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."