Do all people have the experience of trying to remember the connection of awareness that they’ve forgotten something, but they don’t remember what it is they’ve forgotten?
All people on a spiritual path do. The way they experience it is as a kind of deep-set loneliness that can live well below consciousness. Somebody may not be thinking every day, “Gosh, I’m so lonely” but there’s a feeling of being disconnected from everything that’s common to a lot of people.
So why are we here? What are we supposed to be doing?
That question encapsulates the forgetting. The forgetting is that we don’t remember why we’re here. We’re here to remember to be whole.
Once we have that experience, all the other stuff that culture is trying to sell us drops away; the sense of chasing after a career or money or possessions or fame. Those are all trying to feel something “big.” Because remembering is “big.” So, there’s a craving for “big.” People. misinterpret that as competitive drive–Let me accomplish “big.” When “big” is the all-that-is. We all came in with the intense desire and craving for that.
So when we don’t remember, when we stay in that forgetful state and we’re fed culture, the “big” becomes the chase and the race. And the “big” becomes forgetting about communion and caring about others, and only that you want to win, you want to get to the top.
But the top is remembering; the top is that 360-view of all-that-is; “Here it all is. I remember.” That’s why you’ll read all the stories about people saying that money won’t make you happy or fame won’t make you happy. Because they realize after they get those “big” things, that’s not it. Holy cow, what is it then?
That’s why you have people like Tim Ferris turning to spirituality. That’s why Tony Robbins winds up turning to spirituality. That’s why Bill Gates winds up becoming a philanthropist. Because when they reached the pinnacle of big, and found that’s not it, they have to keep searching past that and then it can become a kind of self-doubt of “I missed it.” Because their egos won’t allow them to be wrong, they’ll keep searching until somehow they’ll have a breakthrough of, “I think it might be spiritual.”
So, yes, it’s universal, is the answer to that.
I suppose I’m the classic case of it because I know that’s why I wanted to become a writer. I had this grand notion that I could explain to the world everything that’s going on because there was a part of me that thought “I do know.” But I didn’t really know it. I might have known on some very deep level, but I couldn’t explain it. I was convinced in my mind that there was something big I was here to do.
What you’ve landed on as “big” for you is community. And it is. Community is a step along the way of remembering because community does eventually go to communion, where you are experiencing the all- that-is, and there’s no separation. Community still has separation. There is still a you and a me, and a him and a her, and a they and an us. With communion, there’s only the all-that-is.
We could say on a survival level it’s hardwired because there’s safety in numbers. So, there’s a connection there that gets triggered in most people. Most people truly are not hermits. But with all the modern technology, it’s easy for people to become hermits without even being aware of it because there’s the illusion of connection to community through social media, texting, and all the rest of it.
But from a spiritual perspective, community is as simple as Jesus saying be your brother’s keeper. Treat your neighbor as yourself. These are hints pointing to how to find the all-that-is. Treating the other as yourself means that you are extending out that connection of awareness. That you are me and I am you, and I feel your feelings. Where that illusion of separation, that barrier, starts dropping and there is that feeling of we-ness that happens. The one and the one and makes a bigger one out of those two. You’ll see that in people who are really compatible. They begin living and thinking as one instead of two separate people.
That’s almost like a practice run. But the mistake people then can make is, “Well, this is all we need. All we need is each other. We don’t need anything else.” That’s a mistake of the smaller 1 + 1 becoming a bigger one, and people thinking that’s the end of it, when it’s really the beginning. Because the idea again is to keep going to get to the true One. That’s the path and the march that everybody is on.
Some people come in remembering. And it’s like an uncomfortable itch that kind of drives them crazy from the beginning until they start finding answers. For those people, they get on the spiritual path pretty early in life. For most people who come in remembering, they usually start somewhere in their teenage years or early 20s where the seeking starts.
For people who have less remembering, it may be triggered through some intense loss, or a kind of religious experience, or a book they read may trigger something. But a trigger will happen along the way that gives them an opportunity for that doorway of remembering to start opening. Then they will start seeking. So it can happen at any age. But unfortunately, for a lot of people, it happens on their deathbed. But it will happen for everybody before we’re all done.
So the message is don’t wait until your deathbed to find out the true meaning. That’s another way of putting it, the remembering is that people know that there is a meaning. There is a purpose. This can help put them back in touch more clearly with what that is.