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About Antlerman

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    Universal Church of Humanity
  • Birthday 08/05/1959

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    Music, philosophy, science, religion, life.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    What's God?
  1. Depends how one is trying to understand. You already know the answer to that. Sure. You could use that word to describe yourself.
  2. I don't care for the term supernatural, and I don't think I would agree with it. It suggests magic, like some otherworldly sphere of reality of super-beings, outside this reality. I don't accept that. The transcendent is simply a matter of awareness in this reality, to the nature of what this reality actually is. This is an important distinction to make. To say what we see with the five senses, what we can measure and examine as objects is what qualifies as "natural", is only a perception of reality. And subsequently anything that seems outside that understanding is seen as supernatural. The traditional thiest may see God as supernatural. The pantheist sees God as the sum total of the material universe. The Panentheism sees God as transcending our understanding of the natural, as being before the material universe as well as within the material and immaterial realities that constitute our reality. It's all one big expression of the natural that is not limited to a materialistic reductionism. Whatever created the Big Band is That which is this. If anything, it's not supernatural, but trans-universe naturalism, encompassing and embracing and expressing all material and immaterial realities beyond our own universe, yet fully immanent within this, and all realities, as the objects of all that arises in all gross, subtle, and causal realities. Words suck. They box the mind in and constrict the spirit when trying to define what is undefinable. But they also liberate the spirit from the mind when they sing from the soul.
  3. I appreciate this. For me, I think part of it is that on one level, my intellect just won't quit. I want to know the answers, I want to solve it. That's the nature of who I am, it's why I'm an academic. But the musician and the mystic are equally strong in me, and want to know in their own way. I'm in an odd position, I suppose. Probably not as odd as you suppose. I have some thoughts to share with this which may hopefully help. That intellectual side, that analytical, systematic thinker in us is actually enhanced and made stronger by developing the non-rational feeling-intuitive awareness part of ourselves. As we develop that, the intellect become much more clear and focused, much more insightful, and so forth. The reason is in my opinion is that we are not asking it to do everything for us, putting all our emotional hopes and expectations, our existential questions upon it to 'figure it out' through analytics. The mind becomes overburdened, distracted, asking it to process equations that it is not suited to the task for. It's like asking the mind to understand love. All that will result are feelings of anxiousness and despair. So when you take the burden off of it a little, you let the mind do what it does best, and suddenly your mind is more efficient. I've always described my earlier experience in meditation that it felt like my IQ shot up 15 points. The analogy I gave is that of driving your car around all season looking through the windshield as dust and dirt layer gradually upon it. You acclimate to it, not realizing you are straining to look through the extra noise. The dirt is just 'filtered out' by the mind where you don't consciously see it. And then you drive your car through the carwash one day. Suddenly as you look out the windshield the world becomes clear and vibrant! You are amazed at how little effort you need to make, how much more relaxed you are in a clean car! The reason is you removed what was causing strain on your eyes having to do extra work in order for you to function seeing. Your previously expended energies are now available for enjoyment and more efficient work! To this day, I feel I am becoming smarter all the time, but it's not in the sense of I've learned more junk from book and whatnot, but in the sense of clarity and efficiency of thoughts. The knowledge I gain of my existential self, my spiritual self, my awareness of my being before and beyond the ego-self, the more I rest in that knowledge, the freer my mind is to really serve me - and others. I am calmer, so the mind doesn't need to 'figure out' everything all the time, causing those nasty emotional/mental feedback loops of vicious circles. The potentials for work are in greater reserve when called upon. You learn to rest in your being, not in how you've created a conceptual map you can 'believe in' and trust. As a musician you understand the place of 'flow', where you connect. This is taking that and knowing and developing the source of that within yourself, prior to picking up a musical instrument. You are the Source of that music, and the work is to spend time getting to know it directly in your being. Then everything you do becomes like music and flows, even your academic or in my case technical efforts. It is still the mind engaged, but not as the absolute center of your being! It is not the sole command central hub of all your self-knowledge and problem solving. It is the development of both the mind and spirit that make someone truly efficient and effective, finding your genius that is uniquely yours in whatever ways that manifests. It comes from freedom of self to allow the mind to be what it is and do what it does for us, without burdening it to be our savior. We already have the answers, but we need to relax enough to allow them to come through this without distracting ourselves from the real work of letting go by trying to figure it all out mentally. And it is my believe that we already know that, but we do what we do in trying to figure it out through thinking about it, because we are avoiding ourselves. We fear looking into that face of fear, buried deep beneath all our projects. It is the fear of death, the fear we don't have control of our lives. Mentally created 'truths' can stand in as an illusory 'answer' that we 'believe in' in order to temporarily tell ourselves we are at peace, and thus avoid the actual work we need to do. Are you sure you're really letting it go? It sounds like your trying to make it happen, which is not letting go. It's a form of subtle avoidance. It's a near enemy. Are you familiar with the Buddhist teachings of the far enemy and the near enemy? It's a very powerful and useful understanding to have. The far-enemy is obvious. It the exact opposite contrary position that destroys the good. The far enemy of compassion is indifference. It is obvious and easy to see. But the near enemy masquerades itself as the desired quality allowing you to think you are doing it. The near enemy of compassion is pity. Here's a good list I found just now of examples this: Lovingkindness, good-will (metta): Near enemy – attachment; far enemy – hatred Compassion (karuna): Near enemy – pity; far enemy – cruelty Sympathetic joy, Appreciation (mudita), joy at the good fortune of others: Near enemy – comparison,hypocrisy, insincerity, joy for others but tinged with identification (my team, my child); far enemy – envy Equanimity (upekkha): Near enemy – indifference; far enemy – anxiety, greed The work I do in meditation, and which is a constant refocus for me is to check exactly the quality that is going on at the moment. Even if we are there with the intention to let go, what are the motives? "I want to get rid of this", is in fact not letting go. It's very subtle, because it looks like we're letting go, but the fact we become frustrated is because we aren't letting go. This is where that abandon comes in, "Guide me". At that moment you have chosen to no longer try. But beware, if you come to that technique and your motives aren't pure, that you really aren't in a place of self-surrender, it still is self-seeking, to help the ego and its anxieties, and it will fail into frustration. We are in a battle with ourselves to truly let go, and our near enemy comes when we aren't ready to, to try to tell us we actually are doing the work. It's a subtle avoidance. This is work. It's hard work. It is the exact opposite of what we do normally which is seek to accomplish, seek to achieve, seek to succeed, seek to attain. The only thing you need to seek is to do not do any of those. This takes time and commitment. But you will learn yourself, and that flow will become your conscious state of being, in time. Yes, it's pressure valving. I know this more well than you could imagine. Just ask my partner!! Sometimes its useful for smaller things, but the big questions, the one's you're struggling with aren't going to resolve this way. OMG, are you me! You'll get it, in time. I'm still getting it. My partner has been an enormous help as 'spotter' for me in my work. She doesn't let me find solace in my self-distractions when she sees me turning to them.
  4. The illusion is the separate self. The illusory world sees God or Godhead as wholly other. It is like saying atoms are 'out there', whereas we are atoms. But we don't live seeing ourselves as atoms, do we? On the spiritual level, through meditation and developing constant awareness, you experience yourself and all that is beyond the illusion of separation and see that we are Godhead, we are the Ground of Being, the Source, of everything that is. We are Emptiness, and form. We are God incarnate. To know that of ourselves, the nature of who and what we are, is to break that illusion of separateness. But then there is realizing that eternal nature - and by eternal I mean the ever-present beingness of all that is - realizing that in the body in which my mind inhabits. This is the nondual. I am the incarnation of Godhead. There is no line of separation between the infinite and the finite, between the eternal and the temporal. Everything arises and falls within that moment of now, which is always and ever who and what we are. It is not something outside of us. It is us. How we see or don't see who we are is the only question.
  5. Of course Godhead exists. But knowing your ego is not knowing Godhead beyond the ego. Of course it emanates from ourselves. It emanates from everything. All you are doing is moving beyond the ego to know your Self. To know you are God. But if we're stuck in the ego, God is not known to us. To know yourself is to know God. To know God is to know yourself. You don't manufacture God. You are God. You manufacture the separation. The goal is to unveil yourself. To remove the illusion of separateness. Then, once that is known, you know yourself in the flesh. It truly is incarnational awareness, to put a term to it I think fits. In me, the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily. It does in everyone, but that doesn't mean they know it and live in that awareness.
  6. I think an important point in this is that it doesn't matter what the object is. Ritual, creating sacred space, etc., transcends rational understandings. It engages one on a deeper level. So the whole thing about baggage, which I was planning to get to in a response, is pretty much answered in this. What you imbue the object with is an aspect of yourself you are trying to engage. Whenever you pick up that object, create ritual space, sound the bell, you become almost instantly taken to that place. This is why it is taught to treat all ritual objects with respect and reverence. They need to be held as sacred. It hold that special, untainted, or to use familiar language 'holy' significance. Religions supply cultural symbols to do this, but it's my view that those who are creative can make up their own, or reinvention or reclaim old symbols to make them fit where you are at. I think that's important for those who are ex-Christian who may find the symbols too distracting. Find new ones. In the end you gain a perspective that that's how they all operate and you can begin to appreciate some of how the old symbols functioned for you in the same way, and currently does for others - when approached as a sort of psychotechnologies. They have an effect. But you have to engage with them to really understand what that is. An outsider, objective view of it doesn't really penetrate the deep significance of it. Experiencing informs a whole plethora of areas all at once.
  7. Yes, my next response to the rest of it was going to illuminate this. I'll still touch on it later as I have time, as for one thing I very much relate to it in myself and responding to it reinforces my own understanding of myself. Later....
  8. Pause for a second and drop the word God from this. Are you a separate being from the world? If so, how? In what ways? One can, and should argue that everyone can experience God no matter what age or stage of development. It is not a matter of sophisticated thought that affords someone this. An infant or a child of five can, and does experience God. A person from 10,000 years ago could and did experience God. A mythic concrete-literal believer can experience God. But each of these people will have a different interpretation of what that is, how that appears to them. To the ethnocentric believer of the chosen-people stage of development that sees God as favoring them (God blesses them and no one else), if they have a subtle-level experience of God they will interpret that within that framework - God has appeared to him and has validated he is one of the chosen people. Someone who is at the rational stage will understand this differently, that this God they have experienced is available to everyone and can be understood by everyone in their own symbol sets, etc. So as you see it's not 'hijacking' anything. It's simply understanding the same experience in a more sophisticated framework of understanding. It has been a confusion of my own previously that if someone has mystical experience they should automatically realize what I have with my mind, after the fact of the experience. That's not how it works, sadly. Let me give a different example, a friend of mine describes how when he was five years old he had this remarkable experience that has always been a sort of spiritual touchstone for him. He described how he felt completely connected with the world in such a way that the "sky and the clouds began smiling and were happy with me". Did he experience God? Of course. Am I hijacking God from that five year old because I understand it in a more sophisticated framework? No, not at all. It's the same God. You can also look at the question this way. Did he experience himself as a child? Is he a different person as an adult experiencing a different person (compare to different God)? Or has his understanding of himself changed over the stages of development and what he looks at now includes a larger perceptual framework? Did he hijack himself? Why? If all one is doing is speculating as to some sort of cause/effect relationships like trying to understand physics, it's pretty silly. It's a purely conceptualizing affair, which then needs to be tested to validate the hypothesis. But God is not an hypothesis. It is the experienced nature of being in the world, not limited to the separate self-sense (which does not see God), but in which we experience ourself greater than the separate self, one which is connected to the world and the world to ourselves. God is a subtle level experience of the Self. It's not a mental idea, its a self-sense. A sense of relationship. Those that make it a cause/effect scientific question are simply trying to justify their religious views rationally, competing with the natural sciences, and thus completely prevent themselves from any real understanding of what God is. God is wholly outside themselves, and thus an object symbolizing their utter separation. Their experience of God is purely mental, because it expresses the sense of separation. I prefer panentheism over pantheism, as pantheism tends to be more scientific in thought, whereas panentheism is more encompassing of that relationship I mentioned. But I would say of course they are descriptions. They assume the position of 3rd person perspectives. If all one ever sees in life is 3rd person perspectives, they are experiencing the world as outside of themselves, separated from themselves. Panentheism is a mental description of a 2nd person relationship, moving to 1st person plural and 1st person singular experience. I'll pick up the rest of my response later.
  9. I meditated this evening and came back on to find this, delighted. Yes, please do, I am all ears! I'll pick up on this point I suppose to try to illustrate further what I see is the marked difference. I really think the terms exoteric and esoteric and that watershed point where the water flows into one direction or the other captures this. The purely exoteric approach sees these things as realities outside themselves. If the nature of the words are in fact esoteric, about transforming and transcending one's own interior landscapes, they are not going to be understood. They will be reinterpreted as some objective reality, and since it cannot be seen by the naked eye it must be a magical realm, of otherworldly spirits and gods in control of the seen and unseen (or seen by the rational as 'woo' to be dismissed as fanciful and pre-rational). Everything that is read in an exoteric religious context is an attempt to try understand this otherworldly reality that exists outside themselves. Metaphors don't fit in a world of concrete-literal facts. There is no 'as if' comparisons pointing to the internal, it's all a world out there which we need to try to understand in order to find peace through knowing truth. So words such as 'the kingdom of heaven is inside you' make no sense. Or say for instance the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation. How can a human be both fully human and fully divine? How can you have 200% of anything? Or the Trinity where mathematically 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. Logically that makes no sense. And so a skeptic calls the fallacy on this, and the believer takes a leap of faith saying it fits, though it's "heavenly math", or something else magical. Both are doing the same thing, understanding these things as objective realities to be understood, either in this world or realities in some parallel dimension like the Land of Oz. The former calls theirs reality and scoffs at the 'heavenly kingdom' theory, the latter calls theirs faith and derides the materialist as closed minded. But they are in reality both flip sides of the same exoteric coin. So when it comes to those things spoken about in Wisdom traditions (of which I believe Christianity has/had at its core - which most don't see), they aren't going to be understood from the subjective lived reality of the individual pointing to esoteric truths which awaken the individual symbolically. That interior reality is not seen. It's not seen because the eyes never look inward, only outward. So words that speak of that reality through myth and metaphor, through aesthetic expressions, though sometimes pleasant and quaint to indulge in, ultimately have little real value or meaning beyond entertainment and distraction from the "real world" to those whose reality is one outside themselves they must find, be that either in the natural world or in the heavenly kingdom in the sky up there, out there, somewhere. It's all 'out there'. I can take this into specifics of difference in how the same worlds are understood differently, which Neverlandrut already pointed out a few. But as I said, I could probably fill many pages getting into this. I think the foundational understanding that I've come to see helps in looking at the why of this. And that whole exoteric/esoteric approach exists at any level of understanding, from magic, to mythic, to rational, to pluralist. So it has nothing to do with ones level of development or dominant worldview. That dividing line, that watershed point runs straight up through the middle of all stages of development. So claiming to be highly rational doesn't not take you into the interiors, nor does believing in God from a religious perspective.
  10. This would take some time to lay it all out. I don't think most people understand what mystical realization actually is. If I had to summarize what I see their understanding is is that the mystical is some sort of magical reality that exists as some sort of objective truth that must be taken on faith. In other words, its just something outside their own personal apprehension, and all manner of magical thinking about it is created to be believed in by them. There is little to no reality to it beyond their experience of the belief itself. Hence why the skeptic calls the mystical "woo", because of this same 'outsider' perspective that imagines the magical, a domain of unicorns and flying monkeys. Do they ignore the underlying wisdom? Not purposefully. It simply isn't seen. It's one of those things that was there the whole time, but unseen. Same words, entirely different realities. I describe it like a watershed point, where a drop of water hit it and either ends up going East, or goes West. Entire different directions, despite be the exact same words. That's one of the things I'm still struck by, how we've heard those words used by them all the time, but now, from this perspective it's like how can they not see what's so obvious? It makes no sense now in hindsight. I'll suggest an interesting way to look at this. Assume Jesus was an enlightened human being. Would his followers get what he meant being unenlightened? So how is it any unenlightened pastor of some stupid little church speak with authority on words he cannot understand himself? They use magical language like the Holy Spirit leads them into truth to camouflage their ignorance. Even though those words do have meaning, that truth can become illuminated to us as we get out of the way - exactly what we are talking about in meditation, they use those words and there is no actual spiritual awareness at all going on. It's some sort of magic that goes on invisibility and magical makes things happen. It's the same in using terms like salvation. There is no actual awakening, no freedom from fear and suffering in any lived reality, but rather it's imagined as just some invisible line jotted down in a magical legal document in heaven. See what I mean? Same words, entirely different meaning. I honestly believe there is wisdom in not letting those who have no actual spiritual depth manhandle teachings of Wisdom. It's like putting army boots on a ballet dancer. It's no longer the ballet, but a farce they imagine is dance. I can pick this up more later if you'd like.
  11. To try to put some time frame for myself, it's ongoing. But the feeling uneasy part of it passed pretty quickly. A couple months or less, I guess? I don't know. I guess I trusted the process and wasn't too concerned about jumping back into nonsense. That would be like saying I'm worried I might become 16 again, but I suppose there were moments of "what the hell is this!?" at first. Now I get it.
  12. I very much envy this. How long after deconversion did it take you to reach this point? I think the real time frame would be from the time I started meditating and really diving into the source of that spirituality I've always felt. That started almost exactly 3 years ago. My first meditation journal entry is dated Oct 10, 2011. I had started meditation a couple weeks before starting a journal. So it was really during that I came face to face with my Christian past practices and came to a whole new understanding through that exposure that I didn't really see for the previous 7 years trying to unravel everything through reason and using my intellect to understand things. It's just sort of been a long series of yet another realization that most Christians don't get their own religion! Seriously. So no, it freaked me out a little at first, but I quickly came to see that the nature of what this is positive. It's healing my own past and building upon that. It's been a major part of my past and is part of who I have become. In fact, I sometimes imagine going into a Christian church to preach their own Gospel to them to show them what they've been following isn't it. I think I'd call the sermon, "Let those who have ears to hear". Or something like that. Seriously though, I could say a great deal about this. I don't fear what they teach. I know far better about their own teachings than they do, and not in a 'debunking' negative light, but taking what they say and illuminating it so it might be a positive thing. They could learn from me, if they truly had ears to hear. But the point I wanted to make in this, is that all these things take us as long as they need to. I don't think there any 'normal' time frame.
  13. There's a verse in the Bible where Jesus says the kingdom of God is within you. Interestingly all the modern translations make that say "amongst" you, where there is no actual language support for that translation. It is simply because of a theological translation, because as so many Christians I've spoke to are utterly befuddled how that is possible! How can it be in heaven and in you at the same time, understanding heaven as a literal 'place'. It simply does not enter into their own self-awareness. It is seen as a literal, concrete reality, even though it's 'spiritual' in nature, which I can only imagine means vapor-like or something to them. Anyway, I very much agree with you. There is a saying I like to use and that is that to know yourself is to know God, or to know God is to know yourself. Those that put God "up there", don't know themselves quite yet.
  14. Just a quick response. This is all beautifully put, but the part about not striving really connects with me today. To borrow a phrase from Alan Watts, it's like beating a drum in search of a fugitive. To do it right is like playing music; you can't do it if you try. It's wu wei, doing-not doing. It's then that you're in the flow, and nothing has to make sense, because everything is *right*. Stop looking, and you will find it. I need to get back to trusting myself more in this area. This is why I believe that meditation on a daily basis, where you enter into this state of being informs the rest of your life what it is do to this. It becomes a familiar state to you, and you soon find yourself being able to enter into that at any time, like flipping a switch. Eventually that is your natural state; one of observance, trust, and flow. Then you are in a better place than me. My process is always a one of developing greater and greater trust, of more and more letting go. It's like with anything in mediation there is no end to the depth, and it seems no end for me of me needing to let go yet further. I honestly wonder if at some point this will result in walking on water, literally. I will say this, the entire process is one of greater and greater trust, more and more aligning to the greater whole as an awakened soul. There's always another layer of the onion beneath the current one, and each time we hit that it feels like we've 'arrived'. Then its on to the next. And that is all good. I think there is a prevailing misunderstanding that there is a single end goal that when that's hit everything is finished, the work is done and you are the Buddha. To me, that's the Beginning. I know of course exactly what you are talking about, and yes this can take the face of the 'other' God, your Guru, a Saint, a Bodhisattva, a Deva, the Christ, etc. There was a chapter in that book on meditation I recommended called Letting the Shakti Lead. That's this. One practice I always use in meditation when I discover myself to be stalled is to simply realign everything by asking, "Lead me" to that Presence. Saying lead me, or guide me, teach me, etc, almost instantly opens you to what it has to say to you. It is bringing your intention back to the moment and surrendering your self-efforts. Instantly you become flooded by what is there the whole time, waiting for you to simply get out of the way and listen. If you seek for that desiring to consume it for the sake of experience, it withdraws. Rather, you have withdrawn yourself as your focus in on your self-interest. If you seek 'love for love's sake' alone, you are ready to receive. "Guide me" is putting yourself in the receiving mode. Be careful to see the difference between trying to force fit what you intellectually think you need to do, and becoming aware what the actual reconciliation is that you already know what it is, but need to allow yourself to realize it, to allow yourself to hear it from yourself in that place of receptivity in meditation just mentioned. I tend to think that worries like this are a manifestation of fear itself, and not what the real concerns are actually about. Those are simply easy targets for fear to find a home and represent itself, to manifest while hiding itself in some side-object and become an excuse for you to draw your attention away from the actual source of the fear itself. In other words is that really what you are afraid of? Or is it far deeper than that? In my experience those are not the real thing I fear, but the form they take when I am facing another layer of that onion of letting go. Once you 'pass through that veil', so to speak, the fear is released because what you were really afraid of is resolved by passing through the door it feared - stepping further into the Unknown. To distract yourself focused on the thing fear is manifesting itself through is our subconscious way of avoidance going through that door. We worry about this over here, which when we do distracts us, which thus allows us to find an excuse to not look at the actual thing. We give a home to fear, which we react to, and becomes the point of focus away from the thing we really are afraid of. Think of it like the child who deflects attention away from himself by pointing to another at how bad they are. "But Billy threw a rock through the window!!", and Mom then goes and focuses on that because it's so upsetting, taking her eyes off of himself. That's just what we do to our own inner parent, playing us. I have little fear any longer of there being associations with the Christian language of my past. Why should I? It's just a language, not the actuality itself. "God beyond God", as Eckhart called it. If all there was to "heaven" or the "kingdom of God", was some literal place like the Bahamas where you kick back and soak in the sun and feel good about yourself, then its worthless except as a vacation or an escape from reality. The language for me is the most accessible one because of familiarity with its symbol set. It's only natural it should avail itself to me to try to speak about these things. It's not a literal picture book to me, at all.
  15. There are truths in this, but I think it can be refined a little. God does represent the goal, a return to Source that we strive towards as it were, and a great deal is unmasked within us through that effort which of course has its benefits and rewards. It is also true that one can never achieve God. But one can never achieve what you already are, you simply come to a place where you realize it. At which point God does cease to be God to us as the goal, but becomes us and we God. It is not that there is no God anymore, but that yourself and God are no longer subject and object, but the very same. God as external object becomes both the subject and object of yourself. So it is God as solely an object that ceases to be your perceived reality. There is both God and no-God simultaneously, and terms like theism and atheism are no longer relevant. It is no longer the same question, no longer the same playing field. The answer is 'of course'. You could call this trans-theism, and trans-atheism both. I find the expression, "I and my Father are one", to say exactly this dual realization. That's something anyone can say, not by saying God doesn't exist because it doesn't fit with rational ideas, but in realizing we are God in our Being. We are the eternal, and the eternal us. We are form and formlessness, and at that realization these become both indistinct and distinct at once. One does not exist without the other, just as music does not exist without silence. But if all we ever look at is the notes, we do not see the field upon which they are played, even though it is there the whole time. Becoming both the notes and the backdrop of no-notes is what makes us the music. Emptiness and form. This is the nondual. I would disagree that the joy and the salvation is in the chase. Rather it is in letting go of the chase and simply relaxing into what you already are. The saying, "seek and you shall find" is paradoxically fulfilled in seeking to not seek, at which point we find what was there the whole time. It when the looking ends that you become what you have been all along, that God you seek. It's is ceasing to strive and falling into yourself that you find what you were seeking. This is not the same as just giving up in the sense of apathy or disbelief in becoming more that what we've got in what we already have. It's not in just resigning to our ego-self and trying to get by. That's not what is meant by ceasing our strivings. It is active in seeking to move beyond ourselves and our strivings to achieve a goal seen as outside ourselves, and it is also passive in letting go and becoming who we truly are before and beyond the masks we put on which we self-identify with by allow what is already there to become known to us. It is the action of seeking non-action. We seek to not seek. The effortless effort.