Do you like the song “Every Breath You Take”? As a teenager, I was fascinated by the themes of love, loss, longing and deep connection because they summarised my spiritual life. I longed for the deepest, fullest, permanent connection with the Infinite (God), and yet despite my most ardent spiritual austerities my reward was Weetabix for breakfast and good school grades. Nothing to write home about. Eventually, (an inevitably) I did a “moonlight flit” and went “double agent”, seeking to fulfil my spiritual longings in romantic relationships, whilst keeping my “inner guru” (mostly) in the closet. Living a double life was wearing, especially since I suspected (and sometimes discovered) that my girlfriends wouldn’t understand the “other side” of me. Now I had two longings, for the price of one, and life was starting to get complicated. I neither fully had myself, my partner or God. Like a takeaway buffet box tipped upside down, I had a bit of everything, but was mixed up. Three longings for the price of one now, and counting. Let’s cut the story short here…
I really don’t want to tell stories. In fact, stories are the exact opposite of what I want to share with you, because my story came to an end, as you probably know, on 19th June 2000. You might think, since I have said so much about it over the years that a new story begun, but it didn’t. I experienced myself, for the first time in my life, to be outside of my story and I wasn’t going back. In fact, I couldn’t. Remarkably, this could be shared by getting others to experience the feeling of standing outside of their own personal stories. Sharing this discovery was an awesome time. However, the “No Story” experience eventually ended for most people, whereas for me it never went away. I was puzzled. During this time, I promoted the slogan: “Enlightenment at all costs. Awakening by any means necessary.” Little did I know, no one’s identity actually wants to go on a permanent vacation, but instead will raise hell if sent into premature exile.
Since no one seemed to be “waking up” permanently, although a few seem to think that they had (I wasn’t in a position to make an assessment, so it’s an open question), I stopped doing my public “No Mind” magic shows. In part this was due to relocating to a new culture, where people are more private. I haphazardly found that I could still the magic show on demand, in new and surprising ways, but I did not want to stretch the natives by making them part of my public demonstrations, especially since their quiet, sincere and unimposing ways are truly admirable qualities. I packed away my travelling “No Mind” magic show and tried a variety of other methods including energy-work, role-play, dramatic improvisation and comedy. I might have hoped that the natives would become more like me, an extrovert comedic Cockney, but no one ever changes that much. Instead I went native (when in Rome do as the Romans): cross-country skiing, ice skating, forest mushroom and berry picking. Scandinavian minimalism has changed my personality and language in ways that confuse non-Scandinavians.
During this time, and all of these changes, people from all over the world continued to find and spend considerable amounts of time with me somewhere just below the Arctic Circle. Clearly they were getting something. I know, because not leaving anything to chance, I checked. In almost every case, profound experiences and transformations occurred. The question (really for myself) is “what were they getting?” Have I been delivering the same thing for 18 years or different things? I have been under the impression that, no matter what I say or do, I have been delivering the same thing. I can’t comment further because this case is still an open enquiry.
I do know that recent participants have expressed different preferences about how and what I should “teach”. I have started to wonder though, if, despite their differences, whether they are, in fact, all pointing to the same thing: the Holy Grail/Rosetta Stone of Enlightenment Transmission. If this is the case then I want to find that “root language”. Naturally, I am going to do some digging. Archaeology is a blending of past and present. The trick is to be objective – and to keep digging.
“Volunteers” looking to join these “digs” know where to find me. Sunday’s online meet-ups are a good place to start, and this one has exactly the same intention: .‘A Timeless Moment of Non-Conceptual Connection’.