Friday, February 22, 2019

Automatic Value Judgements

The best definition of emotions is that they are "automatic value judgements." This definition clearly shows that judgements picked up in childhood, school, and church, have become automatic. This is conditioning 101. If you then decide that all your emotions are valid, you will never be clear and never free. Your whole life will be a series of reactions with no path out.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Realization for Free

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I have found that this is perfectly true. I would add that a personal teacher is not necessary. It is helpful I am sure. My search was intense, but I was also a householder, so I did not go on retreats. I never felt I needed a personal spiritual teacher. I always felt that the seeking was guiding me and the light was in me. I needed to search, and I did. But I never felt I had to have a personal teacher. I needed to know what they said, how they lived, what they did, but this was available in books. I did spend a lot of money on books and it was very rewarding. A book could be read and reread many times. I studied many great teachers. When the Internet arrived I got on forums. Sometimes a teacher would be reading the forums and I had several jump in and send me personal emails suggesting a book I was ready for. This is how I came to read Nisargadatta before he was well known. When I tuned in and resonated with a book by a great teacher, I felt no separation. Reading them to me was like being there. When truth resonated, it filled my soul with joy, peace, and sometimes teachers. I remember reading Nisargadatta. He was there in the chair with me. When I read about his funeral there were tears streaming down my cheeks. Yet he had died years before. Now we have the Internet and youtube. When I watch a batgap video, it is as if I am in the room with them. I feel no separation. How could there be? If they are speaking truth and I am attuned to truth, it will resonate. I have been to several lectures by David Hawkins. Most were free, but I did pay to go to an all day conference in Sedona to hear him. I did not get more out of the personal presence than I did out of his books. If I have enjoyed a book by a current teacher I have never found that if I emailed them I did not get a response. I have called several and just talked. I did not pay to talk, and I have not felt inclined to talk to spiritual teachers that charge. I am not against a popular teacher charging. But there are teachers with just as much truth that do not.

The energy of truth is not limited by proximity to a body. Truth is everywhere and unlimited. If the text you are reading is true, or the video is full of truth, and you are open, truth will resonate in you and rain on you with grace. Bottom line. I don't think as a spiritual person, a seeker, that we can complain. There is so much that is free, you couldn't read it all! There are youtube videos by and about all the great teachers. If a person's search is genuine, there is enough available free spiritual material to gain the insight you need. Because there is also a lot of BS out there, you will learn discernment. If you are serious, that discernment will develop and you will not be led astray. We will get out of our search what we put into it. Period.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Hope

Hope is a pointer that pain and suffering is not all there is. Hope tells us there is something we are missing. Hope tells us that what is missing can be found. In the end, we do find that what we are searching for is what we are, but it is hope that leads us down the path. It was always hope that allowed me to feel my pain, which I was avoiding. So hope gave me the strength to feel my pain and let it go. The other side is beautiful.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

True Knowledge

It seems to me the problem is that so many people are not happy with their current experience of life.  If so many weren't suffering in their current experience, teachers wouldn't have an audience. Bad teachers thrive because so many are longing for something outside their current experience and they have no clue what the problem is.

We tend to live our lives based on experience. It does not register with most that their experience would change if they had the knowledge and understanding of their true position, ie, as the Self.

Teachers that teach experience as the way to truth will probably keep students for a lifetime. At least until they see they will never have the experience being espoused. Knowledge however, can be taught, and knowledge pursued can be gained. Experience tells us something is missing. Experience tells us there is something more. But, it is understanding that sets us free.

Experience comes and goes, but true knowledge lasts forever. In other words, the right understanding will deliver the experience of peace and satisfaction. But chasing experience is a dead end. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Faith Is Not Necessary

The intuition that God is, and is all, is because the Absolute is all there is. How could faith be necessary? Thirst tells us there is water. Hunger tells us there is food. Longing for the Absolute tells us God is.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Desirelessness

The search for enlightenment is not a search for desirelessness. Dharma is not opposed to the desire for liberation. In fact, the desire for liberation needs to be a burning desire. Enlightenment does convey a strong sense of satisfaction and peace resulting in a lessening of desires. However, killing desires is not the prescription for enlightenment. In the spiritual world the effects of Realization are often misinterpreted as the cause. Whatever the practice or method, the goal is to see that the essence of the person is non different from the essence of the universe. With identification with the Absolute, the personal self recedes into the background. The absolute, experienced as presence awareness, existence without end, has a sense of satisfaction that is complete. With this understanding, desires are less, and conditioning begins to unravel in the pure light.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Experience is Not the Rx for Enlightenment

Stories of enlightenment experiences are incredible and get shared and retold. People beginning the spiritual quest read these stories and believe they are looking for an experience.

However, trying to reproduce someone else's experience is a big problem. As a unique human being, what are the chances that you can reproduce someone else's experience? Seeing this issue many assume that the experience they will have will be so powerful, so beautiful, so intense, that they will know they are enlightened. When that doesn't happen they feel lost.

When people realize their true nature they have a variety of experiences, often blissful, intense, and sometimes debilitating. It is easy to see how the intensity of the experience is taken for realization. This is a problem because no two experiences are the same.

Experience is not the bottom line for enlightenment. There is a reason that enlightenment is called "Realization." It is the realization "I am That." It is the understanding  at a deep level which causes the variety of experiences to arise. When the understanding and truth of non duality is seen, any sort of experience can ensue. Don't mistake the experience for enlightenment. It is always the realization "I am That," which is key. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Presence in Time

Time is just a construct to measure change. No matter what time scale we use, presence is. Can presence change? No, so it is out of time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Suffering

My understanding is that from the Absolute perspective everything is perfect. There is harmony in the whole. But, to claim that there is a state on earth where no harm comes to individuals, or that there is no suffering, seems a fantasy. Heaven on earth is to take one's perspective as the Absolute. I know perfection, but it does not preclude suffering on the relative level.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Other Side Of Paradise

This is a post is in regard to the Esquire article  The Other Side Of Paradise

A very well written and informative article. Rick Archer in his interviews often mentions that most people do this work in a progressive manner whereby what is discovered is integrated in a manageable manner. If you view the process as a ladder (even the picture shows steps) and you progress slowly those aspects that are frightening and disrupting can be managed. A seven day silent retreat as described in the article as a "jump" is sometimes too much. 

Through personal experience with a Gestalt therapy group, I can report that psychosis can be brought on by therapy that is beneficial to most. When more than can be psychologically absorbed is experienced, severe psychological disruption can occur. It was a joke in our group that participation was hazardous and it was common that people lost their relationships, homes, and jobs. It was a joke because we were all committed to unravelling the suffering we harbored, despite having material security. In other words, the risk was worth it. 

There is a fine line between mystical experiences and psychosis. The mystic is simply able to absorb the blows of seeing what most avoid. Those who cannot absorb the intensity, collapse. The ego simply is overwhelmed and cannot take in the view. This is why I appreciate the joke that goes: "What's the difference between a mystic and schizophrenic? The mystic knows when to keep his mouth shut."

If you want a more complete view of the process I went through, check out my interview on batgap.com.

475. Maury Lee

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Enlightenment Isn't Something You Get

Enlightenment isn't something you get. It's an understanding that comes from knowledge. The knowledge will not get you anything other than "the peace that passeth understanding." Then, of course, money and a big house are irrelevant. Being free of those needs is very satisfying.

Teacher Student Relationship

The teacher should treat you like a friend. That's key. A true teacher knows that any student is 100% the Self, just as he or she is. There can be no superiority in that. The friend simply has knowledge the other doesn't have. That knowledge correctly shared does not come with superiority or requests for servitude. The teacher only has the authority of knowledge and understanding. He or she is due respect for that, but nothing else. 


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Love Is All There Is

We love ourself more than anything and there is nothing else. What's not to love? Everything is allowed. From the limited jiva there may be things we don't like, but in the grand scheme, everything is allowed. Everything is loved.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Experience Is A Pointer

Experience is often a pointer, but without the knowledge revealed and understood, moksha is not possible. I had many experiences that were unitary and blissful, but knowledge is what brought me true freedom. The revelation of the knowledge behind experience is essential. That the intellect is a necessary tool is often left out. Leaving the intellect out of the equation is a travesty. It causes many to miss moksha. It was a godsend to realize that moksha is present whatever experience I am having. That is true freedom.

We could argue all day long about the difference between experience and knowledge. It can be said that experience is a form of knowledge. Often experience comes and then it goes. What do you have when the experience goes? You don't have the experience any more, and that can be experienced as a loss. But if understanding and knowledge can be gleaned from the experience, you have something that is lasting. This extraction of knowledge is the key. This is why Vedanta is knowledge based. It removes ignorance, and the knowledge revealed is the freedom. Whatever experience I am having, I can know, "I am That."




Monday, November 19, 2018

When the Character Rests

Character is a set of attributes that distinguish an individual. It is a set of tendencies which we inhabit, like it or not. The situation tends to make us strive to be better, to somehow enhance the character or purge ourselves of it. As our character matures, we appreciate those who are honest, entertaining, or courageous.

Novels are about character. The author Rachel Cusk has said, "The idea that he, or that anyone, could find a different way of living, by a different way of inquiring and listening — that’s an idea that I have, of not necessarily what my book could do, but what any book could do."

She also said "The speakers suffer from feeling unseen, and in the absence of a reflection they are not real to themselves. The tyranny of conventional stories: the fates and the characters that we inherit."

If this is the case, one becomes dependent on others to be seen and validated. Others become a prison in which we see ourselves. Is there no alternative to this prison of neediness that compels us to depend on others for validation?

It seems to me that the "word mirror," and "means of knowledge" that is Advaita Vedanta answers the author's dilemma. The itch that makes us feel like the character we are is unreal, is based on solid ground. Non duality points this out very clearly. The essence of what we are is not a character, but Being itself.

Cusk asks if there is a different way of seeing and listening. Yes there is, and it has been around for thousands of years. Sadly, there are few takers. Real inquiry confirms the itch is indicating the right direction. We are not the characters we play, and the itch is the pointer. But what else do we know? Can we survive what psychologists like to label depersonalization?

Yes, a different way of inquiry and listening exists. Is it the fact that it is not well known, or is it that it is scary, and the risk implies diving into the unknown? Risking of oneself into the unknown is not without its casualties. We know this. Few take the leap.

“A journalist recently told me that she had been sent to find out who I was,” Cusk said. “There seems to be some problem about my identity. But no one can find it, because it’s not there—I have lost all interest in having a self. Being a person has always meant getting blamed for it.”

Non duality has an answer to not being blamed for one's personality. If one studies non duality, a process is provided. It is a means of knowledge, a means of inquiry into the Self. One does not need to complete the leap in one jump. There are steps, each with an uncovering of a sample of the truth. Take them one at a time. Chew on them and let them sink in. Transformation will happen.

This human ennui that makes our character seem unreal is the doorway. Admitting that ennui, and taking a look is the first step. It is said that a journey starts with a single step. It is that first step not taken that stops the journey. Yet once the first step is taken, the next one is a little easier. Soon the path appears before us. Sign posts appear and the confidence to follow deepens. The end is assured.

When an opening unveils Awareness as our being in itself, a shift occurs that reveals the character for what it is, an appearance only. It does not disappear, but takes its rightful place in the playground. It is now free to play without fear. Your real Self watches without judgment. How nice is that?

Monday, November 12, 2018

Knowing and Bliss

There seems to be a pattern here of first awakening to unity, oneness, bliss, and then that dropping away and experiencing meaninglessness. It’s happened to me over and over again. One thing that helped was that during a short experience of ecstasy years ago, I was given this non verbal knowing: “You are surrounded by absolute beauty, you always been, and you always will be, whether you know it, or not.”

As you know, in awakenings, non verbal communication comes like a download of knowing. It is direct and without words, yet the understanding is there. These downloads are so profound and come with so much authority that there is no questioning of it possible. I recall thinking after one of these downloads, "No scientist, no psychiatrist, no friend, could disabuse me of what I now know." Too much authority came with this for any worldly challenge.

The absolute knowingness of these downloads always surprised me. It was not the knowing that surprised me, but the absolute unquestioning authority with which they came. The authority of this type of download astounded my intellect. Put it  in its place. The sense of authority, the unquestionable absolute certainty of this type of knowing is surprising. Not the message that astounds, but the authority of giver.

After the bliss, unity, and oneness passes, what do you do with the meaningless that follows? I suggest that it is relative. In other words, when the bliss is so full, so overwhelmingly beautiful and lovely, when it passes, what’s left in comparison, seems like nothing. Prior to the ecstasy there was nothing to compare it with.

When an ecstatic experience passes, the return to the previous norm is a shock. It feels like a loss. The mundane feels like a meaningless void. But this is relative. The meaning and bliss experienced in ecstasy, flatlines when it falls away. The deflation is relative, but it can feel like depression. The comparison didn't exist before.

It seems that enlightenment is a process that continues, even if the initial realization was sudden. The best advice I can give is that one must take it in stride. Time lessens the relative comparison. I am 69 years old and this has been going on for years. There is little personal self identity, but a body is still here, hanging around. It wants to eat and have shelter, so I still do what I need to do.

Perhaps it is wise to see that realization may not be permanent bliss, but a knowing of unity, of peace, of oneness. There is peace in just being, without the demand that it be blissful and ecstatic 24/7. Although there is an experiential side to realization, there is also a knowing, and that knowing remains whatever experience one is having.

Seeking

There is this myth that seeking is the problem. But, where does the seeking come from? None other than That. The inefable is all there is, any seeking is That seeking itself. My seeking was never to avoid anything. During my many years of seeking, I may have not been able to see or accept the deep impersonal implications of the Absolute, but my seeking was not in the way. Whatever detours I took were necessary or they would not have happened. Could not have been otherwise. Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find." It works. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Joy of Emptiness

Many people and traditions speak of experiencing nothingness, emptiness, or void.
It is not an appealing prospect to the average person. It is also true that something experiences that nothingness, emptiness, or void. So, although the nothingness may not sound appealing, it is the closest one can get to pure being, often called pure consciousness, or awareness.

I think we could say then, that people who express gratitude and joy at experiencing emptiness, are actually experiencing a sense of fullness which comes from being close to the ground of being. This is consciousness at its core, prior to any expression of form, other than emptiness.

As we know, form creates limitation, and it is the escape from limitation that we are all wanting. In feeling that emptiness, we are also experiencing the lack of limitation, the bliss of letting go of form. This is the boundlessness, the freedom prior to form. This is the joy, the bliss of emptiness.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Thought Experiments

One of the greatest scientific minds was Albert Einstein. He did not have a laboratory, a physical place in which to conduct experiments. However, he did have the greatest laboratory of all, his mind. His method was creating "Thought Experiments." He would set up the thought experiment and then contemplate on it until he could come to a precises logical conclusion. The results of his thought experiments have proven to be true in many cases. We need not go into all the real world applications his thought experiments made possible. The point here is how valid thought experiments are.

Since Einstein didn't have a lab, he read scientific papers, contemplated the various implications, and created thought experiments to explain and reveal the results. Without a physical lab, he used thought experiments to develop theories and conclusions far beyond what physical science could prove at that time.

A thought experiment considers some question or hypothesis, and then through contemplation using the mind alone, proceeds to arrive at the most probable conclusion, proving or disproving the hypothesis. It is a an intentional, structured process designed to reach potential conclusions.

So, what is the point of this in a blog about non dual reality? I would like to point out that thousands of years ago, the rishis of India conducted thought experiments just as Einstein did. The difference was that their thought experiments were not directed outward toward the physical world, but inward, towards the subjective world. The method is exactly the same. Advaita Vedanta calls their method a "word mirror" that reflects the true Self.

It's been in vogue for Western science to negate the subjective discoveries of the East as non-objective and unscientific. However, if we consider the contribution to Western science provided by Einstein's thought experiments, perhaps Western science might see that some humility is in order. The subjective science of the rishis is on just as solid ground as so called "objective science."

The greatest piece of laboratory equipment in any lab is the human mind. Whereas the physical lab has a variety of equipment to measure and quantify, thought experiments typically do not. However, in recent times, the ability to measure thought waves is bringing some measuring capability to the effects of meditation on the brain and body of meditators.

It seems to me that the hard problem of consciousness will be resolved as further developments in quantum physics begin to concur with the ancient rishis who discovered that consciousness is primary. It will only be a matter of time. There is only one reality and it is a coherence. I suggest that in the end that coherence will be that consciousness is fundamental, that the physical world is nothing but an appearance in it. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Realization Has a Downside

Realization may be great for the relief of the great existential questions and internal stress, but it may not relieve the issues you have with other people, especially those close to you that depend on you. Although  realization changes your perspective, it does not change theirs. This fact alone may create issues, especially with ones closest to you.

When the great "Who am I" question is answered, much of relative life and its pursuits lose their meaning. Motivation regarding such goals drop like extra baggage. They are no longer required for your happiness, but those around you, not experiencing the great relief, may find your lack of motivation to be a disaster, a loss of what it takes to make life worth living: chasing experience, getting things done, getting things, the pursuit of happiness. 

When you have a sense of completeness, of wholeness, and any moment is as good as the next, where is the motivation for the pursuit of anything? You are no longer looking for "new and different." Now is good enough. The moment you are having is perfect as it is. You don't ask "What's next?" 

While this is wonderful for you, those who have depended on you to share their pursuits will find you lacking, may find you lazy, no fun anymore. When you have lost the wanting of more things, a bigger house, a newer car, more money, you are no longer on their team. They may turn on you, not understanding where their partner in pursuit of things got lost. 

How do you explain to someone you are already complete? That there is nothing more you need to do to feel okay? This perspective is yours, not theirs, and unless they realize, they will not understand. You may be told you are no longer helpful, understanding, or living in the real world. Try telling them the world they are in is a zero sum game and you're not in it. It doesn't go over well. 

Others will not understand what happened to you. They will feel they have lost you. They have, but how do you tell them that you also lost yourself? How do you tell them you are no longer the personal so and so, but are the impersonal Self? 

There is a moral hazard to realization. You may have found peace, but those around you may find you frustrating, indifferent, unattached. And you are.