Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chain Cannot Become Gold

The gold chain is seeking to know what it is.  It begins it's search in meditation, hoping to calm the chain-mind and discover what it is.  It reads lots of books, blogs, and Facebook posts, looking for that little nugget to set it free, free from it's limited chain-life, a life that began, an existence which will some day end.
 
The chain visits a guru - a chain-guru - that guru tells the chain - your true nature is Gold.  You cannot seek it or reach it, for you ARE it.  Chain is mystified by this concept "Gold".  Gold is this formless, undefined, inconceivable thing - since chain cannot conceive of it, it looks elsewhere, to practices, new states, new experiences that it can have to find out what it is.  Chain-guru just smiles.
 
Chain seeks far and wide, reads every book on the topic, including the most famous chain-guru of them all Nisargadatta Chain-maraj.  Nisargadatta says, you were never born, you are THAT which you seek.  Chain is so confused but since Chain-maraj said it, chain decides to stop looking outside, to stop looking for some new experience or state, and look at WHAT it is, in essence.
 
Chain finds that it didn't actually begin - that it is the product of some melting, some bending, some polishing...  that something was already there before chain was formed, and "something" was formed into what we call "chain".  Well the chain now knows that whatever it is, chain is merely a pattern or formation OF that substance, that essence, whatever it is. 
 
Chain is shocked to find that this "Gold" isn't a thing at all, it is a formless essence - it shapes into chains and rings and bracelets - all those "things" are Gold, in essence.  So chain realizes it is Gold after all.
 
But that's not really true, is it? - chain didn't realize anything.  Chain was only ever Gold.  It is not chain that realizes it is Gold.  It is Gold that realizes, it was never only Chain, never only ring, never only bracelet.  All these are expressions OF Gold.  It is Gold, experiencing itself AS chain, AS ring, AS bracelet, which caused the original illusion and the eventual realization.  When chain is formed, nothing was born, nothing was created, no new EXISTENCE came about.  When chain is gone, nothing will die, nothing was destroyed, no separate EXISTENCE ended. 
 
In the same way, you are Life itself.  You are seeking Life outside yourself.  Like the chain, Life has formed or patterned and that pattern is intelligent with the capacity of consciousness.  Life now can look upon itself, and even question WHAT it is.  And maybe Life realizes it was never JUST that organism. 
 
Existence isn't something which comes and goes - all things are patterns OF existence or Life - when the pattern ends, existence remains.  There is one essence, expressing as every "thing".  Dive into your idea of existence and see if you can find where existence ever began in anything.  Don't stop until you arrive at an answer to your satisfaction.  Don't look outside yourself for the answers and remain confused as the chain was. 
 
You can never reach it, for you ARE it.  In Vedanta pure existence is called Brahman.  It is said that you cannot find Brahman - it is Brahman which is doing the looking.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Existence

What is the difference between the existence of a rock and the existence of a cloud?  Does a rock exist?  Does a cloud exist?  Yes, of course they do.  But their existence is dependent - they didn't pop into existence.  They formed from something.  Something WAS - from that the rock formed - from that the cloud formed.  Something already existed - in the case of the rock it was a mineral - the cloud was water vapor.  The minerals came together and we call that "rock" - the water vapor condensed and we call that "cloud".  The minerals and water were already there yet we say "rock" is a new thing - "cloud" is a new thing - the rock stays around a lot longer than the cloud yet we say that each is a thing.  In that we mean that they are independent existences. 
 
Yet water and mineral are really the same "thing" also - a mineral is just a combination of the elements - water is just a combination of the elements - elements in the rock may be iron, magnesium, oxygen, hydrogen...  the water is hydrogen and oxygen.  Those elements are identified as that because they are all atoms with a particular number - the number of protons in that particular atom.  So the rock, that solid mass which stays around a long time, is a mass or formation or pattern of atoms with a different number of protons.  The cloud is a mass or formation or pattern of atoms with a different set or number of protons.  Isn't that really the difference between a rock and a cloud?  If you had an atomic microscope and looked at the rock and the cloud, you would see just the atoms - other than a different number of protons there wouldn't be much difference between the cloud and the rock.
 
The atom is a word used to identify these tiny particles, or mass of particles.  Like the cloud, the atom is really mostly empty space.  We have the nucleus of the atom, or the center, which is a mass of protons and neutrons, surrounded by a cloud of electrons.  The electron is bound to this mass of particles through an electric charge.  The electrons spin around this mass - if it has 26 protons we call that "iron" and probably find that element in a rock (hopefully not in the cloud!)  If it has just one proton, we call that hydrogen and find it probably in both the rock and the cloud. 
 
So the world, from the smallest bacteria to the largest galaxy, is made up of atoms - really smaller particles called protons, neutrons and electrons.  And these particles don't pop into existence - they are also formed from "something".  If we dive into each particle we find smaller things we might identify as WHAT those things are.
 
So when the rock is formed, did all the atoms, protons, neutrons, and electrons get formed WITH the rock?  Or did they already exist, and just formed in a way that we can see as "rock"?  Did the water already exist before cloud was formed?  So rock and cloud really don't have a new existence but they are formations of something that already existed.  That layer of atoms, which already existed, came together and now we have rock and cloud. 
 
Can we extrapolate that out using the atoms?  Did they arrive anew as new existences or did they form from something that already existed?  Did the proton spontaneously get created to make a rock?  Did the electron pop into existence?  Is an electron a thing?  Is an electron a new, separate existence?  Even if it were, wouldn't rock then be a mass of a million-trillion separate existences instead of one "thing"?  And assuming that the electron wasn't spontaneously created, the electron then may be a mass of a million-trillion other little "things".   Quarks or strings or something else we can measure and talk about.  Yet even quarks or strings would have this same situation - they must have formed FROM something - they didn't spontaneously pop into existence anew, separate and independent from everything else.
 
We could play this out forever - there must be something there - something which is beyond the measurement of parts.  That "something" FROM WHICH all these things come - that "something" which IS the quark, the proton, the atom of iron and hydrogen, the mineral, the drop of water, the rock and the cloud - that "something" which is not identifiable or describable yet is the essence of all these "things" - that "something" which somehow expresses as quark, as proton and electron, that something which "moves" or "spins" - that movement is energy - that energy is movement of what-IS - we call that MOVEMENT the electron - we call that MOVEMENT iron and hydrogen - we call that rock and cloud.  We call the movement of WHAT-IS by lots of names - in fact we have infinite names for THAT which IS.  Only we know it by it's expressions - we know THAT by knowing the cloud, by knowing the rock.  We attempt to measure THAT IS-ness by dissecting the rock and cloud - by documenting this movement as electrons and quarks.
 
In all this, we somehow come to think of the electron as some new "thing" - as something which came about anew, separate and independent of THAT which it really IS, in essence.  Because we don't usually SEE the electron, we take that rock and that cloud as new things, as new EXISTENCES, as separate and independent EXISTENCES.  That is basically the way we think of reality - as a collection of infinite "things" - infinite existences which pop in and then die - cease to exist. 
 
Is the rock "born"?  Does cloud ever cease to exist?  When cloud is formed, is it born and then later, once it dissipates, did it die?  Did it ever have a new, independent existence, or did something that already exist just form in a different way - a way we can see, describe and have a name for?
 
We have this body - when was it born?  What is the body?  Isn't it a cloud of the elements?  Did all those elements, all those atoms, all those electrons, all those quarks and strings - did all those things pop into existence the moment of conception?  Conception is the combination of the seed of the mother and the seed of the father.  Those seeds already existed prior to conception - those seeds are the elements - hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, iron - all the elements we find in the cloud and the rock...  those seeds are the bodies of the mother and the father - the bodies of the mother and the father are the elements from the food taken in, from the air.
 
So before, during and after the rock, the cloud, the mother, the father, the embryo - there are elements - elements are a word for the specific patterning of these atomic particles.  These atomic particles are patterns of energy - little clouds of something.  Nowhere in this did we find any independent existence - nowhere in this did we find a collection of separate EXISTENCES but only formations or patterns or collections of "something" that exists, expressions of "something" - something which seems to be in movement - we call that energy - that energy is named quark, electron - that energy, that particular movement, is called iron and hydrogen and oxygen - that movement is called rock and cloud. 
 
In fact that movement, that expression of existence itself, is also called ME.
 
In Vedanta, the statement is made "I am THAT".  What "I" IS, THAT is.  In Buddhism they say - Form is Emptiness - Emptiness IS Form.  We might say - there is one Essence, expressing as every-"thing".

Take a look around you - can you find independent existence anywhere?  Isn't THAT which exists, right now, knowing itself through this advanced, complex mechanism called Consciousness?  Isn't the "universe" now, because of this capacity, aware of itself? 

Aren't YOU the Universe itself?  Isn't identification with this body, with this experience, ultimately false?  Is there anything you need to do, to BE THAT, right this very instant?