Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Confusion Now Hath Made His Masterpiece.
There's a lot of advice, wisdom, conflicting words, and competing methods available about this subject: liberation, awakening, enlightenment, our true nature, God-consciousness, just plain consciousness, advaita vedanta, whatever the preferred moniker might be. Many labels fly around as well; traditional advaita, neo-advaita, non-duality, lucid living, the open secret, on and on etc. et al. Many apparently incongruous statements are contained in the books and websites; even some of the most closely aligned writers subtly disagree, i.e. Jeff Foster doesn't especially like to say "there is no one" whereas with Tony Parsons, it's his Big Thing. So what is this? What the hell is it we're all trying to endlessly point to here? Why do some people say you must have a teacher, and others say you can't be taught what you already are? Me, I'm easily led. My character has doubts when I read this and that; just yesterday, I read something to the effect that any tradition that was too dogmatic was unworthy, so I started to doubt "my" message, thinking it emphasised too relentlessly that "there is nothing and no one and nowhere to go, this is it". I encountered an absolutely fascinating chart that details very specific levels of ego-less-ness, and with a frown, I thought, oh dear. Perhaps I haven't worked hard enough. I read a dialogue between Jeff Foster and Dennis Waite and thought, you guys win! You win hands down (especially Dennis) the big vocabulary, obtuse concept competition. I have no idea what the bloody hell you fellas are talking about. Rereading it, I now think that Mr. Waite, after spending an apparent lifetime immersed in non-duality, advaita vedanta, whatever - I suspect with him you have to get the label just right - meditating his ass off, shedding layer after layer of his ego, and having fleeting experience of the still, true source, has still not seen this and is terribly frustrated. (My character used to be so nonconfrontational. Not anymore, apparently.) Yet I identify with him; it is impossible for the mind to coalesce the very solid reality, the strident exclamation of the separate self, and the different content of each apparent individual with it all being the same one "thing". Duality is non-duality, needing to be dual to be apprehended, to exist at all. I refer to "my character" and that's a way for my mind to be at peace with the dichotomy between oneness and apparent duality, one endless, timeless moment and the apparent chain of cause and effect, nothing happening and something happening (in my household, the story really hots up each morning, trying to get everyone out of the door "on time"). Great words, but only pointing. Excellent concepts all, but they are not what they try to describe. In a nutshell, and what I and others have written many millions of words about, the "message" (such as it is) is: the secret of life is this. That goes for whatever "this" seems to be: arguing about the right words, getting the kids out of the door, holding yourself while lost in a black hole of knife-like sorrow, throwing a grenade with blood lust and fury in the midst of war, sitting in peaceful meditation with an unengaged mind immersed in simple being; what needs to be done is done, what must be thought is thought, what should be felt is felt. It is all the perfect expression of life. No one needs to teach you how to be, or how to breathe, or how to make your heart beat. However, lots of people seek out teachers, and engage in practices, and this seems to work for them (or not). All the apparent cacophony is beauty, it indescribably shines with wonder, and I am at a loss to describe it at all. Personally, I wouldn't mind my own guru. A really good looking one, like Ramana Maharshi when he was younger, who was a bit naughty and willing to have inappropriate relations with the occasional disciple. But that's a different story.