Sunday, June 22, 2008

Awareness has no identity

Does the watcher have a name? When there is awareness of the watcher, considering what is going on in the body/mind, does the watcher have a need for identity? Does one ever consider, who, or better yet, what the watcher is?

After realization, there is a continued unraveling of the ego self. It is not personal, it has no personal agenda. It is just like water flowing from a damn when the drain is opened - a natural process. Something watches the unraveling. When there is awareness of the watcher, who is watching the watcher?

The reports of the body/mind continuing to do what it has always done, eating, sleeping, working, goes on, but it goes on in without the previous drive, goals, anxiety. It's like watching a robot perform.

Certainly life is simpler as the competitive drive has left. Strangely though, with the egos strategies, hurts, and specialness gone, things are seen more clearly, and work gets done more efficiently. There are fewer needs and what is essential is naturally seen.

Whatever is seen or arrives in awareness is not what one is. Who is seeing the unraveling? Who notices the ego dropping? Who is aware of the changing, the loss of desire, the loss of meaning? When all the who's and what's are seen, who sees them?

In the end all that can said is that Awareness is. It is constant, unchanging, available, and finally knows that it alone is sovereign. It has no identity. It is not separate from you or me. You are that.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Caesar's Coin

A coin has two sides. We call the sides different names. In the U.S. we call them "heads or tails". Looking at one side or the other is a very distinct view, but the coin is still one. That one coin, when tossed, makes the difference between being the first or second to throw the ball. It is still one coin.

When Jesus was asked about paying taxes and one's duty to God, he gave a profound and practical reply, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's." A metaphor for "Be in the world, but not of it."

Is there being in the world "as it is," but not being caught in it? Is spirituality separate from the world? Are there really separate sides of a coin? Are we in school? Is there free will? Is there really no "you" and "me?"

Honestly, I really don't know. I can't seem to draw the line in my own mind and explain it to myself. I would like to be able to, but currently cannot. What I do feel/know/experience, is that ultimately we are all one. The world I am in, and you are in, is one field, one energy, manifesting in multiple emanations, endlessly creative.

Ultimately, humans, like everything else, are emanations, created beings, and this would imply no free will. I long ago gave up the idea that I or anyone else had free will. There is a lot of freedom in this. It is great for putting the ego in its place, or dropping it altogether.

The experience of "no self" which can be progressive, or sudden, is rather devastating to being in the world, but is great at making sure one is not "of it."

As one who knows that ultimately, "I am that, and you are that," there still appears a me, and a you. And now we are back to the metaphor of the coin. Two sides, one coin. I really like this metaphor as it makes simple, a complex area of spiritual inquiry, the conundrum: duality/non duality.

Currently there is a raging debate about this. Both sides are on the same playing field, but disagree on how to play. Perhaps we need to remember that we are playing a game. As Shakespeare once said, "All the world's a stage, and we are but players upon it." Or as Faulkner wrote, "Sound and furry signifying nothing.

When teacher's teach, whether they claim personhood or not, whether they claim to be enlightened or not, they do have individual styles. We need to be careful and not argue teaching styles over essence. Doesn't it really come down to reflecting on what resonates? I really like this term because it is reflects congruence, while remaining open.

My whole spiritual search has been based on resonance. At first, it was primarily what I liked intellectually, but as I progressed (that nasty, bad term, to some) I found that I was reading with my heart. I literally felt the resonance in my heart.

Having been a seeker for many years, I've had many opportunities to see who I resonated with, and who I did not. Teachers resonate that appear to be stressing or pointing in very different ways. I can only conclude that the pointing is different, not that which is being pointed to.

One side claims that no person exists, or ever existed - all is illusion. Therefore, there is no enlightened person, no such thing as enlightenment, and never has been. The other side agrees that ultimately, this is so, but acknowledges that though ultimately true, the body/mind needs to be acknowledged and dealt with.

I resonate with teachers who claim no person exists, and with teachers who claim to be enlightened. Is there an absolute divide between non duality and duality? Both are aspects of the One.

The teacher that claims no enlightenment, no person, and yet teaches, is somehow acknowledging duality. To dismiss the embodiment, the seeker, is like the elephant in the living room that is not acknowledged. The teacher may claim to be enlightened or not. Does that change the fact that there is resonance?

One teacher claims to be enlightened, acknowledges it, and then teaches that there is no student, no teacher, and no free will. Gets confusing, doesn't it?

Teachers emphasize different sides of the same coin. They are all pointing, and pointing is not the truth. The one coin contains all sides. Acknowledging both the ultimate Oneness, and embodiment, seems balanced to me.

I trust my heart and only listen to and ponder those teachers who resonate with my heart. I resonate with teachers who fall on both sides of the coin. Neither side has the right pointer, all are pointing only.

As a seeker, I never cared whether a teacher claimed there is no one to be enlightened or not. I never cared if the teacher said there was no teacher, no student, no me. I only cared if there was resonance. I only cared if there was a response in my heart. I didn't care if I understood. I only cared if my heart relaxed and went, "Ahhhh."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thinking and Duality

It is only natural that we favor thought. It is that which allows us to function in duality. Thought defines and separates, and separation is necessary to navigate and manipulate our environment.

This separation, this duality, allows us to know what is good to eat, and that which is not. It allows us to avoid the tiger and embrace our lover. It is necessary for life in the body. The mind is simply an extension of the body that allows it to survive.

However, when we assume that we are the body/mind, we also remain in bondage, for duality is bondage. There is nothing wrong with duality, it is the manifestation of that which is beyond duality.

For the majority, getting the most from this appearance in duality is satisfactory enough. Most do not question their own appearance. There is simply the acceptance of it, like accepting a FedEx package. Just like the acceptance of a package from FedEx, we accept delivery of the body/mind.

This acceptance of the gift of body/mind is perfectly natural, and in perfect order. Why we accept this delivery without question is irrelevant. It's just the way it is. And why some few, very few, question the delivery, is also irrelevant. It just happens.

If you are reading this blog, you are among the few who have begun to question, or have questioned. You are seeking deeper understanding, or having understood, simply enjoy the various expressions of understanding.

All why questions ultimately come up empty handed. The term scientific reductionism expresses itself in more and more questions still pointing to the ultimate emptiness - the spaceless space, the stateless state, the awe of unknowing.

It can be seen that all thought is an effort to define and separate, and all thought is geared to providing security. When thought is seen to be ultimately fruitless for anything beyond living in duality, some look for a deeper security.

Deeper security is beyond the mind, beyond thought. In fact, the greater security is in the unknown. Acceptance of the unknown, trusting the unknown, is the ultimate security.

Ultimate security knows the body/mind is not who One is. Ultimate security knows that the concepts of mind do not contain the answer. True security is the gut knowing that One is That which is the creator of duality, unchanged by any appearance, or anything that happens to any appearance.

Enjoy duality. It is an expression of what you are. But be not deceived into thinking that you are limited by the body/mind you have been gifted. See that you are the giver, and the receiver, the One beyond.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Understanding is all. But this is not an intellectual understanding. The intellect doesn't go deep enough. The understanding has to be experienced at gut level. It's a primal experience.

If you've every had an experience of ecstasy, a mystical unitive experience, you know the authority with which it comes. That's the kind of understanding that is spoken of here. It's beyond the intellect, prior to intellect, not in it.

But understanding isn't ecstatic, day in and day out. It's just understanding. Bernadette Roberts reports how when one has profound ecstatic experiences, the resulting changes become one's normal day to day experience. They loose their feeling of uniqueness, of differentness. In fact, a change, such as peace, may become so normal that only other people notice it.

Understanding is profound and does affect one's life, but the change is incorporated and is not felt as something special.

It does no good to try and not be the doer. It does no good to try and stop thinking. These are results, not a prescription. When there is understanding, then thinking quiets down. It results from understanding, not trying to stop thinking. It does no good to try and stop being the doer of actions. The very trying itself, is the doer.

However, there is a place for trying, for striving, because as long as there is a seeker, there will be effort. Effort will be there as long as there is a perceived, sensed, separate "I." For just as long as you feel choice, free will, and know yourself as a separate person, you will not escape effort. Until that "I' drops, or slides into the background as a phantom, effort remains.

What is being pointed to, is that many of the spiritual methods are teaching results, which are effects, which are not the path.
Since the seeker can't stop trying, the seeker at least deserves to know what might have the possibility of being the most productive towards understanding.

Understanding is more likely to come from Awareness, which is prior to consciousness. Consciousness consists of the objects, thoughts, perceptions, one is aware of. So anything one thinks, judges, conceives of, appears in Awareness. So, try and step behind consciousness of this and that, to the field in which they appear, Awareness.

Contemplation is a great and natural process that can be harnessed. Hawkins states that any valid spiritual truth can be used as a tool. For example, a single sharp knife can cut a watermelon, shape a Buddha, cut your bread and spread your butter.

Your effort will be rewarded by your intent and your earnestness. This one was never a meditator. This one was a contemplative. The advantage of contemplation is that it can be done all day, while at work or at play. It doesn't require a quiet place, a certain posture, a particular practice.

We all contemplate, but we do it unconsciously. We contemplate the neighbor's wife, the boss's poor hygiene, or how well we're doing in our political positioning within our company. Just change what you contemplate! As James Allen said, "Think on These Things," spiritual truths. Pick one and stay conscious of it.

You can't think about two things at once, so if you choose to contemplate on the higher things, rather than lower things, you won't have to fight the lower, they just won't have room.

If you can't understand how all is One, contemplate that. If you can't understand that "The observer is the observed," contemplate that. If you can't "Love your neighbor as yourself," contemplate that.

Stay aware of every position you take. Stay aware of every feeling of judgment you have. Stay aware of every time you feel defensive. Ask yourself, "Who am I defending?"

This is simple, and with earnestness of intent, will produce results. Then you can ponder, "Where did my thinking go," Where did my stress go?" Then you will be in understanding.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Paradox of Freedom

Awareness has no preference. It is the screen on which all is projected. You are Awareness, and your body is an appearance in Awareness. On what authority can the body/mind reject its appearance? If you are Awareness, and the mind is an appearance in Awareness, then who are you too reject it?

Awareness is absolute freedom. Absolute freedom rejects nothing. Without judgment, anything is allowed to appear in it. The body/mind you take yourself to be is a manifestation of creation, appearing in Awareness, as it is.

So, the admonition to "be what you are," comes from the understanding that you are Awareness, and what it is that you are appearing as, is O.K. Be what you are because you, as a focal point in Awareness, have no control over the appearance.

If you have no control over who you are, why not let go and really be it? You have nothing to loose because you are already free of the appearance, can't control the appearance, and what's gonna happen will happen.

The fact that we do our best to make things easy, or better, is already the way things are. So, do that. Make things better. Just remember you have nothing to do with that desire. Act as responsible as you like, or not. There will be consequences. But good or bad, you're not really the one in charge.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose." You are nothing already. So you need not fret. You are already free. Know that you are free, then act "as if" you are responsible.

Any appearance in Awareness is a focal point, and that point is conscious as "I am." But the focal point as consciousness tends to take ownership of the consciousness, not realizing its Source. That's where all the trouble begins. Refuse ownership, refuse free will, and drop the baggage.

The trip will continue without you. It will be amazing! Effortless doing, ease of mind. You will do ten times more with less effort and little or no thought. This is the result of thinking being used only for doing, not in service of the ego.

It is indeed paradoxical that realizing you have no personal freedom grants you the greatest freedom. But that's the way it is, and you have no control over that.

Maury Lee 6/2/3008