“Can you see the consequences of believing yourself? Believing yourself is one of the worst things you can do because you’ve been telling yourself lies your whole life, and if you believe all those lies, that’s why your dream isn’t a pleasant dream. If you believe what you tell yourself, you may use all those symbols that you learned to hurt yourself. Your personal dream may even be pure hell because believing in lies is how you create your own hell. If you’re suffering, it’s not because anybody is making you suffer; it’s because you obey the tyrant that’s ruling your head. When the tyrant obeys you, when there’s no longer a judge or a victim in your mind, you won’t be suffering any longer.”[p71] THe Fifth Agreement
One of the biggest problems on the Path is humility because the Path shows itself in a personal way heightening self-importance. Throughout life in general people are taught and seek agreement. Once the Path breaks through, then enquiry leads to breaking these system agreements, but often these agreements are replaced by other agreements.
The usual source of such agreements is some counter-culture guru or teacher, and one example, although there are many others, is David Icke. From being a system icon, a sports presenter, the Path opened him up and he became a counter-culture teacher. Over the years the number of people who agree with him has increased. However whilst he does present a great deal of healthy questioning, much of what he presents is a set of ideas. He tells people not to believe him, to find out for themselves, but he does not present them with the tools to doubt. The personal revolution that David Icke symbolises is not the ideas that he presents but the questions that he asks and the doubt that he throws on all the system agreements that we have all been spoon-fed.
But the beliefs and lie that we personally subject ourselves to are not just simply the beliefs and lies that society subjects us to through education and conditioning. Nor are they simply the beliefs and lies that counter-culture presents us with, they are any beliefs and lies that we hold to. This is a major danger on the Path.
Now the Path has major strength, it needs to have. Once the Path teaches you to doubt all the agreements you have been conditioned with, then there is a great possibility for conflict. This often starts with the family. Now the family tends to be a conservative structure. Whatever parents believe for themselves they don’t want to teach their children to be in conflict with society as there is a lot of hurt that way. There is also a tendency for parents to want their children to learn tools that will help them survive in society. Because so many people do not follow the Path, such social skills are often agreements that the Path conflicts with. And so your first source of conflict is your parents. Equally as children grow at some stage intuitively children reject what happens in society as what happens is so far from the Path. This rejection has different strengths in different people. In my own case I never voiced this rejection either socially or with my parents. Beginning in the sixth form but more at university this rejection voiced itself politically but I can only remember such awareness leading to arguments with my father. For most of that time my awareness resided in the bottom of a bottle.
Once the Path did rear its head, my rejection reared itself as anger against repression – repression at home and repression in society. Fortunately this anger was greatly subsumed by the circle of friends I developed at the time – through the Arts Centre, with whom I was able to discover more about myself and about the society I lived in. But I was still an angry young man, and I lived with and displayed that anger throughout my life.
This anger I felt justified with as it was deeply felt and was based on my Path conflicting with society. I often considered obnoxious aggressive behaviour was acceptable because I was right. Quite simply my Path was at the beginning stages, and I hadn’t developed compassion and insight. One idea I held to was that I was on the Path. Believing I was on the Path I didn’t question enough my behaviour allowing myself to be a drunk, to varying degrees, whilst “on the Path” for 12 years. Throughout that time my lack of questioning of my behaviour allowed itself to manifest as drunkenness, as my ego clung to the notion that I was on the Path so such behaviour didn’t matter. My ego was clinging to an idea, the idea that I was on the Path.
On reflection I was on the Path to a certain extent but my clinging led to a complacency my ego exploited – allowing me to be a drunk.
How can someone be a drunk on the Path? This can only be understood by understanding the relationship between Path, mind and ego. For me there came a point at which I realised I was on the Path, the realisation hit me and that was it. This is not some intellectual assessment based on reading the right dogma, or some other such mental trickery it is a realisation – often traumatic. The problem with discussing the Path is attempting to describe it. You know you are on the Path, it is a deep realisation, but other than this realisation there is no other way of describing it. And what makes this difficulty so much worse are the myriads of people who falsely claim they are on the Path, whether by misplaced desire or deceptive intention. Belief is a significant factor in this. Belief is intellectual. One’s faith is a set of ideas. I believe in the bible is just a statement that you accept the ideas and words that are written in the bible. Many people’s faiths come from a collective agreement in these ideas, and with these agreements come certain compelling forces – we must believe because everyone else does, we must believe because the priest tells us to, we must believe because good people believe, we believe and we get collective strength, we believe and we don’t have to question any more. For the majority of people a religion is the set of ideas that are agreed to and adhered to through these compelling forces. But for some this faith is more, it is the Path – aaggh I don’t know. It’s quite simple, I don’t know. I can read Eckhart Tolle or Neal Donald Walsch, and assuming that it is not fiction can know they are on the Path because the description of their experience is so similar. Of course I could be deluding myself.
The monk I read the most does not talk of the Path in this way, but to me he has stepped out of dogma and onto the Path. It feels real to me but again I could be deluding myself. How many religious people are on the Path? Like the monk I study, maybe some are. Saul on the road to Damascus became Saint Paul, born-again Christians occur, but how many of these have found a set of beliefs they adhere to passionately, and how many are on the Path. By their practice very few born-again are, they just sound like they want to be.
But what is this Path about and what is its relationship to mind? And the answer is Unity – Oneness. We grow in a world where we are educated to be separate. We are educated to see the individual self as the most important – I always saw education as self-realisation. This self is also a set of ideas that we believe in. We believe we should do this, we believe this is important, that is important, and the
The mind is a tool, and this tool can be used to increase our happiness by working in Unity with Nature, or we can use that tool to create separation by allowing the process of ego to identify with ideas of self or ideas as belief. If we identify with ideas that means there is an other, a duality, those that identify with the ideas and those that don’t. Then there is the degree to which we identify with these ideas. These are my ideas, you must believe my ideas, if you don’t believe my ideas there is something wrong. Sometimes these ideas are concerning money and power, and when that money and power work alongside the ideas of self then we have those with power and those without. And we can have war if the ego and the false motivations are strong enough.
But fundamentally it stems from ideas, ideas that separate, ideas that we cling to and forget that the Path of Unity is all that matters.
The problem of ideas is so seductive to the ego especially if those ideas are your “own”. Even more difficult these ideas can be formed as a consequence of being on the Path. Because it is the Path we know the ideas to be truth. But they are not truth, they are a temporary manifestation of the Path. The Path mut formulate ideas in order to communicate, but once formed they are ideas. If they are held to as belief, no matter who has said them, they become divisive.
I used to hold this idea, I used to believe this, they are to a lesser or greater extent the problem. The Path is the Path is the Truth. As soon as we talk of something that we have learned from the Path, then it is an idea. Many ideas continue to be true through a long period of time such as our world is run by the corporatocracy, the 1%, for their own benefit. But in the end that is only an idea that will change.
As soon as we cling to an idea we restrict, both ourselves and others. Hey, that’s a good idea. Go with it, enjoy the idea, and move on the Path. Don’t cling, don’t hold on to the memory, don’t try to be the memory. Be fluid. Hold no agreements, just move on. As I am writing this it is true, but once written it is not true. You are reading this – maybe someone is, if this rings a bit true to you think about it, evaluate it, use your insight, does this hold true for you now? I hope so. But then forget it, and if the idea comes up again, ask the same question is this true now? It is not true always, no idea is. The Path is and understanding on the Path is gained through Insight and not through intellect, a tool of the mind.
Let go of the ideas.