The Great Rebooting

This corona time is a time of rebooting, not pandemic.

I have been participating in a series of conversations at Abraham Now. It has been incredible. Abraham was talking about this being a time of rebooting. You know, the computer gets glitchy, and locks up, so you reboot and it starts working fine again? Now, during this time of social distancing and time off work, is a time when you can restart you life: body, mind and spirit. Not new software but return to the software you came with. So…I\’ve been doing my spiritual practices in isolation and receiving from non-physical. Then…

Holy eff! I woke up this morning rebooted.

What does rebooting mean?

Rebooting means: Rebooting is to suddenly have this original understanding of my self-conscious mind/ego default network plus the deep mind/primary consciousness plus the inner being/spiritual consciousness equaling a unity of being. I suddenly woke up this morning with a self-conscious/ego mind willing to understand that it is a receiver. Rebooting means that my ego I has been unseated, no longer alone as an I, but now I am a whole system of a being.

Rebooting means that I suddenly am able to sit quietly in meditation without the continuous checking by the self conscious mind: am I doing it yet? Am I enlightened yet? Suddenly, I am trusting and believing that my self conscious mind will receive thoughts as needed because I am at one with the greater part of me. \”Meditation\” is for quietly sitting in communion with the other parts of me; not about achieving enlightenment.

My ego mind is accepting the role of self-consciousness as a receiver from the greater system and not angry about the threshold place beyond which the self-conscious mind  really can\’t go. I just need to stand at the door and what I need will come. It is not a door to keep me out but a transition place for receiving thoughts into physical reality.  My whole world is turned upside down by this understanding. I\’ve been seeing everything backwards and been pissed off about it.

I can trust this. The trusting is is important. Previously, I was unwilling to accept the role. Unwilling because my self-conscious ego mind thought it was somehow less than, and so was fighting to become something more than it is. Being a receiver doesn\’t mean that I, ego, am less than anything; it means I am part of a system. In this acceptance of being part of a system, I have access to the whole system. Rebooting is that now I am accepting and understanding all of me, and appreciating that the whole of my consciousness is always available, always standing at the door. I\’m not pissed off that self-consciousness can\’t go through the door. So, really, there is no door. Just receive and be happy. I am whole (suddenly brought to tears of appreciation).

All this without LSD. Amazing!

Not Getting

It is nearly a year since I left my corporate job. It struck me this morning that who I am in terms of what I am trying to \”get\” out of life has changed.

I was for the first time today able to see clearly how much I was trying to get out of the corporation and its bosses. Stuff like recognition and self worth. As a corporate engineer, I was wrapped up in the corporate culture, criticism of what the bosses were doing, being angry because I had no place to grow to. Even on the weekend when I did my long runs, my brain was taken up with resentments and anger over work.

I was not able to just sit in a cushy corporate job and collect money but slowly die to creativity and hope for the future. I wanted something more, but I couldn\’t \”get\” it from the corporation. Now, I accept that my modus operandi: my career was about making money and I quit it as soon as that task was completed.

In the past, my feelings of success were dependent on what other people thought of me and what they were willing to reward me with. Success at work was huge to me. I only felt successful if I was winning at work. But now, I have nothing in the material world to hang a successful feeling on. It is impossible for me to be pointed out as successful because there is nothing there. This lack of exterior conditions forces me to either feel good about myself simply because I exist, or never feel good because I\’m not in situations to garner praise and rewards.

Now, whatever it was which I was trying to \”get\” from the corporation has been forgotten. I don\’t have any expectation of  being promoted or given a raise as a means to help me feel validated or wanted. I have no expectation of being asked to do special projects because of my expertise and using these to bolster my ego. Along with the loss of expectations is the ending of trying to wrest anything out of life.

I am more or less a free bird, living one day at a time. I think I don\’t have a purpose driven life. If I want to be validated, or feel better, I do it for myself. My happiness is not dependent on bosses at work but on my own seeking for good thoughts about myself from the inside. If I want to feel better then I am self responsible for finding those thoughts from the inside.

If I have a purpose, it is to allow instead of try to get. I\’m learning to be an allower instead of a getter. I am not dependent of some corporation or its bosses to validate my worth or give recognition. I have no recognition to achieve. I am merely alive.

Spiritual study has been a part of my life for decades. For a long time, I was trying to get enlightenment from God, and mad that God had never given it. Even that type of getting is gone from my agenda. I have entered a way of living where I allow whatever is going to happen to happen. God does not have to give me enlightenment today.

So who am I really? Being. I am just Being.

Epiphanies

Whenever I have several days off work, time to be alone with my thoughts, I hope for an inspiration, a new thought.

In my life, there have been several thoughts which have driven me to life changing action. When I was 22, I stood near the Jaffa Gate in old Jerusalem watching some Hassidic Jews. I thought, \”There might be something to this God thing.\” When I came home, I started to study the Bible and pursue religion.

Years later, and many changes, the shootings at Columbine High in Colorado occurred. Listening to a radio interview of one of the boys that lived, who was the boyfriend of one of the girls who was shot, I heard him read her diary from the night before. Jesus Christ mattered to her. I decided to \”shamelessly follow Jesus.\” That is the second important thought of my life. It was soon followed by the question, \”How do I shamelessly follow Jesus?\” And the intuitive answer was, \”Live a life of prayer.\” These thoughts led me into the monastery.

The thought \”Shamelessly follow Jesus\” also led me away from the Church several years later.

But first, I had thought number 3. Right before making my first monastic profession, I found myself in crisis for 4 days. It is a long story, but the nun leadership was deciding to kick me out. During the crisis, I had a dream in which I received, \”Love is the predominant mode of existence.\” And then when they actually told me to leave, I asked God why I had to be the one to leave. The intuitive answer, \”Because you can. You can live in the world and still practice my presence.\”

\”Love is the predominant mode of existence\” is perhaps the last important thought I have had. It stays with me and provides those moments of knowing it truth in my waking consciousness.

In the 12 years since leaving the monastery, my life has gone here and there. I came to Texas on negative vibes. It wasn\’t inspired by some intuitive message.  Now I am here in Texas. My life is stable and well funded.

I fear it lacks inspiration. My epiphany of this evening was to remember how these other epiphanies drove my life into new territory; and to notice how I haven\’t had one for awhile. This is especially annoying because my dream of enlightenment through ultra-marathoning isn\’t going to work. All the methods of enlightenment which I have tried didn\’t bring what I was looking for. I\’m not going to take drugs or have a stroke.

Never mind. I realize that what my ego thinks is enlightenment is only a dopamine induced ecstasy.

Am I too old to have a powerful intuitive thought? Do I shut them off because I make too much money? Have I not done enough with the previous thoughts?

In my silence and solitude, I pray for an intuitive thought. I will begin to watch for the building of an inner power.

I need to understand: How may I best serve You?

Is this the end of the line? I am impatient God. Or Self. Or Jesus. Or whatever I want to call You. Is being a successful engineer all you really want me to do?

How to Live

 Frequently, I have negative thoughts early in the morning. In a sense, my spiritual activities and then exercise takes care of them. This morning, I could hear my ego murmuring about a work question: should I take that new position or not?

It is not time to decide. The decision is in the future. But mixed in with the decision is various ego issues like: am I good enough, will I be happy, I am happy now but I can\’t stand no promotional opportunity, I need to get ahead of colleagues, etc.  And then, my knowledge that I am not in the Now. I am not connected to my higher self. And I have no idea how to get that to happen. Any techniques hasn\’t worked. I just haven\’t let go.

But the books say your ego doesn\’t know it anyway. So will I ever know it?

So you can now imagine me becoming more and more upset by this drama. Reading The Power of Now is only making me more upset.

So I got on the treadmill. What an awesome choice. The Gulf coast is so freaking hot and humid. Even before the sun comes up it is 83F. My outside running is consequently slow. But my living room is 71F with a fan blowing right on me. Running in the coolness was terrific!

On my treadmill, I have index cards with parts of the ACIM text written on them. This morning, text 15.V.5 \”…You can place any relationship [situation] under His care and be sure that it will not result in pain, if you offer Him your willingness to have it serve no need but His….\”

Plus lesson 9, \”I see nothing as it is now.\” 

This translates into, I don\’t see this situation as it is now.And also, be willing to let today, my present moment, any choice I make, serve no need but His. For me, the present moment is not enough, there also has to be a Higher Consciousness I am turning over to. Somehow, running on the treadmill and thinking about serving no need but His, surrender happened. I was able to \”get\” it.

That was early this morning. Now, I can remember it happened. I can almost recall how the understanding felt. But I can\’t really put all the little bits of thought together and explain it to you. 

Why did I call this post \”How to Live?\” Well, frequently, immediately after my spiritual exercise and during my physical exercise, I get a moment of clarity. In that moment, my ego is gone. Life does not seem so frightening. That is how to live.

The Gift

Today I ran around a 0.36 mile loop in Meador park; yet another location where there are enough trees to run in the summer.

I know that picture says 0.38 miles but I think that is a bit long. Anyway, I\’m being conservative.

I did 50 laps/ 18 miles/ 4h27min.  Nice and warm, humid, 80 oz of drink.

After about 2.5 hours, I realized my mind was wandering around dark corridors. I had the consciousness to think higher. I thought about Presence. I had a new thought: If I actually knew my Higher Self, what would I be thinking right now? Some time later, maybe an hour later, I had a brief illumination. I envisioned having the gift of Light.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Next weekend, I\’m going to try again the insanity of the double marathon. What is different than the last time? Well, for one, I\’m going to tape my toes. For two, be prepared to ruthlessly cut open the shoes if the toe box is destroying any toe nail. Take the Solumbra sun hat. Other details. But, on the second day, when my body wants to give up, I\’ll need a mental preparation. Something other than, \”I\’m doing this just to finish one more marathon.\” I have an idea. If it works, I\’ll let you know.

A Morning of Inspiration

When I went to bed last night, I was pondering how I haven\’t had a feeling of spiritual energy in a while. That is, I used to get all excited about some new conviction but as I let go of my ego involvement, I feel conviction less and less. I purposefully restrict ego reward activities and instead sit in silence. So the high points go away. I edge toward Truth which must be a non-ego event.

This morning, I couldn\’t focus on my watch and thought it was late so I leaped out of bed. Getting down stairs I realized it was an hour earlier than I thought. So I had plenty of time for spiritual study and meditation.

\”Begrudgingly\” was the word that came out of my first meditations. What I was feeling was sort of like this: new people come begrudgingly into AA and begrudgingly try to work the steps. What is received, even from a begrudging effort, is so fantastic. A whole new body, mind and spirit comes through this way of life; totally different from the drunks we come in as.

This brought me to my long term sobriety and how did it come about. The words that meditation brought into my mind were \”Spiritual Sobriety.\” See, I have been a seeker after God for decades; but a majority of that time, at least until recently, was chasing after \”Enlightenment.\” Today for the first time I realized that enlightenment, and my efforts to force God to give it, is spiritual drunken-ness. Not spiritual sobriety.

But recently, my efforts at life have been directed toward what the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions calls \”the satisfactions of right living\” and \”true humility.\” I\’ve been actively attempting to stop living my life by self propulsion and running the show myself. I feel much more spiritually sober.

I was pondering the situation which happens with meditation; how we can keep our thoughts quiet only for very brief periods of time. Then two thoughts from the Big Book came into my mind. First the one about how some of us grasp AA as a drowning person grasps a life preserver. Second about the Sunlight of the Spirit. I thought of my life as a drowning person who occasionally has the strength to kick their head above water and grab a lungful of wonderful life giving air; and then sinking back down into the underwater struggle. Above the water is the Sunlight of the Spirit. The water is our resentments and ordinary ego world.

My spiritual life is like this. When I quiet my thoughts for even a few seconds, it is like sticking my head into the sunlight of the spirit. My begrudging part is that I don\’t sit in silence for hours a day. I spend about an hour in the morning and 10 minutes at night. Not much. But for even this paltry effort, I receive so much.

Me vs My Life

I finally had a moment of realization this morning. Years of meditation and spiritual study may or may  not have helped; but in a moment of total ordinary consciousness, I got it.

\”Me\” as stated in the title of this blog, is my self centered ego consciousness. \”My Life\” is what I now understand to be my higher consciousness. And I heard it as well as entered it today.

Its like this. I was reading a portion of the book Alcoholics Anonymous this morning, pages 62 and 63. It talks about how self centeredness creates all our problems; and that we can\’t be less self centered on our own power. Self will is of no use. Only a higher power can help.  Then, I did a few minutes of silent meditation. Then I made my lunch and was getting ready to leave for work.

I was thinking about how I haven\’t had a life. All I\’ve ever done was work. I was having an imaginary conversation with my boss explaining how I don\’t have enough vacation and never get to have my life. Suddenly, however, I heard another mental voice say, \”This is my life.\” Suddenly, it seemed that my higher consciousness had wanted the life my ego wants to get away from. I experienced my higher consciousness. It was vast.

This had nothing to do with oneness or love. It just had to do with realizing my higher consciousness IS living the life it wants. I can surrender and stop fighting. In stopping fighting, I give up ego self centeredness. In giving up, I gain that vast consciousness which is the content with my life.

What if I saw my life from this higher perspective: alcoholic home, several childhood trips around the world, horses, mountain cabins, Israel, men, monasteries, chemical plants, marathons.

Realizing the difference between ego consciousness and higher consciousness is great. I hope it gives me more access to higher consciousness each day.

The gurus and authors have said this too. But it was always something achieved outside of real life. Something obtained in a monastery, ashram or retreat. Mine is in the middle of a chemical plant.

I am really \”My Life\” not \”me.\”

For the Record

Whenever I have days off from work, I also have the idea that somewhere in the silence and miles, a spiritual break through will occur.

Something at least note worthy did happen this morning. A few weeks ago, I read Sam Harris\’ book \”Waking Up.\” It annoyed me when he has long explanations about \”…this self is nowhere to be found…\” or \”…the self does not survive scrutiny…the feeling of being a thinker of thoughts inside one\’s head…\” or \”…look closely for what you are calling \”I\”, and the feeling of being a separate self will disappear…\”

I finally realized my confusion this morning. What Mr Harris calls \”I\” is what A Course in Miracles calls ego. What Mr Harris finds beyond the \”I\” is what A Course in Miracle calls Self.

I need to stop beating myself up with other people\’s techniques and experiences. Because, yes in fact, I am able to look between the thoughts. The fact that there is no emotion or objective sense of enlightenment is what makes it real. The problem is that the stream of thoughts called ego doesn\’t approve and can\’t use the silence. My ego most emphatically wants an objective and be able to lay a claim, \”I did this,\” or \”I am that.\” A Course in Miracles explains all this. I now understand that Mr Harris is saying the same but in words from his experience.

I realize that my frustration is an ego function. The Self between the thoughts never cared about this. It was my ego who read other\’s experiences of enlightenment and judged itself less than for not having had such a wonderful experience. My ego says that God doesn\’t love me because I can\’t point to some fabulously engaging emotional experience called enlightenment. I have endless difficulties with this ego; but any moment of silence produces calm. Living from the calm is what ACIM teaches.

Is my intuition my Self speaking? Is there a Spirit which is not Self? Personally, I believe that if there is a Self, then there is a Creator. ACIM gives the Spirit as a communication medium. Obviously, many books are written on this subject. What matters to me is intuitive thoughts.

For any who thought I missed Thanksgiving Day 7, I\’ll just mention that I had a nice jog outside in the park. I went to an AA meeting. I had another nice workout indoors which included strength training. Today, I will do an indoor workout. My feet and legs feel good, but I also feel like keeping them that way. Cross training, development of durability, will be most important for the next 7 months; or indeed for the next 30 years.

For any who wondered about what I said regarding philosophy studies and writing essays. The \”teacher\” replied that he got tired of grading student essays and has stopped doing it. So it won\’t be learning to write essays that sharpens my thinking. Maybe that was never necessary since it was really the unproductive Silence that I need more.

Self Transcendence

This morning, I read the opening pages of \”Waking Up\” by Sam Harris, noted atheist. It was yet one more description of enlightenment; that experience of self transcendence which causes people to know the love behind the world. In his case it was caused by the drug ecstasy.

I have read many such stories of enlightenment experiences and tried the techniques.

Of myself I can do nothing. I can only sit quietly. I realize I have had glimpses of love and the vastness of the universe; but they are subtle compared to the enlightenment experiences described by others. But I can\’t take the drugs, fast enough days, undergo monastic profession, run far enough, have a brain injury or even reach a deep enough despair.

Of myself I can do nothing. My spiritual path is the one of the tortoise not the hare. Whatever I wish for, I cannot change this. I can\’t take the drugs. I can only love what is here in my daily life. My self transcendence happens to be a conscious action. It is not dramatically emotional and this is the main difference between me and the so called enlightened. I didn\’t get a main event. I got my life here and now. I got a decision, a choice of thinking now. I got a choice of perception here and now.

It has been more than 30 years since the moment I stood in the Jaffa Gate in the old city of Jerusalem and considered God for the first time. Since that time, I have grown in conscious contact with a power greater than my small self. THIS!

My Own Life

That is, live my own life. Take ownership of it. Stop feeling bad because I am not doing it someone else\’s way.

Maybe it is the age of 55+ years that allows me to finally say that and be mostly able to live up to it. Mostly…. Sometimes fear of those \”others\” still gets in my face.

But in my spiritual/ meditative work this morning, that is the intuitive response to my silent seeking. Live your own life.

I get up every morning at 3:30 am (and have for many years). First, I sit at my kitchen table, with coffee, and read spiritual material and also make silence in my mind for silent reaching out and silent listening. Then, I work out for about an hour. Then, I shower, grab my stuff and get to work by 6:30.

I am a vegetarian of the convicted variety. It means I\’m not doing it for health but because I strongly believe eating meat is consciencously wrong. I also restrict my diet as much as possible in other ways since I also believe that participating in the Great American Obesity Machine is wrong. I don\’t like eating at table with others.

I abstain from participation in society and entertainment and consuming (as much as possible) too. No religion, TV, voting, sex, family, holidays, football, face book, and etc. There are aspects of work culture which mirror society and I don\’t participate in those either.

I tried for many years to achieve \”enlightenment.\” But it seems to me now, that as long as I sought enlightenment per someone else\’s definition, I missed the enlightenment in my own heart. If I truly appreciate what I have been given for my own spiritual growth, then it is much more beneficial for me and I am given more. Along those lines, reading a book on the evolution of world religions or a Greek philosopher from the early Christian era or someone\’s research on early Christianity helps me to remove or discount beliefs which I have been given by society. I at least know where these beliefs about God came from; not God in any case but men who had their own agendas. (Yes, I meant men.)

I take ownership of A Course in Miracles as I have been a student 6 years. It has brought much mental peace and joy. I take ownership of my non-participation in the general mass habits; renunciation as it were. I take ownership of my solitary life. I take ownership of being an elderly athlete. This stance is to dis-obey survival synapses and the fear they generate and stand alone against the tribe.

I\’m not going to feel less than or guilty because I am what I am. This could be a new era in mental health and appreciation of life for me. If I can successfully throw off peer pressure and just love me for what I am. It is finally possible. Of course people say this to each other all the time; but most people do not dare go outside society\’s rules and be a unique individual. I have been trying this process for awhile, well probably at leat 5 years. I see happiness in it which I never had before.