Spiritual Experience and the Desire for Truth

If you don’t have the great desire to find truth, or if you have it and don’t pursue it, existence may drop some interesting spiritual experiences upon you. Awesome spiritual experiences are nothing to be proud of, and believe me, I’ve had plenty of them. It’s the universe’s way of saying, “What the heck do I have to do to wake you up, ya fool.”

Some gurus use siddhis to induce spiritual experiences in their devotees. Unless the guru knows exactly what they’re doing, the experiences can become like drugs. If a guru is dependent upon the attention of the devotees, and if the devotees are dependent upon the high of spiritual experience associated with the guru, you have nothing more than a kind of drug culture. It’s not healthy at all. I think there is a lot of that going on in nonduality, though it may not be obvious. Maybe in ten years we’ll be able to see it more clearly.

-Jerry

2 thoughts on “Spiritual Experience and the Desire for Truth

  1. premaakasha

    “I think there is a lot of that going on in nonduality, though it may not be obvious. Maybe in ten years we’ll be able to see it more clearly.” — I agree with you, Jerry. For me it was not obvious until I felt how much pain I had been overriding by hanging out “in the Absolute.” I think people eventually come to see their blind spots, but nondual teachings don’t necessarily help see or address them, and can actually help you avoid them longer. On the other hand, they can also make it more possible to see through them. It’s a double-edged sword.

    Adyashanti sometimes mentions the moment when he told his teacher that he “woke up out of Zen.” That was a real thing for him. But I used to make that mean that nondual teachings are more advanced than Zen (or other forms of spirituality), and therefore was better or beyond. I think that’s how a lot of people feel about nonduality. But the truth is, no matter what “way” or “non-way” we might be orienting ourselves to, we have to eventually wake up out if it — including satsang and nondual teachings. Someone who wakes up out of satsang, without making himself or herself above it — that’s someone I’d like to meet… Which is maybe why I like you so much, Jerry.

    I also agree with your 10 year prediction, given that there seems to be a critical mass of satsang culture forming about now. That’s how long I think it’s been taking people to mature to that point individually. I wonder about adjusting that a couple years sooner given the general quickening. However, I think “the guy speaking in front of the room” format will be around for a while, and as long as we’re projecting our own wisdom into these others we’ll be missing the mark of our own truth to some degree.

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  2. Jerry Post author

    mmmm thanks for your post. Yes, that it is a double-edged sword shows how powerful the nonduality teachings are. Like the Science and Nonduality Conference itself, you can find your particular flavor of nonduality and hang out there. I don’t know if anyone has pointed out that SAND models the world of nonduality. I suppose that was its intention. The conference can be used as a kind of self-inquiry. You can watch what you pursue at the conference, what you avoid, how often you go to your room or get away from the venue, and it becomes an opportunity to investigate one’s tendencies. And it’s an opportunity to meet what may be resisted.

    I always like leaving the conference venue for a while and being in the ordinary world. That’s a reminder of the need to wake up from the entire world of nonduality teachings. Back in the 70s and 80s I used to live in Los Angeles and I would go to Disneyland by myself a couple times a year. I used to enjoy leaving the park and eating lunch in the “real world” and observing the departure from and return to the dream world of Disneyland.

    SAND is a kind of Disneyland, a world that can used in order to understand oneself. By the way, back when I used to go to Disneyland alone, I wouldn’t tell too many people because it was considered odd. Nowadays “solo travel” is okay. On the Disney discussion boards there are sections devoted to people who go to Disneyland and Disney World alone.

    We do hold a kind of satsang in Halifax, once or twice a month. There is no single teacher or leader. Anyone who feels they would like to facilitate part of the gathering is welcome. All that’s required is a “love of truth” or whatever you wish to call it: a dedication. It’s hard to maintain a satsang where there are no teachers because some people are looking to follow a teacher/leader and others would like to function as a teacher/leader. To keep satsang from falling into the comfortable teacher/follower dynamic takes a constant reminder that people are responsible for themselves, that everyone can know truth, and not to be dependent upon others.

    Yes, whether it’s ten years or less, I don’t know, but there’s already a shift outside the nonduality teachings. What’s interesting is the kind of actions that will come out of that shift, when people are standing alone, when they get out of the Disneyland of nonduality. I think then the rest of the world will begin to absorb the pointings and big global shifts can start to happen in terms of military, industrial, corporate functioning. That’s when we have to get out of our nonduality world, our yoga spas, and go into the trenches. I see that happening. Love you…

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