Blue Collar Enlightenment

Let’s take a look at your odds here.

About 15 years ago I was hosting a fairly well known advaita vedanta sat-sang teacher in my home. I was helping him organize public meetings and a weekend work shop at a local Unitarian church. I had a private session with him. During this private session he uttered one of the most sobering and powerful statements about enlightenment and spirituality I had ever heard. It went something like this:

Thousands of people came to visit Papaji (awakened Indian dude) in India during the early eighties. Probably tens of thousands. How many of them you think got it? Really? How many?…(pregnant pause) ….Only a handful. Just a handful- walked away with the truth. The rest- well, the rest are still seeking.

He continued…

Jeff- if you don’t get serious about this business you’re gunna be a seeker- the rest of your life.

After he told me this I broke down and cried. That was the tipping point in my seeking adventure.

That was the point where I realized-

– I’m going to fail at this.  I’m going to be depressed and unhappy the rest of my adult life. Unless- A. I start to take this shit seriously and B. I am completely willing to settle for blue-collar enlightenment.

Taking it seriously wasn’t the problem. I was already seriously existentially unhappy. Settling for blue-collar enlightenment was the problem. And it continued to be, all the way up to the moment/period of awakening.

Here’s the deal: As a seeker you’re going to have to grapple with this same issue right up to the actual non-glorious event, when/where you get out of bed one day and say to yourself in realization – wow, man, I’m Awake. Your deluded, fantasizing, holier-than-thou-ideas-about enlightenment ego is gunna fight this actuality every step of the way. And it sucks. Yes it sucks- Awakening is 99% about erasing false ideas about awakening. But that 1%- Oh my. That 1%- You will be amazed at that 1%. I’m not trying to diminish any of the positive attributes of real awakening. It’s fantastic. It’s a trip. It’s super-really-yummy-good and very-very satisfying. But then- after the satori settles down- it’s just-normal. You are just normal- because really-there is no great realized “you” or “YOU” No you. No self. No Self. No-no-no. Just- blue collar. And ya know what? Being a blue collar nobody is just fine. So welcome… to the club, you never-ever-in a million-years, wanted to join.





4 Responses to Blue Collar Enlightenment

  • I frickin love that last sentence.

    So welcome… to the club, you never-ever-in a million-years, wanted to join.

  • Ted Strauss recommended your site and I like and trust Ted. I got off the phone this morning with Sandra Glickman (senior teacher in Waking Down in Mutuality that mentored me into awakening) and I was saying the same thing to her (and she to me) as in your “blue collar enlightenment.” The dreams of magic powers, changing the world and fawning devotees are all ego crap; the real work is that you are still human and as a human you still have to deal with a lot of crap. instead of fawning devotees I lead a free monthly meditation once per month, and the rest of the time work in a social services agency where I help people get through their painful histories of trauma and abuse. The real work of the awakened is service without glory. Way to go Mr. Dixon; you got it. Jonathan Labman

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