Friday, May 27, 2011

Are you Free?

Are you free?

What do you mean by "YOU"?

If by "YOU" you mean the individual, the person, the separate entity, the one who began on such and such day and time, the seeker - then the answer is NO - because this "YOU" is itself the cage, the prison. The "Individual-You-Take-Yourself-To-Be" IS the bondage, so how can that "individual" BECOME free?

If by "YOU" you mean the whole itself, what we call the "Universe", the totality of appearance, Brahman, the Absolute - then the answer is NO - because this "YOU" was never bound, was never in need of BECOMING anything, of getting anywhere, of gaining anything. This "YOU" is not in need of freedom, even when it is known in expression, as this moment, as this sky, these clouds, this birdsong, this painful leg, this thought, this pang of hunger, this gust of breeze.

Therefore Freedom was never necessary because what you are was never bound. The one who becomes Free was just a convention, a figure of speech, a way of expressing. The one who was to BECOME Free never actually existed. Freedom may then be said to be freedom from the illusion of the one who becomes free.

Freedom then wasn't something achieved but the disappearance of ignorance of what you really are.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reality is Simple

This is only about reality. In seeking some special state or experience we sometimes get the subtle impression this is about something supernatural or extra-mental or something like that. It's not. It's just about reality - what IS reality - what ARE YOU? Are you this person you have been told about, this entity you've come to believe in? Is reality a reality of parts, of an infinite number of separate existences which come and go? Is reality happening in a linear fashion - is reality spread out over infinite distances? Is there someone in the head looking out the eyes? Is there an outside world?

Is a person a reality or a fiction?

We don't want to address these questions. That makes spirituality too close to the bone. It makes us ask questions we are uncomfortable asking. We would much rather call ourselves "spiritual people" and go on with the chanting and hugs and feel good and continue being sucked into the fantasy. It's comfortable. Actually looking into reality is not comfortable. We are forced out of our easy chair. The world we once thought was solid and real is now fuzzy, uncertain. We can no longer hold onto any of our concepts. We can no longer grant reality to the world and then let it slip into unconsciousness while we flounder around trying to make sense of some bullshit idea about spirituality.

If we just want it to be about beads and chants, we might as well find another hobby. If we truly want to find out what reality is, what YOU ARE, then we must be willing to look in the dark closets, under the bed, in the closets. We must be willing to poke our most cherished beliefs and see how they squirm. We must be willing to take anything as a possibility.

Reality as we know it is not absolute. It is absolutely relative. Appearance is not the absolute. Taking appearance as the absolute is called Maya. Find out why reality is not separate. It's not difficult to come to this realization. The only difficulty is when we sit on proper meditation cushions, in expensive meditation apparel, chanting in some foreign language and vaguely hoping for some sort of special experience to come and wash away all our problems, leaving a perfect state of peace behind.

That is a farce.

Friday, May 6, 2011

You are the Essence

I Am.

What does that mean to you? What is it saying? Who IS? Who is that phrase or assertion referring to?

"I Am" is an obvious assertion, a statement of the obvious. But to WHOM does it refer? To WHAT? That is the question which we must resolve.

The reference of that assertion is always this - the being or entity which was born on such and such date and time - the being or entity or person - the separate entity - the existence which wasn't there before - the existence which began at conception or during the 9-months in the womb. That "entity" is what or who is being referenced in the statement "I AM".

So THAT is what you take yourself to be. At root, that is your idea of yourself. This is the very core idea you have about what you are.

And in the spiritual search, that idea remains intact as we search for wholeness or oneness or whatever we want to call it. With the root idea of what you are as a separate thing which began and will end, you are then searching for wholeness.

Therefore the idea of enlightenment is some new state or experience to come for that individual existence, that person. Without looking into or removing that core idea about separate existence, there should be some new state or experience FOR that separate existence. Yes?

IF this idea you have about yourself is true, that you in fact DID begin at a particular date and time, if existence DID start NEW and is separate or owned and apart from other existencES, then you are living out a fantasy, waiting for some cool experience or special mystical state or some blue light - spirituality or enlightenment or moksha is then some fantasy state you hope to reach someday, leaving the idea of yourself completely intact, protected by the very search which pretends to want to eliminate it.

What is separate cannot BECOME whole. You, as a separate BEING cannot and will not become one with the universe. That is spiritual fantasy.

The only alternative is that this idea is false - that existence did NOT begin - that you were NOT created or started on such and such a date and time. The only alternative is that you are not NOW nor never WERE separate - that existence isn't OWNED or partitioned or separated.

If this is the case, then it is just a matter of mistaken identity, a false idea you have about yourself, and the resolution is just to correct that idea, to see through the story, to recognize the true by recognizing the false. The problem is ignorance of your true self and the solution is knowledge of what you are and what you are not.

Vedanta has a long history of pointing this out - recently Advaita has blossomed on the Internet and there are many many sites and teachers out there. It can be very confusing - so many different pointers.

The root of it all is to look to that "I AM" - to consider what that means - what do you mean when you assert "I AM". SEE that you are actually asserting your separate existence. SEE that going about spirituality while keeping that idea of separate existence intact is fantasy and frustration. It will never make any sense. It will always be paradox.

Look deeply into this idea that you began, that existence began and will end. What is it that began? What is it that ends? Be brutally honest in this inquiry. Honestly with yourself is very important. Follow each inquiry through to the end.

It is only forms or expressions or patterns which begin, which come and go, which are born and die. The essence or cause or source does not appear except AS these patterns - the patterns come and go but the essence does not come and go with it - the essence isn't affected. What it IS does not change - only the pattern or expression changes. And when the pattern goes, nothing happens to what IS - to existence.

The world, the body, the mind, the ideas called "ME" are all patterns. You are not a pattern. You are the essence itself. What else can you be?