Thursday, 29 October 2009
Friday, 23 October 2009
I was asked if I felt I possessed personal power, and if I, for example, blessed an airplane as I boarded. No, if I go on an airplane I don't bless it or anything. I don't know about that kind of stuff, messing with energy, etc. With my luck, I'd get the blessing just a li-i-i-tle bit wrong and the whole thing would go down in flames!
I was asked: Do we teach what we need to learn? Well, if you're just talking about day-to-day life unfolding, it seems to me that there are a lot of mirrors and clues about lessons to be learned in every person we meet, or reaction/response we have. I teach my kids "pick up your disgusting dirty socks" so I better be darn sure I pick up my own dirty socks. The dirty socks on the floor offend me; what does that say about me? It says that I better yell a bit more loudly and persistently at the kids - and husband for that matter - until I have bullied and nagged them into picking up their horrible, crusty socks.
I was asked: Do I attempt to control anything in my life? That last answer takes care of that question: I attempt to control my family's behaviour with floors, and socks.
The personal power I possess is minimal. Although I try to use my power over the family's sock habits, through manipulation and aggression, they largely ignore me. Maybe I should chant some stuff and use some hoo-do, or cast a circle and call up the Goddess and the Great Horned God, but even a whole platoon of elemental spirits could easily be ignored by a child on level 10 of Fallout 3.
I don't really goal-set. Years ago I read "Creative Visualisation" by Shakti Gawain, but it was a bust. It was too much like telling the Universe what I thought was good for me. Now it seems that goals come up, writing the blog for instance, or writing a book which I've just done, but the difference seems to be I'm not agonising over them or trying to find my "true purpose" or needing them to validate or define me. I am defined, and undefined. It seems much more fluid and easier now. The less I'm involved - meaning ego-fears or concerns - the better it goes, whatever it is. Nonduality just means that ego-stuff comes up, due to long conditioning of the mind/body thingy, but doesn't really stick around; there's not much for it to hook onto. It also isn't taken very seriously, by, most definitely, no one.
I was asked: How do I raise my children? Long ago (or so it seems) my husband and I started socialising them along the lines of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". So if they do something "wrong" within this framework, a belief system like any other, I just remind them about being nice to others, and remembering that we're all worthy, and things along those lines. It seems to cover most occurrences so far. I remind them of how marvelous they are a lot, say "I love you" constantly and hug them to the point of them saying "get off me Mum!". That encapsulates my child rearing philosophy. I guess I lead by example: my observable behaviour reflects being very patient with myself, and not too hard on my own humanity, and with every apparent other person I encounter, which seems incredibly easy "these days". Mostly, I muddle along as best I can like 99.9% of humanity.
About choice - there is the appearance of choice in day-to-day life, of course, but life is illusory, it's just energy arranged very interestingly, and anything chosen is the same thing - oneness - in yet another fascinating guise.
I don't think there's destiny, because destiny implies time - future - and there is no time, just this, this now, this ever changing now. There can be an unfolding story that appears to validate the idea of destiny, but that yet again is just yet another beautiful and fascinating expression of oneness.
Ambitions come up, just like goals, and are intrinsically fulfilling - that seems the closest way to put it.
Instinct and intuition seem to be more part of the story these days. My poor, beleaguered mind has been let off the hook, by itself, by nothing.
All words fall together to reflect some system of belief, and are always concepts. The real challenge with describing direct, unfettered presence is that it's not a concept, or a feeling, or a state. It encompasses all belief systems, and negates them, and validates them, and is them all, and is none of them. Very tricky.
Oneness is always everything, always already the case even if your mind is in the throes of frantic seeking. Whatever you're doing is the perfect expression, the perfect invitation, as Tony Parsons puts it. There is no utopia but this. There will always be those who work for peace, love and a better world, and those who oppose all that, due probably to separation and fear. It seems it is possible to fall in love with it all. Who falls in love? Love falls in love with itself, I guess.
If I have a message - and I don't - it would be that you, whomever you think you are, however you seem to perceive reality, are beautiful, whole, complete and perfect just as you are. Your ego is beautiful, and the awareness that is everything is beautiful, and you are that awareness, looking lovingly at itself. Reality may be a fragile illusion, but it is a gorgeous, complex, fascinating, engrossing, fulfilling, and fantastic illusion to be enjoyed, and reviled, and felt, and touched, and seen and heard and apprehended by its own very self, and you are that.
Writing this was fun. However, my husband kept coming in and interrupting me. Annoyance arises in awareness! But also tolerance, patience and husband-handling skills. Whatever I'm doing, it is just what must be done. And I'm not doing a thing. What freedom.
It lingers, hope. It lingers as much as despair does. The story of hope for a better life and a better world, that the world's story will improve along the lines of less (or no) fear-driven actions and more (or totally) compassion-based actions lingers, even with those who supposedly have no stake in the world's story. The mind needs the story; the personality needs a goal. Very few see this world as utopia. If they do, they are dismissed as deluded or blinkered, or as coming from a place of apathy and privilege. For all of mankind's history - the story of humanity - there has been strife and peace, suffering and redemption. Life, the story of it, is always in balance.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Humanity - desperately working for peace, or inciting hatred. Despite the widely varying motivations and personalities, we are all the same. Strip away the belief systems of the mind, look in the mirror and know absolutely that the person seen is just the same as the Taliban member who wakes up in the morning, looks into his bit of mirrored glass and reaches for his turban. That sense of self, of I Exist, of I Am, that seems so singular and special and ours - that consciousness is shared. And simply that is what these words point to. It is tempting put a lot of importance on the thoughts, the story of existence; the people who write about oneness, Advaita, consciousness, awareness, or whatever we're calling it, go to great lengths to try and devalue the mind and the thoughts, and the personality they weave, the personality so often mistaken for that shared consciousness. The story of dispelling all that is the most important story, evidently. "Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9% of everything you think, and everything you do, is for your self, and there isn't one," says Wei Wu Wei. There is a great urge to end the suffering that the misguided attribution of the story equalling the Self apparently causes. There is a lot of energy devoted to insisting that the sense of separation - the effect of this mis-attribution - is incorrect, and not clear seeing of reality. Or, the self and its personality is celebrated, and the oneness of shared consciousness is rejected as too dry and arid; the story of life is treasured, and the tasks presented by life are deeply valued. If we all see clearly our shared consciousness, say some, then we'll be a world healed, working together for a common, loving goal; we will be love in action. Or, say others, if we lose our value of the separate life, we will be passionless, and be unmoved by the plight of mankind, and unmotivated to work for peace, healing and harmony. Or perhaps, say the haters of dispassion, if we lose our personalities and passions, the world will be a dull, saccharine place, full of do-gooders with no hopeless cases to take under their wing, all happy-clappy, touchy-muchy and healy-feely. Bleagh, they say. Where is the wholeness, the interest, the variety, in that?
It is already just as it is. How it might be is speculation happening now. How it has been is memory happening now. It is, was and will be as it must be. All the suffering, war, working to end war, passion to make a positive contribution to society, present awareness uncluttered by believing the thoughts that arise, apathy, hard work -it's all here now. Those thoughts - no matter what they are - are not yours, and every single thought is a gift. Those actions - no matter how well-considered - are not your actions, and every action is an act of worship. The thoughts rejecting or embracing the concepts just read - again, not yours, no matter how involved they seem to be with your personality. There is nothing wrong, not with the most amoral acts, or the understandable resistance to those acts of immorality; nothing wrong with passionate, missionary actions to save the world, and get us all to behave compassionately. Life is, has been, and will always be everything. It is here for no reason other than itself. Those stories, seeming to unfold, are real and unreal, meaningless and meaningful; the bland, passionate, cruel and loving Utopia our separate personalities have been looking for is right here.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
And now, a bit of "my" story, which seems to unfold, but doesn't really: I love life. I love it so much, the very appreciation of it floors me. This is in contrast to a dreadful, bleak, lingering suicidal depression that lasted about a year, three years ago. In my story, I would not change that terrible time for anything; it was a privilege to be so vulnerable, and to encounter others in their most human, fragile states. And, in the story, I might not appreciate every little thing the way I seem to now without that period of suffering. But don't think "you" must have such pain to "get" this. Everything is eternity and infinity; it is, whether the mind sees it or not; and "getting" this seems largely seeing that there is no one to get it. Everything is a gift, from nothing, to itself. It is. Here. Now.
"I am in love with Life. As the mountain lake
Which receives many streams And sends forth great rivers, But holds its unknown depths, So is my love.
Calm and clear, as the mountains in the morning Is my thought, Born of love."
J. Krishnamurti, from "From Darkness to Light"
Monday, 12 October 2009
We are never alone. Even the ascetic monk on the proverbial mountain, playing out the story of hermitage and self-denial, is not alone. The drunk in those last, lost stages of active addiction, locked in a filthy room, shades drawn, is not alone, despite the overwhelming feeling of isolation. However we may run, we cannot hide; whatever form the running takes, whatever machinations the mind concocts to be anywhere, anywhen but here and now, there is no escaping this. Mike S has some great thoughts about awakening with others, and how others are necessary to mirror and thus unravel our small ego-self; read some of his concepts here. Yet there's no getting away from others, the many lamps of one light. Try and hide from all that is; it isn't possible. Whatever you do, it is God; whatever you see, it is God; whatever you are, it is God, and so is everything.
Saturday, 10 October 2009
That intense, ravenous longing, that urgent need to see reality somehow differently than what it is, is the seeker's drive. We are all seekers, in one way or another; all activity is a seeking for consciousness - this life, just as it is - or a desire to come home to pure awareness (which can be called unadorned living) without importance placed on the content of life's story. How we want this! It is desired so strongly. And, frustratingly, we are told there is nothing we can do to make it happen. It's God's will, says Ramesh Balsekar; if its meant to happen, it will, and if it's not, it won't, says Stanley Sobottka.
Yet most of the bloggers and writers and teachers that seekers ferret out seem to have the (often only implied) goal of facilitating an awakening, even if it's merely to encourage the seeker to stop seeking, or to see that the personality is not what makes the man. Traditional teachers have many methods of stripping away all Earthly desires; more modern teachers encourage seekers to simply see things as they are, thus letting awareness shine through naturally. Sometimes the only action advocated is to "drop" the personal identity.
Well, how on Earth, or very pointedly how not on Earth, does one "drop" the very thing that does the dropping?
Therein lies the frustration. There is nothing the identity can do to drop itself; anything the persona does reinforces its own existence (and misunderstanding) as the seat of being, rather than being an adjunct, or a convenience. If it's any consolation - and consolation is not necessarily the goal either - "after" this seems to happen, the personal identity just ceases to be so important, and the task at hand is tended to very directly. That inchoate, wistful, painful, often all-consuming longing for things to be somehow different - somehow better - than they are just disappears. There can still be longing, but it is more like longing for the sake of longing; all states, all actions, all feelings, thoughts, plans and goals, exist only for their own sake. But there is no apt description of unfiltered life. It is what we've always done, but have never realised it was so.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
No one is is prison. No one is at the mercy of the circumstances of life. What happens - depression, despair, recovery, redemption - is unimportant; whatever happens, happens, and lessons may be learned or not, and healing might happen - or not. What we are is beyond all that, and is all that; "all that" is here for the hell of it, and the heaven. All that happens is parable; whether it seems an epic allegory or merely notable synchronicity, it hints at the greater possibility. And that possibility is that this is enough. We are boundless, and the happenings flow around the very fact of existence - the one indisputable absolute. Call it awareness, presence or "I Am" (capitalisation optional). It is the one and only thing that cannot be deconstructed or denied.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
I suppose the only goal behind these words is to point out that everyone is complete and whole and perfect, just as they are. There is not so much the goal of inducing somehow the "ah-ha" moment, when the needs and desires of the persona are eclipsed by the realisation that their heart's desire is, in fact, in everything they touch, think, feel, see, hear, smell and taste - and it always "was". My goal, for whatever reasons of my conditioning, is to point to the beauty of what is, and the wonder that is each of us, just exactly as we are. I'm not fond of people beating themselves up for being human. I'm appalled by the destruction - both of self and of everything near - that self-loathing is the catalyst for. So I gently try to make people see how extraordinary they are, just as they are, by simply telling them this is so.
However, it's also the case that being appalled by destruction doesn't mean that it's not necessary. The other goal I seem to have is to merely describe balance: in duality, which is simply awareness taking a look at itself, there must be depression for happiness, despair for joy, destruction for creation, subject for object, war for peace. So I point out that there is always balance, and there is no utopia but this.
So, bearing all this in mind, the answer to the question "what should I do?" is: do exactly what you are doing. You can't get it wrong. If the thought comes up to join a meditation group, or embark on some austere and fruitful Eastern-based spiritual practices, by all means do so. If Byron Katie's The Work seems to beckon, please embark on that journey. If A Course In Miracles seems to fit your particular conditioning, get stuck in. However, perhaps the most helpful advice - if, indeed, there is any - is to give up. Just take the whole enlightenment search and stick it up the collective Universe's butt. Read everything, go to satsangs, get frantic with it, and then get disgusted and throw the whole thing out the Great Cosmic Window. The Buddha similarly gave up; when the mind stops its frenzied quest to annihilate itself, the obvious can shine through. No matter what you are doing, it is eternal and infinite. No matter how small you seem to be, you are eternal and infinite, too. Do everything; do nothing; it is all just as it must be.