8 Conclusion – the far journey
8.1 What is the far journey?
To attain the goal of existence, to understand and experience the meaning and purpose of life, we each must travel the far journey. This is a journey within yourself to the realisation that ‘you’ and ‘I’, these teachings and all else are, in the final experience of reality, one and indistinguishable. The goal is the same for each of us, no matter whether expressed in religious or secular terms.
As you travel along the difficult path towards the final goal of freedom from the constraints of conditioned existence, you will need guidance and support. If you are to avoid the many traps, delusions and dead-ends which lie along the way, you will need to work within a soundly structured and fully developed model of reality. All the variations of self-delusion can be avoided if the model of reality you are working with has a detailed structure embracing the various stages of awareness and appropriate meditative practices to help you develop at each stage.
In reality, it does not matter which model you choose, whether this secular path or one of many religious paths according to your taste. What counts is the accuracy and thoroughness of the model and your commitment to its practices. When your daily activities form a living expression of the relevance of the model you are working in, then you will be progressing on the far journey.
8.2 As you travel on this long inward journey to a complete realization of the inherent unity of all that exists, how are you to relate to others in your life?
The area of personal relationships is fraught with difficulty. It is the primary set of conditions through which karma tests the extent of your detachment from your own needs and desires. Pursuit of this secular spiritual path of Implicate Technology does not absolve you of responsibility for the general and specific welfare of others.
How this responsibility is interpreted is a matter of great cultural and personal significance. The spiritual life is passionately demanding, all-absorbing and all-fulfilling; yet your achievements along the path will have only limited value if they serve to benefit yourself alone. One of the central issues you will have to face, on this secular path, is how to adapt your awakening spiritual perception, through sustaining the practice of meditation, to the needs and demands others will make on your life.
The great and ancient Eastern civilizations have developed solutions to this problem appropriate to the needs and forms of expression of their cultures. They have understood the necessity for complete absorption in the inner process of spiritual development, and have articulated culturally relevant, that is to say generally acceptable, ways of aiding this process. In general, the solutions of the Eastern civilizations have involved an act of renunciation of the typical everyday concerns of home, family and earning a living.
This act of renunciation in order to follow a spiritual path is supported by an ancient Eastern tradition of supplying food daily to monks begging in the streets. The ordinary person, according to the values of the Eastern cultures, earns merit by assisting the beggar following a spiritual path, by providing such people with daily food. In this simple way the general culture acts to support those dedicated to the spiritual path. This act of renouncing family and friends, as well as material comforts, in pursuit of enlightenment is understood in the East as a positive act and not, as it seems to our Western scale of values, as a flight from responsibility. The Eastern paths to enlightenment usually involve single-minded dedication to the spiritual life alone. A spiritually dedicated person is understood, in a generally accepted sense, as contributing significantly to the quality of life in the Eastern cultures.
In our late-twentieth-century materialistic Western cultures, the situation faced by a person who aspires to the spiritual life is virtually the opposite of that found in the Eastern traditions. There are no generally acceptable cultural roles available for such people. In fact, in our Western societies, there is no widespread understanding of the spiritual path, either from a religious or a secular point of view.
In the face of this general and deep-rooted ignorance of the spiritual truths of life, the life of one who seeks to understand and experience the spiritual nature of reality can be beset with difficulties. The risk of incomprehension from friends, colleagues and loved ones is high. We in the West need to develop an entirely different approach from that worked out over millennia in the East to the issue of how to live a fulfilling and spiritually satisfying life.
The key to the Eastern approach is renunciation and separation: forsake home, family, friends and material comforts and mark yourself out by clothes and way of living as committed to a spiritual path. The key to this Western, secular Implicate Technology teaching is embracing and non-separation: absorb yourself in the needs of home, family, friends and wider social concerns and, in the day-to-day pressures of your life, learn to follow a spiritual path by living your ordinary life. The remainder of this chapter provides guidelines on how to mingle with the world and yet live in harmony with the inherent implicate laws governing our lives.
8.3 What are the Implicate Technology guidelines for relationships with others?
The most rewarding and most difficult relationships are with those who share your life – lovers, friends, spouses, parents, children and those with whom you work and play. This Implicate Technology teaching of embracing the events of everyday life will assist you spiritually through the natural, flowing development and unfolding of the relationships in your life. The primary element linking your relationships with your spiritual development is continued daily practice of meditation – do this with commitment and your life will evolve with a natural spontaneity to take you along the path.
You will discover, as your practice in meditation develops, that the context in which you understand your experience as it spontaneously unfolds is all-important. The stress and difficulties of relationships can easily deflect you from the path of inner development and into the maze of emotional dead-ends which is the primary subject area of many of our psychologies. To safeguard yourself from these pitfalls, be aware of the constant presence of’ karma in the patterning of the everyday events of your life.
Be clear on this: every aspect of your life, from the major events to the tiniest details, is structured by the implicate law of karma to provide you with an environment in which you can best learn about your own nature. The relationships in which you find yourself involved are an integral part of the karmic patterning of your life. You and those with whom you become involved are elements in a process inherently structured to enhance self-knowledge.
It is within this context that your relationships occur. When you experience stress or difficulty in personal matters, have compassion for any others involved. They too are undergoing the same slow and painful process of karmic conditioning.
As you apply yourself to the challenge of meditation and spiritual self-development, possibilities for change will unfold in your personal involvements with others. It may not be easy to introduce new attitudes and insights into established relationships. Have compassion and understanding for the difficulties others may have in adapting to the changes within yourself.
Our materialistic, outward-looking, late-twentieth-century, secular culture does little to prepare us for the complexities, difficulties and ambiguities of the process of inner change. The transformations in attitude and understanding involved can create fear in one who is unprepared for them. The conditions of your life, no matter how apparently difficult, are suffused with compassion – try to understand how this compassion operates, for the benefit of both yourself and others.
As you become absorbed in the emotional conditions shaping your life, try to maintain an attitude of detached compassion for yourself and others. Despite all difficulties, maintain your practice of meditation. Familiarise yourself with the techniques discussed in chapter 6 for the day-to-day handling of your emotions.
Allow yourself us understand that the fear and obstruction you may experience, as others react to the changes in you, is a function of our culture’s ignorance of the process of inner transformation. You and those involved with you are engaged in a process of profound and joyous change. The responsibility lies with you to explain patiently what is happening, and to assist others in overcoming their fears and doubts.
8.4 What are the Implicate Technology guidelines for using the abilities which will arise in you through the practice of meditation?
You will find yourself developing new abilities as you advance in your daily practice of meditation, particularly as you progress beyond the first stage of enlightenment. The follow-up work from the Implicate Technology Centre, The advanced guide to enlightenment, will discuss these abilities in a context which helps you to recognise the form and purpose of such experiences. The purpose of this section is to provide you with guidelines which will prepare you to use your abilities as they develop.
Throughout this book, you have been taught that the context within which you understand your experience of life is of prime importance. You will have given yourself totally to this Implicate Technology teaching of the clear setting face to face with reality if, throughout your life, you Live and Act. The context of this secular teaching encourages you to develop towards the final stage of enlightenment, the attainment of the unconditioned state, through the gradual realisation of your role in the culture you find yourself in.
In contrast with most Eastern paths to enlightenment, this Western secular path teaches you to absorb yourself in your immediate environment, both in the narrow personal and the wider cultural sense. The skills learnt from Implicate Technology disciplines direct you towards the final stage of enlightenment, through the understanding of the forces shaping your environment, and through integrating yourself with these forces. To achieve this, it is important to have a wide-ranging understanding of the stage of development at which our late-twentieth-century Western cultures have arrived.
We live in a culture which has been shaped by two thousand years of the Judeo-Christian code of ethics. That is to say, the standard by which it is culturally acceptable to us to judge behaviour is a code of values based on the Bible. Not everyone agrees with or adopts this standard of ethical behaviour, but the Bible has had an undoubted and marked influence on the development of Western ethical values.
Cultures go through phases of growth, maturity and decay, just like anything else. Occasionally it happens that cultures experience a qualitative upwards step, a quantum leap in development. Just as individuals can take unexpected leaps in their level of consciousness on the path to the final enlightenment, so too can whole cultures take evolutionary leaps.
In the late twentieth century, we in the West are living during a time of great cultural change. This is a period drained of the stability rooted in a firm belief in the Judeo-Christian code of ethics. At the same time, it is a period of immense potential – we are poised to take a leap from an ethically-based, to a spiritually-based, culture.
In the vanguard of this change will be those who have been enriched, in their own lives, by the natural progression towards the final stage of enlightenment. The first, or psychological, stage of enlightenment is accessible to any ordinary intelligent person through a hundred days of committed daily practice of meditation. As the number of people who understand the process of attaining enlightenment, and who become committed to their own progress along the path grows, they will come together, spontaneously, to create change for the good of all, according to the inherent implicate laws of reality.
For a person experiencing the path to enlightenment in our complex, stressful, ethically-based and spiritually-underdeveloped Western culture, the natural and instinctive goal is to seek out a role which allows the expression of one’s inherent healing abilities. Your latent abilities will awaken, as you progress in your meditation. Expect nothing, have no preconceptions and be open to accepting your experience. Be clear: you are free to use the abilities developed through the practice of meditation for either selfish or unselfish ends; but you are not free to dictate the karmic consequences of your thoughts or actions.
To choose the path of unselfishness is to continue developing towards the final stage of enlightenment. To use the fruits of meditation for selfish, self-serving ends is to deviate from the path and simultaneously to incur karmic consequences designed to alert you to the error of your way. As you choose, so your life will unfold for you to experience. Nothing in your life, whether you are on the path or not, is a product of meaningless chance.
Committed daily practice of meditation will awaken your inherent ability to heal others and to enhance and enrich their lives. The form which this takes is a function of the activity of karma, which develops the component parts of the process of reality so that, individually and collectively, the component consciousnesses move through time towards an understanding of their unified nature. The underlying form of all meditation-enhanced healing is an inherent impulse to assist others to move towards enlightenment.
As your healing skills unfold, you will be spontaneously drawn to those who will both benefit from your skills and assist you to progress along the path. This Implicate Technology teaching of reaching enlightenment through embracing the events of everyday life results in mutual enhancement through a realisation of mutual dependency. When you benefit or harm another person or thing, you inescapably incur appropriate positive or negative karmic consequences, according to the true nature of your action.
The actual Implicate Technology guidelines for integrating yourself into the process of developing your cultural environment are straightforward, simple and very demanding:
I ) Committed daily practice of meditation will develop your intuitive abilities (see chapter 2).
2) Become centred in the midst of conditions (see chapter 3).
3) Analyse the conditions of your life, in terms both of your developing abilities and the needs of those around you (see chapter 3).
4) Become sensitive to the direction in which karma is guiding your life (see chapter 4).
8.5 What are the Implicate Technology guidelines for operating openly and yet unnoticed, for being different and yet the same?
There are no culturally approved, readily accessible roles available for an enlightened, or relatively enlightened, person in our late twentieth-century Western cultures. We have no true cultural equivalent of the Eastern guru – a person who is recognised and accepted as having realised through inner experience the true nature of reality, and so has become fit to teach others how to attain this ultimate experience. Accordingly, those who follow the path begun in this book and to be completed in its successor, The advanced guide to enlightenment, will face the challenges, opportunities and dangers common to all pioneers.
You may have to deal with the incomprehension and hostility of those around you, as you seek to express your new-found understanding. The way to avoid conflict is to blend in with your environment. The way to change and enhance your environment is to lead by unspoken example.
This activity of leading, yet not being seen to lead, is achieved through the use of a by-product of your daily practice of meditation. Progress in meditation assists you to leave behind narrow, subjective, personal ways of behaving and experiencing reality. Learn to Act impersonally, without subjective regard for self or others.
The way ahead for our Western cultures lies not with those who merely talk about the nature of reality and enlightenment. The pressure to lift our understanding from an ethical to a spiritual base will be generated by those who show by their behaviour that they understand from their own experience. Integrate your enlightened understanding into your everyday activities and you will lead by example and influence others without being seen to do so. You will be different and yet the same.
8.6 What is the goal of this Implicate Technology teaching of the clear setting face to face with reality?
The goal of this teaching is the same as that offered by any fully developed model of’ reality. This goal is to teach you to experience the final and absolute truth about the nature of reality. This Implicate Technology teaching is simply a path to the eternal truth, couched in language and concepts appropriate to late-twentieth-century Western secular culture.
The ultimate truth is so simple. It is nothing more than being in the unconditioned state. Dedicated, intelligent practice of these Implicate Technology teachings will lead you to that state of being.
Once the unconditioned state is realised, all becomes simple and clear. Where it is necessary to know, knowledge is effortlessly acquired; when it is necessary to act, action is effortlessly achieved. In that state, there is no divisive individuality and no conflict- there is only clarity, wisdom and delight in what is.
All this can only be fully understood once the final stage of enlightenment has been realised through experience. This book, followed with dedication and a fully committed intelligence, will lead you a little way beyond the first stage of enlightenment. This preliminary teaching, followed carefully in the light of your experience, will take you a little way into the state of mind beyond the personality.
The follow-up book prepared by the Implicate Technology Centre, The advanced guide to enlightenment, provides a teaching which enables one who has experienced the first or psychological stage of enlightenment to advance to the final and absolute goal. That book provides detailed practical guidance on how to develop the necessary skills and mental states. It also provides a rounded and clear model of reality, describing the nature and purpose of conditioned existence.
The ultimate goal, realisation of the unconditioned state, is an experience impossible to convey in words. Any given path to attaining that pure and original state of mind can only express understandings and insights from one particular cultural point of view. The one incommunicable truth, knowable only by direct experience, can be expressed through many different models of reality.
To be guided in your practice of these teachings, be mindful that the goal is simple. It can be conveyed in these few words: learn to live in meditation. The meaning of this is all-embracing.
The practice of meditation, properly directed, is to develop a mind capable of understanding through experience the true nature of reality. This is achieved by extending the understanding gained by the sustained practice of meditation to embrace every aspect of your life. The culmination of the meditative process lies in the development of a mind capable of experiencing all it witnesses as illusorily separate aspects of an inherently unified whole.
There is no sense of individual separation in such a state of being. Loneliness, pain and all joys and sorrows fade in significance before unconditioned mind. All things remain but, when set face to face with the clarity, wisdom and delight in what is, which are the hallmarks of the unconditioned mind observing conditioned existence, they are experienced as the relative illusion which they truly are.
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Religions, in common with Implicate Technology, offer a path leading to the full understanding of reality. Our Western religions require belief, worship and faith in God; this secular Implicate Technology teaching requires practice, thought and faith in your own capacity to attain enlightenment. Religions teach: God created the world; Implicate Technology teaches: conditioned existence unfolds, now, in the face of one unified unconditioned mind.
Now, through a religious or a secular teaching, you have a choice of paths to understanding reality. Reality is one: a glorious, glorious, glorious unity. All religions, and this secular teaching of Implicate Technology, are models of the one reality.
All models of reality are relevant, to a greater or lesser degree, to particular cultures over particular time periods. The relevance of this Implicate Technology model of reality can only be measured in terms of its effect on people’s lives now. Your work with the Implicate Technology teachings, learning to live your life in harmony with the inherent implicate laws governing and informing all existence, will shape your contribution to the growth and development of our culture.