Saturday, November 28, 2009

You are NOT a person

Vedanta is only dealing with direct reality.  It has nothing to do with spirituality, although that's the way the mind translates it.  Because it's so radically different from our relative reality of manyness, of duality, it's taken to be something supernatural, something "spiritual".

Spirit-ual means having to do with the spirit.  This assumes there is a spirit abiding IN the body, which is then freed or made whole or connected.  Somehow "spirituality" is connected with nonduality, which means oneness, not two.  To assume a spirit abiding in the body means there is a body - a body means there is a world.  Therefore spirituality is, by definition, a dualistic concept.

Vedanta is simply a spinning wheel - a hardened grinder against which our assumptions are placed.  If you speak of a body, Vedanta questions the existence of that body.  If you speak of a mind, Vedanta questions that mind.

Vedanta is called "an occasion for doubt".  It is an opportunity to take our most cherished beliefs out for a spin - get them out in fresh air and get a good look at them.  So we look at the body - we ask "what is it?"  How do you know?  We ask "who is looking?"  How do you know?

Each time something comes up, it's questioned to see if it's true, because Vedanta is only concerned with reality.  Yet each time we examine a belief, we find it's standing upon another belief, and another, and another.

We find that our perceived or assumed reality is built on a tower of assumptions and beliefs which have, till now, been unquestioned.  And if we are serious about our investigation, we find these assumptions are very shaky.

It requires a real serious desire to know the truth, because although the beliefs are shaky, they are persistent. They are solidified, like a concrete foundation.  And upon that foundation the mental abstractions are endless.

So at some point we have had enough - spirituality has become a child's game, a toying with meditation or incense or various books on the subject.  At some point we tire of chasing chakras and astrological charts, new age music...  we simply want to get to the bottom of it.  Yet we find that our perception or "template" of reality is solidified - each stone overturned reveals another stone.  Each "object" scrutinized is found to stand upon another object.

This idea of reality had to come from somewhere - as any belief or definition must.  We find that we have been taught to view reality as made up of "things" - with your Self being the central "thing" among things.  "You are your own person."  "Be an individual."  We are forced, at a time when we have no other influences, to take on a template of separated reality.  And that template is further hardened - we experience the teenage years and suddenly find we must find our place in the world.  We are blasted with images - we must create an identity to fit in.  We must figure out what our style will be, how we will wear our hair, what our preferences will be.  The teenage years are waded through with a constant "under construction" sign hung upon our Self.

So instead of recognizing that it was only ever a learned belief, that we are not an independent existence but the Whole itself, we go about trying to perfect this image, to hang the right ornaments, to dress the storefront windows properly.  And it's a tiring and depressing undertaking - why?  Because that innate and intimate knowledge of your Self is already there, only being drowned out by the constant and forceful pressure to fit in, to become something, to build an identity.

That construction never ends - as we go into higher education or the working world, we are blasted with pressure to fit in, to achieve, to make that image more perfect.  When that image is questioned, we must immediately speak back in defense - properly adjust that image for the world.

At some point we just realize that it's a rat race - it's a never-ending charade - a game which we no longer wish to participate in.  So we begin the spiritual search.

And in this spiritual search, we are asked to question the very essence of what we have taken ourselves to be, what we have been taught that we are, that image we have forever been trying to build and perfect.  We are told that this individual self is false - that reality is Whole - singular - Oneness.  And of course it's a paradox because, analyzed within our paradigm of separateness, it all sounds like a bunch of spaced-out people out of touch with reality.  It's IMPOSSIBLE to resolve it within that paradigm of the individual existence, apart from the world.  We're forever trying to force-fit "things" into a spiritual model of Oneness.

It's impossible to "successfully" seek as an individual, simply because the individual is the very "thing" upon which duality is built.  To successfully end the search would mean finding out that you are not an individual, after all.  It would mean all the work built to create and mold that image was wasted, useless.  It would mean that this life story was all bullshit, that all possessions and accomplishments are meaningless.

No individual would want that, no matter how much suffering goes along with the template.  Yet the spiritual search will never be anything but more topical salve for suffering as long as the root of the issue is left uncovered.

It only needs heard, truly heard, only once...  You are NOT a person.


gayathri said...

How well stated!

No One In Particular said...

Very simple!

Nothing is ever wasted. All the struggle, suffering, window-dressing, seeking of material things...a playground. It can be seen through; and then, with ease, relished; just relished. Not relished by the persona who needs it all to mean something; just relished. Suffering, as a matter of side-effect, is no longer a factor.

There are no persons; there is, in fact, nothing happening at all. Just this, now, endlessly now. What fun to string it along into a story, aided by memory and speculation, imagined past and future which is always imagined now; a story that doesn't exist but is endlessly engaging! How fortunate we are to exist as seem to.

And it was "ever" thus.

Nice pointing Dude.

No One In Particular said...

"As WE seem to" in that third to last line. Typos arise.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Randall. This unpretentious, concrete and simplistic pointing is an isle for the desperate seeker, tired of swimming against elaborate abstractions and facets of the truth. Thanks for keeping it matter-of-fact. Part of the desperation is a product of the latency of the inseparability and integration, which are completely out of sight for so many of us. Thanks for sticking to the bottom line. Great pointing!

Ronna said...

Thanks Randall for your clarity, simplicity and never-wavering pointer.