As a modern young person, brought up in the western world, I have been involved with British institutions my whole- I was born in one, I was educated in a few, and I witness the incredible reach of power the institution has. More than that, I see the patriarchal institution model proliferated throughout the millennia, where it establishes itself in any sector- business, philosophy, education, medicine, the family, religion and of course spirituality.
As I have progressed on my spiritual journey, I have always been told : “you need to learn under a master- the only way is the guru and disciple relationship”. I have always been confused by this as the ultimate spiritual truth is that all you need is taught AS NATURE. To this day I do not study under a guru. There have been times where I have really, REALLY wanted a “teacher”. I have really wanted to understand what it is that I am doing and where I am going, but always I am lead back to the fact that this is my journey, and it is one of self-discovery.
So why is it I have been able to access seemingly “secret” and ancient practices by accident? Why have I managed to stumble my way through the dark without so much as a whisper from a sage?
The conclusion came to me recently. I always like to carry out experiments in my own practice and so I had been investigating the idea of “3”. In fairytales and myths, religion and maths, the number 3 is everywhere and is seen to be the number of manifestation. I figured I should test this out for myself. A great opportunity arose when I became lucid in my dream, after playing around in the dream I considered the idea of 3 and thought I should test it out. I felt I should repeat something 3 times, and the natural statement that arose was “I am awake” (seeing as I was lucid in the dream). I said “I am awake” three times in the dream whilst connecting to my presence, when all of a sudden a huge roar of wind seemed to turn the whole dream into grey and blow it entirely away.
By this point in my practice, I have trained myself to the stage where I understand nothing can hurt “me”- even death. Therefore it is possible for me now to witness events (whether lucid dreaming or “awake”) to just remain calm and observe. This wind roared around me and I thought maybe there must be a storm or gust of wind in the room that my body was asleep in and so I thought I’d just continue to observe. This wind seemed to whip me through the dream space and bring me into a kind of limbo where the room that my body was in seemed to appear but was not yet fully formed, a kind of pre-manifestation of real space/time that my body was in. I simply continued to observe before the room began to appear as it was in “reality”, and I was back in the perspective of body so began to open my eyes. The room was perfectly calm and still and everything was as I had left it.
The experience was not in any way scary, and it felt very natural.
After the experience, I pondered what it could have been- it was so similar to the scene in “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy gets swept away by a hurricane into the Land of Oz. A quick google search (naturally!), and a message to a friend and it seemed there was something called the Akashic Pulse or Astral Wind. My friend suggested I could research something called Windhorse (or Lungta). (More on these concepts in another post).
After more research and practice on these things, I had another experience that was similar but consisted of consciousness being awake and aware of the body but also being in another location at the same time, something I can only talk of being a consciousness split.
Again, more research and any time I got close the same “these techniques must be learnt in a guru/disciple relationship” showed itself.
Although it seems I have the natural ability and inclination to do these things (indeed they are my and everybody’s natural birthrights), the external world continually presents the message that these things have been institutionalised and therefore I must participate in that patriarchal system to “gain knowledge”.
Now you may have heard (or not) of something called radical non-duality. It’s basically when somebody(nobody) says : “This is it. There’s nothing to get. You already are everything there is.” I have heard numerous institutionalised “spiritual seekers” on a formal path (not that that is wrong in any way), say radical non-duality is too easy, and it’s all too quick and instantaneous for their liking.
One of the most painful things I have had to realise on my own journey, is that my life of deep suffering and pain was my own creation, and that actually- it IS that easy. It IS true that this is it. That you already are everything you seek. The idea of a seeker, however is something that will only perpetuate seeking.
If you’ve spent 75 years seeking (and ‘you’ still are), and somebody turns around and tells you well actually this is it, of course your ego is going to do cartwheels! However, it is time that the patriarchal, institutionalised business of “I have the knowledge, and I can give it to you” can end. But of course, it’s big business. There are many organised spiritual organisations that have built themselves around a student/teacher, consumer/producer orientation. We are in the era of Spiritual capitalism- and if it’s not money that is swapped, knowledge and power become the capital.
So I am here to say, although there may once have been a time where you must have a teacher and be “initiated” into a tradition, (women and children need not apply), NOW is the time where the illumination is entirely of it’s own authority- it’s neither yours to earn or to give, it is entirely independent of you but has always been yours and although your teacher may appear to allow you to access the knowledge, remember that YOUR nature IS nature! Nobody can teach you that! Pay someone or don’t- spend 75 years (or thousands of lifetimes seeking) or don’t!