When the counterfeit becomes more widely distributed than the genuine article, inflation occurs and currency loses value. So it is with love, truth, and spirituality: what we generally refer to by these names no longer amounts to much. The good that can be named is not the true good. Words have been coopted by commerce. So how to testify to love in a climate in which everything has been commodified and cheapened, where wariness and skepticism seem like the only intelligent responses? How to present an experience that defies all categorization without resorting to cliché?
I have spent my life as a writer sharpening my critical faculties and applied all the intellectual tools at my disposal to deconstruct a series of subjects. What happens when I encounter a subject that will not submit to these tools? Do I abandon the subject or relinquish the tools? Is there a third way?
What I (Think I) Know About Dave Oshana
“You are never more than six feet away from a bloke called Dave, researchers have discovered. The Institute for Studies found that every single person in the UK knows at least seven Daves at any given time and the Daves are now spread evenly across the entire country.”
—Daily Mash, February 24 2018
Before I get to why I want to write about Dave Oshana, let’s start with what I know about him, both objectively and subjectively speaking. Oshana is a Cockney from England, my own generation (circa 1967). By his own account, he began meditating at the age of five and was seeking enlightenment throughout his childhood and teenage years. He studied psychology at university and continued to explore spirituality into his twenties. In his own words:
By the age of 30, I was a trained psychologist, body worker, and computer scientist who dabbled in stand-up comedy. I had sought, tried, tested, and explored almost every available spiritual group and teaching in the neighborhood. And yet I was still unenlightened. I started to wonder if Enlightenment actually existed or if it was just a word, like “Christmas” or “Heaven.”
Oshana also attended at least two John de Ruiter’s meetings, both recorded, one transcribed in de Ruiter’s book, Unveiling Reality, a fact I mention only because of my own subsequent interest in de Ruiter. On the morning of June 19, 2000, according to his recollection, Oshana became enlightened.
I awoke to discover that I was not the same “person.” I could not recall what the experience of being “me” had ever been like. I was stunned, amazed, disorientated, and euphoric. I was lost for words and feeling tickled all over. I had no idea what had happened to me but I was extremely impressed and very curious.
Soon after, he began hosting meetings, giving intensives, teaching energy work, and organizing retreats. He moved to Finland, where he lives with his family.
I first met Oshana in Hampstead, London, in December 2007. I had heard about Oshana by pure chance. Someone had read my book Matrix Warrior and wanted me to help them write their own book, called “Solar Being.” This person believed they had had an experience of “kundalini rising” and that they had undergone some sort of enlightenment (later it passed). In the course of our correspondence, they mentioned Oshana. They hadn’t ever met him, but had heard that he was coming to London. In fact, Dave was coming to my own neck of the woods, Hampstead, where he would be giving a presentation over two days, just ten minutes’ walk from where I lived. I went with my mother and, though I was skeptical about Oshana’s “enlightenment,” I liked him at once. I attended two meetings (paid) and later accepted an invitation to an informal one-to-one (no charge) in the lobby area of the Hilton on Edgware Rd. This meeting lasted around three hours.
Oshana and I remained in contact by email until 2010, when my mother passed. At this point, our involvement level increased dramatically, and I began to relate to Dave as a spiritual teacher. Our correspondence remained informal, however, and Dave’s focus was mainly on my interest in John de Ruiter. Soon after, in November 2010 (immediately after I attended a week-long de Ruiter seminar in Edmonton), Dave and I began regular (daily) informal communication via Skype, to discuss de Ruiter. In the midst of this informal relationship, I first sought Dave’s formal (i.e., paid) guidance, about my marriage difficulties.
This more formal relationship culminated in December 2011, when I traveled to Finland to attend a five-day retreat. I was at the end of my rope and felt I had nothing to lose. I also wanted to ascertain, once and for all, if Dave was enlightened and whether he could help me rediscover my own sense of purpose and meaning, which had taken a near-fatal series of knocks in the previous year. I left the 2011 retreat one hundred percent convinced of Dave’s authenticity as an enlightenment teacher, and of my own commitment to what he calls “the Enlightenment Transmission.” While I couldn’t say with any certainty that Dave was enlightened—I didn’t know what enlightenment was—I was reasonably sure of Dave’s desire to help me, and his capacity to do so.
The Conundrum of the Spiritual Teacher
“Oshana is a spiritual teacher”—right there the grape dies on the vine. Because, in my experience, Oshana is not really a spiritual teacher; or if he is, this is perhaps the least interesting thing about him. Yet without that denomination, it’s safe to say I would never have met him, because how can something be encountered if it’s not first named?
My impressions of Oshana as a human being are that he is an honest person, considerate, gentle, caring, and compassionate, with a keen sense of personal integrity. He has helped me recognize areas of delusion, blind spots within myself, and to identify destructive patterns, habits, and defensive reactions. This has allowed for a “clearing out” of the psychic junk in my system and a lightening of my ego-load. It has led to a clearer, more constant and tangible awareness of my potential—and responsibility—for awakening, surrender, and alignment with truth, reality, goodness, and a more honest, open, authentic way of being. This both results from and leads to a letting go of ego-centered desires, fears, and agendas. In short—so far as I can determine with the faulty instruments at my disposal—Oshana has been not only a good friend but a trustworthy advisor, a positive role model, and a benevolent influence.
Doubts still remain, however, presumably in part because Dave requires monetary compensation if our relationship is to continue to grow, which creates a corresponding “threat” to my sense of self-esteem and self-determination. The money-exchange reinforces the idea of inequality between us. It keeps me in an inferior position, dependent on an enlightenment teacher to “get my shit together,” and even—in extreme moments—to save my soul.
It has occurred to me over the years, while interacting with Oshana, that the benefits of having an enlightened guide might be cancelled out by the almost insurmountable tendency to seek a solution outside of myself. In other words, even if Oshana is helping me to connect to my inner essence or authentic self, might that assistance only reinforce my habit of looking outside of myself for answers? The knowledge that, in the end, I need to connect to what is true within myself without anyone’s help or guidance, has at times thrown into question the apparent need (or at least strong desire) to look to Dave as a “compass” to point me towards the straight and narrow. I have been divided by this awareness.
Balancing these two “facts,” I have still been inclined to make full use of the opportunity which Oshana has presented. It seemed to me that the greater risk was to reject that opportunity, for whatever reason (and there were many), and attempt to reach the truth without his guidance, as compared to the dangers of becoming dependent on (or being deceived by) Oshana in the process of allowing him to guide me.
The week after I wrote this piece, while waiting to share it, I dreamed that Oshana came down from my attic space, which is where I write, and which I first mistyped as “attack space!” He was carrying something in his cupped hands which he extended towards me. He explained that it was some weird scummy residue from his bathwater and that I should consume it quickly if I wanted to receive my blessing! In the dream, I was torn between the risk of a) being such a sucker that I would drink Dave’s dirty bathwater on the off-chance that it was somehow miracle-bestowing; and b) being too closed and skeptical to recognize a true opportunity when I saw one, and so miss out on the blessing. My wife was there in the dream, and joked about my dilemma.
Evidently, there is no safe or guaranteed path to the truth. Nor is there any way to avoid these kinds of mind-twisting, potentially paralyzing doubts and fears from being stirred within me once I embarked on such a path. It is all part of learning to trust, not in anyone or anything outside of myself, but in my own internal sense of what is real. Without that inner sense, I will always be prey, not only to gurus and enlightenment teachers, but to everyone and everything.
Learning to Trust
This is the problem I encounter when writing about Dave, doubled or cubed exponentially by the self-conscious awareness of either the skepticism or the gullibility of potential readers. I feel the need to stress my “credentials” as a critically minded person who does not subscribe to the basic model of spiritual gurus or followers, at all, but who has a strong visceral distaste for all that—a distaste that seems to be shared by Oshana.
In my view, the central problem of spiritual mentoring or sponsorship is outlined above—that guiding people towards autonomy holds an inherent contradiction and tends to be counterproductive. I think Oshana is fully aware of this contradiction, and that a large part of his efforts are directed towards undermining the transference dynamic by acting in ways that undermine his own “status” as a “spiritual teacher.” This presents a curious conundrum: how to instill people with enough trust to be open to his influence but not so much that they lose their powers of discernment (as happens so often around spiritual teachers). How to guide people into trusting their own capacity to discern who to trust, exactly how much to trust, and when to trust them (and when not).
If I am learning to trust myself to trust Dave, that is only the beginning of a process that ends with a shortening of the sentence: I am learning to trust myself to trust; I am learning to trust myself; I am learning to trust.
Here’s what I know: In the ten years since I met Dave Oshana, my life has improved immeasurably. It is not so simple as giving Oshana credit for this improvement. The last decade also coincides with my turning forty, meeting the woman who became my wife, moving to Canada and becoming a landed resident, the death of my mother and brother, and later my cat, the finding and painful loss of a guru figure (John de Ruiter), the buying and renovating of an old house, and the taking over of a second-hand store in a small town, thereby becoming integrated into community life. These last key developments coincided with the years in which I became fully involved in Dave’s “project,” namely from 2012 to date (though I took a couple of years off from involvement in 2014-16).
If anything, the lack of a clear causal connection between the steady improvement of my life—a movement towards wholeness and wholesomeness—and knowing Dave Oshana only strengthens my sense of the rightness, the goodness, of the relationship. Why? Because the more orientated towards healthy living I have become, the more committed to and aligned with Dave’s project I have grown, and vice versa. The more in tune with the enlightenment transmission I have become, the more comfortable, grounded, and centered I am in my own life and skin. This is not two things then, but one: a steady and observable—to some degree even mappable—movement towards embodied, soulful existence. I see no way to separate Dave’s positive influence in my life from that of life itself, nor do I wish to. This is not (exactly) because Dave himself is so rare or special but (a mysterious but I think real distinction) because what he embodies, expresses, communicates, and shares truly is. At the same time, paradoxically, what Dave shares above all—by directing my awareness to it—is the easy and constant availability of that which restores purpose, meaning, and goodness to life: a living, breathing connection to my essential nature.
This latter is something I feel I have encountered—in ways subtle and at the same time profound and lasting—via Dave’s influence, though not exactly via his direct intervention. Dave’s gift is for creating the necessary circumstances—the set and setting—within which a person might have an experience of their soul, without the misapprehension that their experience in any way depends on Dave or the circumstances he has helped to create.
I am aware of how paradoxical this sounds; but there may be no other way to phrase it. Perhaps it is best to state it this way: over the last decade, my soul has been busy summoning and arranging the necessary set of circumstances by which I might have a fully tangible, sensory, and somewhat conscious experience of it, i.e., of myself. As a central part of these movements, it has been guiding me into a working relationship with someone who much more fully embodies their own soul life; namely (because to encounter we must first name), Dave Oshana.
Words without End
In trying to articulate all of this, I am loathe to pretend, to make premature and presumptuous claims to some special experience, by using words to concretize something so abstract (though tangible) into a set of fixed and lifeless concepts that only risk obscuring the thing they are meant to point towards.
On this task of testifying to love, I feel palpably how words have become much more of an obstacle than an assistance. If I am endeavoring anything here, it may be less to represent Oshana, or the enlightenment transmission, than it is to drag myself to the abysmal limits of my own skillset—what Dave calls cunning linguistics—and to peer glumly over the precipice and see what, if anything, arises from it, as a phoenix from ashes.
This brings us to the crux of things, namely the awareness of the spaces between, where the signal of the Soul that transmits from outside the realm of space and time can be gleaned. These are spaces that, through my time spent with Oshana, I have made the slow, steady transition from “knowing” conceptually, to doubting the truth of concepts about, to experiencing more directly and viscerally. The conundrum this presents is that, to testify to the effects of the enlightenment transmission is to risk doing a disservice to those effects, to the transmission, and to Oshana himself.
Recently, some participants suggested that the words Dave uses are unrelated to what is happening at Oshana meetings. In my opinion, this is only partially true. To say that words are unrelated to the transmission suggests that words are somehow irrelevant and this is clearly not the case. It might be fairer to say that Oshana’s words are “only” carriers for the transmission, but then, if words are potentially the carriers for our soul’s transmission, doesn’t that imply that they have enormous power, something close to the power of creation, the power of Logos? In my opinion, when Dave talks it isn’t merely to distract, lull, or entertain his audience while his transmission does its thing. His words act to massage and subtly (re-)direct my attention in such a way that I become slowly cognizant of the signal of my own Soul. This opens an opportunity for me, gradually, over time, to give my conscious consent to it, to give my soul permission to take over the reins of my awareness.
In my experience, Oshana’s “teaching” is not so much nondual as a harmonizing of a polarity and making it complementary, a perfect balance of gravity with levity when the dark intensity of Oshana’s words is carried and complemented by the buoyant energy of their delivery. The mass and weight of the truths being delivered indicates the power of the wave that carries them.
Dave said recently that there is hope but there is also no hope. This is a clear-cut example of how he uses words to reconcile opposites: he is literally stating a truth and its polar opposite in the same sentence. Yet the result isn’t gobbledygook but a higher kind of coherence. The only real hope is the hope that can withstand full immersion in a state of no hope, and a hope that exists beyond hope is like a light that can exist even in seemingly absolute darkness, a flame that cannot be extinguished even when all air is gone. A light that’s subtler than the human eye can see and yet is somehow detectable opens the senses to a layer of our being that we have previously ignored. It invites us to see—with something other than the mind’s eye—that there is no darkness, only varying shades (or densities) of light that allow form to exist. In a similar way, words can express the inexpressible, but only when they are carried by—in service to—that which they are formed to express. Bizarrely, they become an expression of something via its apparent negation, a hope conjured by the evocation of no hope.
The voice that truly serves the Soul is served also by the Soul. The word that is with God, is God.
Arriving at the Space Between
A space opening up between the thoughts, between the words, between the cells and organs of my body, between the five senses, between the present moment and my faculty to perceive it. As it happens, the space between is a shared interest for both Oshana and I: an interest in the liminal, in the built-in limitations of language, in what language is useful for despite (or because of?) these limits. Not what language is able to convey directly—because words cannot ever encapsulate, or even approximate, the infinite—but in what a more conscious use of language might allow to happen. Language as a symbolic bridge that spans the distance (a big zero) between subject and object, between you and I, between two discreet awarenesses as they meet, or try to meet, across an infinitesimal abyss.
In the beginning was the word? Yet conversely, it’s only in the spaces where words lose all meaning that true awareness begins. And such a state of pure existence—or a bright and lucid approximation of it—is to sheer sensation as sensation is to words: almost unimaginably fine, less than a fragrance, less even than the softest touch on the skin, yet deeper and more devastating than death itself. It is a grand dark emptiness that all the layers of existence are enfolded into and expand timelessly out of.
This is a trajectory that has taken me ever further away from the lurid melodrama of my ego identity and the surface stimuli of extreme body sensation, away from big stories and grand events, illusions, and accomplishments (or goals), into increasingly subtle, uneventful, yet profoundly resonant experiences of the ineffable and seemingly eternal (compared to what?) nature of (my own) being.
What am I truly, beneath all these layers of identification, where love at its deepest and most enduring both emanates from and extends towards? Love without subject or object because encompassing and transcending both? An encounter with what I am, essentially and unchangingly, that is so difficult to describe because there is so very little to say about it, because at first (and second, and third) pass it appears almost infinitely less than we expected. It is a presence whose arrival changes everything, not least because it changes nothing, because it brings with it the realization of always having been there, at the core of us, a silent witness to our existence that has only failed to articulate because we have failed to lend it ear or tongue. Using something infinitely subtler and more elusive than words, even while, for my familiar self, words are all there is with which to identify it.
So it is that, to testify successfully to this—this love most true—means, to that old familiar self, to fail, epically, and let the testimony become instead a petition, meant for the part of me that has until now been silent. It is an invitation to my soul to occupy the null and void of this writer’s contract. And being of sound mind and body, I hereby sign over all my wordy belongings to this empty space between.
In a certain sense, it doesn’t matter; except that, of course, nothing matters more than this. I would like others—the reader who does not yet exist—to have an experience of their true, essential nature, as a love that is everlasting and completely free of conditions, with neither judgment nor expectation possible. I would like you to encounter your own soul, being both what is within you that you most love and long for, and that part of you which loves most deeply, purely, and truly—yourself. To say there is no substitute for such an experience—no counterfeit—is only to (re-) state the obvious. Who says what to whom, and why?
Of course, there is no way to communicate such an experience or to cause it to happen for anyone else, unless it be by the grace of God: via the right time and space in which a few carefully chosen words, images, or sounds might trigger an event that was always present, not waiting to happen but only waiting to be noticed.
This is an experience of love that reassigns the rest of existence forever to its proper context, and it requires simply this: that we finally arrive at exactly the spot where we are situated.
For where else would we expect to find ourselves?
—With love and thanks to the Dave that made a world of difference.
Jasun Horsley, August 2018.
 For example, “He uses words as a way of occupying the mind of the listener in ways that they are accustomed to thinking, seemingly allowing them to remain in the portion of themselves they are used to, whilst in fact interacting with them at a vastly larger scale.” Or this: “The Enlightenment Transmission appeared to be unrelated to the words you were using. The words appear to have a function more like martial arts, to lull the mind into a sense of security.”
Dave’s free event in Portland, Maine, Wed, 26 Sep 2018, 18:45 – 22:00:
Money complicates everything, doesn’t it? Leading people to enlightenment … for cash. This is something I have struggled with, having had long involvement with various teachers and paths. My conclusion is that yes, teachers have to live and need income to do so, but at the very least these teachers should charge the minimum possible amounts to make it universally affordable to anyone who might have need and so that they themselves may live according to their authentic needs. Cultivation of clients is a big no no, cliff hangers that require more sessions etc. Let people loose to be (literall)y ”free” as soon as possible. That’s the fair, wise and just compromise, I feel.
You are assuming there is some loss of freedom that results from having a “teacher” to begin with? Is this necessarily so or might it be that our lack of freedom is what draws us to a “teacher” to begin with? The problem than is that we need a degree of autonomy (connection to our souls) to find the right guide… For me I had to start with the counterfeit (JdR)to be able to recognize the currency and see where to direct-invest my energies.
Yeah, I get what you’re saying. I decided in the end to invest my energy in myself. Sometimes I miss having a teacher, but in general not. I sometimes visualise the wise recluses and sages living hidden in the mountains in the Orient or India – and imagine most of them would not care about money at all. It’s just such an odd force. I’ve always been relatively poor, for my initiation into sannyasin I gave my teacher a pot of blackberry jam I had made and raw wool meditation mat I had woven from wool gathered on fences. That teacher charged heftily in general, but accepted my offerings and decades later still sits on the mat! It’s funny how currency relates to money and current relates to energy 🙂 Haha, just a passing observation. You are a good person. Your energy is good. Dave is also a good person. I saw that. Best of luck!
The only sort of wise sages who don’t care about money would be those who either live in cloisters where all their material needs are met or who live wholly off the land. As I see it, the money thing is just a psychological issue that it was up to me to get over, which I have more or less done so (no doubt related to the fact I am now giving 1:1s to people). What’s funny is how logic seems to go out the window when it comes to money. Of course it’s Mammon, the devil’s tool, so it makes sense that we tend to feel as if even touching it turns us into Whores. (Viz a Viz Tom M’s remarks below)
Beautiful words, hombre. This merging of subject and object of which you speak, the liminal space, must surely be the Abyss of which the ancient Qabalists spoke, dwelling place of the Amphisbae and Orobourous , and the Dark Mage Nietzsche. Is language itself symbolic or merely a set of commonly understood signifiers ? . Symbols are things that link us to other, spiritual realms, semiotic signs and signifiers explain this world to us. Symbols are currently outlawed.
Am reading Mailers ‘Harlots Ghost’ and your riff reminds me of Kittredges formula of the Alpha and Omega of humans, and the degree of alignment between them and how this affects life. The alignment of unconscious and conscious. Guess its not ‘enlightenment ‘ perhaps but a powerful crossing of the bridge between. After all, why the fuck would anyone want to be ‘enlightened’ while still in a body. Endarkenment is just so much more challenging and fun .
I’m not sure I follow your reasoning. You lost me at “Abyss”
Are you saying you would rather wait until after death to have an experience of your soul? That would seem to defeat the whole purpose of incarnation. Or are you riffing on the opening sentences about words becoming shells/inversions of their original meaning?
Yeah i am musing wether the “loveliness and light” feeling one gets when “enlightened” is simply a surge of power ?
Why would it matter if ego were blissfully enlightened ? So long as it is not too far off piste and is having experiences roughly in lne with what soul requires . The bits of you and i riffing on this blog are just shells to be discarded at death. Shells that accumulate too much “spiritual” power during life become the vampyres and demons of legend when they die.
I feel much more comfortable bumbling along, trying to love, mind my own business and not trespass while forgiving others trespass.
The Abyss i speak of is the “blissful’ feeling one gains from contact with the state where subject and object merges, a place of power. I wonder wether “enlightenment” is what Men of Power seek ? You need power to run the lights, after all.
@ Bahia de Cochinos. “Yeah i am musing wether the “loveliness and light” feeling one gets when “enlightened” is simply a surge of power ? Why would it matter if ego were blissfully enlightened” ?
It is merely the first stage of enlightenment, the recognition that mind, body and world are one, but it is not ultimate enlightenment. It is still a state of delusion but a more pleasant, knowledgeable and wise state of delusion. The person in this state is still prone to making mistakes and errors because they have not fully relinquished conception and conception still has the power to pull them this way and that, although their state is infinitely more profound and manifesting of humility than a “normal” persons state.
@ Bahia de Cochinos “The Abyss i speak of is the “blissful’ feeling one gains from contact with the state where subject and object merges, a place of power. I wonder wether “enlightenment” is what Men of Power seek” ?
You are both right and wrong here. The state where subject and object merge is the first stage of enlightenment. The seeker of enlightenment can certainly be a power seeker, with ideas relating to being a “superman” etc. That is why Zen Buddhism says “Do not seek enlightenment, merely stop cherishing opinions”. Enlightenment is a psychological process that leads to spiritual states, not a spiritual process as such. Even to talk of spiritual states is delusion ultimately. Seeking enlightenment is fundamentally no different to seeking fame psychologically speaking, but this doesn’t mean that a seeker is necessarily insincere, it just means they misunderstand what enlightenment is and this is the great difficulty and conundrum of the whole thing. Enlightenment is just one more object on to which the ego fixates as a vehicle for it’s desires. The only way out is to be quite and stop the process completely. This is why Zen says “Stop”! There can be no psychological subterfuge here. You either stop or you don’t. Why do you think Zen talks about “Worldly” and “Un-Worldly people? Why does the Diamond Sutra say things such as this:
” Yet when vast, uncountable, immeasurable numbers of beings have been liberated, verily no being has been liberated. Why is this Subhuti? Because no Bodhisattva who is a real Bodhisattva cherishes the idea of an ego entity, a personality, a being or a seperated individuality”.
Thanks AAL , i shall keep on bumbling along according to my low power lights , and not become enamoured of the idea of being an enlightened boddisahattva while still upright .
[Edit: this comment addresse dto Bahia, not AAL]
And to think people call me dark! 😉 Actually your comments help me understand why (they did); they also come as a (no doubt timely) reminder of how much I dis-identify with that serpent skin which I have shed (in the time since meeting Oshana) and which I hoped this present piece would be free of.
The relief and the freedom (to breathe, feel, express, and love) of discarding so many of the occultist and “spiritual” concepts I was carrying around, like rusty armor, and of referring to the body and to feelings before listening to what my mind has to say. In this case, “what the soul requires” can, presumably, only be known BY the soul and with reference to the soul; and since the soul has its own language that precedes verbalization, this presumably also begins with or in the body. My own sense is that “what the soul requires” is an experience of incarnation, of being fully embodied, and that the final, definitive stage or moment of its landing is when the mind does actually get to be included in that, and when it recognizes that it was only ever a function-aspect of the body. In other words, when the body becomes enlightened is when the soul becomes embodied and the mind is finally put in its proper place.
So maybe there is some truth in what you say about keeping the mind somewhat out of the loop while the process is unfolding, until the final coup d’etat occurs?
On the other hand, this: “The bits of you and i riffing on this blog are just shells to be discarded at death. Shells that accumulate too much “spiritual” power during life become the vampyres and demons of legend when they die.” ~ sounds like you’ve imbibed a little too much Castaneda or Gurdjieff and might benefit from a conceptual enema yourself. If it were really true, why on earth would you waste your precious life force with this exchange? I know I wouldn’t.
Thanks Jasun , the ego shell is still an important (essential) part of being in a body and so my shell ( as opposed to lobster) riffing with your lobster is more than ok and a great experience for soul since your not-lobster is speaking to me in a very wise and non de-Ruiting fashion. You are a dude at homw in body and psyche ( or endeavouring to be ) without being too identified with either , a rare not-lobster if ever there was one. Your lights are solar powered and fully renewable i suspect.
As you have pointed out many of the kids are being duped into confusing worship of aspects psyche with spiritual experience, such as this account of the Dionysian Bacchanalian of the burning man, where Icarus gets ritualised in support of global consumer capitalism, and all the lobsters march around getting fried.
A space opening up for reconciling old and new, dark & light, paranoia and pronoia to come together in a cautious, clumsy dance? When battled-fatigued, world-weary (& fully justified) cynicism with the sad shipwreck of counterfeit culture takes its first, tentative step out of its crusty old shell, & towards the land….
Dave’s free event in Portland, Maine, Wed, 26 Sep 2018, 18:45 – 22:00:
Jasun–this is amazing what you share about your life and experiences these past ten-ish years. I hope you go all the way!!! “RE: I hereby sign over all my wordy belongings to this empty space between.”
I have a couple questions…I don’t understand what you mean, “The conundrum this presents is that, to testify to the effects of the enlightenment transmission is to risk doing a disservice to those effects, to the transmission, and to Oshana himself.” My life has improved, as has my ability to perceive energies in my mind, in my body and in others, for sure because of my time in the “teaching” (although I know it’s not a “teaching” but dang it I have to use some word.) Why does my saying that risk doing a disservice to the Enlightenment Transmission? Maybe writing that diminishes the awesomeness of It, is that what you mean? Hmm, I don’t feel like it changes anything whether I say it outloud or not. For me it is true and my experience.
Also with this “The money-exchange reinforces the idea of inequality between us. It keeps me in an inferior position…” and “even if Oshana is helping me to connect to my inner essence or authentic self, might that assistance only reinforce my habit of looking outside of myself for answers?” Firstly, I don’t think of giving money as leading to superior or inferior, so was wanting to understand what you mean better. I guess the idea is since your time is equally as valuable as Dave’s then to give money for his time while you get no money for your time is what you are pointing to? Anyway, like an earlier person commented, the money thing complicates. Side comment: Dave charges less than what most counselors charge in the US. That question aside, strangely enough, I have been struggling with a similar issue lately (I think similar) where I project old learnings onto my present-day experience relating to Oshana in one-to-ones and in events. My mind (unconsciously) tries to position me to be the “good student” and “get an A” when there is no “A” and no grading system, and in fact, no teacher and no student. I’m left with nothing to hold onto and confounded on how to relate. Lately, I am metaphorically kind of bowing my head like asking for grace to step in and help me break through my current ceiling of perception; I want to open up to something much vaster. I keep recalling a silent mini one-to-one at the end of one retreat where Dave made eye-contact and white light pierced into me until I was blasted into a bliss state I’d never been in before. Funnily enough, about 3 minutes later I was walking in the forest and someone came out of the woods and scared the sh*t out of me, jolting the state away from me. It came back a bit later but not quite as strong. Such is the awakening process. Dave’s said these states are there within us and with us but we aren’t aware of them/don’t perceive them. I find myself feeling frustrated though because I can’t make myself perceive something that I’m not perceiving. In a recent one-to-one Dave said that it’s like a zen koan where goose is in the bottle and it’s full grown with bottle still intact, how do you get goose out not breaking the bottle? And the answer is the goose is out. (So like we’re already in that higher state but not aware of it, then we decide we are, or we become aware that we are…I’m not doing a great job describing it.)
hi Heidi – happy to see your comment here, amplifying the signal and giving others another perspective from the popcorn maker 😉 To answer your first question, what I meant was that it can be, IMO, worse to speak of the enlightenment transmission, as to speak of God, when not in a space to transmit that which we speak of (i.e, coming from the mind and the ego) than not to speak at all. How many people speak of these things without truly being founded in them, without abiding in them, as the Christians say? And how much worse does it make things in a world in which people speak of grace as a means to whip themselves into a frenzy of belief as a counterfeit for real grace? Hence the saying, those who know don’t speak, those who speak don’t know. What language does is create facsimiles, and since the mind is sustained by language, the danger that we end up eating the menu instead of the meal is always present.
I want to respond to your other questions but it;s late here so I will wait till tomorrow, after the ET meet. See you there, perhaps. 🙂
Hi again; since we had this exchange Tom’s comment appeared below so maybe you can see better the sort of worldly mindset which I have been wrestling with, both within and without (it starts outside of us but gets internalized): that “anyone who uses money is a Whore” mindset. I actually don’t have issues anymore (or at least currently) with giving Dave & money due to a combination of things: 1) working it over with my mind over a long period (make that a lifetime) until it finally submitted to logic (that phrase “working over” has that another meaning, well known to London thugs and debt-collectors!); 2) becoming solvent (always the best route to transcending money issues); 3) starting to give consultations myself.
I think you expressed your own similar issues in slightly different terms, regarding the inherent and irreconcilable conundrum of relating to Dave as a student to a teacher – which also precludes equality. The social template is flawed so we have to find our own way to recalibrate the relationship to better match what our souls need.
I like the phrase “metaphorically kind of bowing my head like asking for grace to step in and help me break through my current ceiling of perception” – which invokes for me a positive association with a truly religious (Christian) “position” (not missionary!), that only through a divine intervention can we experience what is divine within us. “When we take one step towards God he takes ten steps towards us,” is one saying, and the bowing of the head is very much (IMO) that one crucial step.
Just don’t drink anyone’s bathwater! 😉
Your bathwater comment made me laugh! Not planning on drinking ANYONE’S bathwater thank you very much. Yes, well Tom’s comment (money use = whore) is outside my realm of expertise. I stick to neuropsychology and sex therapy. Totally agree “the social template is flawed so we have to find our own way to recalibrate the relationship to better match what our souls need”. I liked the call today–I felt like Dave was shining a flashlight into a tunnel of no mind beyond concepts where I could live happily ever after. We’ll see how long that lasts when a future client asks for advice and theory. Anyway, with your interviews and writing, too, I am guessing it is a dance of information sharing and authenticity to navigate the concept no concept GAP. Are you noticing a letting go of concepts and/or a change in how you relate to others now? Of course your article was a STATEMENT but I haven’t followed your blog for a long time which is why I ask. I understand more clearly what you meant by your two above comments with your answers to my questions. I think you have a lot to offer in giving consults being super analytical and creative at the same time.
Thanks H. I want to respond to this:
“Are you noticing a letting go of concepts and/or a change in how you relate to others now? Of course your article was a STATEMENT but I haven’t followed your blog for a long time which is why I ask.”
I do want this article to be a STATEMENT (or at least a statement) that marks a change in my relationship to words and concepts and writing and relating and everything else – but once again words potentially trap the very thing they are aiming to set free – if it becomes a literalization (literally!) and thereby an EXTERNALIZATION of something that wants to be always moving deeper inward, even if it is simultaneously being reflected in outward changes.
what i mean is that it would probably be futile for me to try to deliberately control my expression to represent a more love-transmission orientation and steer clear of previous interests because what really counts is how i am approaching these subjects – in what spirit and with what intent.
so i/we will just have to see what comes next; i hope that’s not a cop-out but i’d sooner risk that than go into old “Rambo” mode and start killing conceptual gooks every time they pop up in the auticultural jungle; unlike hollywood heavies, concepts aren’t ALL bad. They are more like peanut better – best not to get too much in the mouth at once!
Jasun, I’m so glad you went meta- on yourself with this posting because I have been building up a response to your transgender series which became much more meta- about you and so I did not feel it appropriate to put the comment up on that series of posts.
For example, your segment on Münchhausen really inspired me to develop the argument that you are not a Prisoner of Infinity, but rather a Gamer of Infinity. (I will explain that later. Let the title of my trolloograph act as a trailer/teaser: “Jasun’s Unceasing Shell Game of the Münchhausen Trilemma.”)
But for now, your writing about Dave Oshana here gave me even more insight into your entelechy than did the fabled Baron von Münchhausen!
Here it became for me a case of “follow the money,” and especially regarding the “Ick Factor” (but not yet Uncanny Valley) of the dream you had about Dave. My first puzzled reaction was: “WTF is Jasun doing still paying Dave for enlightenment? It smacks of prostitution. But then, which one is the whore and which one is the John?”
(Mind you, I am referring to prostitution on a spiritual/allegorical level, not a physical one, so I mean nothing about tawdry sexuality, nor is any sexuality even implied. Maybe not even spiritual, but literary, since most accomplished writers are literary whores — case in point, Peter Levenda now whoring for Tom DeLonge and To the stars Academy.)
At first I thought Jasun was the John because he paid Dave for enlightenment — thus making Dave the whore. But that did not fit. I realized that I had to reverse the causality arrow and designate Dave Oshana as the John and Jasun Horsley as the whore.
(Compulsive Autard Punster that I am, I did immediately rename you as Jasun Whoresly, but honest to God or the Higgs Boson, I thunk up that pun AFTER the prostitution meme had arrived thus irrevocably confirming my own bias.)
So why would Jasun prostitute himself and actually pay Dave for the privilege? That led me to the dream and from there back to what I believe is the most significant Virtue-Signal Flag waving from your ship of life — namely the renunciation or rejection of your family inheritance.
It suddenly dawns on me that your decision to reject that inheritance was tantamount to an actual “transgender” decision moment — again on a psychic-spiritual level, not a literal hormonal or surgical one. To me, it’s a real parallel, with a lot of mutatis mutandis required to force-fit the analogue.
Would you say, Jasun, that your decision to renounce was not transforming your gender but rather transforming your social class? You did not want to become some latter day “Trust Fund Hippie,” but rather a more latter day inner-conflicted swashbuckling figure like Humphrey Bogart in all his movies where he sails on a boat of some sort. (“To Have and Have Not” as best exemplar?)
Might it be that your focus on transgenderism is a way of trying to extricate your self from the residual guilt of your own “trans-classism” decision? I bring this up because I have an oblique perspective on your life story, given that I was born and raised poor Irish Catholic in the teeming tenements of upper Manhattan (spiritually the Bronx) where my socio-economic status was better than “Shanty Irish,” but not quite full “Lace Curtain Irish.”
So I wonder if you might have the same kind of Freudian “Reaction Formation” against money, as so many recovering Catholics like myself have guilt about sex? (See, we poor Catholics were taught that poverty was a virtue under all conditions while sex was only a virtue under the condition of marriage. Procreation not Recreation, ya know!)
Anyway, let me post this now and get to the fabled Baron von M. in the next comment.
Hi Tom: I am still trying to work out if this comment is actually aggressive or only passive aggressive. It seems like a text-book case of How Not to Approach a Witness (ie, “First belittle and insult them, then ask a deeply personal and meaningful string of questions relating to their family history!”)
I imagine you will plead unconsciousness, so I will move quickly on and address the main point of interest, the desire to become a “trans-class” person. Yes, for sure, but this is not exactly a remarkable observation (or undertaking), even if I took it to unusual, Siddhartha-like extremes. A large number of trust-fund kids, in my experience, became hippies, or yippies, or hipsters who want to be almost (but not quite) mistaken for homeless people.
I think what I am in this regard is rarer and more interesting (and riskier) by far: a class traitor who spoke out about his class and betrayed “family-state secrets.” Getting rid of the inheritance was, in retrospect, only the first, all-important step on that trajectory. & it sent a very clear message to my handlers (tho also, to the true money gods)
Which is why your last point fits too: I have shunned money for my own psychological survival (and maybe physical too, judging by my brother’s case), and as a result money has shunned me. It has taken me roughly exactly as long again (i.e., another 24 years) to straighten out my soul-body relationship and put down roots deep enough to start growing my own fruit and opening my market stall, i.e., delivering my soul-transmission. I feel sure, therefore, that all money that went to that end (i.e., Oshana-ward) was the wisest investment I ever made, & the very inverse of whoredom ~ even if it did provide me with a safe harbor in Babylon (for now)
Incredibly, dare i say it, empowering move giving all that loot away, even if it was like the Captain of the Graf Spee scud running away from the royal navy into Montevideo . Any port in a storm, and you are out of the Kriegsmarine now, taken up fruit growing, married a local girl and left all that behind you. Amen .
“Hence the saying, those who know don’t speak, those who speak don’t know.”
An oft-broken rule. Jesus spoke about Heaven, Buddha about Enlightenment.
When words are detached from reality then those who speak them go off on a tangent that never converges on any kind of truth.
Language is inadequate, concepts imperfect and models a work-in-progress, and yet we seek to communicate. What is in fact being, communicated? It takes discipline to communicate sacredness and avoid profanity.
Real communication is a shared real-time experience: communion.
These may be the exceptions that prove the rule – that when the Word is fully embodied, something new is coming into form through articulation. Jews didn’t have a Heaven, did they? Perhaps Jeshua introduced the Kingdom of Heaven, not as a concept but as a reality that did not exist before he spoke it. Ditto Buddha’s enlightenment. This (the word of the aeon) is an occult idea so I am a bit wary about introducing it. But it speaks to the need for new forms of articulation that will allow for that real-time experience (without reference to the past).
My sense of language is that even written language is ALSO a bodily expression and so can come directly from the soul without picking up the conceptual virus of the false self – hence “communion” (another word that got “co-opted” by alien forces!).
speaking in tongues? Luke 12: 12
“From the feeling of the air we must be in a wide hall. I will now risk a little real light.’”
A journey in the dark, Fellowship of the Ring
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1-5 KJV
Focusing on 3 and 5, and from the Greek, Verse 3 needs work to put into smooth english.
Can we find a direct object in verse 3? Not technically.
The subject, *all/πάντα* (*things* rendered from the nominative neuter plural case, in the Greek)in verse 3-This is called a substantival adjective. It takes on properties of a noun though an adj.
In verse 3, *Him* only appears as an indirect object.
Therefor, all direct objects/all things/that seen, *become\are made* through Him/unseen.
Per verse 5, light can point out for us the darkness, but darkness does not lend to comprehension of light.
There is a difference here not seen in all this subject/object zen stuff, as far as I can tell. O Grace, lead the way.
Please forgive the dig under Zen. Lord willing, let it be an involuntary kick in the womb.
I am sure the Zen masters of the world forgive you, with one hand. 😉
The void is not the abode of grace, though grace does shine into the void.
You are getting the Old Testament prophet voice down pat, but is it Christ-ian? There’s the dark of dis-graced and the heavy of law-burdened – can you walk the middle way where light is the opposite of both and also its own thing, without opposing anything?
‘Swords are no more use here. Go!’
“’What it was I cannot guess, but I have never felt such a challenge. The counter-spell was terrible. It nearly broke me. For an instant the door left my control and began to open! I had to speak a word of Command. That proved too great a strain. The door burst in pieces. Something dark as a cloud was blocking out all the light inside, and I was thrown backwards down the stairs. All the wall gave way, and the roof of the chamber as well, I think.“
-The Bridge of Khazad-dum
This middle way seems pretty dangerous, a narrow bridge across an abyss. Not a place to linger, for angels exhaust each other in the falling battle.
Take this example of an American star who recently killed himself.
Black Hole Sun
In my eyes, indisposed
In disguises no one knows
Hides the face, lies the snake
The sun in my disgrace
Boiling heat, summer stench
‘Neath the black the sky looks dead
Call my name through the cream
And I’ll hear you scream again
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come (won’t you come)
Stuttering, cold and damp
Steal the warm wind tired friend
Times are gone for honest men
And sometimes far too long for snakes
In my shoes, a walking sleep
And my youth I pray to keep
Heaven sent hell away
No one sings like you anymore
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Let’s recall the life depicted by the Mozart character, and his foil, surrounding this gift he displays.
Sire, only opera can do this. In a play, if more than one person
speaks at the same time, it’s just noise. No one can understand a
word. But with music, with music you can have twenty individu-
als all talking at once, and it’s not noise – it’s a perfect harmony.
Isn’t that marvelous?
Mozart, music is not the issue here. No one doubts your talent.
It is your judgment of literature that’s in question. Even with the
politics taken out, this thing would still remain a vulgar farce.
Why waste your spirit on such rubbish? Surely you can choose
more elevated themes?
Elevated? What does that mean? Elevated! The only thing a
man should elevate is – oh, excuse me. I’m sorry. I’m stupid.
But I am fed up to the teeth with elevated things! Old dead leg-
ends! How can we go on forever writing about gods and legends?
Because they do. They go on forever – at least what they repre-
sent. The eternal in us, not the ephemeral. Opera is here to en-
noble us. You and me, just as much as His Majesty.
Bello! Bello, Barone. Veramente.
Oh, bello, bello, bello! Come on now, be honest. Wouldn’t you
all rather listen to your hairdressers than Hercules? Or Horatius?
Or Orpheus? All those old bores! people so lofty they sound as
if they shit marble!
Govern your tongue, sir! How dare you?
Beat. All look at the Emperor.
Forgive me, Majesty. I’m a vulgar man. But I assure you, my
music is not.
You are passionate, Mozart! but you do not persuade.
Sire, the whole opera is finished. Do you know how much work
went into it?
His Majesty has been more than patient, Signore.
How can I persuade you if you won’t let me show it?
so besides ‘no toxins’ and ‘no expectations’ are there any pro-tips for a DO gathering ?
@mikeb Making email contact to Dave is best way to begin imho (via daveoshana.com). There’s sometimes minor technical hoops etc like to register online on DO.com that filters away people. Once initial hopscotch completes, I think listening to a class is about receptivity, relaxation and openness, in a distraction-free environment.
What about for someone who is just attending the talk that is open to the public and not the retreat on the coast after ? It’s just a cool coincidence for me that DO is going to be 45 minutes down the road. I’ve been watching Jasun/Aeolus on the net for almost 10 years now ! Wow.. good times.
there’s that 10-year mark again, DO does Liminalist coming 10 years & one month after Stormy Weather debuted.
I’d second Heidi that the best prep is to open a dialogue before meeting Dave, which DO has just reminded me is also what I did, 10 + years ago..
is this real life ? (POI at Walmart!)
Yes, these are my readers: https://www.peopleofwalmart.com/
‘Whatever Dave Oshana is doing or not doing, it’s working’ . This is what I say to my friends who ask about my brother Jasun’s relationship with Dave. My direct experience of Jasun over the last decade has been to feel increasingly loved, increasingly less judged; to find him softer, more loving and more present. There used to be a big helping of arrogance and now there is not. The sweetness and gentleness that was always there now seems to be able to burst forth like blossom or sunshine. Thank you Dave; thank you Jasun for all your collaborative hard work that has brought such gifts to me. Love to you both.
I was going to post something about how I was disappointed that so many of the responses came from the very mind-place that this article was attempting to say a fond farewell to, rather than the heart-space which it is meant to open up (and testify to having opened up). I didn’t in the end because I wasn’t sure if there was a way to say it without appearing to be complaining.
Anyway I am glad that you, as well as Heidi (and Ann ~ the exceptions are all women, hmmm) did speak up here to echo, and amplify, this new, more nurturing signal which i hope to tranmsit as the future unfolds.
BTW, this blog is in the process of moving, here is the new url for this post and I will C & P my comment there & request that you also do the same, as new comments at the blog may not get imported, now the bulk of the move has happened.