Friday, April 18, 2008

Grabbing The Fruit

If we didn't hold on to our beliefs, our positions, our opinions, would there be a me? If one could set aside these conditions on perception, where would the I be? If one held all opinions at arms length, and all concepts only tentatively, wouldn't the self disappear?

As a child growing up in a religious household, holding one set of beliefs as sacred, and others sacrilegious, certain observations became apparent. Every so often, Time Magazine would have an article on religion in which a certain church would pronounce that such and such a doctrine had been revised, and the new doctrine was now X instead of Y.

As this went on over the years, it was observed that the established religions tended to follow society's changes, changing doctrine to accommodate where society had moved. Even to a child's mind, this began to undermine any belief in ecclesiastical authority.

And then, to observe this in one's own mind, was a shock. Not a gratifying insight, as this mind was just as guilty of pandering as the church. Seeing this was insightful, and painful, but the pandering continued. Despite the shortcomings, this one was, after all, a truth seeker. When he had the courage, he was brutally honest with himself.

The mind was rigid, but something here wanted truth. For there to be any possibility of truth, the mind had to open up, to stretch, so to speak. And yet the mind didn't want to decompose in an instant. The mind loved itself. It craved security.

So, a deal of sorts was struck. OK, there's this search for truth, and so we must stretch, but we're not going to reach too far, too fast. That was the deal. Accommodate the mind, but push it to a certain extent. Stretching and holding on became a way of suffering. Every seeker's story.

What was observed was that the body-mind would find itself in a book store, looking for a book that was close enough to the mind's current position to be read, but just enough further out, to cause a stretch. Of course this begs the question: Who was observing the mind doing this? Who saw the mind holding back? Who saw the mind stretching?

It occurred to the mind, that this process surely showed that in time, all positions currently held, would eventually be abandoned, and new ones put in place. Having observed this, the mental struggle could have been entirely abandoned. All concepts thrown out. The term "Opt Out," would describe the fastest route to freedom. But this wasn't chosen.

Alas, as minds are, just opting out seemed insane. Having nothing to stand on mentally was just too scary a prospect. So, the journey continued. Here, one should be reminded that there was an observer, and the mind was aware of the observer. But the mind just couldn't get a grasp on that one.

Reading J. Krishnamurti was certainly a mind blower, and a great stretch for this little mind. J.K. was always saying that "The observer is the observed." The mind loved the phrase, and knew it was important, but just couldn't get it.

There is sudden enlightenment, but it wasn't going to be that way for this tip toeing seeker. No, he had to drag it out for 40 years. Finally, after taking the mind apart, piece by piece, there was barely a limb to stand on.

Like the parable of the monk hanging on a limb over a precipice, destined to fall, this one had to make a choice. "Do I hang on for another few minutes, or do I reach out, grab the fruit, and a have a bite on the way down? I died, but I tasted the fruit.

maury lee 4/18/2008


Ron Marson said...

Who sees the mind stretching? Phenomenally this mind-body sees itself, through remembering and comparing: This explanation feels like solid experience. Noumenally, seeing just happens, emerging from Awareness, of Itself, in Itself: This explanation feels as satisfying as writing the word "food" on paper and eating it.

This mind-body IS Awareness, but can't experience Awareness, can't know Awareness and be separate too. "Knowing" ONE, shatters "it" phenomenally into 10,000 pieces, creating time out of eternal now.

This mind cannot venture beyond the known into the unknown. So it imagines the unknown as an extension of the known, and tries to extend itself by synthesis and explanation. It assumes it already knows what it is looking for, and in that assumption remains lost. The key to finding, then, is beginners mind, not looking for anything, remaining open, silent, still.

Mental "opt out" may not be possible, or desirable for continued survival and functioning of this associated body. But why "opt in" when it has already been noticed, at least 10,000 times, that there is nothing to understand that I don't already know?

Not no-mind; not mind. Just so. Can I be OK with that?

peter said...

Hi Maury,
While wandering through the wildness I saw the flames of your fire-may I pull up a log and sit with you a while?...Hi Ron, I saw you sitting by Mary's fire recently, so good to share these fruits with you again....don't have much to share, but I Am, willing to gather some more wood for your fire....I also reached for the fruit, mmmm, delicious-but, I haven't hit ground yet-is it going to hurt? Or, as Guy Findley put it so nicely, we can "fall up" gravity, or seriousness, eh? Just de-light!


Maury said...

Hi Peter,
Nice to have you drop by my fire. Love the metaphors as they convey the non linear spiritual essence so well. Perhaps blogs should have a log fire view where the more visitors one has, and more comments (logs on the fire) the larger the bonfire becomes.

Mary McGovern writes very well, doesn't she?

I like Guy Finley as well. I can relate to "falling up." Let me tell you a dream I once had.

I was in an earthquake, and as I couldn't escape, I sat in my window and watched as a steel girder come towards me, knowing I would die.

I didn't flinch, as there was no escape (not that i was overly courageous). I wondered if it would hurt.

Then smack, and I was in total darkness. I couldn't see and I knew I was dead. But, after awhile, I could see little wisps of white, like clouds, and they were moving circularly.

Then I saw that these wisps were whirling into a vortex. And I was moving in this same circular vortex. OH SHIT!

At first I tried to struggle, but there was nothing to swim against, or push from, as this was sort of a vacuum.

So, I thought, "I'm dead, I'm in a world I know nothing about, and I'm totally screwed. I might as well not resist." So, I just went with the flow.

Sure enough, I drew towards the center like water going down a drain. Then I approached the center of the vortex.

As I entered I could see an infinitely long tunnel going down, but with light at the bottom.

The decent was furiously fast. Unbelievably fast. And all I could do was wonder what was at the bottom. Then something strange happened.

I realized that in dying, and entering this space, I had lost my bearings. Suddenly, I realized that I was going up instead of down.

Boom, I popped out the top and was back in my room. Sitting around the room were all my female relatives. My deceased mother was knitting. She looked up at me and said, "We've been waiting for you a long time."

Moral: you can fall up, and dying is only for the ego.

peter said...


and then there's the blaze that's ignited when we throw "ourselves" on the fire....just watched "The Darjeeling Ltd." last night, and its' got me musing on life in India, among other things, especially as so much of the "non-dual" wisdom or pointers have come from there. I recall thinking when younger that the use of a funeral pyre in Hinduism was a strange practice; but it's another pointer, isn't it? And a powerful one! We invest so much in this form, when it is only the formless that is real....

I am very happy and grateful for all the blessings of this life, especially meeting the "many" (One) expressions of this Seeing in this on-line community of friends-looking forward (or, inward) to sharing, or, synapsing, as it seems we are all cells in grand body.

Peter said...

Maury, just noticed you had a link to one of my dear friends, Michael Brown-but clicking there leads to Burt's site! He's good, to, but thought I'd pass this on, incase you weren't aware of it. And, liked the dream story, to; thanks for sharing it.