Tuesday, January 31, 2006

You don't need to change anything

Q: I have the feeling that I’m slowly beginning to wake up, more or less.

Karl Renz: Since in this eternal Now there’s only the experience of the pure Self, there’s absolutely no sense of “more” or “less”. There’s no “closer” to it, “more advanced”, “less advanced”, or everything else. Nobody’s enlightened or unenlightened; in fact, any idea of awakening disappears. There are no sleeping or awakened ones anymore, no more hocus-pocus of trying to get anywhere and have special experiences, or any other such nonsense.

Where I am, nobody can be. No one’s awakened and no one’s sleeping because that which exists has never slept and therefore never can awaken. Every personal awakening is a joke, a fart in the wind. A person can never wake up because the Self is always awake.

Q: You say it’s nonsense if someone says he’s realized or enlightened.

KR: The only thing one can say is that there’s no personal story anymore. One’s history, which seemed so real before, drops away. A person can never say, “Now I’m enlightened.”

Whatever happens in time can’t make you into what you already are. The Self becoming aware of “it-Self” doesn’t depend on the person. It occurs spontaneously, not because of some event in time.

Q: Is there still a person then?

KR: Yes. For example, Ramana said, ”As awareness, I am absolute awareness; as consciousness, I am absolute consciousness, and as man, I am absolute man.“ Jesus said the same thing: ”I and my Father are one.“ When relativity is present, the Self is lost. That which lives the human being is this same ever-present existence.

Q: And am I an aspect of that?

KR: An aspect is fleeting. Check whether you’re something fleeting or something that is. An aspect is just an angle on something, only a passing reflection of what you are. You’re the absolute manifesting itself as a human being, as the moon, the sun, and all the universe. You’re reality itself. Whether you realize yourself as a human being, a stone, or a tree, you’re the truth, the reality.

Q: Then I don’t need to strive for enlightenment.

KR: To ”strive for enlightenment“ means that an object thinks it can do something to bring about an absolute existence. The object thinks it needs to change something, so the absolute state may come into being. In this way, what’s perfect can become a bit more perfect! But when Ramana says, ”Be what you are,“ it simply means, ”Be this absolute existence, be that which you can’t not be,“ and let the details follow their own destinies.

Q: But apparently you can work toward this moment when you can ”be what you are.“

KR: Yes. Nisargadatta Maharaj said, ”There were times in which I existed and therefore populated the world. Those were times in which I and human beings still existed. But since this one here exists no more, no population exists either. Since then, the world is empty.“ Thus, there were times in which he lived in the illusion that he existed as a separate being among other separate beings. He believed it, and although it may have been a dream, it appeared real to him.

After all, when you perceive an idea, it seems true. Only when you find out that it’s false does the illusion burst. In this moment of clarity, there never was a ”before“ or ”after“. To be where you are, you don’t need time.

Q: How does this help my daily life?

KR: You simple see that there never was anyone who could change anything. When you see that your ordinary Self is perfection itself, you realize that this ordinariness is no more ordinary than the eternal NOW, which never comes and goes. Just look inside yourself for the vision of God. In Meister Eckhart’s words, ”The eye by which I see God is the same eye by which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye are one and the same - one in seeing, one in knowing, and one in loving.“

Q: Well, that’s Meister Eckhart. I haven’t had this realization.

KR: You never had anything and never will have anything. But in the moment of this realization, you see that this is how it’s always been. Then there’s no more ”before“ or ”after.“ And it’s effortless! Nothing needs to be done, nothing needs to change, nothing has to go, and nothing has to come. In fact, nothing needs to be understood.

Q: Then I’m relieved.

KR: Me, too!

Karl Renz, ”The Myth of Enlightenment: Seeing Through the Illusion of Separation"

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Lack in relationships

Money is such an important reality-symbol in the modern world, and most of us really do get hung up with it to some extent. And yet, there’s nothing bad in itself about money. The problem with money has to do with our motivations for seeking it and the ways we use it. In the process of getting money, some people can realize that money isn’t going to resolve their sense of lack, and some of them start to look at money in a new way. They can use it to change the world in a good way. It’s not money itself, as the Bible says, it’s our love of it. It’s the way we crave it and use it.

In the case of romantic love or sexual fulfillment, the same point can be made. There’s nothing wrong with romantic love or sexuality in itself. Again, it’s the way that they get distorted when our lack gets projected into them. Romantic love becomes a problem when we expect our relationship with another person to solve our sense of lack. That places enormous burdens on the relationship, burdens that relationships usually can’t endure because the other person can’t do that for us. The other person cannot be our God. Nevertheless, for many of us it is relationships with other people that open up our hearts to the world. A relationship can open you up to a kind of love that becomes much more than one’s own desire, which is what touches me so deeply about Etty Hillesum. Those who get involved in relationships can realize that sex or the other expectations they have of the relationship aren’t getting them what they want. A common response to that is breaking up: obviously, this isn’t the right person for me; time to find someone else who will fill up my sense of lack. When that person doesn’t work out, we keep looking for someone new, trying to recover that romantic glow. But there’s another possibility: transforming our way of understanding the relationship, so it becomes an opening to something deeper, to seeing through to the other side of our sense of lack, to realizing that there’s something more profound and more creative going on there.

David Loy
Lack and Liberation in Self and Society

Dukkha is lack

Tom McFarlane: Let’s move on now to this notion of lack that’s central to so much of your work. Perhaps you could start by giving us a definition of lack, and tell us how you came up with this concept.

Because it lacks any reality of its own, any stable ground, this sense of self is haunted by what I’ve called a sense of lack or, for short, lack.

David Loy: The easiest way to understand lack is to think of it as the “shadow” of the sense of self. The Buddhist teaching of anatta, or non-self, implies that our sense of self is a construct, an ever-changing process, which doesn’t have any reality of its own. Because it lacks any reality of its own, any stable ground, this sense of self is haunted by what I’ve called a sense of lack or, for short, lack. The origin of this sense of lack is our inability to open up to the emptiness, or ungroundedness, of the self. Insofar as we’re unable to cope with that emptiness, insofar as we deny it and shy away from it, we experience it as a sense of lack.

TM: What came to my mind when I first came across your term lack is the use of the word lack in the context of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, which teaches that all things lack inherent existence. It made me wonder if perhaps we could say, more generally, that this lack of an inherent existence—or emptiness—is the shadow of the idea that there is an inherent existence of things.

DL: Everything is empty of own-being, or self-being. But the most problematical emptiness and lack for us has to do with our own sense of self.

This concept of lack is a helpful way for us to understand the Buddhist concept of dukkha. Although dukkha is often translated into English as suffering, when you look at the Buddhist texts, obviously dukkha is a much broader term that includes more general dissatisfaction, a basic frustration in our lives that we are never quite able to resolve. And this broader meaning of dukkha includes a basic dissatisfaction connected to the conditioned nature of the self. One of the distinctive things about Buddhism is that it brings out so clearly this connection between dukkha and anatta, between our basic dissatisfaction and our deluded sense of self. The concept of lack is an attempt to flesh out what I think is so distinctive and powerful about the Buddhist analysis.

The basic concept of lack came to me from reading Ernest Becker. He’s obviously a major influence in Lack and Transcendence (which remains my favorite book despite the ugly cover and tiny font). In his last two books, Denial of Death and Escape from Evil, Becker focuses on how the inevitability of our death is denied and repressed, and it’s not such a big leap from Becker’s death-denial to a Buddhist lack of self. One significant difference is that focusing on death projects the source of our problem into our future, while in the case of Buddhism the source of the problem—the emptiness of the self—is right now.

TM: So, from the psychological or existential point of view, we’re worried about the future death of some self we think exists, but from the Buddhist point of view it’s actually deeper than that: we’re really worried about the fact that, right now, we don’t exist in the first place.

Buddhism is saying that our dukkha isn’t just due to impermanence and death, our dukkha is pointing at something fundamental about the groundlessness of the sense of self right now.

DL: That’s right. If the problem is death, we might think we’re really okay right now, and it’s only what’s going to happen in the future that’s so scary. Buddhism is saying that our dukkha isn’t just due to impermanence and death, our dukkha is pointing at something fundamental about the groundlessness of the sense of self right now. There’s a tendency in psychotherapy to say that our problem is due to childhood conditioning, so we just need to uncover and work through our memories of that. In Buddhism, on the other hand, the problem isn’t just with our particular conditioning, the problem is with all conditioning, with the nature of the sense of self. So, I think that Buddhism has a deeper understanding of the problem of dukkha and also a deeper understanding of tfhe alternatives. Freud thought that all we could ultimately hope for is to get rid of certain types of neurotic suffering. The message of Buddhism is that something more is possible. There are deeper, more transformative human possibilities. Yet the whole psychotherapeutic movement is changing so quickly, and today certain circles are moving strongly in a more spiritual direction.

TM: In Lack and Transcendence you discuss some ways our lack relates to psychological repression and compensation. How do these psychological concepts help us understand lack and the ways we try to avoid it?

If we repress awareness of our ungroundedness, then it will return as the various compulsive ways that we try to ground ourselves in the world, to make ourselves feel more real in the world. This is a general preoccupation for almost all of us.

DL: Well, the basic concept of repression is an extremely important one that I think we’re still digesting. Anything that we repress is something that we’re unwilling or unable to cope with, so we turn our attention away from it. But if it’s something really pressing—like sexuality for Freud, or death for Becker, or non-self for Buddhism—then it’s not so easy for us to escape it. It’s going to find a way to return to awareness, which is what Freud called the return of the repressed. If we are not able to accept and acknowledge and live with the experience of our own emptiness, if we repress awareness of our ungroundedness, then it will return as the various compulsive ways that we try to ground ourselves in the world, to make ourselves feel more real in the world. This is a general preoccupation for almost all of us, but the particular form that it takes depends upon the kind of person you are and the kind of cultural context that you find yourself within. So, in the modern American context, accumulating money is probably our main, number one reality project. Collectively, we seem to believe that more money will make us more real. But there are also other basic reality projects, especially fame and sexual fulfillment. These are three of the common ways we try to overcome our sense of lack and ground ourselves in the world. Those are quite different than, say, how a medieval peasant in Europe would have understood and tried to overcome his or her sense of lack. If you look at the whole history of human civilization, lack has usually been understood in a religious way. Religion is the way that humans have tried to understand and resolve their sense of lack. A religion teaches us what our lack is—for example, Christian sin or Buddhist karma—and how to resolve it.

TM: I wonder if you have any thoughts on the origin of our sense of lack. You said it was the shadow of the self and that it’s related to this denial of our ungroundedness. But why do we have this problem with accepting our ungroundedness?

If we can open up to that ungroundedness at our core, if we can let go and yield to it, then we find that it’s the source of our creativity and our spirituality.

DL: Our sense of lack is a problem, but it’s also an opportunity. Lack is only the negative aspect of something that’s much greater—something that’s, in fact, salvific. It’s our ungroundedness—a kind of bottomless hole at the very core of our being—that we usually experience as lack. Because we’re so uncomfortable with or even terrified of this ungroundedness, we experience it as a sense of lack that we flee from. But if we can open up to that ungroundedness at our core, if we can let go and yield to it, then we find that it’s the source of our creativity and our spirituality, that at the very core of our being there’s something else there, something formless that can not be grasped, something that transcends the self and yet is the ground of the self. As the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart expressed it, “God is closer to me than I am to myself.” That’s a wonderful way to put it. So, the question is, what can we do to open up to our ungroundedness, in order for that to manifest in me and as me, and thus in the world.

TM: In A Buddhist History of the West you point out that lack is not just personal but is also collective, and you discuss how certain developments in the history of the West can be seen as shifts in how we understand and deal with our collective lack. How do you think this perspective on Western history may be helpful?

DL: It helps us to understand the particular kinds of ways that we are stuck today. There is a Zen phrase, “bound by ropes of our own making,” which means, trapped by our own ways of thinking. Our dukkha isn’t just something individual. Dukkha is also collective, culturally conditioned suffering, which has a lot to do with our cultural institutions. If there’s such a thing as collective dukkha, then there’s such a thing as collective lack, and collective understanding of that lack. Buddhism emphasizes delusion, and there’s also collective delusion—for example, myths about what America is and what it means to be American.

Our dukkha isn’t just something individual. Dukkha is also collective, culturally conditioned suffering.
An important point about lack is that it’s unavoidable. It’s the nature of lack that you’re going to have to deal with it one way or the other. Historically, people have usually dealt with lack in religious terms, referring to some other reality. But if you doubt any spiritual reality, if you are a secular person living in what you understand as a secular world, then you’re going to have to objectify and cope with your lack right here and now, which is why consumerism is so addictive. The promise of consumerism is that something you buy or consume is going to fill up your sense of lack. But it’s also the nature of consumerism that nothing ever can. Consumerism never makes you happy. Yet, it’s always promising to make you happy. It’s always the next thing that’s going to make you happy. That’s one example of a collective bind that we’ve gotten ourselves into.

Lack can also help us understand war and our response to terrorism since September 11th. Psychologically, war, despite all its horrors, is a comforting, familiar way for us to project our collective sense of lack onto somebody else. So, for example, we might come to believe al-Qaida is the cause of our lack, they are our problem, because, hey, they are trying to kill us! This involves a lot of anxiety, obviously, but we also feel a sense of relief that we can now understand what the problem with our lives is and how to deal with it. To keep lack from gnawing at our core, we objectify it: the problem is those terrorists over there, and if we eliminate them, we eliminate our sense of lack, and then we will be okay. Part of the tragedy with that projection, of course, is that it’s a false promise, just as with consumerism. If you kill those guys, you don’t solve the basic problem. There’s always going to be some other enemy, somebody else who starts to threaten us, because, insofar as we’re thinking in that way, we have to keep finding or creating new enemies, just like we have to keep finding new things to consume. Conveniently, one of the very dangerous things about the war on terror is that we don’t know if or when there will ever be an end to it. The evil guys can be anywhere and they’re a constant threat. That is very unsettling, and it encourages us to let go of some of our commitment to human rights and democracy because, after all, the terrorists might be within the United States as well. This distorted way of understanding our collective lack encourages us to acquiesce to the need for a national security state. But if terrorism can never be defeated, we’ll keep needing a stronger and stronger national security state.

People are becoming more aware that these accepted ways of overcoming our sense of lack are not really working. Quite a few people now are starting to see through this, so there’s a split. It’s a rather exciting time, as well as a very dangerous time, in American history. There’s something struggling to be born.

Many people are committed to these ways of overcoming our sense of lack. They identify with such distorted objectifications of our lack, with such familiar, even traditional understandings of what’s wrong and what we should do and how we should live to overcome lack. At the same time, many other people are becoming more aware that these accepted ways of overcoming our sense of lack—the emphasis on money, the emphasis on success, the emphasis on collective economic growth, the emphasis on violent solutions to conflicts and threats—are not really working. Quite a few people now are starting to see through this, so there’s a split. It’s a rather exciting time, as well as a very dangerous time, in American history. There’s something struggling to be born.

Liberation in Self and Society

Non-dual action

I have argued that the nondualist denial of self (as in Buddhism) is equivalent to asserting that there is only the Self (as in Vedānta). We would normally infer that the former implies complete determinism, the latter absolute freedom. However, if the universe is a whole (Brahman, Tao, Vijñaptimātra, and so forth) and if, as Hua Yen Buddhism develops in its image of Indra's Net, each particular is not isolated but contains and manifests that whole, then whenever "I" act it is not "I" but the whole universe that "does" the action or rather is the action. If we accept that the universe is self-caused, then it acts freely whenever anything is done. Thus, from the nondualist perspective, complete determinism turns out to be equivalent to absolute freedom.

David Loy

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Advaita and social action

suebrd wrote [on NonDualNetwork@yahoogroups.com]:

Hi Paul,

In a 'student' of Advaita, there sometimes arises a sense of apathy, futility, powerlessness. Reasoning being "well, if it's all just illusion anyway, why should I bother?..." One could say depression arises and now a logical reason has been assigned to it. That is the 'hazard' of using the illusion or dream model, which is still a concept. These are languaging problems. Language is constructed on a dualistic mindset.

What Leo Hartong is getting at [below], is when this radical shift in perception happens (awakening), non-attachment is a natural by-product of that shift. And it is not some futile, uncaring, state of being, as a spiritual seeker imagines that to be. Quite the opposite, it is amazement and wonder at the true nature of how it all flows.

What is lost is the overlay of the ego's psychological constructs--'shoulds and should-nots'. Both your own, as a body mind, and the other guys--as the 'bad' guys or the 'good guys'. Thus, 'best' to clean up your own back yard first, so to speak. Discover your true nature, the nature of what Is. And that is found in stillness, prior to the thoughts of the mind, prior to concepts. As more and more humans--characters in the dance of life wake up a natural harmony and caring would then ensue. That is the awakening--it is not a personal gain. There is no personal 'you' left to fight over territoriality or amass fortunes, or whatever....


From ATTD News Letter Number 72 * Sunday, January 22, 2006

Question: I have major issues with world hunger, mistreatment of people, child abuse, etc. Yet I've been in the presence of people who proclaim it's all an illusion.

If it is an illusion, does that mean that those people are not being harmed, are not hungry or hurting? I tend to take action where I can to make their lives better (even in typing that I realize it sounds like I'm making myself God) and yet I've long believed that "God" does not directly do everything, but gives people the opportunity to rise in His stead and make the world a safer more loving place. And I don't see that changing anytime soon. Rather I find those people who don't get involved as pious and heartless in their safe little minds and do not understand how they can use ACIM etc., as their platform.

Can you address the dichotomy of these two views?

Answer: The two views are not necessarily mutually exclusive, nor does asserting that the world of appearances is an illusion deny the presence of suffering; on the contrary, the belief in its reality is often cited as a major contributor to the appearance of suffering.

There are endless occurrences, including, dancing, thinking, feeling and suffering. There is going to the dentist, doing the shopping, reading books and having opinions. Non-duality has very little to say about all this various happenings, but invites the apparent person to investigate to who or what all this appears.

Non-duality draws attention to the page under the words, to the screen behind the movie and to the Consciousness in which all dancing and suffering appears. It does not argue with any opinion or belief one holds, but investigates the 'I' that is assumed to hold those beliefs and opinions.

When this is looked into, the peace beyond the agitation and the clarity beyond belief may be re-cognized as the true nature of each and all, even of those that seem to suffer a great deal.

This insight does not interfere with natural arising compassion, nor does it solve the perceived problems of the world. It may, however, put it all in its proper perspective. And, even though this perceptiveness is not a 'doing' in the usual sense of the word, it may somehow turn out to be the kindest thing One can 'do' for this good old world of ours.

These are the thoughts

...that go through my head
in my backyard on a Sunday afternoon
when I have the house to myself
and i'm not expending all that energy
on fighting with my boyfriend

is he the one that I will marry?
why is it so hard to be
objective about myself?
why do I feel cellularly alone?
am I supposed to live in this crazy city?
can blindly continued fear-induced
regurgitated life-denying tradition be overcome?

where does the money go
that I send to those in need?
if we have so much
why do some people have nothing still?
why do I feel frantic
when I first wake up in the morning?
why do you say you are spiritual
yet you treat people like shit?

how can you say you're close to god
and yet you talk behind my back
as though I am not a part of you?
why do I say I'm fine
when it's obvious I'm not?
why's it so hard to tell you what I want?
why can't you just read my mind?

why do I fear that the quieter I am
the less you will listen?
why do I care whether you like me or not?
why is it so hard for me to be angry?
why is it such work to stay conscious
and so easy to get stuck
and not the other way around?

will I ever move back to canada?
can I be with a lover with
whom I am a student and a master?
why am I encouraged to shut my mouth
when it gets too close to home?
why cannot I live in the moment?

Alanis Morisette

Spiritual teachers

The tendency to talk about spritual teachers, whether they are realized or not, which teaching is clearer and so on, is a complete diversion from the core understanding. It is a habit that simply diverts one away from the immediate and direct recognition of what is clear and available right in this moment. There is no teacher outside and independent of us who 'has the understanding', 'has awakened', 'is enlightened' or what have you. This kind of assumption leads to mistaken beliefs that just cloud the simplicity of what is being pointed to. There are a couple of problems with this way of thinking.

First, the idea that teacher 'so-and-so' is realized has the implicit assumption for most of us that 'therefore, I am not'. Thus the belief in separation from our own presence is subtly strengthened. Second, talking about teachers who have it (or not) reinforces a belief that what is being pointed to is outside of ourselves -- again emphasizing a sense of separation. Third, the teachers being discussed are usually not in our immediate environment and we are simply spinning in conceptual thought about people who are figments of imagination at that moment.

Even if there were such a thing as an enlightened teacher, if you approached them, the most you would find is a physical form composed of matter, chemicals and cells -- which are just transient appearances in awareness. So the whole notion of beings who are awake or have the understanding is a complete fiction when looked at head on. What is happening in this kind of thinking is that the attention is simply wandering in imagination and concepts. And the belief that reality is not present and that we exist as separate beings apart from it goes on without being exposed. Yet we can easily slip into statements such as, 'So-and-so has the understanding', 'Teacher X is realized, but teacher Y is not' and so on. Utter bullshit!

So what is this all about? What is being pointed to? It is the very fact of present awareness, which is completely clear and fully accessible right now. It is illuminating every thought, feeling, and experience. That is the one and only reality to be understood or recognized. No teacher has this. It stands on its own, completely free of any particular people or their experiences. At best, a teacher is merely a signpost that can point back to what is real and present within you. There is no enlightened signpost. There is only the fact of being-awareness itself. As soon as we begin to talk about others who have it or not, we overlook the fact that it is fully present and shining as our own real nature here and now.

John Greven, Shining in Plain View
via http://charliehayes.blogspot.com

Right where it belongs

See the animal in his cage that you built,
Are you sure what side you're on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye,
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
See the safety of the life you have built,
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside your heart,
And it's all...right where it belongs

What if everything around you,
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
If you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks,
Would you find yourself...find yourself afraid to see?

What if all the world's inside of your head?
Just creations of your own
The devils and your gods all the living and the dead
And you're really all alone
Well you can live in this illusion,
You can choose to believe.
You keep on looking but you can't find the woods,
While you're hiding in the trees

What if everything around you,
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you used to know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks,
Would you find yourself...find yourself afraid to see?

Nine Inch Nails
from 'With Teeth'

Friday, January 27, 2006

No basis for suffering

[Charlie Hayes]: Sureshwara, appointed Shankaracharya of the South by Adi Shankara, noted, "If you believe suffering to be inevitable you are welcome to keep it!"

I would add "If you or I believe in a "Me" for which that suffering is inevitable, we are welcome to keep it."

[John Wheeler]: With the dismantling of the concept of "I" comes the complete resolution of psychological doubts and suffering. If there is no "I", there is no separation and no basis for suffering.



Hi Yumi,

Sharing some thoughts that this thread has stirred up, for what they're worth...

If all of creation is ENERGY, then ENERGY can't be used by anything separate from It. It can only express Itself...not for any dualistic 'positive' or 'negative' effect, but simply because that's the way It is.

To 'be careful' implies choice, but who is there to be careful if all is ENERGY? Does ENERGY need to be careful about the way it uses ENERGY? Is there a 'Yumi', 'Triaka' or 'Paul' that's separate from ENERGY?

Can 'Yumi' really make choices, or is everything that these bodyminds do the inevitable consequence of ENERGY acting through the sum total of our accumulated conditioning, experience and characteristics?

What if, contrary to consensus opinion, we don't have choice or free will?

What if those responsible for 911 had no choice? Wasn't the act of flying into the twin towers simply an inevitable consequence of who those men had become, of what they'd experienced in their lives, of the injustices they'd suffered, of what they were vulnerable to, of how they'd been programmed, of their belief in separation, and the
narrowing down of their options to just one final action?

Did any of us really have a choice in our reaction to 911...whether we were motivated to set up GPC, or to celebrate in the streets, or to invade Afghanistan and Iraq?

Did Bush and Blair have a choice in going to war, or were they too simply responding to their total conditioning?

Was there really a choice involved in starting GPC, Yumi? Perhaps the question arose, "Shall I do this or something else?" But at the end of the questioning, was there a choice? Aren't we at a crossroads in every moment of our lives, being pushed forward by all that we are? Is it choice that sends us down one path instead of another, or does the sum total of who we are make the outcome of the questioning inevitable?

Isn't it more accurate to say that this totality of the bodymind's experience informs and decides every reaction to stimuli that we ever make, from cradle to grave, including the decision to commit an act of terrorism?

How would we see world events and personal dramas if we fully accepted that each of us is always doing the best we can? If you follow through the logic of that statement...if *everyone* is *always* making the best apparent choices and decisions that they're capable of...doesn't the concept of choice become redundant?

What if the accepted concensus belief flipped from "we are responsible for our actions" to "we have no choice in our actions?" What implications might this have for the way that we look at the world?

If we continue to see life through the dualistic filters which give us 'good' and 'bad', 'right' and 'wrong', 'peace' and 'war' etc...we remain locked in a closed loop or matrix from which there's no escape.

If, instead, we can see through the illusion, drop the false belief in separation, recognise our true relationship to each other and everything as ENERGY / Oneness / Consciousness / God, and can be Who we really are instead of the bit part actors we're programmed to become, how would this change of perception affect the world?

If this questioning just adds another conceptual layer to the mind's accumulation of ideas and beliefs, it has no value. The inquiry has to be sustained until it's felt on the level of direct experience and transforms our understanding of who we are.

All of our lives contain multiple stories of separation. Perhaps a deep re-framing of any one of them in a non-dualistic light might just crack the illusion and open a doorway to freedom from suffering.

Because its very existence is threatened, the mind / ego is likely to either fundamentally disagree with and reject the idea that we have no choice or free will, or find a way to adapt the concept for its own purposes in order to ensure its survival. But if the resistance is sat with and felt into, can a deeper underlying truth be intuited?

Just wondering :-)


'Paul' / ENERGY

On 25 Jan 2006, at 07:56, Yumi Kikikuchi wrote:
> Yes, Triaka,
> What you wrote here is sooo true.
> So we should be really careful what we put out there in writing and
> also in our thought.
> Thanks for your reminder.
> love and peace will prevail,
> Yumi

> On Jan 25, 2006, at 5:05 AM, Triaka wrote:
>> Aloha!
>> I believe the most important thing human beings can learn about
>> themselves is...
>> 1. All of creation is ENERGY in one form or another, including
>> yourself;
>> 2. Your every thought, word, and action uses ENERGY for positive or
>> negative effect, not only on yourself, but all of creation.
>> Be careful how you use ENERGY!
>> Goodwill to you,
>> Triaka

Monday, January 23, 2006

This is certain

What is not meant to happen will not happen, however much you wish it.

What is meant to happen will happen, no matter what you do to prevent it.

This is certain.

Ramana Maharshi

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Can I rely on my experience?

Most of us are satisfied with authority because it gives us a continuity, a certainty, a sense of being protected. But a man who would understand the implications of this deep psychological revolution must be free of authority, must he not? He cannot look to any authority, whether of his own creation or imposed upon him by another. And is this possible? Is it possible for me not to rely on the authority of my own experience? Even when I have rejected all the outward expressions of authority - —books, teachers, priests, churches, beliefs— - I still have the feeling that at least I can rely on my own judgment, on my own experiences, on my own analysis. But can I rely on my experience, on my judgment, on my analysis? My experience is the result of my conditioning, just as yours is the result of your conditioning, is it not? I may have been brought up as a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu, and my experience will depend on my cultural, economic, social, and religious background, just as yours will. And can I rely on that? Can I rely for guidance, for hope, for the vision which will give me faith in my own judgment, which again is the result of accumulated memories, experiences, the conditioning of the past meeting the present?

Now, when I have put all these questions to myself and I am aware of this problem, I see there can only be one state in which reality, newness, can come into being, which brings about a revolution. That state is when the mind is completely empty of the past, when there is no analyzer, no experience, no judgment, no authority of any kind.

J. Krishnamurti
The Book of Life
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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Beyond concepts

What Advaita points to is for the most part true. The right words are said because it is a pretty straight forward and simple to follow concept. Of course, it is trying to bring people beyond concepts altogether to a direct seeing into what is really taking place, to the core of our being. If it really did bring people to see reality then that would be wonderful. However, there is a problem in the teachings where a person, even the teachers of Advaita, turn the teaching itself into a concept. Then thinking they 'understand' the concept, think they know the truth. One cannot understand the truth behind these teachings without a direct awakening on their part. People can get high from the ideas/concepts/beliefs taught in Advaita, just as one can get high from any belief system, and then try to live by these beliefs... If you believe the concepts of Advaita to be true and you haven't gone beyond those concepts, you are as lost as you were before you ever heard of Advaita.

Melvyn Wartella
Advaita, Concepts & Responsibility

The fact of life

Far too often when people try to understand what it means to be enlightened they bring into their minds all sorts of "Spiritual" notions. These can be very distorting and mislead them into more concepts they will have to give up to really understand. It is far better to not think anything is spiritual. Just watch and see the facts. What one comes to when we awaken can seem very spiritual. However, on deeper understanding we see this is just the fact of life. We are living beings on a wonderful planet. We have been dreaming we were something we never could be and distorting all we perceive. This has caused great suffering to those who are dreaming and those who get in the way of the dreamers.

Melvyn Wartella
Advaita, Concepts & Responsibility

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


The sense of being alive, being present, is so intoxicating that one is enchanted by the manifestation it presents and gets so involved as to forget to find out if the spectacle really exists or is merely a hallucination, a dream, a mirage.

Ramesh S. Balsekar, "A Net of Jewels"

The mind is just a label for thoughts

...nothing more and nothing less. By attaching the label “mind” to our thoughts, it seems that there is some separate entity there that can be identified with or not. But there really is no such entity.

Similarly, this “I” which we are all concerned about is also just a label for an assumed entity which ties together an apparent series of experiences in the same way that “mind” ties together a series of thoughts.


Oneness, you, and the rest of the world

You are seeking oneness. You have realised that your limited, separate sense of self will always be that - limited and separate, and in search of something more.

You think that some process or understanding is going to lead you to connection with your “higher self” or some loftier state of consciousness.

You may have doubts about whether or not this will really happen for you (at least “in this lifetime“), but there is no doubt about your problem and its associated sense of yearning.

But you are looking in the wrong direction, ”you“ will never find the answer you seek.

You have fallen for an illusion.

There is only oneness now. There has only ever been oneness.

Everything is happening in one space of knowing. ”You“ and the ”Rest of the World“ have always been united in this effortless and direct knowing, this constant seeing in which all people, places, objects, thoughts, perceptions, sensations, and times appear and disappear.

Drop your problem and your story and recognise that there is NOTHING APART FROM THIS SEEING.

This is always the case, whether or not ”someone“ recognises it.

There is the appearance of a separate person hers, which seems to be further supported by a story extending into the past and future, but this is only an appearance in THIS ONENESS, THIS AWARENESS.

The appearance is always changing and nothing within it can be grasped or held on to.

Persistence is also only an idea appearing presently.

Separation is only an appearance based upon a thought, a concept of one who is separate.

The concept, the thought, the appearance are only happenings in THIS ONENESS SEEING THIS NOW and they are powerless to affect THIS ONENESS.

Once you have assumed your separation to be real, you cannot possibly find the oneness. But your being lost and your suffering are only apparent happenings IN THE ONENESS AND ARE NOT SEPARATE FROM IT.

This Oneness is not separate from anything that appears in it. Anything that appears (”anywhere“ and to ”anyone“) IS THIS ONENESS.

There may be a seeing that there is no distinction between You, the Rest of the World, and THIS ONENESS. But no matter what appears to be happening, IT CAN ONLY BE THE ONENESS.

The you that feels separate IS THE ONENESS, it is a passing appearance with no independent existence.


You cannot find the oneness, but it can be seen that it is ALL THAT EXISTS, and there is NO ONE APART TO FIND IT.


You keep coming back

You are free and as clear as a bell and then the “I” comes back into the picture with its heaviness or pain.

It happens time and again.

But while you are contemplating the situation in order to restore the clarity or improve your position, you are walking into a house of smoke and mirrors.

You cannot find your way back in from the outside.

You have to start within the presence to find it.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

It's the concepts, stupid!

REN: When we leave our bodies, we will shed the body and then eventually the mind and personality. At that point, depending on what we believe we will experience ourselves as evolving souls or as undifferentiated, universal consciousness. (Take your choice.) 

PS: This choice is absolutely critical! 

Only one of these concepts is (relatively) true. Either we are evolving souls (a dualistic concept) or we are undifferentiated, universal consciousness (a non-dualistic concept).

The 'evolving soul' concept carries with it an immense baggage around which entire religions have been built. It gives the mind, which created it, a job not only for life but (conceptually) for many lives, which is just what it wants.

The mind also created the 'undifferentiated, universal consciousness' concept, but only, perhaps, when it's back was against the wall and it had to come up with some way of trying to describe the undescribeable. This concept carries little mass appeal so its religions/schools (Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen, Advaita Vedanta) are much more benign. Nevertheless it still has subtle traps built into it which can draw the ego into a long, misguided pursuit of truth.

Strip away all the mind's concepts and what's left? 

This, I suggest, is the key question that we each need to answer. 

And, since the direction of our questioning will be hugely influential in determining the answers that are found, we'd better be clear about this before we try to coach others to find their own understanding. 

REN: This exercise increases our understanding and broadens our sense of self and circle of identification and eventually our circle of love.  It allows us to be less focused on how we feel and what we need and realize that we are not the center of the universe.  
It gradually leads to less selfishness and ego-centeredness.

Although empathy and compassion may arise naturally when the illusion of separation is seen through, 'identification' with others who are trapped in the illusion can only reinforce the ego. 

It would be more helpful to stand as a mirror in a state of disidentification from the ego.

Also, it's essential to understand that we cannot expand the limited personal 'self' to embrace the unlimited, undifferentiated, universal 'Self'. Instead we need to recognise that the Self is our true nature.

Again, strip away all the mind's concepts and what's left? 

It's meaningless to just read these words and think about them - it has to be done. 

What's found may be surprising, and carries the potential for healing the 'self's emotional/psychological conflicts.

To paraphrase Clinton, 'It's the concepts, stupid'!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The essential understanding

...can be viewed as two complementary understandings (like the two sides of a coin):

1. Your fundamental nature is awareness. When you look in your own direct experience (really look without just going straight into thought about it, try to see what you can see without conceptualising about it), all that really is there are:
a. thoughts
b. feelings (basically thoughts with some sensations associated with them or vice versa)
c. “physical” sensations (sights, sound, touch, smell, taste etc).

But the inescapable fact is that there is this spacious “field” of awareness in which all these things appear. It is the unchanging “background” on (or in) which all these things appear and disappear. While we seem to develop many different concepts about who or what we are over “time”, the only consistent “thing” which never changes is this awareness. It doesn’t really matter whether we consciously recognise it or “tune into it” regularly. It is what we are. Any “state” which can be achieved can also be lost but the awareness is never lost. So it is not a matter of getting something new or achieving something but recognising what is already the case. What you actually are is unaffected by uncomfortable thoughts or feelings (which will continue to come and go).

2. What really causes suffering is the belief that things should be different and that there is a separate person (which you call “me”) which needs to be improved or needs to gain better experiences or avoid unpleasant ones, etc. This aspect of the understanding seems to be more difficult for many people, but it really just comes down to really relying upon your own direct experience and discriminating between conceptual thought and reality. Most of us experience life primarily through conceptual filters of the mind and take it to be reality. But if you investigate and look, you will find (like Sailor Bob Adamson says) “What’s wrong with tight now, unless you think about it?” You will find that all apparent problems revolve around this concept of a separate person (“you”). But if you stop and look for this separate person in your own direct experience, you will only find the things mentioned in 1. above. The “me” seems so real and it is rarely ever questioned but I challenge you to find it. If you find it, please let me know. Otherwise you may soon come to realise that there really is no separate person that needs to do anything and that you can’t possibly escape presence because it is what you are. Sure, distraction, forgetfulness, discomfort, and other things will continue to happen. They are part of the natural flow of life and they are not inherently a problem. What causes suffering and agitation is this belief in yourself as a separate, limited individual that needs to become something other than what you are, or needs to control or improve external factors.

www.beyonddescription.net with acknowledgment to John Wheeler www.naturalstate.org

Attention is not awareness

Awareness does not need your attention. You think you need to cultivate your attention to awareness. This is absurd.

You are the awareness. The “you” which thinks it needs to do this is but an assumed entity appearing and disappearing in this awareness which is what you really are - and all there really is.

When attention is not on “you”, there are no problems. See that all problems revolve around this “you”. Problems need attention to exist. they also need “you”.

Awareness is always and ever present: present when “you” are not here; present when attention is towards it or away from it; present when attention is not present.

Awareness cannot not be present. Awareness is presence. Presence is awareness.


Don't assume

...the existence of the separate self and the world and its objects and then try to trace your way back to the source.

Instead, start from the source which you have never left and see if there are any real dividing lines which separate “you” from the world or any person or thing within.


The facts

Awareness is ever present. It is all that there is. No thing has an independent existence apart from awareness.

There is no separate “you” to be concerned about.

If doubts arise, examine them. Examine the beliefs which give rise to them.

Awareness is unaffected by doubt. Doubt can only exist by the light of awareness.

Doubts are only thoughts. Thoughts cannot exist apart from awareness. Awareness is unaffected by thought.

You are only seemingly separate from awareness in thought. Your doubts are only thoughts assumed to be true without investigation.

Look and see if there is really anything else other than awareness. Everything appears herein but nothing has any independent existence, only apparently so in thoughts, which have no independent existence apart from the apparent thinker.

This thinker is also just a thought.


What is knowing this?

This is a question that will always take you back to the source - “What Is Knowing This?

It is only a conceptual separation.

Whatever you are experiencing, there is some ”thing“ knowing it. This ”thing“ is not usually thought of as an object, but is just conceptualised as the ”I“.

The ”I“ is just an assumption - an entity that has taken on a past and a future. But nothing ever happens apart from right now.

Even though ”you“ don’t usually see it, ”you“ are seeing yourself as an object in relation to other objects (the ”rest of the world“).

But who is seeing that ”you“ as an entity apart from THIS? Isn’t what is seeing the REAL? Isn’t the ”I“ (”you“) just an idea?

So by using the concept that there is ”something“ (awareness) seeing everything, and that this ”something“ is what sees ”you”, since “you” are really just an idea of something being apart from the “something” which is seeing all (awareness), then maybe “you” can see that these are all just concepts and that the seeing is always happening, regardless of whatever concepts are appearing in it.

This seeing is all there is, but it is not a thing, and it is not apart from anything. Nothing exists apart from this seeing. This seeing is all there is.


What you are seeking you already are!

The idea of a separation is only a concept. With that idea of separation, there immediately comes along with it the sense of insecurity and vulnerability. Anything that thinks or believes it is separate must also feel isolated and alone, apart from ‘me’, other than ‘me’. That is the way the mind functions. As soon as there is ‘me’, there must be ‘other than me’, and that is the seeming separation. That is the cause of all of our problems. When that is understood, what problem is there, if there is no centre to refer it to? Got it?

Sailor Bob Adamson, 'What's wrong with Right NOW! (unless you think about it!)’

Friday, January 13, 2006

The answer to all your problems

For just a moment drop your fascination with “you”, your plight, your predicament, your promise of future Enlightenment



What suffering is

Suffering arises when something displeases you and you think that it should be changed

What is not often realised is that the suffering is not actually a result of any something that displeases you

And it is not even a result of the displeasure but simply a result of your thinking that it should be different

Once this is seen it is known that suffering and the urge to end suffering are actually one and the same


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Consciousness is an itching rash

Q: As long as there is pain and pleasure, one is bound to be interested.

M: And as long as one is conscious, there will be pain and pleasure. You cannot fight pain and pleasure on the level of consciousness. To go beyond them you must go beyond consciousness, which is possible only when you look at consciousness as something that happens to you and not in you, as something external, alien, superimposed. Then, suddenly you are free of consciousness, really alone, with nothing to intrude. And that is your true state. Consciousness is an itching rash that makes you scratch. Of course, you cannot step out of consciousness for the very idea of stepping out is in consciousness. But if you learn to look at your consciousness as a sort of fever, personal and private, in which you are enclosed like a chick in its shell, out of this very attitude will come the crisis which will break the shell.

- Sti Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A blessing and a curse

Self is All That Is.

Drop all concepts, ideas, beliefs, judgements - all movements of thought - and what's left?

Just this. As it is. There never has been anything else, neither can there ever be anything other than What Is.

In humans Life has evolved self-awareness, which is both a blessing and a curse.

Without self-awareness, animals live in Oneness but can have no deep appreciation of their natural state.

With self-awareness, humans live in separation and, pushed to growth through pain and suffering, can develop an awareness and understanding of the natural state of Oneness.

Awakening is the shift from self-awareness to Self-awareness. It is disidentification from the 'me', the ego and all its concepts, and relaxation into just being in the presence awareness that is Oneness.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The mind cannot free itself

When most of us approach a spiritual philosophy such as nondualism, we habitually turn it into a self-improvement project. We say, "Well, there is Ramana, or Niz, floating in bliss, and then there's hopeless little me", and so the comparative mind projects an imaginative gap between the holy enlightened ones on one side of the spectrum, and this miserable, frightened ego (I) on the other end, and consequently becomes attracted to strategies that seem to promise a way to bridge that gap. This project then becomes "the struggle" -- the struggle to change oneself and become holy, free, happy, fulfilled, better. In identification with all that appears undesirable about ourself, we feel weighed down by the burden of our "sins", and come to believe that, if we could only rid ourselves of these faults, we could be happy, realized, liberated.

In fact, this doesn't work. The mind cannot free itself, despite monumental efforts. Sometimes those efforts may be necessary to realize the utter futility of any effort, but regardless, sooner or later it will become obvious that all the efforts have failed to achieve the desired result. There is, of course, a very good reason that they do not work. The very self that was believed in need of salvation, awakening, and enlightenment, does not actually have any inherent substantiality. We've been feeding and nurturing a flower in the air!

We've been trying to change what never existed in the first place! When the impact of this finally sinks in, the whole momentum of the struggle collapses in on itself, and what we are left with is a kind of natural acceptance. We find that we can accept ourself, just as we are, and in this acceptance, we can finally love ourself without any condition. In this love of ourself, we gradually notice that everyone and everything is included in this embrace -- not based upon an ideal of love, but anchored in the very clear recognition that loving is the only possible response to the unknown. We have surrendered trying to be knowers (and the fear that not knowing once implied), and so learn to be comfortable with the unknown, to love it as ourself, without the internal conflict, without imagining ourselves to be some problem in need of a final solution, without the guilt-filled need of purification, restoration, re-distribution, or transmigration to a superior metaphysical plane.

In fact, despite our warts and bumps and goofs, we can be happy, and in fact this happiness is our natural state. Have you ever noticed, however, when everything is sweet and blissful, there comes a little voice whispering, "Yeah, but what about the dead-end job, or the pain in your back, or the mean letter you got from Joe, or the criminals in power, or the meteors heading towards earth?" This little voice is the invitation to unhappiness, but because you recognize now that your actual nature is happiness, you learn to ignore this annoying critter, and so stop feeding it. After a while, it will die from lack of fuel, but you won't even notice, because your natural state has become so present that nothing can disturb you.

Then Ramana is happy, Niz is happy, you are happy. Your happiness is no different than theirs, and all the books and philosophies have become superfluous -- superfluous to your own prior happiness, your own immense heart, in which the whole world is lovingly reflected. At least that's the way it seems to me. Happy New Year, my Brother!

Love Always,
Bob O'Hearn, posted to Unsay Myself,
via NDhighlights@yahoogroups.com

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The answer to all this is not in the mind

Question: I am a bit puzzled about one question about what Tony Parsons says...for him, nobody is awake nevertheless there are "awakening" and "liberation": awakening means for Tony the loss of the I thought and liberation the "falling in love" with this...Nathan Gill says there is already awakeness no regard if there is mesmerization with the I thought, sudden or progressive dropping of this I, suffering, blissfulness or just an ease...for Nathan all of these happenings arise presently in awareness...so as far as you know Tony and Nathan, and you know their teachings or non teachings well, perhaps you could put some light on this confusion??

In fact there seems to be a golden carrot in what Tony says, the carrot being "falling in love with this"...and it could be misleading because there seems to be something yet to happen, this love!!...so teachers who don't speak about this 'falling in love" are half baked??...what is confusing in this is that "I" think the penny has not dropped, but is there a penny to drop??

Leo Hartong: The answer to all this is not in the mind. The mind deals in concepts and as such it is duality in action. In other words, the mind is the knife that divides; not the glue you're looking for. Each concept has its counterpart. We may for example say that IT is everything, or that nothing exists, we may say you are THAT, or that there is no you to be THAT. All this is true and yet it all fails to grasp the simplicity that exists prior to the mind..

The value of the 'golden carrot' you mention may be that it exposes a willingness to still go after it. If it is truly recognized as such a carrot, there will be no longer the inclination to chase it. Saying this is tricky, because now the wish to recognize the falseness of the carrot may become the new golden carrot. The mind, by its very nature is occupied by projecting patterns in the clouds of existence and it can even turn 'stopping the search' or 'non-doership' into a new goal to achieve.

Presently, something that is not a concept, something that cannot be made into an object, is aware of the mind's activity. It is simple, pure, and present as that what knows the breath going in and out, the reading of these words and the thoughts and feelings as they rise and fall. This Knowing Mystery is the treasure you're looking for; it is THAT what knows the looking as it occurs.

It also knows the confusion you mention without the slightest confusion. It is not something to get or to become; It is unborn, fully present as the Presence That Is. You cannot move a way from it, nor can you get closer to it. The you that would accomplish this is a fleeting object, which appears to -and in- That-What-Is.

No need to think about this -there is no thinker anyway- no need to figure out which apparent character 'has the goods'. Whatever is said, it is just a pointer, and when the penny drops it is seen that there never was a penny to drop. This is the gateless gate: When standing in front of it, it appears, when stepping through it, the gate and the one stepping through it are both recognized as nonexistent.

The Presence-That-Is will not be reached, grasped or lost by a non existing you, this is as impossible as it is for an object in space to leave or reach space. When the grasping of the mind stops, or when it is recognized -by no one- for the duality it is, it will be seen that IT was ever lost and thus it needs no finding.

If the seeking and looking continues, then look for what it is that is looking. What a surprise... no one is looking, but the looking is looking at itself! When the mind generated division is no longer there or believed in, it turns out that there is no you, no penny, no gateless gate, no Tony, Nathan or Leo, but only THIS appearing AS this whole dance and YOU are THAT.

Awakening To The Dream News Letter number 71 8/1/06

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Please listen carefully

...this next bit is important. It is the opposite of what you have always been told, and what you have been told is not true. What is at issue here is extremely simple. It is not complexity or difficulty which makes this so hard to communicate or to understand. It is very simple and very easy. It is just that it is so completely at odds with what is believed, and with how experience is commonly interpreted, that the mind cannot comprehend it.

There is an agreed upon, concensus reality which almost the entire human race shares. The world has been around a long time; it is ancient. Into this world, you are born as an individual; you grow, learn, experience life, and die. There is some disagreement concerning what happens after that, except that for everyone else, life will go on - until they also die. Everybody thinks they know this - or some local variation of this. But in fact when you were ‘born’ you did not know this. You learned this. Everyone else learned it too and so it is an almost universally shared idea. But everybody believing something doesn’t make it true.

From eternity, without time, I Am, the unborn. Just as a dream begins at some point during sleep, so ‘at some point’ That which I Am appears as Consciousness here, and this world comes into being. I open my eyes: there is experiencing of life in this apparent body/mind. After a certain span of experiencing, I close my eyes: the world ceases to be, and from eternity I Am, the unborn.

What could be simpler, or more obvious?

david carse, ‘perfect brilliant stillness’

Thursday, January 05, 2006

You don’t exist – confused?

If the “I” is just an illusion, with no independent existence, then what can you do towards self-realization? Some “teachers” says there is nothing you can do. If you are a seeker - that is frustrating and just does not seem right. There certainly seems to be a “me” doing things. Others say, to investigate the “I.” Ask the question, “Who am I?” As always, the problem is trying to understand these seemingly conflicting pointers in the mind. What is this non-existent “I” supposed to do? Nothing? Even that is something.

These obviously appear to be two very different approaches. But, neither is intended to be the answer. They are, like everything else, just pointers. Taken literally, it is a hopeless situation. The “teachers” who would say, there is nothing you can do will pass the salt if asked. Seemingly, someone did something.

Ask someone what day it is and the mind responds. In the same way, ask someone to inquire, “Who am I?” and the mind responds. The question is whether or not “someone” responded – or - is it all apart of the natural functioning?

Certainly it seems like someone is doing the thinking, passing the salt, and asking "Who am I?", but under investigation that idea is seen to be false. The realization is that there has never been “anyone” thinking thoughts or doing things. Thoughts, like everything else, come and go according to the influences upon the brain. Just as a drop of water moves around in the river without an independent nature, so thoughts arise and subside without anyone choosing or controlling the activity.

The concept that there is nothing you can do to bring the search to an end is true. Yet, doing is happening all the time isn’t it? The body is hungry and eating happens. The body is tired and sleep happens. The search itself is happening. If it is true that there is no doer, then a lot is still getting done! So, there is no one telling you to inquire, “Who am I?” There is no one to inquire, “Who am I?” Yet, the inquiry still happens. When it is seen that the “I” that believes it is doing the inquiry is just a simple thought with a complex web of concepts supporting it, then no one uncovered the false center of “me.”

John Greven

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Transcending the mind

Consciousness is the core reality, the substratum that abides eternal at the source of mind and of all manifest phenomena.

The human mind is a sophisticated creation that is programed by divine consciousness to function within limited parameters. The mind does not have the capacity to know its own source.

Mind spins the illusory web of maya that filters and interprets all experience. The human mind is addicted to concepts and dreams and cannot know the true nature of consciousness. The lower cannot know the higher.

Hence skilful teachers insist that consciousness can be known only by non-conceptual immersion in its silent mystery. Exploring any concept brings you back into the limited realm of mind where legions of dreamers languish in illusion and suffering for lives - thinking about consciousness.

The way to know silent consciousness is to merge with it in no-mind. You have been a dreamer for many lives, following the seductive pull of mind into its endless labyrinths. There is no fruit down that dead-end path. The fruits of freedom are not so readily available.

Freedom requires a total commitment to no-mind, an unequivocal renunciation of conceptual addiction. One day you will be given the longing and ability to transcend your mind and to know what you really are.

Such transcendence is not just a semi-blissful state on the edge of Being. Transcendence is an exhilarating journey that requires the conscious surrender of the ego-mind to its arcane source - transcendental awareness.

Only the ultimate mystery of God-the-beyond is eternal. Your soul is born and thus will die. When a fully enlightened buddha leaves the body for the last time, the soul dissolves in mahaparanirvana - God’s ultimate mystery where all trace of individuality disappears forever.

Transcending the limitations of mind is not possible for dreamers who are addicted to concepts and intellectual abstractions - only to warriors and lovers of truth who are ready to merge with the ecstatic fire of Now.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Emptiness, then

...is an adjectival quality of 'dharmas', not a substance which composes them. It is neither a thing
nor is it nothingness; rather it refers to reality as incapable of ultimately being pinned down
in concepts.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Self shining presence-awareness is not the result of effort

There is no need to try to do something with the expectation that suddenly awareness will be there. Presence-awareness is always here and now whether it is recognized or seemingly lost. It is not something that can be created or destroyed. Conceptual thinking is like the cloud that seemingly blocks the sun. Being at ease in non-conceptual naturalness is presence awareness already here and now. Re-cognize again, and again, and again, and the knowing it is always so is constant in spite of what appears and disappears. Self-knowing, self-shining -- just this, nothing else.
Sailor Bob Adamson

It's an illusion that 'you' exist

-- the entity 'you' is imagined. The imagination that 'you' exist as something or someone separate is the cause of acceptance or rejection of something known. It is illusion telling the story of its own deception. The knower and the known are just concepts seemingly dividing natural non-conceptual knowing. Believing in the thought 'I am' gives seeming reality to the objective world which is constantly changing, yet everything in essence is that changeless natural knowing - nothing else.
Sailor Bob Adamson

All that needs to be done

Just realise you are dreaming a dream you call the world and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another. Love all or none of it, and stop complaining. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs to be done.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj:

Yesterday's realisation is not a bit of good

Truth or Reality cannot be stored, cannot be amassed -- it does not accumulate.
The value of any insight, understanding, or realisation can only be in the ever-fresh presence of the moment.
Yesterday's realisation is not a bit of good. Now it is dead. Now it has lost it's vitality.
It is useless to try and cling to or hold onto an insight, an understanding, or a realisation, for only in it's movement can there be the enabling of ever-fresh and new insights of Truth or Reality to appear.
The idea of enlightenment or self-realisation as a onetime event or a lasting and permanent state or experience is an erroneous concept.
Understand-ING or know-ING is alive in the immediacy which can never be negated. The emphasis is on the activity of know-ING which is going on as the immediacy now--not the dead concept 'I understand' or 'I know'".
Sailor Bob Adamson