Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Around the Block

One person is meditating, another is praying, another is doing Jihad. All are trying to experience the truth while deeply immersed in it, as there is nothing else.

The mediating is happening where? In awareness. The praying is happening where? In awareness. The Jihad is happening where? In awareness.

All these activities would immediately cease were the participant to realize they were the awareness in which all this activity was happening. With that realization all foolishness stops.

All identities other than awareness are equally foolish. All efforts at getting somewhere, are going nowhere, as all activities are already home in awareness.

All paths lead to Rome since none of them is outside of Rome. How's that for a circle around the block? How much better was your path over another? How's that for nowhere to go and nothing to get?

You, awareness, never left home. You, awareness, never went anywhere. You, awareness, just had a grand tour around the block. You, awareness, never went to the theater, never left your seat, yet a pretty good show was had by all.

Enjoy the ride. You're going nowhere. It's a grand lila, a play, just act your part as well as you can. Nothing ever happens to you, awareness. Presence is all there is. You are that presence. Peace. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Advaita Vendanta, the Light and the Way

62. The inquirer said. “I negated the five sheaths but I see only emptiness. Is there something else to be known through inquiry?”
63–64. The teacher said, “Yes, it is the knower of the emptiness. That is you, limitless awareness. You are adept at inquiry.”   ~ From Vivekachudamini ~

Apparently "emptiness" is not the last word. The knower still exists when "emptiness" is seen. Existence, consciousness, bliss. This is a wonderful reminder that whatever we perceive is not who we are. So even emptiness is not the ultimate. The knower of emptiness is. It can't be empty because it is has no attributes. It is full of potential. And we are That! hallelujah!

After many years I came to the complete Advaita Vedanta teachings via James Swartz. He ties it all together so well, laying out a careful path that just can't be denied. The complete teaching was necessary for me. I intuitively knew there were missing parts, but I did not know what they were.

I do admit that I studied everything else first, so I was a pretty mature failure of understanding by the time I found James Swartz complete teaching. So much fun to be humbled in the right way. True knowledge is the light and the way. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Effortlessness Free of the Thinker

Seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling all feel effortless. But, as soon as we start thinking, we add an assumption that "I am thinking." With that assumption the whole bodymind thing takes off. We are stuck in that assumption and and never question it.

So, seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling now take on the same assumption, "I am seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, etc." It's a lie. These are just happening and you are not the owner.

And not  being the owner means you are not the doer, feeler, taster, hearer or thinker. You are bigger than that! You are the unbounded awareness in which all this is seen and done. Relax and be that. It's effortless. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Awareness and Potentiality

Awareness is the ground of potential. Any form may appear in it and become an object of consciousness. This conforms to quantum physics where the collapse of the wave function creates the material universe.

One of the conundrums of quantum physics is how can matter come from something as nebulous as awareness/consciousness. It seems the rishis answered this question long ago by examining our experience.

Their answer was that everything we see, everything we hear, touch and feel, is nothing but perception interpreted through our sensory organs. Since all these sensations are interpretations experienced in consciousness, everything in existence can be nothing other than awareness/consciousness.

Long before the invention of virtual technologies, the Vedas pronounced that this very universe we live it is a virtual world, a projection, an illusion in awareness. Not that our world does not exist, but that its existence itself is a projection, like a movie appearing on a screen.

Just as the movie is a projection on the screen, just so, all objects are projections created in awareness by our sense organs. Just as the movie has one source - the film - just so, everything we see has one source, awareness itself. Existence, consciousness, bliss; everything else is illusion, entertainment only, Lila. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

FALSEHOOD

If you believe one falsehood you are likely to defend it with more falsehoods. It's a downward spiral. The root falsehood is often unconscious. Its purpose is to protect the ego.

Falsehood propagates untruth, and since untruth is ignorant, one cannot follow dharma. The result is suffering.

Vedanta goes to the root of ignorance, the falsehood that "I am the bodymind." With realization that falsehood is removed and following dharma then becomes easier, or natural.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sat Chit Ananda

Pain totally focuses attention. That was a major point I was making. Pain so severe that one can only look at it, examine it, feel it out, and know it entirely. Then there is only one question. What is the error that is causing the pain? I went looking for that error. It was my own thinking, my own beliefs, my own bias that was wrong. The answer was dropping all beliefs, starting from scratch and examining my own experience. Quantum physics and non duality agree, existence is primary, awareness itself. Any form that arises in Awareness points directly to awareness, as only that can be conscious of anything. The bottom line is that my bodymind, your bodymind, are appearances only. I am that eternal Awareness, and so are you. Knowing this dissipates mental suffering. Only the dream remains. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

A Peaceful Mind

There may not be different truths, but there certainly are different levels of understanding. Having determined that I was missing something, I went looking. I read everything in psychology, philosophy and religion. I did therapy. There was progress, and suffering lessened. The process I went through could only be described as deconditioning. It stands to reason that this had to happen because I had beliefs, and misunderstandings that had to be undone. Unfortunately there were layers and layers that needed undoing, and that takes time. I remember telling so many people that I was cursed. Why? Because I had this mission to find the truth, and I could not let it go. It was karma. I had no control over it. The pursuit was a given, a fact of my life that was not to be denied. The result of all this inquiry, this undoing, was a more and more peaceful mind. Instead of a million conflicting thoughts, only a few major questions remained. There was now enough space to contemplate these few. These were now fundamental questions, subtle questions. After forty years of this process, with mental anguish much diminished, I found Advaita Vedanta. What was beautiful about it was that it corresponded to my experience. For example, Advaita says that one must be qualified to understand it.
I remember telling so many people that I was cursed. Why? Because I had this mission to find the truth, and I could not let it go. It was karma. I had no control over it. The pursuit was a given, a fact of my life that was not to be denied.
The fundamental fear is death. We want permanent happiness, and we cannot avoid wanting this even though life contains a lot of suffering. The existential question has always been, "Is this all there is?" Perhaps we could not even ask this question if on some level we knew that this was not the case. When I was in my twenties, I suffered greatly. It was mental anguish, and it manifested in the body in various ways. The suffering was so great that I could only surmise that this had to be an error. No being would choose to live if this were the truth. The only conclusion was that I had a error, a misunderstanding. It turns out that I was correct. There may not be different truths, but there certainly are different levels of understanding. Having determined that I was missing something, I went looking. I read everything in psychology, philosophy and religion. I did therapy. There was progress, and suffering lessened. The process I went through could only be described as deconditioning. It stands to reason that this had to happen because I had beliefs, and misunderstandings that had to be undone. Unfortunately there were layers and layers that needed undoing, and that takes time. I remember telling so many people that I was cursed. Why? Because I had this mission to find the truth, and I could not let it go. It was karma. I had no control over it. The pursuit was a given, a fact of my life that was not to be denied. The result of all this inquiry, this undoing, was a more and more peaceful mind. Instead of a million conflicting thoughts, only a few major questions remained. There was now enough space to contemplate these few. These were now fundamental questions, subtle questions. After forty years of this process, with mental anguish much diminished, I found Advaita Vedanta. What was beautiful about it was that it corresponded to my experience. For example, Advaita says that one must be qualified to understand it. A major qualification for a student of Advaita Vedanta is a quiet mind. Various yogas are prescribed to obtain a quiet mind so that one can hear and understand. I never liked meditation, but I was contemplative and inquisitive. I was a knowledge seeker. It just so happens that one of the yogas is Jnana yoga (knowledge yoga). Jnana yoga is a thinkers yoga, best for intellectuals. That fit me to a tee. Vedanta also goes through a process of stripping away false premises. That's what I had been doing. In other words, what I had been doing was what Vedanta proposed. Vedanta confirmed a process I had been doing for years. I did not on my own come up with the answer. I was close, but Advaita Vedanta not only supplied the answers, but the questions as well. Right before my eyes was a complete system pointing the way out of the wilderness. It also confirmed a process I had been doing for forty years. Vedanta is very scientific, very thorough, and provides the means of knowledge to know the Self. It confirmed my experience that a primary requirement is a quiet satvic mind. By the time I found the complete teaching (the means of knowledge) I was ready. It was a quick trip to realization once the means of knowledge was found. It is humbling to know that this knowledge has been around for thousands of years. "There is nothing new under the sun," is a true statement. It is also true that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When I was ready, I found Vedanta. I had found the Christian mystics much help. And I found the Indian sages extremely helpful, but it was the actual study of Advaita Vedanta that finally brought peace.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Awareness Is Like Water

Awareness is like water in a bucket. If you place a rock in the water, it takes the shape of the rock. If you place a hammer in the water, it shapes itself into the form of the hammer. Whatever is placed in the water, the water conforms to that shape. When the objects are removed, the water goes back to its original state.
Awareness is like water. It accepts whatever form is available, makes it conscious, and when the form is no longer available, it returns to unqualified awareness. Nothing happened to awareness itself.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Awareness as Presence

All a sentient body does, is shape Awareness into a particular form of consciousness. The awareness behind the form taken, is unaffected.

A bee sees a different spectrum of light than we do, and therefor sees the world in a different form. But, the awareness behind bee consciousness is the same as ours. That awareness is not affected by the bee's form of perception.

Our brains have different areas of function. Areas for sight, sound, taste, etc. However, these areas are just interpreting and creating a perception - a form of consciousness.

All sentient beings are just interpreting "what is" according to their form. They are not seeing or experiencing "the thing in itself." The thing in itself is the knower, the subject of all that exists.
So, we can say, "The observer is the observed," because everything is of the same essence.

Awareness is the base of experience, the field in which all appears. It is an open field of potential. Any living form has a certain structure of interpretation based on its sensory apparatus. Awareness interprets according to that pattern, that structure, and provides consciousness accordingly.

All of science is based on what we observe. But, do we appreciate that everything we observe is an interpretation by our senses. The true state of what we observe is never known. It is always an interpretation.

The hard problem of physics has been called materialistic reductionism. But, no matter how detailed science can get into the physical world, it cannot answer the question of conscious awareness.

What comes first, a dream or awareness? Without awareness would a person ever dream at night? To say a dream causes awareness doesn't make sense. But to say a dream appears in awareness does.

We can be nothing other than awareness. Awareness is the primary potential - the open field in which any form of consciousness appears. Since all living beings are aware, all are That. Thus the phrase, "That thou art." Beyond that we cannot go. We are the mystery.

Everything that exists can only be known by a conscious experience in awareness. Nothing can be said to exist without it being known, and the knower is Awareness itself.

All experiences are therefor nothing but appearances in awareness. Thus, when one is enlightened, it is known that one is That Presence that is aware - the one eternal essence that was never born and never dies.

With that identity, life is just an experience of a particular form. What we really are is Awareness, and knowing that, one knows one is eternal and can never die. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Can One Claim Enlightenment?

One aspect of spirituality that I find entertaining is the question of enlightenment. There seems to be some confusion. No two answers the same. Without a common definition, who's to say what enlightenment is? There is also the myth that "He who knows doesn't say and he who doesn't know, blabs all over town."

The statement, "Everyone is enlightened," also creates a lot of misunderstanding. If this were the case, we wouldn't even have the word "enlightenment." Saying "Everyone is enlightened" simply means, whether you are enlightened or not, you are That. Well, that may be the case, but since most don't know it, they are not enlightened.

This quandary, I believe, can be explained by using the expression "Realization." Already being "That" is of no use if one doesn't know it. The enlightened one knows he is "That," and the rest don't. That's the difference.

Enlightenment is simply the realization. "You are That." It doesn't change the fact, it's just an understanding. There is only one reason everyone isn't enlightened and it's that they don't realize their identity as That. As long as anyone holds to the idea of separateness, of individuality, realization of the fact of non duality doesn't happen.

Because duality, separateness, is an appearance only, it can only be a misunderstanding. So if you don't know all is one, you are in ignorance only. That's why all the ancient sages called Vedanta knowledge. When you get the knowledge and you bring it home, you understand, you realize, "You are That."

If you understand non duality, and you know "You are That," I believe it's okay to be bold and admit it.  It's not stupid to be enlightened. But it is ignorance to be unenlightened. To summarize, there is enlightenment or realization, and it is an understanding. Yes, it doesn't change the fact that everyone already is That. But there is a difference in those who know and those who don't. So let's not keep saying everyone is enlightened. It's not the fact. Let's admit everyone is "That," but some know, and some don't.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Time to Know

You can't see the Oneness because of all the concepts you already have. These concepts were taught to you, consciously and unconsciously before you were three and they stuck. All these concepts are the veil you are looking through. You are not even cognizant that you have never examined those concepts. You think you have to look from there. How can you see Oneness through that?

But that is why you can't see. You are imprisoned in a web of concepts that you think are true. Standing on that platform, non duality, enlightenment, is not visible from that stand. But you don't know that.

First, that house of cards needs to come down. And since it is your home, the place you know, your security, you  only dismantle it a piece at a time. That creates a process that wouldn't take any time at all, if seen directly.

A second factor that adds to this dilemma, is the fact that you do not know what you are looking for. No doubt there is a strong urge for something; something that is missing. A known unknown. This not knowing the goal, and being caught in a web of unexamined concepts, creates a double whammy that will leave you seeking for years. Only in hindsight will you laugh your ass off at how simple enlightenment really is.

Once you know, it is amazing when you read the sages and realize that they were saying the Truth in numerous ways, in the most subtle and obvious ways possible in words. And how those words, at that time, were paradoxical, and strange, and confusing. And now they are not.

So many phrases now make sense.

"You are not the doer."
"You are That."
"Awareness is all there is."
"Nothing is really happening."
"You are the Absolute."
"You are everywhere."
"Nothing exists without you."

All are factual statements once you realize.

So, what are you looking for? Yourself. Not the body. Not the mind. Not your personality. But your real Self. And your real Self is not even a person! That's too small. In fact, you are the impersonal Absolute, Awareness itself, masquerading as all that is.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Jesus, A Non Dual Teacher

There is difference between science and theology. Much of religion is anthropomorphic and cultural. For example, the Jews sacrificed animals for their sins. It was a long tradition. So, when Jesus, a truly enlightened spiritual being, was killed, the Jews interpreted his death through their tradition. What did they come up with? He died for our sins. Just like the lambs they slaughtered, they called him "The lamb of God.

In the case of Christianity, Western theology doesn't understand Christ in the least. Being a direct realizer of the Truth, Jesus taught what he knew to be the Truth. Unfortunately, he was not in a culture where their was an understanding of Awareness/consciousness, so he had to speak in parables and metaphors. He did the best he could.

I come from a long line of protestant preachers, seminary presidents, and missionaries. Having been raised by Christian missionaries, I got to travel the world as a child and grow up comparing cultures, beliefs, and traditions. I know what fanaticism is. It took a big toll on me.

I recommend the book by Eric Hoffer "The True Believer" for a deep look into fanaticism. Hoffer discusses the psychological causes of fanaticism. It will aid in looking at your own beliefs. We are all looking for psychological security, but we can double down on beliefs, or we can examine rationally, coolly, who and what we really are.

You see, the bottom line isn't whether we believe in Christ, or Buddha, or Krishna. The bottom line is existential. The bottom line is the discovery of what we truly are. Quantum Science and Advaita Vedanta both point to Awareness/Consciousness as that essence. Vedanta, like Quantum physics is the result of investigation. One uses the discoveries of external world, and one uses the discoveries of the internal world.

Vedanta, like science, does not ask you to believe; it asks you to investigate. In both cases the evidence points to the truth of non duality. The point here is that although Hinduism may be a religion, Vedanta is not.

In my case, I never believed I was a sinner because I didn't create the world, nor myself. I knew something else was responsible for my existence. I guess I had a premonition from childhood that "I was not the doer." This being the case, I knew that Jesus did not die for my sins. You might say he died because of our sins, namely, the big sin of ignorance.

When I discovered non duality as edified by Vedanta, I was suddenly struck with an understanding of Jesus. When I looked at what Jesus had to say, it was non duality, pure and simple. What a delight to finally understand what he was saying. What a joy to finally be able to understand what he was pointing at.

If you ask the Vedanta sages about Jesus, they will say, "Yes, he was an enlightened master." Why because they recognize their own. It's not a matter of belief, it's a matter of knowing. I never found the reverse to be true. When you ask a Western theologian about the Eastern sages, they call them pagans.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Christian mystics. Meister Eckart stands out as a pure non dual realizer. However, I think it is much harder via Christianity to realize the truth of non duality. Why? Because it is not a science. That's why we call it mystical.

For me it was the discovery of Vedanta that set me free. I don't have to convince anyone else of this truth. It's for them to discover. The science of awareness/consciousness is fundamental, unchanging, and only requires understanding, not belief. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Understanding That

I was always aware that my seeking was not a choice. I always considered seeking a curse. Like an addiction. As a child I was a seeker of truth. Consciously or unconsciously, I wanted to know who was behind the curtain of all things, of all phenomena.

From the moment I first heard of enlightenment I was off in pursuit of understanding That. It was not a choice. I would look at others playing, enjoying themselves, while I was not. Playing didn't seem important until I knew what That was.

So, now that I realize That, is it a feather in my cap? No! It happened. This body-mind for whatever reason had the seeking bug. It was inevitable. It could not have been otherwise.

Being realized does not put me above another. It is simply an understanding, a knowing if you will. And that knowing is not mine. It never will be. The understanding belongs to That. The understanding is just an appearance in That. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Liberation

Jesus said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Well, we know that life in this world is temporary. It will end. As will everything in the world. Whatever comes into existence passes from existence. All effects are transient. Our life is a wink and a nod. Jesus said, "Believe in me and you shall have eternal life." But believing in the person Jesus, was not what he meant. Jesus was speaking of his message. That message was, "The truth will set you free." All his teaching was pointing to that knowledge that would set us free. He died due to our misunderstanding. For all sin is missing the mark. Therefore, he died because of our sins, not for our sins. Moksha, or liberation, is the answer the Vedas provide. It is no different from Jesus' message. Both point to the pure knowledge that sets one free. Freedom from the person, from the body, from the mind. It is so simple and obvious that we miss it. It is the knowledge that reveals our true nature as Self. That ultimate. As the Vedas say, "You are That." The world does not disappear. Your body, mind, personality, do not disappear, but your identity changes. You shift from knowing yourself as a limited body-mind, to knowing you are the Absolute. In knowing that, all ontological questions are answered. The world and everything in it is simply That. That is ineffable, without beginning or end. It is awareness itself, and every appearance, every form, is That. All form and life manifests from That. All life borrows awareness and knows the form. That knowing makes us conscious. But we mistake our consciouses of form as who we are. A hardwired mistake. To free yourself, consider this. Think of your dreams. Everything you create in dream is immaterial. You make it up each night. It seems real, but is made up of consciousness only. Just so, the world is dremt by That. You are not the character you play by day, nor the forms and characters you create at night. You are That, the creator of all forms, all dreams, and free of all of them.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Absolute and Relative Truth

As for truth, it is not Absolute or Relative, it is both. There is that ineffable Absolute. However, it's application in consciousness varies depending on the level of consciousness in human beings. The levels limit or expand the view. Therefore the context varies. Whatever the Absolute Truth may be, we only have our own windows into it, and some windows are opaque. If we simply admit that our relative positions are just windows on that Absolute, we have both the relative and the Absolute truth. One does not oppose or deny the other. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

In God's Hands

You do everything for your self. But the results will be very different depending on who you think you are. If you think you are an individual, alone against the world, your efforts will reflect that limitation. If you know you are Awareness (the the ground being), your efforts will reflect that limitlessness. Either way, you cannot avoid being selfish. In the first instance you will be clutching and grabbing for your little self, in the second instance you will be a blessing to yourself and all beings. Everything is done for the sake of the self, but knowing who you really are, Awareness, will bring peace amidst the apparent struggle. As Awareness, being selfish does feel selfish, as there are no others. Being Awareness, all your actions will reflect the whole. As Awareness you will know and understand that you are the world. And, that the "Observer is the observed." You will know you are in God's hands. Your very own hands.

Monday, January 30, 2017

THE PRIMACY OF AWARENESS

Happiness and anger are very different feelings, but they both appear in awareness. Sweet and sour are very different tastes, but they are known by awareness. Light and dark are very different, but known by awareness. Hot and cold are very different, but awareness knows this.

In all these instances there is one constant, awareness. So, if you were going to describe yourself, would you use sweet, sour, hot,cold, light, dark, happy, angry, or awareness. Surely awareness is the one constant.

Does awareness ever leave you? No. So while the personality has traits, feelings, thoughts, and conditioning, they all exist in awareness. Think about it. Are you these thoughts, feelings, experiences, or are you Awareness? All the Vedas, all of non duality is simply pointing to this. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Experience is a Pointer

Experience can be a pointer. One needs to step back from the experience and discern what it is pointing to. In this way the message may deliver knowledge. True knowledge, like the Self, does not change. Experience is a trip. Knowledge is the place. The journey's end.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Everything Is An Interpretation

It is said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Obviously that is not true. Many people run the programs that they inherited in childhood and have a life they like. They have their ups and downs, but overall, feel that their life is good and worthwhile. There are some however, who for some reason, want to pull on the veil of conditioning and peek behind the curtain. This post is for those who are peeking beyond the veil. 

Fundamental to life is perception. How we perceive fixes our way of being. Most never notice this, or assume that this is just the way it is, and nothing can be done about it. But some perceive that there is a stickiness to conditioning that does not seem comfortable, they scratch because the conditioning feels itchy, like something is wrong. 

Those who have the itch from childhood, to peer behind the veil, typically realize that they are different. They quickly find that their views are not appreciated, and are often ostracized for not towing the line. They may have been born introverted, but if not, their pariah status often drives them inward. 

Inward is the only option when looking beyond the veil. This inwardness if carried on, leads to deeper and deeper questions. The alienation of Existentialism is a good example of this. Existentialists promoted freedom, which they insisted must come from the individual for the individual. To do this, one had to be authentic. This striving for authenticity created a deep personal struggle to overcome conditioning. Albert Camus' book, The Stranger, is a tale of this alienation. 

Camus' approach to self examination was labeled Absurdism. This term is how those adapted to their conditioning view the questions, and the lives, of those who challenge their conditioning. Søren Kierkegaard was deeply religious but deeply questioned and gave his life to writing about authenticity. He suffered immensely. Frederick Nietzsche did the same. 

When one questions deeply, everything is suspect. This is a very uncomfortable place for the mind. As J. Krishnamurti stated, "The mind is always looking for security." Those who question, suffer, there is no doubt about it. But suffer long enough, sit with the questions long enough, does have its rewards. One might even say that one must have faith to persevere, not faith in anything in particular, but faith that answers will come because there is something fundamental about being. 

Fundamental questions bring the structures of the mind, of thinking and feeling, under observation. This points to the fact that there is something other than the mind; a truth seeking function that is deeper than any mental structures, conditioning and prejudices. This function is willing to pull apart, even shred, every piece of conditioned thinking, even as the mind suffers incredible pain. At this level of suffering, if that fundamental faith in Being is lost, if there is no hope, suicide is often the only way out. On the other hand, coming to that point is often what is required to come to something new, something deeper than the conditioned, imprisoned self. 

The Hindus called enlightenment Moksha, which means freedom. Their take is that without a burning desire for freedom, one will not have the strength to stay on the path. In the Christian tradition we have the term, "Dark Night of the Soul. This is an apt description of that period of time during which everything is undone. Those who survive the Dark night of the soul have perennially been called mystics. They have gone deep, survived the questioning, and come out on the other side. Many describe their discovery of a direct knowing that is so fundamental that there is no need or even the possibility of questioning it. This is not knowing that leads to fundamentalism, but rather an knowing that is free. No conditioning contains it. Nothing to fight over. Their stance with others is "Take it or leave it. I'm OK." 

Once the questioning factor arises and it can't be denied, the journey has begun. At the beginning it may be fun, and the ego may even get a thrill out of being rebellious. But in time, if the questions can't be dropped, the pain will rise and it will trend upward. For some it will be many years of making do with the additional burden of being alone . 
Many with this nagging persistent questioning will even call it a curse. But like all life, there is balance, and if one holds steady, answers will come and there will be freedom. 

The reason it takes so long for many is that that their conditioning is strong. It is so thick that they cannot see through it. Their path is an arduous and painstaking dismantling, piece by piece. This can take years, and usually does. Some never get through it. They have more freedom, but the woods is never cleared. But if one could get to the fundamental questions early, and answer those, the whole woods could be felled rather quickly. 

The fundamentals that underlie conditioning are the words and labels with which we think. What we think leads to automatic value judgments which we call feelings. And we tend to think of feelings as permanent settings, beyond questioning. These stumbling blocks need to be surmounted. In the end, our thoughts do not determine who we are, but they do define the person that we think we are. 

To undermine our prejudices and free our minds, we need to analyze thought, and that is mostly words. We need to analyze and question our feelings. Everything we think and feel is brought into question. So, what are these things, these thoughts, these feelings? Thoughts are concepts, and feelings are automatic value judgments based on them. These two things, thought and feeling, carry our conditioning. They are our conditioning. We weave a net of concepts and then are caught in them. 

Fundamental to our being and our knowing is consciousness. We are aware, and any thought or feeling that we have, when it comes into awareness, we are then conscious of. Sight, sound, touch, and taste, are the same process. Every though is a concept or a label, a representative of something. But no representation of an object is the object itself. We can look at a menu in a restaurant to order food, but we do not eat the menu. 

All our senses provide us with an interpretation of the world around us. The thing in itself is not known to us. When we ask, "If a tree falls in the woods and there is no sentient being to hear it, is there a sound?" We are simply pointing to the fact that sound is an interpretation of waves of air pressure. The waves are there, but with no one there to interpret the waves into sound, we cannot say there was a sound. 

Whatever exists in the universe, and whatever it ultimately is, remains a great question. All we can know is how our minds and bodies interpret it. Is there such a thing as a feeling except that we perceive it. Touch, taste, smell, sight and sound, are all interpretations of something, but the thing in itself cannot be known. Whatever that is that ultimately exists, we can only infer. 

If I see a chair in an empty room, and you come in, you too will see a chair. But if a cow comes in, it will not see a chair. It will see an object, but will have no concept of chair. Chair does not exist in its world. The cow does not see the world we do. It's interpretation is different. It will walk around the chair, but it will not think to sit on on it. It is simply not a chair to the cow. From this, we can see that from our senses to our thinking and feeling, everything is an interpretation of what is. 

There is no known thing in the universe that is known outside of our interpretation of it. The universe known to us is not known by the bee. Its interpretation of this same field is different. It exists in the same universe as us, but its knowing is not ours. So, the fundamental question is, who is doing the interpretation? 

Since everything that is known by man or beast is an interpretation, what is it that interprets? We are tempted to say, why our senses, our bodies. But our bodies are also known to us, and are themselves an interpretation. Fundamentally we can say we exist. But we can only say that because we are aware and conscious. So, ultimately we can only say we are aware. Being aware we can interpret, and that is consciousness. 

So, the clearing of our conditioning, the freeing of our minds, is a matter of realizing that words cannot define us, nor contain us. Neither do our feelings define our contain us. We are awareness itself. And when that awareness shines on us, we become conscious beings. 
As awareness itself, our problems relating to being a body and mind are minimalized. We are not limited to our body-mind. We are not imprisoned in it. Our conditioning belongs to the body-mind, not to us. 

By taking on this fundamental understanding, we can wear the world lightly. We are not a person with a mind. We are much bigger than that. We are Awareness, unbound, unlimited, carefree. When this understanding dawns, we are free. The body-mind may still have some work to do, but it can be done in good spirits, with light heart, knowing that we are free.  









Friday, August 12, 2016

The Knower

Everything that we see and experience is created by the knower. The knower is Awareness, pure consciousness. Absolutely everything that we know and experience is an interpretation. Everything we experience is a created interpretation of what is. What that is, what everything is, is consciousness. Every interpretation is a creation of Maya, the creative interpretive function of the Absolute. All is created by the Self, for the Self, for its own good pleasure. So why not be yourself and enjoy yourself.

The map is not the territory. The map is an interpretation only, a representation of a physical or other type of space. The map and the physical space are both in consciousness, both interpretations of what is. All that is experienced, in and of itself, only exists in consciousness. There are no ifs or buts about it. All there is, is consciousness. We are that Awareness, that knower, of what is.

There are no two consciousnesses. There is no separate thing in this entire universe. There is nothing you can know, touch, feel, smell, taste, or see, that is not in consciousness. The soup of isness is nothing but appearances, interpretations moderated by the type of brain we have.

There is nothing real as a separate thing. There is only this one essence experiencing itself as this and that. All created in consciousness alone. The interpretation of seeing is reflected light. The interpretation of hearing sound is waves of pressure. Taste is an interpretation of molecules on the tongue. Where are these seemingly different experiences? In the mind. Where is the mind? In consciousness.

Is it not clear that there are not two things in this universe? Is it not clear that there is only one thing, experiencing all things. All known by consciousness alone. Is not our personality just an interpretation of a particular body and how it experiences and responds to the world. Can you really claim the consciousness of your bodymind for yourself? Certainly not as the bodymind, for you are the knower of the bodymind.

We are that Absolute knower, the ground of being, the Awareness of all that is. We are that which is the consciousness of all sentient beings. That alone exists. That is what we are. The creator of all this. Isn't that limitless freedom? Being the creator of all that is. Isn't this understanding a joyful knowing. I am That, and you are That.

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, one love.” ― Meister Eckhart