Some reflections on "My Path Is Not The Path For You"

append delete Rishi Sativihari

This is a refreshing subtitle, so very far removed from the gimmicks of our time that seek to sell us a particular way of life. When I first read this section of Don Evan's book I was reminded of the Zen saying, "If you meet the Buddha, kill him." It is not a violent saying. It is a recognition that humility is the beginning of wisdom. It is similar to the response of Jesus when someone referred to him as "Good Teacher". He said, "Why do you call me 'good'. There is only One who is good."

Don has been down these roads before, learning from Jesus, learning from the Buddha, in the midst of his own, both wonderful and painful, life experiences. Each of these two spiritual masters laid out a description of the spiritual path. But Don does not do that. Why? In the end I suspect that it is because the Buddha is whispering into one of his ears, and Jesus into the other, both ensuring him that to being true to himself and his story is the only offering that will be truly helpful to the reader.

What we cannot read in Don's text itself are the living forms of divine guidance which actually led him to write the words that he has written. They are too subtle, beyond words. And yet, I believe, that his faithfulness to not say more than Spirit has advised him to say, will invoke these guides for all those who read these pages. Being with Don in person is very similar. He doesn't say a lot. And yet, in the process of being with him, no important stone is left unturned.


append delete #1. Don Evans

Many thanks, Rishi. What a gracious way to initiate a dialogue! For many years you have drawing from the well of wisdom in the Buddha and in Jesus. You honour me deeply by picturing me as listening to each of them as I write this book, trying to be true to myself and my story. My response is in three parts.

(1) Clearly I am not a spiritual master, laying out a description of the one spiritual path for everyone. In the section to which you refer (pages 13-14) I give four reasons for not telling anyone else what their path should be. The first reason is that for many years I've been uncovering more and more ways in which I've been deceiving myself, so my current path always has to keep changing! I can't even lay out a description for my own path! (In my next book, on Human Nature, the whole first chapter is full of examples of self-deceptions, drawn from many decades.)

(2) There's another reason, not one of the four. I didn't mention it, but you did: both Jesus and the Buddha value my authenticity more than my conformity. Maybe I have a special need to "spill my guts" publicly because of my personal history, but I have a hunch that all human beings, at least privately, need to reckon with their own dark side and to soften any rigid adherence to a prescribed path.
As human beings we will continue to disagree strongly concerning what's true, and we will continue to live in disharmony, even in conflict, if we don't create opportunities for dialogue. This is not a panacea, but it is essential. Through dialogue both truth and harmony can very gradually emerge, for in dialogue we are willing to revise our perspectives. And to engage in dialogue we need to be authentically present to each other.

(3) You respectfully ponder the spiritual guidance that led me to write the words that I wrote in the book. Then you draw on my fourth reason (page 14) and you associate this with your personal experience being with me. I'm deeply moved by what you say. I had not realized that my presence had affected you in the way you describe.
In response to this I want to share with you something concerning my writing that has only become clear to me very recently. After I finished the book and sent copies to a few people, some responses helped me to understand my writing-state in a new way. The breakthrough on October 19, 2011 shifted me into writing in an ongoing state of "surrender" similar to what I report later on in the book on pages 109-11. There I describe a meditation towards "pure consciousness" in which we empty our minds of particular contents and let go of attachments to projects, people, self-images etc. As we empty and let go we also sink down within ourselves towards our own Inner Mystery and the Divine Mystery. The movement is TOWARDS pure consciousness, not into it. It opens us to receive discernments concerning we currently need to become more clearly aware of, with these be resistance to love or inadequate celebration of love. The movement also opens us to physical healing and to further transformation.

In pages 109-11 I went on to report several incidents a decade or so ago where this surrender towards Mystery, done alongside ANOTHER person on his/her behalf, enable this person to receive discernments and to receive healing/transformation. When I surrender towards Mystery, the only insights that come to me are about me, not about the other person! During February, 2013, responses from some readers enabled me to realize that as they read my book something very similar was happening to them, though I was not literally "alongside" them. Their response went beyond reflecting on experiences that were already part of their conscious life-story. Such reflecting is what I had hoped, and still hope, will be evoked in most readers. Now I realize, however, that a minority may be moved into new bodily-emotional-spiritual processes that involve new insights and further healing/transformation. In this they will usually receive help, not from me and my resources, but from their own friends and counsellors and spirit-guides, though some new helpers may come.

A Postscript: I agree with you that I've been listening to the risen Jesus and (less prominently) to various Buddhist guides. This, and listening to guides from many other traditions, prepared me for the shift in my writing on October 11, 2011. Nevertheless the shift turned out to be centrally Taoist, though I've not become a Taoist! Blessings are often unpredictable and inexplicable!


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