The New Limbo Where Souls Go When God Dies –
One Man’s Autolysis by Brian Emmett
Note: I have become convinced that I should publish this essay in it’s current unfinished form. It needs stylistic, grammatical and organizational refinement, yet I can’t seem to get myself interested enough to do it. Yet those who have read it report that it is very interesting and useful to them, so here it is, as is…version 22
This essay is my attempt to describe the experience or state that I and others have wandered into, for better or worse!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Where It Is
What Do I Know?
What Happens to the Dropouts
The Lay of the Land
The Look of It
Not Stillness but Motion and Direction
Focus On Self
Talking School Critique
This whole thing started with an ending. It was the ending of the principle focus of my adult life. This story is about how I came to my divorce from Spirituality.
As in any good divorce, one may maintain a constructive and positive relationship to one’s former spouse -in this case, deities and teachers and practices of mediation, and experience of every kind, high and low.
Admittedly, as a result of surviving a divorce, one can become frightfully independent, often to a fault. That is what happened to me.
But the wonderful consequence of this post partum experience is that all the pressing and important issues, as well as the minutiae of life, can and do get dealt with now with relative ease.
In the new phase of life that has befallen me I find a place where the big issues, from the meaning of life and existence, to one’s place in the world, to love, or not enough love, mortality, the future of the human race, one’s relationship to any and all creators and deities etc, all these issues, are all neatly resolved within the single arena. As any of the great human issues arises and affects one with suffering or joy, confusion or vision, hope or despair, the ‘answer’ is always resolved in a new and different zone of experience, one that heretofore I never knew existed. This development does not of course allow for a release from the primal existential issue of living as an ego itself. That is a bridge yet to be crossed with any finality.
But now I must push back the focus and begin to set the stage in a meaningful cultural sense so that you can have some context with which to understand this with a little more exactitude, and hopefully compassion. That is -where I and a handful of others have gone off to, having left your spiritual scene.
What follows is a strange account of a man who has no spiritual pedigree.
All I can say for myself is that sometimes, errand boys do have tales to tell. I invite you to listen for a moment or two and see if you, dear spiritual person, can’t hear a distant rumbling of something that you do indeed recognize, however faintly.
A common assumption among spiritual folk is that those brethren who have left the Spiritual Scene, do so in order to return to an ordinary ‘worldly’ life, or maybe at best, a very compromised version of their past spiritual practice.
As a result, many of us who have indeed departed ‘The Fold,’ may wish to communicate to others several relevant facts:
” Many of us are indeed still very much interested in Conscious Life, but that we have been ejected by some mysterious force, out from spiritual life, and therefore can no longer adhere to the old ways, and cannot, for love or money, return.
” we have found what for us is a wonderful new way to go, but that, unfortunately, it is very hard to describe that place to those who do not already live there, and it is a place that is very easy to misunderstand.
This is of course partly because we can’t offer a recognizable name or label to help others to locate us on their worldview map. We can no longer say something simple and intelligible like: “I’m a Buddhist” or “I’m into Advaita” or “I’m a Sannyasin” or “I’m a Christian.”
This piece will be my attempt to give flesh to this ‘Other World’ where some of us now reside, and perhaps maybe even suggest a name for it, in order to facilitate better communications and understanding with our old friends.
Try to imagine that there is a way station or cul de sac that one may arrive at in the course and progress of a spiritual life that is neither well charted nor well described, in either the literature or the culture of spirituality. This place sits well below the radar. It is a relatively uncharted territory. This may be because the principles and truths of this station usually seems to contradict or deny the principles, doctrines and practices of most all spiritual cultures, and because it is correctly understood to represent a station in life that is indeed ‘un-enlightened.’
This zone is a place that no one ever visits voluntarily, no one really intends to spend any time in, and no one wants to see a friend or associate disappear into. It has few advocates and it bears no proper name.
A strange miasma of testing awaits you there. As a dweller in that place, I can report with some authority that it has many rare and wonderful qualities about it, although torturous passages abound and often predominate. Maybe one of your friends or associates lives there, although they will probably be slow to admit it. It is a true Limbo.
This place is a nether-world, a spur off the main thoroughfare of spiritual culture and practices, below the mysterious peaks of Enlightenment, and as you might expect, aloof from the humdrum valley of common materialism and worldliness.
People who find themselves inhabiting this region may discover that they are somehow misunderstood by almost everyone, except for those who have had a sustained experience of it. Folk who dwell there may appear to many to have simply ‘lost the plot.’
Not altogether surprisingly, dabbling in this zone is distinctly taboo in most spiritual cultures. If it is referenced there, it will be only with the affection and attention that we usually pay to reports of brain cancer, or tumors of some kind. Those who had a temporary brush with it and bounced off usually describe it as a bizarre and shattering episode, an experience when their spiritual practice went entirely off the rails, and from which they somehow escaped, usually by the ‘grace of God.’ Kind of like an encounter with an large shark while swimming in deep water that nearly ended one’s life – it’s just too dangerous and traumatic for most people to dwell upon. Better to forget about it and get back to ‘the Truth.’
Even for those of us who toil here in the post-spiritual world, there is indeed a great deal of uncertainty about what kind of zone we have stumbled into. That unknowing isn’t a tragedy, and in fact there are some real advantages in not-knowing.
But on the other hand, it would be handy to be able to communicate articulately with others about what our new life is like, and what the options and advantages are outside of traditional spirituality. So I find that I have a desire to describe just what the lay of the land is for those of us who are obviously not enlightened, but who feel they have exhausted ordinary, or even esoteric spirituality and have found themselves swimming in an unrecognizable paradigm.
And it also seems like a very natural and inevitable request for others to make of us: to ask those of us who have exited from spirituality just what we now do for ‘conscious life’ if it is not based on spiritual practices¸ affirmations, beliefs or relationships or discrimination.
But it also must be said, as you probably would have guessed, that there isn’t a monolithic ‘new place’ that all of us post-spiritualists have gone to when we were done with spirituality, like a lounge, or a church basement for lapsed Catholics, or defrocked Rabis.
** The Victims! **
A number of spiritual people I know have drifted rather helplessly into this world, although I also know people who went directly from an ordinary non-spiritual life into this odd space. Perhaps we all may gain something useful by looking directly at this zone where some of us have gone off to, and consider exactly why we left the pleasant or ‘uplifting’ occupation and community of spiritual life; what we are now doing; and what we anticipate may be the result of this diversion into the spiritual underworld.
You dear reader, may have either tasted of this world that I speak, or have had the occasion to ponder the fate of those ‘departed folk’: have they given up on their conscious life? Have they been lured back into the ‘material’ world? Are they inconsolably angry at someone or something? Have they… turned to the Dark Side!?
** What Happens to the Dropouts **
I am sure that some who drop out of spiritual life, do, more or less, ‘drop out’ and go back to ordinary life.
Many, no doubt, maintain a floating amalgamation of assorted practices and perspectives, organized in a personal and eclectic fashion, and not held on to dogmatically.
But these are not the folk that I want to focus on in this essay. More to the point and to set the record straight, I want to talk about how this ‘leaving’ has been a great spiritual boon for many of us, and how this leaving can even initiate a great acceleration of conscious life. It can generate (sometimes for the first time) an inexplicable, auto-generated transformation process, thereby replacing one’s heretofore cherished practice. Jed McKenna has described the most intense form of that auto-generated process as a hell on wheels. The name he gives it is ‘Spiritual Autolysis’, (as distinct from the self-generated writing and contemplation practice that he calls by that same name). Walt Whitman called it “the fire, the sweet Hell within.”
And lastly, I believe that some may believe about themselves that they have been departed as spirituality failures, and believe that, not only can’t they get it up for more traditional spirituality anymore, but they believe that they have totally failed at the game – are incapable. I believe in some cases they may be mistaken about that, but simply haven’t recovered their bearings or orientation after a very rough shift in perspective.
Consider this: The spiritual person can easily acknowledge that there are these two phases of life:
” The non-spiritual life of ignorance, resistance or denial of spiritual reality, and
” The acceptance of at least some degree of spiritual responsibility and embrace
Spiritual folk know about the first stage because most have experienced it. They know about the second also because they currently experience it. Further, they know that trying to convince a person who is in denial of spirituality is hopeless, because it requires a breakthrough incident to turn a person towards spirit and few if any mortals can supply such.
We Post-Spiritualitites are in a similar position relative to the spiritual folk who now misunderstand us. We have actually lived both the non-spiritual life and the spiritual life. Having entered into a new and distinct phase, we can tell the difference between all three! We know we can’t convince spiritual folk of what we have learned and understood because they will not be ready to understand until the breakthrough incident occurs for them. Then it will be : “Aahhaaa! Now I see what you have been talking about!!!”
* * * *
All that being said as introduction, I will say a few things that I can discern about the post-spiritual path in general, to give flesh to certain ideas, and I will attempt to expound on that phenomenon and offer specific examples, when required, from my own life, if I think that may be helpful to the reader, always keeping in mind that there are probably as many post-spiritual paths as there are spiritual paths.
Let me start by saying that the practices, lifestyles, and relationships that many of us fairly worshipped in the near past, that were the bedrock of our lives, now seem strangely obsolete to us. It does not follow from that that we therefore disrespect or wish to abuse those things; it is just that many of us feel that we have moved on, or moved off in a different direction, and would never, and probably, can never, go back to them again, even if we wanted to. The vast majority of us are not anti-spiritual but post-spiritual, and we happily support anyone who finds the ancient Paths useful in their own unfoldment. Viva la’difference.
**Where It Is **
I sometimes call this spiritual underworld ‘Post Spirituality,’ although its values and goals are in accord with many of the great truths of Spirituality and Transcendentalism, such of those of Advaita and Zen and Taoism, and the new Teachers such as Byron Katie, Jed McKenna and Eckhart Tolle. At least the parts where they tell you that: ‘there are no ‘means’ that can get you enlightened, and/or ‘you as ego can’t make the journey’.
On the other hand, Post-Spiritualists may take mild offence at the compromises that those old and new teachers make when they sometimes contradict themselves, by turning that assertion around and offering yet more ‘skillful means’ to Enlightenment!
So, in all honesty, some of us are even a little uncomfortable with the Monists/Non-Dualists/Transcendalists of the realm!
I had an Italian Uncle who was a foreman on a railroad in New York and who offered this humorous wisecrack about young dudes who didn’t fit in with the serious work program on the tracks: ‘too heavy for the light work, and too light for the heavy work!’ If enlightenment is the ‘heavy work’ then that is an apt wise-crack about us Post-Spiritualists. We are not Enlightened, but we also don’t abide any spiritual practices.
**The Main Differences**
Post-Spiritualists affirm the non-dual nature of Reality that emanates from and is sourced from the Singularity of Being. But the distinction, I would suggest, is that Post-Spiritualists tend to dismiss any practices or techniques or Masters as obsolete artifacts, as the final dalliance that usurps and ultimately the movements of their own intrinsic being towards reunification of self with Self.
For example, take this excerpt gleaned from the Internet:
“I finally got down to the business of watching my thoughts. The meditation was on. Keenly I continued to inspect each thought, comprehend it and reject it as it was Not I. I pushed on. Meditating at this time, as long as you don’t drift off to sleep, I have found to be very effective and it was no different last night. The mind began to slow and a great focus emerged. No thought was escaping awareness and each was being “digested” by the furnace of intelligence.
Soon, as often happens with these meditations, sweet joy and vast energy made their welcome appearance. No analysis was being used. Simply, thoughts were being seen for what they were and being rejected as not being “Who I am”. Awareness and intelligence were in full flow, both were acute and inclusive. Insight was fully operational. The state grew very pleasurable and seemed to continue on and on. I remained as vigilant as possible, not allowing anything to stick – not attaching to any thoughts. At some point much later, I had turned and fallen asleep, but throughout the night there were episodes where I was awake and watching, negating, enjoying. To me, this is so much fun. At another point even thought formations seemed to just cease, but the watching continued. Neti, neti – not this, nor this. The secret here is that it does not matter who you are, it only matters who you are not.”
This meditation is how this gentle soul and doubtlessly good man enjoyed himself, and had some ‘fun’. Which is wonderful! Now what, may I ask you, dear reader, is wrong with this picture? Actually it is not a question of something being wrong but of something missing. He doesn’t seem to get the autolysis part, in my view.
His last line states: “The secret here is that it does not matter who you are, it only matters who you are not”, which is a fair enough truth, but what I see him actually experiencing in his heightened meditation is: it only matters what you are not, rather than what he claims which is -it only matters who you are not.
Someone in this position has achieved a grand and wonderful capacity for mystical experience of a transcendental variety. ‘He’ remains the Observer, watching and pleasantly invulnerable. Delightfully immortalized by the event. There is no crisis here. There is no death event. It’s all a bit like watching a good movie on a Saturday afternoon with the family. Lovely to be sure and very human, but…it goes not to freedom, I suspect. I am reminded of my favorite quote attributed to Jesus, where he is reported as advising: “he who loves his life shall lose it…”
This is not an event, such as Ramana relates, of lying down and being consumed by a fear of death and then utterly surrendering himself to that impending death. Moreover it will never, I predict, become one. It is actually a distraction and a block that will prevent such an event from occurring.
You may well ask: why disparage the elegance of an Advaitic exercise whereby the user enquirers: ‘Who am I’ and then responds ‘neti, neti,’ and who in the course of that exercise ‘loses his/her mind’ and experiences a delightful bliss. The point here is that what has been undone by this enquiry. Isn’t it of ‘the mind’, and not of the self.
Freedom from identification with his thoughts and even the mind has occurred, which is thrilling, but still masks the secret seed of the self which is relating this delightful tale to us. But that’s the one that has got to die, not be entertained. This kind of refined spiritual experience is the first form of the self-contraction and the last delusion. I will echo Jed McKenna in saying that it was actually produced by our beloved Mistress, who goes by the name of Maya, done for our great entertainment, and to keep us thinking we have exited her amusement park, when actually we are just ensconced in a secret place of enjoyment, in an obscure corner of her Amusement Park. It is not about liberation.
* * *
Post-Spiritualists could also be described as Radical Fatalists insofar as they contend that any action of the ego that presumes to be non-dual (such as Advaitic enquiry directed towards releasing the self from the stranglehold of the ego, or Byron Katie questions about Truth, or Jed McKenna recommendations to do a writing exercise he calls ‘spiritual autolysis’) are at best higher psycho-spiritual exercises having no substantive bearing on realizing ‘who’ one is.
The only well-known teacher who I know of who unambiguously championed that POV of- no method, no intention, and no guru, was U.G. Krishnamurti.
So what is the worldview of the Post-Spiritualists? How is Post-Spirituality or Divine Fatalism different from ordinary ‘fatalism’? Ordinary and religious fatalism is grounded in simple ego-consciousness = “it is God’s will,” or, it “is my fate to succeed (or suffer).” An Post-Spiritualists intuits, experiences, and understands the monistic non-dual nature of reality and understands that if ‘his’ divine self wants him to be this or that – so it will be. If his divine self wants him to be enlightened, that will be that, and vice versa. If the divine self wishes ‘him’ to be striving but not reaching enlightenment or freedom, then that, and only that will happen. No ‘practices’ prevail or matter. And dare I say it: if the divine wishes to use one of its personalities to experience something extremely dreadful, well,… you get the idea!
Does the ego have ANY say at all in this matter? The truest answer may depend solely upon how transparent the questioner is in the moment when he asks it. From one POV, he does seem to have a functioning free will, and, “he can prove it! Just watch me move!” From another POV – not at all. Everything he does or experiences is only the divine acting through him. He is helpless and in that helplessness he may find an exquisite freedom and serenity.
Although I am not absolutely sure that I have ever met an enlightened person, big claims and transmissions notwithstanding, most seem to say or do something or other that compromises their own proffered Truths. They say this, but then they do that. Adi Da used to say “the way I teach is not a reflection of me but you!” and I understand that that could be but the degree that some compromise is not altogether conscionable to my mind. Even U.G. worries me with his (apparently) extreme reactivity. I am into anger and keeping it real with the dark side, but Jesus, U.G.! Could have chilled out a bit!
I think it is fair to say that in religion we attempt to access greater Reality through the medium of a Faith, that includes beliefs, practices, observances, and obedience to authority figures of many varieties.
In spirituality we insist upon a more direct connection, at least potentially, to the same or a greater metaphysical Reality, and we enact a whole series of practices in order to make that connection happen.
In transcendental ‘non-dual’ paths such as Advaita and Zen and Taoism, we abandon all those things, and we substitute a subjective and self-oriented practice (“enquire, who am I”.) That practice is a deliberate attempt to confound even the motivation to do practices or to change states.
In Post-Spirituality, we abandon not only the beliefs, the practices, and all the authority figures, (including an abandonment of ‘gods’), but we also abandon even the intentionally self-defeating transcendentalist practices that Advaita Vedanta (for example) is famous for.
In a sense we Post-Spiritualists prefer to take an existential stand, with a certain disregard for the potential for higher evolutionary development or capacity (God-Realization), substituting a radically present and surrendered relationship to what Is. We trust that there is great or greater wisdom, love or truth in the fullness of that realization than that which is suggested by aforementioned spirituality.
As a consequence, we find ourselves quite alone and quite un-sheparded by anyone; we don’t really believe anything peripheral to our new conscious life, and we have no practices that are essential to us (we don’t do a heck of a lot of formal mediation).
Our only trustable calculus of reality is the Truth we can intuit, or have the experienced of. As my old teacher, Adi Da, used to say: “Truth is self-authenticating!”
But we are still on the path – that is, just like our spiritual brothers and sisters, we love the Sun and we are drawn closer to her fullness. Or maybe more accurately, we are being pulled closer to the Sun, not by our own rocket power, but the gravitational pull of the Sun’s mass. We have lost quite a bit of control, and we are now in a ‘decaying’ orbit, because we have given up much of the struggle to get somewhere.
We are Lost in Space! Floating without hope. Dead men walking, the undead talking. Drifting ‘helplessly’. We are on our own now! Good luck! This path feels something like one of those science fiction movies where the astronauts have volunteered for a mission to a planet so far away, that by the time they return, if they ever return, everyone they ever knew will be dead and gone. Quite sobering when you think about it!
But the Freedom!!! Oh, we love our reckless new freedom. Live or die, this is the way we will go.
** The Lay of the Land **
So if spiritual practices etc don’t work, and if U.G. Krishnamurti and Jed McKenna are correct that the only event that can deliver unadulterated transcendence is a catabolic breakdown that Jed McKenna refers to as Spiritual Autolysis, then that is what has to happen- “I”, as I know myself to be, will have to die! Furthermore, there is the crucial issue as to whether one can even choose such an un-doing. It may well be, and it is consistent with everything else we have been talking here, that the ego cannot, does not, and will not ever choose to die, and therefore realize ‘The Truth’, to become enlightened.
That implies that you and me, dear reader, cannot arrange our own spiritual success or ego ‘demise’, through either gradual or revolutionary practices or even sacred intentions. That suggests, doesn’t it, that it has to come from the ‘Other End’- the ‘god’ side of us. In other words, your autolysis, your death, your subsequent enlightenment, will only come about when your ‘not-you’ chooses it. Yet another nail in the coffin of spirituality!
If that is so then I and other Post-Spiritualists have a different POV than many of the great Transcendentalists. At this point some others will no doubt assert that the guru, and only the guru, is the accomplishing device that can produce that first and last step described above. In response, others like me will quote Zen Master Linji: “if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!” In other words, you have wandered beyond the guru’s garden walls. You must now fend for yourself.
But I realize that there is no arguing anyone into either POV. In my opinion, both statements may be true. If you are starting out in spiritual life and you reject teachers out of hand, then you probably have a fool for a guru – your ego! But there comes a time when one must face the dark alone, when one must experience directly the cause of their suffering and begin to cease animating the activity that is creating separation and ego, and even a great guru can’t do that for you. Not in absolute terms.
Attraction? Some teachers have said that attraction to the Divine is the winning formula. There is a strong logic there I don’t doubt it. But I may like the shiny thing I see over there, but die to get it? You’ve got to be kidding me!
Then what if anything is one’s day to day responsibility with regard to a non-intentional spiritual process? I suspect that everyone, everyday, and in every way is actively involved in both acceding to and putting off a genuine Spiritual Autolysis Process with myriad distractions, high and low. That’s the ego for you.
For those gravitating towards a less self-divided experience, their response is to, as much as they are so inclined, seems to be to ‘get out of the way.’ There is only the slowing down of this machine of evolution via transformation, to one degree or another. Although paradoxically, I believe that one must maintain ordinary physical, emotional and mental equanimity in order to prevent the body-mind complex from sucking higher consciousness into its own pit of self absorption.
So on a progressive day you may find me more at peace and surrendered, and on a regressive day more reactive and distracted. But the paradox asserts itself again, right here: is it really my ego who is cooperating and behaving and surrendering and being ‘good’ that day, or does the attunement come from Source, and I only think that I am ‘in tune’ on that good day? Perhaps the Truth is indeed one of ‘divine fatalism.’ Perhaps every movement towards unity, or away from it, is only Source doing what it wants with its ‘local representatives,’ me and you.
** Taboo Talk **
A fine case can be made that spirituality is the greatest delusion that Maya ever created. How do we feel about that? And conversely, how much relief does that notion afford us? How much of a threat is it to our world-view and our sense of survival? Perhaps there really is truth in that most despised of Oriental concepts – that of Fatalism. If that is the case, then it’s not so much that there is ‘no free will’, but instead – One Free Will!
I know one thing is for sure about this question: it can’t be argued or thought through to a definitive conclusion. I can’t convince anyone of this possibility. I am sure that it is quite beyond the capacity and power of the human mind to do so. There is evidence on both sides that is quite convincing, and all I can say is that at this particular juncture of my life I am finding more evidence to support the fatalist POV. You know, it is not that far a leap because every spiritual system that I know, from Christianity to Zen, proclaims the spiritual incompetence of the ego. How far a jump is it to suggest that not only can’t the ego enlighten itself- because it is powerless to do so, but that the ego doesn’t even really figure into it? That it is a shadow puppet of the Divine Being and Will.
If that’s the case, where do we file ‘spirituality’ now?
*** The Look of It ***
The answer to the question of ‘what remains’ of spiritual life for the post-spiritualist looks something like this:
” Energetically, it lies within the context of breakdown and surrender.
” Intellectually, it is characterized more by an appreciation of not-knowing, and paradox, rather than knowing.
” Volitionally, it lies within the province of non-intentionality and involuntary progression. It is not an acausal system like Advaita, but an anticausal system.
” Sociologically, it dwells within the domain of individuality.
” Psychologically, it inhabits the province of core self.
” Physically it is feels to me to be strongly related to the chest area, although it has nothing to do with emotions or love. Notice how, when people refer to their ‘self’, they usually tap their chest.
” The mood of it would perhaps best be described as subdued.
” Attitudinally it might be described as a bit apathetic.
” Politically and culturally, it is identified with an allegiance to personal sovereignty – by a disinclination for submission to any authority whatsoever.
” Temporally, it relates to a sense of present-ness.
” And spatially it within the space of here.
By the way, by ‘present-ness’ I don’t mean ‘the Presence of the Almighty’ or some such spiritual fandango.
If you just give it a little thought, the logic of our position reveals the obvious. For all the language and instruction to the contrary, spirituality, no matter how sophisticated, is based on active work or seeking for reconnection to ‘reality’, or at the very least, the intention to experience unity with all that is!
But what happens when a person has exhausted, and I do mean physically, emotionally and mentally EXHAUSTED that capability for movement in himself? The answer is that the tide changes from flow to ebb. If you can no longer find the muscle in yourself to affirm or commune with or identify with a preferred reality, deity, guru, state or condition, what you are obviously left with is a stillness, or present-ness, that is as empty as it is palpable. Alone, quite alone. Additionally if you mingle that disposition with an auto-generated autolysis process, you may start to get some interesting fireworks.
After a lifetime of ‘successful’ meditation, I find that I can’t really seriously meditate anymore, because what used to routinely be a rich and sacred event or ‘ceremony’, is now a relatively meaningless accoutrement, that feels somehow angular, self-divided, regresssive and needy. That accoutrement isn’t bad of course, but I don’t relate to it as the real deal anymore, so I don’t bother with it too much. It has something of the quality of brushing my teeth or doing a little yoga to loosen up. Fine, but definitely not the cutting or creative edge of my conscious life. Actually, not just not cutting edge, but an actual distraction, a diversion. In contrast, the locus and experience of ‘self’ feels tangibly deeper and truer than my previous grand experiences of the Divine.
And yes, I can hear it now – “he just doesn’t want to endure the rigor of spiritual practice anymore.” “He has given up the struggle and is following the pleasure principle now!” My reply to that thing is that since departing from formal spirituality my life has become much much harder. Oftentimes it is so hard that I think that I really can’t bear it. If indeed I was taking the easy way out and had succumbed to the pleasure principle, don’t you thing that I would reverse gear and get my ass back to ‘God’ in a heartbeat in order to regain what I experienced as the easier and more respectable path, if easiness was my driving principle?
In contrast, it is my experience that rather than pursuing and or engaging ‘the Divine,’ as I did for 35 years previously, I now find that the divine pursues me: not with a flower or a box of chocolates, but “with a vengeance”. Rather than having ‘the practice’ to do every day, I now find that I have a process that “does me” every day. Another way of describing the change is that spiritual life becomes more or less involuntary, rather than volitional, as it had been in the past.
I must also admit the contradiction here that I still tend to actively presume that process is somewhat under my ‘control’ (please try not to laugh out loud at my inconsistency!) and substituting for meditation on any thing, or any state, or any guru or being, I simply cease performing spiritual activities and simply become aware of my tendency to resist my suffering and do try to allow the ‘other’ space of simply being to reemerge. Seemingly as a result, I often find myself restored to a space which appears to be situated somehow centered around my chest. I feel that I can then operate outside of, but not identified with mind, emotion and appetites. There, I feel sublime – mindless and emotionless and quite bodily serene. So my process is much more about cessation of any effort or volition or desire than connecting to the ‘all’ or the ‘other’.
To those who may ask: “but you used and validated those meditative or contemplative exercises and relationships for most of your life. Are you saying now that that exercise was a lot of nonsense”? Well, the answer is a most sincere and respectful yes and no. Perhaps the following story may begin to explain how that could be: my ex-teacher used to say that the first instance of the Divine consenting to becoming ‘unenlightened,’ and consequently, egoic, is a self-contraction in its own field of limitless infinite being, and that contraction then creates “act(s) of attention and feeling(s) of relatedness.”
But when queried about how to transcend that contraction of Being- (from relatedness and attention) and restore it back to ‘feeling and awareness’, he would answer to “put your attention on me”, referring to himself as guru and a gateway personality to the divine reality.
When further questioned about the problem of using the already derided self-contracted faculty of ‘attention’ to achieve liberation, he would admit to the clear quandary that those instructions represented, but say that he would handle that problem for us – perhaps some thing like a ‘trading of karmas’ that he referred to in the past would be affected by him.
My point here is that at a certain point it becomes your responsibility, no, your fate, your destiny, your obligation! to abandon spiritual tools, however useful they were in the past, in order to accept a different and new responsibility, because those tools are all, in essence, the form and substance of limitation and self division. Ironically I will interject a Pop legend here: when the ‘Who’ were asked why they smashed their instruments after every concert they explained that the guitars and drums, that were the instrument that liberated them from conventional consciousness, at a certain point are revealed to be the new prison walls. They felt that they had to destroy them in order to keep expanding.
At this point in my own life, I can’t really make serious use of ‘attention’, or its derivatives, or even strategic ‘non-attention’ stratagems, the way Advaita does, nor any forms of relatedness, nor any acts or practices to further my conscious life. They would all be transparently counterproductive for me. Moreover, I can’t take seriously the use of any of the ‘skillful means’ of spirituality to further that end. Those skillful means are now the part of my life we in Adidam used to refer to as, ‘conductivity (health-giving but secondary exercises).’
** My Exit **
It should be emphasized that most of us, as far as I can tell, didn’t ‘decide’ to abandon spirituality. It came about for me that after 30 years of practice with one Teacher, I rather suddenly realized that enough was simply enough, and I so formally ‘resigned’ my relationship to my guru and his institutions and culture. But that act was really only preamble. I carried on for perhaps 8 months until I heard that another teacher from our spiritual lineage was coming to town for several days. In fact, he was staying at the house right next door to me at my friendly neighbor’s house. What luck, I thought! Maybe then some communication or transmission of greater truth will befall me! Maybe I’ll even get to socialize with him in the off-hours. I participated in the preparations for his arrival and his comfort by doing a bit of carpentry and looked forward to the day.
I clearly had a need to fulfill and a hope that I treasured, that my encounter with him would be transformative. When the day arrived in July of 2007 I excitedly attended a morning Kirtan but was profoundly deflated by the event, or should I say non-event. Nothing even vaguely transformative occurred. That evening, before my weekly Men’s Group, I came home from work and collapsed in a heap of sorrow and pain. Eventually I managed to drag myself down the road to the group and broke down crying in front of everyone, sobbing like a girl, that “everything I believed about spirituality and spiritual life was false”, and more that, mercifully, I can’t recall. I knew now that my whole life had been built upon a grand miscalculation, and there was no denying it anymore.
This was not the first time that language like that came out of my mouth and changed my life. In 1987 a similar truth issued from me and drastically changed my course. But in that case, the critique was directed at me, my cultism, my idealism and my fundamentalism, as well as the foolishness of my peers. And it took me about 5 years to begin to participate once again in organized spiritual practices. I was profoundly leery of my previous missteps and on guard against the herd mentality of the spiritual community.
But the 2007 unraveling was directed at the core of the whole business: not just my teacher, and his teachings, but more importantly, the very notion of doing spiritual practice itself.
I hadn’t done a computation to get there, it was just obvious to me. I sensed with my whole being that here was something utterly false about my belief in, and participation in ‘spirituality.’ I could never go back. It was over.
The works of Jed McKenna were suggested (once again) by another friend some time later, and I read them with complete delight, whereas just year or two prior, I would have scoffed at most everything in those books. Those books confirmed the key reality that I had recently begun to work with on my own- that ultimately it was indeed necessary to ‘kill the Buddha.’ And not when one had ‘achieved’ enlightenment, but well before that point. And that time had arrived.
Otherwise, the relationship to a guru or a practice, that once was a force for liberation that drew me beyond conventional Maya, would become an new refined albatross, weighted around my neck and ultimately killing my spirit and capacity for ego-transcendence. Why? Because surrender at some point becomes a critical gesture. And one of the most precious belongings that a practitioner ‘owns’ is his practice and teacher. If you don’t find it in yourself to cast it into the wind someday, those relationships which grew you up from a spiritual child into manhood, will someday smother you, if you don’t let go of them.
But there are many layers to this unraveling that I have had to endure so I don’t want it to sound like some traditional ‘Satori’ awakening experience, such as I’ve enjoyed innumerable times. Nor do I wish it to be confused with the disappointment and upset that comes when one is disappointed in a spiritual encounter, of which I have also had so many. And there are many layers of mental, emotional, energetic, and physical obstructions that may have to be released once one detaches from the spiritual machinery. So it is no shortcut or easy way ‘out.’ The story above is simply of a layer of a persona being undone. But there are many.
In its stead, when I do indeed surrender to that mysterious pressure that routinely and unintentionally builds up inside me, I often find I descend to a depth of “presentness” that I continually assess to be far more sane, sober, still, peaceful and real than the magnificent hookups that commonly used to occur between me and the Divine, during my long history of doing spiritual practices.
And furthermore, it’s worth saying that this response is not based upon an esoteric opening or maneuvering of any kind. It’s wisdom is in standing still in the midst of the ego’s reaction to: boredom, doubt and physical discomfort mortality and the absence of love, and every and any kind of diminishment of self that the ego fears. Of late it is profoundly associated with the body in my own case, in the chest area.
In other words
In any case a new developmental phase opens up with its own costs and delights. For delight you may now find that you have spontaneous access to an experience of presentness that is extradinary and quite pleasant. It has much of the richness and, shall we say, pleasure of your best moments of god communion, but it is located in your self.
* * Not Stillness but Motion and Direction **
Our universal programming as humans is to be non-stop hunters, not altogether different from the stories we hear about sharks that can never stop swimming because it is only their propulsion through the water that brings life-giving oxygen to their gills. Without movement, they perish. Similarly, we humans even at the best of times, are constantly feeding ourselves with a vast spectrum of stimulations and entertainments and ‘accomplishments.’ Eating, drinking, sexing, loving, thinking, working, philosophizing (as I am doing right now writing this essay), contemplating and even communing with nature or deity, are all examples.
And we are doing all that ‘feeding’ in our effort to deny the gnawing reality that we, as apparent egos, have become detached from the great sustenance of Source, and are actively experiencing our impending death therefore, in every moment. Any reunion with Source demands the cessation of that separative activity of egoity. We must become aware of our perilous disposition, feel our agony at being cut-off from Source, and either by our own volition of by God’s Grace, cease to identify solely with the machinery of the body-mind. As Carlos Castaneda put it: “it is important to become aware that death is always lurking over our left shoulder.”
* Being Still**
Thus being still and present flies in the face of the machine of full spectrum consumption and avoidance. Developing present-ness is, at least for a while, saying ‘no’ to everything! Later the game may shift, but the essence of this phase, is a big ‘no’ to all but self.
Thus simply allowing all the fears and reactions, philosophies and desires to be present. Noticing the body trying to run away or implode, and simply staying with the fear of annihilation is best. Yes, you can legitimately correct obvious shutdowns like when your breathing has stopped, or the muscles in your belly have drawn into a clench, but those gestures are not seeking responses, but just common housekeeping and maintenance. And yes, there are ever deeper levels to this business.
Indeed the fire of this process is such that, as you say ‘no’ to everything (but self), you may find that the universe responds by saying no to you. The universe does this in order to help you focus on your business to stay present. So to those who suppose that this phase is a self-indulgent ‘cake-walk’, think again. Many ordinary life opportunities that otherwise would have likely come your way may not, to your great consternation. You may find yourself living in what feels like a modern-day version of the yogi’s cave of renunciation, or a prolonged ‘dark night of the soul.’ As a Westerner, you may well hate that, addicted as you are to so much entertainment and gratification. You may even lose your health and maybe even your life. Many, I’m told, have lost their sanity or had nervous breakdowns during the peak of this elimination phase.
Jed refers to what I believe he called “intelligent depression”. When one begins to see the profound falsity of the ego’s life and pursuits, one may enter a phase that often looks to an outsider like garden variety depression. Take a moment to consider the report one of one of the greatest Americans, Abraham Lincoln:
“Regardless of how he (Lincoln) felt about Rutledge (a neighbor whom he had no known relationship with) while she was alive, her sickness and death drew Lincoln to his emotional edge. Around the time of her burial, a rainstorm, accompanied by unseasonable cold, shoved him over.” “As to the condition of Lincoln’s Mind after the death of Miss R.,” Henry McHenry, a farmer in the area recalled, “after that Event he seemed quite changed, he seemed Retired, & loved Solitude, he seemed wrapped in profound thought, indifferent to transpiring Events, had but Little to say, but would take his gun and wander off in the woods by himself, away from the association of even those he most esteemed, this gloom seemed to deepen for some time, so as to give anxiety to his friends in regard to his Mind.”
Perhaps Lincoln was simply suffering the death of a neighbor and was disturbed by her absence in the community. But perhaps he was a man of greater depth than this. Perhaps her death tore the last veil of hope from him, that life would be for him something it could never be. Clinicians may speculate that Lincoln suffered from long-term clinical depression, which is of course possible, but most psychologists are uninformed about the spiritual process. Their calculus doesn’t include the phase of life where one abides for an extended period of time in a miasma of testing that includes a challenging of one’s fundamental values and life’s purpose. An aware therapist must evaluate how much of a clients depression is fear and frustration based, and how much is existential/spiritual, and respond accordingly.
The point to make here is that an autolysis phase of life may be encountered even by those who had no apparent spiritual orientation at all, and have it misdiagnosed as personal disorder such as depression. Indeed the woman named ‘Lisa’ in Jed’s third book Spiritual Warfare, is undergoing exactly such as passage, with no guarantee of success.
* Payoffs * *
The reader may well ask: what can you hope to achieve with all this ‘self’ business? There are probably a wide variety of replies to that question, but I can offer an suggestion or two. For one, presentness is its own reward. Period. The depth and richness of it, at least in its growing maturity, has to be experienced to be believed. Just think of those (terrible or wonderful) moments when time stood still, when the texture and flavor of the moment became overwhelmingly clear to you.Do you recall just how magical that was?
And there is also a bit of gratification involved in just being clear headed and knowing that you are not chasing rainbows anymore.
Paradoxically, there is also the wish (at least in me), that if I do indeed stay present to all that arises, in and as detached self, without seeking to access another reality than ‘the domain of my own self’, then ‘All that Is’ will inevitably be included for inspection, and, you know, maybe some enjoyment! and something of the previously presumed bounty, or the booty presumed of spiritual life, may fall into my hands unbidden, not fraught with the efforts of seeking and striving and believing and loss of sovereignty over my self. Remember, I didn’t claim that hope and desire is dead and buried, just disciplined.
At one level though the post-spiritual phase is in accord with the purpose and vision, and desire for liberation from the chains of ego, that are at the core of great traditions of spirituality. It’s just that we disagree on the way to get there.
You may well ask, how did I get from affirming ‘present-self’ to honoring nirvanic non-self? The answer lies within the structure of paradox. Language, and therefore communications, in order to be effective and comprehensive, has to contradict itself. At its best, that is what poetry and art achieves, while propaganda and pornography fails at: creating a patchwork of linear and logical fragments that are in themselves are only partly true, that elegantly seem, for a shimmering moment, to represent a truth about the apparently fractured duality of existence. We Post-Spiritualists generally accept the inspiration and the intuition that fixates and motivates the great spiritual tradition. It’s just that we take issue with their methods, their belief systems, their practices, and their hierarchical structures. It not so much that we are denying them, as we are ignoring them, just as they are now ignoring us!
* *other’s processes *
I appreciate that spiritual people will likely assert that they do indeed have a live process going on in the midst of their spiritual practice, or life. I agree. Many, no doubt, do; and the reason I am confident about that I myself would have affirmed the same during the period that I did my spiritual practice. It may seem insignificant to some but there is a difference, at least in degree if not kind, between a completely auto generated process and a practice that does indeed depend on one’s initiative, will or attraction of response to an other’s directions to produce a process of change or growth.
I make this point because part way through my 35 years of practice, a spontaneous process began to awaken in me. The unexamined and unanswered question remains though as to whether that process was initiated by spiritual practices, or was repressed by those same spiritual practices. Perhaps both. But at least in my case, I can say with some certainty that whatever the role that spiritual practices and relationships served in me, with all due respect, they now seem as irrelevant and counterproductive to supporting my spiritual life, as the examining of the entrails of a chicken, or reading tea leaves in order to divine the future (not to put too fine a point on it.) I now suspect that those individuals, who have become enlightened, ultimately did so in spite of their traditional path rather than because of it.
* * Focus on Self * *
A key feature of Post-Spirituality is the focus on self (non-divine), which is obviously the great taboo of spirituality everywhere. Whereas in spiritual life the focus is on surrendering the self to God, or Guru, or the Void or All That Is, in this phase of which I speak, attention begins to collapse inward onto the self itself, prior to or other than serious involvement with projections of identity outward onto the objective universe. This is admittedly not always a pretty sight. It is indeed “selfish.” But one gradually comes to understand that although the experience of “self” is, in itself, rather unenlightened, this experience of self may come to be evaluated as realer and more profound than the previously cherished states of communion or merging with a divine self deity or guru, and is almost certainly more profound than an exclusively worldly exploitation of lower self, or for that matter, even intellectual self.
And I must say, that with few exceptions, (for example, Advaita Vedanta that has its own structural limitations), spirituality generally seems intent upon actively prohibiting the experience of the terrible beauty of “just self”, either in its egoic form of ‘post-spirituality’ or even as Alan Watts pointed out long ago, in its ultimate and complete stage of ‘enlightenment.’ If you are continuously being directed to convert or shift or modulate the contents and behavior of self, or put your intention and attention on connecting to a Greater Self, then there’s very little opportunity to explore and examine the core of egoity. My old Teacher used to say “you can’t transcend what you haven’t realized.”
Furthermore, I would argue that “all is self”, at one level or another. This statement is akin to the wonderful old adage that ‘all is vanity.’ If you think about it, everyone, from the criminal sociopath, to the housewife, to the Preacher who is coaching people on how to save themselves from the fires of hell, to the esoteric and transcendental spiritual people who are either trying to merge with the Great Self, or else fall out of ego and into the non-self of Nirvana, are all tussling with the issue of SELF! Self is ‘big business’ in this universe, no matter how you slice it. So no excuses offered for that.
Another justification for delving into the self is structural. Once the ‘All’ has subdivided itself into unique separate adventures known as egos, that itself becomes the fundamental structure of its new existence. If that is the case, then the dismantling or outshining of that self requires a direct and honest assessment or confrontation with the qualities and experience of the self, both its lures and its costs. Our typical ego has been further extended from the separative activity of the original or causal layer of self contraction into additional subdivisions and has become profoundly identified with those lesser fragment such as mind, thought, emotions, feelings, body sensations and personal destiny. So the clinic of post-spiritual sadhana is rightly the appraisal and eventual transcendence of the self. But you have to ‘own it’ before you can ‘lose it.’
But it is not ‘selfish’ in the sense of wanting more for oneself than for others – an unwillingness to share, but more like a strange self-satisfaction, in which most other ‘things’ appear relatively pale, and a bit boring too. Although critics may wish to paint it as akin to ‘Service to self’ in the dark sense, it is really quite different than that.
This perspective, concerning the ‘self’, will no doubt sound like the height of self-delusion to my old spiritual buddies. Nevertheless, having cast off the shackles of spirituality (I still can’t believe that Karl Marx had this right!) it feels very much like having graduated from a University, and we are, at last, out in the world with a chance at real life (or at the least, a “realer” life.) And I also grasp that I have as much chance of convincing spiritual people of the truth of what I say here, as I do of convincing a devoted mother to abandon her children.
* * * The Future * * *
Oddly, even the greatest traditions of spirituality such as Buddhism and Advaita etc leave the post-spiritualist cold. Buddhism is content to give the ego a slew of practices to do for a lifetime in order to exhaust all the ego’s tendencies, as if the ego was stupid enough to fall for that one! And Advaita is willing to consign the job of transferring identification from the ego to the True (non) Self, to the very ego itself, via its ruminations and considerations, in spite of its infinite capacity for self-deception. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!
And while I am certain that the Guru ‘bestowal/transmission process’ is genuine, having participated in it for many decades, that doesn’t necessarily make it obligatory or optimum, and not least because its structure is obviously extremely dualistic.
Ultimately, I believe the problem with the Dharshan Yoga/Bestowal Method to me is that it is circular and self-defeating to ‘where I want to go, and dis-empowering of full responsibility for one’s fate. My experience of it is that even the strongest people who take this path must submit to the parent-child structure of relationship (as they are required to do so by their Guru.) This instrumentality may work for those seeking God-realization (absorption into the Divine Godhead), but for those on the path of (Nirvanic) Self realization, it is a distraction that must be seen through eventually if the discipline is to be free, not only because it relies on another apparent player in the dream (the Guru) to handle the ego’s demise, but because it strips an individual of his sovereignty and doesn’t trust the mysterious movement of Consciousness itself, to accomplish the ultimate deed of ego-decapitation.
Furthermore, history has shown that it is susceptible to cultic distortions and delusions of every imaginable kind and degree.
* talking school critique* *
I have also been appraised that many Advaitists, and soon, no doubt, some ‘Jedists’, will contend that there is no such phase as the one I am endeavoring to describe. They may say something like this: There is no ‘null zone’ as you describe it – either you are a deluded seeker, or you have ‘gotten it’ and left spiritual practices and relationships because you are now enlightened. End of story! I have been hearing variations on that theme for many years.
I will say in reply, that to make a statement like that in Truth, you either have be ‘enlightened’, or else you are making ‘enlightenment talk’, from a point of hidden egoity and separation. To merely affirm that “nothing spiritual works’ is just ‘book learning.’ Talking the talk. That talk is light years from the realization of truth. It is idealism in ‘Non-Dual’ variety. It has neither the energized passion and raw commitment of those who are earnestly seeking the Truth, nor the sublimity of one who has Realized it. It is just talk. The grand paradox for one processing the Non-Dual Truth is that BOTH truths must be kept in mind. You are already free and no process can get you there, AND if you are as yet unenlightened, you must submit to a autolysis breakdown process that is quite clearly not an enlightened ‘experience.’ Sitting smugly on the sidelines doing ‘enlightenment talk’ at others is not useful of inspiring.
This is the spiritual version of ‘psycho-babble. These dear folk would best be described not as seekers, and clearly not as Realizers, but as, I don’t know, ‘hiders’, for lack of a better term. And I mean that in the kindest and most appreciate way possible. They have their egoity hidden from themselves behind a façade of ‘knowing the truth.’ And specifically in this case, the ‘knowing’ that spirituality can’t succeed.and the Truth is already the case.’
While this posture is widespread in Advaitic communities in particular, and New Age communities in general, I find that is also present in those who honor Jed McKenna’s contributions.
* *Cultural context *
As I say elsewhere, I have no objection to spirituality, spiritual practices, spiritual teachers, spiritual institutions, spiritual and spiritual cultures. They are remarkable institutions, which at their best greatly enrich humanity, and facilitate higher and ascended evolutionary development. Thank God for them! They served me very well, and if nothing else provided me an alternative to getting lost in the world of mind and unconsidered lifestyles. But at a certain point, dear reader, although many can’t accept this, spiritual or transcendental apparatus’ seem as antiquated and irrelevant as worldly secular culture appears to the spiritual man or woman, who could never dream of ever going back to a life of mere mechanical exploitation of his body-mind machinery.
Another funny thing is that you begin to see that you do have something in common with your old ‘arch-enemies’: the atheists and even the oh-so-crude materialists, who at least are not floating two inches off the ground when they talk to you, as spiritual people are wont to do.
Yet one of the great pleasures of this phase of life is watching old friends and associates, one by one, beginning to emerge from under the pall of spirituality. Some did it before me, and some, I can see, will follow. In the past, we religionists regarded those who left “the Fold” as betrayers of Truth, and shirkers of their spiritual responsibilities and relationships. The cultic mind of spirituality had little sympathy and no understanding for what those people who were leaving us were about. Indeed we lumped all these “rejectionists” in with the ‘failed cases’ who just didn’t have what it took for real spiritual life.
Or worse, we regarded them as ‘dissidents’, who we now look upon with some gravity and not a little suspicion. I now see that there is a distinction. Some of those depart from spirituality may indeed be not up to the task. Nevertheless, others who leave spirituality may have actually have been speaking from another level, sensing the trap and deciding in their wisdom to ‘pass’ on the invitation.
* * *
I had thought that I had better keep this change in my worldview a bit hidden from my old friends, but I now realize that there is very little point in being so extremely accommodating and diplomatic. Because sadly, in a sense, we do indeed live in different and incongruous worlds, and we might as well come around to face that, and acknowledge it openly. So, to my dear beloved spiritual friends and cronies of old, I must confess to you: philosophically, I have as much in common with you spiritual folk as you do with dreaded materialists or atheists of old! You probably view worldliness and intellectualism as great obstacles and distractions from real life. I Understand. But I must confess that I now view worldliness, intellectualism, and spirituality as great obstacles and distractions from real life. It’s a shocker to me to find myself agreeing with that old adage “Religion is the opiate of the people”, but at last, I do. In the past I would have said in response, ‘yes, religion is the opiate of the people, of course!.’ But now I find to my surprise that even spirituality is implicated.
I have also begun to look for a name or label that, in some shorthand way, might designate this ‘post spiritual’ phase of life. Right now, I basically tell people something simplistic like this: “I am an ex-Buddhist.” That’s not too bad, but it really only reveals a fragment of where I have come from, and nothing about where I’ve gone to.
But me and my friends occupy the curious space, the Limbo if you will, of no path and no enlightenment! The place of no God, and minimalist life. Not Hell, but certainly not Heaven either. Perhaps we should call ourselves Limbotarians. That should keep the humility level high!
How is it possible that a bunch of ‘nobodies’ like us unenlightened post-spiritualists should have the audacity to gainsay the Great Realizers of history? Perhaps for two reasons: one is that perhaps the evolution of spiritual consideration proceeds in much the same way that scientific thought evolves- one step at a time. So, although “The Truth” is absolute and immutable, the path’s clarification and articulation, may well be progressive. And second, what makes you so sure that the great Realizers of history were anything but ‘nobodies’ themselves? In their truth-realization and in their humility, don’t you think that they would admit as much?
Regarding the future prospects of post-spirituality, I’m reminded of a couple of things here: one is the remark made by Stalin about the threat of attracting the reprimand of the Pope during WWII, to which he replied by asking a rhetorical question: “how many Divisions does he have?!” And the other is the remark made by a teacher named Osho who said that organizing his disciples was like trying to organize cats. In the case of Post-Spiritualists, I would have to say that it would be more like trying to organize farts! Cats would be easy by comparison! In other words, we’ve got no tanks and we got no bibles and we got no churches and we got no messiahs!
If you ask me what impact Post-Spirituality will have on the world, I would have to say: about as much as a summer breeze had to change Christendom by blowing through the windows and spires of a church, somewhere deep in medieval France. As the old saying goes, ‘we are all hat and no cattle!’
In retrospect, perhaps Post-Spirituality is just a dream that I can barely remember, and should have let go of, long ago!
*** THE END ***One Man’s AutolysisOne Man’s Autolysis