Sunday, January 29, 2012

Like A Dream

In a dream, you are moving about, working towards some goal. 

If that goal is reached, if that goal is attained, what is truly attained? 

When that dream ends, the goal, the attainment and the path are wiped out - we realize they never really existed - it was a play of consciousness. 

Nothing was gained by this realization.

Nothing was lost in this realization.

For a while it was believed to be so, now it's not.

No matter how the dream appeared, it was unreal of itself.

No matter who appeared in the dream, nothing really happened.

No one was there, no one did anything.

It was simply a play of consciousness - your head never moved from the pillow.

In the same way, we might say the Absolute is dreaming, dreaming of beingness, dreaming "I AM".

Because of that capacity the idea "I AM" is there.

When this capacity goes so does the idea.

When the dream ends so does the play.

You remain untouched - you were only aware of the dream, you did not participate in the dream.

When the dream ends you remain as you are.  The Absolute.

Then the play can go on without binding, even though the binding is also only in the play.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's Not Magic

Are we talking about what is true, or what appears?  What appears to be? 

Should we talk about why the sky is blue, or ask - is it actually blue at all?

Should we ask why the ocean is blue, or go pull a bucket of seawater and find that it's not blue at all?

Should we continue to refer the sun as moving across the sky, or realize, remember that it's actually the earth which is moving and the sun is stationary.

Should we continue to look up on the world of things and only stay with the appearance of it?  If there is a rock or a tree, we are taking that form or appearance as the absolute existence, the independent thing, instead of realizing - REMEMBERING - that a tree or rock or cloud or anything we see is a pattern, a formation, an expression of something else.

So as we break this habit of taking appearance as absolute, we begin to trace back what that "thing" is after all - from what has it appeared, from what has it patterned?  We trace it through the molecule, the element, the atom, the quark, energy - at some point we lose the ability to trace any farther.

All we can say about it - in fact we find that no matter what "thing" it is that we're trying to trace back - we always come to that same ineffable source, that same "no-thing-ness" or emptiness or Intelligence - sometimes we call it Life.

All we can really say is - whatever it IS - it is THAT which exists - the eventual pattern, the tree, the rock, the cloud, the thought - whatever it is that eventually appears or forms - is never something new, never something newly created that is apart FROM that source, apart FROM that essence, whatever it IS.

So the "existence" of the tree or rock or thought is not really an existence but a coming and going, an appearing and dissolving, a patterning OF that ESSENCE, THAT which IS - that which is the reality, that which exists alone - the tree or rock or cloud or thought is just an expression of THAT - is it not?

Therefore we come to the conclusion, really the conviction that anything we might call the "world", anything we might call "experience" is THAT essence forming or patterning or expressing - we ultimately cannot find anything which stands outside of this reality - including this body, this mind, this idea of what I Am.

Maybe unexpectedly, being dumbstruck on some quiet evening - it dawns that this essence, this LIFE or Intelligence, THAT which IS - I MUST BE THAT!  What else could I be?  What is it that is presently aware of this world, this appearance, this "patterning" which includes the body and mind?

THAT which is presently the knower of this IS THAT essence, that Life.  Therefore it isn't ME who knows the world as a separate entity but Life which knows itself through this patterning.  Life has, through this mechanism we call "Consciousness", the capability of knowing itself, yes? 

Vedanta says - Aham Brahmasmi - I am Brahman.  I am that which IS, that existence which is the source of all that appears and the knower of that appearance.  Shankara said - ultimately the Self and Brahman are identical.  THAT which you call ME, "I" - that Self you know so well, that Self which is Self-Evident - that Self is not the small self of ME, the small self of the independent existence but THAT Brahman itself, Life itself, Intelligence.

We didn't need to get anything, go anywhere - it was just realized to already be SO.  You are that whole reality, that essence, that source.  The idea of being something separate, independent, finite - falls away as false naturally - what remains is the certainty that you are the whole itself.

It's not magic.  It's not spiritual.  It's just a mistaken identity with a false idea.  The falling away of that idea is called "Self-Realization".

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Not-Two

We might say you can boil this entire spiritual seeking thing down to two things - what exists and what appears.  In fact a direction for a seeker might be to inquire into what actually exists and what is it that appears?

Maybe we get the sneaking suspicion that, due to inattention, due to the fact that we had these ideas indoctrinated before we had a chance to intelligently question them - we take the world to be a jumble of separate things, a collection of independently-existing things - the idea of a "thing" or "thingness" is critically important here.  What is a "thing" anyway?

A "thing" is supposed to be something which exists, yes?  So what does that really mean?  Did that thing pop into existence?  Where was it before?  Where does it go when it ceases to exist?  How did it come into existence anyway?  We really don't want to think much deeper than this because it's maybe too complicated or we don't think it's the right direction.  The challenge is to do it - inquire into this idea - give it a chance for doubt.

We have to be able to see the reality of dependent existence - in other words things don't just exist on their own - they are dependent on something - mostly they are just patterns - collections of something else - like molecules - so a tree is organic matter - molecules - elements - atoms - what we see as "tree" is just a pattern of energy - it is a "tree" to "eyes" - in other words "eyes" are needed to know "tree" - in this case "tree" is just a particular identified and familiar shape or pattern - if the means of knowledge were not eyes but ears, we might need the tree to make some identifiable noise, yes?  So we can identify "tree".

In this case "eyes" are part of the equation "tree" - without "eyes" there is no "tree" - if the means of measurement was a microscope, it would not be "tree" but "molecules" that we would identify - yes?  So the means of knowledge by which you are aware of that "thing" is part of the knowledge of that "thing", yes?

So what about the knowledge of your Self?  How do you come about knowing your Self?  What means of knowledge is required?  Do you know yourself via the eyes?  Do you see yourself?  Do you hear yourself?  Do you feel yourself?

In fact that which you know as "I" is the subject of all these objective situations - you cannot feel or see or touch the "I" - "I" is not available to you for objective measurement.  It is that which enjoys the measurement yet itself is never subject to measurement.

So we can trace back any "thing" that we can know objectively - what is it made of? What is it's cause?  What is it's source?  Then again when we find a source we must again ask what is the source of that?  What is the cause of that?  Finally we may reach the end of our capability of identifying that ultimate source - we might come to the conclusion that the source of one is the source of all.

See if you can trace back your source in this way.  Are you the result of some pattern?  Are you the effect of some cause?  Did you begin existing at one point where you did not exist before?  Are you just another "thing-among-things"?

These are questions we must ask and really are the foundation of self-knowledge.  If we take what appears equally to that which exists, we are overlooking the answer everytime.  We might realize that what appears must come and go due to some essence or source which IS, which exists, and the form which comes and goes is never something new, never something other-than that source.

This is the revelation of Vedanta - Tat Tvam Asi - You are THAT - THAT is what-IS - what exists - there is only ONE.

Or better said - there is not-two.