#3003 - Saturday, December 1, 2007
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Nondual Highlights: Issue #3003, Saturday, December 1, 2007
Whenever you notice that some form of negativity has arisen within you, look on it not as a failure, but as a helpful signal that is telling you: "Wake up. Get out of your mind. Be present."
- Eckhart Tolle, from The Power of Now, posted to AlongTheWay
There are no problems. There is nothing wrong. Everything is unfolding as it should. Everything happens in its own time. Space and time are illusions. They really do not exist. They're stationary. Causation doesn't exist either. No thing has a cause, therefore no thing has an effect. Cause and effects are again products of your own mind. When the mind is quiet, karma ceases. Samscaras are non-existent. There never was a cause for anything. But if you feel that in a previous life you did something wrong and now you are paying the price, or if you think that you did something wrong in this life and you're paying the price, then you'll pay the price, because that's what you think.
- Robert Adams
We're quite addicted to subtle discussions;
we're very fond of solving problems.
So that we may tie knots and then undo them,
we constantly make rules for posing the difficulty
and for answering the questions it raises.
We're like a bird which loosens a snare
and then ties it tighter again
in order to perfect its skill.
It deprives itself of open country;
it leaves behind the meadowland,
while its life is spent dealing with knots.
Even then the snare is not mastered,
but its wings are broken again and again.
Don't struggle with knots,
so your wings won't be broken.
Don't risk ruining your feathers
to display your proud efforts.
- Rumi, Mathnawi II: 3733-3738, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, from Rumi: Daylight, posted to Sunlight
You have to ask yourself the question "Who am I?" This investigation will lead in the end to the discovery of something within you which is behind the mind. Solve that great problem and you will solve all other problems.
- Ramana Maharshi
Ramana's great question was, "Who am I?"
Nowadays it's easy to see that we are this formless intelligence inside. Yet so many of us, in our innocence, still think that thought is thought, and that it's an object, and that it's going to be there for eternity, yacking away about nothing, bothering us.
Now, if we are not who we are, how come everything else is who they are? Wouldn't it make more sense to say, "Well, if I'm not my role, maybe nothing else is its role."
And rather than wondering what that role is, just ask it directly, "Who are you?" It's so much faster than trying to figure it out.
You don't ask it, "Who am I?"
One of thought's functions is to project onto you, because you have no form. It has to come up with projection after projection, and just in case you relax out of your role it has to create an diversion, quickly.
So ask it, "Who are you?"
Curiosity is the way wisdom gets revealed inside. It is the forerunner of wisdom. Curiosity arises and, if you sit with it, connected right underneath is the wisdom. They are not two.
Each one of these servants inside, from the most irritating of emotions, can reveal an incredible amount of wisdom when you interview it. First of all they show you their functions, and if you have ever had curiosity about how creation was created, or how bodies function, or what the nature of emotion is, or the nature of thought, or the nature of wisdom, all of it is there. These are amazing biocomputers, and you can ask and they will reveal anything you want to know.
Be really tender with thought. The pressure we put on it is extraordinary. It's only because thought is also the great mystery that it is able to function with all that pressure of disapproval and dislike and aversion and "I wish you would be quiet" - and all our rude projections: that you are not spiritual and you are the only thing keeping me from my freedom, and would you please just shut up!
That is why in all the great spiritual traditions, at their heart is tenderness - just to be kind inside, and then everything rights itself. Fear rests. Confusion rests. Everything that was perturbing the system rests. Because they know that when you are tender inside you no longer need their services, because you have returned to your true nature.
- Pamela Wilson
It seems to me that 'thinking' is one of the greatest obstacles to enlightenment. All the masters say that there is, in truth, nothing to be done - but manas will not have it so! How should we cope with thinking?
There are three kinds of thoughts:
1. Practical thoughts, which are useful in conducting our business or our daily life, like, for instance, "I need to get some gas". This type of thought should not be suppressed (we don't want to run out of gas!). Once it has been given due consideration and the required steps have been taken, these thoughts leave us spontaneously.
2. Thoughts related to the Ultimate, to our understanding of the non-dual perspective, such as "there is, in truth, nothing to be done". These thoughts come from the Ultimate. If we welcome them, they purify the mind from its dualistic conditioning and eventually take us back to their source. They bring about clarity and give us an adumbration of the bliss which is inherent to our real nature.
3. Thoughts related to the notion of being a personal entity, such as desires, fears, doubts, which includes day-dreaming and other kinds of wishful thinking. Some thoughts of this third kind are apparently innocuous and, for this reason, difficult to detect in the beginning. A strong emotion conducive to suffering and disharmony such as jealousy or fear will be easily detected, whereas I may indulge for some time, without noticing it, into picturing myself on the beaches of the French Riviera with a beautiful companion.
It is a common and frequent error to consider any kind of thought as an obstacle to self-realization. The thoughts of the third kind are the only ones that are obstacles to being knowingly established in the Absolute. There are two ways to deal with these thoughts as they arise:
A. If we are not yet convinced that we are not a limited personal entity, whenever we notice such a thought, we should attempt to find its source, the ego. Of course, our attempt to catch the ego fails, as Ramakrishna points out, which takes us directly to the non-existent center of the onion. At this moment, the ego vanishes and we experience our innate freedom (for what looks like a very short moment). This glimpse at the truth reinforces our conviction that we are not a personal entity.
B. Once we are convinced that we are not a personal entity, the thoughts of the third kind usually keep reoccurring for some time as a matter of habit, in the same way as inertia keeps an electrical motor running after its power cord has been unplugged. In this case, there is no need to investigate the origin of these thoughts; we can simply drop them as soon as we notice them.
- Francis Lucille