Sunday, April 26, 2009

THIS Remains, as it is

"My self" is a concept. It carries with it a requirement of many layers of assumption, interpretation. As a "myself", I am separate FROM the world, living IN the world yet divided from it. I am my own little boat, floating on a sea of desire and fear, looking at the world from within it. The world is vast and cold - apathetic to my existence.

This is the dreadful prison built in the mind. It is the source of all suffering. This prison is made up of thoughts, constructed out of belief, relying on a shaky interpretation of reality.

Vedanta is Self-knowledge, taking a hard and honest look at what we've taken ourselves to be - looking at the beliefs and assumptions that were issued to us during our orientation to this world. But it takes honesty and courage to really come face to face with our assumptions. They aren't easily given up. There is a lot of attachment to these assumptions, to these particular translations. Our entire sense of self is dependent on them.

So if we're led down a path of achievement, the assumptions are left intact - it is the ME that is doing these things, that will benefit from these paths. It is the ME that stands to gain spiritually, and the reward will be peace and love and bliss. This approach does nothing to free us from our assumptions but entrenches them, solidifies them, builds a new self-image around spirituality. It's a fresh look but it's still ignorance.

Enlightenment isn't about finding some new state, some amazing and cool experience, some flooding of the light of bliss. It's not about becoming at all. It's about recognizing that Reality, THIS, is One. Wholeness. Nonduality. One, without a second. THIS, is all there is.

But how can we come to this realization? Because I can obviously see a world. But that's just an interpretation. So Self-knowledge is finding these false interpretations. Seeing the assumptions, seeing the interpretation, and realizing that it has always been false.

This cannot be pointed to directly, because words are all we have. And these words, by their nature, are dualistic. All concepts contain the seed of their opposite. So if I say all is One, it contains the seed of "another". So it's called one-without-a-second to indicate that One means One, nothing outside of it. Therefore One becomes meaningless in pointing to THIS.

We might say that the mirage appears to contain water. So as long as it isn't investigated, Reality is water in the road. The appearance IS Reality due to beliefs, assumptions, the lack of investigation. Yet once we walk up to the reflection and see no water, it dawns that it was purely illusion - the mind CREATED the water. The appearance took on a false Reality.

This effect is also apparent in the sense of being a person. Because it is believed, it is apparent, just like the water in a mirage. Because it is assumed to BE, then all sorts of things can be built around it. Yet when it is questioned, the core assumption gets shaken. Lots of other loosely fastened concepts built around it start falling off, like a skyscraper in an earthquake. Windows start shattering. The sense of separate self is unstable.

And it can only become unstable because it's only a belief. We aren't certain of this existence of the separate "person". If we were, we wouldn't resonate with the spiritual search, we wouldn't be drawn inescapably to reading and trying to figure it out.

We ARE certain of our existence - that's why it seems so difficult to see through the belief in the "person." That certainty of existence is intertwined with the concept of being a separate person, trapped in the shell of a temporary body-mind. It's a paradox the mind must overlook, if it is to go about it's business. This core paradox is ignored - that's why it's called ignorance.

You are absolutely certain of your existence - you know you ARE. And you know you ARE because of what? It is because of that certainty of experiencing. You are experiencing. That's obvious. That's the quality or principle because of which you know that you ARE. That's it. That's the key. That's the "I AM".

You know "I AM". That's unquestionable. Yet that "I AM"-ness is mixed up with the objects, with the experiences of body and thoughts. The concept then becomes, I am the body-mind, I am this "person". Yet we cannot find this person if we look to the body-mind. We cannot find this certainty there. Yet the certainty remains. It's unchanging while the body and thoughts change.

The certainty doesn't need to be found. It's self-evident. ALL experiences CONTAIN this self-evidence. Therefore all experiences cannot be separated FROM this self-evidence except by this CONCEPT of "what-I-AM".

So we remain with this "I AM"-ness. We stick with it, come Hell or high water. We relax into it - we let it BE. We don't try to figure it out. We negate anything that appears as passing content against this "I AM"-ness. Because what-we-are is already obvious, only it's some "thing", some separate thing, due to this conceptualization or placing the certainty of existence with objects.

Oneness or Wholeness or Advaita isn't something that comes in the future, due to proper seeking, due to fitting all the pieces in the right order. Advaita is THIS HERE NOW. Whatever THIS might be translated into, is completely irrelevant. Whatever special spiritual state we might think will come, is irrelevant. We cannot escape this present moment. We can never get out of THIS. There is nowhere to go. The mind cannot divide the indivisible. The mind appears as another appearance OF the indivisible, therefore nothing needs to be done with the mind. The translations are simply seen as translations and nothing more. There is a correction of interpretation, a shedding of assumptions.

And THIS remains as it is.


Rajib said...

Loving your words. God bless

Anonymous said...

Yea, Huh?

Anonymous said...

Great Randall!
Then no belefe is true.. cool

Rajib said...

Dennis..that would be a belief too

Walter said...

Randall, in your post "Not aware of awareness" you said;

"I" IS awareness or Consciousness. And the world, body, mind, and belief in "Joe" as a separate "person" arise in Consciousness, just like the dream. In the dream, Consciousness is still but a world arises along with that "joe" character, who thinks, has desires and fears, and the belief mechanism or identification is also present - the "dream joe" takes this appearance to be what he is. In Consciousness, the world, body and mind appears. That's the dream. And that is no different than the so-called "waking state". There is a world, a body, a mind, and a "joe" character.But it is Consciousness who is the dreamer. It is Consciousness which is the "I" or pure subjectivity. And in this subjectivity, all appearances have always come and gone. And they have never, for one moment, affected the Consciousness in which they appear.They are in fact MADE OF Consciousness. Just like the reflection is MADE OF mirror".

The confusion with this statement is that when the consciousness awakens from the dream of separation the world and the body does not disappears.The awaken dream continues to exist.In a way everything looks the same ,only the idea of separation and separate individual that is the doer is gone.
The dream appears spontaneously and continues spontaneously despite the awakening of consciousness? Is that the case?
This consciousness is not controlling the dream-or the dream character?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rajib you right!

Anonymous said...

I have done some heavy drugs in my life and when i got clean (3year) i notices that i have not change, so i am that! It feels so natural to "me" but i cant grab it.

Randall Friend said...


Hello my friend. Good to hear from you.

Consciousness IS the dream. The appearances in the dream cannot be separated, except conceptually, from the Consciousness in which they appear. Can you say that, last night in the dream, that the buildings and people and objects in the dream somehow stood outside of Consciousness? Weren't they made of Consciousness? Where else can they appear?

So this present appearance is nothing but Consciousness. And Consciousness is simply Life, aware of itself, aware of it's own movement, living itself, looking at itself.

If you walk outside, can you look at the trees and call them separate from yourself? What is the substance of both? What is the basis for both? Isn't this intelligence both the form and function of all appearances?

Yet we take this body-mind to be a separate person, somehow separate or apart or above the tree. The essence is One. It is Life itself, doing the dreaming. And walking outside to see the trees, Life is looking at ITSELF. "Walter" is nothing but a concept.


Randall Friend said...


What is it that hasn't changed? Obviously the body has changed, the thoughts have changed, the obsessions have changed, the personality has changed. Yet what hasn't changed?

Isn't the knowing of these changes THAT which hasn't changed? Can the pure knowing change? By what will you measure the change?


Anonymous said...

Nice job on Gilbert's website, Randall, truly.

RB said...

"This is the dreadful prison built in the mind. It is the source of all suffering. This prison is made up of thoughts, constructed out of belief, relying on a shaky interpretation of reality."

How can the above have a 'life' of it's own? Is this the HOLOGRAM? Is this a mystery which needs no understanding?

Randall, thank you for your sharing.

Randall Friend said...


Yes... if we look with total honesty - THIS, right here and now, is all there ever is. And THIS is a complete mystery. The moment we try to figure it out, we must use duality. All analysis is false - seemingly splitting up THIS into parts - yet that analysis never actually creates anything - the stories never really affect anything.

THIS remains as it is.