This post takes precedence over all the others

When people ask me for advice, I try to remember what brought about the transformation in my life so I can recommend the same path to them.

But even though I remember what I did, and I remember what happened, it’s difficult to know whether one thing caused the other.

In my heart of hearts, when I ask intuitively what caused this change to come upon me, I believe it happened for two main reasons:

1. I wanted it to happen.

2. I was open to it.

There has to be some sort of desire for God or enlightenment. This desire can manifest in various forms. In me, it was mainly a desire to find out, “What is of supreme importance?” I was also intrigued by goodness and my lack of it. I think also I had felt an intuition of the Divine since I was a boy and it attracted me. The desire can take other forms. It can be a desire for truth, a desire for wholeness, a desire for love. The desire is necessarily going to be muddled and partial because we’re not enlightened yet when it arises in us. But I think this desire, in whatever form it takes, is the engine or fuel that makes the process happen. The Goddess once told me that the desire for God is God, and that it automatically fulfills itself. When she said “desire for God” she meant a desire for something holy, something that is part of enlightenment. She didn’t mean a super duper person sitting on a cloud. You can be an atheist and feel that sort of desire for God. In fact I was an atheist when this process began for me.

When I say I was open to the process, I mean that I was willing to be surprised by what happened. I was willing to be disoriented and knocked off my feet. I was willing to have experiences that I didn’t understand. There was a softness, an understanding that I wasn’t in control. Ultimately, one day, you have to be willing to let your mind — which seems to be you — dissolve.

So the best instructions I can give people, the most truthful instructions, are (1) want it and (2) be soft and open.

These instructions are vague, hard to put into practice, and difficult to teach. The more precise an instruction, the more mechanical the sadhana, the easier it is to teach and practice. This is why most spiritual teachings are precise and mechanical. It’s a hell of a lot easier to teach somebody to sit in a certain position or visualize a flower in their heart, than it is to teach them to desire something or surrender.

But the vague, difficult instructions are the ones that really matter.

P.S. You also need to be honest with yourself.

P.P.S. The first time I wrote this post, it came out spontaneously in a Skype conversation with a friend. Maybe that version is better. I wrote:

I wondered to myself, “I want to tell him the honest honest truth, the real way this hapened to me, how did this happen to me, what should I tell him?”
And I thought something like — it doesn’t sound right when I put it in words — but I don’t know how else to say it — it really comes out wrong — “You have to want God very badly and you have to open yourself up and fall apart.”

9 thoughts to “This post takes precedence over all the others”

    1. Another big lurch forward has been happening in the last six weeks — that’s why I started writing again — so if you’re intuiting that something is different about me, you’re right. But this advice isn’t entirely new. I’ve been talking about the desire for God since 2015 when the Goddess explained it to me in a conversation that was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. I’m not sure how much I’ve talked before now about the other half of this advice, be open and fall apart. “Falling apart” is on my mind right now because of what’s happening now. One thing in this post that’s probably new is the conviction that these two pieces of advice are more important than anything else. Maybe that conviction happened because I see more of the process now and can draw conclusions better about the whole thing.

  1. Very interesting. In a transformative (for me) correspondence that took place 4 years ago between you and me, you said:
    “The most successful sadhana I ever did was simply craving and desiring experience of the divine. I wanted it. I wanted it for hours on end, every day. And so it came to me. I didn’t even realize it was sadhana. It was just my state at the time. It was just what was happening in my mind. I only realized later, in retrospect, after God came to me, that there had been cause and effect.”
    I guess the same conviction was in place 4 years ago. I thought you might find this information about yourself interesting because I tend to forget about my past states a lot!

    Also, could you, if you’re willing to, tell more about your conversation with the Goddess? How about the big lurch forward that has been happening in the last six weeks?

    Thanks a lot. As always I found this post extremely helpful.

    1. Thanks a lot for the quote. Yes I do appreciate it. I’m a little surprised by it because I thought I started saying things like that in 2015 but I’m wrong.

      I’m very curious to know how and if that passage was transformative for you, because people don’t have much ability to choose what they want, and I always think, “If I tell people they need to want something, they will get discouraged because they can’t do that voluntarily”.

      I’ll write a post about the Goddess. I’m holding off for now on writing about the last six weeks because I want things to go a little further so I have more perspective before I say anything. Basically it seems like my mind is finally breaking up and dissolving, but maybe I’m over-optimistic and it’s not really happening.

      1. Glad to hear it. You’re not that far-off by the way. It took place in June 2014.

        The whole correspondence was transformative for me along with that passage. But that passage indeed was very important:
        At that time I already had the intense want but also had come to know that I could alter this intensity according to what I focus in my life at a particular time. So when I was discouraged, I would direct my attention elsewhere (like all people), and when I believed in the possibility of ‘enlightenment’ I would focus on that full time. Hearing from you, the importance of wanting, I somewhat went into a more relaxed state, by virtue of knowing what the most important ingredient in this business is, that I possess it and also that I can exert some control over it especially when the suitable time for it comes.

        I can say that, to this day, I’m still in that relaxed state, all the while feeding the fire in me so that it’s never extinguished even in those periods which my attention is directed elsewhere.

        Regarding “Basically it seems like my mind is finally breaking up and dissolving, but maybe I’m over-optimistic and it’s not really happening.”:
        I was also very curious about that, but hesitated to ask and therefore did not. I’m excited to hear you mention it. I’ll be all ears!

        1. Thank you! Very interesting. I don’t think I ever imagined that a reader would be in your position. I was thinking only about a potential reader who doesn’t yet feel that desire. But you in fact already felt an intense desire. I don’t this possibility ever occurred to me. This makes me think, “Conversation is very valuable” and “maybe I should stop trying to imagine the effect of my writing on readers”.

          Has anything in your years of experience confirmed the idea that the desire helps lead us to enlightenment?

  2. Looks like many people awaken kundalini or have mystical experiences but with the passage of time they return to identification with the thought that returns them to psychological conflict or social conditioning, that is, the search for pleasure, power, continuity. To live an ordered life kundalini is not important, we must not think about it, only the attention to the thoughts and the present, can break the social conditioning.
    Sorry for my bad english.

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