#1890 - Saturday, August 14, 2004
Nondual Highlights Issue #1890 Saturday, August 14, 2004 Editor: Mark
How can there be two selves in one body? The "I am" is one. There is no "higher I-am" and "lower I-am". All kinds of states of consciousness are presented to awareness and there is self- identification with them. The objects of observation are not what they appear to be, and the attitudes they are met with are not what they need to be. If you think that Buddha, Christ, or Krishnamurti speak to the person, you are mistaken. They know well that the vyakti , the outer self, is but a shadow of the vyakta , the inner self, and they address and admonish the vyakta only. They tell him to give attention to the outer self, to guide it and help it, to feel responsible for it; in short, to be fully aware of it. Awareness comes from the Supreme and pervades the inner self; the so-called outer self is only that part of one's being of which one is not aware. One may be conscious, for every being is conscious, but one is not aware. What is included in awareness becomes the inner and partakes of the inner.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to NondualPhil by Adi Shakthi
Maj. Chadwick: I do not know if the Self is different from the ego.
Maharshi: How were you in your deep sleep?
D. I do not know.
M. Who does not know? Is it not the waking Self? Do you deny your existence in your deep sleep?
D. I was and I am; but I do not know who existed in deep sleep.
M. Exactly. The man awake says that he did not know anything in the state of sleep. Now he sees the objects and knows that he is there; whereas in deep sleep there were no objects, no spectator, etc. The same one who is now speaking existed in deep sleep also. What is the difference between these two states? There are objects and the play of senses now which were not there in sleep. A new entity, the ego, has risen up in the meantime; it plays through the senses, sees the objects, confounds itself with the body, and says that the Self is the ego. In reality, what was in deep sleep continues to exist even now. The Self is changeless; it is the ego that has intervened. That which rises and sets is the ego; that which remains changeless is the Self.
- Ramana Maharshi, Talks with Ramana Maharshi - posted by Viorica Weissman on MillionPaths.
7:30 am - you asked about compassion/dispassion
Compassion is natural in relations with others. But before spending too much time on it, and if you are ready, why not inspect the whole matter in a much deeper way.
When you have compassion for another, a big assumption has already been made. You are assuming that there is someone else that is (different from) not you. You have assumed you are somebody or something or you wouldnt be cognizing someone or something "else". Before you go about trying to correct or help the apparent others, it is wise to see if there really are any others and who it is that is assuming such a thing. In order to know if there are any others you should first see who it is that cognizes them.
Who sees the others? This seems like such a remedial question, yet to honestly and sincerely ask it could change your whole outlook to the point of radical joy. Understanding the truth of your own existence will clear up the question of how to treat others.
If you inspect the conceiving of those others, who perhaps need your compassion, you may come to the understanding that there are no others unless you imagine them.
Consider your dream state. You may have deep compassion for the others in your dreams, and go about all kinds of maneuvering to help them out, yet upon waking you see the whole thing was a bunch of mind fluff. Not only were the others unreal, but yourself as a dream character was unreal. Is it ultimately important to spend time nursing phantoms? Is dispassion called for?
Teachings about dispassion toward the world and others are meant to turn your attention inward toward the source of all arising phenomena. The whole notion of others depends on who you are taking yourself to be. If you are an ant, the others will appear to be ants. If you are a dream character of some kind, the others will appear accordingly. Instead of looking outward towards the others, try looking at yourself. If it is obvious you are not an ant or a dream character, what makes you think you are a human being? Is a human body your real identity? When attention is turned inward toward the essence of your own existence it is possible to discover the wonderful truth of who you really are. Dispassion towards what seems to be outside of you is simply a tool to quiet the mind and thus wake up to what is real about yourself and others.
Dispassion gets interesting when it is directed at your own assumed identity. The real dispassion should be toward your own persona because all the "others" stem from that initial assumption. Instead of assuming an identity as a human being and then trying to be compassionate toward the apparently human others, it is more wise to question your own identity.
When you deeply and thoroughly look at your self, where do you find your self? If you find yourself objectively, can it really be you? To be dispassionate toward what you have wrongly taken to be yourself will allow you great clarity and freedom. When there are no notions about yourself and others, what remains? To find this out for yourself is liberation.
Once found, it is so enjoyable that no dispassion is needed! When you know who you really are, it is clear that there is only one Self with no others. If there appear to be others they are yourself. From this point of view where is the need for compassion?
- image of sleeping frog by Zen O'Leary, posted on SufiMystic
Dear friends, today is the 10th of May, 1998. We are in the Upper Hamlet, and we are in the Spring Retreat. Today is Vesak, the day of the nativity of the Buddha. The life of the Buddha was supported by a kind of aspiration, a kind of desire, a kind of energy, that is to help, to help reduce the amount of suffering in the world, to bring about transformation and healing, to bring joy. That energy is important, that aspiration is important. The vitality of the life of the Buddha is the energy of compassion, the energy of understanding that can make the Buddha alive, that can help him to continue the teaching so that many people will be able to liberate themselves. To be born means to begin anew, and all of us want to begin anew.
When we know how to begin anew we get a lot more energy, joy and aspiration that can help us transform what is negative in us, and help us have more joy, more capacity to transform the situation around us. To be born is a form of beginning anew. And that is why we should be able to be born as a new being at every moment of our lives. There are people who may say, "I am too old to begin again." That is because they have not seen the true nature of life, of the practice of Beginning Anew. We can practice Beginning Anew at any moment of our lives. To be born is to begin anew. When you are three years old you can begin anew, and when you are sixty years old you can still begin anew, and when you are about to die, that is still time to begin anew. We need to practice looking a little bit more deeply in order to see that Beginning Anew is possible at any time of our daily lives, at any age.
Suppose a cloud is floating in the sky, and is about to die, to become rain. The cloud could be caught in anger, in fear: "Why does this happen to me? Why do I have to die? Why cant I continue to be a cloud floating in the sky? So anger and fear may come to the cloud and make the cloud very unhappy; but if the cloud is intelligent enough, if the cloud knows how to look deeply into its true nature, then it can practice Beginning Anew. Tonight is also an opportunity to be reborn, and that is a preparation. We should not be caught in any form, because to be a cloud floating in the sky is wonderful, but to be the rain falling on the mountain or the river, on the trees and on the grass is also a wonderful thing. Even excitement is possible, hope is possible, joy is possible when dying. We know that there are people who are capable of dying in a very peaceful and happy way. I have seen people who die with contentment, with happiness, with a sense of fulfillment, and who do not regard their dying as the end of something, of their life. They have been able to look deeply into the nature of life, and they are emancipated from the notions of being and non-being. There are people who sit on the threshold of their house, and look at the children playing in the morning sunshine in the front yard, and watch their grandchildren playing happily. And when they look like that, they suddenly become their grandchildren. They see themselves as playing in the morning sunshine in the grass. They see their continuation in their grandchildren. They know that they have done everything that they could do in order for these children to be happy, to be well-prepared in order to enter life. They are ready to begin anew. They have already begun anew, and they can see themselves in new forms of life.
Of course, during their lifetimes they have made some mistakes. Because we are human beings, we cannot avoid making mistakes. We might have caused someone else to suffer, we might have offended our beloved ones, and we feel regret. But it is always possible for us to begin anew, and to transform all these kinds of mistakes. Without making mistakes there is no way to learn, in order to be a better person, to learn how to be tolerant, to be compassionate, to be loving, to be accepting. That is why mistakes play a role in our training, in our learning, and we should not get caught in the prison of culpability just because we have made some mistakes in our life.
If you can learn from your mistakes, then you have already transformed the garbage into a flower, for your own joy, for the joy of your ancestors, for the joy of the future generations, and also for the joy of the person who was the victim of your ignorance and your lack of skillfulness. Very often we have done that out of our unskillfulness, not because we wanted to harm that person, or we wanted to destroy the person, or because we wanted him or her to suffer. We were unskillful, that is all. I always like to think of our behavior in terms of it being more or less skillful, rather than in terms of good and evil. If you are skillful, you can avoid making yourself suffer, and making the other person suffer. If there is something you want to tell the other person, then yes, you have to tell it, but there is a way to tell it and make the other person suffer, and make you suffer. But there are other ways to say it that would not make the other person suffer, and yourself suffer also. So the problem is not whether to tell or not to tell what you have in your heart, the problem is how to tell it so that suffering will not be there. That is why this is a matter of art, and of our practice also.
- Thich Nhat Hanh from a dharma talk given May 10, 1998 in Plum Village
Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think...and think... while you are alive.
If you don't break your ropes while you're alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?
The ida that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten --
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life
you will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!
Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that
does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.
It is not that you must be free from fear. The moment you try to free yourself from fear, you create a resistance against fear. Resistance in any form doesnt end fear. What is needed rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance is understanding fear; that means watch it; learn about it; come directly into contact with it.
- J Krishnamurti, posted to DailyDharma
Entering the Shell
Love is alive, and someone borne
along by it is more alive than lions
roaring or men in their fierce courage.
Bandits ambush others on the road.
They get wealth but they stay in one
place. Lovers keep moving, never
the same, not for a second! What
makes others grieve, they enjoy!
When they look angry, don't believe
their faces. It's spring lightning,
a joke before the rain. They chew
thorns thoughtfully along with pasture
grass. Gazelle and lioness, having
dinner. Love is invisible except
here, in us. Sometimes I praise love;
sometimes love praises me. Love,
a little shell somewhere on the ocean
floor, opens its mouth. You and I
and we, those imaginary beings, enter
that shell as a single sip of seawater.
- Rumi Ghazal (Ode) 843 Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin The Glance, Viking-Penguin, 1999, posted on Sunlight