Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Love Yourself

How can one be selfless when there is nothing but the Self? Even Jesus said, "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." (John 14:20) As one Self everything you do is for the Self. Doing for another is no more valid than doing for yourself.

Another pointer Jesus gave us is "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:30-31) The unavoidable implication is that your neighbor is yourself, and he didn't say "Love your neighbor more than yourself. Love you provide goes to the self, whether you do it for another, or yourself.

When you do for others and it feels like a sacrifice, that attitude will taint you, and the receiver. A sacrificial attitude can become a major ego problem when you do for others and take pride in the self sacrifice. True giving feels good. It doesn't hurt, and their is no pride in it.

Remember, love your neighbor as yourself, not instead of yourself. 

One Reality

If there is only one reality what conclusions can we make.

1. Reality exists, always has and always will, whether a universe is manifested or not.

2. No matter what form appears, it is an emanation of That, is That, and could be nothing but That.

3. Everything is related as there is only one source.

4. From the viewpoint of that absolute reality, there can be no good or evil. Whatever happens is allowed.

5. Despite apparent separation, name and form are only constructs. Actual separation is non existent.

6. Discussions of what to eat can have human concerns, but whatever is eaten is That, be it meat, plant or mineral.

7. Human morals attempt to provide a framework for the good life. Without consideration of the oneness of all, every moral framework will fail to a lesser or greater degree.

8. Whatever happens is ultimately OK, whether we like it or not.

9 We therefore have no option but to trust That. It is our very Self.

Peace and Drama

Funny how people think that awakening releases all problems. It doesn't. It helps. It helps a lot, but much of that help involves only the individual. In other words, the personal baggage one carries lightens.  The personal circular thinking and projecting of pain and anger stops. Things become less personal, and one finds oneself more relaxed. Best of all, one knows that ultimately everything is OK. 

However, dealing with other people who are projecting and think your contentment is laziness, doesn't stop. You may have dropped drama, but avoiding it in others is not so easy. When you have to deal with what is going on in others, especially spouses, it can difficult. When you stop responding to projections, the whole dynamic changes and others can get really angry. No wonder there are hermits when being alone is the most peaceful place. When drama serves no purpose, enjoying being alone really starts to stand out.

With awakening one is very likely do change behaviors. There is a movement away from involvements that are dramatic and full of projections. For example, avoiding parties or gatherings full of gossip. Idle talk can be grating. Avoidance becomes a necessity. Others may feel that you have moved away from them. Support is now internal and the experience of contentment takes away the motivation to seek entertainment. One looses sympathy to what seems irrelevant, and others will feel slighted. 

Like seeks like. Once the shift happens one finds oneself gravitating to reading mystics and enlightened spiritual masters. Though the seeking has stopped, the best reading is in these areas. This type of reading and contemplation becomes one's entertainment.

All problems don't go away. There is peace and happiness as a background, but relationships can suffer, and backlash from friends who no longer find you supporting their ego agendas will call you out. Friends will drop away. New friendships will develop, but with or without them you are never alone, presence is always there. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Trusting the Unseen Force

I have no sense that this is my life. My sense is only that life is. This bodymind belongs to that life. Any purpose for this bodymind, therefore, belongs to life, to that which created it.

This bodymind did not create itself. It is an object. It belongs to that which created it. In no way can I say this is my life, I am in charge. The more honest position points in the direction of surrender. It actually becomes easy to surrender when one realizes that one is not in charge of one's life. The purpose and path one must take requires openness, pliability, and honesty. One must remain in listening mode.

From the position of surrender, the ego looses its place as the central guiding force. There is first a resounding silence from the universe. But, in time, the still small voice begins to be heard. One begins to follow that silence that only speaks through intuition in wordless gentle nudges.

Personal doing is left behind to be directed by an unseen force that one must trust. There is no other option when the ego knows its only job is listen and follow the desire of spirit. One instinctively knows that one must follow that force which created the universe.

That impersonal force comes to be trusted. It is obvious that trusting this impersonal life force is the only honest path. The motivations and attachments of the ego self diminish. Memories of the past cease to be motivations. Personal will looses all power. More space opens in the mind for musings from the unseen.

There is no one here needing to save the world. If something is to be done, the universe will conspire to get it done. If this bodymind is needed in the endeaver, it will be brought face to face with the necesary means. The unseen force supplies the events that make it obvious what is to be done. One follows the obvious without resistance, and things get done. This is a simple life. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

No. Everyone is NOT already enlightened

The crap about everyone is already enlightened causes a lot of botched progress on the path. The jiva is the one who gets the knowledge, the knowing, the freedom. The Self is already free. Only the jiva needs knowledge and only the jiva needs freedom. So, although everyone and everything is the Self, to say everyone is already enlightened is a misuse of language and a lack of understanding.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Void

Any void experienced or conceived of can only exist in Awareness. Awareness is, nothingness does not exist.

My personal experience of the void was always painful. It felt wrong, and I could not embrace it. The void drove me on to discover the fullness which is. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

When the Search is Over

The search is over when you no longer wonder what you are.

The search is over when you know that despite appearing to be a bodymind, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are in fact Awareness itself.

You know the search is over when you know there is nothing more you have to know or do. You are already complete. All that's left to do is play.

This does not mean that you are no longer curious, or that you no longer read nondual books. In fact, once the search is over, it is a joy to read how others express this understanding. The variety of expressions is endless. It's pure joy to consider the clarity and subtleties of the various expositions.

Once the search is over, it's like having a diamond in your hand. You can look at it this way or that, looking at the sparkle from this angle or that angle. The shape and light will be different, but it's all the same diamond.

Once the search is over, there are subtleties to see and investigate. There is consideration of ways of embodying the understanding. All this is done with delight. Your manner is playful. You're not looking for another answer, only enjoying the levels of understanding,  and considering their application. It's now an effortless playing in the field.  

Some Paths May Be More Complete

We are ignorant of our true essence until our ignorance is removed. Because we are wired for survival, our ignorance does not easily come into question. It takes someone who's ignorance has been removed to show others the path. Advaita Vedanta is one of the more advanced paths and has a long teaching tradition.
Many people have had mystical experiences and not understood the implications. The significance, meaning, and import of these experiences needs to be deduced. Without a complete teaching, such as  Advaita Vedanta, it is very hard to reach the full flowering of what the experience points to.
People with a little spiritual knowledge think because they had an experience they are awake. Most likely not. The experience is a pointer, like the proverbial finger pointing at the moon. Typically a mystical experience or two will rouse curiosity. This is the beginning of the path. Not the end.
Experiences come and go. Awareness does not. Until it is pointed out by an astute teacher, the mystical experience becomes the be all and end all. This is a mistake and will likely subvert further progress on the path. Advaita Vedanta doesn't have this problem. It is a complete teaching. Someone who gets the complete teaching and understands, is free. Even then, further application or embodiment of the understanding needs to be taken on.
Neo Advaita teachers may know they are awareness, but an incomplete teaching leaves many seekers frustrated and without any direction. To say "You are awareness and there is nothing to do about it, just accept it," is more like a belief system. In contrast, Advaita Vedanta is a scientific explanation of consciousness that satisfies the intellect while it also opens the heart.

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NOTE:
When it comes to enlightenment, there are many paths. Depending on the person, one path may be better than another. If someone is really ripe, a zen Koan, or a profound experience may cause them to become aware of their true nature as Awareness. If there is only one reality, any path that points to it is useful. This post started as a comment I made regarding Advaita Vedanta being helpful for understanding mystical experiences. My only point is that Advaita Vedanta was helpful to me. There are many paths and some are more helpful than others. Some are more complete than others. For me Advaita Vedanta as traditionally taught was very clarifying, removed doubts, and satisfied my intellect. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Automatic Value Judgments

One of the best definitions I've heard about emotions is that they are "automatic value judgments." This definition carries a lot of weight. First of all it is seen that they are judgments, and we know what that leads to. Secondly, they are automatic, which means they may have been picked up in childhood, or from some group or culture without thorough unpacking. If we act on them without consideration we may fall into patterns of response that are not in line with dharma or reality for that matter.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Consciousness Can Only Investigate Itself

Because anything we look at or investigate is in consciousness, we can never escape it. Since this is the case, to know what is out there, we have to investigate what consciousness is.

Since there is nothing outside of consciousness, we must investigate consciousness with itself. The consciousness that is closest to us, obviously, is that consciousness which we are. So, we must begin right here, where we are, with our own bodymind.

When we investigate we see that there is a field, a screen on which everything appears. We know the screen is here because everything appears here. We are aware, as presence, yet we cannot describe it. 

The field we know is awareness itself. The bodymind also appears on this screen. The senses play on this screen. Hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, feeling, thinking, all appear on this screen. Whatever appears, the screen reveals.

As consciousness examines itself, it comes to the conclusion that there is nothing but itself. With persistent self examination, even the bodymind dissolves into presence. That presence, that pure awareness is what truly is. It is what we are.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Everything You Experience is Consciousness

When you taste an apple you are experiencing consciousness.
When you see the beauty of a sunset you are experiencing consciousness. When you hear the voice of your beloved, you are experiencing consciousness. When you feel the breeze on your face you are experiencing consciousness. When you smell the flowers on the breeze, you are experiencing consciousness. When are you not experiencing consciousness?

If you take this in, you will come to the conclusion that the only thing there is, is consciousness. The world out there is only a seeming. The entire knowledge of it, the entire experience of it, is in consciousness only. That knowledge points to consciousness as that which only is. You are that. Everyone is that. Nothing is outside of it. There is no separation anywhere.

The Thing in Itself

All the science on consciousness measures effects. These would be EEG brain waves, lighted areas showing on MRI scans, etc. All these scientific methods are noticing and measuring phenomena produced by consciousness, but none see the "thing in itself."

All scientific exploration of consciousness has an a priori problem. It is consciousness itself that is doing the perceiving, measuring, and concluding. Consciousness is the observer, and not an object itself.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Which Identity

The basic fact of ignorance or enlightenment is simply what identity we hold as self. If we identify with our body-mind, then we are limited and mortal. If we identify as awareness (the perceiver of body-mind), then we are unlimited and immortal.

Identifying with the body-mind causes suffering because anything that happens to the body-mind is personal. We resist. But, knowing oneself as impersonal, unlimited, eternal consciousness, removes personal suffering.

If you are not the body-mind, but that which perceives it, where is there room for feeling hurt or slighted? It's like watching a character in a movie. Resistance is dropped.

The only thing that needs to be done to receive peace and happiness is to examine your experience and determine whether or not awareness is limited to the body-mind. If not limited to the body-mind, you are that impersonal awareness, forever free.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Real You

The mind grasps various thoughts appearing in consciousness and says "This is me," or "This is not me." Rarely does the mind step back and consider the consciousness itself that provides thoughts the mind accepts or rejects.

You have happy thoughts one day and sad thoughts the next. But what is that awareness that knows both the happy thoughts and the sad thoughts? That awareness can look back and see that the mind was happy one day and sad the next, but it does not identify with either state.

That awareness, that open field in which happy or sad thoughts appear, is the real you. It is the observer of the various states, but is not one of them. That awareness is the real you. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Illusions

Our lives are experiments with illusion. When we've had enough of samsara, then we seek the truth.

Awareness Has Jiva Lenses

"You are what you consider yourself to be," until you go looking for the Truth. Then, if persistent, and lucky, and grace strikes, you discover that you can be nothing but pure awareness, looking through whatever lens the jiva chose.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Beyond Thought and Feeling

Anything that can be thought or felt is not It, because It is that which knows the thought or feeling. That which knows is beyond thought or feeling. It can only be the undefinable, ineffable, devoid of any attachment. It is the "I" of all. Pure Awareness.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Does Experience Last?

All experiences come and go. If enlightenment cannot be undone, then it must be knowledge/understanding. Experience comes and goes, but knowledge, if true, is permanent.

An experience can be said to be "enlightening." In that case the understanding has come or been extrapulated from the experience. Experience alone will not last, but understanding will, because like 2 + 2 = 4, true understanding is permanent.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Awareness Does Not See Itself

Just as the eyes cannot see  themselves, you do not see your real self. Just as the eyes need a mirror to see themselves, we need a word mirror to see our real nature.

When your next thought comes, you will be there to experience it, but you do not know what it will be. When your next feeling comes, you will be there to experience it, but you do not know what it will be.

If you contemplate this fact, you will see that you cannot be your thoughts or feelings. They come and go. You do not. So, what is this you that is available to whatever comes? Pure awareness, the witness, the one observer. You are that.

The next problem analize is the where the pure awareness resides. Is it limited to your body; limited to every individual body? Or is it a universal field from which all bodies partake?

Just as you know what your eyes see, so you know what your mind thinks and feels. But that knower is not dependent on what the body thinks or feels. It is independent of it.

True, if the body dies you will no longer have the thoughts and feeling of that body. But that does not mean that you have disappeared. You never were those thoughts and feelings. You were always the observer, the knower.

Bodies are appearances. You are the knower in all appearances. Nothing is known without your presence. You must be there prior to the body, and there is nothing to suggest you disappear when the body goes. You are that in which everything appears.

Friday, February 2, 2018

With My Consent

I am awareness. Everything else is an illusion, a mystery. But the mystery is in me, projected from me. What fear can I have of what appears?

I am the field in which all of this arises. The play is played, the music heard. It is but entertainment. I am unaffected.

Joy only in what is revealed. It does not affect me. Good or bad, a dream only. I enjoy it. 

All resolves into me, as I am, as I was, and will be. Nothing happened. But all was good fun.

Sound and fury appearing in stillness. Nothing to fear or change. All happens with my consent.

What could be better than this?