Asheville Sangha

Supporting Non-Duality and Awakening in Asheville and Beyond

Love Waits For You Everywhere --- by Scott Morrison

To be sure, we all have a great deal to learn from each other. However, the process of subtle arrogance and self deception in the spiritual
arena is perhaps the most damaging of all illusions. I am a Buddhist,
or a Yogi, or a Pagan, or a student of the Fourth Way or the Kaballah
or some other mystical or ecclectic school, and I imagine that
Christians are at least somewhat deluded. Or I am a Christian, perhaps
a Catholic or an Evangelical, or a Course in Miracles student, or a
Muslim, or a Jew, and maintain some pretense that my version of “God”
or “Love” is somehow more accurate than “theirs.” But in fact, when we
think “Jesus said so-and-so,” or “The Buddha taught thus-and-such,” we
might ask ourselves, “How would I know, and why am I repeating this?”
If we face it sincerely, it is hard to avoid the discovery that all we
are doing is trying to justify our own opinions and their connected
feelings, perhaps seeking to be tied in with some powerful authority
figure(s) which is fortified by our own conditioning. So we each have
our private and group stories about things, and continue to
surreptitiously elevate ourselves and put each other down.

But in fact, there is no private liberation or salvation. (Where is the “one separate” from the rest, to be saved, except in some mental fiction?) Of utmost importance,
finally, is putting an end to this devious and hurtful process of
“spiritual ego,” of imagining there’s some kind of competition, and
that there’s someone who has to defend his or her particular spiritual
turf against others. If you stop using your transient body or your
thoughts or feelings as points of reference, it will be obvious that
there is no “someone” and there are no “others.” That whole thing is a
paranoid fantasy, a pathological delusion, in this case in the name of
whatever religion to which we happen to subscribe. So let’s call a
spade a spade: God, the Absolute, does not belong to anyone, nor to any
particular group.
(So why pay homage to a limited god?)

Furthermore, Enlightenment, Self Realization, does not belong to anyone either. (In fact, everything belongs to Enlightenment. So why pay homage to a limited enlightenment?) Although
it may occur in virtually any context - Buddhist, Christian, Yogic,
Sufi, Hindu, Fourth Way, Muslim, Taoist, Jewish, Wiccan, 12-Step work,
shamanistic, agnostic, scientific and so on, Spiritual Awakening, the
Realization of Emptiness, the Tao, cannot be owned. How could That
which is infinite be possessed by any religion, tradition, path,
lineage, teacher, or hierarchy, all of which are limited? Is God a
Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim? Is Enlightenment controlled by
Buddhists or Yogis or Hindus? How could That which is formless be made
to conform to any set of assumptions about liberation, past or
future? (If you still find yourself resisting that possibility, you
might ask yourself how you would know, one way or the other, and what
motives are tied up in thinking about it in any specified way, for or
against. Why maintain beliefs or disbeliefs at all?) Is truth a really
a matter of subjective opinion? Is not truth, if that word means
anything at all, an ongoing process of careful observation and
uncompromised, undefended honesty?

It’s time we stop pretending, subtly or overtly, that our particular group is superior in some way. That’s a hidden way of saying, “I’m superior,” (and therefore not inferior).
Let’s bring our woundedness, our childhood fears and hurts of
inferiority, covered over by the pretense of individual or collective
superiority, to a total and absolute halt. Completely. Now. If we need
to weep, then let’s weep together. And let those tears of shame be
tears of relief, tears of joy, in finally putting down this burden of
trying to defend and justify what we have imagined ourselves to be.
What doesn’t exist doesn’t need to be defended. It never did.

Particularly in recent years, many of us have had very powerful awakenings, but these experiences, in and of themselves, do not mean that much unless we allow ourselves to be
transformed, completely, by what we have discovered. If we try to use
them to validate our religious and peer identities and opinions, with
our various secret and subtle motives and perceptions so shaped, we
corrupt our awakening, and are already entangled in delusion. (And when
we make ourselves or our group or our path or the teacher we’ve
identified ourselves with special, we make ourselves separate.) The
most any spiritual institution can do is to support and celebrate what
is already real and true without reservation.

Full awareness, peace, freedom, clarity and joy can, and do, only exist now. If any of us still find ourselves suffering from the symptoms of ignorance, divisiveness or competition,
that is to say, fear, envy, anger, sorrow, frustration, disappointment,
jealosy, self-loathing, guilt, depression, loneliness, despair, or
confusion, it is because we are still negotiating with God, still
negotiating with Truth, still negotiating with Love, still negotiating
with Freedom, still negotiating with Serenity. The pain is none other
than the agony of lying to ourselves about what we want more than
anything else. It is like finally finding the lover we have always
longed for, but holding back in terror of losing that love.

Why put this moment off? That which you seek is That which you already are, and always have been - you are not separate, you cannot be separate from the Absolute, from Infinite Consciousness Itself. If you dare to stop pretending that you and your life are based on some mental
version of things that arises out of memory, you will find out beyond
any doubt! This is not some kind of wishful thinking or grandiose
mental trick. Rather, with total and unflinching sincerity, with no
psychological defense or self deception whatsoever, search your heart
and find out what you permanently are, what you’ve been all along. Find
out if there has ever been a separate “Other.” If you discover there
never has been an other, is there one now? Could there ever be? Why
pretend anymore?

If you dare to give your heart, your soul, your mind, your body, and your life, unconditionally, to what you discover to be true, you will know an infinitely deep and abiding peace
that has never been even a breath away. This bliss, this tranquility
depends on nothing, and It is not capable of ending. Furthermore, it
doesn’t make a bit of difference what you’ve ever done… or not done.
You can put an end to the battle. Yes, that’s correct, just walk right
out of the war, right now. All you have to do is surrender, absolutely
and completely, not to me, not to some authority figure, or some
organization or institution, but surrender only to your own deepest

God and your own Unbounded Love are not different. If you truly give yourself up completely, it will shock your whole system. It will suddenly dawn on you,

“Oh my God, what a fool I’ve been! What was I thinking?”

Then the absolute insanity of giving yourself to anything else will become apparent. Why wait? Why put off your own complete and total liberation? In your innermost and outermost places,
in every single moment, Love waits for you everywhere. Is there really
something else you would rather do? Is it possible that the thing that
you fear the most, the thing that you avoid the most, is what you truly
desire the most? It cannot abandon you. Even if you choose to ignore
It, betray It and walk away, It is always closer than your next breath.
Suspend all opinion and debate, and find out for yourself.

-- Scott Morrison, author of "There Is Only Now"

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