The Art of Consciousness: Three Tips for the Crazy in You
I wouldn’t recommend the pursuit of consciousness to anyone.
I would not have chosen it for myself. I didn’t. It chose me. If it hasn’t called your number yet, don’t worry. It will, eventually.
It will draft you from your small life and make impossible demands. You will say,“No.” You will say, “It can’t be done.” You will say, “I don’t want to,” and it will laugh at your naiveté.
It will speak to you in symbols: a language you don’t know. It will shake the stable earth. It will break your mirrors and douse your life with gasoline. It will light your spirit on fire. You will die and give birth to yourself in the same instant, again and again.
You will remember that Shakespeare was right: all the world is a stage. You will wonder why you’ve been playing so small a part. For an instant you will be ecstatic.
You will attempt to embrace your epic proportions and then the phone will ring and you will collapse back into your tiny character, hopelessly.
You will question your sanity. Constantly. You will conclude that you are crazy. Then, correct. Then, crazy. Then, brilliant. Then crazy…
You will remember you are God, experiencing. Then you will remember you are Sally or Jane or Joe: weeping, screaming, slaving. You will ask yourself again, if you are delusional. You will wonder why God has bad credit, narcissistic relationships, or a desk job she hates.
You’ll wonder what kind of cruel joke this world is, and yearn for a home you can only remember by feel: fuzzy, glowing golden, drenched in light. You’ll find gratitude for your suffering. You will also realize that suffering has no value.
Out of your wailing, flailing despair you will realize that your love has been inverted.
You will see that you contain all opposites and spend many years trying to figure out which one is true, and snuff out the one you believe to be a lie. You will try to murder yourself, and fail. You will change your mind and reverse your strategy. And again.
This tactic is a pendulum shaped like an axe that swings wild and wide. This is how you will die the death of a thousand cuts.
When you grow bored of bleeding out, you will decide you are great enough to contain all opposites. You will attempt to love them, equally. But you won’t. You will conclude that good and evil is an opinion. You will begin to question how your opinions have developed.
You will keep some, discard others.
You will reason that if the same intelligence that holds the cosmos together, that keeps the sun at perfect distance, that spins the earth, is present in all things then maybe, just maybe, even this is somehow perfect: its horror and its ecstasy.
Don’t buy the fairy tales written by wealthy gurus recycling from each other. They have too much to gain from selling you something that cannot be owned. If you buy it, all you will get for your trouble is a broken heart.
It will make you feel you are wrongly put together — broken — because your own journey is not like the escalator ride up the mountainside that they’ve promised you. Not even with all your meditation, Yoga, or group chanting.
The art of becoming conscious is like any other art: you must find your medium, your talent, and your unique approach to expressing the themes that move and torment you the most. Finally, you must grow the presence and courage to claim your impossible dream.
Doing this will take mastery over the forces of density and duality. Mastery over your many faces, the thoughts that burn you at the stake, your own terror.
No. I wouldn’t recommend the pursuit of consciousness to anybody, but should you find yourself pursued, there are a few things you should remember:
1. You can’t outrun it because even though it may announce your number through seemingly external circumstances, the motor of consciousness is inside you and it will pull every curtain in your life down if you refuse to submit.
2. There is no map, so don’t buy yours secondhand. The gurus can’t save you. The career can’t save you. The relationship can’t save you. You will only find your way one step at a time. Listen to others, if you want, and learn, but don’t make the mistake of thinking they know the way home. If they did, they would be there by now.
3. And while we’re at it, there is no ‘there’. You don’t know who you are. Where you’ve come from is unknown. Where you’re going is mysterious. What your soul commands of you can only be found within you. No one else knows what you are here to do. And for now, here is all there is.