Thursday, May 26, 2016

Corrupted Love

Since I was so critical of my father I have to say that I do know that love was there. We are love, and are always surrounded by love. We are made with love. 

In my father's case I know he loved me very much, it's just that he had many neuroses, and s
evere conditioning from his childhood. Because his love was filtered through that conditioning, it was corrupted. Love filtered does not come out pure. It is certainly not unconditional. 

My father's filters corrupted his love and it came out in destructive ways. I know now that the intense passionate love he had made what came through those filters extreme. As a child I could not see the love behind what came out. I doubt any child could. I only felt the effect of the corruption. 

Years later when my father was dying, he admitted as much. He spent as much time as I wanted working through what was done. I also believe he forgave himself, which is also important. We are all corrupted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thought and Feeling

Nothing so disturbs thinking as feeling, and nothing so disturbs feeling as thought. Either one leads home. Some favor the heart, and theirs will be broken. Some favor the mind, and it will crack. Either way the end is surrender. I don't judge either way as superior, I just find some teachers helpful, and some not.

I come by this understanding by way of my home life and conditioning. As a child I had many of the men that worked with my father, take me aside and tell me that my father was the smartest man they had ever met. Let's say it happened more than a few times.

Now this might have made me very happy if I had been pleased with my father, but I wasn't. I knew there was something missing and intelligence didn't make up for it. Like all children, I compared him to my mother. She was quiet, passive, and yet very strong. Her love was unconditional. My father, on the other hand, wanted to control my every move and every thought.

My father was a soul killer, and my mother was a savior. I wouldn't have survived without her. Now, granted, I am just talking about surviving, not thriving! I was an extremely introverted child and extremely sensitive. Believe me, a sensitive child gets deeply hurt, and that fuels tremendous anger. I had to stuff that anger to survive. By the time I left home I was seething. Full of self loathing and I projected that loathing everywhere.

I had my mother's intuition and my father's intellect.My intuition saved me. But intuition wasn't enough to get all the way to freedom. A strong mind needs its satisfaction too. And that would come years later.

Intuition told me that my father was wrong. A child knows in its heart what it needs from its parents, and if it does not get it, it knows the loss deeply. That loss is mostly unconscious, as to know it fully would kill a child. My intuition didn't know the answer, or where to look, but it confidently drove me to search. I looked everywhere with existenial passion, from self help, to psychology, to therapy, and thousands of books.

Advaita says that you need to be qualified for enlightenment. I agree. Basically, this means the personality has to be healthy enough, and strong enough to survive true searching. A strong ego needs to be there to be able to take on the work of looking at itself. And the mind needs to work until it gets clean too, by taking on its own conditioning. Many years of Gestalt therapy cleaned out my repressed emotion, and full blown primal screams dredged up what was left.

Before therapy I tried to outrun my painful feelings with thinking. My mind thought I could reason my way out of them. Alas, I could not. Feeling the feelings is what lets them drop away!There is NO WAY around them. After all the release, my mind quieted down to a level that allowed me to contemplate. There were no longer overwhelming feelings I was trying to run away from.

After the cleansing of repressed feelings the mind needed cleansing too. All of its conditioning needed to be questioned. That took a long time. Projections had to be taken back, and owned. Deconditioning moved slowly as I read my way through self help, psychology, and philosophy. When these failed to bring down the final curtain, the only thing left was spirituality. I read it all. Eastern Hindu traditions were the most revealing. Advaita Vedanta is where I found the depth of understanding that would heal my mind.

The bottom line is, the heart needs to be felt, and the mind needs understanding. At the end of the mind, and the bottom of the heart is silence. The silence comes with complete acceptance of everything as it is, whether I like it or not. The silence knows that all is well. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Ghostlike Person

When you realize you are not the doer it takes a big bite out of your motivation. You literally have to step back and just see what wants to come, what wants to be done for no reason.

When you realize at the deepest level that you are not the doer, the personality is still there, but you just can't take it seriously anymore. Of course you still try to take it seriously, but it just doesn't have the drive it did before.

From that point on the personality just has to sit back and relax and see what wants to happen. Pretty much what wants to happen just happens. You allow it because there is no opposition.

Not being the doer doesn't make you a good person or a bad person. It's more like being a non person. The mind can sense the non person, but most likely others won't notice because they have no grounds for such knowing.

But the mind does notice the difference. Everything is still as it was, but the mind can't take things seriously any more. Everything becomes dreamlike. You feel like a ghost inhabiting someone who used to be there. The sharp edges of life become gauze-like. People are like ghosts as well. But you don't tell them because they think they are real.

You have entered the unknown where silence reigns. The saving grace is that you trust the silence. You trust life, and know that it is OK, no matter what happens. That pretty much brings peace. 

Silence

I've experienced causeless joy, but it never lasts. It has meaning without knowing reason or proof. And when it goes, I have to let it go. I can't grasp for it, though I wish it would stay. It is like Jazz, free of any particular form, yet taking on any form it chooses in its own time.

There is a silence behind the joy, just like the silence that is behind sorrow. And the silence is there behind all the other experiences that come and go. It takes some subtlety to even recognize the silence. That is why so few speak of it.

But silence is the source of all we experience. Silent, yet always mysterious. I can't grasp it, but I can recognize its existence. In fact it is existence. We are the embodiment of that silent mystery. Ah the mystery. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Knowledge of Enlightenment

If one defines enlightenment as an experience one is open to a myriad of experiences. Each individual person experiences things differently. This being so, defining enlightenment as an experience opens a floodgate of experiences that may or may not be repeatable. Defining enlightenment as an experience is a quagmire from which few escape.

However, if one defines enlightenment as knowledge, clarity can be found. Knowledge of water as H2O, for example, is hard and fast knowledge. It is a repeatable understanding. This is knowledge that can be transmitted.

Enlightenment is reachable with knowledge. The knowledge of enlightenment can be taught, and the means of transmitting that knowledge has been been around for a long time. It is relatively unknown, however, due to the fact that many have only partial knowledge, and they teach experience in which we are captivated. We are then caught in chasing spiritual experiences.

Most of us who become seekers readily find liturature tauting experiential stories that appear to be profound. They are intriguing, mystical, and utterly fascinating. But searching for enlightenment in these murky waters is a crap shoot. You'll be very lucky to find enlightenment through experiences. They are too varied.

Mind you, I am not against experiences. They can be a motivating force, but they are not the goal. The goal is not an experience. It is a knowledge that has to be gained, and you are unlikely to get this knowledge from anyone teaching experience.

We are hard wired into duality. The body is discovered and as experience with the body advances, the protective mechanism of the ego develops and takes on the position of "I." But the bodily experiences that become the "I" are a story appearing in consciousness. A story that is tragic, or wonderful, but usually both. The "I" becomes the defacto me which then struggles its way through life.

But the story we create is a small piece of the picture. If we do well in the picture we accept our interpretation of experience as correct. If our experience of our story is tragic, we may question our assumptions. This sometimes turns out to be a good turn of events, though until we have a deeper knowledge, we may not appreciate this fact.

Although we are hard wired to develop an ego, and it does serve us in manipulating our way in the manifested world, it is not true knowledge. Experience tells us that the sun comes and goes, but in fact it does not. Neither does the world drop off at the horizon.

Everything that we see is manifested. It appears to be as we see it. It takes deep questioning to peer beneath the surface. Truly examining what is manifested is difficult. In fact, it is almost impossible without a true teaching which conveys the knowledge of non duality.

A true teaching will therefore, not try to lead you to experience something. A true teaching will have a means of transferring the knowledge. The teaching will need a full and complete series of understandings to bring you to the final truth. That is what Advaita Vedanta is.

Contemplation, and risking your well ordered understanding of "How things are," will be necessary. For what you assume to be true, your perception of reality, may in fact be ignorance. So, the difficulty is obvious. Who is willing to examine their ignorance? It is unsettling to say the least.

To come to the conclusion that duality is an illusory perception of our being is not a walk in the park. It takes open mindedness, and risk taking. The trek may entail letting ones fears be what they are, and yet pursuing the truth anyway.

You might say that pursuing truth, which equates to freedom, has to be a burning desire for which you are willing to risk everything. That everything, boils down to risking yourself, as you see yourself, into an understanding which reduces that self to an insignificance. Who is going to pursue that?

I am just trying to save you time. I pursued enlightenment for 40 years. Knowing nothing better than what I read, I thought I had to have a particular experience, and then I would know. But that is not the way it works. it didn't work for me.

I had plenty of spiritual, mystical, mind blowing experiences. But experiences come and go, and they are not easily, if ever, repeatable. After some of these experiences, life itself became meaningless in comparison to the experiences that had receded.

Eventually I learned that enlightenment was not an experience, but a knowing, an understanding. That understanding, when pursued, does lead to enlightenment. That understanding is actually very simple. All is one. All is simply forms of appearance in awareness.

This understanding leaves you standing alone as all that is. Simple, direct knowing. This understanding relieves you of seeking experiences. It frees you of feeling that you need just one more mystical experience to convince you that you are enlightened.

Advaita Vedanta has the means to teach this knowledge. If you avail yourself of this knowledge, you will come to understanding. With the understanding, your search will be over. Then you are free. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Painted Objects

When you look at a beautiful painting, what do you see? Objects mostly; the the images the painting depicts. Perhaps you notice the colors first, enamored with the colors. But the colors are objects too, because we have named them.

Step back and the painting is an object as well. It is framed in wood and stands out from the environment. The surface is flat and it lays well against the wall. And the wall is an object, part of the house, or the museum. The wall is wood too.

All the objects in the painting are one thing: paint. Although there are many colors, carefully mixed by the artist, all the colors are a paste with color and oil. One base. And the white gesso cloth is one piece. You get the idea. All the objects in the painting are essentially paint. The colors are all reflected light. The painting itself is condensed light.

The frame is wood, the wall is wood. With all the labels gone, and looking past the apparent separation of everything we have named, all is One. That which is seen and that which is seeing, are One. There is not one separate thing in the universe.

Awareness is the base of all things seen and unseen. It is that which we appropriate via our body and call "I." Awareness through one body says "I am Jane," through another body Awareness says "I am John." Both John and Jane have borrowed Awareness.

Awareness is subtle because it is behind us. We are so enamored with what we see, think, and feel, that we forget who is looking. Awareness is looking. As Meister Eckhart  said, "The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me." You are not who you think you are unless you know you are That. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Ephemerel Person

A few weeks ago I saw a video of myself some fifteen years ago. I was conscious of the fact that I had no identification whatsoever with the image on the screen. I was not entirely surprised because I had been contemplating many years on the insubstantial actuality of the person. This viewing was an unasked for confirmation that I no longer identified with the body mind. I did not identify in the least with the person on the screen, nor with the apparent person watching the video. 

I was conscious of the fact that I no longer had the same ideas or beliefs as the person in the video. Nor did I believe that the person watching the video would be the same person a week from today. It was similar to my feeling that my children were not mine, but belonged to life. 

If was fitting that in the video I was giving a talk at my father's memorial service. The main thrust of my talk was that my father tried to make me in his own image, but that I, and my brothers and sisters belonged to life, and not to him. 

My Father was an authoritarian, and his religion was authoritarian. He loved us through that prism. But the effect was not loving. He failed to know that we belonged to ourselves and to a higher power of our own understanding. 

I know for certain that this body-mind is an ephemeral thing, impermanent. It came and it will go, as all of us do. Our extinction is not a thought we love, since it places us on shaky ground. We all have a sneaky suspicion that we should be eternal. Where does this suspicion come from? Is there some missing truth? 

We have a nagging question, as the song says, "Is this all there is? Something knows there is more to the story than the story. What is That? 

That is what the non dual sages of ancient India revealed in their Advaita Vedanta. It is what the Christian mystics saw in their revelations. Meister Eckart, a Christian mystic said,  'The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing."

In ancient India the sages taught in the forest, and they taught only the qualified. They were wary of the public that would not understand and cause them trouble. Christian mystics were burned at the stake, and Meister Eckart was tried as a heretic by Pope John XXII and died before the verdict. 

Today, non duality is taught in the open. We are lucky to be alive in this day and age where this is so. If you find your way to this teaching and come to this understanding, you realize that our desire for eternal life is not unfounded. 

However, as the sages say, "Die before you die." This refers to seeing the person as an appearance, an aspect of something greater. That greater being is what we are, and That does not come and go.  
 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

This Is Beyond Freedom

There can only be freedom where there is bondage. This dichotomy shows duality, the sense of separation. Freedom here, bondage there. In truth there is neither bondage nor freedom. That which we are, the Absolute, is prior to freedom or bondage. Therefore there is no question of freedom or bondage. Only This.

The acceptance of This. The Knowing that you are the Absolute, lets the appearance of the person be what he is, without the tension of bondage versus freedom. The question of freedom does not concern the Absolute. For  that One, there is nothing to be free from. The idea of bondage cannot even arise.

If you are stuck on having free will, then this is a blockage that will prevent you from seeing the truth. This insistence on having free will is a sure sign of ego. For it is only the ego that will be insistent on this value.

Can you come to the point where Truth is more important than having free will? If so, then you are open enough to see the Truth. For it is only when you give up the separate self, invested as it is in free will, that you can know you are That.

Jesus said "The truth will set you free." But there is no free will in the Truth. The truth is you are That. That is not a separate personal self. That is the ground of being, the Absolute, the One, the Source, pure Awareness, where no separate self exists. That is the truth that sets you free. Free of any concern regarding freedom or bondage.

Upon realization you know that you were never bound and never needed freedom. The dichotomy of freedom versus bondage only existed as long as you thought you were a separate self. When appearance that you thought you were is seen through, the separate self disappears. Then you are the light. You know you always exist prior to bondage or freedom.  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Spntaneous Love

A person is a set of positions and events apparently in time. Positions and events change. A person is then not what he was. When the mind knows this, the person is seen to be unsubstantial; not really a thing.  Only that which is the essence of things can be said to be. That is the Absolute.

Jesus said, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." He might as well have said, "You and I appear to be here, but in actuality, you and I are That. That formless essence is every form that is, material and immaterial. From That formless comes all, and into That all form, named and unnamed goes."

When this is known down to the core of the person, everything becomes spontaneous, as the person realizes he is not the doer. The personal will dissolves and love takes its place, as everything is That which you are. 

The Afterlife

Someone died and reported there was nothing but blackness. Like deep sleep. 

Who was there to report the blackness? Wouldn't it be the same person who would report an afterlife if the experience were different? If you really look deeply, the one thing you can't deny is that you exist. Since that is a basic truth, you then have to ask, "What is existence?" When you examine that, the only conclusion is that you are "Consciousness". That is why the sages say, "All is Awareness/Consciousness." 

The Absolute is not a thing, but all things come from That. The Absolute is no thing in particular, but it is all things in existence. I would describe awareness as a blank screen upon which characters come and go, such as you and me. We are focal points in Awareness. Once embodied you and I play out our experiences on that screen. 
If there is no thing after death, at least we are still That. Since That is what we are, the only thing we can do is Trust That. 

Is there is an afterlife as a person, a spirit, with past lives? It seems that if we can exist now as persons, the Absolute could certainly have us exist in different forms after death. The personality could still be there, but not in its current form. Why not? They say after enlightenment we don't reincarnate. But we are still That.

 What about people who go out of body at will? There are many records of that. For example, a neurosurgeon who died and was revived, who was an atheist before, but not after the NDE. Just the fact that there are so many NDEs points to something. 


In Sanskrit they say, Sat, chit, ananda (existence, consciousness, peace). If you know you are That, you can handle anything. 


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Awake or Dreaming?

I have known for a long time that I have no will of my own. Whatever will I have is God's will, whether it appears to be good or. Bad. This is why Jesus continually counseled to "Not judge."

Once you acknowledge that you did not create yourself (your body, your mind) you can no longer maintain that you make choices. Even if for many years you struggled to make a choices, and it seemed like you decided, you only decided based on the genes you were born with, the experiences you  had, and concepts and beliefs you picked up or developed. Can you see that even though you may feel that you've made choices, they were not your own.

Of course, to accept this is to know that you have never had any free will. This is a hard pill to swallow. No matter how much may feel that you have personal will, objective analysis will, if can stand it, provide clear knowledge that you never made a personal decision in your life. That which created everything, including you, set the ground rules that determined how you would decide.

That which is the source, the creator of everything, set this up. The appearance of you is no difference than the characters you dream at night. Do any of your dream characters make their own decisions? Do they have freedom of choice? We can admit that the characters in the dream may struggle to make a decision, but whatever they decide is a product of the dreamer, the mind that you take to be you.

So the dreamed characters are you, your mind playing out it's issues, creating the characters and situations. Are waking life seems more real as we wake up and say, wow, I dreamed I was in such and such a situation, and it was pleasant or unpleasant. But how real was it upon awakening?

It the same when the personal mind wakes up to its actual situation. It is a dreamed character! It is no more real that the characters in a dream. That is why enlightenment is called waking up, or realization. That which you took to be yourself, a decider, a doer is seen through. When the appearance known as you is seen through, you wake up to reality.

The reality you wake up to is not personal. When you realize that you are character in a dream, you are That which created the dream. That which sees the character cannot be named, cannot be described, and yet, you can be nothing other than That. When the sages say, "You are That," that is what they mean.

So, are you awake? Or are you still caught in the dream?









Saturday, March 26, 2016

Understanding Is Not An Experience

Understanding (realization) is not a state. States can come and go. Understanding doesn't come and go. When you know everyone calls you by a certain name, is it affected by what state you are in? When you know you know. It doesn't come and go.

It follows that understanding (realization) is not an experience. Experiences come and go. Realization is just That. Suddenly you know you are That. It is clear. From then on unavoidable. It is so much the reality, that one need make no effort to sustain it. It is not something that can be lost. It is the one and only reality that always was, just not recognized.

There is no trying to remember it, or keep it. Everything is what it is, as it is, without effort. It doesn't come and go because it never left. It was always right here, right now, ever present, and just needed to be recognized. You can't escape it. You just didn't realize what you really were. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Do You Have Two Hands?

If you look at your right hand and your left hand you see two separate hands. But neither hand is really separate from the body. They are one with it. If we did not have the concept of right and left, would there still be two separate hands? If you still want to say "Yes, there are two hands," then I say, what if you didn't have the concept of two? Could there possibly be two hands?

You see, it is the mind that breaks all this one thing into parts. Language is just a labeling function that divides everything up. All this dividing is useful, but false. No division is real. The appearance of many things are just facets of perception. Nothing has ever been separate in any way. It just appears that way.

Man creates a web of concepts and imprisons himself in them. As Jesus said, "They know not what they do." Drop your labels, drop the concepts and the prison doors will open. Non-dual means not two. There are not two things. There is only what is, whole and complete, and you are That. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Let Go and Let God

In stillness there is beauty, wisdom, and the answer. That's what happens when you let go and let god.  Anonymous

I've heard a lot of people proclaim this quote. It's a good one. I suspect this quote comes to mind when someone is broken and they have no other option. This is a rather tragic way to come to this conclusion, and I suspect it is quite common. I took the long haul, piece by piece. Not the best route, but that's the way it was for this appearance.

Some of us have pretty strong egos and instead of having some grand collapse, we resist and resist and decompose in small pieces. I was one of this type. I do remember a period of time in my late twenties when I felt like I was dying over several months. This was not a physical death, but the death of the ego. Interestingly, I was probably still resisting, and in actual fact, the death was letting go a small miserable ego, into a more expansive one. A more inclusive one. Still, this was change. It was disruption.

I recall that during this time and later I would search out books. But I was very proscribed in what I chose. I would always chose a book that was very much in line with my current thinking, but just enough further out than where I was to challenge me. This process went on for a long time before I became conscious of what I was doing. Once I became conscious of what I was doing, I thought to myself, "Why don't I just abandon all of my positions and save myself a lot of reading time?"

Toward the end of this phase I saw in the bookstore a small book entitled, "You Are the World. It was a book by J. Krishnamurti. I had never heard of this author, and the cover was just a black and white photo of an old man with white hair. But I loved his face. It was wise and androgynous. I picked it up, read a little bit, bought it and brought it home.

I began reading and was totally enthralled. I knew at the bottom of my heart that I would love to be in the space he must be in to write what he wrote. I could sense the space, but I had nothing to compare it to. I had nothing to grasp it with. It was a book of his talks, and I was captivated.

Since I couldn't put the book down I kept reading. My wife and kids had gone to bed and I was still reading. About half way through tears started running down my eyes. Then a much deeper crying started. I didn't want to wake anyone up, or upset the kids, so I went into the bathroom at the other end of the house. I closed the door, curled up in a corner and cried my heart out.

It was a very strange and profound effect. One of the major feelings I was having, was one of forgiveness. I felt utterly forgiven. Can't to this day tell you what it was in the book that elicited such a response, but effect was explicit. I went on to read everything J. Krishnamurti ever wrote.

This was the opening into the world of the unknown. In fact, one of J. Krishnamurti's most famous titles was "Freedom From the Known." It was along the lines of Jesus saying, "No one puts new wine into old wine skins. Otherwise, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. But they put new wine into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved."

J. Krishnamurti was a major catalyst to the emptying of my mind. But, it would be many years of emptying because I had a lot of beliefs and concepts that would need to be dismantled. I joined a Gestalt group and worked on exposing everything I had bottled up inside. Meanwhile, I kept reading.

All this boils down to winnowing out what had been put in by society, my religion, and my own conclusions that were made with poor context, and therefore erroneous. I did not throw out my mind. I just emptied it. I needed to find the truth, and the truth couldn't come into an already full vessel. I have always had a strong mind and it needed to work to come to the point where it could see its limitations. Ramana Maharshi explained it this way. "You use a thorn to remove a thorn and then you throw both away. There is the way of the heart, but with a strong mind, Jnana yoga was more profitable for me.

It took many years to dismantle what I had stored up. Persistence did pay off. In the end there was nothing left but that which is beyond freedom, ineffable, unlimited, unbound, The Absolute.



Monday, March 21, 2016

The Perfection of Clarity

Perfection is all around. It is unavoidable. Why? Because all is That. There is no other, so what could be wrong with anything? If one is in this position, then there is compassion for all. Essentially, you can't argue with That. Surrender is the only option. Understanding that all actions are That, what other option do you have? Our judgments can't stand up to That. Reality is bigger than the little self.

The significant fact of enlightenment is understanding. Why, because enlightenment is not a state. A state can come and go. True understanding cannot be undone once it is seen. An example that comes to mind is 2 + 2 = 4. You have to learn something to know this, but once you know it, it lasts forever. 2 + 2 = 4 doesn't suddenly become 2 + 2 = 5.

When the understanding comes, there may be an immediate and great change. Perhaps, even an unraveling of your life as you know it. However, if one has been a seeker for many years and done a lot of contemplation, much of the possible changes have likely occurred. That is the reason that for some, it's just a matter of "Oh, I see. I finally see. I understand."

For this appearance, there were no bells or whistles, no grand excitement upon realization. It was as if I knew the understanding would come. There was an intuition that it was close. I didn't know when it would come because I was not the author of the search. I was the vehicle. The understanding was just out of reach until it wasn't. Suddenly it was there. It was simply a denouement, a culmination. Suddenly the understanding was there.

For many years I had lost motivation. Didn't feel like there was much of a self. Certainly not a self that had goals or ambitions. I didn't compete, except in a manner of doing my best to contribute at work. I had many ecstatic experiences, but they came and went. And, as with many others, I thought that was enlightenment. But again, experiences don't necessarily equate to understanding. They are a state. And states come and go.

My only desire for forty years was to know the Truth. I knew I had done my homework. There wasn't much more that I could do. The search didn't seem like a curse any more. Though in my early years it had. It was a curse because I couldn't stop the search. It was as if a program was running that wouldn't stop without finding. I didn't know it was That looking for Itself.

Of course, the seeker is the sought. But you only realize this at the end, when realization happens. I had heard "The seeker is the sought" a thousand times. But it didn't make sense. "The observer is the observed," was another expression of That fact. You might say I was first cursed by the search, and then surrendered to the search. The search was a given, programed into this appearance. Surrender was the only option.

There was the fact that I was getting to the age where I knew I could die without the understanding. But there was also peace because I knew that whether I was enlightened or not, I was That. But the understanding I had seemed intellectual, not fact. There was something more that was needed, but I had no clue what it was. Simply reading Robert Wolfe's "Living Nonduality" brought the clarity that was the "Aha."

For realization, it seems that it is a matter of conviction. Feeling like the understanding is just intellectual just means that the understanding has not gone deep enough. It hasn't yet hit the core of the self. You might say that after forty years of contemplation, the momentum had it's own trajectory, and reading a book with clarity on the subject finally struck home. Clarity finally ca,e amd went deep. The understanding just slipped through on soft slippers as gently as a breeze.

In this appearance, forty years was necessary because that's the way it happened. It couldn't have been any other way because that's the way it happened. The Absolute is in charge. Not a me. So when teachers say, earnestness is all, they mean it. And when you realize, you know that if the understanding had never come, that too would have been perfect, and ultimately, of no consequence.

Realization or enlightenment is for the appearance, the mind of the self. And yet it is completely paradoxical that on realization, the understanding is that you are not the self, but the Self, the Absolute, the ineffable, the only One that is. The appearance, the self, appears to realize, but it is the Self that just recognizes Itself.

The joy in the understanding is that all that the teachers said that didn't make sense, suddenly does. All the contradictory mumbo jumbo becomes clear. The sun comes out and everything is seen. The search is over. It's so simple it's embarrassing.





Saturday, March 19, 2016

Enjoying Realization

Things get very enjoyable once you've realized. Why? Because once you know that everything is ultimately OK, you can just relax into doing what you do, whatever you are doing. Everything becomes fun, enjoyable. In a sense, it doesn't matter what you are doing. Even work. Why? Because all activities are ultimately equal.

Why are all activies equal? Because there is ultimately no good or bad. Nothing is really happening. That is doing what That is doing. Free will for the appearance? No way, and it doesn't matter. Free will can't come into the picture because That, not having ever been bound, knows nothing of freedom. Essentially freedom doesn't enter the picture.

Yesterday and today I took apart my espresso maker. I descaled it and took it apart to clean inside. Difficulties, yes, took me two days.  Yesterday I couldn't get some of the parts off. Today I was successful, even found a duplicate screw in my garage. Two days on an espresso maker? Yes,but not frustraing. All fun. If I hadn't fixed it, or broken the machine, I would just revert to making drip coffee until I could buy a new one.

It is wonderful to know that although there are still preferences, doing what I need to do is just That doing what It needs to do as this appearance. This appearance didn't go away, it still has it's needs, but knowing That is doing all the doing gives space to any doing. Can't really go wrong. That's the experience now.

Any idea of saving or fixing the world is gone. Whatever happens is OK. What happens had to happen, and what doesn't happen is perfectly OK. Very radical from the former viewpoint where everything mattered. But this is a much better view. Think I'll go make some espresso. 

Knowing Is All

I finished "Living Noduality." It was wonderful to read as it took me Home. I can't thank you enough. Seems as if 99% of the understanding was here, but there was this residual belief that, "Surely I can't get it. Who am I to think it could happen to me?" Just a doubt. But that doubt kept a veil of separation, just enough to leave me with some, still lingering, sense of not fully knowing. Your book really did bring the "understanding" home.

The sense of there being no me was already here. Knowing that nothing ultimately matters was here. But, I think I was still, at least unconsciously, thinking there had to be some big, mind blowing experience that would let me know I had arrived. But that wasn't that way it turned out for me. I just knew that I knew, felt a deep satisfaction, and went to bed.

Over the years I have had many mind blowing experiences. A heart chakra opening that put me in the hospital overnight. Of course the doctors couldn't figure out what had happened to me. Short description: Walking with my wife, a huge amount of electrical, prickly sensations started moving down my shoulders to my fingers and I kept asking my wife, "What is this."Then I had an overwhelming tiredness come over me, and I had an internal voice saying, "If you take another steep, you're dead." It was a very powerful internal voice.

Then I collapsed next to a telephone pole on the ground. An overwhelming experience of expansion took over. It was like someone had put a super high pressure hose into my center and was blowing me up like a balloon. My body felt like it was exploding and expanding into the universe. I was certain that I was dying. I gave up.

There were other experiences of absolute bliss where I was not. I could not stay there as there was no me there. As the experience left there were these words, "You are always surrounded by Absolute beauty, always were, and always will be, whether you are aware of it or not."

But that is NOT enlightenment. I had studied Nisargadatta and he repeatedly said, "Understanding is All." James Swartz has some books out, and he also stresses that enlightenment is an understanding. I knew that to be true, but it escaped me. I didn't feel that I needed all the rest of the Advaita Vedanta that Swartz taught. I was looking for something simpler.

Then I read your "Living Nonduality." As I told you, I had read everything J. Krishnamurit wrote, years ago. And I got a sense of the presence from his words. Very mind blowing, but the final understanding did not come home then. "Living Originally" gave me the same sense of presence I had when reading Krishnamurti. It's a sense of the space from which the words come. Not the human author.

I felt the profundity of the words In "Living Noduality." I had the sense that in this book you were writing to yourself, clarifying the understanding you had arrived at. The writing was very clear. It was like a sense of coming home, coming home to the understanding. It's like the completion of something that was vaguely known. Like coming to the end of a sentence and placing the period.

Swartz reinforced the point of coming to the "Understanding." It seems that "Living Originally" gave me permission to stop looking for some particular experience, something special. After all, don't the teachers say it's ordinary. Anyhow, the simplicity of it was brought home. All is That. There is nothing outside of That.

Your call to me, although very short. was confirmation, as you said, there is nowhere to go, the presence is here now. It's not in the future. So, I'm really just writing to you, out of gratitude. The understanding was suddenly just there. I didn't need to have any experience. No particular experience of any kind required. Many teachers I found unhelpful. I didn't doubt their knowing, they just weren't helpful.

What is there to do or know when you are That? Whether you realize it or not, no difference in the big picture. Yet, the satisfaction of knowing is better than not for this appearance.

I am sure there will be many questions of curiosity that will arise, and further unfolding, but there is deep satisfaction here. Remaining questions will all be answered in the knowing "I am That." The implications of the knowing "I am That," will unravel whatever concepts and beliefs are still hanging around, but their days are numbered. Thanks again for your books. The clarity came through for me.

Again, I thank you for writing so honestly and clearly that the knowing came home to roost here.

Robert Wolfe's book is free on his home page at http://www.livingnonduality.org/home.htm

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Understanding Is All

When you know --- you know that you know. Why is That? Because it is so simple! When you know that you are That, it is a realization, an understanding. Understanding brings clarity. The understanding is so obvious! How could you doubt it when it is so simple?

When you see that the understanding, the realization, answers all your questions. The search is over. When that happens, you feel a big relaxation and go on doing and being what you are, what you always were, even when you didn't know it.

The simple fact is, you are That, and not a person. There is an apparent person here that apparently understood something. But the understanding is that you are not a person, you are only That appearing as a person. It makes sense.

It becomes obvious and self proving, especially when you read the enlightened masters and you understand what they are saying. It's so obvious. What used to seem paradoxical, quixotic, now makes perfect and obvious sense. Clarity at last! You didn't change, you just realized something that you didn't realize before.

And then you can just be amazed that all that reading, all those years of contemplation were needed until the simple understanding behind all the words is taken in to your very core and acknowledged. Once you admit to the truth of it, and see beyond your little self. Then the understanding takes root.

The understanding is: You are That. All that is, is That. The observer is the observed. The Absolute is everywhere present, undisturbed, unlimited, unavoidable, and you are that. 

All Questions Answered

I see that realization does answer all questions. Why is the sky blue? Because of That! Why is the grass green? Because of That! Why is water wet? Because of That. What more needs be said?

Maybe a little more explanation would help. OK. Here we go. Why is nothing happening? Because there is nothing but That. That being eternal, omnipresent, and the only essence there is, doesn't change. If That doesn't change, nothing is really happening.

Why don't I have to change myself or the world? Because no matter what happens, no matter what I change, in the end, what remains is only That. I am That.

The first cause and the last cause is That. So what is there left to do? Nothing. Might as well sit back and enjoy myself. Whatever happens, That is That. That's all there is. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Only That

You could say that I searched for nonduality for many years. But, after arrival one does not claim to have searched at all! He who searched has left town, never to be seen again. Who was the doer? That!

I am not the doer. You are not the doer. That is the doer. All one doer, not two doers, as in a me or a you. "The sinner and the saint are just exhanging notes" to quote Nisargadatta. Where is good and bad when there is only That? 

Some have called nondual awareness impersonal. But in fact, when there is only you, nothing but intimacy remains. When there is only all that is as you and me, everything is intimate. Nothing could create more intimacy. When the "observer is the observed", as Krishnamurti says, where is the distance? 

Where is the harm when no one is doing anything to you, nor you to them? What opinion can you have about what is going on? Everything is allowed. There are no winners or loosers. Only That. Only That, being what it is. Loving what is. No one to save. Only That.