1. Ron: Loving 'nothing' paradoxically places me in the flow of life, serving the need of each new moment. Attending to 'nothing' serves up a beautiful, conscious, creative, joyful dream.
Maury: What is joyful, loving, of good report, why not? It's better than the alternative. If everything is a dream, then the dream is reality. What is realty other than what is? So, if all is a dream, then the dream is reality. If God is love, then that is the truth, and anything that strays from that is untruth.
2. Ron: 'Nothing' first appeared to come and go as peak experience. Now it appears as continuous background, always here. These are ways my mind experiences 'nothing' in translation. Perhaps it is better to say 'nothing' simply IS, neither continuous nor discontinuous.
Maury: I don't often have the experience of nothing. In an ecstatic state I experienced that I was not there, and because I was not there, I did not know how I could stay there and still have me? I had to let it go.
That state was absolutely ecstatic. I certainly saw no way to remain in that state and be in the world. I knew that I would not be able to work. There would be no reason. All was already complete. When the state left, I felt an emptiness, but not nothingness. I felt the absence of the Oneness, in which, I as Maury, was not.
What you describe as nothing is similar to what Nisargadatta spoke of, "the nothing that is everything." Nisargadatta said something along the lines of "When I am nothing, then I am everything, and when I am everything, there is love."
What I experience is either more or less of The Presence. When there is more presence, I feel good. When there is less Presence, I have doubt, uneasiness. I Am is complete presence.
3. Ron: My experience of self (mind) is of discontinuity, a blinking off and on within 'nothing'. 'Off' is free attention untranslated by mind. 'On' is conditioned attention mediated by mind. Off/on can be noticed cycling up to several times a second, and over much longer periods too. Free attention (off) of short duration it is more subtle than subtle. Free attention (off) of longer duration is flow ('doing' God's will).
Maury: I don't know about blinking on and off. I do know that years ago my mind was very, very busy. I wanted nothing more than to slow my thoughts down, but I could not. It was painful. I believe I was trying to outrun my painful emotions by out thinking them -- an impossible task. After rigorous Gestalt work, and the experience of the pain, my mind quited down. Now my mind is mostly quiet.
My meditation has always been reading. When I find a book I resonate with, it is a joy. As I've progressed, fewer and fewer works do that. The pathless path does have levels of understanding and awareness. The path is unique to each, and each must travel their own path. And yet, there is the Presence that travels with you, and beside you, until you realize that it is within, and never left.
4. Ron: Everything moves in and out of 'nothing'. Everything turns out to be the dream. 'Nothing' turns out to be reality. This is immediate and obvious anytime I STOP (turn off) and look.
Maury: Again, if everything is a dream, then the dream is reality. I am willing to agree that all is in the mind of God, his dream, his dreaming. And we are in God's dream. And as we are part of the hologram, we also are the Sons of God, and our dreams become reality as well. We are one and the same. The same substance, the same dream.
5. Ron: In 'nothing' (stopping, off) there is no story of I, no past, no present, no future, no opposites, no guilt, no fear, no experience, no becoming, no drama, no life, no death, no nothing. Everything still appears, moving in and out of 'nothing' (as quantum physicists say).
Maury: At some level we get the sense of no past, no future, nothing to do -- we are touching the stillness of the ground of being. If we are in that state permanently, ready to stay there, I am not sure that one would remain in the world for long. That merging would probably be the signal that we were done with this personal drama in apparent physical life. At that point, most would just leave the body as there would be nothing more here to do.
6. Ron: The way I seemingly choose to suffer these days is wanting more of 'nothing.' How sweet these never-ending antics of my mind, working to keep me safe and secure and separate.
Maury: I think the longing for God is not a chosen suffering. I don't think we purposely choose suffering. I think we suffer because we don't know how to let go and let God. It takes awhile to get there. I do think that we are born with the pull towards God. It's like we come here in a cloud of forgetting. It's designed that way.
The longing is inborn as we know we have forgotten something. But we don't know what we forgot. We don't even know where to look, or how to look. But, we can't help looking. It's like thirst. If we didn't need water, there wouldn't be thirst. If we didn't need food, there wouldn't be hunger. How is the longing of God any different? The longing is the proof!
As we find our unique path, we begin to know the way. Each person's path is different. Just as all roads lead to Rome, so all paths lead to God. We, each of us, just need to find our path, our way, and put all that we have into following that path. And when we get to the end, we find that we are the path, the truth and the light.