[This journal entry is from October 15th, 1997. As always, Jay’s current thoughts about this entry are in the post script. Enjoy! – Dawn]
Before I Was… I Am; After I Am… I Am
Do you remember the games you played as a child? One day you were the good guy, next day you were the bad guy, one day you played race car driver, next day you played house. Sometimes you’d get a whole group of people together to play house; you were all peers, all about the same age. Everyone decided who would play the mother, who would play the father, who would be brother and sister, aunt and uncle… then the next day you’d all switch roles without missing a beat. Everyone stumbled along, acting out their roles with random perfection. There were those kids who wanted to control the whole production, those who would go along with it and those who wouldn’t, those who pretended to know everything and those who admitted they didn’t.
That’s all we’re doing here. The only difference is that as we get older, we become the roles we play, we honestly believe that our little games are actually reality. Somewhere along the line it all too often loses its magic, we drain the fun right out of it. We play along, and play becomes work. We lose track of time, then the bell rings and we go “Oh shit! I forgot that was just recess, I forgot I was supposed to be having fun and enjoying myself. Where did all the time go?”
Our Spirit is pure and true and bright and it has all resources we need to play perfectly every role we decide to play. When we truly play our roles (remember when playing was fun?) we live in Spirit, as we were meant to live. When we struggle with our roles, define and confine them, take the fun and the Spirit out of them, they lose their meaning, and so do our lives.
Spirit is always there to guide you, to show you the best way in any circumstance, to show you the Love in every situation. Yes, we have our free will, ,we can play the game at any level we choose. Our intellect can help define and even decide our choices, but it cannot possibly understand and grasp the wisdom we can access through Spirit. It cannot see all the possibilities that Spirit has unlimited access to at any given time.
We came here to learn and experience many things. This is the first, and possibly the most important. For without the foundation this knowledge lays, true learning and true experience does not take place and can not take hold. We learn in fear and insecurity instead of in love and triumph, and fear and insecurity is all lies built on false foundations.
Think about pain and unhappiness during your next extremely happy time. Do you see how different it appears when you’re not enmeshed in it? When it grabs hold of us, it controls us, it drives us to do things and think thoughts a happy person would never consider. When we’re through it, looking back, it doesn’t seem so bad. We can remember having felt this or that, but we cannot experience it unless we are experiencing it.
These are things Spirit cannot experience. Spirit is Love, and Love dissolves all negative forces when it comes in contact with it. Anger, fear, hate, envy, arrogance, pain, pity, etc, cannot exist in the same place at the same time as Love. Spirit is Love. Remember that next time you feel anything that cannot be identified as a manifestation of Love. Remember that Spirit is not a part of you, you are a part of it, and you are they only part of it that can experience these things.
So I trust we know now, or at least have a good idea, of what we are before we’re born and what we become when we die. We always have the option of realizing this before we die, and that is what is meant by living in Spirit. Now we can discover how and why we forget this when we are born, and how our lives can be either a practice in moving towards Spirit… or away from it.
The only thing I had to add here was the title. It was between “Lesson Number One: You Are Spirit” and the above, which I liked just slightly better. The main part I feel I have to criticize is the implied break in the experience of being spirit starting at birth and ending in death. You may think the title implies it as well, but say it ninety-nine times aloud or in your head in a quiet, dark and peaceful place and you will see that it doesn’t.
When I walk from the living room into the kitchen, I don’t become something else from my narrow perspective. I don’t have to focus my consciousness on my third eye or get my breathing right or still my mind; I just walk through a doorway. Anyone still in the living room with affection for me doesn’t beat their fists on the floor or gnash their teeth or cry out, “Why did you leave me?” Everyone knows, including me, that I still am who I am and that I can not-so-magically reappear in the living room any time I please.
The problem arises when I spend all my time in the kitchen. When my whole reality becomes a small room with little to do but eat food and play with knives, my narrow perspective has made my reality boring at best and dangerous at worst. If I forget there is a doorway the moment I walk through it, that doesn’t mean the doorway isn’t there. If a large group of people are waiting on the other side of the doorway just waiting to convince me that the doorway I just walked through isn’t real, I might believe them if their arguments are convincing enough or I am trusting enough. That still doesn’t mean the doorway isn’t there.
When I discovered that the doorway to some other world was open to traffic both ways, it was quite by accident. (Let’s put aside the kitchen metaphor). I was a good little meditator, and the last thing I needed were siddhis distracting me from my goal. I did my best to ignore the symbols and faces and voices that beckoned from some other place; or rather, I treated them like thoughts. I let them arise and then flow by like leaves on the surface of a rushing stream. There came the thought more than once that what I experienced behind closed eyes was a lot more extraordinary than anything I could imagine or dream up all by myself. I let that flow too.
The point of meditation, for me, was to learn to live in that clear, uplifted, connected state not for thirty minutes or an hour every day but all day every day. The purpose of an ongoing practice is connecting more fully and learning to let that still silent voice guide the multifaceted evolution that has gone from lushly landscaping my inner world to brilliantly transforming my outer world. I never imagined one of the benefits to be knowledge of or travel to any other dimensions. Now I see that it is ridiculous to think of having one without having the other… like living your whole life in a kitchen, you may become an excellent chef while completely lacking an experiential understanding of why kitchens are necessary, or even that yours is not the only kitchen in existence. (Yes, philosophers make call-backs too; now I’m really done with the kitchen.) We’re lucky enough to live in a time when science is telling us that there are other dimensions. For some, that’s abstract knowledge. For the rest of us, it’s confirmation of the obvious. The deeper that experience, the more fully the individual can both detach from and engage in life on Earth.
Can I remember in distinct detail everything that happened to me before I walked into this room I call my body? No, I can’t; I also can’t remember the details of last Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t experience it or that it didn’t play a part in shaping who I am today. Perhaps more noteworthy, my conscious memories don’t start until I had been animating this body for a good four or five years. Even those are pretty sketchy. How am I to know that one-year-old Jay wasn’t basking in the flow of Infinite Intelligence until he learned enough American English to know better? All I know is that twenty-something-year-old Jay figured out how to be aware of that flow and then live in it, and that that flow is unbroken no matter what happens to my physical encasement.
One of the main reasons I became a skeptic early on is because I saw people react to the death of a loved one. The first time I heard someone say, “well, he’s in a better place now” with tears sliding down a grief stricken face, I realized people say things they don’t believe. Or maybe they do believe the things they say, just not enough to throw open the door to that better place. I have never watched a scientist explain gravity while gripping a handhold in case their experience of gravity is interrupted despite their belief in it. The river of life flows on whether I dip my toe in it or swim carefree in it or stand on the banks and deny it’s existence. For this particular fish, swimming is the only option that makes sense.
Do you have a spiritually charged word or subject that you’d like Jay to write about? Send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment on the blog. We look forward to hearing your ideas. And thanks for reading!