Friday, April 20, 2012

Part 3 - Conviction and Doubt

We've been looking at the ideas we have - about what we are, about what the world is, about what is reality...

Instead of leaving a vague idea in place to dictate our paradigm of reality, we've decided to overturn the rock, poke into the bushes with a stick, stir up the bees nest...  we've decided to go where we generally don't like to go - into the unknown, into the darkness.  We've determined that the only way to get to the bottom of it is to really get a look at the idea we have about what-we-are and see if it makes any sense.

Because otherwise we're just being carried around with the basic assumptions - our view of reality is dictated by this most basic belief in separation - separation means the idea that things exist of themselves, they come into existence independently.  

So we must come to a conviction one way or another - this conviction is critical.  On the one hand, instead of living with a vague undefined idea of yourself, go fully into the idea of separation - embrace it - find out that it's true and then there is no longer a need to seek wholeness or oneness.  Because if this idea you have about yourself is true, then separation is true and spirituality is a fantasy, an interesting hobby but nothing more.  If you can come to this conviction, then your search is over.

On the other hand, if you do poke into it and cannot confirm this idea of separation, of independent existences which come and go, then the conviction must be the other way.  It's not adopting a new belief system - but maybe it's a conviction that the idea I have about myself is NOT true even if I don't know yet what I am.  I can truly DOUBT this idea of separation, I can truly DOUBT the idea that what-I-am comes and goes, even if I cannot replace this idea with another one.  

It is this doubt that is the spiritual fuse - once this is lit spirituality takes on a new dimension - a new flavor.  It's no longer a hobby.  It's a fire that burns up everything.  My comfortable idea I have is ripped out and I'm left without anything to rest on - I must get to the bottom of it.  I am willing to look at the possibility that I am the whole after all.  I am willing to inquire truthfully into these ideas and completely discard what I find to be false.

This means we need something other than our existing belief system - we need something to point in the right direction.  Most religions are trying to do this, however they are clouded with additional confusion which makes it difficult to see the underlying message.  But even a walk in the park can be a pointer, a spiritual message.  In fact just sitting here now at your computer, each experience, each sensation - eventually we will see that THIS is IT, right here and now.  

Vedanta is another system - another pointer - another means of knowledge to come to know what you are.  Vedanta simply provides an occasion for doubt - it questions what we think and provides other possibilities.  It points out things which are undeniable and forces us into a corner - there may be a break in the paradigm of separate thing-ness and a realization that reality is not-two.

So through this, we come to realize that my existing ideas about what-I-am are dubious, doubtable, and something like Vedanta might be needed to point me in the right direction.  

And ultimately we realize that we never went anywhere - we never needed to move one inch from where we are now, we never needed to become anything other than what we are now.  We find that it was only our idea about what-we-are that was incorrect - nothing changed except the false fell away.