Nothing Is Necessary
by Bart Marshall

Bart Marshall

Nothing is necessary for spiritual change. In fact, nothing needs to change—spiritual or otherwise. It is as it is and it's perfect—an ever-new emergence of All from Void—now and now and now... This is the absolute truth. And yet, the obstacles to having truth flood one's being are formidable. Why is this? Why is it so difficult to see the truth of who we are? For something as obvious and self-evident as one's natural state to remain unseen and unexperienced is a masterpiece of legerdemain. It seems the only explanation is that a powerful counter-force is in play, and indeed that's the case. The magician at work is the id-entity, an elusive phantom that will fight to the death—literally— to maintain the illusion it creates.

The most expedient method for dislodging the id-entity is to confront it directly and ask tough questions. This is self-inquiry, self-interrogation. Don't be distracted by the flurry of decoys and red herrings it throws out— the personality quirks and tantalizing memories of past imperfections. This is where it wants to play, in the muck and mire of personal history. Here it has home field advantage. It will do everything in its power to keep you looking under those rocks for the duration. There's no end to it. Rather, look straight at it, at the heart of the matter, at the myth of personhood itself. Is there a self to study? If so, then by all means have at it. If not, why study something that doesn't exist? First things first.

A certain amount of persona-study is necessary to demystify the workings of one's particular vehicle. Beyond that it risks becoming a narcissistic indulgence. We need only be concerned with those aspects of persona that block truth. In actuality, very few of one's traits fall into this category. Focus on those and leave the rest to wither. How can we know which ones stand in the way? Move along a narrow path in the direction of your longest view and see what you hit. The direction of your movement will determine what stands in the way. Deal only with those things that block the path and keep moving. Do not look right or left at extraneous quirks that appear to need fixing—Sirens conjured by the identity to distract and delay you. Don't get sidetracked trying to become a better robot. Don't waste time polishing the turd. It doesn't hold truth and it won't take a shine.

The path is subtractive here as elsewhere. We love what we believe to be unique personal aspects of our individuality—memories, character traits, opinions... We like to think of ourselves as extremely complex, with burdens and challenges and destinies of mythic proportion. That's a lot to carry. Weed out as much of this as possible and focus available energy on actual obstacles, not seductive cul-de-sacs and dead ends. The danger is that psychological self-study becomes an ego game, a goal in itself—an endless tail-chasing device that locks one into the idea that the person can be fixed, that it needs to be fixed before moving forward. It becomes a reason for procrastination, a reason to refuse freedom, a reason to hold grace at bay. "I am not yet worthy," we protest, and fend off God with all our might.

Move in any direction, and the way you live and act will quite naturally come into alignment with that direction. This does not need to be taken on as a separate task. The key is direction. Choose wisely, set your sights on the furthest point in current view and move out smartly. As Rose used to say, "Keep your head on it." Such a casual and simple phrase but so powerful. What are you thinking about? Where is your head? To modify Jesus a bit: Where your head is, there will your spirit be also.

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