- by Joey Lott
First of all, let me explain that with the title of this essay I am referring to a phrase from popular culture: “50,000,000 Elvis fans can’t be wrong”. It appeared on an Elvis record and it likely was intended to suggest that since millions of people have bought Elvis albums, Elvis albums must be fantastic.
More generally, the phrase can be used to suggest that when millions of people flock to something or agree upon something, it must be good or right.
I want to propose a different idea to you.
That different idea is this: The world that most of us have taken to be real and good and right is, in fact, absolutely insane. It could not possibly be more wrong. It is a total inversion of truth.
We have learned that there is safety in numbers. Hence the false claim that you should join the 50,000,000 Elvis fans in their so-called security.
The supposed world out there is nothing but false security. It is composed of nothing more than grasping and clinging to security in things that do not and never have existed.
So if I perceive any insecurity within my experience – even the slightest twinge of it – I am being presented with a great gift. That great gift is the possibility right now of telling the truth.
What is the truth? The truth is what I can see of my own habits and how I have mistaken those habits for truth and thus worked hard to defend them and recreate them over and over. The truth is that my habits are only desperate attempts to get hold of security in this world.
And the clear truth that stares me plainly in the face any time I choose to stop overlooking it is this: there is no security in this world. None. No possibility of it.
And even more to the point, the one who I have imagined is doing the grasping and seeking for security is only a fiction. It does not exist. It never has.
There are only habits. Unconscious habits of grasping for security.
Like mechanical hands programmed to grasp the water flowing in a stream. The habits are doomed to fail. And even if they could succeed, it would not offer any benefit to anyone because there is no one to take receipt of the supposed benefits.
It is only habit. Only habit seeking for security. Only habit believing there is something to defend or get.
This truth is plainly obvious. You can see it. I know you can. Because in your heart – in the quiet moments of desperation – you know it. You see that there is no hope. You will never gain security in this world.
50,000,000 Elvis fans not only can be wrong. They are wrong.
Elvis wasn’t happy. No one who places their faith in the world to give them okayness is happy.
Because the world that we take to be real is insane. It is a lie.
There is another possibility. That possibility is to receive the truth that is ceaselessly flowing here now.
No effort is required. In fact, any effort only distorts it.
So make no effort. Just for this moment now.
And see what happens. See how the habit appears of grasping. Grasping for solutions. Grasping for interpretations. Grasping for answers. Grasping for security.
Don’t condemn yourself. Don’t try to create a blank state. Don’t try to get rid of anything. Just watch. See the habits.
And then notice that you are aware. You are untouched.
You cannot possess this. You – as you conceive of yourself – are a fiction. You are an eddy in the stream. Nothing more.
The grasping is you – the you that you has mistaken yourself to be – is only a mechanical habit.
Mechanical habits come and go. See that you need not give any concern to it.
Indeed, you cannot give any concern to it. All concern is only more mechanical habit.
There is no security in the world out there. The world of mechanical habit cannot fulfill you. It cannot grant peace.
You do not need security. What comes and goes never was. It only appeared to be.