Chapter Breakdown

 

Enlightenment: Behind The Scenes

Experiencing the Raging Nothing That Creates Everything

Chapter One

The Last Desire

The book opens with a journal from spring 2001 where I write about a “complete retirement from the game of life”. I had just discovered something in myself that I called the “last desire” which is the desire to desire nothing. After the journal ends with the following, “A big piece of me has already died and I can tell that as long as I continue in my practice, I will continue to die. Now that I reflect on that statement, I realize that this is all I ever wanted.” I enter as the narrator of the journals in italics explaining that in order to understand why I would write something so disturbing, I would have to go back more than ten years ago when my spiritual journey first began.
I then describe how at the age of 20 I found myself suddenly obsessed with discovering the truth of our existence. I needed to know who we are, where we are and what we were supposed to be doing while we were here. I took up Astronomy, Psychology and then finally Philosophy but none of them were as helpful as meditation practice.  I became fascinated with the fact that we can’t seem to stop talking to ourselves and silence became my goal. Over the years, my meditation practice progressed to the point that I would often experience either a profound bliss or an intense fear of annihilation. I go on to describe these powerful feelings and the importance of surrendering to them.
As I discovered how the act of surrendering brought about deeper levels of awareness than I ever could have imagined, I immediately began to study anything that I thought would help my meditation practice. I began to apply Zen and Tibetan Buddhist teachings to my meditation and daily practice. I started experimenting with mind machines, sound technologies and anything that promised to aid in deeper meditations. The most success that I had was with a binaural sound technology developed by The Monroe Institute called ‘hemisync’. The meditations were so deep that I saved up enough money to go to one of TMI’s weeklong residential programs focused on experiencing deeper levels of awareness. This is when the adventure begins.

Chapter Two

Seeing The Void

The visit to TMI took place in spring of 1999 and I experienced profound levels of awareness that I never could have imagined.  A year later I would return for an advanced weeklong residential program and while I was there, some switch must have gotten thrown because right after that I would start to experience profound visions spontaneously in the course of my everyday life.  The first of the four major visions that would take place over the next two years happened less than a week after I returned home from TMI.
After this experience, my obsession with spiritual truth took over my entire life. After pushing myself to the outer limits for over a year, I finally came to the point that I was just sick of seeking.  And this takes us back to where the book began in the spring of 2001 when I quit the game of life.
It was only four days after I dropped out from the game of life that I would have my second and most unbelievable vision. This vision was an actual shift in perspective where I saw in 360 degrees. But instead of seeing the living room behind me I saw the Void. Seeing in 360 degrees revealed the Void behind me and the world in front of me appearing as if it’s on a screen.
What I discovered from this experience was that our whole lives, we have ignored an entire half of our existence. And the half that we have been ignoring is our unchanging half or our eternal half. I saw that we ARE that Void and that our true essence is simply being the witness for the changing world that we have mistaken ourselves to be inside of. I include diagrams to illustrate how no matter what existence we can envision, whether it be as an animal, an alien, an astral traveler or even someone in heaven, the same subject/object dichotomy will always take place as this is the very nature of experience.
After this vision, I would no longer view the world or myself the same again. I became intrigued with the Void or Stillness because of its eternal quality. My spiritual quest was always about experiencing the truth of our existence so the eternal nature of the Void suggested an ultimate realness to it that our daily world of appearances doesn’t possess.

Chapter Three
The One and The Many
As I sought out Stillness not just in my meditation but in my daily life as well, I was becoming more and more familiar with the powerful bliss that occurs after you abide in silence long enough. I also started to take notice of the same pattern where the moment you become too aware of the bliss that you are experiencing, the bliss then yields to your thinking mind. I saw that the experience of thinking was the mind in motion while the experience of bliss was the same mind yet perfectly still. The implication being that the moving mind cannot experience the still mind.
It was dawning on me that I was I being drawn to stillness like a moth to a flame. And just like the moth, what I was seeking would inevitably extinguish me. My entire sense of existence has been tied to the thinking mind so surrendering my thoughts to stillness was like asking me to jump off of a proverbial cliff. Aside from the persistent fear of annihilation, I also could not give up my thinking mind because I was preoccupied with my final question which was how does the One manifest itself as the many?
After my first vision when I was shown that the One and the many are the same, I contemplated how the One could actually pull off this incredible trick of appearing as the vast and varied Universe. Mystics are always telling us that there is only Awareness, or only Mind or only the Self etc. depending on their particular language. But I have never read an attempt to describe the actual process of just HOW the One manifests itself as the many. So, I spent the better part of a year contemplating this question alone. It wasn’t until I finally solved this riddle for myself that I could finally throw myself off that cliff that was awaiting me.

Chapter Four
The Suicide Mission
In July of 2002, “I decided that I will practice abiding in presence as if I am digging myself out of a concrete prison with nothing more than a spoon. Every day, I will spend every available moment widdling away at the wall that serves as a barrier to the final liberation that is awaiting me. The way I look at it is that I just have a very bad habit, which is thinking, and I just need to have the courage and the earnestness to break this habit. To just Be. No boundaries, no borders, no obstacles and no problems. Just This!”
The more I practiced silence, the more I realized that I was on a suicide mission. I began to fear the very same thing that I had been seeking for more than a decade now. I feared that if I didn’t hold on for dear life than I would start to disappear and my wife would be left with some babbling invalid to take care of. This fear gained momentum until I finally made my peace.  Three days before I would experience Enlightenment this is what I journalled…
“I know now that what is knocking at my door and is demanding to be let in is that Presence in Witnessing. I know that I have no choice but to go back to that practice that I referred to as ‘Witnessing’. However, coupled with the deeper understanding that has just come, it is all too obvious that this practice will spell my death. The death of the guy who is not the Witness. It’s not even up to me anymore, I’m being booted out!”

Chapter Five
Enlightenment
On August 20, 2002 I would experience complete and total spiritual enlightenment. This was my third vision and it spontaneously occurred at 730am while I was sitting on my back deck with my six year old daughter sitting on my lap. I was staring at her contemplating how we are the same One despite the appearance of separation and then it happened. Suddenly my perspective shifted so that I was looking from her eyes. I was now seeing the world from her perspective and no sooner after I realized what was happening, my perspective backed up even further to reveal that I was also seeing through everyone’s eyes. This part of the vision was like looking through an endless diamond and each individual facet of the diamond was a different perspective or a different life.
“If my 360 degree vision was a slight shift in perspective, than this experience was complete shift in perspective. With the 360 experience, I found my perspective backing up just slightly enough to notice the screen that the world appears in directly in front of me. But in this experience, I found my perspective backed up ALL the way to reveal that I was the One Pure Undifferentiated Awareness looking out from ALL eyes simultaneously. I saw for myself that e-v-e-r-y single experience that can EVER happen in any world, any astral plane, any Heaven for that matter, is always happening to the same One.”

I had spent the last year struggling with the realization that I was no-thing and now it was revealed that I was also every-thing. I go on to explain how it is not true to say that you are everything until you see that you are nothing. Otherwise, it sounds as if you are saying that you, as a person, are the only one that exists. But the Truth is that we are not things at all but instead the space for things.

Chapter Six
The Final Vision
Less than a week after the experience of enlightenment, I would have my fourth and final vision. As usual, it was a spontaneous experience, this time occurring as I was composing an internet post related to the subject of enlightenment. The first part of the vision felt like I was a witness to the process of creation itself. The experience started with the world vanishing in an instant. From the blackness of the Void, I saw in slow motion, just how Reality manifests as the world of form that we all know.
“After standing there for some time in complete awe, the vision continued. I then got this image of Reality being represented by something best described as an Infinite Aware String. I saw this string forming a loop (with the simplest twist), which creates the dynamic whereby Awareness is now aware of itself. This folding process creates the image of ‘marc’ and a world separate from ‘marc’. But from this perspective I could see that both of them arise ‘from’ and ‘in’ what I actually am which is that string or Reality. “

Chapter Seven
After The End
I suppose I had always imagined that when the enlightened die, the cycle of rebirth ends and they disappear into the ethers spending eternity in some nirvanic bliss. Now I was seeing that this was ridiculous and that even silence is pregnant with sound and stillness contains the seed of movement. This wheel that we find ourselves a part of had no beginning and it has no end…
“Not too long ago, I came to a realization that I have been doing this (participating in manifestation) for what may as well be a trillion years. From this realization, it was inferred that manifestation will always be and therefore, I will be doing this (participating in manifestation) for what may as well be another trillion years. I’m not sure what feeling that gives you when reading that particular sentiment but how I felt when coming to this was sweet liberation because I found that you have allllll the time in the world to do whatever you want.
There is no rush to get anything done and you are literally on a permanent vacation. If you feel inclined to spend a vast chunk of your infinite vacation on imagining that you must get this or that done, (whether it be making a million bucks or getting enlightenment) then so be it. That can enrich your vacation as well. It just doesn’t seem to matter because it’s all a play of imagination and it is my distinct impression that anything done in this realm of imagination is always and naturally gravitating towards harmony and love.”