After the March 20th solar eclipse which was a reboot of sorts, I became acutely aware of how much atomic weight the physical body has, how it feels heavy, pulled to earth by gravity. Its clunkiness is evident. But it is the psychic baggage we carry around that causes mental obesity too, along with the physical. How can we offload this often unnecessary extra weight? That’s easy – just practice weight loss for the mind.
Just as you would go on a diet, you can begin eliminating items from your mental diet and have a bit of a spring clean. Getting rid of your TV might be a good place to start as Stuart Wilde would agree. He wrote this perfect mini-guide for becoming lighter and more nimble, yet who would have thought that a smoking, vodka-drinking, occasionally non-PC, large-bodied ‘badass’ ex-jeans salesman from Carnaby Street would become the one resource everyone turns to when others can’t reach the spot? Yet Wilde empowered practically everyone he met. He also influenced many of the leading lights of the new age movement, including Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer. He was there in the early days when talking about alternative and multiple realities was so woo-woo it was confined to eccentric book shops, so hard to find you had to make a special pilgrimage.
Wilde was the grand-daddy of the new-agers, but also their perfect critic as he didn’t let them off the hook from bad behaviour. There was a touch of Sicilian gangster and stand up comedian about him. He was a great outlier, and the only mould he fits – if he has to fit any- is the crazy wisdom teacher, along the lines of Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa. who never cared what people thought of him.
Unlike the majority of teachers, he relished an acerbic sense of humour, laden with contradictions. He loved to deflate the emerging pomposity of self-styled gurus. He would joke about Swami Barami Namarami whatever his name is, sitting in lotus up on the mountains. He hated having to go up mountains for wisdom because wisdom is everywhere. But on the one hand he ridiculed the absurdities of the Hindu guru system, while at the same time producing (with Richard Tyler) some of the most breath-taking music for Sanskrit mantras such as the Gayatri. He once hilariously said that people who do yoga tend to get sick and haunted by ghouls in their etheric bodies. Perhaps because they have become obsessed with it? Maybe he’s right, but I certainly haven’t seen any ghouls yet but I’m still on the look out.
His verbal style was laconic yet laden with Semtex. He called the institutionalised world Tick Tock but helped people get free by simply saying ‘it is what it is.’ Who else could have designed a workshop called ‘Fuck it’ long before ‘F**k it’ Retreat by Parkin and Pollini began? Each book that tumbled out of him – and there were numerous- some written in just four days solid with hardly a break to eat underpinned his own philosophy of scoring victories which should be “ bloodless and completed in the most efficient manner possible.” Although he was quite shy off stage, once he was in front of an audience he would go on a spiritual rant that blew people’s minds on a regular basis. There are several videos – Miracles and Secrets to Master Your Inner Power that attest to the impact of his word stream.
Many apparently squeaky clean spiritual leaders are up to their eyeballs in deceit, hiding who they really are from their followers, so it is refreshing to hear someone just tell it like it is: opinionated, yes; cryptic, sometimes; illuminating, always, but never pretending to be more than he is, maintaining a Mr. Ordinary stance and carefully avoiding being trapped into any hierarchy that positioned himself above his audience. The way he described other realities and extra-terrestrial beings still takes a lot of getting one’s head around. But there was a zero-claptrap, no-nonsense core about Wilde that encouraged people to believe that this guy was on to something.
It was integral to his method to express complex with brevity. He wrote this booklet Weight Loss for the Mind in 2004. It is simple, yet brief- just 9 short chapters- all with trenchant observations about how to overcome limitations, be more radical, and have greater lightness of being. His most admired book was Tao Teh Ching because it was short – only 81 one-page chapters – and easy to read like a poem: plus, in its favour, it was not the Bible, the Talmud, or the Koran, contaminated by the twistedness of Judaeo-Christian patriarchal condemnation. In line with Taoism, Wilde’s booklet flows like a clear mountain spring: it is condensed, but without technical terminology. It is elegant, yet goes for the jugular with laser-like precision. It still holds compassion for the readers helping them to shift deeply embedded behavioural patterns.
He is especially good at clearly identifying all the conundrums that bedevil our experience of the world:
- We have to embrace infinity inside a mortal body.
- We have to believe in a god we can’t see.
- We have to learn to love in a dimension where there is so much hatred.
- We have to see abundance when people constantly talk of shortages and lack.
- We have to discover freedom where control is the state religion.
- We have to develop self-worth while people criticise and belittle us.
- We have to see beauty where there is ugliness.
- We have to embrace kindness and positive attitudes when surrounded by uncertainty.
- We have to feel safe in spite of our concerns.
The best way to absorb the contents of this booklet is to read it whole and let some key statements stand alone to sink in as they might. Stuart Wilde had a way of hitting the experiential nail on the head. Then he stood back and let them reverberate. Some of these aphorisms are truly challenging to put into practice, as, quite likely, we are still struggling with the basics and it may be true that the more difficulties we have, the greater the need to remember the message these lines convey.
So, baby step one:
Internal reality is formed solely by opinion.
These opinions form a mass that has a gravitational weight.
Transcendence is nothing more than learning to accept the contradictions of life without resistance.
From life’s rich tapestry flow circumstances that confirm and sustain that self perceived weakness.
When circumstances call our bluff, we are devastated.
Life has no particular quality, positive or negative, other than the labels we give it.
We expect the best but we must learn not to react when we don’t get what we want.
Love life and accept when it doesn’t go your way.
If you don’t know what to do – do nothing – wait until the answer comes to you.
Love your mistakes and don’t beat yourself up.
In constantly affirming that you haven’t got what you want, you deteriorate and disempower what you do have.
Further pining and yearning can become obsessive.
The less you put yourself on the line emotionally, the less pain you suffer. Resistance to change is mostly ego.
The greatest cause of anguish is fear. It’s change we resist.
Yet change is the spiritual universe’s way of keeping you alive and fresh.
Whatever you choose to do in life is not usually as important as the level of power and concentration you bring to your action.
No one person should hold the key to your life.
There is no real sin, only high energy and low energy.
You can’t develop a lightness of being without sooner or later healing your anger.
All anger comes initially from an impending sense of loss or an actual loss.
Following these ideas will not in themselves make any difference to your life as the mind so easily forgets. We tend to run on autopilot most of the time, coming up to the surface to breathe minor globules of clarity and insight. But reading them can help to purge some of the dross. However, there’s a deeper layer of excess baggage we may uncover once we lift the lid. These are the subtle cultural and religious spells we are held under. These include social and even tribal expectations which are often just deadwood.
Religions are riddled with toxic perfectionism and shame. Even unthinking attachment to Capitalism and New-Ageism – also riddled with shame – may have done damage to our relationship to ourselves and our direct experience of life. How can we be nimble with all this stuff in our heads? Unpicking and unraveling the damage done by being subject to these sometimes very warped ideologies can take a lifetime. Whether it is Eastern Karmic, or Western Judaeo-Christian, or the doctrine of the moneyed elite, the denial of one’s basic essence, ignoring one’s own intuition can become a habit of suppression of the true self.
Becoming one’s own teacher is scary for most people. Yet that might be the first step. Wilde said we can become less ‘assoholic’; less trapped by the Tick Tock world; more in tune with intuition and our inner nature. Disgorging from these cultural and religious spells might deserve more careful attention in another post, but, in the meantime, losing weight can start with some of Wilde’s words which may open the door to lightness of being.
© Kieron Devlin, arthealswounds.wordpress.com, March 2015
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