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#4644 - Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    #4644 - Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights ... In this issue you ll have the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5, 2012
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      #4644 - Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
       
      The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
       
       

       
       
      In this issue you'll have the opportunity to read the Introduction, Chapter One, and Index to Colin Drake's new book, Awakening and Beyond.
       
       

       
       
      Comments for the writings of Colin Drake, which are part of his new book:
       
      Great article (Love loving Itself). Thanks. Love, Isaac Shapiro 
       
      Superb article. Fantastically well put. So simple any 'one' could get it! – Piers Mooreede
       
      As usual, this is an exceptionally lucid and practical discussion of the ephemeral “I” and the changeless Reality which underlies all. Well done! – Don Wolfe
       
       

       
       
      Introducing a new book by Colin Drake: Awakening and Beyond: Self Recognition and its Consequences.
       
      Colin now has three books in the series. They are available as e-books or in hard copy.
       
      The Introduction and Index to Awakening and Beyond are featured in this issue.
       
      For complete details and ordering information please visit
       
       
       
       
       
      Awakening and Beyond, by Colin Drake, is a series of articles written since the publication of the Author's second book A Light Unto Your Self. It is the third in the trilogy which started with Beyond the Separate Self. Each book deals with Awakening, from the dream of being a separate object on the earth, and each is written so as to stand alone … not requiring the reader to have read the other works.
       
      Introduction to Awakening and Beyond
       
      This book is the follow up to Beyond The Separate Self and A Light Unto Your Self. All of these books deal with self-identity, ‘Who am I?’; which is vital, for without a clear idea of one’s essential identity one cannot relate to the world, and others, in an appropriate way. To give a stark example: we have all heard of people who are incarcerated because they believe they are Jesus Christ, or Napoleon Bonaparte say, and it is fairly apparent that any relationship to such a person will be somewhat unusual to say the least! In the same way whilst we believe that we are separate objects, in a universe of separate objects, then we will naturally treat ourselves and others as objects, which I think we can see to be an unsatisfactory arrangement. For this tends to lead to blatant self-interest and exploitation of our fellow beings, the outcome of which is apparent in the modern world.
       
      So the quest is to inquire and discover that which is beyond objectification, the deeper level that is the perceiver, the subjective level in which objects (thoughts and sensations) come and go. This is easily achieved by directly investigating our moment to moment experience, and the previous books provided a simple framework in which this investigation may be easily carried out, see appendix 1. Beyond The Separate Self also included a series of contemplations delving more deeply into what is discovered, and chapters on how to live from this deeper subjective level. A light Unto Your Self continues this whilst concentrating on the need to discover for oneself so that no outside authority is necessary. It also provides a series of contemplations on how to cultivate the first awakening which is the outcome of the initial investigation, and on how to ‘apply’ this awakening to our day to day existence.
       
      This book continues this theme whilst providing pointers as to what can be expected when one is ‘awake’ and some of the outcomes of awakening. It also stresses the need for continued cultivation of this, for we have all lived for so long misidentifying as a separate being that we readily ‘nod off’ again requiring another awakening. The author knows this only too well and makes no claim to ‘lack of sleep’! However, when one is awake one is awake … so that anything that is discovered, or encountered, in this awakened condition is a valid topic in the smorgasbord that is Awakening and Beyond. For more on this see chapter six: ‘Are there Different Degrees of Awakening?’
       
      Much of the information in the following articles relies on the discovery that our body/minds are instruments through which Consciousness can sense, contemplate, experience, act in, engage with and enjoy Its manifestation. The chapter from A Light Unto Your Self , which deals with this, has been included as appendix 2 and it would be advisable to read the appendices first.
       
      Chapter one considers the concept that staying awake is like ‘walking along a razor’s edge’ as has been defined in The Upanishads and was the topic of a famous novel by Somerset Maugham. Or as Jesus is purported to say: “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7 v.10) The thrust of this chapter is that awakening is actually remarkably simple, see appendix 1 (Investigation of Experience) which outlines the framework for investigating one’s moment to moment experience. It also highlights how easy it is to fall asleep again and in this respect staying awake could be said to be like ‘walking a razor’s edge’. Luckily however, re-awakening is even easier than the first awakening and so ‘nodding off’ is not a problem provided one continually wakes up again …
       
      Chapter two considers the looming global environmental catastrophe and posits that humanity can only overcome this by solving the problems of overpopulation and the unsustainable exploitation of the earth’s mineral resources. These are caused by those old chestnuts - lust and greed - and this chapter considers how these may be reduced by awakening to our true identity.
       
      Chapter three is concerned with debunking the myth that we need to achieve union (yoga) or integration with the Absolute, for when the subject is examined there is no separation to be found, and thus no union or integration is possible.
       
      Chapter four deals with giving up our personal ‘story’ of a separate being (object) and seeing this as it actually is … just a story.
       
      Chapter five is the answer to a question I received, the gist of which is: If I identify with Awareness why would I want to do anything? The answer concerns the function of conscious beings and the purpose of life itself. This was the first article in a set of four I wrote for the spiritual ‘blog’ of Hanumandass.
       
      Chapter six is the second of these which deals with the questions of whether there are different degrees of awakening, and whether awakening is gradual or sudden.
       
      Chapter seven is the third in the series and is my answer to the question: Is practice necessary? The article deals with this on three levels –body, mind and awakening.
       
      Chapter eight is the last in this series which deals with the problem of identifying oneself as seeker, or practitioner. It also highlights the essential meaningless of labels that attempt to categorize human beings, and deals with the pitfalls of ‘reading meaning into things that have no meaning’.
       
      Chapter nine is a dialogue between myself and Hanumandass which resulted from my answering his blogged question: ‘how to apply nondual Awareness to the external world?’ The gist of my answer was that one does not (need to) apply this in the normal way, for once one awakens then this changes one’s relations with, and interaction in, the external world for the better. To back this up I sent him a poem on the subject - Awakening is Immensely Practical – which had a profound effect.
       
      Chapter ten is an attempt at a logical proof of the assertion that ‘I am Awareness’. It gives a set of premises to back this up and also presents the proof in the Aristotelian format – premise one, premise two, conclusion.
      Chapter eleven is a dialogue between myself and a reader of Beyond The Separate Self who greatly appreciated the book but was still continually overcome by memories and negative thought patterns.
       
      Chapter twelve was written for a website called ‘The Awakened Eye’ www.theawkenedeye.com which is dedicated to the visual arts created by those who have had some degree of awakening, and also to the fact that creating artworks can foster this awakening. It deals with the general subject of ‘Awareness and Creativity’.
       
      Chapter thirteen is my response to a critic who questioned the fact that awakening was freely available to those who were prepared to investigate reality for themselves, and who also asserted that one had to renounce the world of form to achieve peace (by awakening).
       
      Chapter fourteen is a dialogue with a reader of A Light Unto Your Self which concerns viewing one’s negative emotions from (identifying with) pure Awareness, how to allow the old thought patterns (that create these) to just come and go without buying into them. It also considers the fact that as one awakens one’s emotions gradually change, allowing for the enjoyment of the positive ones whilst letting the negative ones go.
       
      Chapter fifteen is a dialogue with a German professor who had enjoyed a first awakening but was unsure of its veracity. So he asked a series of questions concerning the link between (identifying as) Awareness and awakening.
       
      Chapter sixteen is a poem I wrote in praise of (Universal) Consciousness in its two modes – at rest as Awareness- and in motion as cosmic energy (manifestation). In Hindu mythology the first of these is denoted by Siva and the second by Sakti.
       
      Chapter seventeen consists of my answers to a set of questions posed by Jerry Katz, my first e-book publisher, who was writing a book on ‘Life After Awakening’.
       
      Chapter eighteen deals with ‘the universe and consciousness’ from a scientific point of view and attempts to show how this agrees with the model of nonduality: that there is only consciousness existing in two states - still, as Awareness, and in motion, as energy.
       
      Chapter nineteen considers whether ‘sitting meditation’, which entails concentration on a mantra, or a symbol, or the breath is of any use in achieving freedom. Or, whether it is counter-productive as it posits something (in the future) to achieve when the concentration deepens, thus positing that freedom is not already here. Whereas, freedom is always ‘here and now’ just requiring the recognition of its presence.
       
      Chapter twenty reflects on ‘good and evil’ and attempts to show that they both stem from the same motivation, that of becoming happy, or fulfilled. Their outward expression varies depending on the state of comparative ‘awakening’ exhibited by the doer.
       
      Chapter twenty-one asks the question of whether a Guru, in the traditional sense, is necessary on the path of Jnana-Yoga (knowledge) or self-inquiry.
       
      Chapter twenty-two attempts to show that ‘Love’ can be defined as the state of ‘No Separation’ between the lover and the beloved.
       
      Chapter twenty-three is an exercise using the body/mind as an instrument through which the lover – consciousness at rest, pure awareness – and the beloved – consciousness in motion, the manifestation – can ‘know’ and love each other.
       
      Chapter twenty-four posits that the realization of the Absolute, by investigation of experience, leads to nirvana. Or you could say that nirvana is synonymous with being totally identified as, and with, Awareness - The Absolute Reality.
       
      Chapter twenty-five considers how two nondual perspectives, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, through the Upanishads, reflect and inform one another.
       
      Awakening and Beyond
       
      $7.95 in PDF format

      Buy Beyond the Separate Self, A Light Unto Your Self, and Awakening and Beyond, all 3 for $18
       
      Order Colin Drake's books as hard copy paperbacks:
       
       

       
      Awakening and Beyond, by Colin Drake
       
      Chapter One
       
      The Razor’s Edge

      It has long been held that following the spiritual life to its goal, complete awakening, is very difficult, like walking along a razor’s edge.  This chapter addresses this and attempts to show that, whilst experiencing the first awakening is very simple and easy, to live this awakening requires great vigilance like walking a tight rope. 
       
      Let the wise merge the speech in the mind, and the mind into intelligence (philosophical reason); let him merge intelligence in the great self (pure Awareness), and that self into peace.
      Katha Upanishad – 1.3.13
       
      This signifies recognizing that thoughts (mind), sensations and actions (speech in this case) appear in (and are seen by) Awareness i.e.  are merged in that.  This is to be discovered by ‘direct seeing’ which is informed by intelligence.  Then by the same process one can discover that Awareness, being always totally still and utterly silent, is always completely at peace.  This is all fairly straightforward and easy to ‘see’ as appendix 1 (Investigation of Experience), from Beyond the Separate Self (and A Light Unto Your Self) attempts to show. 
       
      Arise, awake, enlighten yourself by resorting to the great (teachers), for that path is sharp as a razor’s, difficult to tread
      and hard to go by, say the wise.
       Katha Upanishad – 1.3.14
       
      This next verse says that the path of ‘direct seeing’ is sharp as a razor’s edge and thus we should abandon this and resort to the great teachers.  However, this advice itself is very difficult to follow for the modern sceptical Western mind which does not trust anything that lies outside its own experience or ‘direct seeing’.  Also the teachings of the great are often difficult to follow being somewhat cryptic and needing interpretation.  resulting in different opinions leading to schisms and the formation of sects.  From this also comes tribalism based on ‘our teacher is the best’ or ‘our interpretation is the correct one’ and the whole sorry saga of division and competition is perpetuated!
       
      So based on this I think, on balance, we are better off following Buddha’s final teaching which was that one is to become ‘a light unto yourself’.  Sankara agreed with this when he wrote, in the Vivekachudamani (verse 54):
      The true form of Reality should be known through one’s own bodhacaksu, clear eye of understanding, and not through a scholar; the true form of the moon should be known by means of one’s own eyes only; how can it be known by proxy?
       
      This ‘knowing’ (of Reality) requires the ‘direct seeing’ of our essential nature by self-inquiry or ‘investigation of our moment to
      moment experience’ – see appendix 1.  Which results in an ‘awakened moment’ when one sees that deeper than thoughts (mind) and body (mind) one is pure Awareness and the ramifications of this seeing can be amazing.  However, due to our habitual identification with the body/mind one soon ‘nods off’ again requiring a further awakening by self-inquiry or investigation of experience.  So to become ‘totally awake’ requires absolute vigilance and commitment, akin to walking a razor’s edge. 
       
      However, this is not a problem, for as the periods of ‘wakefulness’ (which are totally carefree) increase so will the commitment to identifying with the level of pure Awareness.  This will lead to more reflection and investigation, resulting in further awakenings which will continue the process.  To call it a process may seem a misnomer for when one is ‘awake’ there’s no process going on, but the continual naps keep the whole thing running.
       
      This does require us to be more interested in awakening than in our own ‘personal story’, and to prefer peace to mental suffering.  It is amazing how many people prefer to identify with the story and suffering, seeming to actually enjoy them in a masochistic fashion.  Assuming that this is not the case one can use mental suffering to be a wake up call that one has ‘nodded’ off again and return one to ‘Awareness of Awareness’.  So although staying awake is like walking a razor’s edge it is very easy to see when one has slipped off this and to hop back on again!
       
      There is another danger for those that feel that they have ‘awakened’ and that is spiritual pride based on the thought that “now I’ve really got it” and thus cannot fall off the edge.  It is easy to see that this thought “now I’ve really got it” is dualistic involving a ‘me’ that’s got something (else).  This is the difference between thinking ‘now I’ve really got Awareness’ and directly seeing that one is Awareness itself.  Any thought that objectifies the ‘I’ is to be avoided, for Awareness is not an object but the constant conscious subjective presence.  Once again vigilance is the key …
       
      Thirdly for those of us who attempt to point to awakening there is another greater danger, which is believing that we are (separate individuals) pointing … This belief can easily be strengthened by the appreciation that we receive by those who experience awakened moments based on this pointing.  As ‘awakening’ is the most profound seeing that can occur, often with momentous implications, the gratitude expressed is often of the most lavish proportions.  So we need to ‘walk the walk’ by continually realizing that we are ephemeral manifestations of That (consciousness), through which pointing is taking place, and that no separate ‘pointer’ exists!
       
      In conclusion, ‘awakening’ is straightforward and available to all, but is quickly countered by nodding off again.  So we need to constantly reawaken by becoming aware of, and identified with, Awareness itself.  In this respect it is like walking a razor’s edge, but it is not painful and hopping back on again is simplicity itself by the relevant shifting of attention from thoughts/sensations to the Awareness that sees these.  However, to become fully awake requires for this repeated seeing to occur until we finally no longer nod off again and this entails utmost vigilance.  Papaji, Sri Ramana Maharshi’s direct disciple, was asked whether he still had to remain vigilant and he replied ‘with every breath’.
       
      ~ ~ ~
       
      Read the index to Awakening and Beyond:
       
       
      ~ ~ ~
       
      Awakening and Beyond
       
      $7.95 in PDF format

      Buy Beyond the Separate Self, A Light Unto Your Self, and Awakening and Beyond, all 3 for $18
       
      Order Colin Drake's books as hard copy paperbacks:
       
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