This post began as a small rant on Facebook and then grew far too big to even consider keeping there.  Instead, I have placed it here for those who find these kinds of ramblings to be of interest.  -P.

Years ago I realized the problem I had with religion….ANY religion was the belief part.  It wasn’t really some personal problem or an ego thing or….it was a lot simpler.  I grew up willing to ask myself is belief even necessary? I mean, what if you just started from the premise that instead of believing, you simply inquired about the things that most folks have a a belief about?  I realized that in doing so, I could solve any nagging issues about whether something was real or not.  And mind you, some things simply do not lend themselves to this form of authentication or checking out.

But a lot of things do.  And most people do not know how to go about authenticating their experience.  When it comes to that, humans are mostly all thumbs.  Or rather, they have been trained to be like that.  And why?  Because one serious problem or drawback when swimming in the waters of belief, I have found, has been the hand-in-glove tendency for beliefs to require you to cleave to an authority figure of SOME kind.  Whether priest, priestess, mullah, or pastor, these two things tend to go hand in hand. And that is really a problem.  Why?  Because when it comes to authority, and spiritual things, being able to listen to the authority within is really important.  And a LOT of religions tend to weed that one out.  A LOT.  Oh yes, people will say that they do listen within, but its all within

So what is forgotten in all of this is what I have come to observe is that the gateway of all experience, all of it, is within each of us.  It then makes sense that this gateway must be clear…..but all-thumbs human does not know what this means or entails.  Like a glass darkly, we distort so much within ourselves because its just now….prepared well.  And look at our brothers and sisters walking the earth. God bless them, but we are all a mess inside.  A mess.  So much so that the only way through a life inwardly is by following what we “believe” is an accurate and unimpeachable authority to follow hoping it will not lead us into a ditch.

But even the grasping for a teacher is itself a belief, if not deeper down and less noticeable.  We all have our flavors.  And yes, this will upset people, but when you bite into the deeper unpresupposed, naked, and radiant truth that stands before us. The teachers who got it will be known for how deeply they partook of it and were able to convey some important aspects of it back to us, the great unwashed, the unseeing, the ignorant, the untouched by the great and brilliant white light of this space where some of us have been known to reach.  Our belief also turn our most important teachers into gods or very nearly so.  They did it with Jesus.  It is now without a question that he was God.  Mary was argued over in the early church and those who said she was a woman who gave birth to a man (yes, this happened) were pushed out into the wilderness (literally) and the flaming tires of the term “heretic” were tossed around their necks.  This left these people at odd-ends to say the least….so powerful was this desire and drive and belief.  The belief.  The belief.  Oh the belief!

But what we do not talk about much is that our books on this man are all cherry picked for us by people who lived thousands of years ago.  We say the teachings are perennial and thus do not change….and this is funny to me because I know that as humans, we have a lot yet to get right.  We are ourselves unfinished and thus our own wisdom and passion and intellect and how we use our minds and our souls to grasp reality and the divine cosmos are all in the process of becoming.  We made a lot of assumptions two thousands years ago about what we thought was right and not right about what that man taught.  And you know what? Buried in these heretical books I have found, for my own use, incredible gems of what I call the “Apex” teachings of Jesus.  They were dumped I suspect because the people could not understand them.  And so we got the KJV (King James Version) with all of its subsequent sub-versions that further push the interpretation further and further afield.

So this begs the question…..if the path is through yourself, then why not polish those parts and find the place within where the teachings can become manifest.  Or known.  Or felt. Or experienced.  Directly.  Why not?  Just because you don’t believe it is possible is by no means any kind of test for the validity of my statement.  It is itself what the rest of what religion has become, which has been a hijacking of our ability to think not just in a reasoning way, but in a deeper more spiritual way….which is much more free than the rather cramped quarters my brothers and sisters in various and sundry religions have.  I will say that my freedom has allowed me direct access to some things that I read about from yogis and saints.  Its true.  And isn’t this what we all seek?  Or am I wrong? Why do we seek it, then, through belief? What I have access to is not through a form of belief, but through direct experience.

To get there means you have to take incredible leaps.  They are not leaps of belief, though.  They are leaps that have to do with knowing how to use your insides.  It means undoing limiting beliefs.  Perhaps there IS a belief that does need to be held to until the rewiring is complete, and that is that within each of us is the means to know the divine reality directly.  Its interesting that its the Native American holy men and women who were on to what this was all about.  They would pray that they would become like a “hollow bone.”  This meant, obviously, that they ceased reflecting on what they thought they were experiencing and just let it flow through them.  They did not distort or interpret the information.  This, though, is incomprehensible as an experience for anyone who has significant distortive material in the way.  The leap, then, is a very real one. It is one more of faith, than of belief. The difference?  Belief will land you where you expect based on what the belief tells you or requires of you, but faith will land you in a place completely unexpected, unmade in your mind, and thus also quite possibly free from as many of the tethers of belief than would have happened otherwise.  If you are lucky. And this, I say, is not based on something I believe as much as what I have to this point experienced.  Now my interpretation could be faulty, yes, because even I do not escape all belief.  Belief is itself so incredibly pernicious a thing that it lies like dark fry (small fish) in the rivers and creeks of our subconscious.  The deeper you go, the more you find.  The fish sometimes make us think that our purpose is to fish those streams when in fact our purpose is in knowing that we are to join the river with the ocean that is in our being.  And what is there?  Our teachers have recalled these places for us and some of us have reported back about it.  One thing is for sure; belief is not required.

So through all of this even from a young age, I felt like there was a way through the dogma and from leaving my brain in the parking lot.  It has led to opening the heart wider and using the mind differently.  It has sparked immense creativity.  It has also led to deep swings from bliss to depression. Its been difficult, not easy, and also easy as pie when I can get “it” right.  I am plumbing my own depths as much as I am learning to let go of the things that limit me.  Like belief.  And to be fair, there are more beliefs to let go.  But once you let go of the big ones, the smaller ones, the day-to-day ones are what are left, or were for me.  This is where some of the most practical inner work has been done and it is also the hardest since it lies closest to the ego and our sense of self. Or my self.

And this self does not cotton to the thought of being obliterated…..even as it has offered itself up for obliteration on a daily basis and have only found that the grain gets ground ever finer….

Some believe the way to God is by destroying the ego.  Some believe that we are fallen and have no chance of ever getting up on our own. There are beliefs that we are not good enough individually, and also that there is some enemy out there.  I have sen these beliefs tear apart families.  I have seen people brainwashed by belief, and some of them have been in my own close family.  And the effect has been incredibly destructive.  And painful. And, like Buddha, I suppose, I ask myself about the way out of this suffering Way.  And for me?  The way is partly through the abandonment of belief in favor of going to find that thing that I feel tempted to believe. Doing this requires humility, a kind of emotional plasticity, and a willingness to be completely, absolutely WRONG…..and then being willing to set about changing it, or at least being on duty while the change is being made (largely by the higher self).  All of this is much too detailed a thing for me to hit on specifically and not turn this into a small book, so I keep to the edges and to the docks and away from the sailing spaces and oceans so deep and ineffable.  🙂

So this has meant that instead of believing in God, I have been impelled to just go find this thing. How do you do that? This gives rise to questions, naturally, very big ones, but we save the questions for later and address them one by one carefully.  Yes, there is a way to know about God and death and all the questions that dog us and keep us up at night or terrify us as we grow up enough to know, holy shit, we are each going to DIE!   In my mind as a youngster I asked the question.  How would one go about finding out what lies beyond that transition?  I mean, without any meaningful information, we are all just guessing, right?  It is this kind of inquiry that has led me to some interesting places.  When I was 9 years old I figured that the best way to deal with the fear that grips each of us here about our demise here physically, is to learn about what might lie on the other side of that place, if there is anything.  The advantage seemed to be a win-win.  If there was nothing, then at least we would know and we would also know that this is all there is.  Or, we would find something more and we would know more about the conditions of that other place.

What I found was that bit by bit, I got my questions answered.  In a myriad of ways.  There is enough there to fill a book, so I will save you, but I will say that as you seek, you will tend to find.  That old maxim holds true.
What’s interesting is that within some dogma, there is a limiting belief that essentially says that one should not go messing with the powers that involve finding this out.  It is, itself, a kind of straw man argument, which essentially creates a false premise from the beginning just to knock it down, as though it was real in the first place.  But it, like so much, is a belief.  And belief has the power to toss all kinds of adrenaline into your body in order to create the illusion of fear and dread, which tells you that this is a path you ought not go. But its belief that does it.  Most people just never bother to unravel the packaging as deeply as this to find out that this is the substance of these things.  Ego and belief dive all the way down into the marrow of our most primal of places, places many do not ever bother to even plumb, yet exist and all of this stuff goes deep, one as deep as the other, and is part of the tyranny of belief that says be will be cast into everlasting hell-fire or that we need to destroy ego in order to know God.  Both, just as ridiculous and impossible as the other.

I found many years after this journey that there was another person who had advocated what I was advocating decades before I even knew who he was, or that he held just such a position.  It was U.G. Krishnamurti who spoke and taught a version of this idea that he called “The Pathless Path.”  When I first read about it, it felt cold and sterile until I caught on to what he was trying to say.  And of course U.G. liked to shock people.  He was also a curmudgeon.  But behind all of this was something very similar. Look within, inquire, and learn about the contents of who you are and dare to go deep.  Most people are frightened to death to go deep for fear of what they will find.  Doing this deep delving is the same as the shamanic shadow work and also the same thing that Carl Jung advocated, which was turning the unknown into knowledge, into awareness.  Shadow work is a healing experience that relieves us all of the neurosis that besets us and our loved ones who seek to find purchase on the soil of our common shores together. When we do this, we make the dark into light, and the dream into wakefulness.  We also move the subconscious into conscious awareness.  We raise the submerged lands within the self out into full awareness.  And what happens is that the self operates different.  The “machinery” actually changes.  What I have seen is that the light body can become like an incredibly brilliant transfer point for vast amounts of information.  All of this is possible without drugs or even any exotic practices or methods.  The path, which is for another post, is about how the chemistry in the body can actually potentiate awareness and energy so that what was once a weak signal can be boosted.  It is the same thing that we do with probes in deep space.  The process of doing this in the biological framework is one of self discovery.  it does not require belief.  But until you have reached deeply enough into it, it is best not to say what you think all of this is because until you do enough shadow work, you will be heavily laden with belief and this….dear friends….is the great distorter of reality.

This is the way I have gone in my life.  I have sought to erase fear of death by learning what is on the “other side,” and I have sought to know this thing so many want to call “God” and I can tell you that its unimaginably big, so big that we have sought to create demi-gods instead of actually comprehend the full breadth of this being, if you want to call it that.  It is much more accurate to call this being an idea more than a being.  It is an idea that seems to have sprung self-made into being….and it has spawned endless creative enterprises.  Just endless and incredibly various.

The world I have discovered in this place of non-belief has been quite incredible.  It has shown me just how incredible we are, and that there is so much more than most people realize.  It has not led me to some vacuous place, but to realizations that I may not have ever reached otherwise. And the difference?  I am closer than I have ever been to the stuff of the universe.  I am closer to my own inner depths.  I am also able to look more clearly at my own junk and work with it.  Do I have illusions?  I do.  This is a peeling away of the material, this is true.  It does not leave me empty and naked.  it just leaves me unafraid of being empty and naked.  The nakedness is about my own shame and empty is itself a state that sometimes is useful for understanding so many things. To know the new, to really know the newness of some state or experience or idea, you have to really let yourself be empty in order to not presuppose anything, to prejudice the material with your own suppositions about what you think you are experiencing.

This began as a post on Facebook, and it grew to be much too big.  I also have friends who are themselves quite dipped in the river of belief, too much so to make a post of this order possible in such a forum.  So I put it here instead.  Besides, Facebook is the realm of the sound-bite.  Even here, on WordPress, posts are most often under a thousand characters.  I find that by exceeding this amount, I get the seekers who are most serious about what it is they are doing.  And it is this that I like….a perennial engagement amongst common minds and souls who are seeking something of themselves in what they find seemingly “out there” only to find  whisp of the infinite staring back at them in the mirror and winking……a knowing that we could all take off our masks and we’d all be more interconnected than we had previously thought….born of something the same yet also individual and one.  What a crazy way to start things off, right?