Who’s to say that this life isn’t concurrently an entering into selfhood, and an ongoing impulse to naturally return to this true one-thing-we-know-we-really-are? Two inclinations happening at the same time. There are stops and starts–“I am this separate person.” Yet in the next step, “What was I thinking?” and then a brief a reprieve from the role, the falsity of it all. It seems that this becoming and unbecoming, pretending and clear seeing, has always been going on. There are constant rents in the fabric of reality, constant and obvious red flags, telling us that things are not as they appear. Read more
What are objects but a combination of sense perceptions? What is awareness but this sensing, or experience itself? Objects and awareness are inseparable. If you cannot see, hear, touch, taste or smell a cup, it doesn’t exist. Awareness is the experience of seeing, hearing, tasting, and smelling. Thus the body is also awareness precisely because it is all about sensing. The cup exists because it is experienced–not by the body as a separate sensing subject, but as the experience itself, ipso facto.
Close your eyes and touch the cup. Is there, in the tactile experience, a cup and a hand? There is only an unnamable sensation. The words “cup,” “hand,” “touch,” are added on, a mental, linguistic overlay, dividing a singular experience into three things. It is this mental overlay, the naming that divides, and creates the appearance of separation. The cup and the hand are therefore inseparable, and inseparable from the experience of touch. There is only this experiencing.
This could sound like boring non-dual gobbledygook. But when you drop the words, you have the wordless, unnamable experience of inseparability. The experience itself is not boring; a sensation itself cannot be bored. Try and find boringness without the idea that there is a separate, individual, experiencer.
Or try wrapping your arms around something or someone you love. (And there can always be that, words pointing to separate something’s, or not.) There is touch, smell, sound, sight, and even smell. That’s it! And that is everything. All else is added on, is a mental overlay, a conditioned response to a belief in separation. And there is that wonderful thing we can agree to call love, just for fun. Wrap your arms around the world as it presents itself to you now, eternally now. Just love, by seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling all of it. No need to add a separate someone into the mix. Experience stands alone, and neither requires nor creates an other to behold. Only beholding.
And this is boring non-dual gobbledygook until it is experienced…and it is known that there is no experiencer…only experiencing. Loving arms, loving nothing, but everything. My love for you knows no bounds. Take out the “my,” the “you,” and all boundaries–what have you got? Poof! Love. Then put them all back together again, just for fun.
Object/awareness inquiry is not the only way to experience the inseparability of the mind/body/world. See that if you smile, the whole world smiles back; if you scowl, the whole world scowls back…with a wink. This is the only tenable use of the concept create your own reality. Take the you out of the equation, a smile emerges, and there it is–smiling world.
That’s the only criteria that matters. There are no levels of clarity, no others that know more, no time in the future when clarity happens, or an imagined “state” of abiding in, or achieving a “solid” realization. But yet there is the appearance of such levels, realized beings, time, and stability.
If any of those appearances are accompanied by a sense of suffering, there’s the rub. The above distinctions come only from the realm of seeking. In life itself, there is suffering having to do with poverty, loneliness, health, and so on. In the words of Pema Chodron, “start where you are.” If there is the experience of suffering, then quite simply, something—a thought, an identity—is not only being believed, but cherished.
Trust not your thoughts or your understanding; trust your experience. People balk at the idea of self-generated suffering, but is it possible that the suffering being experienced is a kind of identity? For instance, it was seen here that a sense of longing was the experience of being. Longing was familiar, was in fact, an experiential identity. Things, situations, people were longed for that could not be had because that maintained the longing, and essentially the personhood. Failure, victimhood, and a sense of injustice can also all be dearly-held experiences of identity. When in these states, you feel as if you exist. As long as any identity, or a sense of me-ness goes on, there is the possibility for suffering. Is there a clinging to a familiar sense of suffering as that-is-who-I-am? You are not that.
And for those for whom the seeking manifests as a constant need to understand, an intellectual foray into teachings and concepts, suffering arises (or not) from feeding the mind that will never take the step through that gateless gate. Peace, compassion, love, and clarity are lived experiences. Conceptual understanding actually impedes the experience—and experiencing is all there really is. Suffering in this case comes from identifying with a negligible, but illusory identity with the intellect, oftentimes manifesting in the form of emptiness, aridity, and ultimately a sense of failure, because the mind is and always will be insufficient to the task at hand.
None of the posts here are true. You can’t take any of them to the bank, or out to dinner and a movie. The inquiries are a way of experiencing, of looking beyond the concepts believed and identities assumed. As Jac O’Keeffe says (loosely translated), everything you experience comes from the conceptual and into form. So if the experience is suffering, STOP, right now, and let go of all ideas, needs, opinions, and identification. Drop everything the mind and the world it generates has to offer, and look—is not the peace and clarity you are seeking already here? If this is seen even if only for a second, trust that experience. Follow that.
Look, with eyes closed, or eyes wide open. It is all around, within and without. And then the line between the two disappears, and there is just the heartbreaking beauty of all things. No here, there. No within, without.
Look, wherever you are, and see the fragility and the overcoming. A branch breaks; a bird flies away; and the sky will never look the same. Everything in this phenomenal world, without a doubt, comes and goes. Allowing that, seeing that flux, the inevitable impermanence in each movement, is a thing to behold. Even that which appears solid and unchanging, like an immense brick wall, reveals the crack of its transformation somewhere.
Look, and let the vision of suffering crack your heart wide open. Let the rejuvenation of spring–a robins egg, a bright poppy–bring you out of winters cave. Let it all in. Let it all pass through on its way to what was. Let the heart translate what words cannot describe. It’s there on the tip of your tongue, at your fingertips, and it smells so sweet.
Look. Listen. It is all you. Let yourself disappear into it and become it. All things beautiful passing by, here and now.
Listen here while you look, if you wish: All Things Beautiful ~ Nick Cave
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.
“Let him who seeks not cease from seeking
until he finds;
and when he finds,
he will be disturbed;
and when he is disturbed,
he will marvel,
and he shall reign over the All. ” ~ The Gospel of Thomas
Who is looking through those eyes? Who is running this show called your life? Do you want to know? Investigate all assumptions in this regard thoroughly.