Saturday, April 4, 2009

The world is made of "I"

You ARE. You know you are. This is undeniable.

This is a certainty of existence.

But what IS that certainty of existence? Why are you so certain? How is it undeniable?

Aren't you certain of your existence because you are obviously present and aware? Isn't this pure subjectivity - "I" - hasn't this "I" always been the basis for all experiences? Hasn't this "I" always been the subject to all objects? Isn't this "I" what is indicated by the word "Awareness"?

Isn't the difficulty in seeing through the "individual self" there because this certainty of existence is SO CERTAIN? And because it's tied up with the objects - "body-mind" - it's impossible to resolve.

This is the exact point of inquiry. How did this certainty of existence, this pure and ever-present subjectivity, this "I", get mixed up with objects?

You have always known "I", yet what "I" IS, is the only issue. Knowing what you are means knowing what "I" IS. Instead of "what am I?" ask "what IS 'I'?"

As the body-mind, this "I" is quite confusing. Yet through neti-neti, the confusion is resolved.

The body appears IN this subjectivity, TO "I". The mind or thoughts appear IN this subjectivity, TO "I". A lifetime of experiences have appeared TO this "I". Yet this "I" has never appeared. You cannot describe "I". You cannot measure "I". You cannot conceptualize or split up "I".

All objects come and go in your Presence - the Presence of "I". And this "I" is like a mirror - the basis or ground for all experience - like a mirror required for the reflection to appear. The reflection is MADE OF mirror. The world is MADE OF "I".


Anonymous said...

Hi Randall,
I love your pointers.

So the "I" is really awareness and not the "little me" that we believed ourselves to be. My question is when this is realized is there an enegetic release into boundlessness, or is there still a feeling of contraction?

Josef said...

Thank you Randall for this beautiful writing!

Randall Friend said...

Hello Anonymous,

"I" and "awareness" are just words. See that they point to the same "thing", the same obviousness, the same certainty.

WHO is released into boundlessness? Who is still contracted? Who realizes this?

Boundlessness already IS - it is just THIS, just what IS, already. Already THIS is boundless. Where is the distinction between boundless and not? Only for a ME who doesn't feel the boundlessness.

The ME can never feel the boundlessness because the ME is the illusion itself which seems to prevent the realization that THIS is already boundlessness.

So forget about boundlessness and inquire into the reality of this "I" - this pure subjectivity in which the "body-mind" and the idea of "ME" come and go.

When the ME falls away as an obvious story, a false identification with objects, then boundlessness is obvious as already what IS - nothing and no one is released INTO boundlessness.


Randall Friend said...

Hello again Josef. Love to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Randall,

Thanks for the clarification. I understand that the pure experiencing or pure subjectivity is what I am, but sometimes attention latches (contraction) takes places around a specific event that is arising and as a result an "apparent" subject/object relationship seems to take place. I realize that that is what IS and is also part of the experiencing that I am. (sorry I hope this makes sense).
My question to you is about embodiment. Once it is clearly seen that our true nature is Form and Emptiness, is there a difference between the action that occurs through the body/mind before our true nature is realized and the actions that take place through the body/mind after our true nature is realized? When it is seen that there is no separate entity there, how does relationship to thought differ. Things are being done, but there is no-one doing it, so whatever occurs is inspired action?

Randall Friend said...


You say you understand that the pure experiencing or subjectivity is what you are, then ask about embodiment and what happens after our true nature is realized.

If you are the invisible subjectivity "I" - or awareness, then where do you appear? How can you describe yourself? How do you know yourself? Anything you can describe is an object appearing TO YOU. TO Awareness.

Anything that you describe as yourself has to be another object, then there has to be another subject, another awareness prior to, to witness or observe that object.

Embodiment is spiritual bullshit. No one is embodied or freed from embodiment. There IS no body. There IS no mind. These are sensations. Perceptions. Flowing objects which are later conceptualized as "body" then "my body".

And these raw sensations appear nowhere outside of this simple and present Consciousness, not different from a dream. All is Consciousness, even the sensations, the conceptualizations, the spiritual ideas of embodiment and a ME that wants to know what Enlightenment is like.


Enlightenment is the realization that NO ONE is there to reach enlightenment. NO ONE is there to suffer. NO ONE is there to be released from embodiment or explode into some permanent experience.

When there is NO ONE, then what you are IS Everything Appearing.


Anonymous said...

Hey Randall

Thanks for answering, but please bear with me:

I agree with half of what you say. We are both Form and Emptiness are we not? Emptiness has no qualities, cannot be grasped by thought. It is our true Nature. But it is also the manifested and the manifested icludes, what we refer to as the body (perceptions as you like to call them). Form is also Emptiness because if you break down form, you find nothing but space, but when it is in form it is perceived is it not, by the Emptiness that we are.
"People" can spend many years hanging out as Emptiness, saying there is no one, the noone refers to the separte entity that the "I" mistakenly identifies with-until it doesn't. When the belief in the separate entity falls away, pure experiencing takes place.

Randall Friend said...

Quite frankly you shouldn't agree with anything. Every bit of the writing on this blog is simply an invitation to look beyond agreement, beyond belief - challenge assumptions.

And when those assumptions are challenged, what remains?

If form is emptiness and emptiness is form, then do either exist? Who stands outside of both to say? When the mind distinguishes between either or combines both, they are still conceptual.

Where can you find either, right this very moment? What IS, right this moment? Where is form? Where is emptiness?

The analytical will get you nowhere. It is when the analytical runs head-first into a brick wall of complete poverty of knowledge, the total absence of any concept, that THIS is truly seen.

Pure experiencing is ALREADY the only reality. It is in the conceptual that the experiencer and the experienced are created.

And does that conceptual have any existence outside of this very Consciousness? Does the dream character actually go anywhere? Do those dream experiences actually take reality of their own?

This "anonymous" character is a character in the dream. And Consciousness is the dreamer.

Full stop.

Anonymous said...

Emptiness, Awareness and Presence are all the same. Form is Emptiness and yes Emtiness is real because it is Presence. I know that I exist. I cannot deny that. Yet I is Emptiness, and Emptiness is form so they both must be real no?

Anonymous said...

You have said that there is only EXPERIENCING ( seeing,knowing, sensing..).
So when I am walking on the beach, get my feet wet, go for a swim - this is conceptualization, this only happens in mind's translation in consciousness. This is the 'dream' that consciousness is dreaming believing it self to be the body-mind object- the dream character Meg walking,swimming in the 'dream'.
In reality there is only Awareness registering perception (body,beach,water,sand),sensations (wet,cold,swimming).
So the perceiver and perceived are the conceptualization-are the 'dream'. Believing in me walking on the beach and swimming is to be 'dreaming'. There is only experiencing happening in the awareness.
When my belief is that I am bad swimmer and am afraid of water then awareness will be registering fear and clumsy swimming ,but when my belief is opposite or different then the sensations registered will be different?

ST said...

Are you saying that if I am 'empty space like awareness'then the only way of knowing my self is through sensations-perception-appearance?Experiencing is what I experience and what I am? I am the seeing,
I am the experiencing ,what appears is what I am?
Thanks, ST

Randall Friend said...

Not sure which anonymous is which... Looks like "Meg"?

"When I am walking on the beach..."

Yes - What assumptions must have already been made to say "I am walking on the beach"?

The assumption of an "outside world" is there, yes? The outside world where there is a beach? And this body-mind, which contains this "person" you've taken yourself to be is walking across this beach.

This is false. There is no beach, no body, no walking, no person - except in a bundling up of raw sensation and creating these layered concepts.

How do you know these things? Aren't they raw sensations first? Then the mind filter comes in and takes them to be "this and that". But as raw sensation, are they separate? Where is that boundary?

We have an assumption, then hear these "pointers", then try to forcibly fit them into the existing framework of concepts. It's a recipe for frustration. But that's ok - because beating your head against the wall enough will work also.

We assume separation, then try to pull the separate things together. They were never separate. They are not in need of reunion.

Right now, reality is nondual. Direct experience is nondual. In that space of subjectivity we call awareness or "I", there is a concept of separation in thought. That's the only place separation can happen.

There is no YOU walking on the beach. The beach, the body-mind and the YOU you've taken yourself to be is all conceptual. Reality is just THIS, whatever THIS appears to be. And THIS is One.

Randall Friend said...


Hello my friend. Love to you.

Consciousness "moves" - in that movement it knows itself. That's it.

The idea of me knowing myself is still tied to the objects - tied to a body-mind.

The body-mind is an object or a bundle of sensations/perceptions. Raw data. Then the conceptualization comes in and calls it "body" and then "my body", "thoughts" and then "my thoughts" and then "I am thinking".

See that this conceptualization process doesn't accurately describe direct experience.

You ARE - you KNOW you are. Of this you are certain. That's the ONLY thing you are 100% certain of. You know you exist.

And how do you know you exist? How are you so certain? Isn't it because you are so obviously present and aware? Isn't that "I-ness" or presence of awareness the same thing as the certainty of existence? Isn't this a pure subjectivity? Hasn't this "I"-ness been there to witness a lifetime of experiences?

And you know this "I"-ness. It's obvious. You know it intimately already. But what IS this "I"-ness is the only point of confusion. And it is the exact point of inquiry.

Isn't this "I"-ness a pure subjectivity? Doesn't this "I" objectify the body? (doesn't the body appear TO YOU?) Doesn't this "I" objectify thought? Doesn't this "I" objectify the world?

Therefore every single thing you know, every bit of knowledge, appears within this pure subjectivity, this experiencing, this "I"-ness or Awareness.

You are not an object. You are the subject to all objects. And the objects appear IN YOU, just like the world, body-mind and "ST" appear IN the dream, in Consciousness.

So Consciousness is the dreamer, dreaming an "ST".


Meg said...

Thank you for your response!
I really enjoyed listenning to your last few podcasts.
I just want to make this clear;
What we consider reality is just a dream, a story.
What I consider 'me' is a dream character-thought.
What we completely ignore - Awareness-Presence is the REALITY.
That REALITY is nondual and direct experience on THAT is nondual.
The raw sensations appear on awareness ,are awareness and are not separate - so far everything is still Oneness.The appearances that appear in seeing may be separate objects but as seeing they are one? The objects in the mirror are mirror?
Then mind conceptualizes everything into separate objects and as long as consciousness is identify with this body-mind everything appears separate from this 'me' person.
The term nonduality really applies to awareness and its raw sensations ,but we are applying it into what is already conceptualize and identify?
Thanks ,Meg

Randall Friend said...


The mind will never find an answer. Never. Any mental analysis is missing the point, even if it's correct intellectually.

That's because what is being pointed to is ALWAYS PRESENT prior to the first concept or intellectual question or answer.

If this was about asking a "guru" and then taking on the answers as new beliefs, then we might as well be talking about flying pigs or something.

What we're talking about is REALITY - direct reality. Pure and unvarnished reality. And you need no "gurus" to give you that. That is immediate and obvious, right now, only overlooked in the search for it.

These "nonduality pointers" are like a flood of water - what is the necessary condition for the water to flow?

What, right now, is the basis or ground necessary for any question about awareness or oneness to arise?

Isn't that "awareness" nonconceptual? Isn't that subjectivity always the primary condition before the very first concept of "I AM" can arise?

When this is clearly seen, there is a FULL STOP - because it becomes crystal clear that for the search to happen, there must be a seeker. And the seeker herself was always another thought coming and going TO YOU. To awareness or subjectivity or "I".

Nonduality is the solid block of "I"-ness. Whatever is presently appearing, whatever THIS is, is YOU.

love to you

Juno77 said...

I can totally appreciate and understand where the original anonymous is coming from. Reading this stuff is like a riddle, and apparently more and more are 'getting' it, but not me. I can only analyze and conceptualize and come at it intelligently, and that of course is never going to allow me to 'get it'.
Why this, why Now? Why did the illusory objective world as I was growing up not contend with these deep things. It was just life...buying groceries, going to work, going to school...that was life...apparently the illusion. Why now do we have to all 'wake up' and realize we are God and do a complete 180 from what we have always known so far??
If there is no objective out there, why do I see it? And if we are one, why can't you tell me what is on my not real TV screen right now, unless you are not real and I am just talking to myself here. If it is all illusion and Amanda is not real, once I wake up do I get to stop cleaning my house and raising my child??? I mean no disrespect, I am just completely frustrated with all of this...but why would you feel disrespected or defensive if it is all illusion and we are really the same one?!

Juno77 said...

and didn't the all knowing, the consciousness that is everything then be responsible for the ego anyway? why is it all of a sudden something that should be transcended

Randall Friend said...


Thank you for your comments. Love to you.

It seems you've answered your own question.

"Why" is mind - still looking to interpret immediate Reality.

Reality is only THIS, right here and now. And THIS is One. Nondual. This is the meaning of Advaita. But who cares about Advaita - it's just another appearance - yet it points to Reality prior to words and concepts, prior to interpretation and translation and the "why" of mind.

Why is THIS here and now? Is there an answer? Any answer would have to encompass infinity and eternity. The Universe itself is WHY. Life. Life is living itself - what you are cannot be separate from Life.

Isn't the Intelligence which is spinning the planets and making the plants turn their face to the warm sunshine, propelling the sperm to the ovum, doubling the cells, creating the form and function of everything?

Isn't this Intelligence that very form? What we SEE isn't Absolute Reality - it can only EVER be relative to the perceiver - the mechanism by which vision and hearing and smelling and tasting and touching can happen. So we see a solid form - that form is cells, molecules, atoms, protons, electrons, quantum strings.... basically emptiness - energy. Intelligence.

And that Intelligence is at the heart of every BIT of that body you've taken to be YOU, that you've taken to have complete control over, that you've taken to be separate from that Intelligence.

The thoughts come up and we say "I am thinking", as if there were someone separately existing who is doing the thinking. Yet if asked what will your next thought be, you cannot say. The heart beats, the blood flows, hair and fingernails grow on their own. Yet the idea of partial doership of the body is simply a mistake of perception.

The mind interprets. That's it's job. It can tell blue from orange, night from day. In this attempt at providing some knowledge to experience, the mind creates a veil of duality. Yet it doesn't take much investigation to see that the WORD is never the THING. The word "water" will never quench your thirst. It is the experience of what is called "water" that quenches.

And that experience is dependent on the experiencing. The knowing. The present activity which is going on right now. That is what I call subjectivity - pure subjectivity which objectifies everything, even the body and thoughts. These are objects, appearing to you.

So you are not an object - nothing perceivable, conceivable, describable, measurable - because if you WERE, there would have to be another SELF prior to, to objectify YOU. You CANNOT be an object AND subject.

And that subjectivity is what the "I AM" is - you know this "I AM" intimately, only it's presently tied to the body-mind in INTERPRETATION.

So duality is simply a mistake in interpretation - and this is taught to us. So we simply see the mistake. We see that THIS HERE NOW is One. Nondual. Subjectivity or experiencing or knowing IS the experience itself. Consciousness IS the world and Amanda.

So nothing really happens. Consciousness recognizes itself. The illusion ends due to clearly seeing Reality, THIS, for what it is, NOT for what it's translated AS.