Relationship and the Unfindable Self; Movements in the Mind

“See all suffering, doubts, questions, problems, issues, imagined attainments and losses as movements in the mind. The are all thought generated. Apart from thoughts, those things have no existence whatsoever. Nail this insight completely. Do not move from this until it is absolutely clear. There is nothing wrong with the body, mind, world or other people at any time. Fighting with those things is completely futile. All problems are the mind’s labels, judgments and interpretations. We must see that all problems are sustained and created by the mind which is fabricating them. That is one aspect. Believing the thoughts to be true is where the real bondage arises, because if you do not believe them, they have no power. But first you need to clearly see what you are dealing with—thoughts, pure and simple.” ~ John Wheeler, Right Here, Right Now.

“…nothing wrong with the body, mind, world or other people at any time.” Come join in the conversation at our newly-created Facebook group: Relationship and the Unfindable Self, where we discuss the inquiries developed by Scott Kiloby, and how they can be used to see relationship as that everyday, unavoidable and inevitable experience which points back to our true nature, and away from the notion of the separate, isolated individual. You know, the one with the problems…another thought believed.

The Conundrum of Being

When someone dies, there is an uncomfortable heaviness, a something-is-out-of-order inner contraction. Emotions notwithstanding, physically, there is something that feels twisted and out of place inside. It seems, perhaps for an instant, or even unconsciously, very odd to be alive.

What is that? Emotions perhaps relieve that inner incongruity, because to stick with just the physical sensation seems unbearable. To be alive and in this body suddenly seems absurd. It’s not that one wants to die, not that at all, but there is the returning awareness that the gift of life is given just as freely as it is taken away. A thing the body knows, but the mind forgets. The body revolts where the mind cannot make sense. And so we cry, or sit silently, and the knot in the stomach is loosened.

Perhaps the knot, when fully experienced, is the unraveling of all delusions of certainty. Because certainty about life and the inevitability of death cannot coexist. And when the certainty falls away, certainty of belief, of identity, of the meaning, if any, of our very existence here, when all that falls away, what is left is the unbearable lightness of being.

I am. Death puts this notion up to the bright gaze of truth. The body revolts and shudders. It is not in collusion with this assumption. When someone dies, there is a loud crack in the fundamental rigidity in this shell we call self, and all its protective beliefs and ideas. The veil of separation thins, and there is something so out of the ordinary that can be seen if one were only to look unflinchingly. To look is to commit to living and loving wholeheartedly now, without fear, without hesitation, as if there were no time, no tomorrow, nothing to lose, nothing to fear. Death behooves us to be bold,  to tell the truth.

I don’t know if any of this is true…

Just Live. Taste, Enjoy.

Pointers are of limited value. The word “process” is misleading. This is all there is. Seriously. Just this.

Reflections on choice, or free will, can get all tied up in knots. Drop the question, and what’s left? Just this, just what is happening. Then it becomes a matter of acceptance or resistance. Is that a choice? I don’t know. But it can be investigated. Is there resistance to what is, or acceptance? Resistance or acceptance is simply what is arising in the moment. Maybe all that can be done is to look, to check it out for yourself. Who is living this life, your so-called life?

If there is suffering, then maybe this question has yet to be thoroughly explored. There is no answer. That’s the delightful surprise. Answers are for the mind, and the mind cannot get to the root of this. It can only take you so far, and then FAIL. There is only this and the possibility of enjoying it or objecting to it in some way. The etymology of the word “choice” is “to taste, to try.” It is from the same base as “gusto.”

Look and see if there is anyone there to resist or to accept whatever is happening. If suffering is happening, does it belong to anybody? If joy is happening, is it possible that the “me” who would suffer can’t make a claim either way? What a relief! Taste it, try it. Mucho gusto.

Can you find time, anywhere? Is that your hand?

The UI is good for investigating, looking into everyday identifications, conflicts, and beliefs about yourself and the world, as listed in this previous post. There are also “objects” to look for that you might not have considered, such as time and the body.

Can you find the past? Maybe a memory comes up, or a sensation in the body. Look and see; is that it? What about the future? It most often shows up as a sense of expectation, dread, waiting, or even a vague feeling of “not yet,” also seemingly located somewhere in the body. There can also be a slight, but otherwise unconscious, turn of the eyes as if the future is over there. Is that it?

When you focus on the body, is there anything in any physical sensation that signifies ownership? If you look at your hands, or feel tension in your chest, is there something there that clearly says “mine?” Are those hands owned, or are they merely observed?

Questions about the nature of time can be hashed over and over by the mind endlessly, to no satisfying conclusion. Even if you come up with a provisional answer, nothing is really known for sure. And is there an unquestioned belief or the assumption that “I am this body?” The Unfindable Inquiry is an experience, not a concept. Go beyond words, beyond the mind, and see for yourself, if you’re curious. It’s pretty trippy. Try it and see.

Energy ~ Catch & Release

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not bring it forth, what you do not have within you will destroy you.” Gospel of Thomas

Feelings come up, no matter who you are or where you stand. There is a simple and effective way of becoming a willing conduit for these surges, and you can do it on your own. Let anger be anger, sadness be sadness, fear be fear…just long enough to feel what that is in your body. Let go of the label anger, fear, or sadness (whatever it seems to feel like), and observe what’s left. Drop into the sensation in the body. Experience that, fully. Let it be there. Don’t try to get rid of it. Don’t give up before it’s experienced to completion. Notice that if story lines come up, there might even be more contraction, more intensity. Drop the story, the reason or circumstance you attribute to this “emotion,” and just sit with the pure physical sensation, whatever it wants to do, wherever it wants to go.

This is not a way to get rid of feelings, or to hurry them through so that you can get on with the more pleasant aspects of life. This is a way of completely and totally honoring the moment as it presents itself. In the end, you see that it is just energy. Not a drama, not the end of the world, not suffering, just energy. Could be a very powerful energy, or could just be a wimpy little energy that was hanging around till it was noticed.

It’s in the air; it’s buried deep under layers of defense mechanisms. It will come up. It’s been coming up all your life. You can let it remain buried, with intermittent outbursts occurring for the rest of your life, or you can expose it to the light of day, transmute it, and thereby release it into the circulating creative force of energy that upholds life. Let it move through the body. And in the process, you will come to see, and free up, the colossal amount of effort and energy required to keep these energies down. Repression commands an inordinate amount of energy, and takes its toll on the body/mind. One has only to look in the mirror to see the results of this futile but constant exertion.

Who knows if this is true, what this thing called energy really is, or if there is an actual process of moving through and releasing? Nothing is certain. But it does seem to be the case that these things we call feelings arise, that they appear to make us want to cry or punch a wall, or get drunk, or let ourselves be loved. It is an act of love to let them pass through.

The Unfindable Inquiry ~ What’s it good for?

If any of the following “complaints” have a familiar ring, we can look for the one who thinks they’re a problem.

  • I never have enough money to do what I want.
  • I can’t believe he/she lied to me.
  • Why didn’t anyone like my Facebook status?
  • God, I’m fat.
  • He/She never called me back.
  • I’m a total failure.
  • She/He didn’t even notice me.
  • Why are you always late?
  • He/She would never love me.
  • I’m feeling pretty hopeless/helpless.
  • My boss is an overbearing tyrant.
  • There’s something wrong with me.
  • I did all this for you, and you didn’t even say “thank you.”
  • I feel left out, excluded.
  • I made such an ass out myself; I’ll never live that one down.
  • Stupid people really bother me.

Wherever there’s a complaint, there is an identity being triggered. Add your own to the list. What is the biggest, or the most recent, source of dissatisfaction? Even the smallest disagreements with life as it shows up can be symptoms of a general malaise, reflections of disapproval projected out there, because it’s easier than looking towards the source.  A whine or a low moan might go deeper than you think. If you could get to the root of even a single complaint, you’d see them all for the ineffectual strategies they really are, and you could begin to feel yourself breaking free. Imagine that. No complaints.

No Mud, No Lotus

I posted the quote below in Facebook today, in part, as a caution against running away from life, from one’s “self,” from suffering. In the inquiries, we seek not to avoid or resist anything. No self doesn’t mean “I’m outta here, out of this.” It’s not a way to hide from or avoid life. Many forms of seeking are actually an attempt to evade experience, ironically to deny who we really are, and further, to bypass the grittiness of life itself. Seeking essentially means that we are looking elsewhere for more of the juicy and less of the stench. It’s all right here where you are. Get your hands dirty and your feet wet. Jump in.

Take the fullness and the emptiness experienced and bring it back to the marketplace. Let the emptiness open up the infinite possibility inherent in any apparent other, any circumstance, because you can no longer judge either. Let the fullness enhance your senses, so that everything and everyone is imbued with exquisite beauty.

There is nothing to gain, and nothing to lose for “me,” for “you.” So the good news is you really can’t be hurt (there is no one there to be hurt). Curiously, what you might have hoped to gain is what you end up giving back (to give and to receive are the same in this oneness). There is no bad news.

There can be a tendency, if not the veiled intent, to transcend the world, and all its misery, along this “spiritual journey.” This is a radical form of resistance. The etymology of “resist” means to stand in opposition.

Acceptance is the antidote. The origin of the word “accept” is from the same derivation as capacity, or to be large enough to hold. Can you be large enough to hold the bitter and the sweet? Or is opposition to what is the source of misery?

“To be in the world, but not of it” is not a way out. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…You are the God and the Son and the world. Be in the world. Go towards all you wish to escape. Let courage (of the heart) be the path.

The No-Self Chuckle

Can’t be certain of much of anything, if the Unfindable Inquiry actually has an ipso facto relation to the physiology of the “selfing network” mentioned in the video. But it can be observed and experienced that on the occasion of not finding the self one has believed in so fiercely, for so long, there is very often a brief moment of being stunned, literally a deer-in-headlights expression comes up, followed by a slow smile, and then a bout of irrepressible laughter. It’s what I’ve come to call the “no-self chuckle.” Sometimes people can’t stop laughing. It is the laughter of seeing the absurd.

The Inquiry disarms the ever-vigilant sentinel at the gate, that sense of me, mine. The laughter is frequently followed by statements of disbelief and relief. “I can’t believe how much I had invested in that turkey!” The relief comes when it is seen how much, and for how long, this incredible amount of energy has been used in an effort to maintain this mistaken identity.

It has to be experienced to be understood. It’s quicker and perhaps more efficient than a weekend satsang, or reading a non-duality book. As mentioned in the video, the only obstacle to the perception of oneness, which is beyond all me vs. you distinctions, is this dogged presumption of self. When the self gets out of the way, the view of the world is immediately clearer and brighter. It’s as if you knew it all along, because it is ultimately familiar. It feels like home, where there are “no more lions in the bushes.”

The Deficient Self – Never Enough

“Somewhere along the way through life, often in our early years, we begin to believe a lie about who we really are…I call that lie the ‘core deficient self’…These core stories lie dormant within us during times when life seems to flow smoothly. Like a fearful snake coiled up and waiting to defend itself, the story and the emotional wound come screaming to the surface when the right buttons are pushed by others. This leaves us spiraling into self-judgment and doubt. It’s fight or flight, all the way. We either attack and defend or run and hide.” ~ Scott Kiloby

“Once the notion of separation was believed in, we spent a lifetime trying to solidify this imagined notion through believing in the mind’s self-created concepts (‘I am not good enough,’ ‘I am not____, etc.). It is all a fraud, because it is all talking in terms of a defective, isolated and separate self, which we have taken as true.” ~ John Wheeler

Empirically, it can be observed that the self can be seen through, truly not found anywhere, yet suffering still arises, apparently in conjunction with conditioning. So while it makes sense to just try to find the self, and be done with the whole matter—get to the root of the “problem,” so to speak—there is an energetic component to this conditioning that resides in the body, that seeks to be released as part of the total freedom package. Freedom from identification with anything, with any lingering feeling of division, leads to freedom from seeking and suffering. This is why the inquiry is directed, in most cases, towards finding the deficient self, which is any idea of unloveability, unworthiness, or any perceived sense of lack. Because it is inherently fake, the deficient self can never be enough.

Ultimately, this can lead to seeing that there really isn’t even any original core wound. It is simply the label, in whatever form it has arisen, given to the primary, original experience of separation. Nothing was really wounded, or even touched by any life experience. But feelings, memories, and thoughts—the conditioning of a lifetime—can lead one to believe otherwise, and to manifest that belief through relationships, and any and all life circumstances.

The self tends toward deficiency because it is a total fabrication, an Impostor. It is then maintained by an underlying belief in, and subsequently a protective veiling of, that fundamental deficiency story. It is a blind spot in awareness. It is why we seek for love and acceptance in all the wrong places, but do not ever find.

The experience of being a phony, looking into that vague suspicion of inauthenticity, is a wide-open door to freedom, to that which is authentic and truly real.

This will not make you a better person.

“Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.” ~ The Duchess, Alice in Wonderland

“Self sabotage is the smartest thing you can do if you’re sabotaging a self that is not really you.” ~ Armand Demele

Doing the Unfindable Inquiry will not make you a better person. In fact, what you cannot find may may result in the renunciation of any and all forms of self improvement. It might, however, allow you to see quantum leaps of improvement in everyone around you. So, even better, the inquiry may make others mysteriously appear to be better persons.

“Curiouser and curiouser!” ~ Alice, Alice in Wonderland