I’m done with meditation. I’m done with self-inquiry. I’m done with trying to figure it out.
For three years I meditated for an average of 2 hours every day. I went on four 10-day meditation retreats in total silence with 10+ hours of meditation per day.
I explored new-agey popular “spiritual practices” such as lucid dreaming and astral projection.
I had several naturally induced psychedelic trips, including encounters with weird entities, most of them horrendous as shit.
I reached meditative Jhanas, at one point sitting for hours every day during a month in a chair in the garden, blissed the fuck out, crying tears of joy for the pleasure in every bone in my body and in every sense perception I felt.
I committed to compassion, peace and love. I didn’t eat the flesh of a single animal.
Three years went by like this.
The result? I died.
Looking back, I can only wonder what the hell the problem ever was. What the hell was I looking for? Why did I feel like I had to search for something. And god knows what! Perhaps I believed that I wanted to become enlightened. But of course, I didn’t know what it meant.
Perhaps all I knew at the time was a life changing event and then three years of slowly dying. And although it indeed felt like I was dying that whole time, I didn’t realize that this was what was happening, until I had already died. During the whole time, I simply thought that I was on a straight path towards enlightenment, or at least something.
I was always trying to fix myself. To meditate and realize my way into a comfortable state of being.
Now when I think about so-called “spiritual practices” and “spiritual searching”, I feel like puking. What the hell does that shit even mean? What is spirituality anyway?
If I’ve ever learned one thing in my spiritual search, it’s that there ain’t no god-damn spirit. And I get sick thinking about all the life-long struggles people go through in search of it. Not everyone is a lucky as me, to have been able to accept that it’s not there. There’s no mystery: It’s all a mystery.
A lot of people follow the Buddha in their spiritual search. I did too. And even though one of the only things all schools of Buddhism can agree on, is that there is no soul, no spirit, everyone be god-damn looking for that shit anyway! Ironically, what a way to harass the memory of this person called the Buddha…
How the hell can one be a very accomplished spiritual searcher, and follow the Buddha? That’s what I don’t get, looking back with hindsight.
In my years of intense spiritual search, I saw many like-minded people do the same. At one point, I stayed in a Buddhist monastery for a week, living alongside Thai Buddhist monks. Some of them had been a monk for 23 years. Another for over 40 years. And they were still searching. One of them said that he knew that if he followed all the Buddhist rules he had submitted to, he would be liberated and enlightened in seven life times…wtf?
Needless to say, Buddhism does not produce any Buddhas. Most of the people who are Buddhists are searchers for life. For what, I don’t know. They don’t either, but they might call it various things and believe they know: Enlightenment, abiding awareness, non-dual perception, bliss.. whatever. Whatever they call it, it’s either not there, or it’s not really it. Even an encounter with god and the most profound bliss wears off. And when that happens to all searchers they’ll start searching for the next “profound experience”, which will make them believe that they still are making progress towards this something which they don’t know exactly what is.
There’s nothing wrong with this.. but it is uncomfortable, that’s for sure. It’s a never ending process of searching and never finding. It will have its amazing moments, and it may feel very profound and full of purpose. But not getting there will eventually get pretty disturbing.
So what comes after this search, when there’s nothing at the end of it? Well.. nothing!
But in my experience, it’s the realizing that there is actually nothing that will set you free of your search. In a way, this may be the goal, the enlightenment. I’m not claiming to be”enlightened”, but I sure as hell can see that there is no self and that all is impermanent. Perhaps we should make a new word for people who have realized this? “Not-delusional“?
So if you ever do stop searching, it must be because you’ve either stopped searching, or you have found what you were looking for. The second option can’t happen, because there is nothing to find. And then to stop searching is the only option you have left, if you ever want to not be a spiritual searcher.
I suppose one could either give up, or simply realize that there is no point to keep going. I don’t know if the result varies depending on whether it’s the one or the other reason that makes you stop searching.
The result is pretty amazing. For one thing, nothing happens at all.
But at the same time, all that does happen, will be like all that ever happened before. And you will not bother to try and find yourself in it. You are done trying to find that missing meaning in all things: your thoughts, emotions and whatever else you may see as important in your life.
Detachment follows, as promised by the spiritual searchers as a result of enlightenment. And that is pretty damn amazing.
For this reason, I can recommend realizing that there is nothing to search for. Nothing to know.
But the thing is, that you don’t really have a choice in whether that will happen or not. That’s just another consequence of there not really being any you, any self. There’s no one to make the call. No you.
Maybe you’ll stop searching, if you’re sick enough of doing it. Or maybe you’ll keep searching for the rest of your life. It doesn’t really matter. No one cares, except you.
After spiritual search you’re not kidding yourself anymore. You’re done with trying to find what’s not there. You’re a lot more real.
And then you feel pretty damn free and spend some time wondering what the hell all the fuzz was about.
And then you’re back to daily life as if nothing happened.