Highlights for Fri, Sept. 10
- There has been much discussion on this list recently
concerning "arriving" - who has arrived, whether such an
arrival should or can be claimed, who hasn't arrived, how
much ego is involved, how much ego is lost, and so on.
When we discuss arriving, we tend to make the assumption
that someone or something has moved from point A to point
B. Thus, we assume that there is a continuing entity who
can speak about the difference between A and B, what it is
like to be at B now, and how other beings can move from A to
B. However, if we look very closely at the situation, there
is no entity that continues from point A to point B. This
awareness of "discontinuity" is true of any perceptible
form, experience, process or event. There is A. There is
B. Look closely at the entity that seems to move from A to
B. That supposed entity itself turns out to be A; B; C.
There is no thing moving from A to B - no continuous,
unchanging being who is collecting experiences.
The illusion created by memory is that there is "someone" or
that has been at point A and is now at point B, that there
is an entity who "has" memories, who has moved through
experiences while remaining constant.
Careful examination of the way that memory works shows that
the supposed entity having the memories is simply, itself, a
function of the memory process. Memory processes are
involved even at the cellular level, so this investigation,
this awareness, involves the whole being. As memory
processes (i.e., the body-mind) continue, this investigation
or awareness will only suffice if it is always already
present - awareness then won't be tricked into thinking of a
self existing in a certain "container" or perspective, or
into thinking awareness is divided into a self and other, or
that there is an "it" or a state "it" is in - there won't be
the basis for the belief in someone having experiences and
defined by a history. And yet thought and memory can
function in clarity.
How much human energy has been put into forming religious,
secular, and material "solutions" to the dilemmas of the
entity that thinks it is moving from A to B, and needs to
get to C or avoid D? How often have these "solutions" led
to new dilemmas and suffering?
If the illusions constructed by memory and thought are seen
clearly, there is a new view of the "someone" who apparently
arrives at point B from point A. With this awareness, there
is no longer a striving to move from point B (where the
person exists now) to point C (where they will be
enlightened, special, realized). The seeing is now that
there is A, B, C, but no one who moves. A tricky thing here
is the tendency to want to "work" toward this realization.
Looking carefully at this "work," it is seen that the
necessary assumption for such work is that there would be an
entity who would benefit from the work, who would eventually
learn about enlightenment, who would move from A, at the
beginning of the work, to B, at the end of the work. This
very assumption needs to be questioned - that alone is the
Dogen Zenji said that it is merely our human assumption that
a substance that is wood exists, is later burned, then
becomes fire, and then is turned into ash. In reality,
there is wood, there is burning, there is fire, there is
smoke, there is ash. It is merely our thinking that creates
the idea of a substance that exists, continues, and changes
the conditions of its being, moving from wood into ash.
This assumption of substances and essences may appear useful
to a point as we manipulate matter, but it can also trick us
and trap us into many relatively unreal dilemmas. Dogen was
using firewood as an example to show something about how
reality works, something that we easily miss as we become
caught in the web of our own conceptual, perceptual and
I attended the Landmark Education Curriculum about 2 years
ago. I dropped out when i was ready to move on. Sometimes
I miss that incredibly honest conversation, but their are
many ways to be honest, opportunities all around us all.
Someone I invited to join in Landmark back then is still
with them, and may pursue this line of work further. We
maintain a close friendship, with no bias towards each
others choices / path / beingness.
Landmark is extremely careful about not being seen as a
teacher (rightly so), and being clear that participants do
not use this 'technology' as any form of therapy. It is
possible someone slipped past them. But I doubt it:-). You
walk in, you're given an opportunity to see 'reality' as
simply your own construct, and you then may begin
questioning what 'Is'.
Definitely, from experience, Not a Cult.
I find that The Forum and 'nonduality' have a _lot_ in
common, in regard to what is struggled to express, and the
raw experience of Being, as a paradoxical juxtaposition.
What is 'left' is the realization that it is always here and
now, no matter how we might wish it were otherwise.
The tracks that I have left are not me, I am the one who
leaves tracks; it is up to me to design my way of Being, in
such a way as to provide the best of the best, for myself
and for everyone.
I do not fall into the trap of allowing resentment to
justify splittiing myself into what 'might be' 'if only'
certain conditions would change. I am always 'burdened'
with the awareness that it is what I do and how I do what I
do, that creates the experience that I have. There is no
blame, and most importantly, no coercion is placed upon
others, to influence them to conform to my own expectations.
I do not participate in the sacred 'master story' of the
mass-culture. As a consequence, I have no 'fallback' to
justify why I fail, and no rewards are given to me for how
'well' I do. It is all up to me.
I do not depend upon others for my 'identity', be it 'good'
or 'bad'. I am the creator of my own experience, and I am
responsible for the consequences of my acts.
That is why I 'resonate' with 'nonduality'. There is no
'master force' which is 'lording it over' me; I am the prime
force in my own life, and further, I understand that it is
the same for everyone, no matter how they may wish that
resenting or blaming others (such as blaming me) will
somehow make something better for them.
I say, abolish hypotheticals, and breath in what it is, even
if it is not 'understood'. Trusting myself, I have found
that it is exposure to 'what is' without interpretation,
that eventually allows me to be comfortable with it, whether
it is defined or not. I can tolerate living with the
undefined; thus I can tolerate living with myself.
Life is fraught with difficulty, and there is no fairy-tale
happy 'ending'. It really never ends; it is ongoing, and I
am with it on it's way. I am now enjoying the ride, after
so many years of wishing for different conditions. This is
peace, but it is my own boundaries which enforce that
peace. It is the decisions that I make, moment to moment,
which make my boundary-structure ethical. And I am the one
who decides what is ethical. That is a responsiblity that I
have finally accepted.
My very best to you and everyone,
It is so funny how easily people accept that an Adi Da or
Osho or Gurdjieff or Krishnamurti is/was awakened or
realized and how the prospect of ones neighbor or informal
correspondent being awakened or realized is so threatening,
so unthinkable for most of us. Of all our self- images, the
one called "Seeker" is the most tenacious, as if the
prospect of losing this identity was tantamount to death
itself -- and the acceptance that someone we actually know
has shed that comfortable label for well and good seems to
be the Seeker-ego's worst nightmare.
Bruce, One label of myself I cannot take into my heart is
that of seeker. This stuff came to me sitting quietly and
alone in my window sill, reading some JK, watching the
river, the lone tree in my desolated Brooklyn neighborhood.
The words 'seeker' and 'enlightenment' did not exist for me
because I was never involved with a group that used those
terms. I had never seen the term 'seeker' as applied to
'enlightenment' until a few months ago. It was pretty
disappointing to see this division.
At this place in my life, I can see that I do search --
sometimes more frantically than others. But that does not
make ME a seeker. It's only a label and since most of us
are so conditioned around labels, why do people who
investigate conditioning even use such terms?
And yes Bruce, that our own neighbor had shed all such
labels as you put it, would fill our minds with fear. Why
do we do that? Comparison perhaps. Images too. It is
interesting how the mind is such a super pro at creating
images of others. It's so quick and swift -- very easy to
miss it all together.
This morning (after meditating on Adi Da) I drove up to
Burbank to the Valhalla Memorial Park, where Krishna Venta
is buried. Krishna Venta (born Francis Penkovic) was
another L.A.-based guru active in the 1950s. I guess very
few people have heard of him. He had a commune in the
desert by Chatsworth. I think it was called The Fountain of
the World or something like that. The guy wore white robes
and long hair and a beard years before the hippie movement.
He was probably the first American-born neo-Hindu guru in
these parts though he also claimed to be the Messiah. In
1958 some disgruntled followers accused him of fooling
around with their wives and blew him (and themseles) to
smithereens with a few pounds of dynamite. He's buried in
an unmarked plot. I had to ask a cemetary guide to locate
it for me and take me there. Then I told him the guy's
story, as apparently no one there had ever heard of him.
The guide also showed me Oliver Hardy's plot (of Laurel and
Hardy fame) which is nearby.
Krishna Venta is known to me only because he's mentioned in
a book about Charles Manson. Evidently when Charlie first
arrived in Southern Cal from jail in '68 or '69 he spent
some time at KV's commune and was fed and cared for by the
devotees, though KV was long dead. Then Charlie walked a
few miles over the hills and settled in at Spahn Ranch,
where of course he started his own commune and decided to
play the Messiah game himself.
It's a weird goddamn world.
Everything's even, teetering toward unevenness.
Seeking is for knowledge on how to sustain and return to
The ways are based on recognition that teetering isn't real.
The evenness is what is.
To be still and free of everything, even for a moment, is to
invite a taste. It will be known by every pore and cell.
A litle bit of Da, from the Method of the Siddhas, Chapter
called "Understanding". Taken from on of his talks.
There is a disturbance, a feeling of dissatisfaction, some
sensation that motivates a person to go to a teacher, read a
book about philosophy, beleve something, or do some
conventional form of Yoga. What people ordinarily think of
as spirituality or religion is a search to get free of that
sensation, that suffering that is motivating them.
So all the usual paths, Yogic methods, beiefs, religion, and
so on , are forms of seeking, grown out of this sensation,
this subtle suffering. Ultimately all the usual paths are
attempting to get free of that sensation. That is the
traditional goal. Indeed *all* human beings are seeking,
whether or not hey are very sophisticated about it, or using
very specific methods of Yoga, philosophy, religion,
When that whole process of seeking begins to break down, one
no longer quite has the edge of one's search left. One
begins to suspect oneself. One begins to doubt the whole
process of one's search. Then one is no longer fascinated
with one's search, one's methods, one's Yoga, one's
religion, one's ordinary teacher. One's attention begins to
turn to the sensation that motivates one's entire search.
When one begins to recognize, consciously to know again,
that subtle motivation that is what I call "understanding".
When one begins to see again the subtle forms of one's own
action, which *are* one's suffering, that re-cognition is
"understanding". When this becomes absolute, perfect, when
there is utterly, absolutely, no dilemma, no form in the
living consciousness to interpret existence, when there is
no contraction, no fundamental suffering, no thing prior to
Consciousness Itself, this is what I call "radical
understanding". It is only enjoyment.
--contributed by Judi
As for God within, God without....just words....you know it
when you feel...if it works to see it as an outside source
that loves you unconditionally (and all others too, ) or if
you see it as an emanation from within...it doesn't
matter....It, God, is that which permeates through us,
around us, within us, before us, after us, beyond us, now,
with us.....He is the energy of creation and love...the
energy of abundance and generosity...all those things we
are, and realize we are, when we stop thinking we are
something else.He is that which sees only goodness....He
simply is unaware of anything else...for that is not what He
creates...if He could be aware of the dark He would not be
what He is....which is the source of Light.