The path to spiritual awakening or blue collar enlightenment is organized anarchy.
The other day my ten year old son (Jeremy) and I were having a lazy, bored, January Sunday. You know, one of those days when the outside vista is a swirl of a grey, overcast, semi-drizzle, non-motivational poo dangle? So, we decided to bake some cookies. I’m talking Betty Crocker delight, oatmeal dark chocolate deluxe cookies. Um-yummy. Awesome- we had found a pleasant enough temporary respite from our cabin fever doldrums. Off we go…
But- food fight! – our lackadaisical, semi-delirious state swerved us down a whole other cookie baking road – and thus a beautiful moment of complete and utter organized anarchy ensued. I’m talking cookie dough, water and flour – everywhere. On the walls, on the refrigerator, on the ceiling, on the floor, in my hair, on Jeremy’s butt, on my butt, on your butt. Every-frickin-where. It was a Mama rage inducing mess. We obliterated the kitchen. We obliterated a perfectly good package of Betty Crocker. Oh well, Betty’s crock didn’t seem to mind.
After the cookie-apocalypse and some oath swearing to Mama that we would clean up every last drop of flour and dough we settled down, opened another package of Betty delight and actually baked some cookies. It took a mere twenty two minutes to cook and eat those cookies …and four hours and twelve minutes to clean the kitchen. Cleaning karma’s a bitch.
Okay dokey- what does this have to do with spiritual awakening or enlightenment or cosmic divine self-realized ultra-spiritual unity goodness – you might be wondering? What!? You need ask!? Everything!
God and the Devil were walking down a road.
God leans over and picks up something.
“What’s that?” asks the devil.
“That’s the truth” says god.
“Give that to me. I’ll organize it” say the devil.
Over the years I’ve learned to balance life with a healthy dose of organization and anarchy….a little bit a god and a little bit of devil. Have too much or too little of either and I start to feel confined or out of control.
Having a balance of organization and anarchy on the spiritual path is equally important. We gotta know when to play by the rules, do the homework, have self-discipline and be good students. We also gotta know when to say fuck-it and start chucking cookie-dough everywhere. Finding and adhering to this balance can be tricky.
Here’s a few pointers for you:
Lots of neo-advaita nondual teachers out there will tell you that there’s nothing to do. You’re already awake. Stop seeking. The cookies will cook themselves- have a food fight and fuck it. Well, obviously this too much anarchy. This teaching is perfectly true- but only after you’ve read the directions, bought the ingredients, prepared the kitchen, got the oven on, and brought out the utensils. You see what I’m sayin ?…
The food fight anarchy came only after we did all that– and then we still cooked the cookies. We worked, prepared, studied, gathered and got smart…okay and then we said fuck it- had an awesome food fight and then we baked the cookies. So doing the work is vital. I can help you do the work. I’ve got a great kitchen. I got all the utensils. I have an awesome oven. It’s called the Blue Collar Enlightenment course. You supply the cookie dough. Is this cookie analogy still working?
I did a lot of workshops with teachers and various spiritual groups. I don’t regret a single one of them. I’m 100% satisfied with the time, money and energy I invested. Doing these workshops was the organized part and then, guaranteed almost every time afterwards, came the anarchy. I’d get back from a workshop and not touch another spiritual book, look at another spiritual video or even have spiritual thoughts for weeks or months. I’d cozy up to a really bad TV serious and several bottles of wine. Anarchy.
Okay this is my favorite story. A few years ago I was teaching publically in the small church in our neighborhood. A few of us would gather every other week or so for satsang, meditation and spiritual awakening business. We’d usually meet for a few hours. Very lovely little gathering. And then afterwards, I shit you not, I’d go home (10pm at night) crack open a beer and sit down to watch one of my favorite TV series: Sons of Anarchy. … about a dysfunctional California biker gang family. Satsang and Sons of Anarchy. That’s what I’m talkin’ bout.
My last story has to do with something I learned in high school. It’s very simple psychological tool called delayed gratification.
From Wikipedia: Delayed gratification, or deferred gratification, is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. Generally, delayed gratification is associated with resisting a smaller but more immediate reward in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later.
All this is a fancy way of saying that we must do the homework first and then go play ball afterwards. If we’re just playing ball or having food fights while on the path, nothing wrong with that, but the teacher (or Mama) is probably gunna give us a good scolding.
So it’s super simple- do the work first …i.e., Sign up for the Blue Collar Enlightenment course, or attend a nondual teacher workshop, or establish some daily spiritual discipline like yoga, meditation or mindfulness practice….and then be patient and wait for the investment to pay off. This is what I did and the payoff was supreme cookie enlightenment…okay well maybe not supreme cookie…but blue collar enlightenment for sure.
Thanks for hanging out! Now- Leave a comment !! What bit of anarchy have you indulged in recently? What bit of organization??
Final suggestion- enjoy the organized anarchy of the BCE introductory online class:
About J. Stewart Dixon www.bluecollarenlightenment.com
J. Stewart Dixon is an unorthodox nondual-advaita-zen spiritual awakening teacher and founder of Blue Collar Enlightenment. Born in 1969 J. Stewart began his spiritual search at the age of eighteen, urged on by a general sense of unhappiness, depression and an impulse that something was missing from his life. He passionately and actively continued searching (via numerous paths and dozens of teachers) until the age of forty-one, when while reading a nondual awakening article online, he fell into what is commonly reported as awakening and his search ended. Shortly thereafter he began writing and teaching.