Christopher Lantz, Sangre de Christo Mountains 1984
Q: Robert, what is the meaning of clinging to suffering consciously, of choosing to not let go of a heavy cross, when life takes it away from you, not because of fear or lack of duty , but because of loving the nectar of struggling, because of the weight of it keeping me grounded and with the head low, because I can bow genuinely and humbly to feel the Divine presence descending in my hardship. What is to be done if the hardship is taken away in the play of life and I am left in a state of freedom, but seeing this freedom not even coming close to the glimpse of freedom given in struggling? How can I be free of both?
A: Hello. There is no "how" to be free.
Q: Thank you, I will sit with it. And thank you for taking the time to answer, and accepting my request. May I ask you more?
Q: There is still some desire that I never went for, and because it always followed me, I have developed a lot of tools or techniques to silence it, and by doing that "I" reached a high level of concentration and skills in controlling the body mind. A deep sense of presence also is developed that always stays...yet this desire is still there. And it divides me, because something inside is curious how is it to jump on this wild fierce horse and transcend it, but the other part keeps saying do not log in.. just stay as awareness .. and although I know this to be true, having always that curiosity inside, does not allow me to be true
A: When ambitious for a result, inevitably one views the present as somehow unsatisfactory. Then spiritual practices arise aimed at the fantasy of transcendence through self-improvement. This is a cul-de-sac in my view; that’s why I call it fantasy. The essence of suffering is needing something to be different. Be as you are right now with no idea of transcendence and see what that's like.
Q: Thank you, I can be the observer of this one wanting a result, and this observer does not want anything, but in the same time this spacious awareness without wants did not swallowed "me" up is is like this for years, I always have access to being it, and being it for good periods of time , but it feels like I cannot surrender totally to it, something says it's a matter of Grace doing it, and a matter of availability here...that is why I reach out, because I need external help.
I don t want to waste any time, I know that it is possible to surrender totally and the spirit takes over and lives your life fully this is my prayer, please take over totally so that I may not even have a sense of me to be happy about it. I can see the one who is writing you is the one who has to go.
A: You seem to have a religious perspective that I lack entirely. I do not imagine that some outside force (that you call "Grace," but that is just a word) can respond to prayers, nor do I wish to have my life "lived" for me. In my opinion, dividing oneself into poor pitiful me on the one hand and a desireless observer on the other is a tactic of escapism that I call splitting. This is exemplified in the top dog/underdog dialectic that I have written about. Until that split is healed and the "observer" is seen as another acquisitive character at the family dinner table--and not any better or wiser than any other part of oneself and in no way independent of oneself--you will always imagine a better future. There IS no better future. There is only this right now. Freedom is seeing that as a plain fact.
Q: Thank you very much, it sounds true in my heart. I will search for what you have written about this dog/underdog. But already I see it, this split has to be healed thank you so much
A: Have a look at this video.
Q: Thank you! I was watching the two talks with Sabine and you
A: Aha. Well, see this one, particularly at 1:19:30 for a discussion about splitting.
I wish you well.
Q: Thank you Robert I watched it, and so far I naturally agree fully on healing or seeing that there is no split. And as it concerns other religions, can’t say anything unless I practice it and see for myself.
I remember Gurdjieff talks about the dimensions of religion for man number 1,2,3 etc.. and that religion for the masses the exoteric, has a purpose, different from the esoteric dimension for it. Just an example comes to mind, how the same line from a scripture can have one meaning for some people and another meaning for others... When Jesus says to the rich man, go sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasures in heaven, For the majority of people present there it meant cultivate charity and care for the needy because this opens your heart, and this can help one to open his eyes and heart, is similar principle of Karma yoga. But the esoteric meaning of the same saying, which was not meant for the crowd was, to sell what you have and give it to the poor, meaning drop what you have built to be yourself (imposed condition and self-conditioning) and give it to the poor in yourself, meaning to who you truly are, which seems to be fragile when we first open our eyes to it, but the more we deconstruct what we have built the more the seemingly perceived poor, is revealed as all there is here and now...sorry my long message, but I just love this stuff. I find joy in scuba diving in different religions and acting like a spy.
A: Sorry, but I speak honestly when asked a direct question such as yours. You do not sound like a spy at all. You sound like a believer in the authority of so-called “scripture” (which scripture do you mean, the Bible, the Qur’an, the Gita, the Torah, the Tripitaka, etc?) who wants to defend the nonsense elements by “interpreting” them. That kind of interpretation is, in my view, pure escapism. You could put countless interpretations on the same set of words without having the slightest idea if the original speaker meant them that way.
From my perspective, finding "esoteric" meanings is a profitless endeavor in which you get to tell yourself whatever you want to hear while attributing your interpretation to "scripture,” which you imagine gives it a gloss of authority and truth. It’s all too gratifying: You are not one of the "ordinary” folk given nice little homilies and boilerplate morality. No! You are one of the special ones who understand the hidden messages required to achieve “transcendence.”
You asked for help. Here it is, take it or leave it. Nothing is esoteric. Everything is wide-open. There are no secrets of the kind you seem to imagine. All of that folderol, from secret initiations, to perfect masters, is hypnotic nonsense. With your nose wide open for that stuff, you miss what is right in front of you on the table where it always is.
Whatever you believe or disbelieve, you are a human primate animal, very much like the great apes that are our genetic cousins. Like them, you will live for a brief time and then be gone. There is nothing esoteric about old age, illness, and death. Try “transcending” that.
Forget "scripture.” To hell with Gurdjieff. Find your own mind just as it is right now. Don't put another head on top of the one you already have.
This video may help with the top dog/underdog idea:
I am curious about what the mysterious “desire” is that the questionnaire talked about—the one that’s like a wild fierce horse. The one that he wants to jump on and transcend.