Probably my favorite topic of all of them at the beginning for you today, a crucial one as we are now heading into the foothills of ‘Practice’ proper.
YOU have to ‘get’ something BIG, something that pretty much defines the rest of it for a while. But that is not why I enjoy it so much – I love teaching this because it’s really bloody HARD, indeed the ability to both ‘know this well’ and ‘teach it well’ defines my ‘level’ as a teacher.
Why..? Because I’m going to tell you what Practice actually is, why it has to be like that, how to LEARN how to DO it, and then recognize the results of it, when they show up. I’m going to do this BEFORE I post the 7th Secret of Spiritual Practice with the detail, as I need to explain it to you ‘conceptually’ via this Awful Truth, give you the opportunity to consider it separately, over time.
Right now you think Spiritual Practice is just this method or that to attain some New Age crap like ‘Bliss’ or ‘Joy’, so you need to know what the overall point is, why anyone serious does this, why it will make you ‘BETTER’. It’s a primer for the 7th Secret if you like, to get you in the right ‘frame’ of mind.
See, this is your first ‘real’ TEST, in the actual ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, sense of it, so lots of teachers actually put it off for ages, even avoid it all together.. It is at the core of what they all ‘say’ yet they just don’t seem to understand it well enough maybe, or maybe they just want to leave it mystical and spooky, sometimes they are even ‘advised’ against it. This leads to one of the greatest criticisms of ALL (and particularly Zen-type) systems, Gurdjieff et al, with their almost total failure to detail what is THE fundamental pillar of the 4th Way – what we call Knowledge, Truth, Enlightenment even, which are all the same thing.
Why is it so hard to ‘get’ you ask? Because it requires some level of remembered intuitive experience just to relate to this, to even get started – until you ‘remember or ‘experience’ your first ‘Moment of Truth’, you are nowhere. Going forward without this ‘realization’ means Spiritual Practice is largely pointless, just a feel-good Spa for your tired mind and the worse case actually drains you, deflates you, makes you vulnerable. Most normal folks and even some Gifted NEVER get past this. Ever. Sometimes the failure is in them, but for the gifted it’s usually the failure of the teacher. But I love this stuff actually because it is hard, as that is the only way you EVER really learn ANYTHING worth ‘knowing’, you just have to accept you are going to fail sometimes.
Ultimately you need to know this stuff in order to learn how to ‘Try’ correctly. In many ways, this simple fact is the core of all spiritual practice, it’s what practice is ACTUALLY about – it’s the PROCESS OF LEARNING THAT MATTERS THE MOST, not this method or that one. See ‘Trying’ is a muscle that MUST get stronger in order to work, in order to ‘lift’ increasingly heavier ‘weights’ of Truth. Therefore it has to be hard, otherwise that muscle is not going to grow, and you will remain stuck where you are, at your current pathetic level of understanding.
Get this, IT HAS TO BE HARD, otherwise you won’t get better at it, YOU NEED THE RESISTANCE SO YOU CAN BUILD YOURSELF AGAINST IT. Learn to love all things when they are hard, cause its the only way to ‘grow’ – you have to adapt to hard tests to make this change, and that is the beginning of real progress, of becoming, of what some famous old American man referred to as the ‘Hero’s Journey’, of being your ‘Essence’. If you don’t learn to love this challenge, you will quit, give up like a fool, simply because you are weak-minded, because you are a slave, a product of a society that promotes leisure time as the end goal of life – you only Try when you ‘have to’, and you ‘learn’ to hate trying because of that. In reality, life works the other way round, as everyone finds out when their precious leisure time is ‘forced’ on them…
Now I’m going to be very honest with you now – this is a special type of post, a heavy hitter, a ‘magical’ post no less, because it HAS TO BE. It’s a post that actively pushes NEW Thought Patterns to help you LEARN about the POINT of Practice. If I don’t do this, use this type of repetitive intervention then it won’t work as you are PRECONDITIONED by Society to REJECT THIS, via your life experience and hence your existing thought patterns – society had made you lazy. If you can bring yourself to read this post 3 or 4 times, with breaks in between over the course of a week, it WILL REALLY HELP burn some ‘useful’ and highly ‘truthful’ patterns onto your mind, help you use the Associative Thinking disease to do some good, for once. I’ll write a special post about how Mental Patterns work separately, so nothing more for now, but please do accept my apologies for the style of this one – even in one-to-one teaching this is difficult.
Awful Truth – You, indeed most of the human race have forgotten how to Learn. Learning is a process that takes you from ‘Trying’ to ‘Doing’, which are completely different things. Read it again.. got that? Trying is a ‘Ritual’, while Doing is based on Knowing, the Greek concept of ‘GNOSIS’ – which is best described as an intuitive truth that hits you when you get close enough to it via some ‘routine’ of Trying, when you finally ‘Get It’, sometimes as a visceral ‘flash of insight’, sometimes as a slow ‘moment of clarity’, usually after you have finished the practice method. This is not Tennis, this is Spiritual Practice, and the point is to gain this permanent Gnosis, layer after layer of KNOWLEDGE.
So, where to start… Let’s kick this off by answering one of your questions – why do I always use the word ‘Gifted’, to describe folks with high Spiritual Potential?
Easy.. see the common English usage of the word Gifted is to describe people considered to be a ‘Virtuoso’ (Italian word that literally means you are highly skilled because you have Virtu) – folks with a musical, physical or mental skill that is WAY beyond ‘normal’, they are not just good, they are on a whole other level. See, unlike you, they have actually ‘used’ their Gift to get ‘Knowledge’, usually accidentally as a child, so they just KNOW what to do, they never really had to ‘learn’ a goddamn thing. Be clear about this – they never ‘learned’ the core skill they use to be Virtuosi, it was just ‘there’, they just KNEW how to DO it AT IT CORE one day, they then worked out the details of how to ‘act it out’, to model it for future use, later…
This is HOW the greatest minds of the modern age EXPERIENCED their Genius before they WORKED IT OUT later… Sir Issac Newton, the man who basically invented modern science, had a realization about Gravity while watching it in ‘Action’, he then worked out a model for it, in retrospect – he was a committed Alchemist, spending 90% of his time on the esoteric thought while walking round and round a walled garden. Einstein used his intense Creative Ability to set a free-running thought experiment in his imagination and then modeled the Theory of Relativity from what he ‘saw’ as its result – he had to employ someone much smarter than himself to actually do the maths. We lionize these people, make Demi-Gods of them, yet we are ‘taught’ that everyone is equal, so society imposes its one size fits all approach and conditions us with mental patterns that ‘dumb’ us all down, so we actually ‘become’ equal. Modern societies ‘Cursus Honorum’ for the ‘people’ is simply getting famous and then rich, no need to achieve anything, get smarter/better anymore, much as the Romans made exactly the same mistake..
The phrase ‘To Be Gifted’ really means you are capable of a ‘higher level of consciousness’, where real Knowledge actually ‘is’, but YOU still think knowledge is something you got ‘given’ at school or ‘watch’ on a screen. Your Gift is meant to be ‘used’ to make you better, it’s EVOLUTION at its finest, but you just chase ‘sensation’, whilst occasionally being ‘forced’ to learn other people’s opinions off by heart, little better than one of Pavlov’s pets, happy to ‘drool’ into your supper bowl. You COULD be what we used to call a ‘Polymath’, you could use ‘your’ higher level of consciousness to teach yourself to be good at EVERYTHING, in time. See the REAL Cursus Honorum in this world is to develop YOUR Personal Excellence via Spiritual Development (not momentary fame and financial gain), should you be ABLE to LEARN how to do it.
And that is the whole problem… Right now you don’t really know how to ‘LEARN’, do you… You think simply repeating stuff over and over again in order to remember it IS LEARNING…. The modern school system in the Western world has screwed you good and proper, taught you the WRONG WAY to learn. Worse, it’s made you think you know stuff by remembering layer upon layer of thought ‘models’, made you think you ‘UNDERSTAND’ stuff, and that’s the same as KNOWING stuff. It’s NOT – ‘Knowing’ is about ‘Truth’, not tedious opinion, and is an order of magnitude ABOVE ‘Understanding’. Worst of ALL, because of all this memory test crap, you think learning is ‘boring’, so you avoid it like the fecking plague..
And where spiritual practice is concerned that almost stops your progress before you have even started because you think if you just ‘remember’ how to ‘perfect that method’, remember it correctly, do it often enough, focus on it intently, you will learn how to ‘DO’. You have been taught that ‘Trying’ is actually just a rough and ready version of ‘Doing’, that once you practice the method of Trying, you basically ‘know’ how to Do – they are the same, you just need to repeat that same method, until you are amazing at it, which you call ‘Doing’, when in reality you are still stuck just ‘Trying’. And your Trying is ‘Failing’.
If that was not bad enough, you think that ‘thinking’ is just whatever the hell comes into your head after you or your teacher ‘inserts’ a thought into that little brainbox of yours. You ‘think’ thinking is something you control, yet in reality, you are simply listening to a movie of all the crap you have already seen or remembered, via the pattern of light and shade it casts over everything – your mind is just relating this current thought to a remembered one, to whatever existing patterns of remembered thought ‘matter’ at some level to you overall or just happen to be at the front of your mind right now… You are doomed to repeat these same patterns in your life over and over again because of ‘weakness of mind’.
Now, this is one of the key topics to cover at the start, as it cuts to the core of so much that you think you already ‘KNOW’. Most folks don’t like being told that the vast majority of what they accept as ‘Truth’ or ‘Real’ is really just ‘Opinion’, because you have no first-hand experience of it. See in this life you either actually ‘KNOW’ or you are probably just lying to yourself. But ‘you’ cannot tell.. you don’t yet know that all genuine Knowledge has a feeling component, comes with a visceral sensation of some kind – it is not ‘dry’ as dust. See, genuinely knowledge is not actually ‘factual’, it’s ‘Goal’ orientated – it’s actually a mechanism. As any decent Zen master will tell you, it’s a really GOOD idea to start to DOUBT everything you ‘think’ you ‘know’, even if you still have to use it – shaking up your patterns a bit really helps to lessen the continual self-deception.
Don’t get me wrong, you may have a vague but very fond memory of this, from once upon a time, indeed many of the unschooled gifted ‘chase’ intense sensations all their bloody lives – trying, in some small way, to recapture the feeling of ‘Knowing’ they had as a young child, the feeling of Truth that made them giggle like happy little babies. Nowadays you just ‘gamble’ with the intense thrill of the ‘real’, cause nobody taught you this stuff was important in the classroom – you have simply forgotten the purpose of it. Your Spiritual journey has got well and truly stuck, barely out of the starting blocks cause no one was there to show you.. Take ‘heart’ however, that hedonistic love of ‘deep’, complex sensation, gives you a massive head start over all the emotional ‘dead’ religious types, scared of their own deep dark ‘shadows’, who judge you over the rim of their glasses whilst feeling good about NOT really feeling anything anymore, except perhaps a certain quiet desperation.
The ability to actually ‘KNOW’ is one of the biggest differences between normal folks and the Gifted at any real level – even though the same system works for both, the gifted have way more ‘access’ to it. So, much as anyone can be (Re) taught to have ‘Moments of Creativity’, only the Gifted can be taught to have genuine ‘Moments of Truth’ – gifted folks actually tend to be way more creative from birth. Yes, the Gifted can be taught to KNOW the difference between Right and Wrong, Truth or Lies, Good or Bad intuitively… how things feel ‘strong’ or ‘weak’. Just as long as you don’t lie to yourself, don’t ‘pretend’ to Know – you must become aware that all remembered facts presented as ‘True’ are really just ‘Opinions’ until you ‘verify’ them, 1st hand OR discover the ACTUAL TRUTH.
Now, this is LONG post, a repetitive post because it has to be, plus it may be one of the most important things you ever read, even if you don’t decide to progress on this path. I have gone out of my way to ram EVERYTHING you need to at least ‘understand’ the journey into Learning into this post – it’s a multi-layered ball buster that has to work on 3 different levels. So, before you start the rest of this text, you need to do some prep – find a quiet space by yourself, no distractions, no screens, turn your phone off and settle down…
So let’s tell you the number 1 reason virtually no one makes any progress on otherwise genuine spiritual paths without correct guidance, even with genuine (if often half-assed) methods in this day and age, the reason even the highly gifted fail without a teacher – YOU ARE DOING IT ALL WRONG. You simply don’t know what the goal of Learning is AND you don’t know how to do it, how to ‘really’ Learn.
This is how you LEARN – there is an ‘air gap’ between Trying and Doing that has to be ‘jumped’, in some way, otherwise you are still just Trying. For modern folks its best to think that Trying IS THE COST of Doing, its an exchange of value, just of 2 different types – you ‘buy’ Doing, that Knowledge or Skill with the right kind of Ritual of Trying. Otherwise, the best you will ever do is ‘Understand’ conceptually, and that is just a form of lying to yourself, of pretending to KNOW. Trying as you currently use it is simply a concept in your imagination you attempt to ‘act’ out, while Doing is ‘REAL’, indeed conscious Doing actually IS THE FEELING of the real… One more time – TRYING is NOT DOING, the specific Ritual of Trying is the PRICE of Doing you HAVE TO PAY, the fee for the KNOWLEDGE that enables you to DO.
Get in your head now, for the Gifted LIFE IS A TEST, and you have to pass, you really, REALLY do. But, this TEST IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS – a test is NOT remembering FACTS in the correct order or forcing yourself to ‘act’ correctly. A Test is learning to jump between ‘remembering’ something and actually ‘knowing’ something instinctively – you finally GET IT, it HITS. So in the wonderful world of Spiritual Practice, we embrace that concept, we love the ‘fact’ that you have to pass ‘Tests’ to progress, it’s where you ‘live’ now… If you don’t pass these tests the best you can EVER do is simply act out stuff you are taking on ‘faith’, and that’s no fun is it? Without passing TESTS you are just bouncing along the bottom of the x-axis, like a fecking moron, repeating yourself all day every bloody day, repeating facts, most of which are wrong. Yes, you are actually lying to yourself while feeling good about remembering facts, indeed ANY old facts repeated often enough actually become your ‘Truth’ and that is just BLOODY RIDICULOUS. It is CRUCIAL to be honest with yourself about the difference between Knowledge and Opinion if you want to develop the ability to KNOW, otherwise your next TRUTH will simply be ‘chosen’ by your existing ‘Truths’, their thought patterns – what ‘confirmation bias’ actually is.
Right now you, like every unschooled Gifted person in the world who thinks they ‘Know’ lots of crap, have simply fallen into the science delusion of UNDERSTANDING something, which is simply remembering layer upon layer of facts as models that you use to figure out what will ‘most likely’ happen. Now that’s useful, essential day-to-day even, but it’s NOT KNOWLEDGE, you are just remembering facts in a pattern. You may ‘understand’ that if you wire up the socket this way and then connect to the mains that way and insert a bulb then the light will most likely come out of it, BUT YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHY THE LIGHT COMES ON, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ELECTRICITY EVEN IS, you just ‘remember’ the model you were taught for it. Understanding is just another word for a conceptual memory that you can re-use on different scenarios, it’s NOT KNOWLEDGE. Face it, pretty much everything you ‘know’ is a rough old conceptual model AND NOT REAL. Ok?
This is a BIG PROBLEM for modern people, see for some folks, ‘you’, are so BLOCKED by this, you cannot even start spiritual practice, you cannot relate to it AT ALL. You need to be FORCED into it. But no one can do that for you, you have to push a little, by understanding why you can’t bring yourself to Try right now, and then use that to help you start, to ‘go against yourself’.. Its really not your fault, none of this is, but it is your problem, and should you be Gifted you have EVERYTHING TO GAIN AND NOTHING TO LOSE.
But, you moan.. ‘damn, all of this is really hard isn’t it?’ Yes, but that does not matter….you just need to truly get it – ONCE. Quick example for you – pour a glass of iced water and take a sip.. NOW YOU ‘KNOW’ what COLD is, as a (very) basic, relative form of KNOWLEDGE.. All you need to do for now is just try and ‘remember’ the difference between someone explaining Cold conceptually and ACTUALLY EXPERIENCING IT YOURSELF. See ‘Truth’ has a feeling, a sensation, but ‘understanding’ is just a conceptual memory – it is IMAGINARY, it is NOT REAL, IT IS NOT GNOSIS. If it were only that easy to explain the rest of this eh? BTW, you would be amazed at just how many gifted folks ‘love’ the sensations of eating and drinking, way more than the actual ‘taste’ of the food, go figure.
Ok, let’s explain some basics, shall we… You need to ‘Feel’ what you Know, for it to be true Gnosis, otherwise you don’t know – all true Gnosis has a Visceral quality, strong or weak. Got that? When you know how to ride a bike you don’t need to continually practice it, ride around in a circle for 2min a day in case you forget, YOU KNOW THE FEEL OF HOW TO RIDE IT. And you never have to practice that skill again. Anybody can do that should they put the ‘effort’ in as a child, before your head is full of other people’s crap, however next you have a moment Try and balance on a stationary bike without moving at all for more than 3 or 4 secs, as that is on the ‘next’ level – see there is no gyroscopic effect to help your ass out now.
Ever noticed a child trying to walk? Does not look much like ‘walking’ does it…. And it won’t until they ‘get’ walking, until one day they can stand up and do it. First, an adult pulls them up on the feet and gently holds them up, before slowly letting go to see if they can do it by themselves, and repeats over and over and over again, until one day they can balance, and then, sometime later they can put one foot in front of the other. And then, magically, they ‘get’ it, they FEEL IT. They remember what they ‘got’ and suddenly, they are walking fine. Now, you think a toddler ‘thought that through’, ‘studied’ all the variables and muscle groups, asked questions for clarification..? Their memory lasts no more than a min at that age, so how can they ‘learn’ like you do? Easy, they don’t, they learn it the RIGHT way because they know how to ‘try’ subconsciously. They can learn to do things they could never ‘understand’ at the time.. So yep, real spiritual practice is about acquiring skills that are on the same level as learning how to walk for the first time. It’s NOT about remembering ‘your’ crap or perfecting something you can already basically do.
Burn this into your mind now – for the vast majority of people today, spiritual practice is little more than daydreaming, cause they have forgotten how to Try, how to Think and recognize how to Do – we have forgotten how to Learn. All we have is badly translated method from books, where we actually ignore all the other bits of ‘meaningless ritual’, or so we think. But ‘You’ have become stuck on ‘Method’, this one or that, with no thought to the routine the method needs, and how the overall Process actually works, what a ‘result’ actually is. You are always looking for something different cause the one you have does not seem to work that well, so you change it, And then again. So everything you do becomes partial, becomes a small bit of actually what you should be doing, just the bits you like, the core, the cool stuff, without realizing that all of this stuff HAS TO WORK TOGETHER, in order to work at all.
See ‘you’ are treating Spiritual Practice as a HOBBY, you approach it mentally as if it’s something to Pass the Time of Day, in a partial, half-assessed kinda way. You cherry-pick the bits you ‘like’ out of gardening, or cycling or cooking, you are simply reading a book and skipping to the interesting bits, following this bit of it. And you think you just need to go on and on, doing the same things, and you will be spiritual, enlightened even.. And you are very wrong. At best you may relax a little, even calm the fuck down from a bad day, at worst you will zone out and go off god knows where in your little imagination, little more than a passenger staring out the back window..
Before Gnosis (this type of ‘knowing’) happens, everything you think you know is simply remembering information that you have forced into the same old ‘patterns’, which is probably the greatest curse of the modern world. This fills your head with other people’s crap to overflowing, with page after page of shit that is no bloody use to you, causing death by ‘Associative Thinking’ – simple pattern matching of this thought to other similar things you already fucking remembered, which happens ‘automatically’, outside of your control, like it’s a new ‘thought’ popping into your head. It’s not, it’s little more than daydreaming and useless spiritually, uncontrolled imagination, and that’s is BAD. The dominance of this mind state makes it almost impossible for you to pay attention to what you are doing for little more than a few seconds, you little just have another thought and then another one, and you are gone……. ‘Hey, whats the method again?’ you say…
A key part of this understanding is just how deadly Associative Thinking is when not controlled. See right now even if you have some little level of understanding of this, YOU still think ‘hey, that’s not so bad, I just have a library of thoughts I can choose from and I can learn to pick the ones I want’. NO, YOU CAN’T. YOUR PATTERNS ARE CONNECTED TOGETHER, you cannot easily mix and match them – YOUR PATTERNS ARE A CHAIN THAT BINDS YOU, YOU CANNOT THINK OUTSIDE THEM, NEW THOUGHTS WILL SIMPLY NOT COME, at the start. When you start to get genuine moments of self-awareness at the beginning a very eerie moment will occur, a moment when you are conscious you are simply acting out your programming BUT YOU CAN DO NOTHING TO ELSE, YOU CAN ONLY STOP IT, DECIDE TO DO NOTHING AT ALL. Get this – your patterns are ‘on rails’, they simply play out in the direction your thoughts are heading, YOU DON’T GET TOO CHOOSE. But if you keep at it you will slowly develop the ability to STOP THEM IN THE MOMENT, and then you are ready…
Worse than this, those patterns are what you currently use to ‘Try’, to read and then relate everything you have read to something you have done before – you subtly change all the teaching and methods in line with something that is similar, that you ‘understand’, remember conceptually. So, no matter how hard you try, you are trying with existing patterns that will actually make it worse, take way longer, the harder you Try. Because you are ‘clever’, you think that this advice is like something else and then something else too, so you are going to do this, instead. You don’t even follow what you are told, the actual method, you do a personal version of it, and then you focus on that and ‘try really hard’ – total madness.
How is this disaster possible, you wail..? Lots of dumbing down of society in order to ‘level it’. For example in the UK, just after the WW2, some clever fool thought the modern education system should dispense with the services of Logic (how to think) and Rhetoric (how to speak), just not socialist enough.. we threw away the Greeks at their very best, at their most insightful, at a level of quiet genius that can only really be approached in retrospect. They replaced this with remembering facts, and letting the kids figure out how to think and talk for themselves. It’s probably the greatest mistake in the history of education ever, and a curse on the youth of today – hard to believe that modern children are less well educated than the Greeks of 2500 years ago..!
But some of you are looking cautiously at the back door out of this post, cause you read about Logic (say Inductive and Deductive reasoning) and Rhetoric (say Ethos/Pathos/Logos), somewhere, long ago, and well… there was nothing earth-shattering in that stuff, you think. And perhaps you are right, BUT it’s not the content of those processes that matter, it’s that they actually force you to THINK CORRECTLY, to use your mind in a highly directed fashion. That is the genius of that system, of all real controlled systems of thought you engage prior to the act of thinking. Otherwise, you are not really Thinking, it’s that simple. And BTW, never talk down Logic and Rhetoric again, as I doubt that what you learned to do as a kid is even in the same fecking ballpark…
THIS IS THE KEY POINT- we have a ‘mental block’ to correct spiritual learning, generated by the dominance Associative Thinking has on us from our previous life experience. Yep, that is the reason behind the essential need for GNOSIS, for insight that comes in a flash, out of the Blue. At the start, this is the ONLY way to consciously make progress. You cannot get there logically, you cannot ‘think’ your way there, to spiritual skill. It’s impossible because the mechanisms you are using to make take this journey, to ‘learn’ in the classroom sense of it are themselves corrupted… When you are dominated by Associative Thinking, your thoughts just appear in your head because they are following on from what you have thought before. They are a pattern-matching device, that links this thought with the next thought BECAUSE ITS A SIMILAR PATTERN in some small way, weighted in priority order by your baseline desires, its emotional content…
It’s hard to believe but it’s true – you can only really think about what you have thought about before, only really see what you have seen before, only really understand (match) what you have understood before. These patterns filter everything that comes in the ‘door’, literally discarding anything that doesn’t broadly fit – yes, there are things happening right in front of you that you don’t even see. But very young children can see them, they have not really accepted any patterns yet, forced any filters on their minds, that’s why children often become entranced by things that are not there…
BUT ‘you’ are not a child anymore, your Ego is running the show now, and your Ego has NEVER RECOGNISED spiritual insight before, so ‘you’, consciously have NO IDEA, NOTHING TO ASSOCIATE IT WITH. Indeed, if your Ego has developed to a high degree, is very dominant (if you identify with it completely) your Ego will actively reject Gnosis, reject stuff that even other people can see happening to you, plain as day. See your Ego has the controls of you, it’s supposed to be your Automatic Pilot, however right now it’s ‘the monkey on your back’, that’s off its head and just in it for giggles.. Therefore genuine knowledge HAS TO come ‘out of the blue’, when enough pressure is applied, when enough work on the correct method is done. Get it? Your Ego is no bloody help to you at all with this one.. The only way to know what you don’t know is for it to be a ‘Revelation’. You can encourage it to come with a decent method, you can read the right books, look at the right pictures, and implant the patterns it adheres to, is part of, as those correct patterns lead you to it. But it has to come by itself, it has to show up as GNOSIS, as that is the only possible way it can happen, for modern people.
So, you ‘understand’ – ‘Trying’ is not ‘Doing’, because Doing needs GNOSIS as an Insight to tell you its correct. Trying is a method where you ‘discover’ the real mechanisms of Doing by preparing the way, establishing a new pattern as a model, using ‘imitation’, still actually faking it. Doing is what you do when you ‘Know’ what to do, for you, and therefore no longer need to fake it, you can just let it happen by itself – you no longer need to engage with any process that is designed to help you, to ‘try’. You can take off the training wheels, remove the scaffolding – the ‘concrete’ of preparation you poured into the rough old ‘mold’ of method has now ‘crystallized’ into the actual shape of your goal, of actual ‘Doing’, all by itself.
You can throw the former away now, as long as you have learned the key trick of identifying the FEEL of the weight of the shape of correct ‘doing’ – that certain ‘something’ that instinctively feels ‘right’, when it happens or hits you a few times, as that is the correct Doing. Don’t ignore these instinctive feelings cause they were not what you expected, cause you were focused on the Trying ‘Procedure’ – a set routine, a set method, and a set goal. Yes, you are ‘sitting’ in the classroom of practice but the whole point of that classroom is to graduate. Indeed, never delude yourself that you are ‘doing’ when you are still trying, way at the back of the room, all by yourself, cause that’s just stupid – its the first of several big traps along this path, one of the most deadly as it happens at the start, but in many ways the easiest to avoid – the FEELING OF CORRECT DOING is usually VERY different to the feeling of Trying.
How to Try, the basis of every type of method is a big topic in spirituality cause you need to try ‘right’ to get anywhere, even for the heavily gifted – at the start ‘How You Try’ is where you ‘live’, what gives you security and courage to continue. Opinions of how to do this vary hugely in the world of spiritual types and traditions, with the hugely detailed, insanely repetitive, over the top processes of the Daoists, the often prolonged and seemingly meaningless ritual of the Buddhists to the almost no method whatsoever, deeply frustrating Zen stuff, where they tell you just to aim for something or other, then go get on with it (by yourself) now, a process that is actually designed to ‘frustrate’ you, to generate emotion. Along with these genuine traditions we have the Western Corporate curse that is Mindfulness, the slotted in routine of ‘zoning out’ to the sound of running water maybe, where the method is little more than ‘try to relax’. Westerners have complained for years that even Daoist levels of instruction can be so vague as to be next to useless in our modern classroom style of teaching, (remembering detailed sets of information ‘off by heart’), completely missing the point that these methods HAVE TO BE VAGUE in order to accommodate all the different ways into the actual Doing, including the one that is right for you, personally.
All VERY confusing then.. but if you can remember that information is not knowledge, the instinctive knowledge we are talking about here (‘Gnosis’ is not about Facts), it’s about Feeling Truth – recognizing certain new feelings, then remembering what happened, while latching on to ‘how to feel that way again’, then there is hope…
But, as we all know, there is a big difference between reading those instructions and being able to do them. In the words of the Wachowskis, put in the mouth of Morpheus to Neo -‘Cmon, stop ‘trying’ to hit me and Hit Me.’ Indeed if you are not careful, focusing on ‘trying to hit me’ is just going to get in the way for quite a long time, as getting really good at ‘trying’ is the same as getting really good at ‘failing’. You are not trying to ‘perfect’ trying, you are using trying to get close enough to ‘doing’ that you simply ‘stumble’ onto the correct method of doing via the associated feeling, and hence realize, via the identification of that feeling as a ‘tell’, what you need to do, because you must ‘know’ the difference before you move from one to the other in Spirituality, otherwise you are wasting your time, usually performing the same garbage you think is 100% correct, or winging it/making it up as you go along or simply trying to perfect trying, as they are the most common issues.
Sadly MOST organized Western interpretations of Eastern spiritual techniques fall into the category of ‘trying to perfect trying’, the (usually poor) method of practice actually becomes the goal and is the central reason most folks never really get anywhere, then leave and slag off spirituality forevermore, Wim Hof style.. Most people practicing by themselves end up Winging It, as most of you seem to have done… However, know if you are gifted you can start learning any new skill with TOTAL CONFIDENCE, cause when you can both ‘try correctly’ and ‘focus on’ what the result looks like in a meaningful way, then you can learn the correct way do anything. For now just know that the vague, incorrect method you practice at the beginning, where you try different approaches and styles of this same method, is designed to help you find the correct method of doing ‘by fortuitous accident’, the first type of Gnosis, so you can THEN learn to perform this action instinctively because that is how it ‘wants’ to happen. You MUST pay CLOSE attention to what happens during practice to ensure you both notice this new method of doing when it happens to you, and switch over to it quickly, as it is often totally unexpected.
All this is only really hard at the beginning, and I’m going to explain the Zen concept of Kufu to you, of ‘striving’, of ‘great doubt’, of actually using that frustration with the vague method, with the knowledge you are doing it wrong, to achieve rapid progress. You NEED to find it frustrating and can therefore be happy about being frustrated, welcome it into your practice with a smile on your face, as its the Golden Ticket to the school of Rapid Enlightenment. Indeed this shortcut is the reason Zen types don’t bother fussing over ‘method’ too much, they focus on using your gift almost 100%, while Buddhists are happy to simply set up the conditions and wait…. often for a very long time, because mainstream Buddhism has become dominated by a priestly caste…
Going forward the best way of ‘starting’ is to be consciously involved in everything you do, ‘really into it’, every little detail, as many of the more average types don’t.. As a colleague of mine says to his pupils – you would never confuse ‘trying’ to learn how to balance a stationary bicycle with actually balancing a stationary bicycle, you keep ‘trying’ to ‘stop falling over’ until you no longer even ‘start’ to ‘fall over’, until you can actually do it… until you can PERFORM. When you don’t have to try anymore, the whole process of ‘trying’ literally disappears, because the method of ‘doing’ and the method of ‘trying’ are VERY different, but you don’t ‘know’ that, you won’t find the method of ‘doing’ spiritually until you try with the right quality of effort. I know it’s a subtle difference in your ear right now but once you get used to it there is little or no ambiguity – the method of trying is dominated by the continual checking and correcting of mistakes, in the method of doing you don’t actually make mistakes, so there is no need to check..
This is the reason all Zen masters tell you not to try too hard, as by definition ‘trying hard’ is focusing on Trying it wrong – there is NO right trying, Trying is an approximation of value you want to exchange for Doing. The more of that value you generate ‘correctly’ the better your chance of some high-value Gnosis. Trying is an intermediate step, and if you focus too hard on the method of trying you will stop the method of doing ‘coming’ to you – you must wait until the right way ‘finds’ you, in how every many iterations that takes. The difference between trying and doing is a ‘jump’ in the spiritual sense. The knowledge of how to actually do something comes over you, hits you when you have tried and failed to do it a few times using a focused EMOTIONAL EFFORT, that is how this works, you must CARE about your GOAL in your attempts to make that ‘jump’, you DON’T CARE ABOUT THE METHOD – the method will not work directly, by definition, the method works later, indirectly…
So the real trick is to use ‘frustration/focus’ on the ‘goal of the effort’, on what you imagine it would ‘seem’ like NOT the method itself, cause that is just a placeholder you are ready to throw away at the first sign of the real thing. Indeed its fine to actually do the method of trying in quite an ‘off-hand’, ‘thoughtless’ way, to stop becoming attached to this or that method of trying, to try lots of different ways, as that will speed up the process.
Believe me, the reason happy people seem way better, even ‘luckier’ than you is that they do everything in a spirit of ambivalent, ‘positive care’, what Buddhists call ‘compassion’ or ‘loving-kindness’ as that is the actual point of that state. They are ‘ambivalent’ to the process of trying, as they know it’s crap, but they focus on using their power in a positive way on what they actually want to happen.. Get it? This is not Desire in the way you understand it, as that is often driven by the feeling of ‘lack’, which is negative and tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy as you end up focusing on NOT having it as a GOAL, so you NEVER have it. I know you don’t yet have the sophistication to use 2 different types of feeling at the same time, to use positive care (feeling of relief in your body) and frustration (focused pressure in your chest or head), but it is to do with 2 completely different elements you have previously identified in your mind – Method and Goal, or ‘Trying’ and ‘Doing’.
And it’s actually quite easy – you TRY the METHOD, but you FOCUS your mind on the GOAL of DOING, because your teacher should be ‘good’ enough to tell you what that is for ‘you’, at whatever stage you are at.
As we near the end of this post now it’s important to ‘understand’ we on the Left-Hand path make a BIG DEAL of BOTH the STATE of PRACTICING AND the STATE of KNOWING. As an example when you ‘practice’ playing a piece of classical music in a dark room, chopping and changing styles, stopping and starting, adjusting, its a very different experience to sitting in front of an audience and actually ‘performing’ the whole thing well. We mean you are thinking of ‘putting on the performance’, NOT how to play the instrument, (cause you know how to do that, having ‘paid the price’ with correct Trying), you are working at a whole other level now. YOU ‘feel the audience’ WAY MORE than you ‘feel the technique’ in this State.
This is the 10th Secret, the next step from seeing ALL Spirituality as a form of Practice you ‘fit in’, to it becoming a type of ‘Being’ you ‘live in’, as your everyday normal state. We recognize that this everyday ‘Knowing’ state is VERY DIFFERENT and you NEED to start to switch over to it even BEFORE ITS ‘CONTENT’ ARRIVES, in order to help that content arrive. We call this State PERFORMING, and you will need to get used to it – it’s the state you use to actively invite Gnosis into your life, rather than just ignore it, as you do now. One of the huge failures of both ancient and modern spirituality at a teaching level is the failure to prepare students for when and how the Gnosis moment takes place, it’s left hanging in the air so to speak, and that is just rubbish. We can help, should you make it that far..
Take heart, however, much as I know that was a brutal post, to end it I’m going to give you some, well ‘a lot’ of hope. See with the groundwork you have done with the Ride already, and with the 2 Magic tricks to GNOSIS where anyone Gifted can make progress very quickly, as hinted at above. They just need to use those little tricks on themselves to get the head start they so richly deserve..
Summary – Trying is the PRICE of Doing, the cost of the car of GNOSIS that you use to drive to the goal, trying is the cash you pay to get your first old Fiat Panda of knowledge, before trading it up, over and over again, with more and more cash, until you eventually own a shiny convertible Bentley, and just ride around ‘sitting in the hot sun, feeling like a someone’. RIDING Shotgun, no less. But first, you must DECIDE WHAT CAR YOU WANT GIVEN THE FEW YOU CAN AFFORD RIGHT NOW, then get the cash together and find your way to the bloody garage. Don’t go aiming for a Lambo out of the box, it will take forever to get that kinda brass together, a small Audi does everyone fine at the start. As my old dad used to say – a ‘Beer wallet’ (The Practice State) just buys more Beer, a ‘Champagne wallet’ (The Performing State) buys any bloody thing you want..
For the 7th Secret I will detail the layer cake of practice in a more rigid and understandable way, so for now just remember that a specific Spiritual Practice is a UNIVERSITY DEGREE – it is a type, a form of study, it is not the knowledge itself, it is the principal mechanism you are using to get that Knowledge, develop skill. There are many types of Spiritual Practice, including the Right-Hand paths favorite, the Devotional approach which we loath, but several others will figure on the Left-Hand path later should you ever get that far, should you be able to do a Masters, even a PHD…
For now, know that everything you are aiming at is a FORM OF GNOSIS. You engage in studying various courses under that Degree, month after month by using certain Procedures, covering certain topics, regularly sitting down in the classroom, attending seminars, practicals, including using a Method as part of a fixed Routine to make rapid progress with your studies. You are assessed with Tests during this whole Course, both in the class and doing your coursework offline, both little tests to help you learn and big ones when you get to the end, all of which you have to pass to graduate. You attend the class by Trying correctly, before waiting for the results. Typically your test results always get posted on the notice board of your mind via the ‘Gnosis Moment’ in this case, when they are good and ready, so there is no need to worry about that during the study session itself. Good news, there is no fixed term, you can graduate as soon as you have passed, whether that is 1 day or 1 year later. However, you MUST follow the Yellow Brick Road, at your own personal pace, use the sequence of steps up the ladder of Knowledge as they are ‘presented to you’. There is nothing sadder to watch than even the Highly Gifted aiming so far ahead at the beginning that they literally ignore all the seemingly unrelated ‘Gnosis Moments’ that are actually trying to help them open their own front door… Pay Attention or Fail.
To finish, as I’ve said I’m going to give you a routine you can use over and over to do this, to engage the correct Spiritual Practice via the routine of ‘Power Over Your Self’. I’m not going to give you all the goals, you must work on them per the method you use – there are little of hundreds of them at the start, many will happen without you even noticing. But I’m going to explain a nice easy 3 step system to use for every method you ever practice, for all your trying, that fits within the structure of Trying to learn how to Do, to use GNOSIS as a Spiritual Practice in a basic sense, the only thing really worth having when you start the Left-Hand path. Why is that you ask? Cause when you experience this, say have a ‘moment of clarity’ or 2, you will never ever question the authenticity of this again – you will be hooked on getting to know ‘yourself’.
So please keep an eye out for the Secret, it’s a life-changing one. Hopefully, it will be one of the greatest things you ever learn – The 7th Secret, Spiritual Practice of Gnosis. What you Try, via the whole Procedure, is developing ‘Power Over Yourself’ in a highly directed way, and this is the KEY STATE you need, as its the beginning of the State of Performing ALL THE TIME. The rest follows automatically, in a way that is personal to you. BTW – I know at this stage you have not got used to the layer cake of meaning that is the definition of spiritual Practice and Performing, that many things are part of others things, and then both higher and lower layers exist. I’ll give you a ‘modern’ working model and define the terms in the way we use them when I post the 7th Secret, promise. I’ll also do a Key Lessons post on Levels of Consciousness, and different types of Spiritual Practice, as I can be pretty sure those questions are going to be asked…
Good news – the initial Procedure for this Practice is easy, should you be Gifted. Bad news if you are not it may ‘sting’ a little, to the point that you both won’t be able to do it and it will slowly become so uncomfortable that you will have to stop. See for normal people, this stuff requires you to have some reasonable amount of power AT THE START, cause I’m not going to help you develop that separately. So, no breath work, no sitting practice, no yoga, no alchemy of any kind – you are going straight in the pool here, you need to swim. I’ll give you a rubber ring to hold onto, stop you drowning, but that won’t help you swim – only you can do that.
To end this one… yeah I get it, 8500 words later you are more than a little confused, so to put a pin in this one until you return…
Please take these last couple of bits seriously.. You will FEEL way more Gnosis Moments if you simply spend as much time as possible in a high feeling, highly sensitive state, building the ‘sensitivity’ in yourself that some call an Artistic State – WITHOUT ‘ACTING OUT’ YOUR EMOTIONS. This PERFORMING state invites Gnosis ‘in’ – without it Gnosis is going to have to yell at you before you even notice it, let alone recognize it for what it is – BE READY. If you remember to LIVE in the FEELING of Power Over Yourself, the entry point to this State, then so much which currently seems impossible to your self-obsessed little mind is so easy it’s actually addictive, which is why I structured it this way, as a positive feedback loop. You Ride along on the top of this State, which is actually what the ‘The RIDE’ is.. get it. The next set of 3 Secrets, 8/9/10 are all about developing the Performance State in yourself, via the use of your Libido.. yep there was a good reason for the Sex speech right at the beginning of the ‘Ride’.
And, be certain of this – however useful the ‘pretence’ of ‘Understanding’, of Attachment and Associative Pattern Matching/Filtering is in the here and now, it’s a MASSIVE MISTAKE spiritually speaking to Accept Facts as Knowledge – it actually stops real knowledge from showing up at all. Just accept that you don’t know shit right now, and keep your opinions about external things to yourself, they will soon disappear as you realize they are all total bollocks. See Real Knowledge struggles to appear through layer upon layer of incorrect mental patterns, of lies and opinions – those false patterns smother it like a wet blanket. Even your experience of GNOSIS is dramatically lessened by them, with some its becomes little more than a random thought you have never ‘thought’ before, disconnected from the normal chain, and hence ignored – a habit that is almost impossible to break. Gifted Children have Gnosis moments all the time cause there is nothing there yet to stop them, while you don’t even recognize the ones that are literally screaming at you…
For now, as far as you can, empty your head of pointless crap, unrelated facts, opinions of others, external judgments, interests, domestic details, far away memories, and future daydreams – do an information cleanse. Starting to doubt everything you think you know also helps and is a mainstay of the Zen Kufu ritual. The Strength of Character you need for the Gnosis moment is dramatically improved by a Simplicity of Memory, so stop forcing random crap into your head that does not concern you every fecking day from screens, from social media. Ignore the shit that is in the way, seek out what you want, HAVE A GOAL, and ALWAYS tell yourself what it is, and I mean Speak It To YOURSELF, OWN IT, even if it’s just finding your fecking Keys – out loud or under your breath, it doesn’t matter which. Use the help of the Real as it’s supposed to be used, not as a fantasy, a daydream – you are not 12, and you are not in Kansas now Dorothy, living your life all dazed and confused is actually quite dangerous..
One last one before I go.. The Ritual of Trying is a Mechanism designed to Generate a Specific Type of Energetic Value which ‘you’ then Consciously Direct At your Goal, Causing the Knowledge of Doing To Happen to You By Exchanging That Value For It. You need to be Ready and Able to FEEL these Gnosis Moments, particularly at the start when they are subtle, if you are not then all that Value is Wasted, until Next Time.
Like that one? I thought it was nice. See you can NEVER develop spiritual skill directly via simulation, you have to ‘PAY’ for it, should you have the money, which is what your gift is for – YOUR GIFT CAN BE USED AS SPIRITUAL MONEY. All Ritual and Method is really just about discovering and following links on the web to this shop or that one, however once there you’ll need the cash to actually order anything, before waiting for it to arrive in the ‘post’. Really helps if you know how to enjoy Suffering as well, but that’s for another time – how to focus ‘intensely’ on your Goal, driven by suffering, is one of the few areas where the Desperate have actually got you beat, but it’s an easy one to learn.
Quote to end as always – the OG of Greek Philosophers no less, the man even Socrates looked up to – the ‘weeping philosopher’ as they called him in his day..
‘If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.’ – Heraclitus