I had a good rant the other day, about The Secret …and the Celestine Prophecy. I don’t get my knickers in a twist about much these days, but the cerebralization of the spiritual, the ego-greed- material commercialization of what is an innate human need makes me a little bonkers (and yes, the fact I get ranty about that is part of the stuff I’m still working on). So, I’m really digging a line from the next chapter in the Tao Te Ching:
You can’t know it, but you can be it,
at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from:
this is the essence of wisdom.
When you’re “in the Tao” you’re in the flow, and it’s easy; there’s no resistance, because you’re not resisting. That’s not to say it’s not work, that it’s always smooth sailing; there will be rough waters and work to do. Challenging your own bullshit, getting out of your own way, is sometimes a painful, tumultuous, process. But most of the suffering comes from your own resistance to the process.
Sometimes resistance comes in sneaky guise (that monkey mind is a clever clever monkey). One of the sneaky ways to offer resistance to that “wisdom” of “where you come from” is the surface approach to the spiritual process. Something I see in the writing of Celestine Prophecy – a hunt for a series of pieces of knowledge to further spiritual development. That’s all wrapped up in your monkey mind still – the monkey gets you doing spiritual stuff so you feel like you’re getting what you need – but it’s still the monkey that’s driving the bus, making you feel all clever about being spiritual. The reality is a spiritual process is really about stripping the intellect away and approaching it from a completely different point of perception. “You can’t know it, but you can be it.”
There’s an innate human need for connection and meaning, that sense of something more. But there’s also an innate ego-driven desire to grasp on to the material and the intellect: to use The Secret to get you what you want in this world; to approach the spiritual as some clever quest for knowledge. Well darlings, the universe is not you’re magic wish granting faery; it’s here to give you what you need to learn to let go; and while you do need to use your brain to pay attention and figure some stuff out, there’s a point where you have to let wisdom usurp knowledge, to rationally arrive at the realization there are things that transcend the intellect.
It’s not a contest, it’s not a quest, it’s not a material reward. It’s letting go of attachment to knowledge and all the ego rewards of that. When you can let go and just be in that space of wisdom and understanding, that’s when you can be at ease in your life and in who you are.
One thought on “ToV 14 – the Tao of Ranting?”
You got that right! Many years ago when the Celestine Prophecy first appeared on shelves, a book club I attended chose it. I had just started reading it and was astounded that someone in our otherwise savvy group had chosen such deceptive trite to study. The only reason I finished the book was because I wanted to be able to participate in the discussion. I was ready to really have a meaty discussion about the book. (Can you picture me rubbing my hands together with anticipation?) Alas, everyone present that night had glowing remarks about the insightfulness and magical qualities of the story. I was so shocked at this reception that my mouth failed me and I just wished I wasn’t there.
A similar thing happened when I first saw The Secret. After seeing it I couldn’t understand what the hype was about. It was Positive thinking gone kablooey into material gain. People behind both the Celestine Prophecy and the Secret had fantastic teams of marketers for the masses.
But the popularity of both these books as well as films and books of a similar vein indicates that people are looking for some kind of spiritual connection. As you say Valerie, they are looking for naught – in the wrong place.
As to resistance…I was stuck just north of Red Deer today on Hwy 2 for 2 hours. there was a serious accident at the Blackfalds exit ( three ambulances, four police cars, emergency response team and the Stars helicopter were present). In the past I could my resistance to the situation would have led to all kinds of fuming and rants, especially because I didn’t have a book with me. But for some reason I just decided to meditate and take a nap until I heard the engines of cars around me start. The two hours seemed much shorter than reality. The only reason I could tell time was passing was it was getting very dark. So maybe my body is coming into its own and realizing that resistance is a waste of time and energy.
The place for me to find spiritual connection is in the quiet spaces and places during the day.