There is no “Thing.”
If, by this you assume I mean nothing, “because nothing and everything exists within and without us, and we are infinitely connected in void…”
Well, cheers to you!
You have reached Level 11 of the Spiritual Totem Pole.
But, in this case, the indescribable void of the universe is not what I’m referring to.
I do, quite literally, mean there is no “Thing.”
The thing I’m talking about is that certain something that many of us in spiritually-minded communities have somehow or another ascribed to being The Thing—the one that will wake us up, irrevocably, and change our lives, forever.
I’ve had many things, each of which I thought was The Thing at the time. I once thought that moving to San Francisco would be The Thing to wake me up, make me happy and whole and, suddenly, free from the trappings of my ego loops.
Then, there was that time I moved to Bali, travelled around Asia, moved to London, and, finally, several years later, I just wound up back where I started—literally and figuratively.
I realized then that moving somewhere new was most certainly not The Thing. Changing a location couldn’t change who I was inside.
I had to look somewhere else, outside of myself. Because, what else could I do—look within?!
So, I read The Books; I did The Work; I put myself in situations that were downright uncomfortable; I even tried DMT, thinking surely this would be The Thing.
Now, to be clear, I am a huge proponent of using psychedelics as medicine. I think they are profoundly powerful, and I can honestly say my life would be much different if I didn’t have a relationship with them. But, while each of my experiences with entheogens has been profound in its own way—never once has it been The Thing.
It’s never rattled me out of having an ego.
It’s never shaken me awake from thoughts like, “I feel jealous,” or, “I’m having a fat day.” Not permanently.
And, after my experience with DMT, I finally got something about The Thing: it doesn’t exist.
It was a realization that I wanted to shout from the rooftops—or at least into a megaphone at ecstatic dance.
“’Scuse me! I just wanted to let you all know that there is no Thing! Nothing is going to be a magic pill that will suddenly clear up your years of baggage. Which book, you say? No, that won’t do the trick. What’s that now? Nope, not even psychedelics.”
Now, I want to make it clear that I am certainly not saying we shouldn’t do the work. I absolutely think reading spiritual and self-growth books is important; I believe pushing our edges can be hugely beneficial (when we are ready, and not because of community-pressure); and I am certainly not saying, “Don’t try DMT.” (But I will say, “Don’t try DMT at a conference in the presence of people you don’t know all that well with a rather questionable ‘Shaman’ facilitating.”)
What I am saying is, these things can all add up to a way of living. If you’re picking a growth-oriented lifestyle, that’s just what it is: a lifestyle. A commitment to bettering yourself and diving deep within your trauma and digging beneath layers of conditioning—discovering yourself each day.
The illusion of The Thing is that we can, in a magical instant, toss all that work aside, throw our arms up in relief, and announce, “I am done! I have reached perfection!”
And, like it or not, we are only ever “done” when we die, depending on your beliefs, and perhaps not even then.
So, I urge you: dig deep and see if you, too, are looking for The Thing, either consciously or not. And if you are, no big deal. Maybe you will find it. Maybe you’re just a book or a workshop away.
But, in my experience, you might always be.
Author: Natalie Grigson
Image: Kaboom Pics
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Travis May