“Hi, Jeremy, good to see you again. I’ve been wanting to talk to you about something. Do you have time to talk story?”
I think not but then the barber next door pokes his head in to apologize that he forgot about his 2:00 appointment and so, yeah, I’ve got time aplenty for talking story.
“I wanted to ask you about your story.”
She means my life. I hear all about her every time we meet but I offer very little about myself, which may strike her as odd considering that not a lot of idle chat takes place here. It’s always the big, broad personal stuff. Never Dancing With The Stars.
“What do you want to know,” I ask.
“What are your beliefs?”
“About what? Spirituality?”
She fancies herself a psychic of some brand. Clairvoyant? A healer, definitely. Way into the sacred feminine, gets naked and hugs giant crystals to send her super power love energy around the earth, that sort of thing. She has a following, too. Even the New Agers here in Hawaii don’t do anything small. Everything is over the top. In fact she won’t read this because her body is intolerant of computer energy, cell phone energy–all the energies wafting around the air right now unbeknownst to her.
But vog is okay.
I think she’s asking me about spirituality either because she’s seen my poster around town for the upcoming Urgency. book signing or because every now and then I contribute a few words to a conversation with her and other friends about spirituality that cuts to the core and she wants to know why. I shouldn’t be that guy. I don’t look the part. I don’t normally speak the part. But when I do it’s contrarian and authoritative like I know something. Or perhaps like I’m judgmental in a way these folks flee at all costs.
“I don’t really have a belief,” I tell her. “It’s been my experience that, like… Okay, are you familiar with Ken Wilber?”
“Alright, well, he said–and probably he wasn’t the first to observe this but–he saw that we relate to Spirit, amongst many other things, through 1st-person, 2nd-person, and 3rd-person points of view. 3rd-person is God as an IT out there, as something we worship. 2nd-person is as someone we can relate to just like us–Oh, here comes Jesus! Or the guru. That sort of thing. And 1st-person is the transcendental oneness, the becoming godhead I AM experience. Now you see you ARE that God or Spirit–whatever word you want to use.”
“Wow, that’s really beautiful,” she says.
We had conversed previously about Hank Wesselman’s book The Bowl of Light and its subject, Hawaiian elder Hale Makua. She shared with me her thought that Makua was like The Big Island’s Dalai Lama in contrast to the many other kahunas here who work for dark forces. She said it’s not like this on the other Hawaiian islands where they work for the light. I don’t know any kahunas on any island or even how many legitimate ones there are so I can’t speak to that, but it was an interesting conversation, which ended in her boasting of being powerful enough to know the difference between light and dark kahunas.
Hearkening back to that conversation, I say, “So, when you talk about things like light forces and fighting dark forces, and things like that–I don’t doubt they exist. But they exist within the realms of the 2nd and 3rd-person points of view. The 1st-person point of view transcends and includes them both and ultimately–if you’re asking what’s the point? What’s the meaning of life? I think the point for us humans is to get there. All things are manifestations of Spirit but the thing we can do uniquely is manifest God-self awareness, too. Right here and now, the whole through the part. The self-aware aspect–we can bring that into the world and so we must. These other issues may not be unreal but they are a distraction to keep you YOU. Because ultimately to get to 1st-person awareness doesn’t take a journey. It doesn’t take consciousness evolution or time. You have to die for it. Not physically, mind you, but egoically. You have to die or shatter the dam holding back that perspective–however you want to put it. And nobody wants to do that.”
“Oh, I don’t agree with that,” she says. “I don’t think we have to die. Why can’t we just call Spirit down into ourselves?”
“Not die physically,” I emphasize. “Ego death. Persona death.”
“Oh, ego death! Been there! Done that! A long time ago. So I’m already there,” she says with a laugh. But she means it.
“Yeah. It’s not that you can’t call Spirit it’s that this is still an action that falls outside of the 1st-person perspective. In fact, we will do anything not to figure this out, including calling Spirit down. I had an experience ages ago–Are you familiar with Jiddu Krishnamurti?”
“Oh, yes! I love Krishnamurti! My parents taught me about him when I was fourteen. I remember my dad pointing to a banyan tree, like the one he talked about, and saying, ‘There is no difference between you and the tree.’ I had no idea what he meant. Of course now I get it.”
And with that, in the middle of my sentence about the life she wants to know more of, she launches into the story of her life. I listen for about 45 minutes until I need to catch a bus. I give her a kiss on the cheek goodbye. She says “I love you” as I walk out the door. I notice there are no mirrors in the place. Or if there are, one less now that I’m gone.
That was 2 days ago. I still need a haircut.