This talk shares my personal experience with 1968and the Crack in the Cultural Egg where America just broke apart, what with the assassinations, riots, war protest, civil right, woman’s movement, college revolt, Dem. Convention…oh, it was a total nervous breakdown.
I fell through this crack just like Alice fell into Wonderland. I didn’t fall into a dream, I woke up from the dream of culture. We are culture and culture is us. It is this gap between culture and the ground of Being that creates all our suffering and history. We look for Being inside Culture because we can’t leave the egg. But a few of us do drop out, and when you do, you are like Mr. Bean levitated onto a cultural land as an innocent, as a Huck Finn. You know you are real and that culture and those animated by it are not real, in the sense they don’t know what they are doing. This is a startling realization, to say the least, to be suddenly stripped of all you thought you and the world was.
All my life has been a quest to understand 1968, because the cultural mind that I was closed back up. Culture heals itself. There was no support for this “drop out.” A high school teacher in Loudoun County, no one knew my name. I had absolutely no reference to anchor my identity. All cultural tethers were gone. And yet I was real. I was anchored in Being itself. I didn’t think, I knew. I didn’t ponder, I acted. I didn’t choose, I was choice. While before I was afraid, now I was fearless. And I knew who my Father was…because I was one with the Father. Being and I were one. We fear dropping out of our culture egg because we will be entirely alone. Madness and enlightenment are the same in that both are alone, and yet one is real and the other is not.
But the drop out couldn’t stay dropped out because I had not done the work. My cultural ego was still strong and it came rushing back in to take credit, to incorporate this new power into its old idea of who I was, only now I had a spiritual ego. While before I felt I was unworthy, now I felt I was special, of superior being. And so began the life long journey to deconstruct this new tower I was now living in. I had to get back to ground zero.
I feel good about the way I described 1968 and my dropping out of the Cultural Egg. It’s good to have a language that doesn’t get all tangled up in being special, like being saved, reborn, or enlightened, or satori..all those cultural worlds that put you in a category. We are all in culture, and we can all drop out, like a baby being born right on the floor.
Frog jumps in.
Earthquake are in our minds right now, and culture fears the earth opened up beneath it and one falls through. Culture fears earth quakes as a metaphor for its Egg Cracking open and falling into chaos. Culture gives us a sense of order and placement. Culture gives us a name and a purpose, a meaning. However, culture doesn’t give us Being. We have to find the cracks in culture to sniff out the scent of our own Being. Like a long forgotten perfume of bliss, we follow its aroma like a blood hound, like a Sherlock. Being is our Beloved…the Beloved that personifies itself in the form of our lovers. But these proxy beloved come and go because everything in culture is impermanent. Only Being is timeless. Only Being is our true Beloved.
Like Jake Sully in Avatar I write this journal. If you look for me you won’t find me. I am always upstream of myself.
I suddenly have a greater appreciation for Evangelicals—as I remember by brother and sister in law who taught me all I know—for their hatred of the “secular humanism” that was the Great Satan was itself the culture I dropped out of. But here is the difference and the trap. When you drop out of main stream culture but into a sub-culture whose identity is in being NOT Main Stream culture, you have just dropped into another form of culture. Sub-Cultures get their identity from being NOT Main Culture, or parent culture. These rebellious children live a life of conflict and argument wth their Parent, all the while believing they have dropped out. No, they just went to another floor in the same building.
When you really drop out of culture, you have no reference to culture, and no problem with it, because you are in it but not of it. Culture becomes transparent to you. If it is opaque, then you are still ini culture.
When you are close to Being, the hidden ground of Culture, you resonate with Being and communication takes place beneath the language of ego and culture. This Being is called the Heart, that organ that taps into the timeless and boundlessness of the universal Field that is our source.
Culture is an abstraction of Being, a mirror reflection of that from which it comes. Culture or the exterior world when seen as metaphor becomes a mirror to our own Being. But when viewed as facts alone, Culture is our prison. The external world of Culture has no substantial existence in itself. In the same way the name Fish is not the Being that we name fish. The menu is not the food, the map is not the terrain. But Culture believes itself to be so.