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It's true

John has often said that not only is the looking not spiritual, but that it is not like anything else that we call, or have called, spiritual. My inner response to this statement has always been, " Well, he’s just saying that to keep us focused on the looking, but it really is another version of the spiritual search for enlightenment, freedom etc." But I am beginning to see that it is something very different.

I stumbled across John and Carla at the end of 2009 when his language was still sprinkled with spiritual references to some of the things that the looking apparently resembles. After having investigated and practiced various methods for over 25 years, I thought I had an overview and an understanding of what the " spiritual traditions" were saying. The only person I did not understand was Ramana, who I kept putting to one side, because even though the whole spiritual world was telling me that he was one of THE enlightened masters, I really did not understand what he was on about. Searching for more information about what Ramana was really saying, I found John’s website. It seemed that here was some clarity! Aha, I thought, now I understand what Ramana was saying... and Nisargadatta, and non-duality, and neo-advaita, and "Liberation" etc etc.

So I took what John was saying and returned with renewed gusto to the search for freedom and peace with my new secret weapon... "looking." I assumed that looking is really a pared down version of what all these masters and traditions have been saying – stripped now of the spiritual language, but nonetheless the same process.

But it is true what John says. The looking is not a pared down version of something else. It is different. The real problem with life is the fear and anxiety, not the lack of spiritual attainment or understanding. But I used to think that to want to be free of the fear of life was a lesser goal than wanting liberation and enlightenment. You know, if I can’t be enlightened then I will settle for the next best thing - freedom from fear! In the spiritual Olympics if I can’t win the gold medal, a silver or bronze medal is better than nothing! I admit it.

But my spiritual endeavors (including using looking as part of the search) have been failed attempts to escape from life, whereas freedom from fear leaves me in the middle of life, experiencing the roller-coaster of human existence just as it is, with no need to search for an answer or to escape from (or to) anything. The searching impulse has not gone completely, but I go chasing after it less and less when it comes up, so it seems to be leaving.

After 2½ years of an often horrible recovery, the fragrance of sanity is in the air. I can’t describe it any other way... and I thought it would never happen.

Shared in gratitude to John, Carla and the rest of us humans.

Harvey

The objective

There are some parallels in the way you and I have come to this.

Harvey

You know, if I can’t be enlightened then I will settle for the next best thing - freedom from fear! In the spiritual olympics if I can’t win the gold medal, a silver or bronze medal is better than nothing! I admit it....

I don't feel this is a second-tier prize. I feel that the objective is very different.

The objective is not to be spiritual or enlightened. The objective is to be a natural and sane human being, free of resistance.

The real problem with life is the fear and anxiety, not the lack of spiritual attainment or understanding.

Nicely said.

 

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