stillness, he gives up his ego, denies his self, in Jesus\’ phrase.
  • To surrender the ego is to surrender the thought of it, and this is done by stilling the mind whenever, in daily life, one becomes self-conscious.
  • The more he tries to fight the ego, the more he thinks about it and concentrates on it. This keeps him still its prisoner. Better is it to turn his back on it and think about, concentrate on the higher self.
So, how do you renounce the ego without chastising yourself all the time because you reacted to it? This is where I have located the workbook of A Course in Miracles. Each day it gives me a thought which is directed to the higher self and not the ego. I need to be taught to think differently and I need help in order to think differently. There are other books which provide a daily thought. Be careful of most of them because they give a very narrow limited and worldly view of the world and certainly almost all of them see the ego as real. The ego is just thoughts.
I see my life as a journey towards the higher self. The one thing I\’ve desired for decades is a vibrant spiritual connection. There have been turns of events all along which have brought me closer. Like, in my early years of sobriety, a group of us recovering alcoholics were attending seminars by a man who talked about the ego and this lead to listening to a channeled entity who talked about the higher self. AA itself is directed towards ego deflation and surrender to a higher power. In the monastery, I was reading about the small self and the larger self.
And somehow or other, I arrived at A Course in Miracles which discusses the ego delusion in a more complicated way. And somehow, I arrived a Paul Brunton\’s notebooks. 
I have to say this about the Bible: it is misinterpreted not only by scholars throughout the ages but by the early church. The renunciation of ego combined with identification with the higher self which Jesus practiced made him look special; and his expertise was incomprehensible to the early church so they called him Son of God. Truly he was Son of God, but so are you if you deny the ego and take up the higher self.
Not easy. Maybe I only make a smidgen of progress in this life. But I refuse to give up.
So today, my ACIM lesson is: Love created me like Itself. I vow to hold this idea in mind and use it as the thing I turn to when I notice I am in ego reality. As I return to this thought of Love and It, I also enter silence.
Now, I slept 12 hours last night. I think I\’ll go to a small park today and run in a forest.

Ego Deflation

One of the first things you learn in AA about how to stay sober is about ego deflation at depth. And the steps of AA are intended to help with this. I believe that ego deflation is needed for success in any behavioral change as well as spiritual progress.

Ego deflation is such a quandary. An ego cannot fix itself. Therefore, some other part of my consciousness has to desire and practice ego deflation in such a way as to achieve the detachment. The higher self is not yet my consciousness. So I have to find a standpoint which realizes it is not the ego and which realizes it wants to identify with the higher self.

Assuming there is a higher self. Is there a higher self? Is my belief in the higher self just programming from new age books? Well, not just new age. The destruction of the small self was also part of Benedictine monastic teachings. The higher self comes forth in Buddhist teachings. It is all over the place.

I don\’t really know my higher self except for the workings of intuition.

If I go to a teacher or guru, I end up with their teachings AND my ego.

I think prayer towards the higher self opens the door to receiving the needed outside help; as in circumstances arrive in which the ego becomes deflated and other points of view become possible.

ACIM Workbook

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) has a workbook that goes with it. I\’ve completely done the workbook at least 3 times. Last April, on my 4th time, I took a break. A few days ago, I opened it back up to the place where I\’d left off, lesson 65 today.

What I\’m finding is that I am very in tune with the lessons. I am at peace and feel good to be reminded of what is taught. I accept. Yes please.

Out running this morning, I was reviewing my belief in God. I still have to say I\’m in favor of believing there is a Creator who created me with an idea in mind. My life goes better with this belief. I have no direct proof that my belief is true.

My life\’s narrative goes on. I keep reading the book.

My Yes

This morning, I went out running as usual. It was warm but with a 17 mph wind. I faced the wind. I feel puny and fear the cold. The first time I face a hurricane, I imagine I\’ll be terrified.

I haven\’t blogged much lately. It is because I don\’t feel the ego driven vehemence I felt in the past. I have no spiritual stance to propound or any need to expound on my superior outlook or attributes.

This is where I\’ll be living in Texas. It is an ordinary duplex on an ordinary street.

And working at this place:

But why is this blog called \”My Yes\”? I\’m certain that I am making progress in metaphysics and in the realization of my higher self and I plan to continue on.

Idaho 2011

I am on the road again, this time to Boise, ID.Boise has a great green belt running for miles through the middle of town. Yesterday I ran north for an hour and 10 min. Today I ran south for an hour. I felt really good today, as I solved a problem with a shoe insole which was causing me much pain in the heel. Today was the first long run I\’ve done in awhile where I went fast. I feel so much better about myself.

See, when I am training for an ultra, I slowly jog and walk periodically since the point is to keep going for many hours without hurting yourself or running out of energy. But, I realize that this slow type running was making me feel older and older. We are trained to think was will diminish as we age. Add that to some pain in the heels (solved now I hope) and the slow paced ultra training and you have a recipe for feeling old and exhausted. So, maybe ultras are not the right thing for me.

Today, I signed up for my first race in Texas – the La Porte Half Marathon. It runs across the Hartman Bridge:

There are no hills in Houston.

The sun just disappeared below the horizon without much fanfare.

I still haven\’t connected with my soul.

Sea-brook Morning

I got out of bed with the alarm at 7. 7 is not early, but at times I still roll over. Today, I\’ve already looked at my new insurance quote, drank 2 small in-room coffees, and plotted a run. A run along a busy street and then into my future neighborhood. (72 min of being lost on nice residential streets).

My spiritual study is from Brunton notebook V. \”We are word drugged.\” … \”The word \’soul\’ is so vague a word that the Oxford English Dictionary offers no less than twenty-five meanings for it.\”

For what ever reason, as I typed that \”soul\” quote, I was triggered to think back, to remember: How did I get mixed up in this God thing anyway?

I was 22 years old. Standing near the Jaffa gate, in the old city of Jerusalem, able to see fur hat wearing Orthodox Jews disappear down the narrow Via Delorosa, and after my tour of the city, I thought, \”There might be something to this God thing.\” Was that a divine call? Thus began an active daily seeking through books and Christianity and the New Age.

More from Brunton: \”Few people ever recognize that the language they use, and hence the thoughts they think, are filled with unexamined assumptions, with un-criticized suggestions from outside, with untested inheritances from other people\’s past.\”

Wow, that totally explains why I don\’t watch TV. I want to restrict the input of uncriticized assumptions to my brain. I don\’t think the purpose of the Brunton books is to tear apart my spirituality, but I am glad it is happening. If there is a higher self or Universal Spirit or God, I\’ll need to know it in truth, the wordless gut; not a bunch of modern blab words.

The Bait

Do I really want to know God? Or am I just responding to bait?

Before my eyes have been dangled various forms of spiritual bait: enlightenment, personal relationship with Christ, spouse of Jesus, monastic profession, sacrament, soul, real self, higher self. this morning, I was stuck on \”true self.\” I want to know my true self, my essence, the ground of my being, that higher consciousness, the idea that God had when I was created. And all along, there is some belief that this higher self will be a better happier richer me than the one I know right now.

Is it possible that I just am who I am? What if there is no old man and new man, no false self and true self? Maybe I should say I am myself and I will hold myself to my standards. I don\’t have a higher me.

To stop at this self contradicts decades of yearning, searching and praying on my part. If I stop at this self, do I logically say there is no spirit or God?

I am a contradiction. Moving to Seabrook, I find I am both sea and brook. Using Rocksolidrelo (Prudential) I am both rock solid but relocating. I run hills, bridges, treadmills. I am getting to know NASA boulevard.

In the airplane today I saw an awesome view of clouds. Think about a pilot who spends all day above the clouds. Most of the time, his reality is above the clouds; different from mine. Today I go to see the pilot\’s reality. So, there are other realities which I can also see if I put on the right filter.

I believe I have an essence. I no longer believe I need God to enlighten me. I believe I need to sift away my junk beliefs. Then, I\’ll see clearly. My concept of God could indeed be one of those junk beliefs.

Today I started re-reading Shalimar the Clown, by Salmon Rushdie. This is the third time I\’ve read it. Some of his prose is incredibly beautiful. Now that I know the rest of the story, the first chapter or so is very interesting. and, compated to Satanic Verses, I think the prose is much more sophisticated, but also I can remember the two books side by side and get a bigger philosophical picture.

Turn the Page

Last night was the demise of my self-illusion that I can be an ultra-runner. Things started out pretty decent at the Heartland 50. After about 7 miles, the rain seemed real; I mean actual rain not just sprinkles. I calmly slipped my garbage bag over my head and continued on into the darkness. But my brain reached a barrier. I believed it would rain all night, and I couldn\’t believe it would be at all good or worth it to spend the night running in the rain. Other people kept going. The rain really wasn\’t an awful downpour or anything. I just couldn\’t believe it was worth it to spend the night in it.

Arriving at the aid station at 8 miles, I planned to either get a ride back to the start or run back there myself. I said, I am not cut out to run all night in the rain. Without too long a wait, I found myself tucked into the back of a Ranger extended cab pickup and driven to the start. The magic of the night took place here. I sort of knew these 2 guys. I finally got the courage to ask the question. Do you know Bill W? Why yes they did. Sitting in that tiny cab was 79 years of sobriety. Amazing!

Driving home last night, I came to the realization: my capabilities do not extend very far into adventurous places. My mind just can\’t do the difficulties required of an ultra runner. Partly because I know there is no reward for me at the end. My brain did not produce one single dopamine reward molecule related to the upcoming pain of 50 miles in the rain. So, lacking all mental motivation, I caved quite quickly. I\’m surprised I started at all as I knew that part of Kansas had a big green spot over it on the radar. Daring is not part of my belief system. I don\’t have the belief system that produces the dopamine reward which produces the ultra performance.

My ego no longer responds to the rewards of completing a race. It knows that I\’ll just get in the car and go home without fanfare; only to start again the next day.

How can I say that I have no daring in me? Didn\’t I throw away my life and go to a monastery? Well, it was a secure old big bucks monastery. Didn\’t I run 86 miles a Silverton? Well, I didn\’t run 100 miles because of this very mental limitation. And I covered my 86 miles in a very conservative way. Didn\’t I go running off to Israel by my self when I was 21? Well, yeah, but I was already a skilled international traveler so going off without mommy and daddy was just a natural progression.

Owing to my DNF, I had a pretty normal Saturday. I spent the first part of the workout listening to This American Life as I rode the ex-bike. I spent another 30 min listening to Prairie Home Companion as I rode the nordic track. Then, I plucked my hydro-pak from the refrigerator (where it landed after last night\’s debacle) and went out for a 3 hour jog/walk in the surrounding suburbs.

I am disillusioned with modern Christianity, but not necessarily with Jesus himself. I am disillusioned with enlightenment as I\’m sure it is mainly a dopamine reward and not God. I am disillusioned with various food fads. I am disillusioned with ultra running or any running rewards related to competition. I am somewhat divorced from society and family life. Where is my motivation for living going to come from?

I am about to move to Houston where I will buy an ordinary house, however small, in a ordinary subdivision and live without visible difference than the surroundings. I\’ll go to work, pay the bills and make sure the lawn is taken care of. Is there any such thing as a suburban mystic contemplative? Do you have to be a monk or a Buddhist to discover God?

Steve Jobs had to die before he immediately became a wisdom figure.