#4906 - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4906 - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/A Sprinkling of Jewels, compiled and edited by Kalyani Lawry & Peter Lawry, is a simple and elegant book of Sailor Bob Adamsons nondual pointers to the true nature of being. It is a collection of insights that can be explored in less than an hour and yet have everlasting value. Potent pointers like his, Whats wrong with right now if you dont think about it? use words and concepts in a manner that allows the words and concepts to dissolve such that what is unveiled is experience itself. Each page depicts an image and a quote that is a testament of one who has truly recognized the difference between knowledge and understanding. Highly recommended for its straightforwardness and precision and the absence of misleading filler!Reviewed by James Traverse~ ~ ~A photographic sampling of A Sprinkling of Jewels is here:~ ~ ~From the publisher's website:A Sprinkling of Jewels is a beautiful compilation of Sailor Bob Adamson's pointers. It is a distillation of his teachings a collection indeed of sparkling jewels.Images of Bob and photos taken in and around his home have been seamlessly married with the text in this 90 page book produced in black and white. The juxtaposition of the images and text evokes an unimagined clarity.Read this book sequentially, or simply open any page. Each pointer reflects the light of understanding and has the capacity to take you home.The book may be purchased here:
Awakening and Beyond
by Colin Drake
What is awakening?
See Awakening in A Light Unto Your Self. My short answer is:
Becoming aware of, and fully identifying with, pure awareness - the constant conscious subjective presence that underpins our lives...
Whats your motivation?
To enjoy life and foster/spread as much joy in the world as I can see Why Do Anything? at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ColinDrake
What is the value of a one-time or occasional awakening? Whats the downside?
The value is that it gives you a glimpse of what is potentially possible (to become a permanent mode of being) and that it may inspire you to cultivate awakening by continued investigation/contemplation. The downside is that you may cling to the experience of this, however that may manifest itself, and attempt to regain it. All such experience is fleeting, just a by-product of awakening, and will vary with each awakened moment.
Did you experience a honeymoon of awakening in which life is a non-resistant flow?
How long did it last and please describe it. Describe falling out of it. Describe any disorientation. Give examples.
Yes, it lasted for about a year, being a feeling of ecstasy that gradually faded. See Spiritual Experience in Beyond The Separate Self. I never actually fell out of it as it just faded but the ease of being remained, leaving no feeling of disorientation. That particular feeling was most evident when I returned home from the retreat where I experienced my first awakening, in a semi drunken state, to normal day-to-day family life. I found I had to be very alert to hold it all together.
What kind of energetic changes have happened or are happening for you regarding the body, mind, emotions, or perception of things? How are such changes addressed?
I dont worry any more about the future, something that I used to indulge in. The result of this is that I sleep better, stay more relaxed and my mind is much quieter. All of which liberate more energy so that I get less tired and need less sleep. I am writing this at 4.30 a.m. after less than six hours in bed!
What can you say you know for certain?
A loaded question as the traditionally accepted answer would be nothing a la Socrates! However, I have discovered that deeper than body/mind (thoughts/sensations) there is constant unchanging pure awareness and that when one fully identifies with this, rather than the body/mind, ones world changes for the better . See Awakening is Immensely Practical at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ColinDrake for a summary of how.
How do you see the world of form? What is it to you?
When awake (I nod off occasionally) I see it as it is which is much brighter, more vivid and alive than when seen through the filter of the ego (identification with body/mind). To me it is a wonderful manifestation of cosmic energy - consciousness in motion - arising in, residing in, and subsiding back into pure awareness - consciousness at rest. In the same way that all motion arises in, resides in and returns to stillness.
Talk about your experiences of anxiety, depression, sadness, frustration, and other such states. Do you ever suffer? How do you deal with stressful situations? If you dont mind, try to give specifics regarding surroundings and senses. In other words, try to tell a good story about these experiences.
I do not suffer from existential angst, depression or deep-rooted sadness. That is not to say that my life has been 'a bed of roses' but that I find that nothing disturbs me deeply or permanently. Needless to say I suffer temporary frustrations and occasional bouts of mild anger, as I'm sure do almost all human beings, but these are ephemeral and come and go like clouds in the sky leaving it unaffected. I also do not suffer from obstructions in my personal relationships, as if any 'stuff' arises in these I am always keen to defuse it immediately (by communicating with the person in question) and avoid it festering. I also do not dwell on the past, in fact I rarely even think of it, so that does not plague me, and I either use negative mind-states as an opportunity to sink back into awareness again, or as a good laugh that my mind could be so dumb as to take anything that seriously! I am also on the lookout not to read meaning into things that have no meaning ... which is just about everything!! So you may find many of my answers to be a disappointment if you wish them to contain many instances of my own mental suffering.
I have always found that the world is perceived through one's own filter and if you are naturally cheerful and optimistic, traits which I was blessedly born with, then this is a great help. I also have a mind which immediately looks for the 'silver lining' in every situation, however difficult this may be and I am very grateful for this. I can also furnish you with a litany of 'traumatic' experiences from my childhood and seven years in a strict Methodist boarding school, where caning was the norm and bullying and homosexuality were rife, but the problem here is that I did not find them 'traumatic', unpleasant yes but not deeply affecting as they seem to have been 'let go' in a very short time. Life is too short for holding on and there are always a plethora of new moment-to-moment experiences to be had and savoured without letting the past ones detract from this!
I am naturally saddened by many things I see in the world: greed, exploitation, environmental degradation, mans inhumanity to man, natural disasters which result in suffering etc However, I do not find that these affect my overall feeling of equanimity. I also do get frustrated at times, which can lead to unnecessary mental suffering, which I try to use as a symptom that once again I have nodded off and am misidentifying.
To give a trite, but instructive, example this occurs most when I am playing golf which seems to be designed to take one from the highs to the lows of emotional experience in an amazingly short time. Especially when you are as competitive as I tend to be (in this case a competition with myself) and the amazing shot (or sequence of these) is followed by a fluff or series of these. This can then cause one to tilt after which ones game tends to deteriorate rapidly, for it requires relaxed concentration to be played well. So now I treat it as an exercise in awareness, staying alert as I can to the mind-story that it matters, is a very hard game, or that I am hopeless at it. If the story stops and each shot is treated as a separate entity having no relationship to the past one(s) then suddenly, and miraculously, my game improves.
In regard to the above question, you may speak about relationships with family, friends, co-workers, students/followers. Activism. Workplace. Death and dying. Art. Psychology. Any aspect of life experience.
As far as human relationships are concerned, the key is to keep communication clear, open and honest. I have been happily married for 38 years and have two wonderful sons who I see regularly. I play golf with the eldest twice a week, and the other comes home every week to use his gym and share a family meal. I have never been able to bear having stuff in my relationships and have always found it easier to contact the other person as soon as any difficulties occur and talk them through. Being a natural joker and buffoon I am used to being laughed at and am always ready to apologize when I am in the wrong not an unusual occurrence being somewhat thick-skinned and therefore liable to insensitivity.
My take on activism is discussed in The Environment and Awareness at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ColinDrake and with regard to art see Awareness and Creativity at the same site.
With reference to death and dying I am very curious about this having no beliefs in this matter. I agree with the Dalai Lama who said that he is looking forward to seeing what occurs I have no fear of this as I know that when this ephemeral mind/body (manifestation of consciousness) cease to function awareness continues. Not necessarily this stream but the ocean, of which I am a temporary manifestation and instrument See Instrument of the Divine in A Light Unto Your Self
.As far as reincarnation goes I have no opinion on this one way or the other. If it is the case I am not seeking to escape this veil of tears, and get off the wheel of Samsara, as I have never found life to be like this. I love the natural world and enjoy living in it and assisting (seeming) others to enjoy this too.
How is awakening used to avoid psychological pain? What is the correct way to address that pain?
It is not used, like a medicine, to avoid psychological pain, some of which is unavoidable in life. What occurs is that when you are awake this pain does not cause unnecessary mental suffering by stewing on it, or telling yourself a story about it and what it means about you, thus feeding it. See Freedom in Poetry From Beyond The Separate Self.
At any point in your life of awakening did you have feelings of superiority? How is it dealt with?
If it occurs it causes immediate feelings of separation leading to mental suffering, a wake up call to the fact of misidentification. This evokes awareness of awareness in which there is no me or other and thus no possibility of superiority. My usual reaction is to laugh at my minds stupidity to create this thought. Dont get me wrong I have great respect, and affection for, my mind until it starts trying to assume control by assuming the mantle of who I am.
Do/Did you ever get stuck in meaningless or emptiness?
When I first realized that nothing has any meaning it was actually a great relief, a feeling of liberation rather than stuckness. Manifestation is inherently empty, being a constantly changing swirl of cosmic energy. Even at the day to day level it is obvious that everything (awareness is not a thing) is impermanent. As Heraclitus said you cant step in the same river twice, for the water is in constant movement. As far as meaninglessness goes nothing has any (inherent) meaning, so theres no problem. See Nothing has Essential Meaning in A Light Unto Your Self
How else does the ego get deluded in the journey to awakening?
By thinking that it is who you are the ego that searches for awakening is always deluded. For awakening leads to realizing that the ego is empty like everything else. For me, the fact that awareness is ever present means that it only requires one to become aware of this for awakening to be induced. Then the investigation of who am I? within this framework of awareness of awareness finishes the job. Although this then needs to be cultivated for awakening to be ever present. See The Myth of Doing Nothing in A Light Unto Your Self
Whats the next best thing to awakening?
How is it associated with awakening?
It gives one a glimpse of the astounding beauty of creation which is seen when one is awake. It also raises ones headspace above the cares and worries of day-to-day living, another by-product of awakening.
Whats the most mature state for ego?
To be a servant rather than assuming it is the master.
In other words, whats the best thing to do while waiting?
Investigate the nature of reality, preferably after becoming aware of awareness.
Is it possible to live so maturely from the ego that it looks like awakening?
No, for the ego will always take itself seriously and defend itself when under attack.
Conversely, is there a life of awakening that looks wild, untamed, and immature?
Possibly, all models and personalities differ.
How can someone know the difference?
If the person in question never takes offence, thus has no self-image, then they are awake.
Talk about emotions. How do I know if emotion is coming from a divided or an undivided place?
See Awareness and Emotions at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ColinDrake
Talk about security and insecurity. What is security to you?
Security is identifying with, and as, pure awareness. Insecurity is all other forms of self-identification.
Awakening is about finding out things for yourself, yet it also seems to be about community. Can you talk about how these two demands interrelate?
One can only relate to others in a truly healthy way when awake and thus realizing that they are (of the same essence as) oneself. See The Best of All Worlds in Beyond The Separate Self...
How do you deal with temptation? What do they actually do, not just what they say is the way to act.
If yielding to the temptation in question does not harm oneself, or another, or lead to misidentification, then by all means yield, otherwise just watch it from pure awareness without following it or buying into it and it will just fade. Enjoy life to the full I say! For this I find that moderation in all things is the key, as pleasures wane if over-indulged in and are at their best when tasted sparingly in the same way the tastiest fruits tend to be the small ones. As far as rules, moral codes, commandments etc. are concerned - a pox on them all!! Lets just scrap them all and replace them with: do what you want as long as you do not hurt others. If you wish to hurt yourself thats your business, but for awakening it would be more advisable to stick to the first statement.
How do you deal with money?
My wife and I live a very simple life as artisans (potters in our case) earn very little. So I am naturally very careful with our money which we use as a tool to negotiate everyday living and also to help us enjoy life. I am sanguine about the ebb and flow of it and, where appropriate, I share it with others.
How much of a joke is life?
For those who are awake it is just the play of the divine (universal consciousness) and thus can be seen to be a joke. However, for those who are not and suffer due to misidentification, exploitation, poverty and ill health it cannot be described as such.
~ ~ ~
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