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


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


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 ~