Actor Keith Hamilton Cobb website

Pay Me, Part 2

Can’t Buy Me Love

               I can’t sell me any either…

There is a school in Santa Monica, California (Where else would it be?) that offers advanced degrees (advanced as far as they are concerned) in what they call Spiritual Psychology.  I sat with them for the better part of the first year of a two year program, again because the part of me that was satisfied with sitting at the Master’s feet was not, and could not be, on speaking terms with the part of me that wasn’t.  My brain and body needed something to refute.  For some serious money, I got that in spades.  This corporation of consciousness peddling sold class jewelry to augment its income to a student body many of whom were eager to buy both its brand of sensibility and symbology (yes, it’s a word, because I said so).  I suspect that to those who bought from the table of trinkets at a purported school of advanced spiritual study, the rings and pendants and things where tokens to commemorate their having been to that particular mountaintop, and having communed with the two latter day gurus that abided their.  And the gurus spoke their nostrums, codified and specific, from a raised platform to congregations of hundreds at a time, a great many of whom listened and fell in line with an almost cult-like obedience, regurgitating ideology in language verbatim.  Such, I think, are the manifestations of the raw panic that we are in, we body-bound, searching for any port in a storm.  I watched for the gurus to behave in ways contrary to what they perpetually espoused.  They did.  I knew they would.  After all, they were me, as were the four hundred or so seekers hoping for access to a higher truth, and hoping that higher truth would bring them a better boyfriend, or a bigger income.  Perhaps some found it.  Some must have.  But I had been hoping, in my need, that I would not find myself among them, that the peddlers speaking down from the dais at least, body-bound as they were, would actually be people more of Spirit than of flesh, and that when I watched and listened to them I would not see me.  But there I was, stamped all over their insecurity, and inauthenticity, and even in perhaps their lack of awareness that what they were about was anything but perfect.  Or was it my lack of awareness?  Were they not perfect as it related to me and my spiritual advance?  And was I not even a little bit enlightened if I realized just that much?

I never quite knew what was intended by the term, “Spiritual Psychology.”  In my interpretation, it was the idea that through the utilization of proven principles of psychology, or the science of the mind, we could train the thinking, interpreting, perceiving organ to recognize Spirit, and give at least partial place to it.  The ego “I Am” would share the driver’s seat with “All is Love.”  Fat fucking chance!  The gurus were as easily rattled, and set on the defensive as the least evolved of their disciples.  Nor could they ever really allow for debate.  For Spirit will ever meet Spirit, in fact, there is only one, but mind will never really ever meet mind.  Seeking consciousness through academia, I suspect, is a mistake on its best day.  I suspect as well that the sum total of any higher awareness that the gurus really possessed could have been imparted to the attentive throng in a day or two.  At Arthur Murray, it takes weeks to teach students dance steps that they could actually learn in twenty minutes.  But where’s the payday in that?  Jesus would tell you everything he knew for a sandwich.  If you didn’t have one, he’d tell you anyway.

Are these my judgments?  I suppose so.  They are certainly an operation of the intellect, and there are no intellectual answers to spiritual questions.  In fact, The Master will tell you… well… your Spirit knows that there aren’t actually any questions.  But no fair weather mystic is without judgments, and it is a fool’s errand to attempt to dispel them.  Your calories are somewhat better burned maintaining an awareness of how you inadvertently seek to rationalize their validity.  In my search I’ve been told by many a spiritual instructor that I was in deep judgment.  Whether I responded or not, (for, as I say, many an awareness peddler cannot brook the Socratic method) the thought that ever inevitably arose in me was, “Don’t you have to be in deep judgment in order to see and tell me that I am in deep judgment?”

We are all the same.  Believe none of us.  Or if you must partake of the psuedo-spiritual instruction that is synthesized through the earthly body of one fair weather mystic or another, believe us all.  But know that we’re all full of shit, literally and figuratively.  We’re human.  What the fuck else would we be?

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