The Rabbit Hole

The Eye is not the Subject

The Eye is not the Subject

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—You’ve often heard me dissing thoughts. One of the biggest thoughts we have is about the personal self—your past, your story, your roles.

Here’s a simple Emptiness practice that can lead you down the rabbit hole, reveal your personal self and land you directly in front of the Gateless Gate.

If you agree with this:

A dead brain has no memories.

Then think deeply about this:

If something depends on memory to exist, it cannot be real.

Time? Illusion.

Past? Illusion.

Your past? Illusion.

Your personal self/story? Illusion.

Now read those two clauses again, and I’ll see you on the other side.


Leaves in Light

Leaves in Light

WALLA WALLA, WA—In an email, Rob asked what it’s like to fall in love with TaoGodHer:

In one of your posts you say, “walking, just walking—just a movement, a current, a tide—all happening within God Herself and I fell in love with Her all over again.” What is the feeling of falling in love with Her vs your past experience of falling in love with a regular woman as a separate self?  It seems like understanding this would be an important key for me.

Rob was probably refering to this post if you’d like some background.

In the third grade, I looked over at the new student, Darleen Millee, and caught her looking at me. She quickly looked down in embarrassment, turned red, and I fell in love. If she wouldn’t have moved back to Norway that summer, I’m sure my life would have turned out very differently.

We all know the feeling of love at first sight: Cupid’s arrow strikes and we are instantly enamoured. At that instant, our love for our beloved is pure and untainted. At that instant, it is Ideal Love.

Then the ego (me-me-me) comes into play either on your part or your beloved’s (usually both), and things go downhill from there.

I use the love Darleen and I had for each other as an example of this Ideal Love because, as third graders, our egos hadn’t “hardened” enough to get in the way of the purity. The me-thing wasn’t as solid as it would later become. There wasn’t the sense of lust yet, nor a strong personal desire other than to be near her. I do remember a pang of jealousy when I overheard her say to her girlfriends, “Who’s in love with Bobby Sherman?” and raised her hand (that bastard), but that was the extent of the me-thing getting in the way.

Rob was asking about the love I feel for TaoGodHer. Since She has no ego, there is nothing to get in the way of Her Love. But the only way we can feel this Love—to allow this Love to naturally come through—is for us to weaken the ego.

The less there is of me, the more I feel Her Love… the more this unified (separate but one) Love comes alive. The more we become the Love.

When I walk in God—when I swim in the Paradox—She and I become joined, both separate and one. Two lovers dancing, so enthralled with each other that the ballroom vanishes and the world shrinks to just the two of us. It’s strong and it’s pure and I want nothing more than for it to go on and on forever.

And then it’s gone and I smile and feel blessed to have experienced something so divinely pure, so—paradoxically—ever present but extremely rare.


Lookin' Out My Back Door.

Lookin’ Out My Back Door (doo doo doo).

MT HOOD, OR—Many people assume that when your personal self drops, you stop having thoughts—ie: the mythical state of pure bliss.

These are two separate things.

When you stopped believing in the tooth fairy, your thoughts did not cease.

Same thing with the personal self.

When you stop believing in the personal self, your thoughts will not cease.

As many of you know, I still sometimes struggle with a noisy mind (it’s far less noisy than it was, but still more noisy than I’d like), but I no longer believe in the personal self/ego.

Just like the tooth fairy, once I realized the personal self was just a story—a collection of thoughts that are other than me—it stopped feeling real. It lost its felt sense of solidity.

In other words, to me, the personal self—the ego—is just like the tooth fairy. Just another mental image. Just a thought.

The Divine within can still function in harmony with thoughts, but She can’t function with a “solid” ego/personal self.

PS: I have thoughts on quieting thoughts (ironically) but we’ll address those later.

How To Dramatically Increase Your Luck

The Subtle Light of Life

The Subtle Light of Life

CAMP 3 (or 4), MT HOOD, OR—I came down off my mountain to hang out with Randy the Mobile Kodger for the afternoon. When I told him I’d been thinking of using the term luck instead of synchronicity he spontaneously slid into his Southern Baptist Preacher persona (which anyone who has been around Randy for more than five minutes is quite familiar with), and sang its praises.

Synchronicity is just another word for Luck. Good luck. Outstanding luck. Luck bordering on the magical.

From a consistent standpoint, I am the luckiest person I have ever met, and I know at least a dozen people who would agree with me.

I may not have won the lottery (yet), but I have consistently good luck. Outstanding luck. Magical luck.

Why? Because the less there is of the Wayne-thing, the more there is of the Divine-thing, and the Divine-thing has all sorts of resources at Her disposal.

So how do you dramatically increase your luck? How do you “get lucky” on a consistent basis?

  1. Live as if you never die. Research the evidence of the Soul and recognize there is zero evidence to the contrary. Then start living as if you live forever. Your ego (the State-Your-Name-thing) will take a serious hit—and that is a very good thing when it comes to getting lucky.
  2. Open to Radiance. Feel the natural Love you have for yourself, then open and allow that Love to flow outward onto others (people, plants, animals, rocks). Surrender to this Love and whatever naturally arises. Your ego will take another serious hit.
  3. Practice Emptiness. Dig out and drop everything your mind says is true about the personal self. The personal self (ego) is an illusion and it’s all in your head.

Do these practices one at a time or concurrently, but if you do them one at a time, then I strongly suggest you do them in the order above. Pretty soon, there will be far less of “you” in your life and a hell of a lot more of the Divine.

And the less there is of you, the more lucky you’ll get.

The Subtle Senses Of Self

The Many States of Being

The Many States of Being

SOMEWHERE IN THE SIERRAS, CA—Some thoughts I’m fleshing out. Hopefully this will be enough theory for awhile. Sorry for the long posts.

Instinctual self: Our genetically hardwired sense of self responsible for self/species preservation.

Ego: The imaginary self consisting of a persistent belief that we are our thoughts, past memories, and current roles.

Mortal self: The body, thoughts, emotions, and experience.

Soul self: Consciousness which transcends the body, but is still individualized.

Radiant Self: Consciousness still separate from the surroundings, but with a powerful sense of Love (TaoGodHer as other) flowing through you and into everything you see or experience.

Emptiness Self: The pure Witness when the sense of separation from the surroundings vanishes. Everything feels as one/you/consciousness.

Witness, Transcendent Self or just Self (capital S): When the ego is dropped, that which is experiencing events.

Personal self or just self (small s): Any combination of the above selves which you identify with.

No Self: When the Witness is no longer identified with. Clunky phrasing, but to say something like “when you no longer identify with the Witness,” is completely contrary to the experience. Everything is One Thing (nondual), and there is no “you.”

A couple key points:

  • Self is all about identity… who or what you believe yourself to be. Not rationally, but experientially.
  • Self seems to fall into one of three broad categories: Ego (me, me, me), Transcendent (I Am), No Self (???). Hat tip to Adyashanti.
  • Most people’s personal self is the ego.
  • Mortal and Soul selves are more individual based (solid self boundaries), and thus most egos identify with a combination of these.
  • Radiant and Emptiness selves are ethereal based (subtle self boundaries) and thus most people who have “woken up” tend to identify with a combination of these.
  • Though Emptiness and No Self seem to be the same, Emptiness still has a subtle sense of identity (the Witness).
  • The instinctual self has a great influence on pulling the “self center” temporarily lower (toward Mortal).
  • TaoGodHer (the nondual Intelligence), subtly pulls the “self center” higher (toward Her).
  • My experience of No Self is limited, but the instinctual self seems to affect the No Self too—it contracts the identity into one of the lower self stages because of having a physical body.
  • I have yet to identify with the ego (imaginary self) since “waking up” back in 2009. However, I often (inadvertently) contract (solidify/harden) to the Mortal and Soul levels. In other words, I no longer experience myself to be my thoughts or my history or the roles I participate in, yet I still sometimes take thoughts seriously (Mortal) or see myself as an immortal individual (Soul).
  • When I talk about the Wayne-thing (or the me-me-me), I’m talking about my Mortal self and/or instinctual self (thoughts and/or self-concerns). For most people, the Me-thing is their ego (imaginary self).

This all came about because of two “knots” I was contemplating on my birthday:

  • Knot 1: Why does my sense of self, which tends to be centered in Radiance, shift between the other levels (Mortal, Soul, Radiance Emptiness)? Insight/Whisper: The shifting of the me-center is influenced in an upward direction by a “Divine pull” (TaoGodHer) and a downward direction by the instinctual self. Not like a tug-of-war pull, but more like a unified, yin/yang, moon/ocean, tidal-like experience… a flowing.
  • Knot 2: Why do I need to identify with anything? Almost identical to the box technique mentioned here (“Right now, do I need the ego?”), but on the next level up (not ego to Witness, but Witness to No Self).

As I said, I’m still fleshing this stuff out so it’s all a bit rough, and quite honestly I’m about sick of it (I’m much happier just living it rather than explaining it), but I wanted to post it somewhere so you guys’ll have a better idea of what I’m talking about when I use that little four-letter word self.

Thanks for putting up with me (whoever that me is). 🙂

Negative Reinforcement

Too Much Mind. Too Little Light.

Too Much Mind. Too Little Light.

FRESNO, CA—When it comes to spiritual development, I’m a big fan of negative reinforcement. If it sucks, you’ll tend to avoid it. So un-Buddhist of me I know, but it works (I’m not a Buddhist).

In this forum post, I respond to micherts comment about the analytical mind and how I use my dislike of the mind to strengthen the Love/Light in me.

Turns out, Thomas Merton might have been a fan of negative reinforcement too:

In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealities and there is no joy in things that do not exist.

-Thomas Merton

Volumes have been written about what Merton says in just three little sentences. Beautiful.

As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart.

In other words: If you keep defending your personal self (imaginary self), then your life is going to suck.

Bad dog! Bad! Drop that right now! You bad dog.

Negative reinforcement: Bad for dogs—good for you.

(All silliness aside, read those three sentences again. Powerful words.)


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(All silliness aside, read those three sentences again. Powerful words.)

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(All silliness aside, read those three sentences again. Powerful words.)

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(All silliness aside, read those three sentences again. Powerful words.)