- #4713 - Friday, September 21, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/ ... Colin Drake responds to aMessage 1 of 1 , Sep 21, 2012View Source
#4713 - Friday, September 21, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
Colin Drake responds to a reader
Colin's e- and hard cover books are available through
Here is an e-mail exchange I had with a reader of one of my books. I have re-ordered them so as to give the flow of the exchange.
Ive read almost your entire output of literature and even gave a 5-star critique to your writing. I have a full intellectual grasp of the principles of non-duality, and have studied the work of the great sages for several years. The problem, and it is quite severe, is that I am unable to apply this knowledge on an experiential level in my every day life. I would enjoy chatting with you by any means (Skype, email, telephone, etc.) in the hope that I can practically apply the knowledge I have gained over the years. At present, there remains substantial neurotic fear and identification with thought and the small self, while realizing my true nature seems elusive (even though its always here!). Perhaps you could respond with some suggestions or guidance, both of which would be very welcome at this point.
Dear XXXX, In reply I would have to say just continue what you started when you wrote (earlier):
In particular, Ive finally started to realize that periods of extreme emotional turmoil, which always seemed so debilitating and all-consuming, are nevertheless simply ephemeral thoughts and feelings which arise in this Awareness. They are seen to have no independent nature (or power) independent of awareness. This realization has been a great relief.
As you so correctly say it is a 'great relief' and if cultivated will completely solve your problem .... This may (will) take time to become completely established, as you know, but that is no reason to abandon the attempt. In fact now that you have tasted this 'relief' I doubt that you could abandon it! This is not an occupation for the dilettante, requiring total commitment , but the glimpses provide proof of the possible final outcome. Actually it requires one to be totally ruthless with the mind when it comes up with its old tricks to reassert control. As I have said before when it comes to identity do not believe a single thought but rely on experiential investigation. I suggest you use the procedure outlined in Investigation of Experience, chapter two of Beyond, every morning and evening, until some degree of establishment has occurred. I did this for ten years after I first developed it and still do occasionally ...
Also the other practice (Love Loving Itself from Awakening and Beyond) I sent is very useful as it contains no reference to the small self and consists of consciousness using mind/body purely as an instrument ... which is all it is, nothing more!
As Gangaji would say 'Buck Up!', even Papaji said he required to be vigilant with every breath, and Ramana said that self-realization is easy
but after that the work starts! So let's keep working together whilst stopping to enjoy the view when the sacred glimpses occur, Love, Colin
The following day I added:
Dear XXXX, Although I completely stand by my earlier reply I realize that you were hoping for some new insight to help you deal with your problem. This morning when I read self-grasping is to be totally forsaken in my latest poem it crystallized something that I had been mulling over for some time. That is that even beyond self-grasping, which implies selfishness or compulsive thinking about oneself, self-referencing is the cause of most of our psychological problems. To highlight this here are two stanzas from different poems:
When we say I,
Its often a lie.
Denoting an apparently separate being,
From its looming extinction fleeing
In fact we should studiously avoid,
Any thought which objectifies the I,
Which is pure Awareness and thus devoid,
Of characteristics the subjective eye.
For as soon as we use the word I (or think it) most of us are immediately identifying ourselves as an object. Your comment At present, there remains substantial neurotic fear and identification with thought and the small self, while realizing my true nature seems elusive (even though its always here!) is a classic example. I know in my own case that as soon as I start judging, or evaluating, myself in any way this can cause mental suffering and is initiated by self-referencing. This is very insidious as most of us have been doing this all of our lives and we are encouraged to do so by western psychology, self help books, and even many spiritual paths! Whereas, if this is abandoned, which it has to be for there is no separate I (small self), then the problem vanishes.
There seem to me to be two ways to overcome this which need to go hand-in-hand. Firstly by continued investigation to discover that which is deeper than I, pure awareness, which will lead to overcoming misidentification of ourselves as separate objects. Secondly by remaining vigilant (alert) to every occurrence of the word I in our thoughts and evaluating these to see if they imply a separate object. If they do then instantly recognize that there is awareness of this thought and you are this awareness!
Once one has reached the stage that these investigations into the thought I reveal no misidentification, and thus cause no suffering, then there is no problem with using the term (I). For it is very difficult to operate in the world without this term, as you can see I use it a lot! But in the beginning one needs to be aware that its use can contains this insidious problem of self-referencing, and in most cases probably does! This seems to me to be the original sin caused by (eating the apple of) discursive knowledge, that of separation, objectification, analysis and judging. However, if you realize that the term (I) is used in a purely conventional sense to denote the particular manifestation (and instrument) of Consciousness that is speaking (or thinking) then there is no problem. In fact this is Self-referencing, realizing the Self, which is the Totality of Being, consciousness at rest and in motion.
So it is very useful to investigate every use of the term I to find out what this is implying. The key is that if this causes any mental suffering then self-referencing is occurring, and that investigation is needed to transform this into Self-referencing. After some time the latter will become second nature and the problem will no longer occur.
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