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No More Napping
Kenny: Hi. I’m going to say that my name is Kenny Stone, as that is who I was before I suddenly died.
James: I am happy to hear that it was a sudden death, Kenny. Usually the spiritual types die the slow death of a thousand cuts.
Kenny: I had spent 51 years (I’m 51 years old) on this silly spiritual quest, not knowing who I was. Like the world of confused spiritual seekers, I thought I was an isolated personality, using spiritual techniques to “look for the self,” OMG.
I was a member of a little spiritual group of friends, and I was so full of arrogance, due to my 51 years of kundalini experience and practice, and I thought I’d “merge” with one of my friends, to “help him.” ☺ Well, as it turned out, he is liberated, and I was not. So I unintentionally reverse-shaktipated myself into liberation.
James: In mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
Kenny: Everything I had spent a lifetime learning became trash in an instant. I simply woke up the next day, and all the empty spaces were gone. I could no longer feel “energy.” Since that day I’ve had no volition of “my own”… Kenny does whatever he wants… anything… but he’s so full and happy that, other than enjoying eating and walking around looking at beauty, he wants for NOTHING… and it’s the most natural thing in the world…
James: Ah, yes, instant enlightenment. Good for you. The nap could have lasted another fifty-one years.
Kenny: Well, anyway… for some reason I bought your book How to Attain Enlightenment, and I’m slowing reading it. Of course it all makes perfect sense so far… I’m only up to page 69… but I’ve not disagreed with anything… and in fact your comment that “the emptiness” is in fact “the fullness”… I’ve been saying that for a while, but none of my liberated friends (who knows who is liberated?… they are email buddies, we’ve never met) want to quibble about that… but to me it’s so obvious… like the sun in the sky… that the “emptiness” is the “emptiness/fullness” (neither term in and of itself really applies)… but when I try to explain these things, which are so obvious and important (that the “emptiness is really the fullness”’ is so important because I AM the fullness… but I AM also the emptiness)… this is why I’m happy… there is nothing more to have, and even “emptiness” couldn’t take anything away, as I am that too.
James: I can’t argue with that. Scripture backs us up on it too.
Kenny: Now, I’m not writing you to tell you that I’m all enlightened… you must get a lot of that… I would say that I’m not napping… but I didn’t write to tell you this stuff to puff myself up… I’m writing because I’ve observed that I’m clueless as to teaching.
James: Not napping is about as good as you can do with words. I don’t particularly like the word “enlightenment.” It has certain experiential implications that are not fully justified. Nobody asks me anymore, but if they did I would say that I’m not enlightened, but I am not unenlightened either. “I am awareness,” is good.
Enlightenment is more a cause for embarrassment – egg on one’s face – not jubilation, insofar as it only signifies the end of ignorance, which boils down to getting what you already got.
Kenny: Now, I don’t want to be a teacher… I don’t WANT anything… but one of my friends wants to become free, and I don’t have the language nor the framework to properly help him.
He’s addicted to kundalini tricks, and no matter how many days I speak about the nature of freedom, he doesn’t get it… and he keeps “summoning archangels and all this stuff”… while making feeble noises about wanting help to become free… but not really…
James: It’s nice to care, but he is probably a write-off. Give him the logic in the second chapter of my book, and if he can’t get his head around it, let him tiptoe with the fairies.
Kenny: Now, everything is perfect, even babies being born with AIDS and other “horrible things.” (It’s not that I don’t care… I sort of do… but everything is perfect… nothing needs to be done… all is well just as it is.)
James: That’s pretty much what awareness would say if it was inclined to speak.
Kenny: So there is nothing wrong with my friend potentially napping… I was napping for 51 years too… it’s fine… heck, if “matter and energy” weren’t napping forms of who I am, who we all really are, there would be no world to be born into to rediscover ourselves. There is NOTHING wrong with napping.
James: Unless you don’t like suffering. But I get your drift.
Kenny: But if it comes up that someone wants me to help them and I don’t have the skills to help them (doesn’t this seem a little strange? I can talk about what we call “wholeness” all day long… effortlessly… and there is no question to me at least, or to others who are scholars of non-duality, that I’m not napping any longer… but still… I’m not some automatic teacher)…
What do you think?
James: There is a very silly belief, that if you know who you are you are automatically qualified to teach. Consequently the poor seekers are forced to associate with a raft of incompetent gurus. You need a valid means of knowledge, the temperament of a teacher and should be well over your case of enlightenment sickness.
Kenny: I really find this “becoming a teacher” thing somewhat slightly tedious… but it seems to me that despite having no desire for it… it seems I should get some training… in case it comes up that someone needs something from me.
James: A good Boy Scout, eh, Kenny? Always prepared. ☺ I agree. If you are going to do anything, do it right. Read my book. When you can repeat the logic and it unfolds by memory with full comprehension, you might be able to be of service. But if you don’t have the nature of a teacher, it will be difficult. However, it is always nice to refine one’s knowledge so that one can express it – just for one’s own sake. Happiness is fine, but it gets to be a bit tedious after a while. The mind usually benefits from have a noble project to inspire it.
Kenny: But I’m a bit confused about living without any desires or purpose, so wouldn’t mind talking some.
James: I wrote the above paragraph before I got your latest email, Kenny. I thank everyone whether I reply or not. There is a long queue, and I have been running flat-out teaching in the Swiss Alps for the last ten days – no time and no internet. I actually bumped this up the list because I found it particularly interesting. In any case, the short answer: yes. You should keep it busy. I suggest you take up the study of Vedanta. (I would, wouldn’t I? ☺) Seriously, enlightenment is not an event. It is a way of life. Eternal vigilance is required to keep the mind happy. Yes, you are happy, but there is a part of the self – the mind – that is like a child. It needs discipline and love and worthwhile work.
~ Much love, James