One of the really essential things that we need at a certain level of development, in order to balance our lives and get into the zone of our own actualization, is a sense of vocation, a sense of, “Oh, this is what I’m supposed to be doing in the world.” Like the old U.S. Army ad used to say, “Be all that you can be.” I started thinking about this early on—I had a lot of opportunities, but I couldn’t quite figure out what I was supposed to be doing. “Okay,” I thought, “Here I am.”
There was a song by Steppenwolf called The Ostrich, released in 1968, which put down the surface aspirations of the American dream:
We’ll call you when you’re six years old
And drag you to the factory
To train your brain for eighteen years
With promise of security
But then you’re free
And forty years you waste to chase the dollar sign
So you may die in Florida
At the pleasant age of sixty nine
That’s kind of what I was looking at. I didn’t understand exactly why I was in school and why I felt so trapped. I used to skip school, go to libraries, and read books all day. That was my idea of a good time. I was always looking for what lies beyond getting a good job, getting a good education, making some money, saving, retiring, and having a pleasant life. Of course there’s nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves, but there was a deeper sense saying, What am I here to do? What’s my purpose? Why was I incarnated? This search for self, for direction, for purpose, took me to a lot of interesting places over the course of the decades.
Having been a therapeutic wilderness guide for many years, I put a lot of people out on vision quests and did my own vision questing, always searching: “Great Spirit, what am I here to do? Show me my gifts.” Finding your vocation is often like a spiritual detective story. The inner clues and outer clues start to build up until finally you think, “I have a case here. I can take this to the judge.” That’s what it was like for me. Also, sometimes we work through our particular karmic obligation or vocation, and then we say, “Okay, what’s next?”
At this point, I’m pretty clear about what I’m here to do in broad strokes:
I’m here to get the iAwake and Profound Meditation Program technology out into the world and to teach people how to use it in a responsible, effective, and transformational way.
And I’m definitely here to shine a new light on drug addiction and alcoholism. Hopefully, I’ll do my bit, other people will take it up, and we can start rolling back some of the brutal statistics on the lack of effectiveness of most of the standard treatment, start saving lives, and put families back together again.
In my work with addicts, I’ve often been amazed at how extremely gifted, smart, and artistic the people are who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. They have tons of gifts and tons of potential to actualize in the world. Of course, because this disease is progressive, over time they begin to lose all of that. One of the great tragedies of the plague of addiction that runs through our culture and the whole world is the loss of human potential, the gifts that were never given, the ghosts of people’s lives, lives that were cut off long before they should have been.
Integral Recovery work is very much part of my work with iAwake Technologies, because one of the big contributions that Integral Recovery brings into the world of addiction treatment is this technology that helps people to get through the initial healing process. We balance the brain chemistry, help people work through their traumas, their negative self-messages, the negative world messages along with the despair and lack of hope that the progression of disease brings, and we give people a practice that they can take with them for the rest of their lives. We deepen and become more attuned to our true, healthy selves. We become spiritually connected, intellectually vibrant, and creatively flowing, giving, and inspiring. We start to feel that there really does seem to be an intelligence to the universe.
As we continue our interior work, greatly facilitated by the Profound Meditation Program (because people tend to stick with it and because they begin to feel the results right away), it just continues to deepen. For me, it’s been an extraordinary journey. It seems that I have found what I’m supposed to be doing, but I’m still hopefully a humble man—I still have doubts about myself and my abilities. In my interior work, I still check in, “Am I doing this for the right motivation?” “Great Spirit, Greater God, I want this to be your agenda, and my agenda channeled through your agenda, and not the other way around.” That wouldn’t be enough to feed my soul, keep me alive, and keep me happy. I work on this a lot.
Often when I don’t know certain things, I’ll just hang out and stay open. It seems that the intuitive wisdom voice is always there. It is one of the things we really cultivate through ongoing interior practice. We find that beyond our ego structures and beyond our discursive, intellectual mind, there’s a deep wisdom that abides in us. If we open to this and cultivate our ability to sense into it, it comes online much more regularly. Then we’re no longer living in an existentially angst-filled world thinking, “I’m just a little individual, stumbling my way through this brief, human existence, and then I suffer and die. So, what’s the point?”
When we do the depth work, this stuff gets resolved, and we begin to understand the meaning of life and become clear about what we are here to do. We continue to practice, because our egos have a way of solidifying if we don’t. As a wilderness therapist, a metaphor I like to use to illustrate this point is how each morning, camping out during the winter, we would have to break through the ice that had formed overnight on whatever our water supply was, in order to reach the clean, flowing water underneath.
It’s the same thing with our daily meditation practice, because if we don’t have a practice that keeps us fresh, that keeps breaking the ice, that keeps the ego trance structure from covering us up, we fall back asleep. We might think we’re awake, but we’re really not. I notice that all kinds of egoic stuff will build up in a 24-hour period. Meditation practice is like an emotional and spiritual roto-rooter. Plumbers put this device down through the pipes, and it clears out all the gunk that has built up so that the water can flow again—the water of our compassion, brilliance, creativity, and gifts.
Adapted from iAwake Technologies’ free, weekly teleconference call on April 3, 2013.
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John Dupuy is the CEO of iAwake Technologies and the founder of Integral Recovery, a holistic addiction treatment approach inspired by Ken Wilber’s Integral Model. As a pioneer in the use of brainwave entrainment in therapy and personal development, John has dedicated his life to helping others deepen their spiritual practice and transform their lives.