Living the Soulful Life
It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World
By Scott Kalechstein
“The world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt.” — A Course In Miracles It’s early January as I write this and I am resting. Almost hibernating. A few local gigs here and there, but no significant troubadour traveling on the horizon for a few months. In past years this hiatus would be cause to get on the phone, e-mail like crazy, pump myself up with a slightly crazed adrenaline rush (cancel slightly), and spend a good chunk of my time and energy drumming up more gigs, tours, and travels. But in this moment those drums are a bit too noisy for me. Both body and soul want rest and replenishment.
However my old friend adrenaline, the most celebrated glandular secretion in this crazy world and the obedient servant of my noisy mind, does not take to rest so easy. “Are you crazy? What about paying the bills and bringing home the bacon?” I remind the mind we have plenty of savings and we don’t eat bacon.
“But we can’t rest! We haven’t made it yet!”
Oh yes, the pursuit of ‘it’- western culture’s quest to achieve enlightenment by accomplishment. I decided to ask my mind when it will be satisfied I’ve accomplished enough to proclaim that I’ve made it.
When will enough be enough? Here is what came up on my to-do list: When I’ve completed my first book and it becomes a best seller. When I’m on all the talk shows. When I get to sing an in-the-moment song to Oprah on national TV. When I stop watching TV. When I have authored as many books as I’ve CD’s. When my calendar is always filled with juicy, lucrative singing and speaking gigs. When I have to hire my part-time promotional person as a full-time office assistant. When I have an office. When I have a six-figure income. When I have a seven-figure income. When I’m the keynote speaker and troubadour at large conferences of all kinds. When my music is all over the radio. When I fly first class and get picked up in limos. When I have my own personal chef. When I have discipline. When I love myself unconditionally, discipline or not, and bury my inner critic forever. When I revel in being alone. When I join up with a life partner. When I meditate at least twenty minutes twice a day. When I lighten up about this whole subject.
As I was reviewing the list, my Higher Self offered me some wisdom:
“Scott, there’s nothing wrong with having goals and pursuing them with passion. Yet you can accomplish all these things, and more, and still be entrenched in the belief (and, therefore, the experience) that you haven’t quite made it. Many successful people in the world, celebrities and such, feel like failures behind all their accomplishments and accolades. An ego’s sense of guilt cannot be overcome by outer success.
“Most of the world, and you with it, have gotten so good at thinking you are guilty, you’ve exiled yourselves to the land of this isn’t it. You believe struggling and striving are the way to get ‘it’, and joy, peace and balance are tomorrow’s rewards for today’s sweat and sacrifice. Lasting contentment hasn’t been present because you haven’t been present.
“At some point you’ll have had enough of feeling not enough and you’ll no longer be willing to procrastinate being happy. From deep within yourself you will proclaim, by your own divine authority, I do not need to make it because I am it. There is nothing to prove or attain. I am as God created me, and I am free at last. Free at last!
“At that point you could very well find that living as a present human being is much more natural (and fun!) than merely subsisting as a human doing. But you will be no couch potato. From your ground of beingness you will connect with an innate wellspring of enthusiasm to express yourself that arises on its own, no longer coming from an adrenaline-based need to overcompensate for some imagined sense of inadequacy. It will spring from the sweet inspiration you receive in stillness, and from a childlike extension of your joy, which simply cannot be contained.”
So during this season of little activity in my outer world, I have set about putting these perspectives into practice, trying on for size the truth that I’ve already made it because I am it.
Amongst my neighbors are two little girls with whom I keep company when I seek to be released from two of the world’s most common forms of madness: Making It Mania and Santa Claustrophobia (fear of unreasonable joviality). A few minutes with them lightens my heart, dissolves my worries, and brings me back to my true nature. These girls are not trying to make it. They are free of future-oriented ambition. They live as if there are no tomorrows, and in their playful presence, mine disappear. With their giggles they show me that each now is chock full of opportunities for play and laughter, joy and creativity.
The Course In Miracles offers a mantra for us recovering adults: I need do nothing. What flows from such a proclamation? Relaxation. Ease. Lightening up. Creativity. Peace… and the first glimpses of sanity in a mad, mad, mad world. I need do nothing. I am waking up to my God-given freedom. Should’s and have to’s are fading away. For no apparent reason, laughter begins to roll up from my belly. The idea that I need to do something to validate my existence seems absurd to me now. I’m already one with God. All there is to do (and just for the fun of it) is to play Santa Claus in a world overdosing on to-do lists and at the same time starving for more Christmas mornings.
Sometimes I feel deeply troubled about current events and what I see as an enormously urgent global to-do list. But I also know that urgency and worry (which is simply fear dressed in socially-acceptable clothing) do nothing to help heal the world: they are part and parcel of the consciousness in need of healing. Let me not add to the world’s stash of drama and heaviness. Let me but be a light.
I need do nothing. That doesn’t mean I will stay in my cave and hide in my belly button forever. Joy won’t allow me to keep my light under a bushel. I’ll create and partake of a juicy life, but the adrenal glands don’t have to be the main generator of the juice.
Waking up from the world’s insanity is a gland and glorious transmutation. Biologically, we are transiting from overworking the adrenals to activating the pineal. Attitudinally, we are mutating from fight or flight to taking it light. And spiritually, we are going from trying to earn our way to Heaven to knowing we are already there.
“Whatever you believe you need to do first to enter Heaven keeps you from
— Alan Cohen, from Handle With Prayer
When he is not in his cave, Scott Kalechstein, M.D.T. (Modern Day Troubadour) can be found sharing his musical, ministerial, speaking, and healing gifts with churches, conferences, businesses, and individuals around the world. To be placed on Scott’s e-mail list, send a hello to firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit http://www.scottsongs.com for more laughter, inspiration, song samples, and information.
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