How to succeed in academia and lose yourself in the process
How to succeed in academia and lose yourself in the process
There are two short sayings in Esoteric Teachings and Revelations: A New Study for Mankind by Serge Benhayon that have spoken especially deeply to me and my earlier way of life.
On page 217, Serge writes:
"Where is the best place to live/reside when one is not feeling the love they know and feel they want to have? – In one’s head"Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 217
And on page 314 he writes:
"Ignoring the body is the success of the spirit having its own way."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 314
Before meeting Serge and The Way of The Livingness, I lived my life in total disregard by following exactly these two sayings; I lived in my head and laid waste to my body in order to win the recognition that the spirit in its emptiness so deeply craved. I could not trust, and without trust I could neither love nor be open to love, and in the devastated state of emptiness that left me, I turned to a familiar salve – my mind.
I remember at a very early age, around six, that I began to feel that I could not trust and hence love. It would be tempting to blame the fact that I already knew I was gay and that was not okay in the world’s eye. Indeed I felt that the world did not want me, but that would not be truth-full. The feeling of being gay, and hence different, simply compounded an already present fear, a distrust of the world, a ransoming attitude to the world that said, "if you don’t show to me you accept me, you don’t get me". But this holding back of love is intolerable; no human being can live in the emptiness of this without finding a way to medicate it, so I withdrew into my mind.
At first I went deeply into checking out, into fantasies and daydreaming much of my waking day. I’m sure if this road had continued I would have descended into a mental illness of schizophrenia or paranoia, but fortunately a third grade teacher caught it and informed my parents, and this path was closed ... although a predisposition to drift off to self-chatter in my head and thereby a lack of presence, has remained all my life.
So instead I invested in ‘attention’, into what was being taught in the classroom – to learn that, to master that, to compete and hence get recognition by ‘success’ in school. I was so good at this, by my late thirties I had reached the pinnacle of ‘success’ in this path: a full University Professor and Chair of Department at an internationally prestigious university.
But after a year of having achieved this, this was not enough; I still felt empty – although I didn’t recognise it then, as the drive to medicate the emptiness was too strong.
So I ‘found’ Buddhism; intellectually rich, and with a practice of ‘meditation’ that included spending hours a day in my mind visualising deities. And again completely ignoring the body: one of the Buddhist practices I engaged in involved visualising a panorama of deities before me and doing 100,000 (that’s right 100,000!) full length body prostrations before it. The spirit gets recognition by being a ‘devout’ Buddhist; the body gets arthritis and worn out knees. And this drive to medicate the emptiness by abuse, both mental and physical, would have continued had I not met Serge.
For with Serge for the first time I met true love and acceptance for who I am, not for what I have done.
And when I finally felt love, I could trust. It didn’t happen overnight. From my first meeting at a Heart Chakra 1 workshop in February 2010, I was pulled. What he did and what he said made so much sense that even my contracted and distrustful mind could not deny the pull. But it took six months and a retreat and a few workshops for me to surrender to the Way of The Livingness, to know again that this was the Truth and there was no going back.
And the last three years have been completely transformative; I don’t recognize now that person who walked into that workshop in February 2010 – closed, distrustful, empty and in enormous pain, but telling himself that he was doing well, he was a big ‘success’ in the world. I’m far from perfect: I still struggle with presence, I still find myself holding back, I still sometimes fall down in being responsible for my self.
But now I am aware, and I can bring understanding to this – not to my mind, but my heart and the road to that, is awareness of my body. I don’t need to take refuge in my mind to not feel the emptiness anymore, because I am not empty: I, like all my fellow brothers and sisters, am the Son of God, awesome, divine, responsible in love.
Serge’s books and teachings have inspired me to come back and claim me, and when I am me there is nothing I cannot be or do.
There is a quote, from Marianne Williamson, which expresses Serge’s and the Ancient Wisdom’s message so succinctly:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
I remember in August 2010 at Heart Chakra 2, on the day that I really accepted that I trusted Serge – the first time I really trusted anyone in my life – he had said to me on that morning that I was deeper in the trench than I realised. I didn’t know it then, but he was right. But through his loving help, I’ve been slowly crawling out of that trench.
Esoteric Teachings and Revelations: A New Study for Mankind is an indispensable guide to the way for crawling oneself out of that trench.