The primary doorway to the spiritual life for most people comes through the heart. “I know, but I don’t know why I know. I love because I don’t know what else to do. I want, I desire, I need.” The seeking begins, and it’s from the heart.
Being aware of this, all religions, from the beginning of time, have been structured to appeal to the heart. Because it’s within the heart that inner knowing and intuition live.
But religion, in most cases, also adds a layer that speaks to the mind. All kinds of explanations are created and offered up. Stories get told. Great big books get written.
And yet, it must be said, in the end, all religions require a leap of faith at some point. We’re back to the heart, to that inner knowing that intuitively remembers. Because it’s that inner knowing that’s the bridge from here to there. Not the stories or the explanations.
In truth, it’s a bridge that is very simple and unadorned. Religions make it into something unnecessarily ornate, intricate, and complicated.
Yes, people need to be given a job to do, to feel that they are participating so they can measure progress. Because almost no one believes you can just decide to walk ahead and the bridge will appear. So religions obliges. It provides all manner of convoluted ways of getting ready. Do this, study that, focus here. We’ve got a practice for that.
At no time in history has anyone suggested that it’s easy. No one says: Just walk across the bridge. Rather, they’ll say: What bridge? Where? How do you make the bridge appear? My bridge is better than your bridge.
Religions offer help by offering dogma that outlines the proper way for their followers to think and act. They come up with all kinds of complicated steps. They set up the requirements of devotion, love, and sacrifice.
None of that is required.
Just go through the heart and reach the inner knowing. It’s the only requirement. That’s the bridge.
Spiritual seekers often think they need to do more and learn more to reach enlightenment. But it’s not about doing more.
Because we are all within the All-That-Is. Which includes enlightenment.
To fully know this and be this, meditate, and focus on the All That Is. Not as requirements, but as simple ways in.
Our attraction to whichever religion we participate in usually comes from our past lives and finishing up karma. It feels familiar and comfortable. It makes us happy. But we already have what we’re looking for. It’s the same as, “I’m looking for my glasses everywhere, and then I realize they are on my face.” We already have what we’re looking for. But most of us have not fully merged with it.
Q: Why do we have trouble grasping that we are already part of enlightenment?
People make it about here versus there, when it’s s about the All-That-Is altogether, all the time. One can be enlightened and a spouse, a parent, and any other role we play. It is not an either/or. One is not a distraction from the other. It always is.
Q: But I personally experience all this as a roadblock. What do I need to do to see it in a different way?
Appreciate all of it. See the gift in all of it. Even the struggles and frustration. You are having the awareness that even enlightenment doesn’t matter. And that is true. It is not a release from anything. Because it is all.
How can one be released from the question: “Is this all?’ Realize that it is all. You need a perception shift that there is no place better to be. Nothing better to be doing. Nothing more that needs to be done. Because it is all. So it doesn’t matter. See this with relief rather than despair. Experience the shift that happens.
Q: But if nothing matters, what’s the motivation to do anything?
Motivation is an illusion. It all is. It just is what there is to do. All is set. You believe that you decide. You believe motivation plays a role. That you can change. That is the human need on the emotional level. When one is not fully connected to the All-That-Is, there is a feeling of lack, of missing, something more needs to be done. That is just coming from the lack of awareness of the full connection. There is nothing more to be done. It all is.
It is a difficult concept for people because it brings in the thought of free will, no free will, purpose, no purpose, good versus evil. And so on and so on.
A human mind can never fully comprehend infinity, eternity, the All-That-Is. Without having a direct experience, it can never make sense.
Q: Given what you’ve just explained, What is a way of being that puts us more in sync with what we are truly dealing with here?
Focus on the beauty and wonder of everything you see. Spend time merging with other beings. To understand them from within themselves. By becoming one, by learning to become one with other beings. This is a direct path to enlightenment. It is the practice of experiencing oneness with anything that will allow that awareness to expand, to grasp a greater oneness. And then a greater oneness. And then a greater oneness.
Without a direct experience of oneness with a so-called other, one would always be trapped in the intellect. Trying to understand that which cannot be understood through the intellect. It is a fool’s errand. But busy work keeps you focused on the so-called prize. And after enough time, with that focus and intention, you have to trip over an awakening experience. And then through that direct experience is the realization: “Oh, I don’t need to do anything. I just need to be aware.”
Q: It sounds simple. And yet it’s so difficult to accomplish.
It’s not difficult to accomplish. That is a mindset. It is difficult for people to make the time and place to focus, to pay attention in a way that is needed to become one with something. Becoming one is easy. Setting the time and place and focus is what people find difficult.
There is always the fear of, am I doing it right? How will I know what the experience should feel like? All of the doubts that prevent the ease of experience.
Q: I’ve always thought that becoming one with the All That Is is best done being out in nature. But I think what I’m hearing now is that it’s also possible to do that by deeply… I don’t know whether it’s empathy with the people that we meet, experiencing oneness with them.
One can experience oneness with anything. A table, a book, a rock, a person, a plant, an animal. It is all one. It is easiest to do it with nature because to do it with another person there is the confusion of whose feelings belong to who. Are you projecting onto them? Are you actually feeling their feelings?
The reason why nature works well is because when you sit outside, the earth itself is healing. It will naturally slow down breathing. It will naturally allow the mind to quiet. It will naturally allow focus.
To pick an object to focus on, there is no worry about if it’s a human or whether that being wishes to be perceived or not. All nature just is. So to become one with it is not felt as intrusive or unusual.
Start where it is easiest. Meditation allows one to go inward, supposedly allows one to quiet the mind. But when most people go inward, they meet with a tangled noisy mess. If they go outward into nature, it is already more peaceful and quiet. They are not questioning, “Am I seeing that tree correctly? Am I doing it right?” They are just seeing the tree.
But the true answer is just do whatever works. If meditation works better for some, stay with meditation. Just don’t overcomplicate what is not complicated. Don’t attach performance and measurement. Just be.
Q: You mentioned that we are all already connected to enlightenment. Then why can’t we feel this, and feel we know this?
You wonder if you will reach enlightenment. You are already there. It is a permanent state. You cannot accept that. The part of you that is still here doesn’t believe that. But it doesn’t matter what you believe. It is all done.
On one level you do know it is done but you don’t believe it. You, like most people, think you haven’t done enough. Are not living the perfect life. Are not being the perfect person. Don’t feel like you measure up to what an enlightened being would be.
Q: So what is enlightenment?
Merging with the All-That-Is.
Q: I think that if I had achieved that, I wouldn’t feel dragged down and distressed by what is going on in my life. That it would be a whole other level of being. Is that a fallacy?
No. But you are finishing up karma. As you finish more and more, you will look like more of what you think an enlightened person would look like. You also, for reasons you do not understand yet, are not fully ready to let go. Again, it is karma. Just stop worrying about it.
Q: You’re kind of saying that everybody’s standing in their own way, in part, because there’s karma we’re going through that has its own path. It’s been set and we’re doing it. And that enlightenment, the connection with the All-That-Is is always there. So is the idea to complete the karma and not let that be totally distracting
Essentially, yes. Realize that you can be here and there. But you don’t need to worry about completing karma. That happens on its own. Your job is to learn how to just be. It’s been said a million times: Be in the present. Pay attention. Spend time in nature observing.
Q: Are you saying spiritual practices do work for a lot of people but the purpose is actually to keep us busy? But that’s all it is. It’s all really simple.
The busy work helps people disengage from the cultural illusions. If you’re focused on quote-unquote God, and your spiritual practices, you’re not getting sucked into the cultural distractions. It’s a means of purifying that awareness and that intuitive connection that can allow that experience to happen. It’s like a tuning fork. You need to tune it to a certain frequency, and then you can have that experience.
All of these practices I wouldn’t say are a waste of time, but there is a less complicated way to go to achieve the same thing. And, eventually, even with those practices you’ll reach a point with it where you don’t need it. You’ll have learned how to stay anchored in the All-That-Is.