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THREE STEPS TO ENLIGHTENMENT - The Mud Sandwich Theory


three steps

All negativity and suffering exist sandwiched between an initial stage of innocence and the deepest level of enlightenment. 

The sacred pathway of individualism is the sole one leading to enlightenment. This quiet, personal road exudes no bells, no whistles and is driven by no particular doctrine of truth. And yet, there is no other way. 

Under individualism, all external sources are viewed with outright scepticism. Much harder, all inherited cultures, religions and beliefs will be similarly scrutinised. We will start to see how asleep we have been; this will raise deeply unsettling questions of fundamental identity that will frighten away many a truth-seeker. 

It is here that the real-world insights of Jack Travis’ life path will make their mark, complete with his insistence that this entire book be viewed with a questioning mind. Could one spiritual seeker’s down-to-earth honesty withstand your suspicious examination ahead of millennia-old traditions with billions of followers? 

Through newfound awareness of the three-stage journey which we are travelling, life will become sacred again, just as it always was. In today’s confused world of decaying traditional values and shiny electronic devices, only your unique, spiritual pathway of individualism can answer your most heartfelt questions of life… or can it?  

You will decide. 

In Store Price: $AU26.95 
Online Price:   $AU25.95

ISBN:  978-1-921731-58-7 Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 246
Genre: Non Fiction
 

Cover: Zeus Publications

Author website: http://jacktravis.com.au


Author: Jack Travis
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2011
Language: English

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Introduction

 

All of us – from the most wounded souls to those rejoicing in all the abundance they could possibly ask for – arrive at spirituality sooner or later. All of us have come from there, too. It is, after all, our true home beyond the shores of earthly forms which come and go over time. 

It is the evening sun receding in its daily game of hide-and-seek, dissolving the illusion of blue skies being the limit. It is the awe-inspiring vastness of the stars, which light up one by one like a picturesque postcard sent from an eternity away.  

What, then, is night if not a period of darkness sandwiched between two pieces of daylight? And what is suffering if not a period of struggle sandwiched between two slices of enlightened bliss? But alas, some groundwork is in order before we proceed. 

The spiritual journey is a mountain which we desperately wish to conquer during tough times, yet hope will never end during the happiest days. All people climb this mountain over their hours, years and lifetimes, yet call it by different names. 

To a psychologist, it is the grand question of life purpose beyond the internal dramas of the human brain. To a Buddhist, it is the life-long goal of achieving nirvana. To a physicist, it is the mysterious phenomenon of consciousness beyond mere matter. To a Christian it is the stairway to the pearly gates of paradise. To a materialist, it is the strange something that is still missing, even after we have purchased our way to earthly utopia. 

Historically, our limitation was in believing that we had to go to a particular expert for help on our pathway when troubles arose. Just as a cobbler was wholly entrusted with all things footwear, there were spiritual experts who we permitted to give us answers to questions as personal as, ‘What is my life purpose?’ or, ‘Who am I?’ Given their incredible power over people as well as political and legal structures, it seems the same spiritual experts were too busy clinging to their authority to wonder if they really knew who they were. 

Over the course of the 20th century, the absolute power of spiritual experts declined in many parts of the world. Widely known controversies ranged from genocide to paedophilia, leaving the masses to slowly disperse from once untouchable churches of obedience. 

Despite the newfound freedom of so many, the remains of centuries-old social structures, widespread negative views of humanity, inclination towards paranoia and mankind’s addiction to chaos did not extinguish. From manic minds to worldwide warfare, true healing from the corruption in our past remained, and still remains, elusive. A rise in Western consumerism and other escapism signified that the masses could not turn off the noise, so were covering their ears. 

This century’s challenge is almost the opposite of that which our ancestors struggled through. The chances are that right now, you are situated within metres of an electronic device capable of connecting to a vast network of data, bursting with more information than could be read in a thousand years. Hundreds of philosophies, thousands of questions, millions of emotional debates, billions of passionate opinions … and an infinite amount of ongoing noise. Sooner or later, one only wants to switch the darned thing off. 

Same Life, New Journey

The sprouting seeds of the future are growing from ashes of the past. 

I arrived at spirituality through a rocky childhood sprinkled with everything from golden moments of joy to dramas of emotional abuse. However, it turned out to be a carefully engineered series of events aimed at pushing me towards asking the great questions about life. And what I thought was a state of dark depression, endless emptiness, fruitless failure and ghastly godlessness was a key to happy hope, unlocking an introduction to infinity. 

Nearly a decade has passed following the fiery anger of my first book, The Best Days of My Life (2001), which criticised the callousness of the mainstream school system. Though it was wonderful to have my voice truly heard for the first time, it nonetheless took a long time to understand my continuing self-destructive patterns, blame games, emotional dysfunctions and frequent suffering. I came to realise that the same misery I had cursed from the depths of despair turned out to be a divine system designed to awaken me to something greater. 

A great philosophy came to me as a seed, a spark of light. Piece by piece I dug like a scientist slowly unearthing a buried fossil. It took many years before my heavy focus on this topic took me near a place I had longed to go. The spark grew into a candle, then a ball of white light … eventually I could see I was pushing aside a great boulder to reveal an infinitely vast light that had always been there. I had been judging the world as a dark place from deep inside the depths of a cave. 

But looking around, I then observed a planet mostly full of people similarly lost in caves, yet comfortable enough due to having little fireplaces to huddle around. They know nothing of the infinite light, yet would be ill-motivated to seek anything greater than the small flame that they call home. It is only a select few who are willing to leave the warmth of their campfire to seek the great journey to divinity. Had my flame not been all but extinguished during my childhood, I would still be huddled and perhaps destined to die in exactly the same uninspired place. 

The world is changing today because it has no choice. Sustainability was a meaningless word when existing industrial and social structures were initiated, but time has forced us to begin rethinking everything. Like a hobo in the pits of heavy depression, the only ways out of an unsustainable existence are either premature death, or a bold new direction that conquers the strategic flaws of yesterday. Down, or up. There is no other possibility. 

If this is not enough to shake up the comfort zone, life will always bring us challenges – the death of a loved one, a so-called accident, a health scare – to give us a little prod. Whether we respond bravely or procrastinate further is up to us. The ultimate scale of space and time is infinite; it is a simple matter of time before we achieve enlightenment. The advantage of making high quality choices today is one of speeding up the process and reducing suffering in the interim. 

Alas, just when it sounds like good news, along comes a horror beyond hell itself: the system that will ultimately get us there is the philosophy of individualism. And history has shown that any earthly torment, bloody violence or torturous abyss is infinitely preferable to the unimaginable nightmare of thinking for one’s self! 

But don’t worry, it is not really that bad. The fear of the self is only a rotting structure of the old system in which spiritual experts dictated to us. We loved this comfort as long as the bloodshed did not affect us personally, but this pattern got us absolutely nowhere. Even after dozens of millions of horrendous deaths, the fact remains: that way just doesn’t work. Humanity’s pain is just a prod to move forth, and now is the time for something new. 

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