by Zen Gardner
April 06, 2017

from BornOutsideTheBox Website


Zen Gardner is an impactful and controversial author and speaker with a piercing philosophical viewpoint.

His writings have been circulated to millions and his personal story has caused no small stir amongst the entrenched alternative pundits.

His book "You Are The Awakening"

has met rave reviews.







We all know the obvious sacred cows:

  • religions

  • belief systems

  • adherence to hierarchy,

...small stuff like that.


Those externally based and obviously reflected sacred cows are in our faces destroying souls and society alike daily and we tend to think we're getting a handle on dismantling these.

Or are we really...?

Let's talk about what it is about us that reaches out and make those beliefs ours and maybe we'll get down to the real root of the issues.


After all everything in the external is a mirrored manifestation of what's going on inside of us, individually as well as collectively.

  • What about presumed life goals and hardened choices we make that we can't let go of, wrapped in all kinds of garb?


  • And how about that great big idol in our hearts called our image and sense of self?

Now we're touching on what is adhering to the above constructs of control.


Obvious false gods and deities are easy to identify.

  • What about the real "god" we spend the most time on?


  • Just as hypocritical religionists actually worship at the mall or in front of their TV, who is it the vast majority is really giving their time and attention to?



The big question then follows: which self?

"Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie."

Miyamoto Musashi


False Ego vs. True Self

A lot has been written on the power of the ego.


It can get a bit heady but it needn't. The ego can be described as the muscle of the false self that constricts as well as dilates - the screen of self projection that's been programmed from birth that an awakened person can learn to detach from and observe to varying degrees.

This psychic muscle is way smarter than any of us would like to admit.

  • It's a survivor.

  • It'll pick fights and arguments just to get used and justify itself.

  • It can fold up into self pity and play the victim like a pro.

  • It can lash back in passive aggression, just a cover for deep feelings of anger.

  • It can spend its life analyzing itself to give you, the real you, the impression that you're making progress when perhaps we're not really letting go, just lost in analysis.

I know that one well.


After all you've got these smarts and can identify many of its tricks.


But it can still have a dastardly grip over your life.

"I've come to realize that the biggest problem anywhere in the world is that people's perceptions of reality are compulsively filtered through the screening mesh of what they want, and do not want, to be true."

Travis Walton

If it's forced to let go of one thing it'll quickly attach to another.


It's a survivor, that's what it's built to be and gains in trickery and strength the longer we allow it to.


We talk about it as if we're aware of it and have control,

  • But do we really?

  • What about our blind spots?

We all have them...


That is where the real sacred cows are hiding, usually in plain sight - especially to those around us. But they're projecting their own false self issues with their own blind spots.


The asylum run by the inmates, all of whom are lying as to whom they truly are. Stories talking to stories. Quite the maze to get through.

Believe it or not the ego is needed, but like the mind it makes a terrible master. We all project a certain persona which can change under different circumstances depending on the need.


But it needs to be observed carefully so that it doesn't get out of line, and then it needs to be put back to sleep afterwards through quiet reflection and meditation.

It's when we identify with it that we have problems. It's not the real you, or me. There's a large measure of programming from years of reinforcing behavior but this projected self does morph over time, hopefully to reflect the genuine self rather than the false one.


But taming that beast is no small chore.

"The problem does not lie within me. I am not seeing a manifestation of myself in other people.


Other people have not done the same process that I have. The introspective work that I have and gone through that painful, painstaking work that involves effort, hard effort."

Mark Passio

The hard part is identifying especially trauma based issues.


These begin with the initial sense of abandonment we experience entering into such a strange, non spiritually oriented world. The traumas pile on from there on depending on how much added abuse and abandonment we experience in the earliest years and how we learn to cope.


Herein the egoic self is born - reaching out for survival through conformity at first, then learning to get ahead in an insanely competitive, fundamentally dog eat dog society.


It doesn't have to be that way but that's what we're handed right out of the gate, to varying degrees of course.

Soon accompanying a deep sense of abandonment is co-dependency, an unhealthy reliance on the approval and support of others that can spin off into abuser/abused syndrome as traumas are reenacted like Pavlov's dogs.


These can be very subtle but like all these symptoms, they can seem oh so justifiable.




Humor, Humility and Sacred Indignation

If you want to detach, your whole life has to slow down.


We need a lot of down time, quiet hours, time in nature. The true self will starve without this and the egoic stinker gets stronger and stronger. That's why cities are so degrading.


People become callous fending off the weird vibes and acclimating to the coldness and deadness.

"What makes this pain of denial more or less painful is one's moral compass.


The few, the brave, the integral warriors for truth, sacrifice tidy explanations and the comfort of static perceptions in order to remain at the frontier of discovery and a constantly adjusting worldview, which experience and new knowledge foster."

Jack Adam Weber

One key sign of spiritual health is being able to laugh at ourselves.


After all, we are pretty ridiculous. But knowing our real condition brings humility. There's no better foundation than that.


Humility breeds love and empathy for all the others facing the same challenges, while at the same time having a tremendous disdain for the machinations of the egoic lie that perpetrate so much suffering for so many, internally and externally.

If we can learn to identify our own dark issues in the recesses of our own psyche we can begin to more fully detach to where we identify them when they come up and so they lose their grip.


Triggers will no longer throw us into a tailspin of reactivity like they used to. It takes time and patience and a lot of determination but that's what has to be done. Until that's seriously worked on we'll only keep perpetrating the same dark world none of us want.

It starts inside and works its way out.


The opposite route only leads to futility and the repetition of the psycho-spiritual disease driven problems of the ages.

"Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave."

G.I. Gurdjieff


Face Your Fears and Break the Programming

We can break the programming. It's all fear based.


We've been conditioned with serious problems and then taught fear and shame regarding having them. This was put in place within humanity a long time ago. We have to realize and accept that, from whatever source you may think.


We can analyze that all day long as well, and some knowledge in that area is helpful and important, but the only answer is to deal with it and root it out into the open.

Facing our innermost fears is essential. These can be very difficult to identify and may not fully surface until after you've been in the process of self exploration for some time.


Some fears are obvious. Others are so wrapped in other issues and convoluted it's remarkable.


The good news is that fears dissipate as soon as they're confronted head on. They appear to be drooling, fire breathing dragons but they turn into shadowy mists as we walk straight at them. Any fears...

"He must not run away from fear. He must defy his fear, and in spite of it he must take the next step in learning, and the next, and the next. He must be fully afraid yet he must not stop.


That is the rule!"

Don Juan Matus

The beauty of allowing yourself to engage in all of this is that we can then become more fully conscious and actually raise our vibration.


This brings not just physical and psychic healing but literal changes in our tampered with DNA. The potential is limitless. Real conscious awareness has made this ultimate of explorations and finds a connection to Source behind any head knowledge or worked up self effort through some discipline.


Those can help but they'll only be the top of the tree without a healthy, fully explored and restored root system, without which no tree can stand the storms of life nor bring sustenance to others.

It's time we put the horse back in front of the cart where it belongs. It's up to each of us individually to do this serious work.


It's not easy, but it's time we stopped avoiding the real issue.

"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.


To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction."

Cynthia Occelli

We are the source of society's problems.


Even when we think we're doing some great service to rectify these external problems or bringing great knowledge to the fore, they'll only lead to another reformation of the old unless we have had a total revolution within ourselves.


That will require letting go of new sacred cows we've become attached to,

  • our reputation

  • our mission in life

  • our acquired new belief systems we subconsciously garner

Awakening is a continual process. And continual letting go...


When we do, our true power grows exponentially. From that foundation the true conscious solutions will arise.


Not from the head, but from a knowing heart.

"In my experience, everyone will say they want to discover the Truth, right up until they realize that the Truth will rob them of their deepest held ideas, beliefs, hopes, and dreams.

"The freedom of enlightenment means much more than the experience of love and peace. It means discovering a Truth that will turn your view of self and life upside-down.


For one who is truly ready, this will be unimaginably liberating. But for one who is still clinging in any way, this will be extremely challenging indeed.

"How does one know if they are ready?


One is ready when they are willing to be absolutely consumed, when they are willing to be fuel for a fire without end."