For whatever reason, I did not react to the initial big bang or any of the rest of their lightweight attempt at pyrotechnics. I continued to do whatever I was doing. When the last firecracker exploded, I glanced over briefly to note their crestfallen faces.
I relate this story to let you know that most of the time, I'm pretty laid back -- and naturally lazy -- so when certain spiritual practices advise that I need do nothing, it's not such a stretch. That's my fall back position all the time. It's also probably why I haven't written a blog entry in nearly three months. Or why it takes me 50 or so shots at the romantic relationships game to realize I might have some limiting patterns in that regard.
Believe me, I've created myself to be provoked to do something several times in the last few months. I've created an unsteady stream of appreciation that I sometimes thought needed to be steadied by actually looking for work, composed a nasty note from a friend detailing some of my most heinous shortcomings, conjured several crazy business partners to test my patience and caused extreme resistance by "others" to my master plan for happiness and occasional sex.
And then there was the spiritual cattle prod to the genitals that I created in the writings of Jed McKenna.
But to paraphrase that famous line, whenever I get the urge to exorcise the demons I've created in the hologram, I just lie down until the urge passes. Then I do the Busting Loose process.
I simply cannot get that exercised about anything any more. It's not that I've withdrawn from the hologram. I'm playing more than ever and enjoying it more than ever. The difference is that I used to just not play. Instead of simply ignoring or trying to transcend "shit" now, I'm actually playing in it and embracing it.
So I still feel discomfort, but I'm rarely moved to respond in the hologram. Not that there's anything wrong with that if that's what you choose to do. But for me, any response beyond processing is a belief that the situation is real and that I can actually change something outside of me. Whether it's responding to some perceived slight, or having a "meaningful" talk with a friend to straighten things out, it's just an exercise. It means nothing, and will mean even less tomorrow. In some ways, talking is the easy way out. It's time better spent processing as far as I'm concerned.
It also means I've tired of stories, most especially mine. I don't want to hear the reasons why my life or "your" life is the way it is.
What I am interested in is the joy and surprise and insight you might have gleaned from your story and how it might take you closer to Busting Loose. I'm interested in the happiness you find in, and the credit you take for, the creation of even your most challenging stories. But I'm not interested in an explanation.
We are genetically programmed to tell stories. Try not telling one when something happens.
But my point is that I realize that doing or saying nothing sometimes takes a lot more discipline and energy than doing something.
With acknowledgments to another of my spiritual mentors, Marianne Williamson and A Course in Miracles, here's what doing nothing means to me.
It means I will resist the urge to create an agenda or purpose where there is none. I am willing to surrender to the wisdom and guidance of my higher self.
It means I will not defend or explain myself, since there is nothing to defend or explain, and defenses and explanations are merely there to distract us from awakening from the illusion.
It means I disavow anything that reeks of conscious intention. That is simply spiritualese for "I don't have a fucking clue as to what the truth is," i.e. we are not in control. As Robert Scheinfeld notes, do the process and let the power go where the power goes. It's not up to your persona.
It means my only duty is to show up with the knowledge that I don't know what anything means, but I'm willing to be shown.
I'll end this column with a quote from writer Robert K. Johnson about an aspect who represents much of what I aspire to be, who instinctively knows that doing nothing is often the highest form of consciousness.
"Despite the decadence of his surroundings, he lives above it, seeking to respond with kindness and generosity of spirit..Even when (he) is time and again beaten up, doped, hit on the head, and verbally berated because of his sense of right(eous)-ness, (he) rolls with the punches, remaining true to himself and others.
"Rather than seek gain at all cost, rather than give in to the materialism, selfishness, and decadence of his surroundings, rather than join the rat race, (he) chooses instead to simply enjoy life. Anything else is futility!"
As you might have guessed, I'm not talking about the Dalai Lama. The man I refer to as one of my great spiritual mentors is, of course, Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, from the movie "The Big Lebowski."
Because, well, you know, The Dude abides.