Sunday, September 13, 2009

You are One, without a second

The world is changing constantly - yet where is it going? Where is it coming from? Can you capture a moment ago or a moment to come? Is the past in actual existence somewhere? Does a present thought, which refers to the past, actually go anywhere? Isn't that image of the past a present image? Isn't that image of the future a present image? Is it EVER anything else?

In the swing of memory and imagination, anticipation and regret, the illusion of time holds a tight squeeze. We're forever wondering if we "should have" or "might be".

In this, we miss what we ARE. We want to BUILD reality, construct the IMAGE of what we are through this back and forth, past and future - ever missing that these are always only stories about what we are - the life story is dependent on this splitting of attention between past and future.

You are not a separate entity, carried on through time, surviving and watching time go by. You are not a separate being, wishing for the next moment to be better than the last.

You are THIS MOMENT. This moment is like a container - a nondual block which has no edges or boundaries - within this container appears the thoughts, the memories and imagination which create the illusion of time. Then in this swinging pendulum of thought, the feeling of ME moving IN TIME seems to be reality.

Yet when we recognize the ever-present knowing or awareness - when we recognize that this activity of knowing is going on in the immediacy of right now, always right now - then it's clear that this immediate knowing is never the past or future. There is only present thoughts. Present memories of past times. Present anticipation of a future time. Always present. Always here and now.

Never moving away from, never outside of, this "container of Now".

We're ever focused on the changing contents within the container, taking ourselves to be a log, floating on the river of time. And in this we miss the solid, unchanging, still Presence of Self. We miss that what we ARE is THAT IN WHICH these changes take place - THAT IN WHICH these stories are woven, strung together in memory, bound and restricted with the false concept of "ME-the-individual."

Your true nature is not a limited individual - this is only an idea - a concept - your true nature is infinite fullness, wholeness, Oneness - the very container, the very "space" in which these stories play out and subside.

And this isn't something which is attained - the realization of this may or may not come - but it changes absolutely nothing. What IS, right here and now, is Advaita, Oneness, Wholeness. It's presently being interpreted through the prism of beliefs called "individual". An individual requires a world. There is no individual nor world - there is only the present and blindingly obvious Wholeness which never requires a search to find, never requires enlightenment to know, never requires a seeker to become.

It is the very idea of the individual seeker which obscures this Wholeness. In giving up the individual, Wholeness is found to already be the case. But there is no individual to give up anything.

So what remains to be done? Will proper analysis bring it? Will reading more and more bring it? No - because nothing comes in new. Nothing is gained.

Realization is recognition that THIS RIGHT HERE and NOW - IS IT. THIS, whatever THIS might be labeled or conceptualized as, is it. THIS is what the seeking is all about. THIS is what all the pointers are pointing to. THIS present moment, no matter how it's "behaving", no matter if it's good or bad, no matter if it's spiritual or mundane, no matter if it's confusion or clarity. THIS is it.

WHAT this is, is always the domain of the mind. The mind's job is to quantify THIS, to think about the past and project into the future. The mind's job is to split up THIS into parts, into pieces, and that means WHAT-YOU-ARE must be a thing also. But that's just the mind's analysis. You are not a separate "thing" - your actual essence is "all things" - or better said - the One without a second.

27 comments:

No Plane Zen said...

Yes. Nice post.

Nothing is contained.

Anonymous said...

Hello Randall;

What is wrong with the simple statement; it is the body that sees, hears, touches,tastes, smells and thinks. You may argue that there isn't a separate entity that is experiencing these happenings but they are all happening in the body or via the body.
Like the force of gravitation which looked so misterious when first prposed by Newton. Scientists thought they needed to be explain it further by trying to understand why there is a force of attraction between two masses. Now it is just accepted as is without any further explanation. Attraction exists as a consequence of having two or more masses. But it wouldn't exist without masses.

Another example; compare knowing with grasping. Grasping to the hand is like knowing to the body and specifically to the brain. The hand cannot touch, hold or grasp grasping. It can only grasp what is graspable such as a cup or a pen. We can also say that grasping is not affected by what is grasped; small, large or of any shape. However there can't be grasping without a hand and an object to grasp. So, how can there be knowing without a brain and an object that can be known?
How can we easily jump to the conclusion that this knowing has no beginning and no end even though the body is born and will die?
Kind Regards

su said...

Beautiful Randall.
Nothing to seek or gain.
Just This.

No One In Particular said...

This is it - bestest pointer ever!

Josef said...

Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Amazingly clear!
thank you Randall.

How can realization be a 'change' or a difference from what is now...if that were the case it would mean it was gained anew. Nothing new is gained - this is sinking in.

Shiva

Anonymous said...

I AM the body!
Before I was born I was not!

T said...

Wow; this is so beautiful and clear. Thank you. and what remains to be done?

Anonymous said...

Randall,

I had a complete epiphany - you said "you can never say WHAT you are, only THAT you are". This helped somewhat in that i took it as a given, an impossibility... but it still bothered me. Last night i got why. The "WHAT" anything is, is only in division - to say "that is a ball" there has to exist something that is "not ball". WHAT exists only in duality. When only EVERYTHING IS, then there can be no what - there can only be IS.

This leads to the obvious conclusion - this search itself arises In duality - and whatever arises in duality cannot ever transcend duality, except in its own annihilation - but then, there is nobody/nothing left to transcend anything and even "duality" itself is a concept within duality - there is no duality in non-duality, as is often said - that is it! The whole game collapses onto itself.

illusion is illusion!
the mind is going crazy trying to grasp this....

thank you
Shiva

Anonymous said...

Further to what I said before about the seeing taking place in the brain, if we look at the experiments that were done on split-brain patients we will see that what the left half of the brain sees and experiences is not seen or experienced by the right half of the brain and visa versa. In other words the seeing and experiencing are happening at physical locations in space. We also see clearly and empirically, through these experiments, that what we consider to be our separate self is an illusion.
But there must be a brain in order to see as there must be a hand in order to grasp and when the body dies the seeing dies with it.
Sorry I forgot to sign a name for my first commentary but here it is
Mulla

Randall Friend said...

Mulla,

Hello my friend.

The relative perspective is necessarily belonging to the individual. Even if we look from this perspective, it is clear that the body is an assumption. The only way the body is known is through perceptions and sensations, which are then conceptualized and bundled together, taken as some separate-existing "thing". THAT is then placed upon the ever-present always-here-ness or I-AM-ness that you are. This is the source of not only false relative truth, but also of false identification.

Find out exactly how you know what it is you've taken yourself to be. Examine all the aspects of your assumed self. Look and see if there is any direct evidence to support the assumptions that you are a body, with a mind.


love
randall

Randall Friend said...

Shiva,

Yes, the search arises in duality and only applies to a separate individual, which itself is false and is the only obscuring factor.

The individual is seeking the end of the individual. It's a dead end. Illusion also only applies to the individual, as does ignorance and enlightenment.

The open "space" or capacity of always-here-ness, the true knowledge of your Self, isn't contained, isn't affected or involved, isn't achievable or knowable, simply because you already ARE that. You are looking for yourself through the eyes of the individual, when what you are is the very basis or background for the looking itself.

This capacity or always-here-ness is already the case, already the condition or "container" or "space" in which the individual search is taking place.

So both duality and nonduality fall away as absolutely irrelevant, simply the last remaining division in that which is and always was indivisible.


love
randall

Anonymous said...

Hello Randall

There is no identification with anything either a body or thoughts. But there is the intelligence to see that awareness can only take place in a brain as grasping can only happen with a hand. There is no evidence to the contrary apart from you saying so. It is possible to resonate with all the teaching of advaita without any belief in a disembodied kind of consciousness. Immortality is irrelevant to a process of pure awareness that does not accumulate any memory with which thoughts may identify.

Love and Regards
Mulla

Randall Friend said...

Mulla,

Belief is not requested. Just the opposite. Discard all belief, including that awareness is contained or taking place in a brain. Discard all beliefs and investigate with openness how you know your own existence.

That is all that is required.


love
randall

Mulla said...

Dear Randall;

"An awareness that has always been before the birth of the body and that will always be after its death" is a belief with nothing to substantiate it. It is perhaps the only thing that I do not resonate with in all your writings and podcasts. In fact I find it an unnecessary belief for experiencing 'what is' purely, simply and without conflict. I don't understand why it seems to always trail along at the end of many of your beautiful and extremely clear writing.
Thank you,
Mulla

Randall Friend said...

Mulla,

In so-called "nonduality" or Vedanta, we're often referring to Consciousness or Awareness. When these words are used, the mind attempts to place them within the existing concept. Therefore the spiritual seeker is trying to somehow take awareness and expand it, make matter into awareness and all sorts of nonsensical things.

What the word "awareness" points to is the point of the writings. Awareness, as the function of the brain, is not what's being indicated. So from that perspective, the writings are always necessarily paradoxical.

Initially, awareness or seeing or witnessing is pointed to, through neti-neti - discriminating between objective content and that which objectifies. The body-mind are objects TO you. You objectify the world, body and thoughts. So going down that path, we come to the recognition that "what-I-am" is NOT the world, body or mind. What I am is the pure witness OF the body, mind and world. Therefore what I am has no attributes, has no shape, size, color, location or duration. I am the simple witness, the invisible knowing or "awareness".

Yet that is still duality. Awareness, as the point of the spiritual search, is still duality, still a subject aware OF an object.

So we may see that this so-called "awareness" is not separable FROM the objective content. That knowing, that nonconceptual cognizing, is not other-than the content itself. In fact the only way this "knowing" is known is BECAUSE OF the content.

Therefore the world arises, we may say, in order for you to know yourself. Duality is a necessary aspect of knowing yourself.

When even duality is allowed, then there is no longer a tension or break between duality and nonduality. There is no longer a pushing away of the appearance as some spiritual negative aspect.

The appearance of the world, body and mind are beautiful aspects of yourself. You are presently knowing yourself only.

So awareness falls away as an unnecessary description of pure Being. Being IS knowing. Just THIS, right here and now, and nothing else.


love
randall

Mulla said...

Hi Randall

You say,"Therefore the world arises, we may say, in order for you to know yourself. Duality is a necessary aspect of knowing yourself."
Are you suggesting that there is a purpose for the arising of the world and that it is for consciouness to know itself? Or did I miss what you meant?
Love & Regards
Mulla

Randall Friend said...

Mulla,

Purpose is only for the mind, which continuously seeks answers, reasons. That's the nature of mind.

Ultimately there are no answers or purpose - the very nature of reality is mystery. The mind finds this unacceptable. It must have it's why's and how's.

If we look at anything, with openness, we can never truly know WHAT it is. If I show you a flower and ask, does it exist? You will say, of course it exists. I see it. It's there. It exists.

If I pull off the petals, the leaves, the bud, you will say "stem" exists. And if I crush it to powder, you will say "powder" exists.

But what happened to flower? All the parts and pieces are there - where is flower? Where did it go? Did it get mad at all the picking and leave? No.

Flower never existed. There is no such "thing" as flower. Flower is merely name and form. Flower is a representation, a concept. It's a convenient label for an appearing pattern, the essence of that pattern cannot be defined, described.

Vedanta calls this "mithya". Every "thing" is mithya - only name and form. It has no true independent existence, yet we cannot say it does not exist. It exists in appearance, in pattern, manifested AS flower yet the essence is Brahman or God or true reality. Life.

So looking at anything, we come to the realization that we're only seeing what the mind projects, we're only knowing what has been taught to know, what has been learned, conditioned. Mind is the very mechanism of this conceptual engine which creates the objective world from imagination.

So upon waking in the morning, Consciousness or Mind arises - it comes upon pure being/knowing, pure "awareness" - it comes out of pure emptiness. And that functioning Intelligence creates the idea of an objective world along with a "mulla" who "is seeing" it. The paradigm "ME-SEEING" is created in this way.

Therefore we may say - the purpose of this patterning is for you to know yourself. Without this Consciousness or Mind, you would not even know "I AM". You would not know of your existence. But there is no grand scheme - no ultimate plan or purpose laid out. It's a natural expression which can only be called Love.


love
randall

Mulla said...

Randall

Yes, there is no purpose and no grand scheme.

You said,"Without this Consciousness or Mind, you would not even know "I AM". You would not know of your existence."
So, when the body, the brain and mind die what happens to "I AM"?

Love
Mulla

Randall Friend said...

Mulla,

From which perspective are you asking? From the individual perspective, the person is born, lives a while, then dies.

But upon questioning, the person is found to be only a belief, only an assumption, only an habitual but false reference point.

These so-called "things" - body, brain, mind - these are all only concepts - they are appearances. The only thing you truly know without doubt is that sensations and perceptions come. These objects are bundled together in concept and language - learned and habitualized into body, then "my body", brain, then "my brain", mind, then "my mind", then "I am thinking".

Find out what this I AM is. What are those words referring to? How do you know that you ARE? Is it because of the appearance of a body? Is that how you know that you are? Is it because of thoughts? Is that how you know that you are? No.

It's because you are always here. That always-here-ness is what the mind translates as "I AM". And that I AM-ness, to the mind, must be some "thing" - therefore the body-mind usurps self-ness in this false identification.

That I AM-ness, that always-here-ness, isn't the body or mind. Body-mind appears and disappears IN that. IN you. In fact the entire world comes and goes with Consciousness.

This is blindingly obvious except for the stubborn insistence on "thingness", standing on the platform of an individual, seeking peace and reality from a shaky foundation.

That foundation crumbles with honesty and open investigation..


love
randall

Mulla said...

Hi Randall

Anything that I can be aware of can't be me (the "me" that I feel in my bones the "I AM", the "I exist".) because it is only an object in the space of awareness and identifying with it would leave awareness, where everything is happening, out. I am awareness and awareness is known or sensed through the objects of which it is aware. I am thus not this body, not these thoughts but awareness of all bodies; trees, dogs, birds, stones and of all thoughts and feelings. There is "I AM" at the hearing of the humming sound of the air conditioner. There is "I AM" at the feeling of the water flowing down the throat. There is "I AM" at the hearing of the sound of gulping. There is "I AM" at the sensing of anger arising. There is "I AM" at every moment. There is nothing but "I AM"
Really there is nothing more that I can or want to say.
Love
Mulla

Randall Friend said...

Mulla,

Yes, nicely said. That sense of "I AM"-ness is inseparable from the experience, no matter what that experience is. Therefore this is not about placing conditions on experience, wanting better "states" or experiences.

So this sense of "I AM"-ness IS how you know yourself, after all, only there is a false identification with one "piece" or part, one small aspect of experience to the exclusion of the rest. Taking the body as some "thing", the world comes into existence as its opposite.

This "I AM"-ness is a temporary expression of your true Beingness. Everything that appears is, ultimately, what you are.


love
randall

Mulla said...

Randall

Please explain further what you mean in your last sentence:{This "I AM"-ness is a temporary expression of your true Beingness. Everything that appears is, ultimately, what you are.} What is the relationship between "I AM"-ness and true Beingness?

Mulla

Mulla said...

Randall

Randall

I often draw my analogies from physics in order to explain subtle points to myself and others.

I am trying to understand the relationship between true Beingness and "I AM"-ness and the closest analogy I find is the concept of the field. The electric field for example may exist in space completely unknown to us until we place a charge in it and note that the charge had experienced a force which can be felt and measured. But without the aid of a charge there was no way of knowing about the existence of the field. However, the field exists with or without the charge.

Now the analogy is that the experiencing of the force on the charge is like the awareness or the "I AM"-ness that one experiences moment to moment. However, true Beingness is like the field which exists whether there is an object of awareness or not.

Is this close to what you mean?

To me, this is still only an intellectual understanding of true Beingness. Can true Beingness be experienced directly or only inferred indirectly as I have just done?

Mulla

Mulla said...

Randall

Here is another analogy.

When you look at something which is completely homogenous like the surface of a completely calm water that extends to infinity in all directions then you will not see or experience anything until a disturbance happens such as a wave traveling across the calm surface.
The completely calm surface which extends to infinity in all directions is like true Beingness. The wave is like "I AM"-ness.

Love
Mulla

Randall Friend said...

Mulla,

You know that you are, that you exist. But how do you know? Is it because of the appearance of a body or thoughts? No - it's because you are always here, always aware. You are always the awareness, the always-here-ness.

That always-here-ness is not a "thing", although the mind creates it as such, which is all the mind can do. The mind can only think in terms of things - in this process of categorization this always-here-ness is conceptualized as some "thing" and the body-mind is created in parallel with this, out of sensation and perception. It's a conceptual creation.

This "thingness" requires its opposite. This opposite is "world". Therefore ME-seeing becomes reality. Subject-object become reality.

That always-here-ness is not a thing - it is the condition or principle necessary for all "things" to come and go, for all "things" to be created in concept in this beautiful and ugly play called "life".

The mind translates that condition or principle through the words "I AM". That "I AM"-ness is the closest to reality the mind gets - it's an intimately-known and obvious reality, but only translated through the paradigm of "thingness".

Therefore "I AM"-ness, from the perspective of the mind, is your individual existence. Beyond this perspective, that "I AM"-ness, that wordless, nonconceptual "Beingness" IS pure reality - it's what is looking, right now. It IS the "seeing".

"Seeing" is Being. That always-here-ness is the light which illuminates Consciousness, and that light is what you are. You already refer to it by saying "I AM", only that reference is falsely placed with the body-mind.

When we investigate HOW we know the body, in direct experience, we find that all we know is direct perception, direct sensation, bundles of energy - quickly conceptualized as "body" and then "my body", "thoughts" and then "I AM thinking".

That intimate sense of "I AM"-ness is tied up or mixed into that concept of "body-mind".


love
randall

Mulla said...

Randall

I see now. The difference is only a matter of wording.

When I used the phrase "I AM" I didn't place it with a body-mind. I did not distinquish between "I AM" and seeing. So, in my terminology, true Being and "I AM" are the same.

Thanks
Mulla