Habits of Enlightened People
(Of Which There Are None)
By Dave Cash
I am not enlightened. Not in the least. I am loud. I talk a lot. I am wild. I can be a bit too much. I have slept with way more women then I have loved, and many of them are probably resentful towards me right now. I have done enough drugs to take myself out of the running for political office, and I have struggled with addictions to sex, alcohol, and thinking. So what gives me any right to write about enlightenment? I am a human being, and as such am capable of “enlightenment” at any moment. In my opinion, there are no enlightened people, only enlightened moments. According to Thaddeus Golas “Enlightenment is the very process of expanding, not of arriving at a different set of limits…To achieve enlightenment, we are not required to gather any particular set of ideas or experiences, virtues or sufferings…There is nothing you need to do in order to be enlightened…enlightenment is any experience of expanding our consciousness beyond its present limits.”
So why am I talking about enlightenment? Wasn’t that phase kind of over after the sixties and seventies? I’m talking about it because sometimes when I find life overwhelming, scary or painful, or I feel paranoid and full of despair, I wish I had a magic button that would make everything ok, or some ruby slippers to take me home. I have spent a large part of my adult life burrowing for answers, searching for the holy grail, and hoping to find someone to save me, and I have come to find out that that which can be written about is only going to provide partial truth, because it is necessarily grounded in duality. And yet it can be wonderful to use concepts to push your mind beyond itself. This book will not make your life perfect. It will not make everyone like you more, or make you fuck better (necessarily), but it should be pleasant enough to consider these ideas as you are carrying your burden of existence and rolling your ball of doubt along.
I am not a role model, but I know what feels true for me. I also know that by writing this spiritual post-it note on the bathroom mirror of life, I may remind myself and others that some truths that have been lost in the shuffle of our conventional wisdom need a little more attention. The ideas that I have chosen to highlight in this short book are like shy little children who have not gotten a lot of chances to speak, drowned out by the loud kids like me who always think they need to raise their hands because they were born with the gift of a golden voice. This book is my attempt to give the little guys some playing time. New Agey faux-buddism, Capitalist dog-eat-dogism, elitist skepticism, macho dickheadism, and spineless feeding the bullshitism, have had way too much control over our ADD zeitgeist.
I believe that there are no sacred cows, so any notion that these ideas will save you will probably find you staring down the barrel of another limited trip. I have been looking to books to save me for a long time and I kept ending up in the same co-dependent places with my books until I started to realize that loving and letting go are one and the same. So I will do my best to love these ideas and let them go, and I invite you to do the same. I will probably fail. In full disclosure my ego doesn’t want to let these ideas go, and I don’t want you to either (in fact I want you to make these ideas your sacred cows and I want you to worship me like the baby Jesus), but another part of me knows that what I just said about loving them and letting them go is true (alas).
I also believe that books do help, and concepts do matter, and it is all right to have anchors cause most everybody has them anyway. That which you project onto one thing you project onto everything else, and I for one would like some help untangling my knots. This book is my attempt at a great untangling. Let’s get to Work. Welcome to the pleasure garden of my mind.
Habits of Enlightened People