Monday, May 30, 2016

Bing That

Realization doesn't necessitate further changes to the personality. There are likely to be changes, but realization isn't about changing the individual, it is freedom from the individual. The personality is freed to be what it is and do what it does, because enlightenment shifted the identity from the individual person, to That which is absolute. That which is everything was already allowing the person to be how it was.

That which is, was always the mover and shaker, it was simply ignorance on  the part of the individual actor who didn't know. The change for the person is from being somebody, to being That. Being That, the personality is free to be what it is, and That watches.

Enlightenment is just the realization that the person is not what one is. There is a change in perspective which reveals That as the doer, and the person as an actor. Being That, the person is likely to be much freer, more spontaneous, less afraid to be what it is.

From the perspective of That, there can be nothing left for the individual to worry about, because whatever happens to the person doesn't affect That. Doership is in the hands of That, and whatever That allows to happen is the only thing that can happen.

The individual, however, will, most likely, continue to play out its role. It still has conditioning, and survival of the body is hardwired into its behavior. Therefore, worry may happen, fear may happen, but it is likely to be much less of a problem, because the identity is not there.

The ego, which is just the centralizing aspect of the person will still operate. It doesn't disappear, it just has less of a burden, and gets lighter. Whether it is there or not is really irrelevant. While the identifying with That does not provide a lot of details, there is nothing the person can do but trust That. Essentially, the person trusts That which it now is, however unknowing being That is.

So, realization is for the individual. That does not require it. That does not need it. The longing for freedom, the longing to end separation resides in the person. So enlightenment does come to the person, and does free the person. The paradox is that the freedom always was. The individual just needed to realize what he really was. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Killing Rabbits

I have a little dog, very loving, very smart. While I was mowing the yard the other day, the noise of the mower stirred some baby rabbits that ran across the yard. Following its instincts the beautiful creature that lives with me had killed all three baby rabbits. I didn't see the killing, but did see the dog with a rabbit in its mouth. I found the other two as I finished mowing the yard.
I am relating this to report a change in my reaction to this. Baby rabbits are cute, and in the past I would have been horrified at this. But, that was not my reaction. Knowing that all is one, and all is allowed, I knew that nothing died, and there was no judgment I could make about it.
That designed all that is and all that can happen, or will happen. The killing of the baby rabbits happened. I could see nothing wrong in it. There was some residue of an old attitude which would have judged this as a horrible event. But it was fleeting and had not roots. I picked up the dead rabbits and and removed them from my yard. I finished mowing.
The point of this is that realizing that everything is perfect as it is, whatever happens could not have been otherwise. As I am not the doer, neither is the dog the doer. That is the doer. I am That. The dog is That. The rabbit is That. That, being all that is, has not changed. That has not been violated.
Essentially, because all is That, there is no death. That which is, always has been, and will always be, does not die.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Corrupted Love

Since I was so critical of my father I have to say that I do know that love was there. We are love, and are always surrounded by love. We are made with love. 

In my father's case I know he loved me very much, it's just that he had many neuroses, and s
evere conditioning from his childhood. Because his love was filtered through that conditioning, it was corrupted. Love filtered does not come out pure. It is certainly not unconditional. 

My father's filters corrupted his love and it came out in destructive ways. I know now that the intense passionate love he had made what came through those filters extreme. As a child I could not see the love behind what came out. I doubt any child could. I only felt the effect of the corruption. 

Years later when my father was dying, he admitted as much. He spent as much time as I wanted working through what was done. I also believe he forgave himself, which is also important. We are all corrupted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thought and Feeling

Nothing so disturbs thinking as feeling, and nothing so disturbs feeling as thought. Either one leads home. Some favor the heart, and theirs will be broken. Some favor the mind, and it will crack. Either way the end is surrender. I don't judge either way as superior, I just find some teachers helpful, and some not.

I come by this understanding by way of my home life and conditioning. As a child I had many of the men that worked with my father, take me aside and tell me that my father was the smartest man they had ever met. Let's say it happened more than a few times.

Now this might have made me very happy if I had been pleased with my father, but I wasn't. I knew there was something missing and intelligence didn't make up for it. Like all children, I compared him to my mother. She was quiet, passive, and yet very strong. Her love was unconditional. My father, on the other hand, wanted to control my every move and every thought.

My father was a soul killer, and my mother was a savior. I wouldn't have survived without her. Now, granted, I am just talking about surviving, not thriving! I was an extremely introverted child and extremely sensitive. Believe me, a sensitive child gets deeply hurt, and that fuels tremendous anger. I had to stuff that anger to survive. By the time I left home I was seething. Full of self loathing and I projected that loathing everywhere.

I had my mother's intuition and my father's intellect.My intuition saved me. But intuition wasn't enough to get all the way to freedom. A strong mind needs its satisfaction too. And that would come years later.

Intuition told me that my father was wrong. A child knows in its heart what it needs from its parents, and if it does not get it, it knows the loss deeply. That loss is mostly unconscious, as to know it fully would kill a child. My intuition didn't know the answer, or where to look, but it confidently drove me to search. I looked everywhere with existenial passion, from self help, to psychology, to therapy, and thousands of books.

Advaita says that you need to be qualified for enlightenment. I agree. Basically, this means the personality has to be healthy enough, and strong enough to survive true searching. A strong ego needs to be there to be able to take on the work of looking at itself. And the mind needs to work until it gets clean too, by taking on its own conditioning. Many years of Gestalt therapy cleaned out my repressed emotion, and full blown primal screams dredged up what was left.

Before therapy I tried to outrun my painful feelings with thinking. My mind thought I could reason my way out of them. Alas, I could not. Feeling the feelings is what lets them drop away!There is NO WAY around them. After all the release, my mind quieted down to a level that allowed me to contemplate. There were no longer overwhelming feelings I was trying to run away from.

After the cleansing of repressed feelings the mind needed cleansing too. All of its conditioning needed to be questioned. That took a long time. Projections had to be taken back, and owned. Deconditioning moved slowly as I read my way through self help, psychology, and philosophy. When these failed to bring down the final curtain, the only thing left was spirituality. I read it all. Eastern Hindu traditions were the most revealing. Advaita Vedanta is where I found the depth of understanding that would heal my mind.

The bottom line is, the heart needs to be felt, and the mind needs understanding. At the end of the mind, and the bottom of the heart is silence. The silence comes with complete acceptance of everything as it is, whether I like it or not. The silence knows that all is well. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Ghostlike Person

When you realize you are not the doer it takes a big bite out of your motivation. You literally have to step back and just see what wants to come, what wants to be done for no reason.

When you realize at the deepest level that you are not the doer, the personality is still there, but you just can't take it seriously anymore. Of course you still try to take it seriously, but it just doesn't have the drive it did before.

From that point on the personality just has to sit back and relax and see what wants to happen. Pretty much what wants to happen just happens. You allow it because there is no opposition.

Not being the doer doesn't make you a good person or a bad person. It's more like being a non person. The mind can sense the non person, but most likely others won't notice because they have no grounds for such knowing.

But the mind does notice the difference. Everything is still as it was, but the mind can't take things seriously any more. Everything becomes dreamlike. You feel like a ghost inhabiting someone who used to be there. The sharp edges of life become gauze-like. People are like ghosts as well. But you don't tell them because they think they are real.

You have entered the unknown where silence reigns. The saving grace is that you trust the silence. You trust life, and know that it is OK, no matter what happens. That pretty much brings peace. 


I've experienced causeless joy, but it never lasts. It has meaning without knowing reason or proof. And when it goes, I have to let it go. I can't grasp for it, though I wish it would stay. It is like Jazz, free of any particular form, yet taking on any form it chooses in its own time.

There is a silence behind the joy, just like the silence that is behind sorrow. And the silence is there behind all the other experiences that come and go. It takes some subtlety to even recognize the silence. That is why so few speak of it.

But silence is the source of all we experience. Silent, yet always mysterious. I can't grasp it, but I can recognize its existence. In fact it is existence. We are the embodiment of that silent mystery. Ah the mystery. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Knowledge of Enlightenment

If one defines enlightenment as an experience one is open to a myriad of experiences. Each individual person experiences things differently. This being so, defining enlightenment as an experience opens a floodgate of experiences that may or may not be repeatable. Defining enlightenment as an experience is a quagmire from which few escape.

However, if one defines enlightenment as knowledge, clarity can be found. Knowledge of water as H2O, for example, is hard and fast knowledge. It is a repeatable understanding. This is knowledge that can be transmitted.

Enlightenment is reachable with knowledge. The knowledge of enlightenment can be taught, and the means of transmitting that knowledge has been been around for a long time. It is relatively unknown, however, due to the fact that many have only partial knowledge, and they teach experience in which we are captivated. We are then caught in chasing spiritual experiences.

Most of us who become seekers readily find liturature tauting experiential stories that appear to be profound. They are intriguing, mystical, and utterly fascinating. But searching for enlightenment in these murky waters is a crap shoot. You'll be very lucky to find enlightenment through experiences. They are too varied.

Mind you, I am not against experiences. They can be a motivating force, but they are not the goal. The goal is not an experience. It is a knowledge that has to be gained, and you are unlikely to get this knowledge from anyone teaching experience.

We are hard wired into duality. The body is discovered and as experience with the body advances, the protective mechanism of the ego develops and takes on the position of "I." But the bodily experiences that become the "I" are a story appearing in consciousness. A story that is tragic, or wonderful, but usually both. The "I" becomes the defacto me which then struggles its way through life.

But the story we create is a small piece of the picture. If we do well in the picture we accept our interpretation of experience as correct. If our experience of our story is tragic, we may question our assumptions. This sometimes turns out to be a good turn of events, though until we have a deeper knowledge, we may not appreciate this fact.

Although we are hard wired to develop an ego, and it does serve us in manipulating our way in the manifested world, it is not true knowledge. Experience tells us that the sun comes and goes, but in fact it does not. Neither does the world drop off at the horizon.

Everything that we see is manifested. It appears to be as we see it. It takes deep questioning to peer beneath the surface. Truly examining what is manifested is difficult. In fact, it is almost impossible without a true teaching which conveys the knowledge of non duality.

A true teaching will therefore, not try to lead you to experience something. A true teaching will have a means of transferring the knowledge. The teaching will need a full and complete series of understandings to bring you to the final truth. That is what Advaita Vedanta is.

Contemplation, and risking your well ordered understanding of "How things are," will be necessary. For what you assume to be true, your perception of reality, may in fact be ignorance. So, the difficulty is obvious. Who is willing to examine their ignorance? It is unsettling to say the least.

To come to the conclusion that duality is an illusory perception of our being is not a walk in the park. It takes open mindedness, and risk taking. The trek may entail letting ones fears be what they are, and yet pursuing the truth anyway.

You might say that pursuing truth, which equates to freedom, has to be a burning desire for which you are willing to risk everything. That everything, boils down to risking yourself, as you see yourself, into an understanding which reduces that self to an insignificance. Who is going to pursue that?

I am just trying to save you time. I pursued enlightenment for 40 years. Knowing nothing better than what I read, I thought I had to have a particular experience, and then I would know. But that is not the way it works. it didn't work for me.

I had plenty of spiritual, mystical, mind blowing experiences. But experiences come and go, and they are not easily, if ever, repeatable. After some of these experiences, life itself became meaningless in comparison to the experiences that had receded.

Eventually I learned that enlightenment was not an experience, but a knowing, an understanding. That understanding, when pursued, does lead to enlightenment. That understanding is actually very simple. All is one. All is simply forms of appearance in awareness.

This understanding leaves you standing alone as all that is. Simple, direct knowing. This understanding relieves you of seeking experiences. It frees you of feeling that you need just one more mystical experience to convince you that you are enlightened.

Advaita Vedanta has the means to teach this knowledge. If you avail yourself of this knowledge, you will come to understanding. With the understanding, your search will be over. Then you are free.