(Author of TEACHINGS OF THE IMMORTALS)
Recently, someone asked... "Can you distill it all down to a single essay? If a seeker could only take one concept with them for the rest of their lives, what would you want it to be?"
It is that awakening from the illusion which compels the seeker to embark on the path – from the realization that the world is nothing like we have been taught to believe. Where the path leads from there, who's to say? If the goal is enlightenment (whatever that may turn out to be), the path will lead in a particular direction. If the goal is self-empowerment within the mortal world, the path will lead in an entirely different direction.
Ah, but if the goal is to attain the immortal condition, the path will lead down a series of rabbit holes, twists and turns, and somewhere along the way, the seeker will begin to realize – just a glimpse at first, shy and reluctant to be seen – that the reality with which we are presented is quite likely the reality we are creating on some vast quantum canvas which cannot be entirely assimilated from a purely humanform perspective. We may sense intuitively that there is more than meets the eye, but how does a blind man taste the color of blood and midnight rainbows?
What to do? To a being existing in a 2-dimensional world, it would be impossible to perceive a 3-dimensional object. The 2-D being would see only height and width, but would not possess the sensory ability to perceive depth, even if s/he had been told and could intuit that a 3-dimensional universe did, in fact exist. Not in some otherworld. Not "out there" in space somewhere. But all around him.
At that point, the 2-D being has a choice to make. Will he simply accept, as he is being told by his peers, that such mysteries are not possible for him to solve? "God moves in mysterious ways, after all, and why would any blasphemer dare to question that divine plan – you don't want to be a blasphemer, do you, kid?" Will he go back to the comfort zones of his 2-D tv and leave his questions unanswered and unresolved because that is what his consensus tells him he must do if he is to be considered a normal and sane member of the 2-D herd? "If you keep on chasing after ghosts and vampires and some crazy notion that you can change your fundamental nature, they're gonna call the men with the funny white coats and lock your sorry 2-D ass up for the rest of your life! Get with the program, kid!"
The program... Decision time. Succumb to the pressures of peers, or peer beyond the limitations of one's "fundamental nature" to see what might lie outside those self-imposed limits. In other words – surrender and die, or evolve and run the awe-inspiring risk of living forever?
Sound like an easy choice? For most, it is. The lure of social and familial acceptance, the promise of happiness, the comfort of those old comfort zones... is usually sufficient to shut down those far-fetched ideas and silence that still, small voice that begs for evolution, but cannot force it if it is the free will of the individual to return to his 2-D place in the matrix. Put simply, most choose to die because it's a lot easier than doing The Work of self-manifestation outside the box.
There are a rare few who are compelled beyond all reason to listen to that little voice and to consort with it in dreams and visions. There are those rare few who say to the higher self, "Teach me all you can," and then give it free will to project itself beyond the confines of the mortal self, and into the infinite. That projection is the twin – the immortal Other (double or energy body, if you prefer) who has the ability to do and be things the mortal self cannot imagine, and to accumulate a lifetime of lifetimes, an infinitude of experience, a myriad stories to tell... and all of them are anecdotes of the self as a vast and virtually incomprehensible being.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Before the seeker who has been compelled to evolve can even begin to create and project his Other, he has to have a reason. Fundamental truth. Humans don't often undertake difficult tasks without a reason. So we have to ask the question... What could possibly be so important that one would risk losing everything in order to have it?
For, make no mistake, this path will cost you everything. It will cost you your gods and demons, your beliefs and comfort zones, and most of the time it will even cost you your family and friends. You will find yourself alone, a stranger in a strange land, and if you don't have something that compels you to keep going, I can virtually guarantee that you will return to the matrix and console yourself with some platitude along the lines of... "I had to regain my family! I missed my friends! I need my sanity in the real world!" That's okay. You've failed. Maybe spirit will give you another opportunity. Maybe not. Doesn't really matter. Accept your failure and revel in whatever it was that called you back to that old program. It'll be over soon and you won't have to fret about it.
If you are one of those madmen or madwomen who stubbornly stand your ground in the cyclone of social rejection and even the possibility that you are no longer sane by the definition of your peers... what is it you're holding onto that keeps you going?
And here the lesson really begins.
Love is the reason
- When you love something so much that you cannot envision a world in which your love is dead, that is the first moment you might begin to see the pathway to achieving the immortal condition. That is the moment you might even understand why it is a compulsion for you and not just a passing intellectual dalliance.
I've highlighted the paragraph above because it is really all that matters here, distilled down to 50 words or less. If you get it, or think you do, you're already ahead of the game, but don't fool yourself by thinking, "Well, duh, that's obvious!" Yes, it's obvious, but so is that oncoming bus, and people walk in front of buses every day.
The secret here is that you have to create and inhabit a world where Death himself does not and cannot exist – for another fundamental truth is that only when you evolve sufficiently to be beyond the reach of Death does it become possible to also perceive the immortal condition with regard to those you love.
Does this mean you can "save" them from Death? No. And yes. And no. What it means is that in order to even begin to comprehend the meaning of this statement, you would need to be already standing on the far side of the bridge between life and death, looking back to see how the bridge was built. It is not something that can be explained with words or pictures drawn in the sands of time. It is something that can be intuited at first, so I prey you will tickle the riddle rather than struggling to pick it apart. For now, I will simply say this: in a world where Death does not exist for the One, Death does not exist at All.
Perhaps I have said too much.
Whether the "something" you love is another human being, or the thought of your eternal Other, or simply the idea of Be-ing alive, rest assured that the kind of love that is transformative is not love of a physical object or even another person, place or thing.
What? You just contradicted yourself!
Yes, I did.
Or did I?
When I am speaking of love at this level, I am not talking about the form in which the object of one's love appears, but the essence within the form itself. The energy of it. The spirit of it. The totality of it. The sheer and inexplicable awe of it. To an immortal, a lover's form may appear as an old woman, haggish and withered, but the essence of the lover is no less vibrant and alive than on the day they met. The essence is that which is eternal, and therefore it is the fundamental nature which the seeker truly loves, rather than the transient form.
Love of the immortal/eternal twin is another barometer for some, while others would try to say the twin is merely a reflection of the self. Listen to your internal dialog on this matter – because if it is telling you that your twin is "only" this or that, if those pesky little voices are telling you the twin is "only" the so-called higher self or the soul to which you may feel entitled... think again. The twin is the self in eternity – it is the totality of oneself, the cumulative experience of all lifetimes, past, present & future. It is not some ethereal or angelic woo-woo hanging in orbit over Uranus, but instead it is the vessel for the seeker's awareness beyond this life. Underestimate it at your own peril. Ignore it at the certainty of your obliteration.
Love it... and it will come to you in dreams and visions, it will speak to you through silent knowing (gnosis), it will infiltrate the past in ways that you cannot begin to wrap your mind around until you think it has been with you all along (and it has, once you as the mortal self create it in the Now); and ultimately it will become your best friend, perfect lover, eternal guardian, and temple of the singularity of consciousness which you yourself are in the process of becoming.
I have written volumes on the subject of love, yet often someone will make a comment which reveals to me that it's all only dust in the wind, short verses of transient poetry scripted on the surface of water, quickly disappearing and losing all meaning. That in itself also reveals the power of the consensus reality, the agreement, the dayshine world. That is the way of things, and if it were otherwise, we would live in a different world with a different consensus.
Now, to answer the question that was put to me... I would have to say that the real key to attaining the immortal condition is contained within this peculiar force humans call "love". And yet, I would urge great caution here, for it is the erroneous conclusions and misconceptions humans have about "love" that will also prevent them from attaining that state. Tread carefully. Be always aware of every thought and every belief system, and always stop and take a moment to ask yourself, "What do I believe about love and why do I believe it?"
There is such a wide range of experience associated with the word love, it's unfortunate that other words have not been invented to more clearly distinguish the difference between romantic love, sexual love, parental love, familial love, spiritual love, emotional love, the creative force of love, unconditional love, and so on. The word "love" is used for all of these states, and many more, so it's important for the seeker to have a firm grasp on his own understanding of what I have come to call "the creative force of love."
This form of love is a quantifiable force – not a passive romantic thought, but a viable power similar in nature to a bolt of lightning, possessing the ability to destroy and create in a single strike.
And yet... again I would urge extreme caution – for words are only descriptions, tools to be used to aid the processes, but not to be mistaken for the process itself. As the old saying goes, do not mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself.
Why am I telling you this? What does this have to do with the key to attaining the immortal condition? Nothing. And everything.
It is only when the seeker begins to truly understand and experience the creative force of love that s/he will have even the vaguest idea of what the immortal condition actually is, and why one is compelled to attain it. It isn't just the prospect of living forever. That's really quite a boring thought when you boil it down. Why? Because a linear experience of eternity would consist of boredom and eventual madness, largely because the organic brain/mind is not designed to process such vast amounts of data as would accumulate from an extremely long and linear organic life. After all, who really wants to spend eternity in high school, over and over and over again? It's not the romantic adventure Hollywood likes to portray, so one of the first things the seeker needs to understand is that time is not linear and being a perpetual teenager is not a goal to which any rational being would aspire.
The love I am speaking of here is the love that is devastating in its intensity – for it is only when the world is destroyed that the new world can be built in its place.
Love is the reason.
In clinical word-association tests, humans also tend to most commonly reply with opposites. If I say "dark," the first and most common response will be "light". Boy/girl. Life/Death. Good/Evil. That being the case, it stands to reason that if I say "love," the most common response will be "hate."
And therein lies a clue to why most humans never even search for the key to the immortal condition.
Somewhere along the way, the human program got even more fucked up than it already is. Somewhere in the depths of the human paradigm, "hate" came to be considered the opposite of love, when it is crystal clear to anyone outside the program that grief is the polar opposite of love. Hate isn't even in the same building.
Why is grief the polar opposite of love?
Because grief is the state of loss wherein the object and the essence of what one loves has been eliminated – permanently and irrevocably removed from the fabric of existence. It is the state wherein one realizes (usually too late) that the things one loves (including and especially Oneself) comprise the elements of the answer to the first question: Who Are You?
Tread carefully. This is not to say that you are defined by the ones you love. And yet... the essence of who you are is woven with the energetic fabric of the essence of the things you love. This is the creative force of love – the catalytic element which causes the seeker to ultimately realize that without those things (or more precisely, without access to those things), the seeker is incomplete, left in a state of grief and loss, which can debilitate the spirit and even crush the will to live.
To those who would argue that love is therefore an attachment, I would say instead that love is an enhancement, an enrichment, an augmentation. To those who would say that love is a dependency, I would say instead that it is the ultimate freedom – for within the creative force of love lies The Reason, which is the catalyst of all change and evolution.
These are only words tacked to the door of the infinite, hanging somewhere in the wasteland of cyberspace. If it were easy (or even possible) to truly define what it is that is the key to the immortal condition, I'm quite certain someone would have done it by now. I have no delusions that I will change the world, alter your perceptions, or even make a dent in the human condition. And yet... what can be seen so clearly is often that which defies explanation utterly.
In the life of every true seeker, there is the capacity to love something so fiercely that the element of love becomes a duality. In the same way light is both particle and wave, love is both the experience and the catalyst for the experience itself. There is a legend that speaks of a man who fell in love with a vampire. It goes something like this:
For many years, the man and the immortal shared all things any couple might share – a home together, a glass of wine by the hearth, the illusion of happiness and security, the belief that nothing could ever come between them.
But as the mortal man grew older and his lover remained untouched by the bastard of Time, he came to realize that soon they would both be alone again, and it would all be as if it never was at all. This was the curse of mortality. This was the meaning of Life: that it would always end, and in doing so it would end the world itself, for the world was contained in the perception and experience of the man.
He was beside himself for months, years. The mirror had turned to wrinkles and grey, and had dimmed in his sight. He could not bear to look upon himself, even though his immortal companion still held him with a love that had turned melancholy and sad, but was nonetheless as fierce and awe-inspiring as it had been when they first met. He had begged her to make him like herself, but She could only smile softly and tell him that was fiction. She could not make him immortal. Only he could do that.
Knowing he was dying, unable to bear the horrible burden of grief that would ultimately destroy both of them at world's end, the man went out into the night and shook his fist at the sky, cursing God and damning the human condition. But God didn't answer. In his frenzy, the man called upon the saints and the angels, the demons and the devils. But they had all flown away long ago.
He was alone. Time would not stand still and there would be no ever-after for either of them, only the silence, tombstone and gravedust. And he knew without knowing how he knew that even She who could not die would die, for at some level he could not begin to fathom, they were connected even beyond the normal bonds of love. He tried to reason it out and could not. He tried to Dream the answer, but dreamt instead of Apollo and Artemis entwined in the womb.
The horror of it ripped a hole in his already broken heart, and scattered the remnants of his soul hither and yon, casting him asunder throughout the endless expanse of time and space, shredding even the molecular memory of his existence, until...
Out of the nothing that was all that remained of him, the man assembled himself as a cry in the madness, and shouted with the spontaneous parthenogenesis of his rebirth into the night that never ends...
Words that claim the right to Be. Words that demand the capacity to Love beyond the rules of the human game. Words that deny the mortal illusion, the scythe of Time, the rape of Death. A cry of existence that created the man immortal and eternal, beyond the reach of himself to undo.
It was then that he finally saw and sat on the rim of the abyss laughing into the Well of Reflections where all things were made clear. Her face was his mirror. Her laughter was his own. The immortal Other was the self and always had been. The thing that could not be sacrificed to time and grief was the essence of the man.
"You tricked me," he said to himself, to her, to the night.
She folded him into the fabric of herself, whispered in his ear with all the Knowledge of Silence itself. "You tricked yourself."
And he knew the truth of it. Knew he had loved her enough to throw off the chains and the bars of his mortal prison, enough to defy even the paradigm of his humanness, enough to take his first eternal breath, because turning himself rightsidewrong with the madness of love was the only cure for the fatal demon of grief.
Love is the reason and the catalyst.
Do you love yourself enough?
Teachings of the Immortals
(Available on Amazon.com)