We love the idea of being on a journey--going from where we are now to somewhere that is better. Whether this is losing weight, making money, spiritual growth...whatever. As long as we have a place we are trying to get to, we have a mission. As Mark Manson so convincingly explains in his latest book, the human mind requires this sense of purpose to buffer itself from existential exasperation.
The metaphor of a journey is a good one. But what if who you really are, is already there? That it is the false beliefs, societal conditioning, the attachments to what you think you need to be happy, and your understanding of yourself that is keeping you from recognizing that you already made it?
This is the heart of all great spiritual teaching. This is Ram Dass talking about identification with the soul, this is Anthony De Mello talking about being in radical awareness, and this is Paul Selig reminding us that we have come as Love.
Removing all of our conditioning and programming is a challenging process, however. You could certainly call it a journey. Because according to Dr. Joe Dispenza, we are not only mentally attached to our current identity, we are chemically addicted to it as well. So this spiritual hero’s journey is one of addition by subtraction. It’s about removing all the limited beliefs and replacing them with the truth of who we really are. Whole. Healed. One with all things. The unborn and undying soul on a journey to experience itself in the manifest. Instead of the fleeting stir of love, it is the recognition that we are Love.
Well, I’m not there yet. I’m like a racing greyhound that has spent its whole life chasing rabbits, that somehow stumbled onto a patch of magic mushrooms, and come to the awakening that I will never catch the rabbit. What is ‘the rabbit’, you ask? It is success, beautiful women, influence, money, approval, and powerful friends. How do I know I can never catch the rabbit? Because I have caught a lot of these rabbits, but as soon as I put my jaws around them they cease to be a rabbit. A rabbit by its very nature is something that is chased. Once it is caught, it is no longer a rabbit. It is simply food for the hungry ghost of my insatiable ego.
So the rabbit, by definition, cannot be caught. This is why the wealthiest tycoons keep trying to get wealthier, the celebrities crave more fame, and the playboys graced by the most beautiful women have their eyes peeled for the next ‘rabbit’ in stilettos. And it’s not just men who are greyhounds. We all get in on the action. The rabbits might differ slightly, but we are hunting dogs all the same.
So here I am, a prime greyhound with an existential dilemma. I’ve built myself to chase. And now that I know the true nature of rabbits, I don’t have the zeal to chase them anymore. I mean, I still do. I still chase. But with muscles straining and tongue hanging out of my mouth, I can’t help but shake my head and ask “what are you doing, dawg?”.
So what is left for me? The path of service. Fortunately, I've never been a full-bred racing dog. Since I was really young, I have felt the call to service. I have known I had a chance to help change the world for the better. I think we all have that calling inside us.
But my identity is still wrapped up in being a greyhound. That is the ‘known’ for me. The unknown is a shedding of my identity, my attachments, all the thrills of the chase. It is the invitation to simply be who I am, and in doing so, be of the greatest service possible. Because if I can be who I truly am, then that gives permission for you to be who you truly are. It shows you that it is possible.
And who we truly are is Love, in the manifest. Inhabitants of the mythical place, that is not so mythical at all. Ram Dass calls it Soul Land. Jesus called it the Kingdom. It’s the same place. And it’s available to us all. It’s simply beyond the known. And the good news is that we’re already there. We just don’t know it.
This week’s podcast is with the gift to the world that goes by the name Paul Selig. He channels wisdom from who he calls ‘the Guides’ and their teaching is impeccable. This podcast zeroes in on the process of moving Beyond the Known into realization. This is the title of his new book on sale now everywhere, for which I was honored to write the forward. You’ll even get to hear my voice if you get it on Audible. And for those of you wondering what the Guides have to say about psychedelics, you’ll get your answer here in this podcast.
Much love everyone!