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The Weirdness of Talking. Can We Actually Ever Tell the Truth?

The Weirdness of Talking. Can We Actually Ever Tell the Truth?

(Warning: This is a weird article, enjoy)

As I study the writings of great spiritual teachers of various traditions and cultural backgrounds, including my own essence communication with Spirit, I have come to appreciate the nuances of words and language used to convey accurately the highest truths. The Hindus, Tibetan Buddhists, Zen Buddhists, Taoists, Sufis, Kabbalists, Christian Mystics, great shamans, Native American medicine women and men, and metaphysical mediums clearly all communicate about the same foundational understandings of spirituality yet often say very different things about them as well.

For example, the Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists often say that one can make no spiritual progress without a guru, but some traditions make no mention of such a thing at all or even suggest that one must leave all gurus behind. Some say becoming vegan is the only possible way forward and eating meat lowers the vibrations while others say it matters not because food is just part of the illusion of the ego. Some traditions suggest that the physical form is totally an illusion and one must banish identification with it in order to become enlightened while others suggest that it is its very existence that makes spiritual progress possible. We could go on and on here but hopefully you get the idea that there are many apparent contradictory statements among the various traditions. So confusing, or is it? Certainly, culture and tradition play an important role in how these differences of opinion are held. India of course has a long history of gurus and disciples but other parts of the world, not so much if at all. What are we to make of all these differences and what matters overall?

At the end of the day, it seems to me there are some simpler ways to look at these conundrums, certainly simpler than fighting over them. First of all, on the physical plane it appears that everything is a lesson, everything is an opportunity to learn something. Many scientists now agree that it is a high probability that the manifest universe is a highly sophisticated virtual reality experience. If that is so, who cares whether it is real or not? It seems to be valuable and meaningful to us if that is what we believe about it. If we think it is all a meaningless crock, well then that becomes temporarily true for us until we see it some other way. It is as we see it. From what I have observed, this is actually one of the lessons of this experience we are having of being human. Ramana Maharshi, a great Hindu spiritual teacher, often contradicted himself when he gave different lectures to different levels of students. When they compared notes there was much confusion. For some students he would say that no individual objects actually exist but to others he would imply that physical existence is real. He would tell people that they need a guru but then he would say that the guru’s physical presence was unnecessary. We could summarize his approach to teaching as: “Different strokes for different folks.”

The enlightened and self-realized masters do seem to agree that there is no real separate self after all, no reality to our narrative, our name tag, our identity as a man or woman, racial type, age, or cultural heritage. They regularly suggest that these identifications are a truly fictional illusion of the ego self, something that was formed when, as a human race, we began to deny Spirit or God and chose to believe instead that we evolved from local chemical soup to become independent bodies in a chaotic random universe. This belief in random, separate selves includes the notion that consciousness is an artifact of brain activity. 

The masters say that the belief in the separate self is the only problem we will ever have until we surrender and accept that we are one with All That Is. So, what they are saying is that in reality there is no personal me with my body, my car, my name, my bank account and so on. They say that these are just a conglomeration of ideas, sensations, perceptions, and feelings that we are interpreting as a separate me; that we need to let these ideas go to discover what we really are, pure being. They also say that the inaccuracy of our choice of words continues to contribute to our wrong ideas about what is true. 

The problem seems to be exacerbated when we use the words “me” and “my.” Every time we say “me” or “my” we are contributing to a belief that we are separate selves and that is a denial of what we are, expressions of all that is. On the other hand, we can say “I” and we are okay as long as we mean the big “I,” the All That Is “I.”  There are so many ways to get into trouble by just trying to talk. Saying “I am” is totally true. Saying “I am sick and tired of your talking” is not the same “big I” so it is not actually true because there is actually no little me that is sick and tired.” That’s where we go wrong. It is a pretend self that feels that way. Spirit would never say that and we are spirit. So, how do we express ourselves authentically?

If we say “I love you baby” we are probably referring to the small fictional me that wants to get laid. When we say, “I love you,” this is awkward because it is true that “I” Is the only real source of love in the universe but there is actually no separate you to love. “I” just eternally loves all that is, so the most accurate thing to say is “I love all that is.” This would be accurate but a very weird thing to say to someone and will most likely not get you laid.  This is why the ancient Taoists chose not to talk at all because every time they opened their mouths, they realized that they were not being accurate, and to be really accurate, weirdness would come out. 

Rather than everyone being enlightened but unable to say anything accurate, perhaps we need to compromise and talk as best we can even though we know what we mean when we say, “I love you.” This could be short for saying, “I know there is no separate you or me; however, the love of Spirit is flowing through this expression of God that seems to be talking to all the rest of God that includes God’s expressing through what appears to be you.” What a mess. That would be too insane. Let’s just talk normally and know what we mean. Believe it or not, that day is coming in not too long. OOPs, there is no time so how could it be coming? It is already here; we just haven’t noticed. How could we not notice something so monumental as knowing everything is of Spirit, of God, of All That Is?

The response to this question if we were ancient Taoists would be, you guessed it, silence. That would be okay and profound but that would also end our poking fun at ourselves here. We do need to laugh at ourselves, and often.  So, we have to be able to talk with one another normally as human beings at the cost of being totally accurate with every word we utter. In fact, if it came to everyone being silent, this game would be over. Poof. No more incarnations for anyone. I suppose that day will come, but I for one still enjoy conversation, hopelessly inaccurate as it is. What if I couldn’t say, “I want a cold Topo Chico. It will cool me off.” Horribly inaccurate and spreading untruth, making me believe something false, but what the heck. I’m not ready to give up all my little pleasures quite yet. So, the next best thing to being silent is that I can just chuckle when I say “I want a cold drink” because even though I know little me is fiction, I am going to enjoy that little fiction right now. That is the whole point of being human, to be human whether it is virtual reality or not, and enjoy it, is it not?

I actually prefer the embodied teachings that take into consideration that here on earth in this reality we are physical, in bodies that have special needs. There are also many teachings that imply that being physical is somehow low vibrational and needs to be banished. The implication is that it is somehow a mistake, a terrible error, a sin and we need to deny the flesh, even deny the faintest acknowledgment that it actually exists. In my mind that is an error itself. That begins to sound like church dogma and teachings that I would rather not return to. Even if physical life is a virtual reality experience which I agree with, it is still a bonified experience. Our experience as humans may be in our minds but it is still an experience and is no accident, not simply a revolt against God, and certainly not unreal. After all, Spirit by definition is eternal and infinite, no exceptions. That means that this experience we are having as humans in so-called bodies is not an exception either. These may be fictional, imaginal bodies but that doesn’t mean the experience is invalid. That would be like reading a great novel and at the end of it saying, that book was invalid. Fiction is not the same as invalid. Fiction has a place, exists, is art. Is all art invalid? Hardly. 

If I sit down to play chess, the chessboard and all the figures are real enough, structured enough, organized through rules that allow a wonderful game to be played. Is that somehow illegitimate? Invalid? Being human may turn out to be just a movie in the big picture but it is often a good movie and I can take pleasure in it. Playing chess provides a challenge, an enjoyable exchange, an opportunity to learn to play with more mastery, and it may widen my outlook as I see that the rules of chess are much like the rules of life. At the end of the game, the board is cleared, put away, I walk toward doing something else, no harm has been done, and yet it was worth doing. After the game it is just a memory. Was the game real, did we really play. Maybe not. Who cares? 

Ultimately all that matters is just “being” while perhaps doing something that may be fictional like reading a good book. The being of it cannot be measured, cannot be proven, but it is the doorway to freedom. The ancients were fond of saying, “Be as you are.” How else could we be? Being is the doorway, the portal to a great truth about who and what we are. It has also been said that God cannot be found anywhere but in this moment, the eternal moment of now. God, All That Is, Spirit cannot be found in some future or past because there is no future or past nor is there an over there. Everything is here even though our 3D eyes and brain make it look three dimensional so we can have the experience of local navigation. Hmmm. Things we take for granted turn out to be fictional. That is okay as long as we use these temporary tools well. I can fly to London or Tokyo and have the full experience of travel through my bodies senses as long as I realize I have not gone anywhere in truth. The landscape around me keeps changing but I, presence, consciousness is always being here, outside of time and space. In the end awakening is not to reject anything but including it all. I am Spirit, I am being human for now, I have the right to enjoy being human, I have a contribution to make as an aware human. That contribution is to see and experience Spirit in everything and thus alchemically transform everything back to its true nature. That’s it. Pretty simple. Maybe so simple that it’s easy to forget and even harder to talk about. Ha, Ha!


© All rights reserved. www.thepowerpath.com 

You may make copies of this writing and distribute it in any media you wish so long as you do not charge for it or alter it in any way. You must credit the author and include this entire copyright notice. While the text may be shared, no audio files including lectures, music and/or sound meditations may be posted on any site for any reason without written permission from the Power Path.

José Stevens PhD is an international lecturer, corporate team builder and organizational coach, consultant and trainer. A psychologist, licensed clinical social worker and author of more than twenty books and numerous articles, he is also co-editor for A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism and a board member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. He is the founder, with his wife Lena, of the Power Path School of Shamanism and The Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth in indigenous cultures. He has completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol Maracame in Mexico and has studied with the Shipibos of the Amazon and the Paqos of the Andes for the last thirty years.

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