Friday, September 7, 2012

Death is a Pickle

In the Katha Upanishad, it says that Death is the thing which eats the entire universe, yet to one who knows what he is, death is just a pickle - it's the condiment which helps the enjoyment and zest of life.

To the one who takes the world as a collection of things, of independent existences, death is tragic.  Death is the snuffing out of existence, the dissolution of something which exists - independently.  It was here, now it's gone.  Death is that which dissolves existence - in other words, death is the ending of existence for each independent thing.

For one who knows what he is - death is a pickle.  Death is that coming and going of patterns - death is the play of Life - a character walks onto the stage, stays a while, then leaves stage left.  From the perspective of the viewer, the character ceases.  From the perspective of the director, the actor merely stopped performing.  From the perspective of the story, that character ceases to exist.  From the perspective of the actor, existence remains.

There is one essence, one IS-ness - one "existence" - that essence is expressing in an infinitude of ways - from the tadpole to the cell biology to the pull of gravity - the rock and the tree and the birdsong.  Each experience is a patterning OF something which IS - the rock or the tree or the cell is merely that IS-ness which has formed, patterned, taken it's place on the stage of experience.  It remains for a while then departs, dissolves, ceases to pattern - we cannot truly say it ceases to exist, except from the perspective of the experiencer of that pattern.  It's death is merely a ceasing to appear, a ceasing to pattern, and not a ceasing to exist.

We look upon the world in the normal way - taking each thing that appears as an absolute existence, a stand-alone existence.  It is a new existence on it's own - this is a key point which must be grasped.  This is our belief which is the most cherished.  It is almost impossible to even challenge or doubt it, however at root it is the basis of Maya - taking the world to be a collection of separate existences.

When we see death as the ending of existence, then we are afraid - we don't want to lose what we have and we dread the ending of our own existence.  Yet if we just begin to poke into these ideas about existence- if we truly look to discover the actual nature of anything that appears, anything we can know - if we question the idea that existence is something which can come and go after all - then we are on the right track.

Death is a pickle - it is the condiment which makes the meal taste better - the meal is the play - the enjoyment of this transient Consciousness - as long as Consciousness comes and goes -the world comes and goes.  Each thing appears - to take those things as absolutes of themselves is Maya.  To know they are merely appearance, merely patterns OF something which EXISTS - something which remains while it's expressions come and go, like the waves on the ocean, then we understand the meaning of this Katha Upanishad and we enjoy the meal even as death ravishes the world.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wholeness is Now

Instead of trying to get somewhere, realize where you already are. We have gone around and around in circles trying to get somewhere that we already ARE, trying to get something we already have - no wonder spirituality is full of frustration. 

If we look at the world - not hoping it will change in realization - not trying to make a divided world whole but seeking to realize that reality is alre
ady whole - then we are on the right track. 

Then each experience, each taste of Life is inquiry - each thought is inquiry - then in each second we are not applying a condition, trying to correct the world but seeking to eliminate our ignorance of the world - that ignorance is the filter through which we see Life, through which we consider Life to be divided.

Through proper inquiry and intelligence we eliminate the ignorance of our buried and unexamined assumptions and beliefs - we dig up these things which have been beyond question and simply question them, doubt them - allow the sun to shine upon them for the first time. In this illumination we have the opportunity to see for ourselves that reality isn't to be made whole - it already IS whole.

Then we find ourselves - not waiting for some experience but already beyond separation - already whole and perfect. 

Tat Tvam Asi - it doesn't mean if I count my prayer beads properly, if I align all the pointers properly and achieve some illuminating experience then I will someday BE THAT. It means You Are THAT - right now you are that - that wholeness, that perfection. Don't wait for the proper experience - don't compare experiences and judge your own - you ARE THAT now - find you are that now instead of how you can become that later.

It seems like an insignificance but it's night and day.

Cross-posted on

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Infinite Appearance - One Essence

The availability of internet wisdom is a two-sided sword. On one hand we can entertain many different viewpoints and ways of talking about spirituality. Yet on the other hand we are inundated with so many different ways sometimes we get lost in it. We sort of try to put them all together, and somehow attain a realization which encompasses all these pointers - if one should be missing then our enlightenment is incomplete. 

This is all hogwash. Our state is due to ignorance - ignorance of what we are, ignorance of our true nature. You take yourself to be an entity, a person, someone who was born. Therefore you take existence to be arriving anew, independently, only lasting a while and then dying - dissolving - existence which comes into existence then ceases to exist. 

You take existence to be something standing on it's own, something which arrives with the formation of some pattern. But where exactly does existence begin? With the body? The body is just a mass of cells - molecules - atoms - electrons - quarks... exactly which one is it that is necessary for existence to begin? Which particle is the absolute particle? 

Can a particle ever be absolute? That is - can it ever be the source? What made up that particle, be it a molecule, an atom, an electron, a quark, and so on. If we find smaller and smaller particles, shouldn't those have even smaller building blocks, although we haven't yet discovered them? 

Therefore we always find deeper and deeper building blocks of what we can see or know - yet because the proper chemical reactions haven't taken place yet there is no form yet appearing. The so-called "existence" of that new pattern yet to come isn't really a new existence as much as a new pattern of something that is already in existence. 

And if we extrapolate that out - we find that everything we can know is like this. Everything has something indefinable as it's source, it's essence. Only we just can't know it - to know it we only know it's expression, the subsequent patterns OF IT, yes? 

Think about the nature of any pattern that you have given an independent existence to. Think about the fact that it's not really a new and independent existence but only a new and independent formation or pattern of something which DOES exist already. And when that pattern ceases to be, when it ceases to pattern in that way - THAT FROM WHICH it came doesn't cease to exist - any more than the gold ceases to exist when the ring is melted down or the clay ceases to exist when the pot is dropped and broken. 

What-you-are isn't any particular pattern but THE SOURCE itself - the identity, the true identity is with the whole or the source, not with the shapes and subsequent patterns. Being fooled by appearance, believing in existence which comes and goes, is called Maya. The entire world is nothing but this. So we don't need to change the world but realize what it truly is. That realization is that there is nothing to be done - there is nothing that needs changed. 

Then you cease taking yourself to be something which was born and will later die but that wholeness itself.

Cross-posted from