From a very early age I wanted answers. REAL answers. Not fabrications and stories and belief systems from other times and other people. At age 30, when I finally figured out that society’s happiness formula was a total crock—a steady job, money, and a double-car garage full of crap will make me happy … um … really?— I decided to take Jesus’ word for it when he said, “The kingdom of heaven lies within” and went looking for it
I turned to meditation for answers.
That was a deep dive—at least the way I approached it—a dive that involved ditching my lucrative TV job as a sports editor for the national networks, leaving my great Atlanta condo, and heading to the woods where, for six years, I lived alone in a cabin with no indoor plumbing in the middle of nowhere, examining my navel.
It took that for me to even begin to unravel the bullshit in my brain-all the stuff I’d learned at home and in church and school and in the work world—all the pat answers, all the programming, all the “right” things to do and think and believe. And from there … well, from there the search for Truth with a capital “T” only deepened.
I won’t go into all the ins and outs-the hundreds of books read, the gurus followed, the years in south and central America working with shamans and sacred medicine plants, the inner psychic realms explored, the fear, the wonder, the exultation as the walls in my mind began to crumble, the profound gratitude I felt as my heart tentatively followed …
After many years of looking inward, I realized that the kingdom of heaven is not a fantasyland in the sky. It is a STATE OF MIND. A state of mind that is obscured by the veil of what we think we know and think we are and think we must be and what we think reality is—a veil better known as the ego.
After 25 years and 30,000 hours of meditation, I woke up. What does that mean? It means I entered the enlightened state of no ego. Which means “I” didn’t enter anything at all. “I” simply disappeared. And what was left was I AM. Pure presence. Pure intelligence with no identity and no agenda and definitely total peace and bliss.
Then, after 3 days, “Cate” came back. Total bummer. (To say the least.) I spent the next several years totally confused, wondering why the hell “I” came back, wishing to God I could do something to regain the state that is unattainable and un-regainable, knowing full well that any doing / striving on my part would only solidify the “reality” of the ego further. And let me tell you, the ego is totally unreal. It’s a mental construct and a total fabrication.
That was 13 years ago. I eventually realized that “I” came back because my Cate persona had a lot of things left unaccomplished. Books to write. Places to see. Success to be had. So I wrote books and was published and successful and traveled a lot of places.
Now? Now I’ve let all that go. I’ve realized that nothing in the world is ultimately satisfying. Nothing.
Liberation? Now THAT … words will never suffice to describe it. But that’s where my nose is still pointed. 😉
In the meantime, I do what I do: write books, edit books, coach writers, teach A Course in Miracles, go for long walks on the beach, feed my cat and love life.
That’s enough for now.