Friday, August 29, 2014

Dissolving into Nothing

We have been struggling with spirituality, probably for several years.  We have read countless writings, books, internet posts, listened to interviews or talks...  We try to see what is being pointed at - we try to experience what it feels like to be whole, to know that reality is whole.  But that exercise will always be a pointless and losing game.

You are ALREADY experiencing what it feels like to be whole.  Whatever this present experience IS, it's an experience of wholeness.  That means even to feel separate is a feeling of wholeness.  Why?  Because reality is already whole.  So any experience is an experience of the whole - in fact it's an experience BY the whole - who else but the wholeness of reality itself could experience it? 

That means the idea of myself as an individual is false, but also that it's a natural expression of the whole.  There isn't anything wrong with it - actually it's really the only way you can feel, speaking of pure sensory input.  But part of that "feeling" separate is the parallel IDEA of being a separate entity or existence. 

If that idea falls away, the sensory feeling is the same but it loses its association with the idea.  Just like a mirage.  If we see a mirage we may run towards it to quench our thirst.  But as we continue to chase it, at some point it becomes clear that it was just a reflection, that there never really was water in the road.  Later we again see a mirage.  The pure sensory input is the same - the same apparent body of water is there - however we know that to be false and therefore there is no urge to run towards it with a bucket.  The false has been seen as false - the idea has fallen away.  We are no longer ignorant of the true nature of the reflection - although it still appears as if water is standing in the road.  So the sensory "feeling" is the same but the overall feeling is different, because there is no parallel belief in that appearance as water.

What we must be able to see is that the "thing" as it appears is not absolute reality - that means the rock isn't a completely separated existence.  It didn't arrive anew as a new thing.  But this is absolutely our root belief - each appearance is a thing - by that we MEAN a new and separate existence.  So we believe there are an infinite number of independent existences - coming and going, being born and dying.  Birth is the creation of a new existence and death is the ending of that separate, independent existence.  But if we really look into this idea, we find that idea to be false, in fact it's not really even difficult to realize this.  The only difficulty is to actually look into it, due to the fact that this idea is so ingrained - it's one of our most essential beliefs - so much so that it isn't even seen as just a belief, it's seen as a fact.  But a little doubt about it and some honest exploration of that idea is enough to truly shake that idea up - we start with the slightest inkling that something is amiss.  Then, if we continue to question it, the entire idea collapses like a house of cards. 

And because that idea is one of our founding ideas, part of the very foundation of our idea of reality, the ground really is pulled out from under us.  We're cast out into an abyss - into the unknown.  This really is the source of many spiritual experience - being ripped out of the comfortable set of ideas about separated existence and into the unknown.  Yet we settle into it and realize how stupidly simple it really was, after all.  It really makes no sense that existence is divided into parts, into individual parts.  We find that all these "things" are merely expressions of what ALREADY exists, that these expressions come and go but never does EXISTENCE come and go. 

This is so supremely simple, and the contrary idea is so ingrained, that it is missed almost without exception.  We believe realization must be something else - that it must be some supernatural or mystical experience.  And for those who insist on this, the spiritual path remains a roller coaster, frustrating and confusing.  But for those who will put aside this false idea for a moment and entertain the possibility - who will truly give an honest exploration of existence and "things" - the possibility is there to have your entire world dissolve into nothing.


Unknown said...

Hello my friend~
Do you have any suggestions on a method of inquiry for the seemingly separate self~? There has been much doubt in regard to the nature of this reality as it appears to the senses, yet it seems that the patterning or conditioning is very solid~ Intellectually knowing that "I" am simply the *Seeing* doesn't touch the fact that What the body's eyes see appears real and separate~
Thank you,

Randall Friend said...

Hi Mark,

There are many methods of inquiry - choose one that most resonates.

One very effective way is to inquire into the nature of existence - into the nature of "things". Is a new existence created with each new thing? What is a thing, after all? From what does it come? Is a new existence bottled up in each new thing? Does that existence end when that "thing" ceases to be?

Look at any "thing" - a rock, a cloud... where did they begin? What happens to them when they end? Can you find a new independent existence in anything?

Or is it possible that existence IS - FROM THAT things arise and dissolve, like waves arise on the ocean. A new wave isn't a new existence but only ocean in expression. If we look at wave as a new thing, as a new existence, then we miss the wholeness of ocean, THAT which is the essence of all waves. In the same way, you are not just this body-mind but WHAT that body-mind IS, in essence.

Whether that is a rock, a cloud, a wave, or a Mark, things come and go but WHAT those things ARE never does.