Friday, April 27, 2007

Me/rupture not-me

Every instant, everything we designate outside our consciousness that appears real to us, endowed with a reality that’s autonomous and exterior to our own consciousness, everything we perceive outside ourselves through the window of our thought, all that is hallucinatory. This hasn’t one atom of reality. It’s a purely imaginary phenomenon. They’re subjective effects that your sleeping consciousness surreptitiously turns into a reality that’s autonomous and separate from you. That’s the nature of the hallucination. To sense your past, the past in general, or the future, or Paris, or the cosmos, as something real, as realities separate from you, is to hallucinate like the madman who walks down the street talking to a phantom interlocutor. The fellow has lost his marbles because he has turned a purely subjective and unreal effect into objective reality. All this should show you the extent of what must be eradicated. All this shows you the extent of the immensity of what must be put back into the heart of consciousness to be dissolved there.

Once this enormous conversion takes place, there’s nothing wrong with jiggling a marionette and playing. But one must absolutely perceive that my future, my death, me producing the thoughts I’m in the process of producing, the diplodocus, Charlemagne, etc. are nothing but marionettes jiggled by my mind by virtue of a horrible spiritual sickness that pounced on me a billion years ago; my soul no longer feels its own fingers jiggle the marionette and treats it like a stranger. Thus, you must deny the undeniable everywhere it rages, that is to say, in the totality of your range of perception.

The destruction to be accomplished is phenomenal. One cannot attack the dream in fragments. When one wakes in the morning, the dream disappears all at once. Thus, it’s necessary to annihilate everything, to pierce all the eyes of thought in discovering, at the same time, that one has never seen with any other eye than that of thought. That, therefore, is the work I would demand you do, and it’s imperative to do it well. For either this work is accomplished and you become who you are - your own truth, the infinite value in the heart of what was once called God - or else you don’t continue calling into question this universal destruction, and you’re ruled by Ignorance. It’s as simple as that.

This manoeuvre successfully accomplished, acts like an exorcism. What we consider reality asserts itself like an obsession. The cosmos is nothing but a little bubble that my soul is blowing. Thus, it’s necessary to burst the bubble. The life of the person caught up in the state of ordinary consciousness unravels at the centre of the subjective bubble he never ceases to blow above his head, a forgery of the universe that includes the thinking subject. He evolves in the interior of the thought of self, that’s to say that he begins with a thought of thought, this thought of thought beginning a thought of the world and of time. When things click, this bubble bursts like a soap bubble. In reality, the usual state of consciousness has no solidity and can burst at any moment.

How do you break the bubble while you’re inside it? The question is, in fact, the following: are there parts of the bubble where, by preference, the attack should be made? The diagram of the hallucination is: me/rupture not-me. Me, poor little shivering subject, and the gulf that separates me from all the rest that I perceive as not-me. Everything that happens inside the bubble is reducible to the equation: me/rupture not-me. If the enormous chaos reigning in the heart of the bubble is hard to reduce to a single thought, that doesn’t apply to the above equation in which, with a certain degree of concentration, with reflection, with meditation, one can recognise as pure thought - all thought never being more than an effect of the fundamental, unreal you. In order to reabsorb the hallucination in such a way that it appears in its true mental nature, that is to say as nothingness, a first method would consist of making an attack at the very heart of the dream. The central rivet of the hallucination is nothing other than the absolute belief in myself in the act of producing a thought, of dreaming of this or that. Whether my thoughts are happy or sad, it would appear that I can’t place the objective reality of the situation into doubt: I am there and I secrete an inner world, yet my mood swings, and I question myself about the existence of the awakening, about my chances of getting there or, quite simply, of boring myself silly; all that has no real existence. There’s a paradox here: having no power over your own inner states, you endure them. You’d prefer not to worry about anything while, at the same time, establishing that the generative thoughts of worry resist you. You can’t easily chase them. Yet, that means that, while having the intuition that what you are is not reducible to your thoughts (“I worry” necessarily supposes the existence of an “I”), you confer on the latter the fact that they resist you, an objective status. In other words, the usual state of consciousness has the characteristic of an extraordinary madness: having the presentiment that at the centre of myself there is only myself while, at the same time, being certain of the presence at the centre of myself of a not-me - as a matter of fact, if the worry wasn’t from the not-me, I would be able to reabsorb it and not endure it. The most interesting way to accomplish this is to question the reality of what happens within me now, immediately, right away.

~ Stephen Jourdain, Radical Awakening: Cutting Through the Conditioned Mind

Friday, April 06, 2007

You and me are the same one: this is love

Question: I’ve been reading about Advaita and non-duality. It’s very clear when I read it, but in daily life it gets a bit confusing. Of course the question is always related to ‘me’ versus ‘them’.

Stephen Wingate: Yes, of course. At the root of personal confusion, and questions in personal relationships is the belief in the existence of a separate me, a separate ego who has power to exercise his own will. If there is the unexamined belief that you exist as an independent, self-directing entity, then naturally you’ll see others as independent, self-directing entities, too. Therein lies the potential for personal, egoic conflicts in relationships.

Seeing there is no separate, independent entity there in you, it is also seen there is no separate, independent entity in another. Challenges, differences and conflicts may still arise, but they are not experienced as personal conflicts. There is no personal me versus a personal you; there are just conflicts arising.

You and me are both appearances of the One Mysterious Source. If there’s conflict between you and me, it’s part of the play of the One. You and me are the same One in essence. Seeing you and me as the same One can be called Love.

Q: This isn’t a big deal, but it gets me wondering. Should I be worried about how I behave in relationship with others? I’m always thinking that I could do better than I’m doing. I should be more giving, and say more kind words with other people. Should I contemplate this or should I just let it work out naturally?

S: It’s already working itself out naturally. Everything is working itself out naturally and spontaneously. You are not the source of the kind words or of the giving. If more giving and kind words are to happen through you, you couldn’t stop them. There’s no separate you there to take credit for the giving or the kind words; nor to take the blame for the lack thereof. And if there’s worrying about how one should behave in relationship, then there’s worrying. Who can stop it? Can a volcano stop itself from erupting? Can it take any credit or blame?

Q: Sometimes when I’m talking to my father and he begins to talk over me, I sense this frustration. My body starts to shake and I begin to defend myself. But, I must admit, it has gotten better after my realization.

S: You may notice the sense that you’re watching these frustrating interactions with others happen rather than being a participant in them. You are the witnessing presence of the conflict; you are not the person involved in the conflict.

Q: Does it really matter if one doesn’t believe in the mind? Though I’m not choosing any thoughts I could be controlled by thoughts unconsciously.

S: Who is this ‘I’ that is controlled by thoughts? Isn’t it just another thought? Everything is happening, no doubt, but is there an ‘I’ to whom it’s happening?

Q: My shyness troubles me sometimes because I want to be more alive in relationship with other people. But I find myself being dull or too simple. I’m aware that this is only based on some random thoughts in my brain, but they keep circulating.

S: Some people are quiet and shy; others are loud and gregarious. Is it your doing? Is one right and the other wrong? Yes, your analysis is correct: your concerns are only based on some random thoughts circulating in you.

Q: Should I drop all my hopes of how I want to be, or should I try with ambition to be more alive in human relationship?

S: You can make an effort to be more outgoing and expressive in your relationships, but there’s no need to suffer over it. If it’s causing you to suffer, then drop it if you can. It’s not your doing in the first place.

Q: Another example: my mother is a master at getting me worried that I’m not giving enough to other people, and that I should visit my brothers more often. But I don’t feel a strong motivation to do it. Because of this, I always doubt that I understand non-duality. It’s seems that sometimes I do understand, and sometimes I don’t.

S: Understanding non-duality is completely unrelated to the concerns you’ve posed. Whether you’re motivated to take certain actions, or if others are pleased with your actions, have no relation to the fact that your essential nature is awareness, and you are not the ego. Realizing this in your own direct experience, there is a sense of peace and acceptance of whatever is happening. You are the witnessing presence of all that arises. You are not the doer.

Q: This questioning of my understanding is especially apparent when I’m around people. I get shy with people that I feel are superior to me. It’s a silly thought, but sometimes I don’t find it effective to just drop the thought. It seems to be deeper in me than just my thoughts. There must be something deeper than transient thoughts that control me.

S: Yes, there is something infinitely deeper. In fact, so much deeper that it’s an absolute mystery. The same Mysterious Source that makes the flowers bloom, the sun shine, and the earth turn is controlling this puppet called Gerri.

Q: What is it that stops me from doing whatever I want? Why do I feel shy and hesitant around some people? Why don’t I express myself freely, and not worry about what others think? Maybe it’s just the way my body and mind was made? Is my nature in the dual world to be shy and insecure? Or should I just let everything be as it, even if I’m shy to some people? In the end it’s all just thoughts, but I’ve been living my life and believing those thoughts for some time. How am I supposed to drop those beliefs?

S: Is Gerri in control or is everything just happening?

Q: The fact that I am simple awareness has done more good for my mental state than any other spiritual or religious system. I now feel this deeper connection when I’m reading all sorts of spiritual writings. It feels odd that all these people are looking for something that is always in front of them.

S: Yes, stop for a moment right now and just be aware of your own existence. Do you sense this presence of awareness? There is seeing, hearing, feeling, and thinking all happening in you. No effort is required. You are this simple presence of awareness. Just stop again now and be aware. This awareness that you are can also be called Love. This Love that you are loves to laugh and it loves to cry. It loves to win and it loves to lose. It loves to be at peace and it loves to be at war. It loves to accept and it loves to reject. It loves to love and it loves to hate. This awareness that you are is unconditional Love itself. Everything that arises in it is soaked in Love. This Love is what you are.

Q: Another concern of mine is when I’m at work and I meet all these new people. Some people I find easy to speak with, and others I don’t. Is it normal for a non-dualist to continue to feel uncomfortable sensations and emotions? Should I just feel them and don’t think about it? Sometimes the present moment is uncomfortable. Even if I’m not consciously thinking about it, I just feel uncomfortable.

S: This puppet called Gerri along with his family, friends, and co-workers (all puppets, too) appear in your awareness. They all do their special dance, and then they part. Sometimes Gerri is comfortable and sometimes he’s not. So it is.

Q: Can I be conscious of every thought I have? That just can’t be. There must be some hidden thoughts and motives that keep causing me to do what I’m doing.

S: Everything in existence, including all thoughts, feelings, motives, and actions are caused by the One Mysterious Puppet Master. Gerri is a puppet, not the Puppet Master.

Q: Well, as you can see I can be a bit doubtful. This must explain why I feel an affinity to non-duality because I’m really good at seeing some flaws in other systems—be it religious or spiritual. My mind is always looking for some flaws to think about. Will my mind change if I stop worrying about it?

S: Gerri has no mind of his own. Thoughts appear and then they disappear. Where is Gerri’s mind?

~ Stephen Wingate, The Outrageous Myths of Enlightenment
Nondual Highlights 2779