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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3969, Saturday, July 31, 2010
Reflections on Reality
Reality is the Infinite showing up here and now through finite form.
Reality flows through each and every one of us in a tidal wave of Infinite expression. We often miss the miracle of this manifestation because we somehow expect "It" to be something other than who and what we already are.
Reality is not an abstract, theoretical construct. It is our immediate experience within the present moment.... Reality is nothing more or other than the totality of our experience and the potential inherent within the Infinite present.
The value of this reflection and exploration lies in the discovery of Essence and Presence within the present moment -- and in the gradual realization of our fullest human potential.
Reality is an opportunity to discover more of who we are, at our deepest and most fundamental level.
Our individual experiences are unique and miraculous windows into understanding the nature of the Infinite.... Every experience is an invitation into the Infinite.
When we allow ourselves to experience the deep levels of knowing that are innate within each of us, we open the door of possibility for experiencing broader and deeper levels of Reality.
There is a deeper, underlying Reality inviting us all into a deeper and more profound relationship with All That Is.
Any experience we have within the present moment is an opportunity to settle more deeply and more fully into an appreciation of the fullness of Reality. Each experience is actually a doorway into the Real. The fact that we do not recognize this simply means we haven't yet noticed, or realized the immanence and immediacy of the Real.
Reality cannot be avoided, if only because it is All That Is -- including all of our own untapped potentiality, and all of our as yet unperceived, unrecognized and unnamed dimensions of being. Allowing ourselves the freedom to intuit this understanding, and to feel our way into the immediacy of the Real is the greatest act of faith and insight we can muster. It is a courageous step that will be richly rewarded with nothing less than the Essence and totality of All That Is.
If I see myself as connected to and participating within a larger, broader, multidimensional reality, I begin to recognize the power of my own choosing within the present moment, and I open the door to the possibility of discovering a much more grand and innate potential, both within myself and within my experience of reality.
The reality we experience is the reality we define and shape through our beliefs and our perceptual filters. When we change our beliefs and perceptual filters, our experience of reality is inevitably transformed.
There is, within each of us, a larger Reality of which we are usually not conscious. However, in moments of heightened consciousness, this Reality reveals itself to us, through our own innnate Awareness, in profound experiences of pure and inexpressible grace. From that point forward, our lives are powerfully and forever transformed.
Usually we think of "reality" as something substantial and tangible "out there," something theoretically "objective" to which we must ultimately be accountable. However, I would argue that reality includes the totality of our experience -- including all the insubstantial, "subjective," subtle and intuitive promptings of which we are usually not conscious. In reflecting upon the nature of Reality, we must be careful not to ignore and overlook these more subtle levels of experience, by focusing our attention solely on the more obvious, "outer" levels of the human condition.
The ultimate test of any theoretical position or conceptual framework is how well it holds up in the face of our own subjective experience in the "real" world. In my own mind, this argues for the validity of using our subjective experience as at least a partial measure of the rigor and value of any conceptual theory about the nature of reality.
Reality is much larger than we imagine it to be. After all, it includes our imaginations...
. Reality, as we experience it in the present moment, is our doorway into the Infinite.
- Metta Zettty
Think of the things that have happened to you in your life now. You appear to be getting older and older. Things come into your life, as it appears. You try to exchange wrong for right, good for bad. Yet you refuse to acknowledge that this too is a dream. You want to continue playing the game. You want to play hide and seek by believing there is a God somewhere, and if you find this God, all your problems will be over. So you keep searching.
You can never find your reality by searching.
Reality is where it's always been, right where you are at this moment. It is you.
There is not reality and you. You are not in the body of God; God is not in you. For there is no you. There is no body. There is no God. You are perfect pure awareness just as you are now.
There is really no thing you have to do. You simply have to wake up. Why will you not awaken now? Even while I'm talking to you, many of you are thinking, thinking, thinking. Can't you see by now, that this is what is holding you back from your freedom, from your bliss, from your joy? It is your thoughts.
Where did your thoughts come from? They really didn't come from anywhere, for they do not even exist. Yet unfortunately most of us believe that thoughts exist, for we are bombarded by them day and night.
So sages come along and invent methods, means, in order to obliterate the thoughts. Meditation was invented for that purpose. Self-enquiry, all of these yogic exercises, pranayama, mantras, kriya, they're really used to stop your thoughts from blossoming, to keep your mind from thinking.. All of these procedures are to make your mind quiescent, quiet, still. If you're able to do this without the methods, then you would be realized. You would be your self. You would be liberated. But you refuse to do this. You want a teacher to give you methods to wake you up.
But I say to you, wake up now. Awake. The methods will keep you back because you get stuck with the methods. But it makes no difference what I say. You are still going to identify with the world, with conditions, with your body, with your mind. We therefore have to think of a way, the quickest way for you to awaken. Of all the methods I, know, self-enquiry is the fastest if you are mature enough to be able to handle it. You begin to understand that the I is only a thought; it is an idea called the I-thought. It is the I-thought that dominates your existence. True?
How many times have you said "I" today? "I" am going to hear Robert. "I" am going to eat breakfast. "I" am going to take a nap. "I" don't think I feel too good. "I" feel great. "I" need this. "I" need that. The first person pronoun I, dominates your entire existence.
Yet it has been known by Sages, if you were only able to annihilate the I, destroy it, kill it, you would be free. The I is attached to all of your thoughts. Therefore, begin to follow the I to its source. I have to tell you in truth and in reality, there is no I and there is no source, but you will not believe me. You want to play with I. You therefore follow the I to the Source, and when the I has been dissolved into the source, you become free.
You do this of course by enquiring "to whom do these thoughts come?" Or, whatever is disturbing you, you enquire "to whom do they come? Who is experiencing this? Who is going through this? Who thinks they are human? Who feels depressed? Who feels discouraged? Who feels there is a difference between birth and death? - I do." Can't you see now, that if you get rid of the I, all those feelings, depression, and worry would disappear?
So you ask, "Who am I? Where did this I come from?" You never answer that question. When thoughts come to you, you enquire "To whom do they come? To me? I think these thoughts. Who am I?" You do not answer. As you continue to do this process, you find that your mind is becoming quieter and quieter. The confusion stops. You begin to feel happier and happier. You are no longer reacting to person, place or thing. You become spontaneous in everything you do.
You live in the now, but you're not doing that. It's doing you. In other words you have not decided, "I'm going to be spontaneous from now on. I'm going to live in the now." As you are aware, how many times have you tried that without avail? You can't make up your mind that you're going to be spiritual, that you're going to be consciousness, that you are absolute reality. How many times have you tried to do that, and the first thing that comes into your life, you become upset? You react. Something bothers you. Or something good comes into your life and you become elated. You react in a positive way. They're both impostors.
Remember you're not trying to change bad into good. You want to transcend everything, and become absolutely free. See how you're thinking? Your mind won't stay still, will it? Whose mind is it that won't stay still? Do you really have a mind? Are you the mind? Who told you this? There is no mind, there is no body, there are no thoughts. Accept this if you want to. All it can do for you, is liberate you. We listen to the birds, we see the beautiful trees. Who sees? Who listens? Why, I do. You're caught in the trap again. For many of you believe, if I behold the beauty of the world, that's good. It's better than beholding death, I suppose.
But the world is an illusion. It is not real. The so called beauty is here today and gone tomorrow. Change is the only permanent thing of the relative world. Everything changes continuously.
Therefore as you go through the vicissitudes of life, and you get rid of your dogmatic thinking, you open your heart, you begin to feel something different. You begin to loosen up.
The first thing to understand is that everything that has transpired in your life has been necessary. No matter how it looks. No matter what has happened. Everything has been necessary.
The second thing to understand is, everything has been preordained. In other words, everything was supposed to happen the way it happened. There were no mistakes.
The third thing to understand is that the first two things are a pack of lies. For these things don't even exist in reality. Everything is preordained, as long as you believe you are the body. Everything is karmic, as long as you identify with the world and believe you are the doer.
- Robert Adams
4 The True Seeker
The wise man knows the Self,
And he plays the game of life.
But the fool lives in the world
Like a beast of burden.
The true seeker feels no elation
Even in that exalted state
Which Indra and all the gods
Unhappily long for.
He understands the nature of things.
His heart is not smudged
By right or wrong,
As the sky is not smudged by smoke.
He is pure of heart,
He knows the whole world is only the Self.
So who can stop him
From doing as he wishes?
Of the four kinds of being,
From Brahma to a blade of grass,
Only the wise man is strong enough
To give up desire and aversion.
How rare he is!
Knowing he is the Self,
He acts accordingly
And is never fearful.
For he knows he is the Self,
One without two,
The Lord of all creation.
- from The Heart of Awareness - a translation of The Ashtavakra Gita, by Thomas Byrom