The Open Secret
The Open Secret can only point to the simple wonder of being, and attempt to illuminate the futility of seeking for it. It does not accept or reject the teachings of spiritual path or process but it will expose, without compromise, fundamental misconception that drives the belief that there is something called a seeker that needs to find something else called enlightenment.
The Open Secret does not compromise with the needs and expectations of the seeker. Neither does it attempt to attract or please with promises of an easy and pleasant experience of liberation. Who could promise that and who would experience it?
Because the idea of individual free will and choice is seen as an illusory dream, there is no agenda or intention to help or change individuality. As far as the apparent individual is concerned, there is nothing for sale here. The sense of being a separate individual feels very real and affects every part of that apparent experience. It is a state of contracted energy which becomes embodied and which brings with it a feeling of disquiet and longing.
There can be a held sense of feeling unworthy and of having lost something indescribable. It is as though the “me” resides within the boundaries of the body and sees everything outside as something else with which it has to negotiate. Out of these experiences is generated a compulsion to continuously seek comfort or release. This is the dream of individuality which seems real until it doesn’t.
The “me” searches for peace and fulfilment, the “me” searches for self improvement or purity, presence or detachment. The “me” seeks clarity or any formula which will give the “me” what it thinks it wants or needs. But the “me” not getting what it wants is not the dilemma. The dilemma is “me”. No amount of effort, process, clarity or belief can ever bring anything other than more “me” searching for that which the “me” cannot have or know. The suggestion that separation is only a thought or an understanding that comes or goes in presence is an initially attractive idea for the seeker who dreams of an easy answer which isn’t personally challenging and will bring permanent happiness.
Thoughts of separation are only individual stories about an already held state of feeling restricted and apart. If separation was only a thought or a belief, it could be seen through or changed to its opposite, and then “BINGO” there would be liberation . . . you would think! Such idealistic communications often go hand in hand with a relentless reiteration of the idea that separation is “fine” because there is only ever oneness. This is like telling a blind person that blindness is “fine” because all there is is seeing. Of course there is only oneness. But what apparently arises in oneness is a deep sense of separation which doesn’t feel “fine”. These conceptual notions speak only of symptoms and do not recognise the source of the apparent dilemma that can fill every part of feeling separate.
In essence what is sought is love. But it is the love that is absolute, all-embracing and eternal. It is this overwhelming love that many have glimpsed, and which I attempted to describe in The Open Secret when I seemed to be walking across a park and then was no more anyone. It wasn’t experienced because there was suddenly no experiencer. It was a glimpse that no-one glimpsed.
I then returned as “a someone” and tried again and again to re-discover that unconditional love which I could not know. It is that love which is alluded to in literature, music and art. The most fascinating love stories are about unrequited love, because they point to that absolute love which the individual cannot possess. The powerful fascination of falling in love comes out of a primal sense that in that love you could be lost. It is that overwhelming love which is in all of our longing and is the fullness in the emptiness, the everything in the nothing. It is unconditional love which also appears as its opposite. Wonderfully, it is also that very love which constantly sings to us through our senses and in every part of the aliveness that is happening.
Liberation is a word used to describe an apparent release from the illusion of feeling imprisoned and apart from love, or wholeness. That shift is essentially an energetic release out of contraction into boundlessness. Whenever and wherever there is a deep and uncompromising sharing together of the very real paradox of being, a palpable resonance can emerge. Out of that openness there can be a release of that contraction into boundlessness and what arises is the wonder of simply being.