Gina Stoner, author of Talks With Al, tells it like it is.Your head is cluttered by random, repetitive thoughts. Your body is habitually tense. Your emotions are not under your control. You are self-indulgent and depend on others for attention. You envy and fawn on those more attractive or successful than you and patronise or disparage those who aren't. You fear your fellow man and are crushed by every sour look or slight.
In short, you are identified with everything inside and outside you. There is nothing to stand apart. Your famous personality is simply a series of conditioned reactions. You are a function. A puppet. Everything pulls your strings.
And, of course, you protest that you are not like that at all. You are a very important person with a family, house, bank balance and significant occupation—not to mention score of acquaintances and friends. Another reaction—because your ego is offended.
Ego is a self-defence mechanism. And precisely why you are the things above.
So, are you resigned to living and dying in this morass?
The real question is: What do you want?
Because until you are tired of it all, you haven't begun to stir in your sleep.
If you truly wish to be different, it's tough going. You need to abandon yourself. Your opinion of yourself and others. Your wants desires, requirements, resentments. Your ambitions, hopes, hates, loves, attachments. Your fondness for your possessions, position, comforts, routines, satisfactions.
You need to die to most of your psychology. In fact, to consume yourself. 'Death before resurrection.' What does this imply?
Requirement Number One: Relax from thoughts.
First, you need to stop thinking because associative thoughts are in time. And for this transition you need to step out of time—even space. Because only there can you observe. Krishnamurti called it, 'freedom from the known'.
'Could you be content, sir,' he said to someone once, 'to simply be nothing?'
Can you abandon everything you know—except the fact that you exist? Become nothing. No one. A creature only physiologically alive.
Because a person who is nothing has nothing to lose—or fear.
The correct use of the mind is attention, not thought. Attention is the antithesis of thinking. To be wordlessly attentive -just to watch - uses a different part of the mind.
Requirement Number Two: Become aware of your energy.
This begins by sensing the body—the parts of it first. Begin with the hands or the face. Can you sense them as if from inside? Move to the limbs in turn, then belly, chest, head—the whole body. This is a long study and to establish it fully can take years.
Then, eventually, to become aware of the energy in the body. Not in the usual way but as if you were enveloped in an atmosphere or cloud. Allowing the attention to touch the life in you. Visualisation, by the way. is far more immediate and legitimate than thought.
To be aware of posture, movement, breath, even that you blink. Aware of the sensation of your skin as if you were in a shower or warm bath. But not by doing anything. Simply by letting all things drop. This is a matter of a few breaths, but also takes a lifetime to establish.
Requirement Number Three: Die.
Even more demanding. Can you come to a place in yourself where you, as an entity, cease to exist? Because you can only truly begin to be, to inhabit your life, when you're not there at all. This means to return to your unknown, unnamed core where you are totally empty of self. As the Diamond Sutra says: 'O musho ju ni sho go shin' (Let nowhere abide and generate the Mind.) Can you respect that, attend to it, serve it?
When you can manage that—when you cease to exist—you are.
Everywhere and nowhere.
Totally vulnerable and impregnable.
Nothing and all.
You take your rightful place in the cosmos.
You are immutable.
But even to touch the Unmanifest for an instant is not enough.
Because then every moment is a challenge. You need to remember with each breath or you become ordinary again, forget what you are potentially here for. Your life again reverts to mere existence.
Requirement Number Four: Live in two worlds at once.
Can you live with this blessing in the midst of your mundane life—changing nothing, telling no one, manifesting exactly as before? Life within life. As Jacob Boehme put it: 'To have both the eye of time and the eye of eternity open together.'
Fantastically difficult as all simple things are.
To summarise the journey, here is Ansari of Herat:
'When thou hast learned to lose thyself, thou will reach the Beloved. There is no other secret to be revealed and more than this is not known to me.'
Oh, and one other thing. Only total sincerity will do. You must be longing, burning to take this path—willing to throw everything down at the door. Otherwise, it will not open. It is not your time.