#4549 - Saturday, March 24, 2011
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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4549, Saturday, March 24, 2011
Psychological inquiry is about content, and it's directed towards solving some problem.
Spiritual inquiry, however, is about context, and it's more directed towards discovering who has the problem.
- Chuck Hillig, posted to AlongTheWay
The Buddhas words from his teaching, the Anatta Lakkhana Sutta just a few weeks after his enlightenment:
"What do you think of this, O monks? Is form permanent or impermanent?"
"Impermanent, O Lord."
"Now, that which is impermanent, is it unsatisfactory or satisfactory?"
"Unsatisfactory, O Lord."
"Now, that which is impermanent, unsatisfactory, subject to change, is it proper to regard that as: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'?"
"Indeed, not that, O Lord."
"Therefore, surely, O monks, whatever form, past, future or present, internal or external, coarse or fine, low or lofty, far or near, all that form must be regarded with proper wisdom, according to reality, thus: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.'"
DG, posted to DailyDharma
When you stop searching and let the impersonal consciousness take over, then it lets you in on the mystery of its own source, and you will know that things have no substance.
- Ramesh Balsekar, posted to ANetofJewels
The Novel of Life
When you read a novel, and you read about various characters, you may like some and not like others. Or when you watch a movie, think about your relationship with the characters. You might like them; you might not like them - but you're not finding your sense of self in them. You're not referencing your self-worth by the characters in a novel or when you turn on the TV. You just have your thoughts about them.
But imagine if you turned on your TV or you read a novel and you actually completely derived your sense of being and your sense of self from one of the characters. Immediately your perspective is very different, isn't it? Now your perspective has gone from something that's very vast to something that's very limited, seen only through the eyes of the character. Sadly, that's how most human beings spend their lives. They have this little character in their mind called "me," and they're actually viewing that "me" as personal when it's not.
The "me" is very impersonal, not meaning cold or distant, but just meaning without inherent self nature, in the same way that when you read a book, the characters are without self nature. They actually don't exist outside of your imagination. They don't even exist in the book, because the book is just words. And without someone reading the words and bringing it all alive within imagination, nothing even exists on the printed page. It's all within the reader, all the life.
When the Buddha talked about the realization of no-self, he was talking about the self that's an image in the mind being completely seen through. And when there is no image of self, experience has nothing to bounce off of. Everything just is as it is, because there's no secondary interpretation. The one that's interpreting is the one that's in pain. And that's the one who suffers. That's the one who causes others to suffer.
The false self, the self that's an image in the mind, uses every experience to measure itself: "How am I in relationship to what's happening? Am I wise? Am I stupid? Am I clumsy? Am I courageous? Am I enlightened about this?" That's the movement of consciousness reflecting on an image of itself that doesn't actually exist. It's always measuring each and every experience, and then believing in the interpretation of the experience rather than seeing "Everything just is."
Everything actually just is. From the perspective of consciousness, even resistance just is. And if you resist resistance, that's just what is. You can't get away from it. You start to see that the only thing that goes into resistance, a story, or an interpretation of what is - whatever it is - is this mind-created persona. It's like a character in a novel. When you read a novel, every character has a point of view. It has beliefs. It has opinions. There's something that makes it distinct from other characters. Our persona is literally this mind-created character that's always making itself distinct. So it always needs to evaluate everything against its preconceived idea.
There's another vantage point. The other vantage point is not only outside the character, it's also inside the character. It's the ultimate vantage point that's outside, and it's also playing all the parts from the inside.
That's basically what it means to really wake up: we're waking up from the character. You don't have to destroy the character called "me" to wake up from it. In fact, trying to destroy the character makes it very hard to wake up. Because what's trying to destroy the character? The character. What's judging the character? The character.
So you leave the character alone. The character called you, just leave it alone. Then it's much easier for the awakening out of that perspective to happen.
You don't lose the character; you just gain the whole novel of life. It's not like you lose anything. You just gain the whole book. You gain the whole universe. As Buddha would say, "Lose yourself, gain the universe." It's not a bad deal. Or Dogen: "To know yourself is to forget yourself, and to forget yourself is to be enlightened by the 10,000 things," which means to see yourself everywhere. Wake up from your character, and then you see your self nature in all characters - not just one, but all of them.
So we don't lose anything. We gain all characters. We just lose the fixation, that's all.
Awakening to the truth of perfect Unity, means to awaken from the dream of a personal self and personal others to the realization that there is no other. Many spiritual seekers have had glimpses of the absolute unity of all existence, but few are capable of or willing to live up to the many challenging implications inherent in that revelation. The revelation of perfect unity, that there is no other, is a realization of the ultimate impersonality of all that seems to be so very personal. Applying this realization to the arena of personal relationships is something that most seekers find extremely challenging, and is the number one reason why so many seekers never come completely to rest in the freedom of the Self Absolute.
Inherent in the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no personal me, no personal other, and therefore no personal relationships. Coming to terms with the challenging implications of this stunning realization is something that few people are willing to do. Because realizing the true impersonality of all that seems so personal, challenges every aspect of the illusion of a separate, personal self. It challenges the entire structure of personal relationships which are born of needs, wants, and expectations. It is in the arena of personal relationships that the illusion of a separate self clings most tenaciously and insidiously. Indeed, there is nothing that derails more spiritual seekers than the grasping at and attaching to personal relationships.
The revelation of perfect unity reveals the true impersonality of all relationships. The ego always interprets "impersonal" as meaning cold, distant, and aloof. However, "impersonal" simply means not personal, or void of a separate me and a separate you. The mind cannot comprehend of a relationship without separate entities. Much as a character in a dream cannot comprehend that all other dream characters are simply manifestations of the same dreamer. Yet when the dreamer awakens, he instantly comprehends that the entire dream, and all the characters in it, were none other than projections of his own self. In the dream there is the appearance of separate, personal entities in relationship, but upon awakening one comprehends the impersonal (non-separate) Self that is the source of all appearances.
To deeply inquire into the question "Who is another?" can lead to the direct experience that the other is one's own Self - that in fact there is no other. However, I have seen that for most seekers, even this direct experiential revelation is not enough to transform the painfully personal ways they relate. To come to this profound transformation requires a very deep investigation into the implications inherent within the experiential revelation that there is no other. It is in the daily living of these implications that most seekers fail. Why? Because, fundamentally, most people want to remain separate and in control. Simply put, most people want to keep dreaming that they are special, unique, and separate, more than they want to wake up to the perfect unity of an Unknown which leaves no room from any separation from the whole.
There is a powerful tendency in most spiritual seekers to avoid probing deeply into the implications inherent within profound spiritual experience and revelation, because these implications are always threatening to the sense of a separate self, or ego. It is the implications inherent within profound spiritual revelation that demand the transformation of the apparent individual.
Inherent within the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no other. The implications of this realization reveal that in order to manifest that unity in the relative world, one must renounce the dream of being a separate self seeking to obtain anything through relationship with another. Indeed, personal relationship appears to happen in the relative world, but in reality, all appearances simply arise as temporary manifestations of a unified whole. In the relative world these appearances are in relationship, but not as separate entities. Rather, they are the play of the one Self projecting itself as apparent entities in relationship to one another.
As long as you identify yourself with the projection of separateness, you will continue to deny that you are the Source of all projections. When you truly and absolutely awaken to this fact, and comprehend the overwhelming implications inherent within this awakening, you will continually experience that all apparently personal relationships are in truth nothing other than the play of your Self. To realize that the personal me is an illusion born of false identification with the body, thoughts, and emotions, brings a profound sense of freedom. This is fundamentally the realization of emptiness, of what you are not. But contained within the realization of emptiness (formlessness) is also the realization of what you ARE. In the most absolute sense you ARE this conscious emptiness which is the source of all appearances (existence). But you are the appearance as well. Not just one part of the appearance called "me", but all of it, the entire whole. This is the challenge, to let your view get this vast. To let your view get so vast that your identity disappears. Then you realize that there is no other, and there is nothing personal going on.
Contrary to the way the ego will view such a realization, it is in reality the birth of true love. A love which is free of all boundaries and fear. To the ego such uncontaminated love is unbearable in its intimacy. When there is no clear separating boundaries and nothing to gain the ego becomes disinterested, angry, or frightened. In a love where there is no other there is nowhere to hide, no one to control, and nothing to gain. It is the coming together of appearances in the beautiful dance of the SELF called Love.
To the seeker who is sincere, an experiential glimpse of this possibility is not enough. If you are sincere you will find it within yourself to go far beyond any glimpse. You will find within your Self the courage to let go of the known and dive deeply into the Unknown heart of a mystery that calls you only to itself.
- Adyashanti, The Heart of Relationship, posted to The_Now2