Any of us can spontaneously experience that transcendent state of being referred to as ‘enlightenment’. It can occur at any time and initiated in a variety of different ways but for Chris Grosso it occurred one day whilst he was out on his daily jog.
In his book ‘Everything Mind’ he recalls that as he continued running
…a euphoric, almost overwhelming feeling of rapture engulfed what I can only describe as my entire essence of being.
Whilst in that suspended state of consciousness he experienced what he refers to as
…the unabridged totality of life.
For Grosso, the fact that he was even alive and able to experience his enlightening event was something of a mystery in of itself.
As he explains in ‘Everything Mind’ – as well as in his earlier book Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality, his life of drug abuse from the age of fifteen to thirty-three, led him into an endless succession of jails, rehab centers, emergency rooms and psychiatric hospitals.
It seems that something, throughout all of this personal turmoil was intent upon keeping Chris alive and in one piece.
Chris openly admits that now clean and with his life back on track he feels
…blessed to be part of the miracle of recovery.
Story of Redemption
‘Everything Mind’ is the personal story of Chris’s unique take on the world of spirituality and the benefits that engaging with the deeper recesses of his being have brought in aiding his rehabilitation process.
He strives not to equate himself with his previous, self-destructive patterns of behaviour as an emotional reference point but readily accepts the part that it played in his life.
Today, his personal philosophy centers more around living in the moment than by identifying himself with any of the wide-ranging personas that he was exploring at earlier stages in his life.
Looking back, though, he recognizes the personal pain that, throughout those difficult years, he was trying to avoid.
Today, for those caught up in a similar set of circumstances, he advocates such practices as meditation and breath awareness as helpful techniques for relieving stress, worry and fear.
Another key element to the author’s approach to self-development is that of shadow work or of integrating the hidden parts of our selves. For Grosso this work has led him into a deeper sense of compassion for others – though in his book he does address other people’s opinion regrading his somewhat striking appearance.
Service to the World
Spiritualty becomes little more than emotional crutch in the lives of those who fail to understand that being of service to one’s fellow man is the only way in which awakening to the human experience can have any validity.
As the author observes,
When we are of service to others … and doing so in the spirit of selflessness, we’re taking ourselves out if the equation and, instead, merging with God’s nature in all beings and things.
At the closing of his book Grosso reflects upon the path that he has taken, the journey he so unwittingly embarked upon earlier in his life and observes that
Everything in life is part of the spiritual path – part of Everything Mind – and when we live in this awareness we’re bringing spirituality into everything we do.
Everything Mind is a book that will excite, entertain and inform a current generation of dispossessed and disillusioned individuals for whom no authentic process appears to be in place to either address or resolve their inner pain.
Sadly, and all too often, the course that so many take in trying to reduce the ravages of personal turmoil, is the same as the one taken by Grosso. These lead not only onto a path of personal self-destruction but is one that also invariably wrecks the lives of those around them.
Grosso, to his credit is wholly accepting of the carnage that he induced throughout his years of darkness and he has used them, in this book, as indicators to others of the need to integrate those aspects of their own lives they are not fully in touch with.
The thread that Grosso weaves throughout this book is that through the transcendent philosophies of Eastern spiritual philosophy, such as Buddhism, he discovered a path that helped him out of the morass.
The spiritual practices that he includes within his book, the references to spiritual wisdom and the focus of his life philosophy all draw from this same pool of influence.
Some would question whether this thread of personal is so much different from that of substance dependency. If you are one of those people quietly expressing those qualms then be advised that this may not be the book for you.
As a commentary on spirituality, its benefits, downfalls, dangers and flavors ‘Everything Mind’ is a book that can be thoroughly appreciated for its clarity of vision and general observance of the human condition.