Sunday, December 7, 2008

Who is seeking?

Advaita or Buddhism or really any other Religion or form of spirituality, once you remove all the self-serving cultural stuff, is really only ever about brutal honesty, about really questioning all the bullshit stories that come up in thought, that are learned, that are taken on as reality without ever really looking.

The "Truth" of what this is all about isn't complicated, difficult, requiring years of meditation or self-enquiry. The "Truth" of what IS is very very simple and already VERY obvious.

YOU, the idea of YOU - is bullshit. Period. It's a story. It's a drama. A dream. An illusion. It's made up, a fairy tale.

There is no YOU.

Yet when this is heard there is resistance. That "ME" is held on to very tightly. That "ME" is a contraction, a bundle of thought/concept that is projected as a protection mechanism. That "ME" is the primary identification - it has a way of worming it's way into everything, especially the spiritual search.

All activity of living, searching, trying to understand is based on the primary assumption of a "ME", a separate individual, apart somehow from Life.

Every single thing we know of comes through and from an illusion - this "world", this "body", this "mind", this "ME".

Everything is only appearing due to the limited representations of the "senses" and "mind". The idea of an "inside" and "outside" world is an illusion. There is no outside world where "YOU" are "in a body". This comes due to the appearance of a body-boundary which itself comes through the very same mechanism of "senses and mind".

The presence of "senses and mind" is learned knowledge. There is no such thing.

So without questioning the reality of this primary assumption, this "separate being" living in this "body", having "thoughts" in this "mind", we go on about living as a separate being, searching for a "better" state of mind (enlightenment) and wondering why we're frustrated and confused.

There IS NO "YOU" - no "body" - no "mind" - no "thoughts" - no "search" and no "seeker". These are ALL conceptual distinctions, all stories.

The moment a "thought" arises, it's a story. It's automatically false. It's automatically a concept. It's automatically duality. It's always a self-reference.

There IS no YOU - there is no one searching, no one living, no one who might eventually get all the answers and "find" enlightenment.

There is only THIS, whatever THIS seems to be. THIS - HERE - NOW, whatever it is, is direct reality. Appearing as "this and that", appearing through the "senses and mind" as a "ME living in a WORLD", a "ME abiding in a body surrounded by a world".

As such, this world and the "one who is searching" is a dream, an illusion. But that very illusion is THIS too, only it has no ABSOLUTE reality, no absolute separate existence apart from the totality of reality.

So YOU seem to appear - yet when the very root or core assumption is questioned, WHO is present as a separate being to even search, to try to find this "enlightenment", to need spirituality?

There is no YOU - no one to search, no one to find. The process of seeking is based on "ME finding enlightenment". When the "ME" is seen to be another story - WHO can find enlightenment? WHO is searching? WHO is present that needs this "better state of mind?"

The "goal" of the search is to end the search. Yet the search will never end as long as there is still the belief in the "seeker". There will be apparent reading of books and blogs, listening to audio speaking of teachers, attending meetings and satsangs, performing practices like mantra and meditation - every single one of these activities is based on a "ME" having a goal of finding something, making the future better, making the state of mind better, finding a spiritual truth of some kind.

These are all done in futility as long as there is the notion or idea of a ME doing them. All other illusions remain solidly intact because the root illusion of the ME, the individual separate "person" itself is not questioned.

"Life" is present, here and now. Reality is only ever THIS, right here, right now. THIS is it. Whatever you're looking at, that's it. Only there is no looker, no seeker, no ME doing any of it.

There doesn't need to be a "better" state of mind, a "better" future, a "more enlightened" viewpoint, a "ME" who is enlightened, a "ME" who has found all the answers. This is all complete and total bullshit.

"Life" is looking at itself right now. "Life" is "living itself" right now. It is "Life" that is appearing as the subject AND the object, whether that "subject" is suffering and seeking or has found clarity. And "Life" is the "object", whether that "object" is a world at war or at peace.

There is no one here. There is no one searching, no one reading these words, no one who can find the ultimate enlightenment, no one who is confused, no one who is clear.

There is no one, EVER, as a separate "being", separate from Oneness. Oneness or Reality or God or whatever you want to call it, is right HERE and NOW. THIS. The appearance of the computer and these words and the hands on the keyboard and the reader and the thoughts about it and the desk and the room and the world and the ideas of seeking and finding and enlightenment and delusion.

There is only ever THIS, this One Life, this Oneness, this Absolute Reality, this God, this Knowing Presence, this Aware Space, this Self - appearing as "this and that". So no matter what seems to be happening, it's just this One Life.

Deep down, this "separate ME" is known to be a farce. It's a game that is played. It's a tacit arrangement, very well practiced, second nature, done almost without any review or second thought. It's really VERY obviously false, if we even seriously look just once.

The only seeming barrier or obstacle to really understanding is denial, a deep subtle denial that says "I don't want to be nothing", "I am someone", "I am somebody", "I don't want to die".

So go on forever reading and seeking - as long as there remains the belief in the "seeker" the search will never resolve itself.

Before the next seeking thought or activity arises, look right now for the "ME" or individual self that is seeking or wants to find enlightenment. Look right this very moment for the presence of a separate person who is doing this, who is reading these words. Question that assumption, that illusion. Question it with every bit of free will and choice that you believe you have.

Forget, for a moment, about the goal or results of the search, about the "eventual outcome" of the search, about the things that seem necessary to change, about the peaceful or blissful state of mind that is expected. Put down every single book, close every single blog, discard every single spiritual concept - put all the focus on this one question.

Who is seeking?


Don Juan Miguel said...

Well Randall, I´ve been ´searching´ for over 30 odd years. Something happened the first time I heard you speak via the Urban Guru Cafe and I´ve listened to your talks several times. Especially enjoyed Neti-Neti and this article on your site. It is truly amazing to sense a beginning clarity after all these years. Thanks, Don Juan Miguel

Anonymous said...

I understand what you are saying, but the question remains: Should I tell myself I am dreaming? If 'I' truly means all, then I created the dream. What is the point of the dream and should I wake myself of the dream?
Or maybe it's a game. A game of hide and seek. If it is a game of hide and seek and everything I see is part of me, then should I tell people this...would it ruin the game?

Randall Friend said...

Don Juan Miguel,

Thank you for the comments, my friend. Love to you.


Randall Friend said...


Who is to tell who? Where do you appear? Where do you know yourself to be? How do you know "yourself"?

You know of "yourself", this body-mind, this idea of "ME", as objects, as appearances, as sensations. Look with honesty and see that all these "things" are just sensations appearing.

What you are is the screen ON WHICH these appearances come and go. You may call it awareness but that is mistaken for something functional of the brain or something spatially located.

You cannot wake "of" the dream, only "to" the dream. See that it's all a dream, an illusion. Then it's no longer a problem.

These conceptual ideas of hide and seek, games, telling people - are all due to a misunderstanding of your true nature. The one who could do any of this or tell anyone or ruin the game is itself an appearance and not what you are.

See that what you take yourself to be, what you've identified with, is all appearances, objects, sensations, perceptions. You are nothing that appears - you are the background on which they appear.


Chris said...

Hello Randall and thanks for creating this blog and for your wonderful pointers. I also enjoyed listening to you on the Urban Guru Café.

"I"however do have a problem NOT seeing myself as separate from other things or other people. The reason for this is that all that is perceived is through this body-mind. What I mean here is that I have my own experiences which are unique to me and you have your own. I cannot know or perceive what you are experiencing and vice versa. This for me creates the idea of separation.
It seems that Oneness has separated Itself into 6 billion different experiences. Do you see what I mean?
And also, what if a scientist or doctor were to open a skull and tamper with the brain. Wouldn't that remove all awareness from that "person", which would then show that awareness is not always present?

Sorry for these newbie questions and thanks for clarifying!


Randall Friend said...


Thank you for the comment.

Look at awareness as if you'd never heard of that word. What would you know about what it really is?

"Awareness" as a function of the brain is just another assumption, a learned belief. That notion is taken to be absolute and then all investigations are done with that primary assumption left uninvestigated.

That which is called "awareness" and assumed to be a function of the brain is in reality nothing perceivable, nothing definable - not measurable or locatable. The entire world arises within this "awareness".

It's not a "thing" yet all "things" appear in it.

This "openness" or "knowing presence" that's referred to as "awareness" is prior to any thought proclaiming the limited nature of awareness.

Yet we don't investigate the simplest assumptions. We take the body-mind to be a solid and absolutely separately existing "thing", yet when investigated it is obvious that what we "call" the body is nothing but a conceptualization of passing sensations, put together in the mind and then given ownership.

"My body"

There is no body with a brain to have limited awareness.

There is pure awareness or consciousness in which the movements called "body" and "mind" arise and pass. This is direct reality, clear and obvious when the beliefs and assumptions are seen for what they are.

Life is looking at itself right now, living itself, asking about separation and awareness and enlightenment. There is nowhere for life to go, nowhere for awareness to seek, nothing for oneness to find.

The idea of "chris" is another wave which is nothing but pure and vast ocean.

Chris said...

Thanks so much Randall for taking the time to reply! it is much appreciated.

There is something that resonates here, yet there is this idea that if one sustains a head injury for example and then falls in a coma, doesn't that one lose all awareness for the duration? Is awareness still there yet dormant somehow?

I need to sit with this for a bit but there is something...

Again, thank you. I will be sticking around here for a while.