Episode 7 summary: the impermanent and desirelessness – two fundamentals of spiritual training which sharply awaken us to the reality that our bodies and all matter are finite, perishable. This allows our True Nature to be revealed. But, most of us are firmly attached to delusions because we are fundamentally afraid of death and oblivion, the unknown. If we are afraid of dying fully, then it follows that we are afraid of living fully.
Visionaries Incognito is a collection of what were originally stand-alone articles featuring four visionaries who activated my own True Nature. The term ‘visionary’ is defined, for the purposes of this work, as not only someone of vision for the good future of humanity, but also an exceptional being with their fingers on the pulse of the Universe.
The visionaries are ‘incognito’ because their influence has not made the headlines or major entries in history books. Instead, they have worked altruistically for the sake of human beings with total conviction in their vision. They work mostly behind the scenes of the trending world at large.
In each of the 4 cases, they have gone beyond the limits of the subject matter they presented, or any expertise in order to touch the unconscious mind, to influence the mass of the iceberg beneath the surface or conscious mind, in a subtle way and yet profoundly. This going below or beyond the surface has the potential to bring realizations of the True Self or True Nature into view and new ways of being if we grasp the opportunity and can listen deeply. Such access to knowing as opposed to knowledge reconnects us to our original, some say divine, spark.
Most humans make sense of the world with the aid of words. In developed nations we are actually taught to wrap certain words around objects and as a result, thoughts are born. But thoughts are dead the moment they are thought! And unfortunately, we have come to depend on them so totally in the name of ‘civilization.’ Words then are either potential bombs or breathtaking miracles. They either pass through us like vapour or become etched into our heart with a rusty nail.
Visionaries who have their ears pressed to the heartbeat of the human race are so skillful with words that each one they utter is a miracle which slaps us in the face, waking us from our deep sleep. The 4 Visionaries Incognito in my collection were masters with words. They used them sparingly, often inventing their own phrases or special often esoteric usages.
They knew without special training that human beings are so vulnerable to language, they are so over-sensitive and over-cherished in general. They could use words to allay all fears and presences while ploughing beneath them to turn up the weeds and use them as fertilizer.
In each case, their unusual view of the world – one a professional recitalist and actor from Tasmania, one a Jewish engineer and jujitsu exponent , another an Indian Brahmin recused world teacher and the other the greatest and most infamous spiritual teacher and philosopher of the 20th century – and their perception of freedom was magnetic.
All their visions focused on re-education and self-education and above all awakening or realization, and what shall, for the purposes of this work, be called the True Nature of each human being they came upon.
They were experts and adepts and yet they preferred to pass on their knowledge and skills freely to others and were not interested in self-aggrandizement so you may never have heard of them. Above all they were determined that each being would simply re-learn inside how to be one with the universe in their natural state, instead of to have, to want, to acquire, to regret, etc. which all concern the outside world and duality – the feeler and the emotion felt.
As a background to this, human beings have at their disposal a legacy or blueprint from their ancestral lineage. This determines how we look and act, our predispositions, our imprints and our self-image. Social, cultural and educational conditioning is then applied to this blueprint so that the only aspect of ourselves that we can realistically change is through self-education. In other words, we need to know exactly how our imprints and pre-dispositions can best lead us to edify and develop us without the constant guidance of a teacher or guru.
It is this self-motivated aspect of change or growth that the four visionaries ingeniously and silently addressed. They believed above all in uncovering the True Nature of the individual behind the various masks which were worn to enable them to fit in and to secure approval from their societies and communities, their families and partners. They worked tirelessly to empower the individual to learn for themselves, to develop their own voice, and to step forward and use it.
They did not set themselves up as gurus or masters, although others tried to bring them into the world spotlight, but instead, as free-lance facilitators and enablers motivated by nothing other than the altruistic commitment to help people to know themselves inside. They remained neutral in terms of allegiance to specific spiritual or religious traditions, their honesty often estranging them from organizations and the public at large.
Why did they refuse to step into leader positions? This is exactly because they believed their messages would be diluted, generalized, systematized. They knew the individual nature of humans intimately and that each person needs to be empowered differently so as to free them from their particular pressure of damaging conditioning and to push out their particular limitations. They also knew how societies, communities and relationships functioned in developed nations.
They were each utterly convinced that it was impossible for the individual excellence of people who came to them to transform the mediocre majority. They were also realistic that so few people were actually ready to hear them and to act upon what they heard in the now and here.
Here are some examples of what my 4 Visionaries Incognito showed to me indirectly.
F.M.Alexander – Body re-education technique in stillness and sitting/standing.
F.M.Alexander lost his voice which led to him losing his livelihood as he was a professional reciter, especially of Shakespeare. Medical experts could not offer any solutions so he was determined to find out what he was doing to cause this as there was apparently no disease present. This technique, the Alexander Technique, is now well-known internationally by musicians and performers in general. However, at the time I started to study it and learn how to re-educate the way I used my own body as a musician, it was not commonly accessible.
One of Alexander’s greatest insights for me was something he termed ‘non-doing.’ By lying on the floor just breathing and being, I could re-learn how to use my body in an efficient and easy way in the gravitational field. This is body meditation in stillness which takes one deeply inside and so re-establishes bonds with the universe.
We become disconnected from our True Nature because the Mind dominates us with its conditioning and controlling, as has been mentioned already. Non-doing released me from this and led me to freedom with no mention of religious practice or symbols. The Alexander Technique is entirely secular and practical, but penetrates the unconscious mind, over which we have little control, in the same way as meditation.
Moshe Feldenkrais – Body-awareness and re-education in movement
Moshe Feldenkrais was an engineer and Jujitsu exponent who created a whole system of exercises and postures to bring about a new awareness of the way we use our bodies and our minds, on the body-mind continuum.
Feldenkrais inspired my confidence in my own unique spirit and my own brand of wisdom. In fact, his work and insights actually put me back in touch with my True Nature which was well-hidden beneath conditioning, culture and education. He taught that the only changes human beings can make to their existing form and their attitude to life are through self-education, because only we could learn what we really needed to know from ourselves in our own unique way.
He set himself up to facilitate this process which would be custom-made to suit the individual: in other words, he taught how to teach ourselves and to get back in touch with our origin – the natural world and our True Nature. He coined the term ‘dis-eased’ to describe small interferences that our inherited self and conditioning, our DNA in fact, caused. Today his whole approach helps students to become ‘eased’ and truly happy.
Jiddu Krishnamurti – Indian philosopher, mystic, and educator
Krishnamurti’s main message is to resist singing with the crowd and instead sing our own unique song: To avoid indoctrination by the mediocre leaders of society and step away from groups, even from the family, to find true freedom. As a young man, he was recognized by theosophists as the next Buddha, Maitreya, and others saw him as the modern Messiah! But he refused to be singled out in that way, insisting that there are no barriers or boundaries between human beings and the natural world except in the dream of the mind.
The greatest insight this visionary stimulated in me was that we must live now-and-here our individual truth as he did. But first, we have to find it, not in our thoughts or opinions, but in our souls. He wanted to break all beings free of the ingrained habit of imitation so that they could unearth their original truth and see their eternal face, and then have the courage to live it. So many of us are not honest: we have an inside view which we keep hidden while projecting a certain image to the world. Like Alexander and Feldenkrais, he knew that we are actually the only people who can ‘educate’ ourselves internally, not external teachers or gurus who try to bring about superficial change. He impelled us to spend our lives unearthing our True Nature, although he did not use that phrase, and so connecting with our Divine Origin.
Shree Rajneesh (Osho) – Indian mystic, guru and spiritual teacher
Osho’s life was devoted to both his millions of followers and equal numbers of detractors as a spiritual leader, but he did not teach any doctrine except his own. He grew up questioning existing religions, cultures and social norms and became enlightened at the age of 21 as a result. He became a world teacher by focusing on the necessity for meditation, awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity and humour, all of which he knew to be suppressed by traditional belief systems, religions and socialization. Although he was born into a Jain background, he eventually rejected any organized religions and revolutionized the spiritual condition.
Along with Krishnamurti, Osho touched my tendency to defer to so-called leaders and experts and my self-honesty. He was himself shockingly honest which led to his being discredited as a spiritual teacher. But his sheer breadth of knowledge, reading of all traditions and depth of insight and wisdom have always dazzled me while at the same time reflecting that I too, potentially, have broad knowledge, deep insight and wisdom which the world needs to become balanced. His millions of talks and battery of books continue to inspire me and always will. He departed from the visible world in 1990 but he goes on facilitating and leading people to find their True Nature in the invisible.
So, I have been so fortunate in finding such awakeners which led me on to spiritual practices, but then beyond them to my riches within, my True Nature.
Next, Episode 9: Death and the Djang. Death is another potent awakener. We may die at any moment, in fact, each breath is crucial so we should be grateful for it. Indigenous people have an intriguing relationship with it as I discovered when I lived for a short while with a group of Australian aboriginals in the South Australian Desert. This experience also brought my True Nature into view and also sharpened up my commitment to Planet Earth.
Join me tomorrow, for Episode 9!