evolving consciousness is our primary duty

Something else from the Collective Evolution post about expanding consciousness:

Enlightenment is simply the process of remembering who we truly are, and why we are here. The soul will require many lives to completely remember itself, and what it truly is. By living and experiencing each day, we are all gaining experiences and moving closer to englightenment.

And an interesting persepctive on the source of ego, no less. I don’t really buy into the whole puppet-master-mind theory, which seems to imply that our leaders have a degree of capacity I just haven’t seen them demonstrate – such speculation about human intelligent design just doesn’t feel convincing for me, but I guess argument is not directed at people who are familiar with feeling conviction, which obviously feels like a contradiction, yep.

Conspiracy theories aside, this film left me all zen about the feeling that personal change at a consciousness level is the primary and most-effective means for effecting change in the world – from internal to external.

The way i scribbled it down late last night after the lunar eclipse: the clip from CE reminded me 1.) if we are going through cycle after cycle until we awaken to who we are and this iteration is just unevolved, and 2.) our main purpose is to evolve enough to come home to our original source, the ideal condition, and 3.) enlightenment is just remembering who we are, then 4.) all we need to do is pursue home inside ourselves.

Sounds easy enough!

It’s a view Osho reminded me of, and which he goes into at length in his talk about meditation being the greatest charity. You can find the talk here as an eBook, or try downloading it here as an audio talk. I don’t know which file it is here, as i haven’t downloaded them all from here myself yet, but that audio link is to the full series of talks called The Rebellious Spirit, yep!

There is a quote from Einstein at the end, which I suspect is edited from the original, but whatever:

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

We all know it. So let’s do it.

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dawn-time dawnings: i’m writing a memoir!

I think I really am actually writing a coming-of-age memoir. I’m coming of age, I know that much. And I’m writing about it. Bloody oath I’m writing about – I can’t friggen stop writing about it. Some friends are telling me I need to get out of my mind, away from the computer – and what?, into their car!? No way Jose. I’m on my own trip, and today I’m fucking thrilled about it. Yesterday and the days before that? Not so much. Tomorrow? Who knows. But today I’m really actually writing a memoir. I wrote down a summary as a potential pitch recently, when i got excited about an unsolicited email from an agent. But now i can’t find it, which is good – it’s the sort of thing that should be written and re-written from scratch, even as an exercise for writing the actual damn thing. It was something like:

High-school suburban stoner makes it good in publishing before growing disillusioned with the industry and the whole entire industrialised West, heads to Thailand in pursuit of peace, returns an alcoholic, has a nervous breakdown, finds God, travels to Turkey thinking he’s got this peace thing under control, does a lot of hardcore meditation but returns to alcoholism nonetheless, returns to Australia, has another breakdown, catches up with God again and decides to share his story.

Something like that. If i rewrite it every day as i approach the idea of thinking about maybe extracting these Adventures in Sobriety posts and developing them into a manuscript, maybe in ten years i’ll have the concept distilled enough to fit it on a blurb that people might actually care to understand.

The summary i wrote for the agent was a lot more succinct and far less sarcastic and it sounded like a cliché, but whatever.

I have long maintained that clichés are clichés for a bloody good reason – when enough people can relate to an idea easily expressed by some phrase, story or experience, it can become cliché. Cliché gets a bad wrap among the over-educated arts elite, because there is this obessesion with originality – as though using cliché is somehow shamefully derivative. Not necessarily – it’s not the nature of the boat, it’s how you use it. I’m not sure if that really works, but you get the idea.

My superego gets in the way sometimes, suggesting I can’t tell stories for shit and who would care about my story anyway. But then my ego chips and says, Abhijan, you’re fucking awesome! Write this memoir and share it with whoever will listen. Your story is great – you’re a fucking trooper.

I don’t really care what either of them have to say. I’m going with my gut. I’m going with feeling on this one. And right now, the hours I spend sitting down at my journal getting longhanded with my story – they are the most peaceful hours I get, at a time when my life is in a seemingly constant state of upheavel and change.

So that’s what Adventures in Sobriety is about for now. All of the above.

I worry sometimes about whether putting this all up online is a kind of narcissistic exercise – a cry for help, a plea for attention. But right now I don’t care about that either – in one sense because i actually don’t care, but in another: i bloody do need help. Help!, i’m a drunk and a stoner.

But also it’s a cathartic process for me, and I’m arriving at insights I might never have arrived at if I hadn’t been scribbling away at this. So telling the story is as much for me as it might be for you. Of course I’m keen to hear if it resonates with you – that would be grand. We can learn from each other in sharing our stories. So bring it. Yes, I’m looking at you!

a cathartic whinge about self-righteous and indignant author-poets

I need your help considering what to do about this twit-poet i’m working with.

Because I love poetry, I really do. But sometimes working with poets really toots my whistle. Here is how I want to respond to one especially indignant author I’m working with (i’m in bold):

p156 again epigraph looks crappy plus we should put the bit I brackets not all in italics. Also, in this poem ‘A physiological law’ – all the formatting is awry – just see original) too many too enumerate here – it’s all indenting Way to get a typesetter offside, poet. You sound like a self-important twit. If you had wanted perfect formatting reflected back to you in the proofs, you might have considered the way you set up your Word file, which made setting this book unnecessarily laborious for me. I would normally keep that to myself, but calling the epigraphs ‘crappy’ is just a cheap shot. Express your aesthetic opinion and leave it at that, okay. Mind your language or I’ll withhold the notes about all the errors I’ve found.

Too right it’s all bloody indenting! Content-free indenting, as far as i can discern.

Here is how I should respond – because it’s not worth picking battles with twats:

p156 again epigraph looks crappy plus we should put the bit I brackets not all in italics. Also, in this poem ‘A physiological law’ – all the formatting is awry – just see original) too many too enumerate here – it’s all indenting Please be more considerate when giving instructions.  Not all of these errors I’m fixing are mine.

But even as i wrote and emphasised the word ‘should’ i thought, What a sellout! The respectable thing to do would be to not retaliate – but i don’t even value respectability, as i expressed in this post about shitting in someone’s garden. But why should i let this jerk push me around. Well, i guess, to feel pushed around i would have to be exerting force in the opposite direction. I could choose to not care. Would it be equally self-important to give any more energy to this – to make any further efforts toward demonstrating that he is wrong in talking to me this way. I think so, yes. The right course of action is to choose not to care. It’s only because i’m sleep-deprived that i would care anyway.

But still, what do you think?

peeking into shadow work

I am profoundly excited about the prospect i have encountered of entering into shadow work at last. I encountered this term a while ago through a seeker friend and i find it interesting now that i guess i kind of ignored it, but more recently i have also encountered some powerful practices that can take us into our shadow safely, and out the other side into light.

I am now cautiously beginning to research psychology in my haphazard way, and i am newly curious about how i can take such intellectual understanding into meditation in the hope that i can more directly experience these psychological phenomena described by the likes of Jung and Freud.

I don’t want to just learn about psychology—i want to plumb the depths of my own psychology, my ego structure and the other mechanisms of the mind that can hold us in this state of separation from our being,

because it seems clear to me now that only the light of awareness can displace the shadow.

Wow, just writing this brings to my eyes those tears of opening to the divine, those tears that mingle sadness with joy and come from the feeling you’re on the right track, yeah!

a departure from ego

This idea about writing, from a young writer i think was involved with Voiceworks while i was there, is dear to my heart, that “even if you don’t finish something, you’ll have always learned something”, and that it’s important to “enjoy the practice of writing as much as what comes out of it”.

I spent a long time thinking that writing was about publication—about finishing something to the extent that you could send it to an editor and they would say “Oh wow, yes!”, like they were orgasming over your words. Of course we need editors and the audience they can bring to our writing, but writing for the sake of process/practice is so much more important to me now, so much more therapeutical and valuable than publishing.

I started a novel manuscript as well, and yeah it’s unfinished, but by writing those 50 000 words that came to “nothing”, i learned a lot about myself, and that’s why i write now. If i write something that’s worth being shared, i throw it up on my blog, but otherwise, writing is more like meditation to me now, and that’s such a liberating departure from the sort of ego-driven writing i used to do, when i was trying to write to an audience of many instead of writing to an audience of one.

The Thing About John Updike

The thing about John Updike is, I found yet another inspiring post on Brain Pickings recently, about John Updike and some ideas of his about writing and death, and how various things we do (addictions, writing) are merely ways of avoiding accepting the reality of nothingness, of our imminent demise and the likelihood our death will be our extermination.

Happy stuff.

It was inspiring because I really like to think of a guy who’s dedicated himself to writing and contemplation,

and contemplation is a key qualifier to writing here, because lots of people write, but there is a way of writing purposefully and meaningfully that I think adds an extra dimension of importance to writing,

and that is to use writing as a tool for contemplation.

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