My previous blog -- the part about me getting ready to write another book -- got me thinking about some of the topics that have been up for me these past many years. Ones that excite me -- float my boat, as I am wont to say -- ones that seem real relevant to me, and are what I consider fruits of the Holotropic perspective. And one of these is about the two complementary dynamics discussed and written about so eloquently in mystical and philosophical traditions across the world spectrum: Being and Becoming. Now, I'm definitely not a philosopher -- and on a good day not even much of a mystic -- and I'm not attempting here to break any new ground on these timeless issues. But, if you guys will bear with me, I can muse out loud a little, and maybe help focus myself as I prepare to take my next writing adventure.
Have you ever read any of the writings of the so-called "world teachers"? I'm always kind of simultaneously dismayed and amused when they say how one of the main mistakes we make is to act like there's somewhere we are going -- how we feel that the Path is about a future destination. A number of them use terms -- which I love, by the way -- like, we "always, already" are that thing we're searching for. In the Sufi tradition, a well-known teacher says it beautifully: "What we are looking for is what is doing the looking." Nice, yeah? Nice, and, well, truth be told, a tad of a brain screw. Like those koans -- one hand clapping -- that sort of thing. But what they all seem to be alluding to is this gigantic half of one of the many sacred dualities, the part called "Being" -- an "isness", if I may play with the language. It's what a lot of the Hindu traditions call the Self -- the ground of being. Or the I AM, or the I Am That I Am, or the That, as in I Am That. The Changeless One, the Everpresent Now, the Beyond the Beyond, and many more.
Now, many of the traditions go on to say that what keeps us from recognizing -- always, already immediately -- this altogether true and (some say) this only real or really authentic part of existence, is that we humans get caught in a shadow world, a play, a Lila, a dance -- a very, and I mean very, seductive and mesmerizing world of time and space. And in this world we imagine ourselves to be separate, and independent, autonomous entities -- what has been called, among many labels, the False Self, or the Ego. What we need to do, many suggest, is to just wake up instantly, and realize what we always, already are. They would say, as well, that the search that the majority of us feel we are on, this thing that we call moving Holotropically, or, to put it another way, moving toward wholeness, is in fact, a big part of the pathology. It's an unnecessary, self-defeating, or inevitably delaying strategy that will always keep us from the instant recognition of the truth of our being, the freedom of the Now, the Isness of the present moment.
Okay, now a lot of the time I feel kinda stupid. Inherently flawed, the last one to know. I've definitely had a lifetime of Now and Isness moments, radical awakenings, peak experiences, conversion experiences -- whatever. Yet here I am, still trucking, more times than not all caught up in the phantasmagoria of this awesomely seductive thing we call life. I sort of hate to think it's not real, that I'm back-stroking in an imaginary lake, while the true waters of life are all around me, and all I need to do is quit back-stroking, and all this Isness will just -- become me, I guess, or something like that.
But I don't think I'm alone. In fact, if the stories I hear from seekers all over the world mean anything, I know I'm not alone. And fortunately there are also a great many teachings available to us out there that can support us and give us hope. There are other names -- and one I find particularly appropriate -- for what many call illusion, being caught, living in the Unreal, being out of Reality. It's what I'm referring to as Becoming -- the other very important half of this compelling dynamic that, at least so far, accurately defines what feels to be real to me about transformation in this moment. And what's more relevant, it seems to be really supported by a persistent application of a Holotropic perspective over a sustained period of time -- what I like to call a daily Holotropic yoga. This perspective is a dynamic interplay -- a dance, if you will -- between two equally real and valid aspects of human existence -- Being and Becoming.
Here's how I see it so far: First of all, if being in the Now was so easy, there'd be no need for perennial philosophy. We'd all just Be There. I mean, when we have these "aha" moments, and we're just being, it's easy, from this place, to see that there's no need for a becoming, no need to struggle, to strive, to try to move toward anything. So, why, then, is it so difficult to stay in the now, to maintain the awareness of those peak experiences that we have, to let go of this so-called illusory and unreal world? Well, a couple of things. The first is that, if the Holotropic perspective teaches us anything, it's that our patterns, our samskaras, the threads of inherited past tendencies, our COEX's, have a power. They have a momentum. We've mentally, emotionally, and psychically cultivated these patterns for a long time. They don't just go belly-up because we have a few nuclear blasts of clarity.
And second -- and here's the kicker -- what if they are not unreal, as some traditions say? What if this play, this Dance, is in fact just as valid, just as necessary, vital, and valuable as the Now? What if Becoming is just another play of the Now? What if they are one -- just two different, complementary and at the same time unique poises, or perspectives on being fully human? And, if you'll permit me, here's another "what if": What if we stopped here at these "what if's ", and save the rest for the next time? My head's kind of swirling. I don't know if I'm becoming the Now right now, or if the Now is becoming the ... You see what's happening. You guys may not need a break, but I do. So, let's get together next time and -- wait a minute -- let's rephrase: let's stay together in the now, now, next time and -- oh, forget it. Have a good one -- a Now or a Becoming or whatever.