Dave’s most recent event was called “A Conversation to Awaken You.” Initially, when he was working out the description, it was called “The End of Illusion: The Enlightenment Transmission Solution.” I noted that this title synced up with my current book project, The Illusion Industry, which earlier I had subtitled, “the end of the illusion industry.”
I also singled out a line in Dave’s copy that I found intriguing, and slightly bizarre:
“I can tell you that they [the keys to end the illusion] are distributed over several people.”
(The line was edited out of the final online version.) Dave replied that my “synch is example of the distribution.”
“A Conversation to Awaken You” was, among other things, Dave’s latest attempt to articulate what cannot be articulated—something he is always trying to do, but this time he set about more overtly to accomplish. The event was preceded by a quintet of short pieces at his website, written over a period of days. I found the pieces intriguing, mysterious, tantalizing, slightly ominous. Here are some highlights from them:
For, when expansion goes beyond its natural limits, it tears a hole in the fabric of existence, generating an infinitely expanding vacuum that desperately tries to contract to limit its aloneness whilst simultaneously sucking in an unfiltered Universe to fill, instead of feel, the gap.
No matter how seductive and interesting are breakthroughs in the world of form, know that they do not lead to freedom or liberation.
Although sometimes spectacular, many spiritual breakthroughs only crash through a wall into another prison cell.
Forget all concepts, including Enlightenment for just a moment, and kinaesthetically feel where the aim inside you is going. I’ll wager that it’s not going into the world of form…
The spiritual marketplace is focused on form even when it espouses formlessness. Thus, its advice is likely to mislead and confuse you. For this reason, you should start again with zero assumptions.
Consciousness will never be satisfied with experiencing only form. It needs to be with Its own kind. Consciousness, resident within the human body, must return to Itself otherwise It forgets Itself.
[Writing] This seems a fruitless and pointless exercise, because anyone who has the experience has no need to read my descriptions or attend any event purposed toward having the experience.
Many people have not arrived. I don’t mean no worldly success, but not arrived in their body. Unsatisfied, they hope to leave, never to return again, unaware that we don’t incarnate to leave, but to stay. There is no way out, for the way out is the way back in.
The problem and the solution are sequences.
The exit plan is deliberately designed to be unintelligible for the mind, since the false self, if it could find the plan, would sabotage it, rather than face its destruction. . . . The Key starts a sequence of events, in and around the physical body that destabilise the false self and allow remembrance to return.
The Key that starts the solution sequence is in two parts: a shared key that is distributed simultaneously to all participating incarnations plus each participant’s own unique key. These two keys constantly change. Consequently, sending, receiving and assimilation has to happen simultaneously.
Taken from: “Find Your True Self, Dissolving Anti-Life Programming”
Now here are a few short samples of my feedback to Dave:
The formless content has been on my mind—it risks sparking nihilistic responses, from me at any rate, underscoring the futility and irrelevance of the impermanent—if the world of form is illusory then what difference does anything make? Yet I know this isn’t how you perceive existence, or at least, it is not how to act within in…
I discovered something recently called virulent nihilism—it refers to nihilism that is nonetheless active and purposeful, a seeming contradiction; it sparked an idea for a counterpoint, virulent hope, which is more what you offer; this current piece touches on its own redundancy, with the line “This seems a fruitless and pointless exercise.” But it’s inviting rather than foreboding; the notion of escape, ironically, is appealing and exciting; I say ironically, because true spirituality seems like it is the inverse of escapism—the path to escaping from our patterns of avoidance, ergo to escape is to overcome all temptations to escape? Worrrrds without end….
The 4 essays are building upon each other—or tunneling deeper; this last is the most tangible while also the most cryptic; it feels practicable while being wholly mysterious
What follows is based on notes I once again took during the event; these notes are less comprehensive than the last time, and as a result what follows is somewhat less of an attempt to sum up Dave’s presentation than my own reworking—a cover version of his tune. This meet was also less structured and focused than the previous one shared here, allowing for more room, I feel, for following my own digressions, then and now, in an attempt to follow Dave’s “cues” to what his words were pointing towards, rather than getting stuck on the words themselves.
Nothing is really what it seems: Dave began with a cliché that felt like more than just a truism, almost a warning, and certainly a preparatory statement to pay close attention to what was happening here (or “happening”) in my field of perception, during the event.
You won’t be able to think about yourself, he said. That’s all I have of that note and I forget why Dave said it. To really follow his words to where they lead—which is where they are coming from—means not thinking about myself, because the person I think about is not the self Dave is speaking to. He is using language differently; by thinking about myself, I am using the part that interrupts that signal, allowing my attention to drop, getting caught up in the words, and missing the spaces between them, where the meaning is. The formless behind the forms.
Dave described how he is turning over the tables of spiritual concepts. He used the analogy of an incident he witnessed in a Chinese restaurant, when a customer did just that, but I found myself thinking of Jesus in the Temple, turning over the money lenders’ tables.
Dave then said something that had particular resonance for me: for a long time, maybe your whole life, you have been trying to figure out if and when people are lying to you, and where the truth lies (pun intended).
This is true; or seems to be.
Then he said something that used to be his tagline at his old Enlightenment Now website: time is running out. Reintroducing his triad of energy, awareness, and purpose, he referred to how our life force (energy) has both awareness and a purpose, but until our life force comes all the way into our body, then our body is not fully expressing purpose.
There is a nonphysical world, where many of our impressions are coming from, the world of the formless. Maybe all our impression are coming from there? After all, we don’t actually know where our thoughts and feelings come from, do we? Just because they come to us through the body doesn’t mean they come from the body, and the same is true of sensations. If we feel the warmth of sunlight, is the sensation coming from the sun, from our body, from both, or from some space between and beyond the physical forms we encounter?
Dave used the analogy of Russian dolls, an analogy I had used, briefly and spontaneously, in my recent podcast with Martin Jolly, “Healing the Libido.” I knew Dave had listened to this podcast, because he mentioned it at the last event and also recommended it in his newsletter. Surprisingly, he used the analogy at this latest event in the same way I had used it, in reference to lining up the various bodies, physical, emotional, mental, intuitive, energetic. Until those bodies are lined up, it is as if there is no one home to receive the deliveries that are coming to us. In other words, in any given moment, our ability to receive and act upon the inspiration we are receiving in that moment depends on our being lined up—or online—to receive our “orders.”
Wherever we are, all of us needs to show up and be present, in the same moment, for us to respond, to move. For most of us, our life force is hovering somewhere outside of our bodies, procrastinating, avoiding jumping into the body, because of any number of perceived or imagined “drawbacks.” This is something I pointed to a while back, via the word de-liberation.
Dave used the example of Eastern spiritualty and how it emphasizes the crappiness of our incarnate existence (“life is suffering,” etc., etc.) while simultaneously pushing the incentive to “get out”—to escape the wheel of karma, birth, death, and rebirth—and return to God (or “God”). This model of the Universe sounds more like the government than God. In fact, the way out is the way back in: as we move our awareness outside of the false identity, it creates space for the life force to enter into our bodies. The false identity is like the little piggies, refusing to let the big bad wolf in by the hairs of their chinny chin chins.
I have said something similar in the past like so: the less of the world we become, the more in the world we can be; and vice versa.
As he has many times before, Dave disparaged the spirituality model as hierarchical, for example, the idea that the guru knows everything and has to be submitted to to attain enlightenment. In his experience, being enlightened means he only has a very tiny clue about what’s going on, but that tiny clue is enough for him. He has his sandwich, and as long as everyone else has their pack lunch, we can all embark. Until then, however, he can’t go anywhere. This isn’t I’ve got mine-ism. It is not every man for himself, because there is no “everyman.”
There was an agreement between us, before we came to the planet, out there in that endless ocean of energy. The shock of birth on the nervous system, the trauma prevents, our full consciousness coming into the body. We knew we would forget our purpose on “landing” here—that the vehicle would be damaged by the impact of landing. So we had a back-up plan.
The problem of being a reasonable human being is that reasonable is just what our false identities want us to be—socialized—and we can’t overcome the false identity by being reasonable. It knows just how to handle reasonableness.
This part of Dave’s package, and what came immediately after, which I didn’t note down, echoed a dream I had two nights previous to the event, particularly this insight, which I sent to Dave the next day: “the trouble with most of Dave’s participants is that they incorporate him into their lifestyle as an added element when what Dave is pointing at is outside of our lives and can’t be reduced to a feature within them.”
Dave responded to this with two words: “has potential.” Latent, like the formless.
At this point in the event, Dave joked that he was giving us the benefit of the doubt that we really wanted to wake up. If so, then we needed to stop feeding the false identity, the imposter installed in our nervous system. For example, our idea about other people, including ourselves, was all wrong.
The fact that, at some point in our lives, we began asking deep, metaphysical questions about our existence indicates that we came here with a need to know the truth. We received a lot of fake maps that lead nowhere because they don’t represent the territory. Since we knew ahead of time this was how it was going to be, we had a challenge: how could we send something ahead of ourselves that would guide us through the hostile terrain we were entering?
The answer has something to do with how we came into the physical realm distributed over many different bodies. There is no “I” here. Our life force—the key to who we are—is found in other human bodies.
Our wake-up plan is based on principles that can also be observed in the human brain. We do not have one neuron for each bit of data or every individual memory. We have a system of “redundant distributed information,” meaning that, as with a hologram, if one neuron dies, or even a whole bunch of them, other neurons step in and re-present the information. The neurons are laughing at death, because what they really are (their spin) cannot die: ha ha, fooled you again!
(I have had my own experience of laughing cells within the body on salvia divinorum, so I know, or suspect, that Dave is not just poetically anthropomorphizing the life force here; it really does laugh at death—and at “us”—our false identities.)
Our collective plan to get free of the false identity has many moving parts, because the false identity is an intelligent, polymorphous virus that constantly adapts to its circumstances in order to survive. Got that? An intelligent, polymorphous virus.
Taking ourselves too seriously is tantamount to taking the false identity too seriously. It’s exactly what the false identity would do.
We came here with an agreement to wake up—as a soul pack, a soul distributed among a number of bodies (I know this is at least partially true: I met one part of me in a cat called Garbanzo).
Dave is presenting this as (IMO) a much-needed an alternate model to the familiar reincarnational one of a soul progressing through many lifetimes towards enlightenment. How we think about ourselves and how we actually are are two different things; they are not even similar. The real self has no identity, because it relies on no particular identification.
There are two levels of illusion, Dave said, mentioning that, when he first got enlightened, his mind was really boring, but now can have parties in the prison cell of his mind. Just like in the Talking Heads song: “Memories Can’t Wait.” The tune comes after “Life During Wartime” on Fear of Music, and “Life During Wartime” is the song Dave quoted a lot on one of my first retreats.
We dress like students, we dress like housewives; or in a suit and a tie. I’ve changed my hairstyle so many times now, I don’t know what I look like.
Dave then said that the false identity is like a clown with a freaky face, staring back at us in the mirror. I include that note, even though it hangs there unconnected to anything else, because it pertains to an upcoming podcast I did with Gib Strange, about The Joker. Watch this space.
Moving on: The life force bubbles up from the feet and cleans the brain; inspiration comes in from above, into the head and down the body and into the earth. Together, these two “currents” fuse into a life force with awareness and purpose.
In real time, now: we are looking for a way to crack the safe and evict the false identity. Our only possible happiness is in living our purpose, regardless of whether or not that causes us problems, at whatever level. The one problem we don’t have when we follow our purpose is a problem of conscience. We are no longer divided. We have peace of mind because we have unity of being.
Dave gives a tip then about breaking the patterns of addiction by mixing it up, adding new variables. Like tossing candy into the air and catching it in your mouth. I think about mixing Kettle crisps with fruit, instead of nuts or Bombay mix. Practical tips from the formless! (about how to mix up forms).
Dave then reminds us that it will be all over soon. This is really the truth. It will. And history doesn’t remember. Whatever we didn’t do with our life force to help us fulfill our true purpose, and whatever we did with it that didn’t, we take with us, after it’s over. There is our life, and there is not-our-life (or our not-life); and when life ends, that’s the measure of it—the “afterlife”—a mix of true and false, of purpose and lack of it. Unlived lives.
Dave brought up infinity and wondered aloud whether or not to talk about it. He wanted to take us to the doorstep of infinity, he said, and introduce us to everything. But how is he supposed to talk about everything?
He shifted back to the body, describing a number (he settled on twelve) of lines in the body that consciousness runs down, from the top of the head and out the feet, like roots into the earth. An oak tree is just as expansive beneath the earth as it is above it, and so it is with us. But if our tubes are blocked, and there is no way to receive the necessary consciousness or inspiration to process what is coming into our senses in the present moment, we are a walking traffic jam. A gridlock in infinity.
This is why it’s a bad idea to be sending energy upward, as many spiritual techniques prescribe, at least until all the lines in the body are clean and clear for the downward energy to be rooted in the earth.
Space is the priority.
While the mind is all about acquiring more, the most valuable thing for us to gain is space. Less is more.
The only thing that can assist with our awakening is a resonant field. Help comes from contact with others, specifically those who have space within them, whose lines are open and whose energy has corresponding awareness and purpose. Proximity, even exposure, to these others allows us to notice our own blockages, our false identity programs. We are then taken magnetically into our life force energy, by that field resonance.
(This part, I sensed, was also inspired, or in-formed, by the podcast with Martin, and our descriptions of our experiences on park benches, of enjoying the emptiness of the other.)
Resonance leads to residence—home.
The key provided by resonance is changing in every moment. It needs to be because it has to unlock a constantly changing frequency—that polymorphous intelligent virus—that requires a new code for every instant. Repeat: The false identity is a protean force that continually adapts in order to survive.
To be enlightened is no picnic; it is like sharing a house with a bunch of slobs who leave unwashed dishes and hair clogging up the drains, having to clean up after everyone, just in order to keep the space around you tolerable. Not exactly fun. But necessary, essential. This is the “job” of the “spiritual teacher.”
(I was glad to be able to relate just a little bit to this, from running the thrift store and dealing with people’s crap and with the homeless and disenfranchised; and even literally, before that, spending months cleaning up and renovating a house of crackheads. I guess I graduated from taking care of the drug den to handling the drug addicts. What if every one you encounter is you? D’oh!)
You cannot leave your body parts behind just because they’re dirty, Dave says, bringing to mind the Gospel: “If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and cast it away from you.” Seems like really bad advice. Surely we’re better off seeing what we stumble over and maybe moving that instead? Lesson: Not all gospel is gospel.
Dave asked us a pointed question then: HAVE YOU FOUND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR? Because if and when you do, as he did, you may find it is not what you (think you) came for.
We are currently in an emergency crisis situation. Another Oshana tautology; which reminds me, Dave asked me recently if I could observe the pattern behind his many tautologies (like his “beyond infinity”—infinity by definition is beyond going beyond); I didn’t answer because I couldn’t think of what to say. Maybe now I will. . . . Perhaps Dave uses tautologies because he is speaking for two of us; the one in the bed who will be left behind, the false identity; and the real us. So, while eye gets stuck on the word and the mind stumbles on the tautology, the rest of us just takes the invite (or not), and is raptured . . . beyond?
Dave then makes one of his least diplomatic comments ever, joking that being an enlightenment teacher means hanging around with a bunch of psychopathic baboons; somehow he says it in such a way that it doesn’t seem offensive, or even especially pointed. Maybe I wasn’t listening with my inner psycho-baboon?
Another question: When we wake in the morning, do we feel all the parts of our being coming into alignment, readying to mobilize? Where are all our parts aiming? Are we visiting, checking in with, all of our parts, all of the time? This is the recovery of the self—becoming what we are. Meantime, which parts that are not-us are leading the way?
This question is complicated by the fact that there are various parts, levels and layers, realms and dimensions, to what we are, existing between consciousness and the physical world. Parts of us are even found on the outside; they may include what we perceive as OTHER PEOPLE.
Our formless self embraces many forms besides the one(s) we identify with. How do we become synchronized with all of existence? There is only one in-form-ation highway that we need to get on, and that’s existence. It is time to go no-mind.
At one point during the event, Dave asked how many times we found ourselves doing things without purpose simply because we were at a loose end and didn’t know what to do with ourselves. “Hardly ever,” I mumbled to myself. Right after I did, he imitated a person at a loose end, “There’s Netflix!” and I laughed. He repeated it through a series of iterations, “Well, there’s Netflix.” At first I felt like he was talking to me—I did sign up for Netflix again recently—but then I realized it’s a collective addiction. And in truth, I tend to see my 1-2 hours nightly TV (though I don’t own a TV) as quite purpose-driven, for a couple of reasons. One is that R & R time is necessary too. The other is that, hey, it’s research!
Sure enough, that night, book-ending the Dave event of the morning, my wife and I watched the first four episodes of the eight-part Amazon Prime series called Undone (which first aired on Friday the 13th of September). It’s an outstanding show: Waking Life by way of Russian Doll, and, in the first four episodes at least, there were quite a few parallels with what Dave was conveying at the event. The person who wrote it, Kate Purdy, seems to know what she is talking about, by which I mean, transmitting something from experience, not just recycling New Age, What the Bleep conceptual fluff. Hallelujah, a signal in the noise! (Only beware: gourmet cheese makes the Amazon trap all the more enticing…)
There is a scene in Undone when Bob Odenkirk (a.k.a., Saul Goodman) is teaching his daughter, in this world, on the other side (he is dead), and in her dreams, how to move a set of keys without touching them, by moving through time, at which point she says, “You want me to move the keys with my mind?!” “Your mind is nothing!” he snaps. Hallelujah, Amen.
That night, I had a dream in which I was trying to find a place to sleep in my father’s old house. I went from room to room, but they all had people sleeping in them and I desperately needed to sleep alone. The house was huge, with endless extensions and rooms; even so, parts of it had been shut off and sold to other residents, so it wasn’t as big as I remembered (in my dream life, I mean).
Eventually, I found a very cozy but large room with an open fire, where a young Mayan woman was getting ready for bed. I suggested she let me sleep there. I knew she wouldn’t go for it, however. “No es correcto,” she said—it’s not proper. She showed me a sofa bed in an area outside the room and I thought I had finally found a spot. But when I opened it up, in the usual kind of impossible dream logic, it revealed a couple sleeping under it. At that point, I either gave up or woke up, or both.
As I woke, Jesus’ words ran through my head: “In my father’s house are many mansions.”
Followed by these: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the son of man has no place to lay his head.”
I recommend getting Undone. I also recommend, even more strongly, getting undone by Dave Oshana.