Friday, January 13, 2012

The Dropout

Almost everyone who is drawn to self-inquiry, will find, at some point, that interest in certain things begins to fall away.  What was important before no longer seems important.

The job or career you invested so much in now brings less satisfaction.  There may be little motivation to continue to do the same kind of work.  You may find that material possessions have less significance than you once thought.  You may find that you no longer seem interested in spending time with friends who had been such a big part of your life for years.

It's as if you are shedding much of what seemed significant in your life. 

What also may happen is that you begin to see the insanity of the world's behavior.  You always knew there was an element of craziness to the world, but now you see it oh so clearly.  Such madness!  You say to yourself, "How can people think and act in such harmful ways?"

I think it's natural for those engaged in self-investigation to be somewhat disoriented or disturbed by what they see going on in this world.  Self-inquiry often leads to a heightened awareness of the dysfunctions of society.

However, some students of non-duality take it even further.  They become dropouts.  The lunacy of human behavior leads them to drop out of society.  In essence, they say, "This world is crazy and I just can't participate in it.  I no longer see things the way others do."

Consequently they withdraw and live as a dropout -- showing no interest in much of life.  It's a very passive stance and it isn't particularly pleasant living that way.  I've spent some time in this dropout position and know many others who have experienced it.

The dropouts tend to think they are advancing spiritually and hanging out in some type of holding pattern before enlightenment arrives.  Then they will be rescued by peace and happiness, and find relief from the lunacy of the world.

Of course, it's a trap, a trap of the imaginary ego.  The dropout is the ego taking up a spiritual position.  In one of Adyashanti's messages, I recall him saying that some seekers spend decades trapped in this position, withdrawing from life.

Who is this entity that wants to drop out of society?  Who is this one that is judging the crazy behavior of the so-called other people?

It is only the imaginary personal identity that could have such thoughts. Once this is clearly seen, the dropout position is weakened, and seen for what it is.  A phantom.

Simply investigate this dropout and it will disintegrate.  Clear seeing is all that is needed.