Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Other

I have a very subtle feeling that someone is watching me read this book. It is not a person, but it is enjoying watching me read, watching me smile, watching me savor a good line.

This Other is here with me, but there is no person in the room with me. It is not another person who is watching. It is an unknowable watcher, formless, tasteless, but it tastes what I taste, feels what I feel, knows what I know. And it enjoys it.

Since I have given up knowing, the watcher has appeared. Perhaps it is the humility of giving up, of letting go, that allows this Other to be felt. I know that it watches over me, protects me.

It's not that this Other will keep things from happening to me, but that this Presence is there, and by it's presence, I am safe.

Waking up may simply be becoming aware of this Other. The Other is always there. In fact, it is so there, and been there so long, and so taken for granted, that I didn't notice it. I was too busy being myself to notice.

While we are busy being ourselves, our focus is narrow, limited. Any sense of any other is dimmed. Others are just a means to an end. We may get what we are focused on, but miss everything else.

In our busyness we forget we have excluded others. The downside is that we miss Otherness, and the big Other of others, is the One.

The Other doesn't tap you on the shoulder. It doesn't say, "Hey, here I am. See me?" No, it is a very humble presence. It is presence that is willing to stay on the sidelines, unnoticed, until you look.

When we are busy with trying to understand, assuage our egos, protecting our positions, we don't notice any other, especially a quiet, subtle Other. The Other has infinite patience and will wait as long as we live, and longer, perhaps many lifetimes.

Lately, having given up knowing, praying only for revelation, perhaps I opened the door to the Other, just a crack. But that little crack has revealed a presence. And it's fun to notice the Presence. It's interesting to be aware of It.

I am just walking down the hall at my office and I am aware of something other walking with me, knowing I am walking, knowing I am aware of It. There is a confidence in the person when I know I am not alone.

It is a soft presence. And I wonder why it has come now? I can only guess it is because I know that I cannot do this understanding alone. It is not my understanding, but the understanding of the Other.

I cannot figure this out myself, for myself. No, I have to submit to It. For I, a person, an idea, built of experience in this body, did not create myself. I am a created being. To understand, I have to give myself to the Other.

As long as I am defending my ego, feeling that I am going to figure this out myself, with my own mind, my own effort, I could not sense the Other. How could I?

This body/mind is a product, a program through which something greater than myself experiences. That greater power, that greater consciousness, is the Other.

This body/mind is just the container of content, limited content. And when I focus on the limited content, I get limited results. If I want to know Otherness, the context must be included.

Context is the greater, the broader, the Other. I the person/body/mind am a vehicle only. One among many vehicles. As long as I believe I am the driver, I have lost the larger context. For I am a created being, a product of something greater.

I am the driver, experiencer in appearance only. The Other is the real driver, for he created the vehicle, and the space, and all the others. This experience of being in a body and having a mind is really His.

I am the content, the object through which the Other experiences. My miss perception, that me, myself, is the experiencer is only eclipsed when I become aware of the Other.

That Other is looking through my eyes, and through my neighbor's eyes, and through my boss's eyes.

I am in the play, unconscious that I am an actor, until I am willing to admit that I know nothing. When I know I know nothing, then I am open to what is really here. And what is really here is this Other, this creator, this force, this Source.

My only prayer is "Source, reveal yourself to me, so that I may merge with you. Reveal yourself to me, for I cannot find you. I can only ask for revelation, so reveal what I cannot find and understand."

And with this prayer, made in earnest, I begin to sense the Other. And in this Other's presence, I can merge. And only in merging can I know.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Intuitively We Know Nothing

"...I wanted to cry with joy and just lay with him in the bed and stay that way for hours, saying nothing, doing nothing, being nothing, thinking nothing, just loving him and becoming nothing but one nothing inside another nothing and that nothing not bothering with anything."

~ Denise Chavez ~ from her novel Loving Pedro Infante.

I like light reading sometimes, especially if it's funny, raw, and well written. Escaping into this novel, I was surprised to run across the lines above. Who doesn't know this? Who hasn't experienced the above when madly in love.

What this tells me is that we DO know this. We just don't stay there. This is what enlightenment is all about, that merging into nothingness. Nisargadatta stated that "When I am nothing, then I am everything."

When it comes to enlightenment, at the end, one finally admits that "I can't do this." Perhaps this is getting close. It doesn't mean you don't want enlightenment. It doesn't mean your longing has ceased. I just means that you know YOU can't do it. You can't remain an individual separate self and do this.

The only thing left to do is pray, and that prayer goes something like this, "Lord, you know I want this, don't want to live without this, but I can't do it. I know I can't do it. Lord have mercy on me and take me there, into that nothing that is everything where I can be at peace."

Peace is only in the oneness that is everything. Since that is the natural state, it is not too much to ask. But you really have to want it, and you have to know that you as a person, a mind, can't do it, can't go there. Give it up.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Endearment

First you fall in love
because you are blinded by
your own projected light.

When you pull back your light
and the projection ends,
you can choose to love.

Choose to see past your ego,
your judgments and condemnations,
which block the light.

And if you keep on choosing love,
and seeing where you are not love,
Endearment can only come

Friday, November 21, 2008

Beliefs and Nonduality

Belief is a position, a perspective. Truth simply is. Our beliefs about it are simply limitations. If one listed all one’s beliefs and then tossed them out, would you still exist? Where would you be standing? What would you be standing on? Wouldn’t you simply be awareness, open, willing, waiting to see what came next? Wouldn’t you simply react without choice? Wouldn’t that be pure action?

Without belief, what is there not to love? Without belief, wouldn’t there be less conflict, less violence?

Pure awareness is when all mental positions and beliefs are set aside. Then there is more space, more openness, more peace. In that space, love becomes easy.

Without beliefs, without the need for positions, the background in which all of these play is seen, perhaps for the first time. That awareness then may experience itself. That recognition is non duality, or oneness. The non dual recognition is unshakable. It does not need to be maintained. Truth is when all else is left behind.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Searching for Universals

Most of us who have been on a spiritual path have to admit to a fatal flaw, and that flaw is the inability to give up the search.

The search causes a lot of misery. Some of us even claim to be cursed with the search, as for us it is comparable to an addiction.

It is a well known fact that fundamentalists tend to be happier because they don't question their beliefs. As long as they can function with them, they tend to be a happy, (although perhaps self righteous).

It is only when reality roars it's ugly head that the whole personal facade of beliefs collapses. Then depression sets in. If it is serious enough, we call it a nervous breakdown.

When an idea held by a state or country collapses, we have a recession or depression. Notice the correlation?

The social structures of the world are not immune from belief. Just as personal selves rise and fall on beliefs, so do states.

A manic depressive person does not have a true center, so thoughts can grab them easily. A good thought causes manic, and a bad thought depression.

Since universals are part of the search, it is rather a small step to look from personal beliefs and their consequences, to cultural and market beliefs, and their consequences.

What do teachers of enlightenment have with some of the great financial gurus? What universals do they share?

On the personal level, J. Krishnamurti gave talks for sixty years. His pointing was that if you want the ultimate truth, you have to submit all thoughts, beliefs, positions to criticism. One of his greatest works was titled "Freedom From the Known."

Now, to step from everything one knows and believes into the unknown, is not something the average person aspires to. And the person who attempts this will be tested indeed.

To subject oneself to this level of self examination is painful, shattering, and dangerous. If one manages to do it well, perhaps enlightenment will result.

Dr. David Hawkins, perhaps the wisest living person currently on the planet, says to keep all beliefs, tenets, positions as tentative. This is the only way to stay open to change, to raise one's consciousness. His term for the misperception of reality due to beliefs is "positionality."

Positionality holds that one cannot see the truth while holding on to a position. And hold on we do. There is an unconscious fear that if we let go of our beliefs, we will no longer be able to function.

George Soros, the great financial guru, who himself would prefer to be a great philosopher, has also come to the same conclusion as J. Krishnamurti and Dr. David R. Hawkins.

George Soros, however, writes more on the level of culture and society, rather than from a strictly personal perspective. Rather than write about being open as a person, he writes about the "Open Society."

George Soros, just like the mystics and enlightened gurus, elevates the unknown to the highest consideration. Like the mystics who experienced the mystery, the scientific Soros, embraces the mystery as ultimate.

Like the physicists who became mystics due to Heisenberg's "Uncertainty Principle," Soros takes this into account in his philosophy of "Reflexivity."

Soros' theory of Reflexivity is based on the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle. As applied to humans, he calls it "The Human Uncertainty principle."

I doubt that George Soros is familiar with J. Krshnamurti or David Hawkins, but he has come to the same conclusion regarding respect for the unknown. Below is an excerpt from his book, "The Bubble of American Supremacy."

OPEN SOCIETY

"As participants in any given social situation, we must have some beliefs on which we base our actions. But on what basis can we act if we accept that our beliefs are likely to be false or incomplete renderings of reality?

The answer is the same as the one Popper gave for the scientific method: We must treat our beliefs as provisionally true while keeping them open to constant reexamination. This is the foundation principle of an open society."

~ George Soros http://www.soros.org/

It appears from these great thinkers, that any of us who want to know the truth need to be aware of our own fallibility. We need to make effort to see how our positionalities distort the truth and fall short of reality.

From personal experience, it is clear here, that one can experience the truth, but one can't express it in words. It is beyond any idea. It can be pointed to, but it is so subjective that it cannot be repeated, captured, or explained.

As for the world as it is, we can only work to be more open ourselves, to keep our views tentative, and yet to act. Perhaps the best we can do is to "Be what you want to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ordinary Enlightenment

What do you get when you finally give up searching for enlightenment? What is, as is, now.

Rather ordinary, isn't it? But, there is one subtle difference, you're not resisting anymore. When you're not resisting, suffering lessens. When you're not resisting and suffering, your brain quiets down.

When your brain quiets down because it doesn't have to figure everything out, and it's not resisting anything, then the ordinary can seem pretty nice. At least it's mostly peaceful.

No, you won't be blissed out all the time. You might not even be able to say you're happy.

Allen Greenspan and Bernadette Roberts have something in common to say about this.

Greenspan, while considering macro economics and the level of happiness, has noted that once people get used to wealth, they no longer have a sense of happiness from it, although they may be more content than the poor. Soon enough, they want more.

Roberts, observing her internal states very carefully, stated that one had to write down current states, such as happiness, in a journal, because once one was in that state for awhile, it became the norm and was no longer experienced as ecstasy, or a change.

It must also then be noted that a highly evolved, or enlightened person, may feel their state is ordinary. However, outside observers might describe them as ecstatic, or blissfully peaceful. It is merely a matter of the position one is viewing from.

Homeostasis may occur at various levels. Once a high level becomes the norm, it is ordinary. But this ordinary may be vastly different from the ordinary of the average person.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Absolutism

Absolutism doesn't mean that we know what all the absolutes are. It means that we understand that the universe is based on laws, whether we are aware of them or not, whether we understand them or not.

Absolutism often has a negative connotation, such as expressed in "My country right or wrong." Fanatics also provide a negative connotation, willing to kill the bearer of opposing views, rather than confront the possibility of being wrong.

Being willing to kill another over bumper-sticker-wisdom is the travesty of the modern world. Fanaticism is a choice to die rather than confront one's own insecurity. It is the exact opposite of all universal spiritual teaching -- the opposite of "Know thyself" and the tradition of self inquiry.

Absolutism is the knowing that all that is, is God, by whatever name you give: God, Source, The One, Natural Law, The Force. All point to an acknowledgment of the absolute nature of reality.

Absolutism does not eliminate uncertainties about choices we make, but it may provide an ultimate security, a serenity, due to knowing that all is covered in a blanket of Oneness -- the security of Love.

Under the mantel of the security of absolutism, we may also hold on to humility, taking all knowledge as tentative and subject to change, providing us ground to stand on, while being willing to listen, being willing to amend. This is the opposite stance from fanaticism

Before the earth was flat, it was round. It was round when we knew it to be flat. It is still round now that we know it is round.

Before quantum physics, Newtonian physics was the only law we knew. Now quantum physics has expanded our understanding to embrace the non linear Absolute. Quantum physics has expanded our knowledge, bringing science into the realm of consciousness research.

The absolute does not change, but our understanding does. This ability to act on what we know, yet remaining tentative about what new understanding may come, keeps humility in place. We agree to be changed as understanding deepens.

The fanatic believes that his mental position must be defended at all costs. The fanatic would rather die than allow his position to be questioned. In the end, fanatics have to make all others like themselves. This is the opposite of freedom.

On the other hand, the spiritual person embraces the Absolute with humility, knowing that any position taken is only a step on the road home. With an open mind, there is less to defend, yet the position is stronger.

Humility is the strong suit in the game of life. The face of the Absolute is seen by few, but we are all on the way. Let us journey on, knowing that the Absolute is there with open arms. The end is sure, but the journey must be taken with freedom from the known.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Karma, Souls and Oneness

The "not two" of nonduality poses that although manifested bodies appear separate, they are all One. Countless sages have proclaimed this the fundamental reality.

However, sages are not in agreement on the issue of souls, reincarnation and Karma. Why not? It appears that some have had direct experience of past lives, and some have not.

For those that have, Karma and reincarnation make sense. For those that have not had such an experience, Karma and reincarnation are irrelevant. They point to the actual nondual nature of reality. What more could you want? Why get into those details?

It is already a big step from duality into nonduality. This step requires that one knows that all bodies are one, despite the evidence of the senses. This knowing is huge. Is it any bigger a step to postulate that souls travel through various bodies over time? If many bodies are part of the One, souls also are part of the One. Both are equally outrageous to the five senses.

A human being learns only so much in a lifetime. The level of human consciousness has remained rather stagnant over millennia. It would stand to reason that it would take the average person many lifetimes to really change, grow, and learn the truth.

If we are here to learn, to grow, to rise above ourselves, certainly more than one lifetime would be required. Isn't it clear that certain individuals have risen far above the heap. How is this best explained?

Reincarnation is certainly the best explanation. A soul that has traveled through more lifetimes would certainly be more experienced, would have had more opportunities to learn, and would likely be at a higher level of consciousness. More experience, more lessons learned.

Haven't you known young people who seem to be wise souls? Aren't there many who seem wise beyond their years? Is it not the youth who often rise up and require change? Is it really far out to believe that they may have the advantage of having been here more times?

If there is a soul that travels though various bodies over time, then the concept of Karma comes in very well. Just as a person's current reputation precedes him, just so, a soul brings with it the weight of the good and bad from previous lives. This certainly explains why a particular life may seem lucky or tragic. The trajectory is in effect.

Karma helps relieve a lot of tension around the question, “Why me? That lives are the way they are may not be accidental, but the effect of previous lives. Just as the sins of the father are afflicted upon the son, just so, the sins of your past lives may be affecting you now.

I have tried to make three points.

One, that it is no bigger leap to believe that souls travel through various bodies over time than to believe that many bodies are actually appearances in the One.

Two, that souls are appearances in the One, just as bodies are appearances in the One. Non duality is actually a bigger leap than believing in reincarnation.

Three, Karma is the result of each soul's travel. The soul is the real traveler, changing bodies for a different view, and gathering good or bad energy along the way.

In the end, whether you are a soul or a body, you can be nothing other than the One. You are both.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Non Attachment

Non attachment is not, not caring. Non attachment is letting go. In The Little Prince, the story says that if you want to know if someone is really yours, let them go. If they return, they are yours, if they don't, then they never were.

At a certain level non attachment comes fairly easy. It comes with the recognition that nothing is really yours, not even your own body, or the thoughts that randomly come and go. If you don't own your own body, how much can you own another?

We are all on loan to each other. Our bodies are the vehicles loaned to us. We are not the lender. Well, if you are enlightened, perhaps you would say that we are both the lender and the receiver. But from the body/mind's normal perception, we are on loan. We will die!

If you have a child, you will get to practice non attachment. At some point you must release the hand, or suffering will surely come home to roost. When you let go, it doesn't mean you don't care. It means you've grown up.

As long as you hold a leash, they will suffer and you will suffer. To be available is different from holding on. A leash creates enemies, being available creates friends.

Non attachment also comes with trust. If you know there is a greater source than your personal self, or a random universe, if you know that nothing happens by accident, then non attachment is easier.

Consider that wherever you have attachment, you lack trust. A daily meditation could easily be noticing attachment and looking for what it is that you are not trusting.

At the peak of consciousness, one might be able to say, "I trust in that which is." What else is there?

When you really look deeply, you don't know where you are, who you are, or what you are. Science can't explain it, but as it ponders more and more the abstract, things such as intention, synchronicity, and consciousness, it's getting closer. One can certainly love science, but not be attached to it.

Everything must be taken as provisional, except the One -- the unnameable, mystery, the no thing that supports what is. Krishnamurti said it so well in his book, "Freedom From the Known."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Consciousness and Scientific Reductionism

It's rather entertaining how many studies there are trying to prove that out-of-body experiences and near death experiences are just biological, physical brain experiences.

These efforts claim to be based on science, on rationality, with the aim to uphold scientific inquiry. Once thus explained, how dare one question the conclusion?

To question the integrity of these efforts is to be irrational, unscientific, unsophisticated. But really, what are these so-called experts up to? Don't they have an unconscious agenda? Don't they want to deny that which requires them to look more deeply into what is going on?

There is a term for this, it is called "Scientific Reductionism."

SCIENTIFIC REDUCTIONISM:

Anthropology --> Psychology --> neurology --> biochemistry --> chemistry --> physics --> math?

Each theory absorbed by and explainable by the other.

Descartes' Rules of Method and principle of analysis. Tree of Knowledge.

culture is NOTHING BUT psychological laws
red is NOTHING BUT vibrations
heat is NOTHING BUT movement
anger is NOTHING BUT high adrenalin
Knowledge is NOTHING BUT neurology

... but in each case ask what is "NOTHING BUT? "

All science is an attempt to explain one thing in terms of another, to give the causes of the phenomena.

from: http://www.mun.ca/phil/phil3920/scientific.shtml

As you can see, if one is not careful, one is easily convinced that somehow, by saying something, such as an "an out-of-body experience" is simply a biological, neurological event, that somehow the experience has been explained -- that it was an illusion and can now be dismissed.

The mind separates and labels. This is satisfactory to the mind. It allows it to feel secure, and to dismiss that which is not easily labeled.

The spiritual can be denied, but it cannot be dismissed. The mystics throughout generations have been talking about, and pondering this "No Thing." In fact, they have said, from every culture, that this 'nothing' is the essence of all that is.

It is just that, the formless "no thing" that gives rise to all manifestation. The mysterious "nothing" is the spirit that pervades all form. Just having a body is an experience in what? Consciousness. That's all there is.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Meaning without Concept

Once one has experienced meaning without content, without concept, it's hard to ever mistrust again. For when one experiences the authority with which that meaning comes, there is no possibility of questioning it.

This meaning without thought, without content, causes no conflict with any other position because it contains all other positions. It is not a meaning attached to this or that.

To be sure, it was an experience. It has passed like all experiences, good or bad. But, the lingering taste of that knowledge stays with me, though it is now background.

There is only gratitude here for having had that experience. For in those brief moments, the whole universe was laid bare. Bare of concepts, bare of content, bare of specifics. But it was full of meaning.

Funny, but I can not tell you what the meaning was, other than saying ALL IS MEANINGFUL. Not this or that, for all content was gone, except for This -- All That Is.

As far as the human experience goes, it was a very rough time after having a number of such experiences, for after they were gone, life as it is lived, seemed barren, empty, meaningless.

It was a long time before this one was able to adjust -- to let go of comparing the experience of that, with this, the ordinary. But the knowledge remains that the ordinary is in This.

So now there is gratitude for the experience, but there is no wishing for, attachment too, or holding on to that. For to cling, to desire for the return of that, is to invite suffering.

But, I can live with the knowing that was given in that experience. I don't have to demand that this bodymind remain in any state, even bliss. It is enough to have had it. It is enough to know that there is a grandness to all this, though I may not be aware of it now. Or ever again.

What state I am in is irrelevant. For there is a grander scheme than this little "I." And though there is just the wonder of every day, and mostly peace, there is the knowing that all is well, forever now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mission Impossible

"You're role, should you choose to accept it," is to arrive on earth, naked, unable to walk, talk, or remember where you came from.

You will arrive penniless, without choosing your race, gender, country or home, hopefully to good parents. And you will have forgotten where you came from.

You will be born into the Actors Guild, like all other humans. You will remain in the Actors Guild until you begin to seek the playwrite, the source of the stage, the lines, the character you are playing.

The paradox is that only the actor who knows he is a character, on stage, playing a role, will find any freedom at all. To wake up on stage, and choose the role, is the only choice you have

The difference between this mission impossible, and the Mission Impossible TV series, is that you don't get to choose the mission before taking it. You can only accept the mission, after you are in it.

Your only escape is to wake up to the mission, the role you are cast in. And you can only choose to accept your mission if you wake up to it.

There is no choice in resistence. Choice is only in seeing, realizing the role. All resisters remain in the Actors Guild. Resisters never get to walk off the stage and sit in the audience. True joy is being able to see the play, Lila, the greatest show on earth.

Remaining in a role, saying the same lines over and over again, leads only to staying on stage, asleep under the lights.

"All the world's a stage, and we are but actors upon it." Hope is discovering your mask, admitting the wearing of it, and taking a good look in the mirror. Laughter is a common response.

To be a real actor, one must know one is acting, and the role one is playing. Seeing the role one is destined to play, and choosing it, is the flight into freedom, off the stage and into the audience.

When the actor knows he's acting, and plays it to his utmost, then he is awake. Then Source smiles back at him through all the actors on the stage, and freedom reigns.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Dream of Nothing

I had a dream last night. I was at a high school function honoring a sports team. The team was standing against a wall in uniforms, looking prim and innocent.

A child who was not on the team told his mother that he was afraid of some of them. "How so she asked? Who are you afraid?"

Very bravely the young man pointed to three of the team members. "I'm afraid they will kill me," he said.

Just then, another young man on the team got a grimacing look on his face and stepped forward. "You should be afraid of me too." He walked over and sat on a bench just in front of the boy.

He pulled from his pocket a small revolver, pointed it at the kid who had called them out, and cocked it. He was ready to shoot. Seeing this, I reached out my hand, placed it on top of the pistol and gently pressed the arm down. "How could you do this?" I asked.

"He's nothing," the young man said, looking disgusted. I looked him in the eyes. "You know you are absolutely right. He is nothing, and so are you. You are brothers in this nothing."

The young man looked at me wondering how I could say such a thing. I continued, "Don't you know that this was the Buddha's message? It's a Hindu and Buddhist tradition. We are all nothing."

Somehow, this struck a deep cord in the young man. He uncocked his pistol and laid it on the ground. Then he pulled up his pant leg and pulled out an AK47 and placed it on the ground.

Somehow, the knowledge that they were all one in nothing struck a deep understanding in his heart . The fact that he saw what the Buddha saw brought an acknowledgment he needed. His fear and anger were gone. The forgotten knowledge of oneness was remembered.

Shortly, his friends pulled up their sleeves and pant legs and pulled out weapons and placed them on the ground. All these innocent looking boys had been loaded with weapons. Soon there was a huge pile of weapons on the ground.

The event was over and everyone went home. I wanted to leave, but couldn't with this pile of weapons laying in the middle of the school grounds. I went looking for a place to stow them so they couldn't be used. I woke up.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Experience of Freedom

The experience of freedom is not freedom. It's just an experience. Does this get your goat, get under your skin? What else would be disturbed by the thought that there is no free will, other than ego.

True freedom is beyond freedom or bondage. It is prior to the concept of freedom. It is prior to any experience of freedom. It is so free it doesn't know the experience of freedom.

If there is only one Source, one Being, where is anything other to choose?

The body/mind doesn't have all knowledge available, so making choices can seem like options actually do exist. But this is surface experience. It is not fundamental.

If one goes deeper, it is easily seen that thoughts and feelings contribute to the decision made. But even these thoughts and feelings are the results of manifestation. Results of DNA, conditioning, experience.

Freedom is what all this is manifested from. All freedom belongs to the absolute, not to the individual. Like all other experience, the experience of freedom is just that, an experience.

True freedom will join you to your destiny with grace. It is choiceless, accepting, and beyond the necessity of any experience of freedom. You are that freedom. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two Perspectives

There are two basic perspectives in life. The perspective from the absolute and the perspective from separation. 99.9% of people experience only one of them. The experience of separation.

The fact that 99.9% of humans have only experienced separation does not invalidate the experience of the Absolute. Both can be defended, neither can be proved.

There is a personal embodied self which we all know very well. There is the impersonal One Self, without form. We are both.

The embodied self is hard wired to survive, and as long as survival is our primary motive, this is the only self we will ever know. To know the Impersonal Self, one will have to go a lot deeper, and risk everything into the unknown.

Since the path into the unknown, is by definition, unknowable, we find ourselves in a quandary. Very much like a who-done-it, we have clues, but no end in sight.

The major clue we have is the "still small voice" that is heard when we hope without knowing. A faith in things unseen. Unbidden, but there. Not always a gentle voice, as it is often a gnawing in the gut, a feeling that something is missing.

Do we follow the "still small voice?" Or do we resist because we do not know who is calling, or where it will lead us? If we are quiet and listen, we faintly hear, "Go to the tiger's lair, and stick your head in the tiger's mouth."

You sane one's quickly turn up the volume and walk away, so the still small voice cannot be heard in the din. But the crazy one, whom you shun, seeks the tiger's lair, places his head in the tiger's mouth, and shouts,"Bite, you son of a bitch, Bite!"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Moonbeams Guide My Way

I don't chase rainbows anymore.
Moonbeams guide my way.

I land nowhere,
where everything is okay.

Where is nowhere?
Right here. Right here!

Traveling this way,
where everything is okay,
just the way it is,
is very light.

The ordinary has no limits.
It sets no agenda.
No conditions.
No expectations.
Freedom reigns.

No horse to rein in.
No clouds to chase.
Just sitting here, nowhere,
is good enough.

Be in the world, but not of it

Being in the world.

As manifested, we humans come into the world with physical needs and desires. We come, forgetting home, feeling alone, having to survive. And so the travails of the world fall upon us like so many thieves. We hoard, we fuss and fight.

And thus we struggle. There is no path that we discern. In darkness we travel on. We stumble, fall, and pick ourselves up, again and again. Tired and weary, we see that things might be better a different way.

We don't know how we got here, or why we are here. We search the stars, wondering if we might be star dust, lost here without our light. And then, perhaps, we start to see another way.

But not of it.

Some still small voice keeps telling us that things are not as they seem. It tells us to look at our troubles in a different way. Only a change of perspective will free us from this woe. With this, our only hope, we accept that this is a pathless land.

When we begin to acknowledge that helping our neighbor, and treating them as ourself, makes things easier. And then we wonder why this works.

A little light comes in, and though there is no path, the light does show us one step at a time. So we learn to be here now, moment by moment, trusting something, we know not what.

And if we persist, and open to this truth, our neighbor becomes ourself, and we are not alone. And then, in time, with letting go, and with letting be, the whole thing opens to a new light, a new world. And we are One. We are now "in the world, but not of it."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Semantics of Enlightenment

When someone wakes up, we say they are awakened, or realized, or enlightened. How can we tell a friend to go see that person if there is no one there? We are speaking here of the awakened teacher's stance that there is no one here, only "awakeness."

Despite what the teacher says, he says it from a body. And what he says isn't heard out of the mouth of others. If you want to know what he has to say, you have to go to him. Although the guru experiences no separateness, and says that his condition is impersonal, it is very personal to seekers and students.

Obviously words are not adequate. There is a body-mind out of which wise sayings, paradoxical statements may come, but the teacher says, there is no one here. In fact, that may be the teacher's experience. "The eye with which I see God, is the same eye through which God sees me," said Meister Eckart.

And yet, there are other teachers who willingly acknowledge that they are enlightened. Why the difference?

Valid teachers take both positions. Ramesh Balsekar for one, willingly admits that he is enlightened. But his teachings are certainly non dual, and his stance in the Impersonal is clear and profound. Karl Renz is another.

Valid teachers speak both ways, some claiming there is no enlightened person, and the others claiming they are enlightened. Tony Parsons is a good example of the no teacher, no student, type, yet the truth of the non dual reality shines through his apparent self very well.

The student goes to the teacher to hear this wisdom because he can't get it from his neighbor. Surely this points to the fact that enlightenment exists in some body-minds, and not others. Or better said, Awareness reveals itself more through one form than another. Still, the students will flock to the teacher with more Awareness.

Saying that everyone is enlightened misses the mark. Everyone is, ultimately, awareness Itself. But Awareness manifests the multiple, and the multiple is separate in body, needs, temperament, etc. So it does little good to speak of "Everyone's already enlightened," and forget any other teaching.

We in enlightenment circles have got ourselves in a semantic quagmire, and for the sake of students, we need to dig ourselves out. We speak of "apparent" persons, "apparent" teachers, and saying "There is no teacher, and no student."

On the level of Awareness, this is correct. But in normal experience, and for the average person, ignoring their perspective, their reference points, is of little help.

Of course the frustration of some students might catapult them into understanding. But these would be few. The majority of seekers will be simply lost. They won't be helped, They won't get understanding.

Do we want to increase confusion? Or do we want to attempt clarity. What is wrong with standing up and saying, "I am a teacher. I know something." Why not be a teacher? And why not let the student be a student?

At some point the student may understand that there is neither student or teacher, but do we start out teaching from there? In Nisargadatta's later years he got picky, saying that his teaching was only for advanced students. This was great discernment on his part.

Many are being lost in enlightened semantics. This may be why Jesus spoke in parables. A parable steps beyond words into a story. If you get the meaning, the truth of it, without words, you've got more than if you read a thousand books.

If you teach so as to confuse, to cause a break in the seeker's mind, go ahead and confuse. But the seeker isn't coming for more confusion, he's coming for clarity. Clarity from the position he sees, stepping stones to greater understanding. If you can't acknowledge where the student is, why are you teaching?

Speaking from the Impersonal Absolute may be fine for the advanced student, but for the majority of students, speaking only from the absolute perspective doesn't help. You need to point from where they are.

The awakened one can shout from the rooftop all day long that "There is no one here," but who will believe him? There is obviously someone up on the roof shouting. One has to conclude that there is certainly a different point of view coming from observers on the ground, and the one shouting from the roof.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Process

Remember that heaven can be a inch from hell. The suffering burns up the resistance - not that one should look for suffering, or prolong it.

For some it is not really helpful to think of the Ego as an illusion. Just experiencing oneself as you are is enough. Calling it ego, or any other label is just mentalization.

If you are suffering, just be with that suffering. It is only made worse trying to analyze it as "illusion" or any other label.

Whatever you call it, ego, small self, separation, at some point relief may come from letting go. For those of a religious background, the prayer, "Thy will be done," may be helpful.

On "Realization" many say they are home. It is so familiar that the question arises, "How did I ever feel that I had left this place?" You may not experience being "home" now, but that is your destination. Self never left. Only the experience of self, embodied, feels separate.

Your real Self is already there. Pure awareness. At this time it may be covered with the veil of ego, separation, embodiment, however you name it. But the veil is a veil. It does part. Every curtain is opened a different way.

Self allows whatever experience you are having now. You can only trust that your real Self knows what it is doing. Just acknowledge that all there is, is what you are. There is only this, it knows, and it is love.

The way is through a pathless land. Every person will process differently. If you've done a lot of reading, just let it all rest in the background, your path is unique. Yours will have similarities to some, and not to others. If you believe in karma, it may help to know that you may be undoing something from the past of which you are not currently aware.

The first time I read Krishnamurti, I had no idea who he was, or what his background was, or what his message was. Halfway through the book, "You are the World," I was overwhelmed with a sense of forgiveness, reduced to a fetal position on the bathroom floor. The crying was so intense, I fled had fled to the bathroom so as not to scare the other residents of the home. Since that time I have tried to find what page or passage brought on the breakthrough of self forgiveness, but can't.

For about six months after that I cried watching TV, seeing movies, reading. I would cry at the beauty of everything, faces, trees, people. There were many unitive experiences. They have all passed. If I wanted to suffer now, I could tell myself I'm not there because I'm not having those experiences any more. But why would I do that to myself? I no longer place conditions on what is.

Some eggs crack in half suddenly with a great blast of light. Some fissure and crack in a thousand little lines and see the light brighten slowly.

After the break into self forgiveness, reading K., I could only continually gush and talk about the experiences I was having. My father, a Baptist missionary, knew the signs of conversion, but he knew nothing of enlightenment.

All he could say was that I had had a conversion experience. He had no way of knowing that it was deeper than that. The experience of oneness, of unity, of love for everything is not a belief, it is not a conversion to any sect, but a break. A break from any sect, any religion. No prescribed beliefs can contain Oneness.

There is no way to know for sure whether you are experiencing kundalini or just mundane aches and pains. When the experiences are intense and extremely varied, and doctors can't find anything physically causing them, then maybe one can say it is kundalini. As with anything about the process of waking up, there is no Rx, no prescription. Keep any knowledge tentative.

With the ecstasies, when most intense, I felt that I had to let it go of the experience because there was no way of functioning in the world while in that state. At the same time, I don't know how I can say that "I" let go, because in that bliss there is NO self. The most intense ecstasies only lasted a few minutes. The long unitive states, less intense, allowed me to function but gave a whole new perspective to what life really is. Seeing beauty everywhere was a big part of that.

The Buddha said that simply knowing of enlightenment is a great boon. However, knowing that there is an alternate way of experiencing the world, but not being there, can cause suffering. Psychologically it is called cognitive dissonance.

Therapy does help. This one did Gestalt therapy in groups for many years which resulted in Primals as described by Arthur Janov. That was the process experienced here. Again, not an Rx, not a prescription.

You are the One embodied as a unique one. Your process will be yours alone. But home is home for all alike.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

You Already Know

In the end, you just give up. Then you see that you already knew it. You were just trying to spin it to suit your intellect. For example, I read everything that Krishnamurti ever wrote. I knew that he knew It, whatever that was, enlightenment, the absolute, God, Krishnamurti had it.

In reflection, how could I possibly know he had it, if I didn't have it? Many times I heard myself speaking to others about how I could read one page of a spiritual author and know if he REALLY knew. How could I possibly have known that if I didn't?

Somehow, I didn't stay with that, pursue that question. It seems I was just not ready to acknowledge that I must know as well. How little I thought I was. And yet, if we are That, then aren't we grand? Was I not listening?

So, some part of me knew absolutely. What I was doing was looking for confirmation. I was willing to know through someone else, someone on whom I had projected that knowing authority; someone with whom that knowing could resonate. But I was unwilling to acknowledge my own knowing.

What does it take, for those of us who sense that knowing in others, to take ownership for ourselves? Where do we get this self distrust? Is it innate? Is it conditioning? These questions need not be answered. What needs to be answered is this: How is it that I know that "X" knows.

If "X" knows, and I am certain of that, how can I not know? I must know! I do know! And if you've had that experience, then you know too.

Are there markers on the way? Do we have to put notches on our bed post? One for each experience we think we've passed on the search? I don't think so.

Remember, any experiences, even kundalini experiences, are not necessary. They may happen. They may not. Descriptions of happenings are just what happened to one individual. They are not prescriptions. Just take note. Be aware.

Knowledge is great. It can help you relax. But knowing is being. Real knowing is subjective. You have to learn to trust yourself. When you trust yourself enough, you can let go. Only then, when you relax, does the still small voice sound loud and clear.

Only the experience of this is personal. In truth it is all Impersonal. The Atman is having a personal experience. You are that. A personal expression of Impersonal Being.

Kundalini pains and pleasures may occur. They may not. They may come and go depending on what chakra is affected. They don't necessarily open in a certain sequence. Don't dwell on it. Some people don't have them.

Of course the ecstasies are great. But they too pass. Kundalini is not something to pursue. But it is good to know that kundalini experiences may occur. Just the knowledge might keep you out of the hospital. Especially when the doctors can find nothing wrong. Kundalini experiences are just sometimes a side effect of moving though blocks to deeper awareness.

In the end, the ordinary is beautiful.

And when you wake up, just being awake doesn't make one a teacher. Many complain that as great as a teacher may be, some just don't seem to have any awakened students. Krishnamurti is one of whom this has been said.

In my case, Krishnamurti woke me up. I just didn't recognize it at the time. My own father, who was a Baptist minister, told me I had had a conversion experience. He was pissed off because he thought I had been converted to Zen. But it was deeper than that.

Of course this pointing to the absolute is useless if you can't own it yourself. The words are just pointers. And poor ones at that. What you are looking for is the subjective, personal, experience. That which comes on so strong that you can't deny it, or even question it, because it comes with so much authority.

However, YOU already know. Just allow yourself to savor that. And Keep in mind that you can't do anything with it." This is not personal. It only seems that way. In fact, it is an Impersonal experience.

It may affect you personally, but it's not something you can own. It is an impersonal process that is happening through you. Don't take it personally. Just align yourself with IT. That's all the personal you can do.

Keep the prayer in mind, "Thy will be done." That's your only contribution. If your intent is strong, the part of you that knows, the still small voice, will be heard.

True seeing has often occurred, but the ego self just won't acknowledge it. You then spend another 20 or 30 years looking for what you've already found. You just want the seeing to be a certain way, a way that your intellect will agree with.

Just relax, and what you already know will come forth. The truth does not need to be forced. It is not loud. It is gentle. It speaks in a soft voice, even silence. Just "let it be."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Field

When you look around a room you see many separate objects, but they are all in the field of vision. All the objects in the field show shape, color, texture, but they are all in one field. Your field of vision.

If you sniffed the air, you might smell flowers, dust, vegetables cooking on the stove. All these distinct smells are separate but are all in the field of smell.

If you walked around and touched the objects in the room, they would all feel different: soft, rough, prickly, smooth, etc. But all would be within the field of touch.

The apparent separateness of all these objects is an interpretation of the mind only. In the sense of sight, colors and textures differentiate. But all the colors are in the filed of sight, made of light.

Physically, some of the objects can be moved around. You can move your furniture around, change the placement of paintings on the wall, and yet they all remain in the field of sight.

You can open the windows, clear the smells in the room, and now you can only smell fresh air. Yet despite the change, what is there is still in the field, the sense of smell.

All these ways of sensing the world are just interpretations of the field. If someone else enters the room, they can verify that you are in the field as well.

You can use words to share with the other person your sense of the room. Words are useful because they take pieces of the field and box them up in little containers, defined with borders and limits.

The boxes of words enable communication. Such a wonderful tool. But the boxes of words do not really separate the objects in the room. They just break the filed conceptually, allowing us to talk about a particular aspect, such as the painting on the wall.

But all the interpretations, be they from the senses, from words, from concepts, do not really break and separate the field. The field is one.

We seem to be mesmerized by our interpretations. They are useful, after all. But we have fallen into the boxes that our senses, our concepts have created. We no longer see that the field is one, that we are one.

One big giant field of varying energies is what we are in. It's one big soup. And where is this field of energy? It's in the mind of God. Nowhere, but there.

As the mystics say, all is One. Only the various ways of interpreting the energies separates. The filed is one. The field is aware, and all interpretations are in the field as consciousness.

As the gurus say, "All there is consciousness."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Levels of Consciousness

The heart experience creates oneness via identity. As we be the change we want to see in the world, the world changes accordingly. Every thought, every feeling is recorded forever and affects all forever. That's quite enough power.

The nondual is and the apparent world is. They are not separate. Water has levels, the earth has levels of elevations, there are levels of heat, cold, roughness, radiation, and there are levels of consciousness. That is not to say that the levels are personal, since the field is one.

Soft light, bright light, absence of light, levels of brightness, and there are levels of consciousness. Depending on how you define or measure, levels can be determined.

Higher self, lower self, One Self. Who is who? One field, separate appearances. One Self, many selves. One up, one down. Ready, set go. Where?

All there is, is Love. One love, one heart. Let's get together and feel all right. Are lefties okay?

Bob Marley had a lot of love. Big heart. Are there levels of heart? Who's more loving?

Where's the beef? It's all in the pudding. There are levels in golf, tennis, pool, poker and horse racing. Who's the fastest? And there are levels of consciousness.

Does awareness enjoy different points of view? Does it know about the levels? Would "dumb as a rock" be a low level of consciousness? Would, "sharp as a tack" be a higher level of consciousness?

There are levels of neurosis, of ego, of self esteem. So are levels of consciousness not a possibility as well?

"Don't cast pearls before swine," said Jesus, meaning, at a level of consciousness that is not receptive. And, "let those with ears to hear, hear, .... for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." A higher level perhaps?

Where does the personal end and Impersonal begin? The real mystery is how we can entertain these thoughts when all is One. There are levels of consciousness.

The oxymoron of the "obvious" is that what is obvious to some is not even seen by the rest. Who's in charge here? The Mystery? Oh, yeah. Thumbs up.

Where are these words coming from? Are these mine? Or do they belong to the Mystery. Can we say what level of consciousness these words come from? Would they make sense to anyone? Or just the few.

Who's reading these words? Are you reading with your heart or with your brain. Can you feel which?

Is the Karmic playing field level? Is a mountainous region on higher ground? Are some places more sacred than others? Who says? Who cares?

The world is round. If you start at any place and walk straight, you will meet yourself on the other side. Is there a here and a there on this little planet? Or are we all only always here. And always now.

A cork in the ocean floats to the level of the wave. Just so, consciousness attracts that which is at its own level. Intentions are realized. Karma is nourished. All is well. You are you. And you are that. All is wonderful. All is as it is, and as it should be.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Knives in Their Heads

While the sugar plums danced in the plazas and squares, a number of them showed up with knives in their heads. The police were summoned. The poor sugar plums with knives stuck in their heads explained that the knives were only apparently there.

"It's a symbolic problem" they explained. "The knives are not real, and we did not stab ourselves in the head. No one did this to us. We are not even real, we are only apparently here."

The police did not take kindly to the joking around. So the captain asked what the knives symbolized. "Apparently, we're seekers, that's what we're called. A pain in the head called seeking, but we didn't think it showed."

"Well" said the captain, whether you are here or only apparently so, you must cover your heads or wear hats. You see, the apparent majority of sugar plums don't have knives in their heads. We don't want you to scare them."

The captain told the knively ones to go see their Parsons and Waite. The investigation continued, with liberals and traditionalists having their say. The neos were contrary and the conservatives stubborn.

In the end it was never agreed, one way or the other. An agreement could never be reached. Apparently no one ever came to the meetings. Only apparently so. The knives were symbolic, not even real, and the wounds didn't bleed. The wounds were apparently psychological or spiritual, and could not be found.

Meanwhile the sugar plums dance in the plazas and squares, oblivious to those who had been banished because of the knives in their heads. The seekers bled silently, dreaming in their beds, holding their heads. There was no one to rescue, and no one to teach. No one to heal. And no one to seek. .

Friday, July 11, 2008

I think, therefore I am

I think, therefore I am is the simplest and truest statement of the false, or ego self. That thought begets all other self thoughts. Your whole identity is wrapped up in subsequent thoughts.

The "I" thought has taken over. Therefore you you believe, "I think therefore I am." This is a false identity. You are prior to the "I" thought.

I am, therefore I think, is truer. At least it points to the "I am" that is prior to thought. Beingnes is multitude. And that's OK. But the truth is prior to the multitude that believes it is.

All bodies have a sense of beingness, of I amness. But, did any body create this sense? Did you create your own beingness as an individual? Or, did beingness arrive, unbidden, to take you for a drive? Take a look. Are you the driver? Or are you driven.

When the beingness arrived, it took a couple years for the mind to develop. At around two or three, the conceptual mind found it's first foothold as "I." The rest is a house of cards. The whole you that you think you are is based on this first "I" thought.

You have to go back to the original "I" thought and back track from there. The "I" thought is the result of Being in a body. You are the Beingness that created the body.

You can only think your way out of this by coming to the end of thought. Or, one might say, when thinking is no longer satisfactory, and sees its own limitation, perhaps there will just be seeing/knowing, without a thinker, without a you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Viewing Furniture

Have you ever considered the point of view of furniture? It's rather amazing that so few have done so? It can be quite educational. Take a moment while sitting in your living room and observe your furniture. Each piece has a different purpose, each is labeled accordingly: table, chair, couch, footstool.

The labels and definitions are based on concepts, and the human purpose invested in the design. However, the objects themselves have no such identity or purpose. A wooden chair, for example, consists of wood, shaped in a particular way. But, does the chair know its purpose? Does a chair know its meaning?

Does a couch know that it is for sitting or laying on? Does a table know it is a surface for holding other objects, or for eating from? The whole meaning of these objects is a projection of the human mind.

A chair was conceived by the human mind, created by the human mind, and human hands. It's chairness is a human factor. To the chair, is there purpose? Does the chair know it is for sitting on? For the chair, is there such a thing as a chair?

To a very large extent our concepts of ourselves are just as meaningless as a chairness to a chair. We are programmed with ideas and concepts about ourselves that come from conditions that no longer exist. We are living our lives based on traditions that are no longer valid, and may in fact be harmful.

There may be some validity in looking at oneself as a peace of furniture. Realize that you might be rather presumptuous in your ideas about yourself. You may, in fact, have totally defined yourself by what you were told to believe. You may be living your life entirely based on projections you received from your parents, your brothers and sisters, and your culture. None of these are you.

As created beings we may not be in a position to know what our meaning is, our purpose. Having taken up our roles as prescribed by the play, we act them out with sound and fury, and yet unconsciously. Perhaps if we looked at ourselves as furniture in a room, we might discern a self nature that is something other than what we have projected on ourselves.

There is something deeper in us. An essence, undefinable, ineffable, yet knowing. We don't become aware of this essence, playing our prescribed roles. We become awareness by stepping aside, by letting go, by questioning our ideas and presumptions. Step back and observe oneself without ideas, and see what arises.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

There is a seeming I

There is a seeming I here. There are interests, avoidances, but mostly peace, contentment - not bliss, not joy, just this.

The nondual is. The fact that there still an apparent person here is not a problem. This appearance is operating, much as it always did, except the search is finished.

There is no need here to get rid of the person. No sense that the person should go away, become non existent. Why, because the truth is known that appearances are, but I am not that. I am all appearances. The personality is like an old shoe. it's here, it's comfortable. Who says I need to get rid of it?

Who is going to make the effort to get rid of this appearance? Since the appearance is part of the play, why not enjoy the show?

There is an ease in allowing the appearance to be as it is. There is awareness that catches what is rises as resistance, irritation, judgment. When awareness senses these, it brings them into focus. The simple recognition releases the resistance as not needed. All is well.

There does not need to be any purpose to this. Who is here to judge, to determine what that purpose is? Just observing, holding back judgment is enough. Just see how much one can accept and love. That is enough.

Alphabet Soup

Pour a cup of Alphabet Soup and you can play with the letters, making many different words. The letters make words for animals, and things, and yet they remain soup. The liquid and the letters are one soup. We are like that soup, appearing as separate pieces, but still soup.

That which looks out from this body/mind sees only itself. That which sees from every other body/mind sees only itself. Different points of view only. We are like raindrops from the same storm, each with our story to tell of how we fell. Only to find that we are all washed back into the sea.

Oh, the stories we tell! Oh, the experiences we have! We should all wink when we tell them. Somehow, in our hearts, we know that all our stories are about the One. The One we are. Why else would we listen?

Listen to your own story lightly. Take a step back as you tell it. Be sure to laugh.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Who Am I?

When there is recall, there are memories of being a child, and there are memories of joys and fears. When there is recall there are memories of teenage and college years. But, whose memories are they? They are certainly not mine!

Whoever I am now, which is more like no one, nowhere, I am not that child, not that college kid, not any of those memories. The memories are there, this body/mind can recall them, but there is no one here to own them.

Long ago I wrote an autobiography. It seemed really important at the time. The problem is that I waited too long to publish it. Now, the person that wrote it is no longer here. Now there is no motive to publish it. Who is it important to now? No one! Whoever wrote it has long since died.

The body/mind remains. It is here at this computer typing these words. And though memories attest to experience, they don't attest to what remains: nothing definable as the person who experienced them.

From here, this body/mind has enough distance from itself to ask, who is here now typing this? Rather than answer directly, a little trip into the future will certainly reveal that whoever thinks they are writing this now, will not be here in the future. So, is there really anyone writing this?

Bodies are born and mindfields form around them. If they are unchallenged, they stabilize and a person is born. But the person that is born is just thoughts, opinions, ideas, nothing one can put in a box and keep.

Suffering is good at dispelling long held cherished beliefs. Suffering breaks up cherished positions, thoughts and ideas. The suffering is equal to the strength of the chains of thought. So much suffering to keep from seeing, to keep from changing.

There is a cool wind blowing where the web of thoughts used to be. With no web, no chains, what can stick? Where am I? Not here, not there, perhaps only everywhere.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Awareness has no identity

Does the watcher have a name? When there is awareness of the watcher, considering what is going on in the body/mind, does the watcher have a need for identity? Does one ever consider, who, or better yet, what the watcher is?

After realization, there is a continued unraveling of the ego self. It is not personal, it has no personal agenda. It is just like water flowing from a damn when the drain is opened - a natural process. Something watches the unraveling. When there is awareness of the watcher, who is watching the watcher?

The reports of the body/mind continuing to do what it has always done, eating, sleeping, working, goes on, but it goes on in without the previous drive, goals, anxiety. It's like watching a robot perform.

Certainly life is simpler as the competitive drive has left. Strangely though, with the egos strategies, hurts, and specialness gone, things are seen more clearly, and work gets done more efficiently. There are fewer needs and what is essential is naturally seen.

Whatever is seen or arrives in awareness is not what one is. Who is seeing the unraveling? Who notices the ego dropping? Who is aware of the changing, the loss of desire, the loss of meaning? When all the who's and what's are seen, who sees them?

In the end all that can said is that Awareness is. It is constant, unchanging, available, and finally knows that it alone is sovereign. It has no identity. It is not separate from you or me. You are that.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Caesar's Coin

A coin has two sides. We call the sides different names. In the U.S. we call them "heads or tails". Looking at one side or the other is a very distinct view, but the coin is still one. That one coin, when tossed, makes the difference between being the first or second to throw the ball. It is still one coin.

When Jesus was asked about paying taxes and one's duty to God, he gave a profound and practical reply, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's." A metaphor for "Be in the world, but not of it."

Is there being in the world "as it is," but not being caught in it? Is spirituality separate from the world? Are there really separate sides of a coin? Are we in school? Is there free will? Is there really no "you" and "me?"

Honestly, I really don't know. I can't seem to draw the line in my own mind and explain it to myself. I would like to be able to, but currently cannot. What I do feel/know/experience, is that ultimately we are all one. The world I am in, and you are in, is one field, one energy, manifesting in multiple emanations, endlessly creative.

Ultimately, humans, like everything else, are emanations, created beings, and this would imply no free will. I long ago gave up the idea that I or anyone else had free will. There is a lot of freedom in this. It is great for putting the ego in its place, or dropping it altogether.

The experience of "no self" which can be progressive, or sudden, is rather devastating to being in the world, but is great at making sure one is not "of it."

As one who knows that ultimately, "I am that, and you are that," there still appears a me, and a you. And now we are back to the metaphor of the coin. Two sides, one coin. I really like this metaphor as it makes simple, a complex area of spiritual inquiry, the conundrum: duality/non duality.

Currently there is a raging debate about this. Both sides are on the same playing field, but disagree on how to play. Perhaps we need to remember that we are playing a game. As Shakespeare once said, "All the world's a stage, and we are but players upon it." Or as Faulkner wrote, "Sound and furry signifying nothing.

When teacher's teach, whether they claim personhood or not, whether they claim to be enlightened or not, they do have individual styles. We need to be careful and not argue teaching styles over essence. Doesn't it really come down to reflecting on what resonates? I really like this term because it is reflects congruence, while remaining open.

My whole spiritual search has been based on resonance. At first, it was primarily what I liked intellectually, but as I progressed (that nasty, bad term, to some) I found that I was reading with my heart. I literally felt the resonance in my heart.

Having been a seeker for many years, I've had many opportunities to see who I resonated with, and who I did not. Teachers resonate that appear to be stressing or pointing in very different ways. I can only conclude that the pointing is different, not that which is being pointed to.

One side claims that no person exists, or ever existed - all is illusion. Therefore, there is no enlightened person, no such thing as enlightenment, and never has been. The other side agrees that ultimately, this is so, but acknowledges that though ultimately true, the body/mind needs to be acknowledged and dealt with.

I resonate with teachers who claim no person exists, and with teachers who claim to be enlightened. Is there an absolute divide between non duality and duality? Both are aspects of the One.

The teacher that claims no enlightenment, no person, and yet teaches, is somehow acknowledging duality. To dismiss the embodiment, the seeker, is like the elephant in the living room that is not acknowledged. The teacher may claim to be enlightened or not. Does that change the fact that there is resonance?

One teacher claims to be enlightened, acknowledges it, and then teaches that there is no student, no teacher, and no free will. Gets confusing, doesn't it?

Teachers emphasize different sides of the same coin. They are all pointing, and pointing is not the truth. The one coin contains all sides. Acknowledging both the ultimate Oneness, and embodiment, seems balanced to me.

I trust my heart and only listen to and ponder those teachers who resonate with my heart. I resonate with teachers who fall on both sides of the coin. Neither side has the right pointer, all are pointing only.

As a seeker, I never cared whether a teacher claimed there is no one to be enlightened or not. I never cared if the teacher said there was no teacher, no student, no me. I only cared if there was resonance. I only cared if there was a response in my heart. I didn't care if I understood. I only cared if my heart relaxed and went, "Ahhhh."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thinking and Duality

It is only natural that we favor thought. It is that which allows us to function in duality. Thought defines and separates, and separation is necessary to navigate and manipulate our environment.

This separation, this duality, allows us to know what is good to eat, and that which is not. It allows us to avoid the tiger and embrace our lover. It is necessary for life in the body. The mind is simply an extension of the body that allows it to survive.

However, when we assume that we are the body/mind, we also remain in bondage, for duality is bondage. There is nothing wrong with duality, it is the manifestation of that which is beyond duality.

For the majority, getting the most from this appearance in duality is satisfactory enough. Most do not question their own appearance. There is simply the acceptance of it, like accepting a FedEx package. Just like the acceptance of a package from FedEx, we accept delivery of the body/mind.

This acceptance of the gift of body/mind is perfectly natural, and in perfect order. Why we accept this delivery without question is irrelevant. It's just the way it is. And why some few, very few, question the delivery, is also irrelevant. It just happens.

If you are reading this blog, you are among the few who have begun to question, or have questioned. You are seeking deeper understanding, or having understood, simply enjoy the various expressions of understanding.

All why questions ultimately come up empty handed. The term scientific reductionism expresses itself in more and more questions still pointing to the ultimate emptiness - the spaceless space, the stateless state, the awe of unknowing.

It can be seen that all thought is an effort to define and separate, and all thought is geared to providing security. When thought is seen to be ultimately fruitless for anything beyond living in duality, some look for a deeper security.

Deeper security is beyond the mind, beyond thought. In fact, the greater security is in the unknown. Acceptance of the unknown, trusting the unknown, is the ultimate security.

Ultimate security knows the body/mind is not who One is. Ultimate security knows that the concepts of mind do not contain the answer. True security is the gut knowing that One is That which is the creator of duality, unchanged by any appearance, or anything that happens to any appearance.

Enjoy duality. It is an expression of what you are. But be not deceived into thinking that you are limited by the body/mind you have been gifted. See that you are the giver, and the receiver, the One beyond.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Understanding

Understanding is all. But this is not an intellectual understanding. The intellect doesn't go deep enough. The understanding has to be experienced at gut level. It's a primal experience.

If you've every had an experience of ecstasy, a mystical unitive experience, you know the authority with which it comes. That's the kind of understanding that is spoken of here. It's beyond the intellect, prior to intellect, not in it.

But understanding isn't ecstatic, day in and day out. It's just understanding. Bernadette Roberts reports how when one has profound ecstatic experiences, the resulting changes become one's normal day to day experience. They loose their feeling of uniqueness, of differentness. In fact, a change, such as peace, may become so normal that only other people notice it.

Understanding is profound and does affect one's life, but the change is incorporated and is not felt as something special.

It does no good to try and not be the doer. It does no good to try and stop thinking. These are results, not a prescription. When there is understanding, then thinking quiets down. It results from understanding, not trying to stop thinking. It does no good to try and stop being the doer of actions. The very trying itself, is the doer.

However, there is a place for trying, for striving, because as long as there is a seeker, there will be effort. Effort will be there as long as there is a perceived, sensed, separate "I." For just as long as you feel choice, free will, and know yourself as a separate person, you will not escape effort. Until that "I' drops, or slides into the background as a phantom, effort remains.

What is being pointed to, is that many of the spiritual methods are teaching results, which are effects, which are not the path.
Since the seeker can't stop trying, the seeker at least deserves to know what might have the possibility of being the most productive towards understanding.

Understanding is more likely to come from Awareness, which is prior to consciousness. Consciousness consists of the objects, thoughts, perceptions, one is aware of. So anything one thinks, judges, conceives of, appears in Awareness. So, try and step behind consciousness of this and that, to the field in which they appear, Awareness.

Contemplation is a great and natural process that can be harnessed. Hawkins states that any valid spiritual truth can be used as a tool. For example, a single sharp knife can cut a watermelon, shape a Buddha, cut your bread and spread your butter.

Your effort will be rewarded by your intent and your earnestness. This one was never a meditator. This one was a contemplative. The advantage of contemplation is that it can be done all day, while at work or at play. It doesn't require a quiet place, a certain posture, a particular practice.

We all contemplate, but we do it unconsciously. We contemplate the neighbor's wife, the boss's poor hygiene, or how well we're doing in our political positioning within our company. Just change what you contemplate! As James Allen said, "Think on These Things," spiritual truths. Pick one and stay conscious of it.

You can't think about two things at once, so if you choose to contemplate on the higher things, rather than lower things, you won't have to fight the lower, they just won't have room.

If you can't understand how all is One, contemplate that. If you can't understand that "The observer is the observed," contemplate that. If you can't "Love your neighbor as yourself," contemplate that.

Stay aware of every position you take. Stay aware of every feeling of judgment you have. Stay aware of every time you feel defensive. Ask yourself, "Who am I defending?"

This is simple, and with earnestness of intent, will produce results. Then you can ponder, "Where did my thinking go," Where did my stress go?" Then you will be in understanding.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Paradox of Freedom

Awareness has no preference. It is the screen on which all is projected. You are Awareness, and your body is an appearance in Awareness. On what authority can the body/mind reject its appearance? If you are Awareness, and the mind is an appearance in Awareness, then who are you too reject it?

Awareness is absolute freedom. Absolute freedom rejects nothing. Without judgment, anything is allowed to appear in it. The body/mind you take yourself to be is a manifestation of creation, appearing in Awareness, as it is.

So, the admonition to "be what you are," comes from the understanding that you are Awareness, and what it is that you are appearing as, is O.K. Be what you are because you, as a focal point in Awareness, have no control over the appearance.

If you have no control over who you are, why not let go and really be it? You have nothing to loose because you are already free of the appearance, can't control the appearance, and what's gonna happen will happen.

The fact that we do our best to make things easy, or better, is already the way things are. So, do that. Make things better. Just remember you have nothing to do with that desire. Act as responsible as you like, or not. There will be consequences. But good or bad, you're not really the one in charge.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose." You are nothing already. So you need not fret. You are already free. Know that you are free, then act "as if" you are responsible.

Any appearance in Awareness is a focal point, and that point is conscious as "I am." But the focal point as consciousness tends to take ownership of the consciousness, not realizing its Source. That's where all the trouble begins. Refuse ownership, refuse free will, and drop the baggage.

The trip will continue without you. It will be amazing! Effortless doing, ease of mind. You will do ten times more with less effort and little or no thought. This is the result of thinking being used only for doing, not in service of the ego.

It is indeed paradoxical that realizing you have no personal freedom grants you the greatest freedom. But that's the way it is, and you have no control over that.

Maury Lee 6/2/3008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Conceptual Skin

I is the conceptual covering of the body. It's like a skin. But a conceptual skin. Just as the physical skin covers and protects the body, just so the ego is a conceptual skin that protects the body as well as the mental concept of "I."

The I skin develops at around age two or three when the mind begins conceptual thought and separates the body from everything else that surrounds it. The first "I" thought is "I am." This is the primary thought upon which the ego creates itself.

With the ego and it's function of self preservation comes psychological suffering. With the concept of the "I am the body," comes fear. With fear comes the division of the world into good and bad, right and wrong, love and hate.

Because the conceptual skin is created at such a young age, the conceptual I becomes an assumption that is so primary, so taken for granted, that it is almost impossible to see. It is not that it is so subtle that makes it difficult to see, but that it is such a primary assumption.

If you ever studied Geometry and proving therums, you can get a taste of the conceptual skin. Like logic, you can build an entire house of cards on a false assumption. The logic post the initial error can be flawless, perfect in its rationalizations. But, unless one questions the initial assumption, the house of cards seems well built.

This is why Ramana Marharshi, Nisargadatta, and others, continually referred back to the basic question of "Who am I." They knew full well that they could spend years arguing with seekers if the basic assumption was not examined. It's like arguing theology. If theology contained the truth, how could there be five thousand paths, and no abatement of suffering.

The basic conceptual "I" that is the base assumption, makes all questions after this unconscious assumption, a theological maze in which the seeker will never find relief. The guru, the realizer, the knower of Self, is the one who always points back to the original error, the conceptual I -- the conceptual skin that prevents true knowing.

For this reason, without great erudition, the Knower can respond to any and all questions. This wisdom seems all powerful, all knowing, but this wisdom is simple, it doesn't have to fight with all the post assumption bullshit. It recognizes instantly that the question is based on the false "I" assumption.

This body/mind is aware that it exists. It has its preferences, likes and dislikes. But, it does not suffer like it used to. Physical pain is accepted. Mental suffering always asks the question, "Who is suffering?" With this question, the conceptual skin is seen, and there is relaxation.

The body exists. Yes, the delivery has been received. But, the conceptual "I" is a result of the body, a mental construct that is not permanent, not substantial. It can be seen as an ephemeral, changing, ghostlike, person. The personality is here, but this delivery is a shimmering hologram, and the hologram can be seen through.

While the personality, the consciousness of a particular individual can have a level of consciousness, the true Self, the Source, is prior to consciousness, has no levels, and cannot be described. You are that. Who you think you are is an eminence, an emergence, like a flower. Enjoy the blooming, but you are the Source of the bloom, not the bloom itself.

Maury Lee 5/31/2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Meaningfulness

At a certain point on the spiritual path, it is far more interesting and entertaining to see what has lost its meaning, than what has become more meaningful. Surely it is a sign of just how much play the ego has had.

When the ego falls, the house of cards falls. The cards drift away on a breeze of laughter and wonder. The ego's tentacles are vast long tendrils, that when cut off from the source, leave the former person in free fall. But it's the kind of free fall where you spread your arms, and enjoy the ride.

Egos are busy trying to find meaning. Could it be that the basic unreliability is somehow known? Do we frantically look for meaning because at some level we know there isn't any?

We are afraid to look directly at the source of the insecurity. We always look away. Anywhere but here. The mirror is a deadly place isn't it? So we look anywhere and everywhere else. If we are lucky, or if we meet the right teacher, we stop and look.

We see that the supposed special person has built a house on sand. The foundation is a mirage of specialness. A smoke filled room of manipulation and avoidance. So when we really look in the mirror, we see that the "special me" is pile of crap.

The "special me" is a run from the truth, head in the sand, fake. It can be a shock when we first get a glimpse of the pile of crap we've been calling "me." The first glimpse may cause us to try all the harder to prove our worthiness. But this is just a bigger step on the brown brick road of ego.

When we trip again, and are face down on the brown brick, we just might take our time and take a good look at what tripped us up. We see the road we've been on, and see where it's going, and finally, with maybe a bit of humility, we step off the road.

This can be scary at first. This is unchartered territory. "Ah, but the air is fresh." We brave this new territory even if we have no insight into the weather. Stumbling around on real earth at least gives us a chance to see that there is no path.

Now we are the jungle hunter. We develop our own internal machete to hack a the undergrowth. It's our own labyrinth we are cutting through. Our personal jungle is always unique, always pathless.

However, having been told that "Truth is a pathless land, "by such as J. Krishnamurti, at least we know to keep hacking. With a commitment to truth, we hack our own way through our own jungle. Eventually, we find we too had no path. All that was needed was to clear the land.

Now we see there was nowhere to go. It's all one great land. We're already there. We just took the detour called "Ego."

Guru Siddhis

Siddhis: This is a term for spiritual powers of various sorts, from psychic ability to being able to levitate, to be present at various places at once, to become as small as an atom, to materialize objects, to have access to memories from past lives, and more.

Miraculous events may occur around certain apparent enlightened ones or apparent gurus. Keep in mind that these occurrences are not personal and not caused by the so-called enlightened one. These are impersonal events not directly caused by the apparent being.

Who would want to follow a so-called wise person who depended on slight-of-hand and parlor tricks to attract followers? This is more the sign of a low level charlatan than a guru.

The true wise man would probably prefer not to have crowds of followers. He may have to deal with groups of seekers because he wishes to help, but he certainly wouldn't be performing circus tricks as a means to attract followers or show his power.

True power does not need parlor tricks to attract a crowd. In fact, the true wise men would eschew such theatrics. If a miraculous event does occur, the truly wise man would certainly disclaim any personal cause. The true guru knows that it is not his power, a personal power, that would cause such an occurrence.

It's a sad scene when a true seeker gets caught up with a circus performer of siddhis. Years can be wasted. If your are attracted to someone because they can produce ash, make trinkets appear, or produce perfume, you might be due for a good look inside yourself. What is your motive in this? An honest evaluation might allow you to see that you are looking for power, not truth.

If you are attracted to displays of siddhis, card tricks, etc, you are watching a sideshow. You are actually delaying finding the truth. Goethe's Faust was the story of man who sold his soul to the devil for power. Don't sell your soul to a man who entertains you with slight-of hand, and the manifestation of trinkets. Fools gold!

Truth is not an object. It doesn't need magic displays to make itself known. It is far more subtle than that, and far closer to you than your guru.

The true teacher doesn't need you. Jack Kornfield said that the amazing thing about Nisargadatta was that "He wanted nothing from me." The real teacher does not need to self promote. He will be known by what he has become. His teaching is enough.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It's O.K.

It's strange not to have to think anymore, not have to figure anything out. It's quiet in here -- nothing to know -- nothing to hang my hat on - no need to have a hat.

Where is this coming from, nothing and nowhere. Who is writing this? No one. Why? Because I'm not responsible. Couldn't be responsible. When you know the truth that you are not in charge, who's gonna worry?

There is silence. It's not a forced silence. Thinking can come, but mostly it is gone. There is thinking, but it's not mine. It likes to think on abstract subjects, but mostly, it's given up. There is no one it will benefit, certainly not me.

So, there is the house to care for. There are still the problems of the character who appears in this body, who still is not perfect. But no one cares. The imperfection is irrelevant. God is, and God knows what's going on. He's in charge. I watch the river flow.

The body enjoys living, and will continue to do so. It has its pains, its aches, but also its joys. The apparent personality still causes problems for itself. But they are at some distance. Not felt as directly as before.

Mostly there is peace. When the mind gets caught up in a thought, off I go. But at least there is a pause. The pause comes when awakeness returns. Then there is a letting go of the pursuit -- a letting go of what seemed important. Then there is stepping back and going, "Ah, don't really need to worry.

With this silence one gives up on problems. But there is more. One also gives up on dreams, on hopes, on saving the world. The world is as it is. Its design is greater than me. Only an ego would get pulled into saving the world. As Jesus said, "The poor will always be with us." Or, "Let the dead bury the dead."

There is no where to go. No one to turn to. Only this. Only now. Only forevermore. And it's O.K.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Who Am I To Judge

I find myself in a body here. But where did I come from? Did I make myself? Did I create the air this body needs? Do I know how I digest my food? Can I prevent my heart from breaking? Where is my control? My design? We all know that we are here, but do we really know why, or how we got here?

About the only thing I can claim as my own are my thoughts, right? But can I even control them? Or am I just witness to the passing stream of them. Where was the choosing? And when I get caught up in them, don't they run me?

Did we choose to fall in love? Or does love happen to us? Do we manufacture love? Choose it? Or are we chosen? Do we chose to become seekers? Or does seeking just happen?

We are the result of some grand design, and we are really not in a position to judge. We did not create our bodies, did not choose our sex, our parents, our day of birth. There is a grandeur to us when we humbly accept our true position.

It takes great pride, a great leap of incredulity to proclaim, "I am the captain of my ship. I am the master of my fate." Such a position is a fantasy, a mirage. Perhaps it takes time to become aware of our true position. Perhaps this is why wisdom only comes with age. It takes time to see that we are not in control.

It takes courage to accept one's true position. It is only with great honesty, and the courage to really look, that we actually admit, that in fact, we are not in charge. To take on this humility is the first step towards enlightenment.

But what a giant step this is. With this step we actually begin to look beyond our desires, our dreams, our hopes, and look at what actually is. In looking at what actually is, we have to give up the chip we've been carrying, the pedestal we have been standing on. Our ego's claims don't hold water any more. Our presumptions lie shattered. We're free!

Yes, freedom is in the truth, the ACTUALITY! There is great freedom in not being the master, the man, the one in charge. There is great freedom in not being the one responsible, in not being the guilty one. The freedom of innocence. And that innocence is the release from suffering.

And knowing this, I cannot claim enlightenment. I cannot be enlightened. I would have to claim personhood, claim my personality, claim responsibility and guilt. No, this is impersonal. The impersonal Self reigns, not I. Freedom trumps again. Hallelujah!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Effortless

As the apparent I surrenders to what is, trusting that what is, is in charge, the struggles of life diminish considerably.

The nondual awareness that this indicates can come about by looking for the I, or may come by intuition, trusting in something that is not known via concepts. It is a giving up of control, an acceptance of life as it is.

There is something going on that is bigger than the little I. The me generation freed us up to question, but the me then questioned dissolved into a million pieces. Where am I?

Believe it or not, everything is in place. Just as the "Butterfly Effect" proves there is no such thing as chaos, everything is going according to plan. Chaos disappears when one accepts what is.

The eye of the I is One. Let go and become that One. Then see what happens? Without thinking, without worrying, life moves. So let your life flow! Trust in the Isness that prevails. As it has been said, "You don't need to push the river. It flows by itself."

Everything and Nothing Matters

After long discussions with a friend on esoteric matters, we would often say to each other, "Everything Matters and Nothing Matters." We would say this to each other with smiles, but we were deadly serious.

This paradox is quite profound. To ponder it allows for mindfulness in everything, while also allowing for non attachment. There is spaciousness in this as well as limits -- room for action and rest, initiating and releasing. Quite healthy mentally, when practiced.

Zen uses koans to break dualistic thinking and force it into another dimension. They are often paradoxical and or non sensical. "Nothing matters and everything matters," is like a koan and it keeps the paradox alive and working 24/7.

Everything matters because everything that we do relates to what exists. Especially with people and animals, being helpful and kind make a difference in their lives. As long as there are bodies, things are needed, some more than others.

Everything matters because every hair on your head, and your neighbors head are counted. You need help, and they need help, physically and mentally, and spiritually. In all ways, some things are more beneficial than others.

Nothing matters in the sense that we are not in control of the universe. As humans we are limited. There is only so much we can do, despite our wishes to the contrary. We can help, but we may not be able to save the world.

Essentially the statement being discussed here is similar to the Buddhist saying that "We are responsible for the effort, but not for the results." Either way we say it, the essential meaning is the same. Embrace your humanness, make the effort to help, but know your limits.

You can contribute, you can be kind, but you may not be able to change the human condition. Do what you can, be helpful, be kind, but don't be a doormat. Take a little humbleness, and leave guilt behind.

You were meant to be "in the world" and take your part. You were not meant to be "of the world," controlled by it, or totally consumed by it. By acknowledging your limits, you empower yourself to do what you can, without guilt.

So smile at your neighbor. Help your friend. Turn the other cheek when you are able. Speak your mind and bite your tongue. Both are allowed. Either can be chosen. Just practice mindfulness as to your choice.

Remember the "Law of the Ladder" and do not try to drag someone unwillingly to your level. Neither berate yourself for not springing up the ladder, three rungs at a time. "There is a time, there is a season, to every purpose under heaven."

~ Maury Lee 5/1/2008 ~