Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Arriving Unannounced

My "being created" is just the simple fact that I didn't create this body or mind. It is obviously the product of some creative process that this human being had nothing to do with. I arrived here unannounced even to myself. Had to discover what the hell was going on.

Obviously, from the body perspective, it's a setup. Experiences happen a certain way because of how the form is made. When I look honestly at my humanness, not of my making, I can't even find free will. Sure, I feel like I make choices, but I don't see freedom in them.

The only freedom I have is that I also know that the essence of who I am has to be that which created me. Like the Bible says, we are created in the image of God. Yep. We are that. And if we take that on, we are totally fee. And then, beyond that, there is nothing to oppose The Absolute, so where is there bondage or freedom. It's just this, as it is, without anything to judge.

The Void

Someone asked me how my experience compared to Bernadette Roberts experience. This was regarding her book "The Experience of No Self. 
Below is my answer.

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I didn't read Bernadette Roberts till about 10 years ago, so I had already gone through hell years before. I lost all my so-called Christian beliefs suddenly when I went to college. It was hell because every reference point and meaning left overnight. It's hell because the void has no reference point and therefore no way out. This makes it feel eternal. I've heard the void described as blissful, but that was not my experience. 

The only thing I had was common sense, which told me that what I was feeling could not be the final answer, as no one would want to live like this, suicide would be the best answer, and if this was correct, the human race would extinguish itself. So I went about trying to make a life worth living. Not easy with no reference point. It took a long time. 

Since I could not live in a meaningless void I went looking for meaning. It took many years. Atheist for years, then agnostic, and then to a spiritual understanding of God. God had to be there because I was a created being. It just had to be a new God, a different God, or we could say, a new understanding. 

Roberts did the same thing. I was a little disappointed with her because in the end, she clung to some of her classic Christian tradition, such as the Trinity. In the end she couldn't let go of everything, even if it was only an empty shell. 

I totally agree with her that if you are feeling a sense of unity, then there must be a separation that feels unified. There is a step beyond that. There can't be any separation when "You are That." You know you are in essence That, while at the same time expressing That as the relative human appearance. It gives you the freedom to be the person you are, warts and all. 

Being a human is God's problem, not yours. On the other hand, knowing the essence of yourself as That, what harm would you want to do? 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Where Do Principles Come From?

Some still claim that consciousness arises from the brain. If that's the case, where do the principles of mathematics lie? Are those principles created by the brain, or are they discoveries that some of us discern? For thousands of years these principles were not known, or little known. 

Does quantum physics come out of our brain from a new combination of neurons? Or does it seem more logical that the principles of mathematics and quantum physics have always existed? These types of principles seem to be behind the principles of matter and determine how physics operates. It defies logic to believe they came out of matter, or came out of a brain, millions of years after the big bang. 

It makes sense that these principles existed prior to matter, and that they underlay matter, and are the principles that determine how matter operates, and how the neurons of a brain operate. 

What exists first, the principle of music, or the creator of music. Does the composer create the principles of music, or does he come to know them, understand them, and then create with them? 

The consideration of these examples, surely points to the fact that these principles existed prior to matter, prior to neurons and brains. Only consciousness perceives these principles, and it is obvious that these principles were prior to the creation which makes use of them. 

How long will it take for science to let go of the prejudice that neurons create consciousness? Brains and neurons are more like radio receivers that filter out static and tune in to consciousness. Better radios get better signals, and subtler brains grasp deeper concepts. But everything the brain discovers comes from somewhere else, beyond matter, beyond time and space. 

The Absolute and its principles are prior to anything our brains discover. The whole universe is nothing but an appearance in awareness, the function of the Absolute experiencing itself. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Time

Time is the measurement of change. Without change, time would not exist. 

If there is a time of the year when you have no schedule and one day seems like the last, time seems to slow, or as we say, drag. The only measurement may be that the sun went up and came down, or that there was a change in the weather. 

When the sages say that the Absolute is changeless, they are pointing out that the Absolute is outside of time. This is why the identity shift of a realized person gives them the knowledge that they are eternal. This is why they can say, "I was never born, and therefore cannot die." They become the measure, not the measured. 

All form changes, be it matter, thoughts or feelings. Awareness sees the changes because itSelf is changeless. 

To know oneself as awareness is be outside of time, to be deathless, to be the observer, the subject of all that is. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Experience and Understanding

Spiritual experiences are like data, or information, but without deep inquiry and contemplation there is no knowledge or understanding. "Spiritual experiences are not trophies," ~Anne Sweet. Settling for a bunch of experiences, is close to being a pin up poster. We must go beyond experience and extract the meaning, the truth of our being, and all it's implications. We study till we become our own authority. Freedom is when we can leave the teachers behind. 

We were given a heart and a mind. Spiritual people tend to denigrate one or the other, but both need to be satisfied. Wisdom does not arrive with an experience or two. The mind has it's part to play, even the part where it knows its limits. When the mind and heart are both satisfied, the personality can relax into Being. 

Of course, actualization, embodiment, walking the understanding, is a continuing story. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Born In The Tiger's Mouth

I was born with my head "in the tiger's mouth." From early childhood what passed for truth and satisfied most people, did not satisfy me. A deep soul itch craved an answer. Raised in the Christian tradition, I could not buy the theology. So the search was on. The Christian mystics, on the other hand, seemed to have a deeper understanding of God, and it was not confined to the standard accepted theology. 

In reading the Upanishads, the Indian sages seemed so Christlike, but their interpretation of God seemed much more scientific, abstract, and not based on belief. This discovery was profound for me, and touched that deeper part of my soul seeking satisfaction. From J. Krishnamurti, to Aurobindo, to Ramana, and Nisargadatta, I devoured it all. Compared to the Eastern sages, only the Christian and Muslim mystics seemed to be at a level that salved the itch. 

Knowledge is power. Experience was not enough for me, although ecstatic and profound experiences did occur. Extracting the understanding from those experiences is what I call 'realization.' Intuition drove me, but the intellect was not satisfied until there was understanding underpinned with the mystical experiences that felt more real than anything else I had experienced. 
 
All of the above is to try and explain how there seemed to be 'no choice.' I was born with a search already intact. It drove me to explore and risk my sanity to know a deeper truth. I don't feel there was choice in that matter. Since I had read so many mystics and sages, I was well prepared for any leaps that needed to be taken. I already knew that any leap would be unsettling, even making me question my own sanity. This knowledge was such that when it came time to let go and just be That, it did not feel like any choice at all. It was what needed to be done. A lifetime had pointed to this. The leap was obvious, and from my point of view, rational. 

It is paradoxical. Just as it takes one to know one, the sages seem to speak from a different domain. And they are. The point of view of the Self has a viewpoint beyond the personal. I personally do not feel we have free will. But as soon as you take on the identity of Self, there is only complete freedom, beyond the concepts of free will. 

My choice was not seen in 'retrospect.' A trajectory was there from birth. Any choice was beside the point. It was not a personal choice. It has to be the will of God or it would not happen to anyone. When the truth that I am awareness itself was seen, what choice was there? It was just a fact to be accepted. If it was personal, why would they call it grace? 


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Path To Silence

The silence so often spoken of by sages is not something that can be forced, or practiced. It is the natural result of dropping into pure awareness. Both the Jnani and the Bhakti can come to this natural silence. It's not a matter of a particular religion, but does result from the pursuit of truth or unconditional love.

The silence arrives on its own without effort. Yet effort is required in one's search for truth or unconditional love. Since all religions are a path to truth and love, it matters not which one conditioned you. Just go deeper. Trust your intuition, and pursue these two until your heart and mind are satisfied. Then you will know the silence. 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

You Are The Knower

In the game hide and seek, the players are known, but they hide from each other. Only in hiding can the game be played. The absolute does the same thing. Without hiding itself, there is no game to play (Lila) and no discoveries to be made. So the formless manifests in form and the observer becomes the observed.

So the limitless becomes the limited by creating form. Without the hidden, the limited, there is no game. Form and limitation were needed for there to be space time. Without form only the absolute is.

The truest spirituality is discovery. Even creativity is a discovery process. Discovery can only be non dogmatic, otherwise the game is over. No answer can diminish the infinite.

Paradox is a big part of the play (Lila). We are an apparent person, yet in essence Self. Apparently separate, but in essence one. It seems we can say in all humility "I am Brahman," because to know this, negates our egoic superiority as an individual.

We can find peace and the end of seeking in knowing I am That. But that does not end our curiosity or love of exploration and discovery. You can know you are the knower, and yet not know everything.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Simple Love Song

Seems like songs are mostly about love. Love found. Love lost. Come back. Get lost. It's a yo yo, a roller coaster ride. Nothing ever stays the same.

Except, one thing. Awareness.

Behind all the scenes, the ups and downs, the constant is awareness. The mountains, the valleys, the skies and the ocean, where do they appear? In the constant shinning light of awareness.

The love of awareness is constant. Whatever appears is loved. No judgment follows. No guilt in awareness. It sees what it sees; that's all.

There is no other to awareness, so where could loneliness arise? Only in ignorance, the sages say. A simple mistake corrected by a simple realization. You are not an object, a human, a person, but awareness itself. Simple knowledge.

Awareness is all there is. How could you be separate? A simple knowledge so hard to realize. You are knocking from the inside, said Rumi. A perfect metaphor. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Hate The Sin But Not The Sinner

For all the teachings about about not judging and not hating there are just as many that say don't sin, and don't cast pearls before swine, hate the sin but not the sinner. Discernment is a cherished method of realization and that is a judgment function. These statements about not judging are better understood if you use the phrase "don't condemn." A realized person would see a wrong, (therefore a judgment), yet not condemn the sinner, (love him anyway). Discernment is absolutely necessary. Making judgments is necessary. But It is not necessary to hate the sinner. Realization is seeing the innocence of the sinner. On realization one sees all as equal; one essence. The realized make judgments. They just don't condemn. Nisargadatta says, "The sinner and saint are just exchanging notes." Discernment but no condemnation. The final realization is that I don't condemn myself either. No matter what I've done, I'm as innocent as a flower. I am love itself. There is no separation between me and That.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Discover Awareness

Have you discovered that you are not a who, but a what. I am, you will find out, is pure awareness without content. Obviously not a person.

The reason we can ask "Who am I?" is because at some fundamental level we know that our essence is not a person. But, you will notice, the person does have a relationship with the I am. The two are one with apparent separation. What a wonderful trip.

Discover The Truth

Meaning is like the discoveries in science. We don't create meaning, we discover it. The truth was present before you were born and will be there after you're gone. So just relax, fall into yourself and see what's there.

So much goal orientation is mental gymnastics, orchestrated to make the ego feel like it's got somewhere to go. The truth is already here, present and accounted for. Let go and drop into it. It has only to to be discovered.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Love Itself

Love has nothing to do with others. There is only one love, and it's you. When the self loves the Self the whole creation becomes love itself. There was never another, it just seemed so. When this becomes obvious love is not hard to find. It was you all along.

Lost and Found

God loves the lost as well as the found, but only the found know the cost. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Every Life Is In Service To The Whole

It seems apparent to me that "every life is in service to the whole" because life, existence, is one interrelated whole. Individual forms exist, but they are not self created and owe their being to the supreme. The creator made the forms and choreographed the dance.

When we acknowledge the creator, we follow the dance. Those who do not acknowledge the creator feel separate, alone, on their own, and need to grab their share.

There is only one dance, and it is in honor of the creator. Those who honor the creator know they are a part of the whole and work to find where they can contribute. They know the whole has their regard as well. Those who don't know this are fighting on their own with no knowledge of support.

False Assumptions Are Deadly

Can you really be happy if you are out of touch with reality? Same for truth. To deal with a situation you have to know the facts of the situation. This is why beliefs and assumptions can be extremely dangerous. You can build beautiful castles in the sky on false premises. But they will not last. They come tumbling down with the next storm.

I have known extremely intelligent thinkers with powers of logic that plow lesser minds into the dust. They usually win intellectual battles, but they lose the war. No matter how pristine their logic, the precision of their thinking, if it is based on a false assumption or two,  winning a battle is of no avail.

A much simpler mind that is willing to look at its assumptions, that is willing to challenge its beliefs, has a much better chance of having a successful life. Their house is built on rock, while the great mind that failed to challenge their beliefs, built their house on sand. That house will not stand.

Every life is in service to the whole. Some know it, some do not. Those who know it live a life of gratitude full of reward. Those who don't, live a life of clutch and grab, stressful to the end.

Monday, April 20, 2020

You Are The Authority

Some of us have an innate intuition that guides us. I always trusted mine and it served me well. If a book, teacher or guide doesn't resonate, go another direction. If it does resonate, go for it, but keep discernment front and center. You can learn from others, but put no head above your own.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

All Is Well

I'm a good loner, so I'm in my element. Since the Covid-19 stay at home order, I've installed a bamboo floor in my office. Fixed a plugged kitchen drain, and installed a new garbage disposal. It's time well spent. It's like Zen for me. When I do manual labor (I did this with no help) it's like meditation. Nothing goes on in my mind but the task at hand. I'm pretty sore right now, but the jobs are done.
Tomorrow I plant my tomatoes and maybe watch my garden grow. I don't really have the ability to panic, and I'm not feeling stressed. I do my best to console some relatives who think it's the end of the world. But all is well. I do know that.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Unique Aloneness

In your absolute unique aloneness you are one with everyone. From alone to alone to alone, one. I got a sense of this one very cold winter day. I was looking out the window feeling very alone. I saw a squirrel hopping across the snow and then up a tree. I thought, he is so alone, no one cares whether he lives or dies. In that moment my alone and his were one. There was no separation.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Awareness As Identify

Obviously the creator is doer of all things. The point is, the creator in itself is not affected. So, if you identify as the creator you get to enjoy the world in all its glory with security and peace. The essence of the creator in life is simple awareness. It is the field in which we play.