"Above the Fog" ©2020 Eric Platt
"Above the Fog" ©2020 Eric Platt

On Beyond Ericplatt.com

Hello friends – The following is the little rant I wrote yesterday, about why I am letting this hosting account expire, before I formulated a more reasoned and seasoned (concise and polite, lighthearted?) post for Facebook today (on the group I used for posting non-dual stuff, and various expressions: Group With No Name).

 

Well it’s been a fascinating journey, but it’s time to pull the plug on ericplatt.com and move on. To where, I don’t know, but I continue to be billed for hosting and domain name, not to mention the endless hours writing every morning, and contemplating while living, which costs money – housing, food, transportation, clothing, tools (like computers – my laptop is 10 years old and can’t edit videos like I want to, and online meetings are iffy, etc.), health insurance and on and on, and meanwhile work slows down (client work for a small corporation that I do creative and technical web-related work for) and prices of things go up, and debts to banks don’t get paid off. I posted a donation button recently and announced it on Facebook, but it only generated one $50 donation from a friend (thank you very much!), which doesn’t even cover half of hosting.

There’s a bigger picture too that is interrelated: What I’ve been writing about for decades, and posting to this site for the last 3 years or so, is about Freedom. It’s the same truth that’s been talked about for thousands of years by sages and writers and teachers and gurus and wisdom teachings and is at the core of every genuine religion. “THERE’S NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN”. And besides, everyone is going to find their freedom when they want it, one way or another, whether I go on and on about it or not. The cosmos unfolds exactly as it’s supposed to, and I personally have no serious role in it as an illusory human. They will find the teacher or path they need, to do what they want.

I’ve come to see that no one actually wants to hear they can’t get freedom from someone else. It seems almost everyone wants a teacher, a practice, a group, a technique, or some object or drug, or some thing… they really don’t want freedom (“ignorance” in the Sanskrit sense, is the preference of mankind; the world wants lies); they don’t want to see that they already have it, are already enlightened in who or what they are in their very essence. They’d rather continue playing the game and delay freedom. I see the same pattern in myself: the wanting. If there is a want, there is an assumption of lack behind it. So we want to fill that lack, not be told we don’t have a lack.

So what people really want is self-improvement, or energetic experiences, or what you hear them talk about, even after satsang (meditation and dialogue) with the best teachers on the planet, after briefly gushing about the teacher or the experience or the teaching, or arguing about Truth: money, houses, business, relationships, cars, safety, security, comfort, pleasures, travels, stimulations, entertainments, foods, sexual excitement, special experiences, perfect health, family, coziness (particularly if there’s a spiritual or healthy theme to any of these)… and who can blame them? So, there’s an endless market for self-improvement, but not much for freedom (non-duality), only discussion about or practices towards, comparisons, competition, or hunger for various kinds of experiences and making-appearances and seeking and running around the planet.

Sure I could become a teacher or purveyor of Kundalini energies and Shaktiput awakening and powers and Tantric tricks and such, but I’m too honest for that, and simply not interested.

Also, I’m not a teacher (except maybe through writing, at better moments haha): I don’t have oral pedagogical training or acting skills, nor video presence, nor any interest in being in the public eye. So this is also not going there and never was.

Those that want to change the world are not satisfied with how things are, therefore are wanting and evaluating God’s universe as not up to par with what they think things should be like according to their human judgement, the learned opinions – is that free? So that is also not one of my motivations, to change the world.

I’m basically a hermit who enjoys writing, likes feeding the birds and training them to take peanuts from my hand, observing nature, including humans and this bodymind, and teachers, talking with friends (mostly via text – often go many days with no phone talking), looking at beauty, making photos, working on various creative projects, and above all, exploring what this Self and Reality are, freely – the “Field of Paradox” as I called it – as it unfolds.

The point is, this isn’t going anywhere as far as being a “professional” non-dualist who publishes videos and does seminars and goes on tour, etc. This endeavor is what the world calls a “hobby,” even if it’s been a bit of an obsession to understand the mind and human experience since I was a teen (to the point of getting a degree in philosophy and reading, and doing practices and spending more money on various things like psychotherapy early on, and later seminars, then later retreats, not to mention a library of books and audios and on and on and on… wait, I thought there was nothing to do: paradox again!).

The site also started with the idea that it would be a good platform for building confidence as an interactive writer, since I’d been writing for myself in private for decades on philosophy, psychology, spirituality and such, as a form of therapy, exploration, communication, research, expression, etc., with occasional forays into public writing in the form of journalism and business writing. I also had ideas for two books on non-duality, one a photo book with some poetry, the other more discursive. The activity of writing on a website was a way to evolve what I wanted to say and how to say it, in an interactive way. It has served that purpose (as has Facebook and messaging with people from around the world, and in online satsangs). However it seems that either people want to argue or defend or attack, such as in relation to their beliefs relative to what I post about (especially if it’s a philosophical understanding about a teacher), or praise (or follow) or just read and not interact at all (that’s the majority). So again, what is the point? I can’t give anyone what they already have, as

WE ALL ARE ALREADY STANDING IN THE RIVER OF LIFE, LOVE AND FREEDOM.

WE ARE ALL ALREADY STANDING IN A PERFECT RIVER OF FREEDOM, AND NOTHING I SAY OR DO OR WRITE, OR DON’T SAY OR DO, OR ANY TEACHER YOU MEET, WILL CHANGE THAT.

You don’t need to go to some seller of water (a teacher or guru or writer or object…) who is also standing in the river of life. We are all in the same boat, both as illusory “egos” and as freedom. There are no higher beings to appeal to or be recognized by or be granted some special gift of liberation, a touch on the forehead or a transmission.

But if you want to play that game, that is all good and fine and beautiful too.

I would rather simply be free myself, and stand as that, with friendship for the humanity of all, the planet, the cosmos, everything visible and invisible.
That does not require spending money and effort. It already is the case.

In short this project has started to feel more like a burden than a free “labor” of love, and it would become even less of a free activity of joy and labor of love if I were to force myself to market or “go pro” (I have no bent for or interest in marketing or promotion, other than selling something on eBay or online now and then, which is why I have only one client for my paid professional services).

Stopping has grace and magic in it.

In summary, if I am not free, what is the point yakking about it endlessly, or sharing my insights on a partial freedom (mixing ego with coming from freedom)? This is the discussion I’ve been having with Greg Goode for the last two or three years, ever since he wanted me to write a chapter for the book he put together called “Real World Non-Duality: Reports from the Field”— what is the sense in one sharing how one has not reached the top of the mountain, since I don’t see that as helpful—and if I have reached it, it’s a different world of “why” write, and something worth reading for the aspirant up the mountain.

If one is totally free, then just live it – there’s no point in talking about it or trying to convert or change anything. Unless that’s your destiny and you can’t help but do it out of freedom and love (but that doesn’t cost anything does it?). All is well and there are no “others” to help. Who and what needs help!? 

The respected direct path teacher Greg Goode said to me, as far as direct path writing (to paraphrase), that one has to be practical about it, and write what people can get a grip on and understand and apply, and know all the arguments to counter “if one is in the business of answering questions”. What is the fun in that!? To me, there is nothing practical about art, nothing to understand mentally in the long run, and nothing to apply—this writing is an aesthetic spontaneous response or an attempt to explain-as-communication with beloved friends who are not separate —and in any case that kind of practical instruction and finalized understanding—which is too closed for my taste—he is talking about I believe will either delay or in some cases, take one farther away from being what you are, which is available always Now, in the “silence of the heart” as Robert Adams used to say. Truth is available everywhere. It’s as free as the air.

If you really want a teacher or sage (at minimum, they can help put you to sleep at night), here are some living and dead ones I suggest checking out:

Francis Lucille
Laura Lucille
Rupert Spira
Robert Adams
Lester Levenson
Sydney Banks (early tapes, before the 3 Principles)
Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas
Lau Tzu

Or simply Google, research, ask around.

Executive Summary
• Lost my enthusiasm for publishing.
• Accomplished the “experiment” of trying it for a few years to build confidence improve skills, do writing interactively (other than my professional business or journalist work of the past) rather than just for myself.
• It takes lots of energy and time and some money too, and I am not a teacher or coach or therapist or any thing that would justify putting myself out there an fighting the battles of right and wrong people seem to want, and so when it starts to feel like a burden to respond to arguments and attacks and questions and comments, then it counteracts the reason for doing it, the love of the art in it.
• I’m not 100% sure about the quality of the content – there is some good writing in there, and sometimes it’s form the heart, like it should, but often it’s a mixed bag, with ego or self-image or some axe to grind as it were, and it would take a tremendous amount of time to go back through and edit using newer clarity and skills (relatively speaking), that is, relative to “growth,” especially with the large piles of writing I have accumulated and continue to generate.

meestereric

12 Comments

  1. don salmon on May 5, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    sorry to see you go. had just discovered your writing and getting to enjoy your incorrigible irascibility. i especially like your non recommendation of teachers.

    humor and love go beyond what Kabir called “the house of reason.” It’s really that simple.

    if you ever decide to change your mind, google blogs are ugly but free. I’ve kept one up for several years for my patients (I do psych evals and have never found anything on the net that quite captures what I want to offer them. North Carolina psychology board says I can’t send them to my “official” free site because “one day I might go commercial and then it would be a conflict of interest).

    All of which is meant to perhaps change your mind and share more of your writing. Meanwhile, may oodles of financial support flow your way.

  2. don salmon on May 5, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    there’s of course the opposite solution. I always thought we kept excellent track of our money. After 4 weeks of “sheltering in place” we realized we could live on half of what we were living in (It’s starting to look like less than half – so instead. of 2 years from now, I decided to retire – don’t need hardly no money no way)

    I think one couple in NY made it on $5000 a year recently. Might not need that oodles of money coming in.

    Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing tells of this simple living. Now I’m off to write a few comments in the NY Times about living simply. Doesn’t get much support there.

    • meestereric on May 8, 2020 at 6:13 pm

      Hi Don – I appreciate the comments. I’ve been called “incorrigible” recently and “eccentric” a number of times over the years, but that’s a first for “irascibility” (together with “incorrigible” no less, boosting it even more… so it *must* be true).

      Regarding teachers: if asked, I would recommend some teachers, but they are very few and far between. But I get what you are probably referring to: the central importance I have been ranting on about recently, of finding truth for oneself, from within, and that no one can give you freedom, and questioning everything and everyone (but I’m a bit of an outlier there I suppose, and I don’t see any ultimate reason for being so incorrigible – maybe it’s “art” – art of living on a very long and winding road. It’s like the fun of drawing a maze and then finding your way out).

      There probably are more ways to not spend as much on living as I do, such as car insurance that is per-mile rather than a flat rate … if I can get past this sage-like laziness for a spell and do something about it…. I already live a pretty simple life: no kids, no wife, don’t own a house, I drive a ‘classic’ car, don’t travel much except to the desert and to visit a couple of spiritual teacher friends and the community around them about 45 minutes form here; eat a vegetarian diet, don’t go for entertainment or nights out except some Youtube videos and Netflix. I am incredibly entertained just looking at plants in my neighborhood. Sounds weird, but it’s true. Or playing with the neighbor’s dog, or joking around and talking about the truth with a truth-lover friend.
      But Southern California nearish to the coast is expensive – a place popped up here that met my known impersonal desires perfectly – such as being near the Sangha, quiet, nature, light, space, freedom – and “had to” take it. It’s love.

      It’s one of the interesting and humorous things that the Advaita sage Robert Adams mentioned: that the vast majority of people would find his life incredibly boring. No stimulation. Nothing for the mind, or very little. His students were always trying take him out, such as to meals or a movie. He didn’t care, he just did it for them because he loved them. He would be in bliss enjoying the extraordinariness of life sitting in a chair in a living room, or on a park bench. It didn’t matter. I’m not comparing myself to Robert by any means – he was twelve levels above me spiritually, haha, but, well, you get the point. You need much less when you quiet down and realize nothing out there will bring you happiness, and stop running after something in some future that will never arrive. This is as good as it gets. And that’s always true.

  3. Gary Bridgeman on May 5, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    Sorry to see you go.

    I stumbled upon your site after coming across the 3Ps and then ‘seeing’ the non duality of them.

    Your writing has helped clarify things.

    Perhaps might I suggest a collection of the articles as book to download?

    Losing all this wisdom to the digital abyss would bea shame.

    • meestereric on May 8, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      Hi Gary – Thanks for the comment. As you can see from a newer article, I had a change of heart (though may still look for free or almost-free hosting).
      I’m glad the writing helps clarify the 3P non-duality connection. It was one of the main motivating factors originally, at least for some of the articles that emerged. It’s gone in more of a “direct path” direction, but really there is no direction to it, as far as a goal, or as far as how it sort of took on a life of it’s own, and we are all “being lived” – and you just never know where art will take you or end up until you do it.

      That being said, I do remember having the idea that the website would be a good way to build confidence in publishing what I wrote, with an aspect of that the idea being the putting together of a book, pulling together threads on non-duality (along with some photos). It’s also tempting to put together a short book about a perspective on the 3P, but am however reluctant to wander into that minefield again (mind field?). Once I manage to get the Eric bodymind to go through the pile of mail paperwork on the living room floor, and then print out all the articles on paper, as I keep talking about, then maybe I’ll see what I’ve got, and put together a tract on it. The 3P are stupidly complicated, and there seems to be appreciation for clarity from some quarters. And it’s been a long strange journey to that greater clarity…

  4. Luciana on May 6, 2020 at 2:08 am

    Eric, whatever you decide I know you will not stop communicating what you have understood and about the Truth, because Truth share itself. It is not the body-mind, not the person in financial hardship, not the one that ‘share [his] insights on a partial freedom’ that experience the Truth: because Truth is absolute Freedom, it does not need any ‘body’ to share itself. It just does.

    You write very well, and your passion is so obvious. So I feel certain you will keep writing, just as you will keep taking amazing photos and play cool music. I leave you with a quote from your favourite guy (so that you will be less likely to think that it emerges from religious bigotry.) If and when the thought comes to you that your freedom is partial and mixed with the ego…
    “Say something like this ‘God I don’t care what you do with me. I want nothing from you, I need nothing. Just make me your own and do with me as you will.’ When you surrender this way, something comes over you. a peace that you never felt before.” Robert Adams (quoted by Angie Joy on FB – Robert Adams group.

    • meestereric on May 8, 2020 at 9:00 pm

      Dear Luciana – Our friendship has been instrumental in this bit of evolution or growth – first because we seemed to have much in common with our understanding and love of truth, not to mention a love of art and music, which all was wonderful … then had a disagreement that felt like a “falling out” for a while … and a coming back together at a higher level. It was all illusory of course, but that’s how the game is played, as you keep saying in your use of language to suggest the playfulness of Consciousness.
      And, our similarities and differences are enriching, like the contrasts and harmonies in a beautiful artwork or growth of a flower.

      I apologize if I was harsh on you, such as apparently what sounded like a suggestion of religious bigotry – I was obviously in some kind of reaction, in part, battling old battles that were not your fault, and perceiving you unfairly through filters of my own making (residues in the body of the separate self). You have been unfailingly resilient and unfazed, holding to truth. Your support is of immeasurable value to me, and what you wrote brought tears to my eyes.

      With Love,
      Eric

  5. meestereric on May 6, 2020 at 9:04 am

    Thanks for the love (everyone), it’s humbling.

    What can I say, once again the personal Eric has been an idiot. I am humbled … by the love and grace and the unnamable … I broke down and cried on my balcony, especially after reading Luciana’s comment.

    Don’t know exactly what I’m going to do but have a feeling everything’s going to be OK.

    One of my spiritual teachers, Laura Lucille, a year or two ago suggested, when I was talking about writing a book and complaining it felt like it was perpetually pushed into the future, was to put together a mosaic of writing, rather than trying to enforce a theme. I’d been stuck on this idea that there had to be a clear thematic thread tying it all together in a sort of linear way through chapters and for the whole thing (like the philosophy books I’d read), and was waiting on that theme emerging from the writing and exploring, or working on it.

    Later on, she gave me a fiction book for inspiration, “Stories for the Nighttime and some for the Day”, by Ben Loory. The short little stories are written in a very loose way, as if someone were daydreaming, and the ending is always unexpected. You are left not know what they mean, but amused… in short, they relax the mind. Likewise, the musician Jacob Collier has been very uplifting and inspirational to me lately, in the feelingness of his music, the incredible artistry and freedom, and in his philosophy of writing music that opens out in its “story”, rather than telling or projecting the audience an understanding. The notes sort of invite an unmooring and living question, to pay attention now, wake up, rather than project a conclusion.

    So the lesson (I guess) – or one of them – is I have to get the ruthless general off my back (my father, a successful architect, was an *extreme* perfectionist and critic – which helped in his work to an extent, but not in raising happy children haha!). And if some are finding the content useful or clarifying, the personal Eric really has nothing to do with any of this, at neither a writing level or a spiritual level (of course).

    The lack of confidence I sometimes feel as a writer, no matter how much praise it receives, compared to what I feel as a visual artist is something that’s puzzled me (maybe because with the visual, I can just *see* what looks good and *know* it, and have a family background in the visual arts but not writing) means I just have to put one foot in front of the other, like when you hike up a big hill. You really can’t think about it all ahead of time.

    I’ll update y’all on what I’m doing (what was the fucking rush or pressure I was putting myself under? The birds are singing, the trees are growing and the sun is shining on beautiful day…), when it happens….

    – Thank You, from a “voice in the wilderness” …

  6. Tim on May 6, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Eric. Your writing has helped me enormously – if only by echoing my own “understanding” at this time.

    I have experienced most of the teachers you list above and now no longer feel a need for them (apart perhaps from listening to Laura’s sweet childlike voice at bedtime.) 🙂

    I could say more, but feel no real need.

    Best Wishes, Tim

    • meestereric on May 8, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks Tim – 
      I appreciate the comment. As you saw from my other postings, the writing and posting will continue, somewhere, even if not here… we soldier on now, refreshed, a new phase in the works (or play). I say “we” because I get tired of saying “I”, and also when I talk to myself, I say “we” for some unknown reason.

      The feet are feeling a bit more solidly grounded, as I venture further in one of the most difficult of writing challenges, of trying to express in dualistic language, that which is beyond phenomenal experience.
      But I also am feeling more free to go over what I’ve cobbled together in the past: now no longer afraid of doing that, partly because I know it’s not as bad as I was harshly judging (the quality) and because there is less of a sense of there being some linear time I’m living in, nor a personal sense of responsibility: it was just an image, a belief. I’m not going anywhere, and in this not-going-anyhere, I am surrounded by friends, a friendly universe.

  7. johanna on June 5, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Hello Eric,
    I found your blog a few days ago and loved it from the first sentence.
    I don’t think you realize the amazing gift you have.
    Why don’t you look into mightynetworks.com and build a private community, away from the social media noise? You’ll give your readers the opportunity to interact with one another and grow together, and in the process get paid for the service you provide. I do believe that we pay attention to what we pay for.
    p.s. I know you don’t want to call yourself a teacher. But you are.

    • meestereric on June 6, 2020 at 2:58 pm

      Hi Johanna –
      Thanks for the comment, and glad you found something valuable in the content.
      What field of work or vocation are you in, or enjoy? Do yo use or work for mightynetworks.com?
      I took a look at mightynetworks.com – I already have a website obviously, and I like it and the platform – and it looks like a commercial operation, a small business, so it could come and go (and I’ve never heard of it, nor have my silicon valley friends). Also I don’t want to be walled in anyway, nor am I begging for anything.
      If I really want to go that route of being supported via membership or whatever, I suppose I could try Patreon, but at this point it doesn’t feel like that’s what I’m doing: it’s more like I’m growing a plant, a tree (and I did get enough donations to cover the hosting and domain name for a while). And as far as community, I do have one already, and want it to grow organically.
      When the time comes to more intentionally grow, an idea or opportunity will arise.
      As far as being a teacher, my writing is a teaching I suppose, but I am not a teacher in the usual sense; and of course there is only a teacher if there is a student that arises. 🙂

      Take Care,
      Eric

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