All for All, Always


Task Seven: Notice that you are all for all, always.

We’ve arrived at the final task in our newsletter series based on my new book, Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening. The Seventh Task in becoming your wild self is the ultimate act of spiritual surrender, in which you completely release your identification with what I call your “meat self”, that sense of individuality and “me-ness” that has defined you throughout your life.

So, why not do that now? Take a deep breath, and just let go of your ego forever. Take a few moments, if you need them. I’ll wait.

Obviously I’m kidding, though kudos to any of you who just achieved spontaneous enlightenment through the sheer power of suggestion. The Seventh Task represents the end of all suffering, which makes it the Big Banana, spiritually speaking. It’s what generations of mystics and yogis dedicated their lives to seeking, and very few were ever successful. So it’s fairly safe to say that you and I are unlikely to spontaneously achieve the Seventh Task in the checkout line at Whole Foods, no matter how raw and organic our groceries.

If you’re using the first six Tasks consistently, Task Seven will take place when you add in stillness, in the form of some kind of meditative practice. You might even find that your meta-self begins moving into stillness spontaneously. The magnetic tug you felt when you first let your body be moved in Task Three, the deep fascination of Task Six, might all steer you in the direction of some sort of meditation. Give in to the desire to be still, even if it hits you in that self-same Whole Foods checkout line. We all know the staff there have seen weirder things than a spiritual seeker clambering atop the avocado display to assume the lotus position.

Give in to stillness; more importantly, open into it.

If you can do this for long enough, I’m telling you, you’re going to experience something more miraculous and bewildering than anything you’ve encountered on this path so far. You keep opening and opening into the stillness, and at some point, something very… unusual happens. And by unusual, I mean by standards that would have even veteran Whole Foods employees shaking their head in disbelief. But bear with me. Do this for long enough and a moment will come in which you will experience the universe opening its eyes as you. If you continue to expand, the scope of the intelligence that’s looking out through your eyes grows incredibly, impossibly, magically vast.

And then one day you just might find yourself looking at the world with a new understanding: I made this. Not your individual identity, but the entirety, the consciousness that existed prior to energy and matter; the creator whose name is Stillness and out of which all things come. And you know for a fact that if a miracle were needed, you could perform one. There is no doubt, no self-aggrandizement, no ego—there’s no you. There’s no self left at all.

The spirit that wants to heal the earth for us—not for itself, but for us—is abroad in the human race right now. It’s in you and in me with the intention to show us that “you” and “me” are an illusion. There is only “all”—all for all, always. When we wake up to that, we will save the world.

And that, my darlings, is about as wild as it gets. Wouldn’t you agree?

You can find the links to all seven tasks below:

Task One: Calm All Fear

Task Two: Don’t Swallow Poison

Task Three: Let Yourself Be Moved

Task Four: Demolish Your Definition of Self

Task Five: Tell the Truth

Task Six: Let Your Meta-Self Flow Through You

Task Seven: Notice that You Are All for All, Always.

4 replies
  1. Bob Wise
    Bob Wise says:

    Martha, your book "Finding Your Way in a Wild New World…" was recommended to me by my life coach … As I was working on presence using walking meditation.
    A few months later … when I am in wide angle vision and focused on the spot between my eyes the Pine Squirrels do listen when I ask them to stop barking at me … Suggesting that since I mean them no harm they need not put themselves at risk. … A few soft "Shhhhhhh's" often work best.
    A few more months later … A wild goose listened and let me walk right by.
    Recently … When as close as I can currently move towards stillness, I experience the sounds around me in a gently different way .. Not classifying or locating … Just noticing.
    It's feels very pleasant, and has a certain sense of stillness to it.
    Yesterday … while in that space the thought popped up, "Can I talk to my body the same way I do the Squirrels and that goose?"
    Now playing with that one!

  2. Susan Nash
    Susan Nash says:

    Having joined in this discussion on task 7, I'm guessing I'm doing it right starting near the end and working backwards! What is expressed feels right, and tell Shirley, please, in case she's never experienced you.

  3. Naina
    Naina says:

    I heard your talk on finding your wild self hosted on Deepak Chopra's centre for meditation a couple days ago and it definitely rang some bells…This popped up today when I was 'idly' browsing the internet; a Rumi quote: "Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." LOVE it when this kind of thing happens 🙂

  4. Evelyn
    Evelyn says:

    I'm sorry if this is a misuse of the commentary section but there is no space to give a general heart-felt testimonial and I'm just dying to give mine. I so love you dear Martha Beck, for the almost implausibly simple and yet effective tools and pieces of wisdom that you've shared with me for many years, ever since I was in college, in your O column and your books. Yet I am such a slow student! Lots of what you've said sinks in sometimes only after years of soaking it in and accepting it intellectually. For example, the rumble strip and the inner compass. How true they are!

    I recently got my compass back after seemingly endless months in the wildnerness (and not the good kind of wilderness, Martha!). The technical term for us Beck readers would be the rumble stripm or what happens when you ditch the compass like when (SPOILER ALERT!), Diana returns to Roy and all hell breaks loose, first slowly then to JUST CRAZY LEVELS. I just realized what that compass is in me. What it's always been. I infact used it to get to my current life situation, and then, like her, unknowingly dumped it having unconsciously decided that this was it for me, my final destination. Benevolently, I was not allowed to keep this belief because I immediately got onto a rough wild patch that I now see clearly was just off-course, the rumble strip.

    It is not the external difficulties per se that finally woke me up, so much as the SCREAMING(!) aching sorrow right in my chest that it made impossible to ignore. It was so unbearable that it gave me the courage to just up and implement your advice on the cooler/warmer game. I would call this my stabies, which unlike Diana's, aren't so much a punch-in-the-gut feeling as a screaming wound left from a dagger to the heart. It was so damn painful I literally couldn't take it any more. Now, I lost my dad recently and after returning from the burial and mourning with family, this SCREAM seemed to have been amplified by the loss several degrees! I guess the loss of a loved one makes whatever it is that covers the inner pain thinner? Thank God I had read Diana when it came out because many of the ideas were still swirling around in my mind. My unbearable pain got me to the point where I was willing to do almost anything. So I started the warmer/cooler game where I literally FLEE what I notice leaves me in this pain and happily pursue what I notice leaves me with the opposite no matter what it is. I just don't care any more, What I want is to be happy and at peace: And what is this opposite? In place of a gaping, painful, grasping, screaming pain, a FILLING, RELAXING, EMPOWERING JOY!!! I'm so happy!!!

    I have done that literally 2 weeks only and already my chief conundrum has resolved itself in the form of a clear, simple knowing what to do. A clear path has emerged from the blackness of the thick dense forest that I had seen in imagery as an obstacle before me. The stuckness, the fear, constant anxiety that comes with my uncertainty gone (This was the awful kind of not-knowing that comes from fear and being parallyzed by a thousand options and all sorts of external pulls; NOT the happy exciting eager but fuzzy anticipation of whatever goodness life has to offer). Quite simply, I'm relaxed and KNOW what to do now (not in the future just for this current place where I'm at) and not just that but that it will all be OK too. How about that? Perhaps my father's prayers are now helping me too?

    Just had to share that. Was bursting with joy and relief. Keep writing, keep talking, keep getting wilder, Martha, just go crazy! I love and appreciate you for it.

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