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September 26, 2010

Reposted from March 1, 2009

This note was written while I was co-owner of Galactic Roundtable, later Share 11, discussion group and it was written to members of the group.

It was written to provide a process of growth and development for the group that was consistent with our common activity of writing.

We on the Internet share in common reading and writing and most spiritual teachers would frown on anyone thinking they can get enlightened this way.  So why even discuss it, they might say? We’ll tire ourselves out.

That’s why I recommend the notion of “emergence.” We can emerge, stand forth, stand in our truth, even in writing and for that matter in reading as well.

Enlightenment itself is direct experience, unmediated by the written word. It has no “via.”

“Emergence” is breaking through the barriers to direct experience, barriers like fear and guilt and shame.

What we’re seeing around us today are people who’ve been quiet for years saying “I won’t be quiet any longer.” It doesn’t matter what the trigger is. If you say it about one topic, you’ll have created a new pathway and will be as able to say to the New World Order in the next breath, “George Bush is a mass murderer and high traitor.” Or to a corrupt local politician. Or to someone selling you snake oil.

* * * *

I emerged last week, several times, and I noticed some things about it, which I jotted down on handy pieces of paper.

One thing I noticed was that emergence was like the snap of a finger. If I snap my finger, there is no sound, no sound, then sound, and then again no sound, no sound.

Emergence is like that. There is no emergence, no emergence, and then emergence, and then no emergence again, etc.

Emergence happens in a moment of “now” and then it’s over. We’re left in the afterglow, but no longer in the state of emergence. Our energies are liberated and we feel elated.

We feel released from a limiting experience. If our emergence came from telling a suppressed truth, then the truth has, for the moment, set us free from barriers.

I also noticed that emergence happens because we value a moment of “now” more than we value a moment of subjugation to our conditioned thoughts from the past. For example: I’ll say the unmentionable, but nobody wants to talk about the subject. Why are we not all talking about it? There’s a hippopotamus sitting on the breakfast table and none of us is acknowledging it’s presence. We’re all pretending it isn’t there.

  • Hey, people. 9/11 was an inside job. Why won’t you discuss it?
  • There is no war on terror, save the war we created ourselves. Why won’t you listen?
  • For heaven’s sakes, spaceships are all over the place. Why won’t you consider them?

Emergence happens when we don’t let our conditioning hold us back. And it happens in a moment of now, and now, and now.

I also noticed that yesterday’s emergence won’t get you anything today. Emergence has no shelf life, no “best before” date. It exists now and then it’s gone. Better emerge again because you can’t save it in the bank and you can’t buy a thing with yesterday’s emergence.

At the same time, it gets easier and easier to emerge. Once the pattern of resistance, the tension in the muscles of the body, has been broken once, it is easier to break again.

[Note from Sept. 25, 2010: This means that emergence, which I’d also now  call “breakthrough,” is a means of addressing vasanas as well.  “Vasana” is a Vedantic term for a persistent reaction pattern triggered by a current upset, which resembles a past upset.]

I also noticed that emergence implies that I value this moment of “now” over all other past moments. So if you came to me and said, “Yesterday you argued X and today you’re arguing Y,” I would have to reply that I am unwilling to be bound by my own words from yesterday.

Yesterday I was where I was and today I am where I am. Emergence will not allow me to cling to any moment of the past or emergence itsel flies out the door.

Emergence means that I value the truth over all barriers to it. It means I’ll speak the truth no matter the cost. It allows no hiding.

However, humans being what they are, until we are ascended and therefore harmless, emergence requires that we value harmlessness before truth, or else humans will rip each other’s faces off and say it was all in the name of telling the truth – as I’ve often done myself in the past.

Gandhi said that harmlessness {ahimsa} comes before truth. It’s the only exception that I am aware of.  Thus Jains wear masks so that they don’t even cause harm to insects. They place harmlessness at the head of their virtues.

* * * *

The chief barrier to telling the truth, as far as I know, is our fear of having our existence extinguished. That usually means a fear of death, but it can ripple down to a fear of losing our job, a fear of starving or going homeless, etc.

Whatever we conceive of as being essential to our survival, or the survival of anything we identify with as being important to our survival, that we’ll protect and not put at risk when it is necessary to tell the truth.

I will not tell the truth if I risk being kicked off the Immigration and Refugee Board and losing my status and what was for me a huge salary.

I will not risk telling the truth if it will get my wife mad at me.

The number of attachments we sacrifice the truth to is endless and hence we not only don’t emerge; we submerge ourselves in half-truths and lies, posturing and gesturing. We live behind a mask and don’t emerge from it. We become Noh actors in a high-stylized drama.

* * * *

I saw last week as well that emergence involves a willingness to put myself in the gap of unknowing and act from there.

I can know and know and know, but emergence involves a willingness to not know and act from that place.

If I do not tell the truth, I condemn myself to living behind a persona, behind excuses. It is just a short hop to acting out a story about myself, spewing forth rehearsed lines, and parading around with no clothes on, asking to be admired.

Emergence will not stand for that. Submergence will.

I saw as well another way of putting the whole thing and here I rephrase Buddha.

The Buddha said that the problems that kept us from knowing our true nature were ignorance, craving and aversion.

In fact, craving and aversion keep us in ignorance.

More modern terms might be that strongly wanting and not wanting keep us from knowing ourselves.

I have not reached the level of subtlety yet where I am looking at wanting and not wanting. I have not gotten past the fear of not getting what I want or the fear of getting what I don’t want.

To rephrase that, I remain submerged, repressed, held back, because I fear I won’t get what I want or that I’ll get what I don’t want.

That means that if I want to emerge, I have to be equally open to not getting what I want and getting what I don’t want. I have to let go of my attachments to all preferred outcomes. It has to be OK with me that you say “yes” to me or that you say “no.”

That is the more senior discussion of emergence than simply breaking through my barriers.

* * * *

This whole game, this end-of-cycle work we’re doing, in the last analysis, is about ascension. It is about emergence.

That having been said, whatever happens here is grist for the mill of emergence.

Emergence is the game we’re playing, not being reassured about our future. Our future is assured, but the part that’s expected of us is that we do all we can to emerge.

* * * *

Our emergence qualifies us to assist others who will be breaking out of their shells in the years ahead. We’re putting in our time at boot camp to be able to assist others through it.

So it really doesn’t matter to me whether predictions pan out or don’t, whether people are happy or sad, whether you agree with me or not. It does matter to me that you emerge.

That’s all I have to say. The impulse that had me by the throat and forced me to write this has now left. I’ve said what I needed to say.

If you’re here, you’re here to emerge. Rip my skin off if you want to, but come out of your own.

Take the mask off. Leave the act behind. Never mind your excuses and your rationalizations and, for heaven’s sake, never mind mine. Stand there in the essential truth, no matter how foolish it looks.

My surmise is that eventually there will no longer be anyone who knows how foolish you look. There will no longer be anyone looking.



4 Comments leave one →
  1. Anara Brinmere permalink
    September 26, 2010 11:36 am

    p.s. I don’t ever do “attack” mode. I’ve looked at it toward the best interests of both the other person and me. It’s not up to me for him to get his lesson, but if I allow myself to be treated badly I’ve done it to myself. So, I’m gonna stand up and say “what is”.

  2. Anara Brinmere permalink
    September 26, 2010 11:31 am

    Thanks. I always do lots of work on the old patterns (vasanas). I spent a lot of time in prayer, not wanting to “hurt” anyone, even if the truth needs to come forward. The result is, I feel I need to stand up for me because this is someone who has his own pattern (not very nice), and I have to work with him from time to time. Nothing’s stopped his s — yet. Telling it like it is from where I stand might not either, but it stands up for me and gives him the opportunity, if he chooses to take it — to deal with what has been a problem for others as well as me. Letting go and letting God is one thing, simply letting go is another, but there’s also a time to stand. I had to do that recently on the job, and the other person caught her “stuff” and remedied it when I spoke my truth. This one’s a little harder, but I think I gotta.

  3. Anara Brinmere permalink
    September 26, 2010 7:38 am

    O.K. — this post hit me at a very synchronistic time, Steve. So I have a statement and a question. There’s a person who believes himself to be more highly ethical than anyone he knows. He stepped over a very dark line with me into the opposite of ethics, to say the least. I’ve been wanting to stand in my power and speak the truth to him about his actions. A spiritual friend has said, in effect, leave it to God. I feel I’ll betray myself, my — if you will, because I certainly will — my inner child still needing to heal and who was most hit by this man — if I don’t speak the truth. It will feel to him like I’m ripping his face off, because he can’t abide 2 things — one is women in their power, and the other is facing unpleasant truths about his “integrity”. I know this rather puts you on a spot you might not be comfortable in, because it’s my life and my call, but — knowing just as much as I’ve put here, and I’m IN integrity in this matter — what would you do?

    • September 26, 2010 8:09 am

      I’m glad you phrased it as “what would you do?” rather than “what should I do?,” Anara, because that frees me up. I don’t know what you should do, but I know what I would do.

      I would notice that I’m upset or reactivated and handle the vasana first, before I communicated, so as to remove the part of the whole incident that resides here with me rather than projecting it onto the other. And, after I had experienced my own vasana through to completion, then I would communicate.

      A vasana is a persistent and habitual reaction pattern formed on the basis of the memory of an earlier upsetting incident. I talk about how to complete a vasana in a number of articles, listed under the heading “Preparing for Ascension.” One is “OK, I Feel Upset. … Oh,Great!”

      Once I’ve completed the vasana and caused it to disappear, then I’m free of my own reactivation pattern and can address the issue on its merits. I’ve handled what Gandhi called the harmful aspects of telling the truth and can probably reply, putting the issue to the other person on the issue’s merits. I also increase my chances of putting the issue compassionately and of not being reactivated by the other person’s response.

      I consider being upset a great opportunity because a vasana cannot be handled as long as it is not up and it usually comes up in the course of an upset. My aim is to be upset-free and reactivation-free so I can be present to Ascension when it occurs.

      So that’s what I’d do, Anara – make it a two-step process. (I think I’ll post this generally, Anara, because it’s of general interest, without identifying you as the questioner.)



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