By Jed McKenna
(This article may be freely reprinted, reposted, translated, etc)
Don’t sweat the drama, and it’s all drama.
Dear Imagined Reader,
A recent email from one of my human-interface facilitators ended on this note: “P.S. You’re getting a lot of questions about current events.”
To which I now reply that current events are, in the context of awakening in or from the dreamstate, completely irrelevant, and the most important thing you can do is not get caught up in them. Waking up is all about focus. If you start descending into petty drama – and all drama is petty – then you will lose coherence and your journey will stall.
Maintaining a steady mind through pleasure and pain,Bhagavad Gita, 2:38
gain and loss, victory and defeat, engage in this battle,
indifferent to the outcome. Thus you will incur no sin.
The only sin is ignorance and the only absolution is clear-seeing. The real battle of awakening is between your heart, which tells you the world is real and meaningful, and your mind, which tells you the world is of no more substance than a soap opera reflected on a soap bubble.
We might think that extinction-level events – pandemics, riots, nukes, asteroids, zombies, twerking – are more than mere drama, but they never are because the world is never more than mere theater and we are never more than mere characters; it’s only your emotional infusion that brings it to life.
Willfully unsuspend your disbelief, bring your critical-reasoning faculties back online, and you’ll view even the most dire world events like you now view an episode of SquareBob SpongePants. This is not a matter of concept or theory or belief, but of clear-seeing from an elevated vantage. The only thing you can change is your perspective, and it starts with opening your eyes.
This might be a good time to unsubscribe from sunshine spirituality. If you take refuge in the notion of a higher-self and spiritual evolution, then you might believe you’re living in crazy times because you chose it at the soul level; that there are lessons for you to learn or opportunities for spiritual growth or karmic ribbons to be burned. Such beliefs might help you get through the night, but not to wake up.
Truth isn’t only true when it fits our narrative, it’s true in foxhole and burn ward, at deathbed and graveside. From today’s headlines: “Children Tortured, Raped and Buried Alive.” Providence may have spared you from the darkside of this amusement park, but as history and headlines show, it only takes a second to switch from It’s a Wonderful Life to Apocalypse Now. Every day is anything-can-happen day. Like it or not, them’s the rules.
Countless billions of seekers – more sincere, courageous and intelligent than myself – have failed to become finders, not because truth is so well hidden but because they were looking in the wrong place. That which you seek is not spiritual, it’s developmental, and it’s not found through growth but transition.
To quote myself:
The truth is that enlightenment is neither remote nor unattainable. It is closer than your skin and more immediate than your next breath. If we wonder why so few seem able to find that which can never be lost, we might recall the child who was looking in the light for a coin he dropped in the dark because “the light is better over here.
In truth, you are a point of infinite, featureless awareness which, through the magic of emotional alchemy, has become attached to the world of appearance, but despite what they promise in the spiritual marketplace, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can never be awake while your eyes are still closed. You can never become an adult while remaining fear-based, half-born and herdbound. You are either asleep or awake in the dreamstate, you can’t be both.
If you have a conceptual grasp of nonduality, then you have the power to disprove apparent reality for yourself, but you have not fully processed this nuclear insight and examined its aftermath. Not-two is the thought that destroys the universe, so if you still find yourself living in a soap opera bubble, it means you have yet to unleash the full potential of this weapon.
My universal advice under any circumstances is to get real, snap out of it, wake up. Open your eyes and see who and what and where you really are. That’s what I think everyone really wants – to complete their development and discover their potential – and here you are reading this, which suggests that’s what you want. Maybe this is your chance to make something happen. Maybe alarming events can trigger awakening in the same way a blinking light can trigger lucidity in our nighttime dreams. Maybe the wackier the world gets, the easier it will be to detach from it. Maybe the more nightmarish it becomes, the stronger the urge to escape will become.
We’re obviously in a wonky period now and it might be awhile before things stabilize again. Whether or not you and I live to see equilibrium restored is, like everything in the dreamstate, immaterial. And seriously, who goes to a movie to watch happy people anyway? Who goes to an amusement park to sit on a bench? You pay your nickel and ride the ride, but whatever ups-and-downs and thrills-and-chills occur along the way, you get off right where you got on. Anyone who believes that Armageddon is more meaningful than the popping of a zit has yet to carve memento mori on their heart: Remember your death.
Or, on the flipside: Remember that every day is the best day.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
Jed McKenna is the author of the Enlightenment, Dreamstate, and Jed Talks trilogies.
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