Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Mandala is Only Sand

We had been discussing the Vedanta concept of Mithya.  Mithya is that which has no independent reality, that which is just appearance.  Mithya really is easy to understand.  

The wave is Mithya.  The wave forms, it rises up and goes on for a while.  It crashes to the shore and dissipates.  It has a clear beginning, a life of it's own, and a clear ending.  Wave can be discussed, pointed to, and even enjoyed (just ask a surfer).  Yet Wave is nothing but Ocean.  It is something ocean is doing, it is an expression of ocean.  Wave has no independent reality, no independent existence.  Although it began, went for a while, then ended, it really was nothing but Ocean, or water.  Wave is a form OF water.  Yet we talk of wave, wave has particular attributes by which we can identify it.  We can differentiate a wave from a grilled cheese sandwich.  Yet wave has no real independence or existence.

This is mithya.  It is the truth that these "things", although they are describable and undeniable, have no actual existence of their own.  We talk of birth and death - the wave was born and it dies.  But nothing new came into existence.  Ocean simply expressed in that particular, identifiable way for a while, then it stopped.  That's what is meant by mithya.  If you're a Buddhist, we might say - the mandala, although very intricate and beautiful, is really nothing but a pile of sand.

So birth might be said to be the new expression of something that actually DOES exist.  But we are fooled by it.  We give wave it's own existence.  We say it exists independently of ocean, as some "thing".  But was that ever true?  Do you see that, although that's really the way you think of "things" - that's the way you give reality and independence to the world, it really was never true?

No matter what we look at, the tree, the cloud, the bird, the thought - these "things" are expressions or "waves" OF something that exists.  They don't come into existence anew, as new "things", as independent, separate existences.  They are OF something - OF something that exists.

So what IS IT, that exists?  The tree is there, the cloud is there, the thought is there.  If we boil those things down, we find molecules, atoms, quarks, energy...  we always come down to something which is undefinable, something which IS, yet we can't put our finger on it.  We might call that Life or Intelligence or something like that - but it's pretty easy to recognize that whatever that "thing" is, it's ultimately just a pattern or expression of that "something", that IS-ness, that which exists, even though we can't ever define it.

Something exists - that "something" IS - and that IS-ness is appearing - right now.  There is a tree, a cloud, a  bird, a thought...  these are like the wave - coming and going.  But what IS can't come and go - only those patterns OF it.  What-IS remains while the wave comes and goes, the thought pops up and dissipates, the tree sprouts, lives for a while, then dies.  Those "things" are really just that Essence, that Which-IS- call it Life or Brahman or Intelligence.  

You know you exist.  You can't ever deny that you exist.  You are here.  You are aware.  You are present.  YOU are THAT existence, THAT IS-ness, that which IS.  Right now THAT is aware, THAT is what is knowing, what is manifesting in a million-trillion ways, aware of itself due to this mechanism we call Consciousness.  That IS-ness is aware of itself - yet it takes itself as some "thing" - the mind has this habit of applying "thingness" to these appearances and never realizes that they are not independent and separate.  So that IS-ness or Life is aware of this confusion - the identification is with the appearance - the identity is with the story of it all.

In reality, aren't you just that ultimate essence, that which IS, that which EXISTS?  When you boil down the wave, the tree, the cloud, the bird, the thought, the story of ME, can you ever really find a multitude of existences?

And isn't that existence, right now, what is really reading this?


NetiNeti said...

Yes, Randall. Yes it is. Love to you my friend.


JD Hazlewood said...

That is what IS Brother!
JD Hazlewood

Randall Friend said...

Hi Preston and JD,

It's great to hear from you again.


Fran said...

Thanks Randall,


Matty Boy said...

Hi Randall,

I have a question. I have seen in many talks from enlightened masters, that they say i as a individual do not exist . There is only this awareness within which everyting appears including the body and and our thoughts.It is also said that awareness cannot know itself. So how is it known that you as a individual dont exist, bcoz there is no one to know ?

thnx matty

Randall Friend said...

Hi Matty,

This is a confusion in pointers. Awareness is a pointer. You KNOW you exist. Does that knowing belong to the form or individual, or is the individual the mechanism through which existence knows itself?

When that form ends, the capacity to know ends. But does existence end? Do YOU end? Did you arrive with that particular collection or arrangement of atoms we call "Matty"? Or did existence already "exist"? Isn't "Matty" just another arrangement of existence or expression of existence - just as the tree is a pattern of Life? Life didn't begin with the Tree. You didn't begin with "Matty".

Awareness is only the evidence of a fact - what is the fact? YOU are the fact.

Tom Stuart said...

The whole describes itself succinctly through you Randall. It's amazing how it shifts between being everything and then absolutely nothing, formless as the Sikhs call it. Nisargadatta said that the former was love and the latter was wisdom.


Randall Friend said...

Hi Tom - nice blog. Love to you my friend.