30. The One Vital Thing that Dudeism is Missing
Having reflected on Dudeism for the last six months or so, and having been active each day on Dudeism's social forums and Facebook pages, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Dudeism has overlooked a vital aspect of being a Dude...
Early on in the life of this blog I began looking at what makes a dude a Dude. This probably began with the second blog "The Dude & the Limber Mind" and gradually I started writing about the practical experiences of being a Dude but I want to return to this more important point.
Dudeism is looking at the Dude from only one angle, and in doing so, it is missing the root of what makes a person a Dude, rather than a dude.
What Makes Someone a Dude, Rather Than a dude?
I'm going to use the example of abiding to explain my point.
A person who is trying to be more dude-like, is using effort. But a Dude is doing this effortlessly. We might be having a coffee right now and thinking, oh man, yesterday I was completely undude. I couldn't abide with this situation at work, and I totally flipped. Which will likely lead to a mixture of "I need to learn to abide better," and "well, actually, I was justified in my response... but it's not how a Dude would react". So, we have a double-whammy, a double knockout.
I used to see this in Buddhism. A sangha member would have suffered some bad experience, but then added on top of that, is the knowledge that their Buddhist practice wasn't helping them in the way that they had expected. They couldn't look at the situation with equanimity, so there is a kind of failing there, and that means, a double-suffering.
Failing Belongs to the Self, or Does It?
So, you're having a coffee, going over the situation at work yesterday and how you got totally undude, and your mind is wrapped in "I must try harder to not react in that way", "I must learn to abide with these situations and not get so bent-out-of-shape," and "next time, I will take it easy more."
If we break this down it will look something like this:
Stressful situation >>> caused an uptight reaction >>> caused me to feel most undude-like >>> now I'm questioning my ability to stay Dude >>> forces me to reflect on the Dude's methods >>> I realise that I'm not as Dude as I thought I was >>> I will work on having a limber mind and taking it easy more, so I am more chilled >>> By practising this in real life, I gradually react less, and exhibit more Dude-like qualities >>> I become more settled >>> I am less troubled by situations >>> I become peaceful and still.
This is just an example. In reality, there will be lots of points where we break off the above causal description and cycle back and forth, and hopefully over time, we get to the still point at the end.
The Dude, however, is already coming from the still point. It is the root of what makes him or her a Dude. If we break it down it would look something like this:
The Dude is completely settled, or still >>> some new shit comes to light >>> the Dude is untroubled by it because he, or she, is untroubled >>> there is no reaction to the situation >>> where there is no reaction, there is no thought of abiding, having a limber mind, or taking it easy >>> there is no thought of being a Dude, there simply is isness >>> whatever, or whoever caused the situation has nothing to fight against, because the Dude is not presenting resistance >>> the energy that might have caused this resistance loses its power and returns to settledness >>> the Dude, being already still, knew that only calmness can bring about peace >>> And so there is peace.
It is this root that Dudeism is missing, because the root is something quite mystical, and there is nothing mystical about Dudeism. Dudeism is focused on the end result. It shows us how we should be through the lens of the Dude in The Big Lebowski movie. In trying to replicate those qualities we might be helping ourselves to deal with the strikes and gutters of life, but our root is unstable because it is based on an "idea" of how we should be, and not coming from a place of true being.
The difference between a dude and The Dude, is that the latter has seen through the lie of the ego. The Dude has experienced an egoless state that is often called Awakening, Enlightenment, or Realisation.
A person who has seen through the falsehood of the ego, of self-belief, also sees through everything that is attached to that idea of self: anger, frustration, need, separation, joy, being dude-like, abiding, trying, must do's, should do's, and so on.
Can You See Where the Sense of Self Is?
Where is there a sense of "I" here?
"Man, I was totally undude yesterday."
"I need to learn to abide with things better."
"Dude, I should be taking things easier than I am."
What if, the very thing that is saying this is a fantasy? What then of all the feelings, emotions, and trapped thoughts that are connected to this fantasy? They would be a fantasy too, right?
As George Harrison once sang, "All through the day, I, me, mine, I, me, mine."
Having personally seen through this lie, I now understand that my role here is to help fellow dudes, to become The Dude, to bring a depth to Dudeism that I feel is needed. I am going to help my fellow Dudes to see through this falsehood. Why? Well, I don't know, it's a sense more than a thought. It doesn't feel that it is coming from my "I". Who am I to argue with what is coming through me, right now?
Want to come along for the ride? You want the red pill or the blue pill? (from the movie The Matrix).
This journey to Truth starts with blog post 31. We are going to look at what you should look at ;)
The Reverend Thomo