Thursday, November 14, 2019

Nothingness

No thing, or nothingness means without form. So, realization is realizing that one is not the separate form of an personal individual, but that which is without form, awareness itself. Recognizing all things, awareness itself is not a thing. It may be NO THING, but it does exist.

Time is the Measurement of Change

Time is just a conceptual way to measure change. It's really that simple. The eternal Absolute has always been and always will be. The core of the Absolute doesn't change and is therefore outside of time. To enter time, the Absolute creates form which evolves and decays. Our eternal nature is obscured when we identify as a separate entity. But, when we pierce the veil of separation we realize our eternal nature as timeless, pure, universal consciousness.

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Balance

I may not know who I am, or what I am, but I do know that I exist and that I did not create myself. I am speaking from the human perspective, from the body and mind that I am hard wired to know as myself. As such I have to admit that I did NOT create myself. I find myself here, knowing nothing.

Slowly but surely, with the help of my parents, relatives, and others, I have been indoctrinated into certain beliefs and attitudes. Being totally dependent on the adults in my environment, I must at least fake adoption of the surrounding values in order to survive.

First I had to learn what those around me thought and believed, modified by the actual behaviors of people in the culture. Obviously, people reflect the culture in which they are raised, adopting the attitudes and beliefs so as to survive. Individuation is a must, but this is usually just enough to make a living for myself, and have a few hobbies.

With this in mind, how is it that we come to the conclusion that "I am living my dream. I'm doing it my way." How does one hang on to that idea? Free will? Doesn't this seem a little preposterous?

The greatest freedom one can find, it seems to me, is to search for that which created me. Only that would have the answer as to what and who I am. Isn't this the ground of the search for truth, the holy grail, the corner stone of the religious or spiritual quest?

It seems a fruitless task to take off on this quest, seeing that one is limited, facing the entire created universe which one barely comprehends. Do we stop here because our unknowing is such a great obstacle?

It is very difficult to challenge our cultural and family heritage. None of us like psychological insecurity. So stepping out past the edge of knowing into the unknown is a big step. There is going to be a free fall psychologically. But, to do this willingly, is the beginning of courage.

Once we've stepped off the edge and begun the journey, where do we stop? Isn't there always going to be a huge pit of the unknown, even if we find God, the Absolute, Brahman, whatever?

For myself, the search ended with a shift of identity. It was a move from identity as a small body and mind, to identity with the larger essence of that which created me. This of course leaves much to be desired. There is still the enormous field of the unknown.

But there is a deep satisfaction, a deep sense of coming home.  When one has gone beyond the limited self, to being, and trusting the Absolute, the creator of this small body-mind, a certain peace does arrive. After all, what could the Absolute create with but itself?

Realization is just an apt description of finding that one is more than the little self separate self. It is to find an identify that includes the whole. It brings a sense of security that has been called "The peace that passes understanding."

The paradox is, that the little self remains. It's just not all there is of you. You are the whole as well. The search for satisfaction may end, but a heap of unknown remains. Where does this leave us?

It leaves us with a paradoxical balance. On the one hand we have an expanded identity which we trust. On the other, the free fall into the unknown remains. Both exist in a balance of confidence and unknowing.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Motiveless Love

"Well, it seems to me that the action done without motive is the action that's enduring. The action that's done with a grand motive in mind, even though the motive may be so wonderful as to help all humanity, isn't the lasting wonder that love, just lived, just simply lived is."  ~ William Samuel

I love this quote. It stands out because it points to love being one's very self. Being love itself, one does not need a motive, just as Jesus said, "Why call me good?" David Hawkins repeatedly talks of not doing anything, not planning anything, but just being what one has become. Of course this doesn't make much sense until one arrives at being That, which is all.

The love without motive that William Samuel speaks of, is enduring, because it's not tainted with human ego. That taint which corrupts most doing. To know that "you are not the doer" means your ego, is out of the way. Then, what is done spontaneously, is the love that being is. That love has always been, and will endure. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

The Hard Problem of Consciousness

It's really funny that so many have embraced and believe there is a "Hard problem of consciousness." That is, trying to figure out how consciousness arises out of matter. Sorry, but that problem was solved in ancient times. The Indian sages showed long ago that matter arises in consciousness, just like a world appears in your dreams. William Samuel understood there was no "hard problem of consciousness." Simply put, the scientist examining the brain is using "consciousness" to study it. You can't get outside of consciousness no matter how hard you try. If you're stuck in a material world, try reading a little William Samuel. He explains these issues in simple, yet elegant ways.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Happiness

Happiness is when we get what we want. But there is a deeper peace that is greater than happiness. Then happiness is not necessary. It is just icing on the cake.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Self Forgiveness

The amazing thing about self forgiveness is that if you do it, suddenly, everyone else is sinless and guiltless. Everyone becomes innocent. Makes a much simpler world, with joy to boot.

With the understanding that God is all, the little man, the ego, can be seen as an operating system designed and operated by the Father. There is no effort of surrender if this is seen. One simply becomes innocent, the bystander only, awareness viewing the scene without judgment.

If one admits "I did not create myself, but am a created being, born into a world I did not create," how foolish it is to take on the guilt of this world, blaming oneself and others for the perception of sin. 

When one lets God be God, and gives back responsibility for this world, one can lay the burden of the world down, and take the position of the observer, awareness itself without judgment.

"You are not the doer," is a profound pointer to let go and let God. Doing so leaves you white as snow, and everyone else as well. Then unconditional love is not an effort, just a fact. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Alienation of Love

A child knows innately that it needs love. It knows innately if it is not receiving it. If the love is absent, the child knows that which is essential, is missing. In this case it represses it's own knowledge and grows up out of touch with itself. The repression then manifests alienation of self and others. It's a tragedy. The only hope is to feel the pain. It is still there, in the body, in the cells. But if the pain is felt, the reality of love pours back in.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Peace of Mind

What really calms the mind is the reduction of internal conflicts. Therapy and yoga both contribute to this reduction. Realization of the non dual nature of reality also reduces internal conflict. In fact, external conflict reduces when one realizes that ultimately there is no reality to the appearance of separateness.

It is said that a quiet mind is required to grasp the subtleties of enlightenment. This is understandable. Maslow's hierarchy of needs lists physiological needs at the top of the list, followed by safety, belonging, self esteem, and self actualization. The implication of the hierarchy is that enlightenment or realization is likely to be put off until these other needs are met.

A large number of current teachers have stated that they find an increasing number of people interested in realization. There is a quickening of the spirit. This may certainly be due to the larger proportion of people having their basic needs met. I would suggest that the prevalence of therapeutic methods and the increasing number of people who take advantage of these, contributes greatly to the ability to pursue spiritual attainment.

Yoga was originally a method of quieting the mind. We know that meditation and yoga do exactly that. It seems that personal therapy also contributes enormously to the lessening of internal conflict, and therefore the emergence of a quieter mind.

A quiet mind is simply a mind that is not in conflict with itself. It implies a unified mind, a mind that has examined and refined its values. A mind that has placed its values in a hierarchy which allows lesser values to accept their place.

Whatever therapy, yoga, meditation, or other practice allows one to calm the mind will provide a path for clear contemplation and concentration. If the goal is realization, the quiet mind and its lack of distraction will make the path to realization easier.

There is a paradox in this picture. It is this: the realization of the non dual nature of reality itself is a profound quieting of the mind. To see that ultimately there is no separation, that one belongs, and is the eternal essence, ends the existential angst. It is the answer that ends all seeking as all conflicts are subsumed into knowing that all is one. To know that one has always been existence, consciousness, peace, and always will be, is the quietest place one could be.

If You Ask The Question

If you ask the question "What am I" or "Why am I here?" You have already made a statement that you are not the creator or source of your being. You have admitted that something else is the author of your body/mind. You have revealed that the person you find yourself to be is not something you created. You need to discover what this thing is! And what it is supposed to do!

If you just consider the question you are asking, you have already acknowledged God, whether you call it that or not. Call it nature, call it energy, whatever, it is the source of your existence.

To answer this question is often a life long goal. It is certainly worth pursuing. Religion and philosophy are a means to answer the question. But, to simply adopt a religion or philosophy as a belief, does not answer the question deeply enough. It can keep existential angst at bay, but it will not deeply satisfy unless it is known in one's core.

It seems that one needs to go deeply into who is asking the question. It is the person, the ego, the intellect, that is asking. It is the seeking of the Holy Grail. The answer that answers all fundamental questions. Advaita says the answer is "existence, consciousness, peace."

To know "I exist" is to be conscious. To realize that personality, ego, and body are focal points in consciousness, and are known to you, suggests that you are other than the personality, ego, body, or intellect.

If you go deep enough, the answer to "What am I" can only be consciousness itself. Not a particular consciousness, but awareness itself. That awareness in which the whole universe exists. That awareness that was before the big bang. That awareness that will be there at the end. And after the end. And you are that. And that is peace.

Monday, October 21, 2019

We Are Flowering

The apparent imperfection of life experience is the perfect expression of the learning experience. We may not know what we are here to learn, but the high view is that perfection is the goal. That perfection is unfolding through each life.

Is the bud less than the flower? No, it is just the potential flower. The essence is the same. We are the bud, working through the changes necessary to flower. We are the bud before the bloom.

God's Dreamscape

An experience, even the most ecstatic ends. So, even a great experience doesn't solve the problem of freedom from suffering. Knowledge does solve the problem because it is valid whatever experience you are having. The knowledge you need is that whatever experience you are having, good or bad, appears in awareness. That awareness is not personal. You are the knower of experience. You are beyond experience. You are the eternal presence.

The big picture is that awareness is not a product of evolution or a product of the physical brain. The brain, and in fact the universe, are in awareness. If you don't think this could be, your personal experience of the dream state can help. In your dream a whole universe appears in which all experience is available. You experience a physical universe with objects, actions, and emotions. It is real until you wake up. Consider that the whole dreamscape was conjured up in your mind, created entirely of mind stuff.

Just so, the universe we see in our daily waking life is a dream in the mind of God. Any experience, any knowing, is dependent on awareness. With examination, awareness can be seen to be the sole and primary factor of existence. It is not personal and not limited to any body. Being that existent awareness you are eternal and beyond any experience. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

An interview I did with spiritualteachers.org has been posted. If you like my posts you might enjoy this interview.  Interview with Spiritual Teachers

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Judge Not

I have always been bothered by Jesus' statement, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

Why did this phrase bother me? First, because it seemed an impossible ideal. Who hasn't been hurt and therefore judged the situation or person that harmed you. Don't we need to respond, to condemn that situation or person, so as to know our way forward? Aren't we also advised to have discernment? To discriminate between right and wrong, good and evil?

The answer seems to be in perspective, the position from which one is looking. On the one hand we are a being, a body, a focal point. Metaphysically, we call this perspective relative. In other words, we are looking at the world as an individual, with needs, desires, goals and dreams.

On the other hand, there is the perspective from the Absolute, from Being itself. From this perspective, the world, the universe, is as it should be. As it was intended. From this perspective, the world is perfect. It could be no other way.

It seems to me, that to understand Jesus' directive, one needs to take the top-down view, not the bottom-up view. Jesus is letting us know that to be aligned with truth, with God, the Absolute, we are required to let go of the bottom-up view, the personal view.

Isn't it the personal view that suffers, that resents, that assigns guilt and feels guilty in return? Isn't it the personal view, the bottom-up view, that judges, that condemns?

Jesus was speaking from the top-down view, from the view of Being, the Absolute. He was speaking from a higher truth. The view from the Absolute, which loves the whole of creation, without judgment. Beyond good and evil.

It is said we are created in the image of God. In essence, we can be nothing other than That.

If we are strong enough, and brave enough to look deeply into our self, we can leave off the judgments of the small self. We can surrender to the Absolute, the Impersonal Self. And in this surrender, we can enjoy the "peace that passeth understanding," where there is no sin, no judgment, no guilt. Free at last. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Who's Freedom

There are some basic assumptions people take on unconsciously. One of them is the idea of free will. This is programmed from early childhood as parents and society continuously remind us to be responsible. Being responsible implies choice. We also know from personal experience that being responsible, making good choices, works. Culture rewards this.

For many years I struggled to overcome what I had been taught. So much of it rejected, not because of some rebellious nature that was opposed to authority, but because so much of what I saw in the culture was dishonest. Not necessarily a super conscious purposeful dishonesty, but a lack of integrity that allowed the dishonesty to flourish.

In early childhood it was a spontaneous intuition that was unshakable. It was an intuition that the truth was covered over to allow for the culture to continue, to endure without confrontation. This intuition forcibly drove me to keep pulling at the veil, to question authority. I did not reject authority, I just saw that authority had to be earned. It had to be established in truth. I looked for and searched for that authority.

The most truthful authorities seemed to point within, teaching that if you wanted to know the truth, you could be guided, but that ultimately it would be found within.
In the West it starts in Genesis where we are informed that we are made in the image of God. In the East it is the Atman, which turns out to be the same as Brahman.

When I looked within, and went deep enough, the personal self was not myself, but as the sages have always pointed out, my true Self was the Self of the Absolute. And what do we know of the Absolute other than its function as Awareness. Our deepest knowing of our self as existence is this pure awareness.

William Samuel had this to say about Awareness in his book, "The Child Within Us Lives."

"Awareness is God's Self perception going on. Therefore, it's God's responsibility. We feel the weight of the world taken from our shoulders. We rejoice with a new joy. We receive the promise of old. 'Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.'

The person is not in a position to judge what is going on. William Samuel claimed that the best contemplation we can do is to see the good in everyone. At least look for it. We don't set off to save the world, we just do the next right thing, the good thing that comes before us.

Freedom does not reside in the person, it resides in the Absolute. As we take on That identify, freedom becomes what we are. Free will is to surrender to That.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Use the Intellect Honestly

You can't play God from the human perspective. That's what transcendence is all about. To play God from the human point of view causes a lot of suffering. Attempt to see from the Absolute's point of view. That will lessen suffering.

You can't put the intellect, rationality, or logic above Being, but you can certainly use the intellect and logic to grasp at Being. You are Beingness itself! And Being, created the intellect. So use the tool, but use it honestly, not in the defense of the ego. That's transcendence.

The intellect is a tool like any other. Everyone wants an honest carpenter because a hammer can be used to build a house or kill the owner. Like any other tool, the intellect can be used for good or ill. Use it honestly and it will serve you well.

Experience and intuition are not rational processes. But the intellect can analyze and determine the value of an experience. The story of the rope and the snake is the most well known example of this. Unpacking experience in a rational and logical manner can add great value to any experience, and can help you let go of experience that does not add value to your life because it is not true to the fact.

Using the intellect willingly, honestly, look at yourself and how you experience life. Question the validity of how you experience. Are your experiences a valid response to what is? Look at yourself honestly. Inquire into yourself without holding back what the facts are. Isn't this what self inquiry is? The wise saying, "Know thyself," is of paramount importance. But, you have to do it thoroughly and honestly.

Since the intellect is a product Being, it is secondary to Being. Using the intellect well will take you beyond it. But use it well first. Self inquiry is an intellectual task. You can transcend the ego, seeing that it is a construct, a useful tool, just like the intellect.

The hard problem of consciousness was answered long ago. Self inquiry will answer this for you. You will find that consciousness is primary. You are that. Problem solved.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Mystics and Meaning

We can all agree that meaning is essential to human life and health. Culture and religion are methods to provide meaning, providing stories and structures that define values. But what happens to the individual that for some reason doesn't fit with the culture or can't stomach the religion in their environment?

Most people are pretty agreeable and they want to fit in. They don't question too much and join the parade. They can have fairly meaningful lives adjusting to the status quo. The issue of meaning isn't challenged because they adapt to the culture and religion provided. But what happens to the people that can't adjust?

Mystics through the ages have always been somewhat disagreeable. There a hundreds of stories of them being burned at the stake, forced to take poison, or simply banished from their homeland.

It's quite easy to see that for the mystic, accepting what has been handed down without examination or critique is anathema to their being. It's not that their religion isn't pointing to the truth, it's that they want to go deeper, to experience the truth for themselves. They don't want God, or Being, mediated to them by a priestly cast, they want to know God or Being directly.

This insistence most certainly puts them at odds with the culture, especially the religious aspect that has hardened into beliefs. The church says "This is what you must believe to belong, to be good, to be worthy." For the mystics, belief is not enough.

The mystic is the not the "true believer." The mystic is the one whose inside is screaming, "I want to know myself, as I am, in the ground of my Being." This demand cannot be mediated by any priest. It is a journey of the self to the Self. It is a lonely journey, a  journey into the desert, into the wastelands. A journey of discovery.

The mystic's search for meaning goes beneath the platitudes and insists that meaning must come directly from the Source itself. There must be in them some intuition that there is more to this life, this existence, than meets the eye, or is told in the town square.

Spiritual journeys are singular, and much of the journey is not pleasant. But, whatever the individual path, the mystics come to the same Source, the same fountain of profound truth. That is why their writings have been called "The perennial philosophy." The mystic finds that all the world's religious come from a single source, the being of existence itself.

The discovery of the mystic provides the authority with which they speak. The humility of their knowing shows they have transcended the personal self. That combination of authority and humility attracts seekers of wisdom. They do not put a price on sharing. They are available to all.

The mystic has tapped into the ground of Being. They speak of instantaneous knowledge, a direct download from Source. It comes with such authority that to question it seems absurd. Meaning pours through their souls like water after the years in the desert, making their journey worthwhile.

The mystic, knowing source directly, as the Beingness that they are, have the joy of meaning that they need not understand. In other words, knowing they are that which they sought, they know longer need to question their existence or justify it. The world is their creation.

Whatever travails the mystic endured, he comes to know the essence he is, is non other than the being that created this universe. As an individual they know their limitations, and they may not have all the answers, but the answer to the big question is complete. In that they rest.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Meaning and Intent

Meaning has to do with intent. It points to a significant quality. Isn't this what the search for Truth is? Finding what is significant and shows the intent of life?

The lack of meaning in one's life is a sure pointer that one has not found the Truth that satisfies. We're not talking about beliefs here. If one is defensive about one's position, you're standing on shaky ground.

The sages that seem to have the Truth, or a good taste of it, are humble, but speak with authority. They can speak with authority because it is not borrowed Truth, it is known in their bones.

If the universe is a random occurrence, can one find Truth in it? Or meaning. Evidence seems to show that one can. The Existentialists grappled with this. To a large extent they came to the conclusion that the individual had to answer their own question. Many did this without belief or acknowledgment of God.

I was an atheist for many years and found meaning in my life. It was very personal. It worked for me. But this never answered the question of the universe. I was still curious. Why the universe? Why the way it is? Why me?

These questions about the universe imply that as satisfying as my personal life might be, it did not answer some fundamental questions. And the fundamental questions did not just slip out of my psyche like chaff.

The drive to discover the most meaning possible in life remained. And these questions were larger than the personal self. The fact of the need for meaning, although personal to a large extent, points beyond. And it must point beyond because we did not create ourselves.

To my mind, finding myself a created being, could I really be satisfied with having personal meaning that did not include the creator? What was its intention? What was the creation for?

This process led to looking for deeper intent, a more profound meaning, a more inclusive understanding. Existence is. The search for meaning is. This is inherent in the human. Doesn't this make it clear the search is valid?

The sages have made it clear that "You are That." There is a lot of meaning in that statement. It means that you are larger than the small self. It means that although the small self exists, it is just a part of That.

The path from hearing "You are That," to knowing you are "That," is a long process, or a giant leap. The search is nothing but the path to know "That." When the truth of "You are That" dawns, meaning seems to drop like manna from heaven.

Knowing "You are That," makes you the whole. You are the creator of the universe and the purpose is yours. While still being the small self playing the role you are in, you are also the creator, the being of it all. How can you not be at peace with existence? It is you doing your thing. Your intent, your meaning. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Search

The only reason we search is that we think awareness is a personal product of our brain. Realization is seeing that our body and mind are in awareness, and we are That.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Be the Source

You can be the experiment source has created, or you can be the source and stand as the observer.