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For as long as man has been sufficiently conscious to leave written notes, there are those who've been intrigued by activities of consciousness that were outside collective concerns. This interest has been labeled variously as magic, the occult, the mystical, the spiritual, the struggle-to-Awaken, the search-for-Enlightenment, or simply, The Knowledge. The bottom line is, some people have always sought to function in a manner not inherent; it still goes on today, but few of them ever pursue the matter deeply enough to get to the bottom of it. Instead they are satisfied to be students of magic, the occult, awakening and enlightenment, rather than understanding the reality behind such words. There is nothing wrong with this any more than there is anything wrong with preferring to listen to music as opposed to making music. But there is an obvious distinction between being a listener and being an artist, and no purpose is served by denying the difference. Likewise, if you really want to discover and then create your own nonstandard running of consciousness, you need to face the facts about your interest in this affair and not pretend to fool yourself, as is natural for routine consciousness.
To be conscious is to be dissatisfied; this constant neural disquiet is a survival technique: at the non-conscious level, everyone silently accepts this and gives it no particular note; but a few do make note of it--a few always have. There is a sequence of stages that underpins these peoples' history in this matter:  At first, they do not like the way life is; if they progress, they move to a stage of not liking themselves; should they move past that point, they reach a third stage where they dislike the way they think about life and themselves.  Few venture beyond that third stage, but beyond that is where the whole thing begins.

Every ordinary sane person thinks that the world outside of them (or, outside of their mind, actually) is insane; this is neither true or not true--it is simply one of an infinite number of objectively meaningless concepts natural to consciousness. All you need do to get stuck in this stage is be alive.  To a lesser degree, every ordinary sane person also thinks of him or herself as being short of satisfactory, but this notion is entertained in consciousness only for brief moments and under nonroutine conditions. A few sane nonordinary people find their attention regularly focused on their own consciousness, and think of its operations as ill-becoming them individually. Their overall thinking accords sufficiently with the human herd's for them to function adequately therein, but in the privacy of their own head--they don't like it. People at this stage are the ones who become seriously involved in organized activities devoted to discovering another way that consciousness can run. As befits the mind, the activity will have a particular method of achieving the goal, and the participant will become a student of the method.  But to go from busy, monkey consciousness to dead-still, snake consciousness, you must move beyond the study of a method to the study of a goal.

The mind must have a map in hand to ever believe that it has started a journey toward the goal. But consciousness will quickly accept a periodic glancing at the map as actual travel. When you start, you cannot SEE the goal; all that you can see is the map--the method you have chosen to use as a vehicle TO the goal. This is how it works for everyone, but you must eventually recognize that no method, discipline, map or teaching is your goal; the reality of the other state of consciousness, and all ideas and talk about it, are two different things: so different, in fact, as to be beyond the widest definition of "different." They are from two different realities.

One method is as good as another; if it initially seems good to you then it is good for you. You have to have somewhere to start, but the words and ideas that consciousness can entertain are never the same thing as the goal itself; they hide the goal; they walk around on it while talking about it so that you cannot see it; they excitedly point off in one direction or another where they say the goal lies, while it lies right under their feet.

There is no "way" to discover this other way in which your consciousness can operate. There is no right way, there is no wrong way. There IS no way--but you must use one.

You cannot think an "enlightened thought" until you think SOMEthing, but nothing you can think has any real significance regarding this goal. Anything you think about the goal is actually you thinking about a method or a map; you cannot think about the goal, there is nothing you can think about it; whenever you are thinking about the goal your thoughts are mulling about on top of it, hiding it from your view.

You can think that life is not right; you can think that you are not right; you can think that what you think about life and yourself is not right; but if you really want your consciousness to run in a way that affords you an entirely different way of thinking, what you need focus on is the neural floor in your head on which your thinking is taking place. Ignore what your thoughts think about life, you, or even themselves, and look, instead, beneath their feet: look at what they are standing on. There is that longed-for, other level of consciousness. It is ultimately just that simple. You just LOOK and there it is.

I grant you, it can seem to take a lifetime of convoluted efforts to ever get to the stage where it is that simple to see, but you may as well know now that ultimately--it is--just that simple and obvious.