Amazon.com review of Beyond The Separate Self: The End of Anxiety and Mental Suffering, by Colin Drake:
Eckhart Tolle and Osho and many other authors, spiritual teachers and gurus are profoundly important, helpful and illuminating but Colin Drake is something else….he’s significantly better at explaining spiritual awakening and how to effect enlightenment and maintain it permanently. Colin Gives the essential facts and tries not to befuddle the reader. He is very experienced with years and years of direct experience of being on the spiritual path and also crucially of enlightenment itself.
This book is very important – if you are on the spiritual path then your days of seeking are over. You’ve arrived at journeys end. This book explains everything you need to know calmly, gently and without mystical gobbledegook to become aware of your true self.
Enlightenment in one easy read is very possible!
Here is Colin’’s latest article:
Joy Without a Cause
“I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, not for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.
Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?
G.K. Chesterton “The Ballad of The White Horse’
John Wren Lewis describes ‘Joy Without a Cause’ as the name of God, or at least that is how he experiences God. Further the ‘Causeless Cause’ is described by Theosophists as ‘An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable Principle…’ Divya Jivan, a Vedantist of the Sivananda lineage states that‘ the Absolute is not related to anything. It is the causeless cause of all things; it is beginningless and endless, unlimited.’
Pure Awareness (Consciousness at rest) is this Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, Unlimited Principle (Presence) and thus can be defined as the ‘Causeless Cause’. When one discovers that, at the deepest level, one is this Pure Awareness and fully identifies with (and as) That, then one is suffused with perfect peace for This is always still, effortless, pure, silent and serene. All of this is easily realized by directly investigating one’s moment-to-moment experience and the format for this is given in the appendix.
This initial realization and the cultivation of this is the first stage of The Bodhisattva Path, of Mahayana Buddhism which they call ‘joyful’:
This stage is reached automatically once one has realized, and identified with, the deeper level of pure awareness. This creates great compassion and joy: ‘Governed by compassion to liberate living beings completely, and always abiding in joy is called the first’ (1.4cd, 5ab).One is now truly a bodhisattva and cannot fall back, provided one does not re-identify as an individual self:
Because he has attained this, he is addressed by the very name Bodhisattva …. all paths to lower births have ceased …. all grounds of ordinary beings are exhausted (1.5cd, 7abc).
Once true self-discovery has taken place, and we experience the peace and joy of this, then all that is required is to cultivate this by further investigation whenever we revert to misidentification of ourselves as a separate object. This is easily recognized for it always will (eventually) produce mental suffering which can be used as a wake-up call to the fact that misidentification has taken place.
This joy and peace is ‘the happiness that needs nothing’ described in an earlier article. Indeed this happiness is the ‘joy without a cause’, being ‘without a cause’ for it needs nothing to manifest but just wells up from the realization of no separation.
This joy has many facets including:
The relief that is engendered by realizing that no separate individual self exists (anatta) resulting in the dissolution of all burdens pertaining to the non-existent ‘me me me’ … enlightenment in the literal sense of the word.
The appreciation that occurs when the world is encountered directly and not through the filter of ‘self’ (grasping, concern, promotion, aggrandizement, interest, security, etc…), for it is found to be much brighter, more alive, friendlier, and less threatening than when encountered from separation.
The peace that is an attribute of the Pure Awareness that we already are, and the realization that this is unaffected by any ‘thing’. For all things are manifestations of Cosmic Energy, movements in Consciousness and all movements arise from, abide in , and subside back into stillness. Thus everything comes and goes in Pure awareness (Consciousness at rest) leaving it totally unchanged.
The joy of embodiment, see earlier article of this name, that is the joy of using the body/mind as an instrument (of Consciousness) for sensing, contemplating, experiencing, engaging with and acting in the world.
The compassion that arises from realizing that we, and all beings, are manifestations of the same essence and that there is truly no separation between us. This combined with realizing that all are equally valid instruments of the Absolute entails honouring all life.
The utter relaxation that occurs with the realization that there is nothing (in terms of enlightenment) to achieve, find, or acquire – as you already are That … Pure Awareness.
The fearlessness that results from this realization … as all existential angst vanishes. This is not the natural caution which results from, and causes us to avoid, real danger – but the unnecessary fear caused by misidentification and its resulting self-image (which appears to need protection), fear of the future and that caused by dwelling on the past.
All of the above stem from realizing (that we are) Pure Awareness – the ‘Causeless Cause’, and as This is causeless then so is the joy that comes from this realization – truly ‘Joy Without a Cause’! This also leads to ‘faith without a hope’ where the faith is the ‘knowing’ that is the result of this realization, requiring no hope for Pure Awareness ‘needs nothing’ … as does the happiness resulting from this.
Below follows a simple method to investigate the nature of reality starting with one’s day-to-day experience. Each step should be considered until one experiences, or ‘sees’, its validity before moving on to the following step. If you reach a step where you do not find this possible, continue on regardless in the same way, and hopefully the flow of the investigation will make this step clear. By all means examine each step critically but with an open mind, for if you only look for ‘holes’ that’s all you will find!
- Consider the following statement: ‘Life, for each of us, is just a series of moment-to-moment experiences’. These experiences start when we are born and continue until we die, rushing headlong after each other, so that they seem to merge into a whole that we call ‘my life’. However, if we stop to look we can readily see that, for each of us, every moment is just an experience.
- Any moment of experience has only three elements: thoughts (including all mental images), sensations (everything sensed by the body and its sense organs) and Awareness of these thoughts and sensations. Emotions and feelings are a combination of thought and sensation.
- Thoughts and sensations are ephemeral, that is they come and go, and are objects, i.e. ‘things’ that are perceived.
- Awareness is the constant subject, the ‘perceiver’ of thoughts and sensations and that which is always present. Even during sleep there is Awareness of dreams and of the quality of that sleep; and there is also Awareness of sensations; if a sensation becomes strong enough, such as a sound or uncomfortable sensation, one will wake up.
- All thoughts and sensations appear in Awareness, exist in Awareness, and subside back into Awareness. Before any particular thought or sensation there is effortless Awareness of ‘what is’: the sum of all thoughts and sensations occurring at any given instant. During the thought or sensation in question there is effortless Awareness of it within ‘what is’. Then when it has gone there is still effortless Awareness of ‘what is’.
- So the body/mind is experienced as a flow of ephemeral objects appearing in this Awareness, the ever present subject. For each of us any external object or thing is experienced as a combination of thought and sensation, i.e. you may see it, touch it, know what it is called, and so on. The point is that for us to be aware of anything, real or imaginary, requires thought about and/or sensation of that thing and it is Awareness of these thoughts and sensations that constitutes our experience.
- Therefore this Awareness is the constant substratum in which all things appear to arise, exist and subside. In addition, all living things rely on Awareness of their environment to exist and their behaviour is directly affected by this. At the level of living cells and above this is self-evident, but it has been shown that even electrons change their behaviour when (aware of) being observed! Thus this Awareness exists at a deeper level than body/mind (and matter/energy) and we are this Awareness!
- This does not mean that at a surface level we are not the mind and body, for they arise in, are perceived by and subside back into Awareness, which is the deepest and most fundamental level of our being. However, if we choose to identify with this deepest level – Awareness – (the perceiver) rather than the surface level, mind/body (the perceived), then thoughts and sensations are seen for what they truly are, just ephemeral objects which come and go, leaving Awareness itself totally unaffected.
One may then investigate this Awareness further to discover its wondrous properties, for more on this see any of my books on awakening.
All of the following scriptural quotes (i.e. those with chapter and verse numbers) come from the ‘Guide to the Middle Way’ by Chandrakirti, the principal disciple of Nagarjuna, which are contained in:G. K. Gyatso, Ocean of Nectar, 1995, London
G. K. Gyatso, Ocean of Nectar, 1995, London, p. 38
Ibid. p. 39
C.Drake, Beyond The Separate Self, 2009, Tomewin, p.106
The theory of relativity, and string theory, show that matter and energy are synonymous.
Colin Drake’s books are available at www.nonduality.com/colindrake.htm