Thursday, 30 April 2009

Something; And Scarce So Much: Nothing, Indeed.

The incongruency of the life of my character continuing on as ever - with ever more intensity - and the pure sense that nothing is happening, that life is dream-like, is much easier to take. Every sensation, thought and feeling is ever more itself, yet the illusion is seen through. That point of awareness we call ourselves that seems so small and lonely and contracted, it is everything. Whatever it is that seems to be, whether it be pain or struggle or joy or peace, the garden, a crowd on the train, the angry wife, the roomful of sweating Bikram Yoga disciples, or a good film (saw The Dark Knight last night - Heath Ledger deserved his posthumous Oscar - the "making the pencil disappear" scene is classic), that is wholeness. I'll admit to some thoughts arising of wanting to be more selfless, wanting to conduct my life purely along the lines of my terribly prohibitive moral code, wanting the knot of worry in my chest to loosen, wanting more peace and less struggle. But strangely, as "time" seems to unfold, these things come to pass. There seems to be less fear, and more peace. There seems to be the energy available to contact all the people (most of them anyway) in my life I'm concerned about, or feel duty-bound to let know the details of my life; there seems to be more creation, less destruction; there seems to be both time and ability to help others that are seeking my help for whatever apparent reasons. Nothing hangs on the circumstances of life. There is no pressure to "get it right" so getting it "right" is easier. There is nothing wrong with the ego, and when ego-fears arise, it is just another face of oneness, of all-embracing, unconditional love; but, somehow in reverse to practice, ego-concerns slip away. There is nothing for them to hook onto, or at least it seems there is less. There is precious little to reject the pain of life, so the pain isn't seen as something to be avoided; there is precious little that is inclined to avoid. But even the avoidance is perfect. There is nothing out of place, there couldn't be. Many people get to this by doing their best, in separation, to accept what is, no matter what it is. But there is no one who can accept or not accept; if resistance arises, that is perfect too. We are all exactly where we are; and where we are is always just as it must be. And none of it matters a jot.

Grief Joys, Joy Grieves, On Slender Accident.

Surely compassion is the goal, compassion and service to humanity. That is what is preached by many millions, over many thousands of generations, in multifarious traditions, religions and institutions. This is compassion. All that seems to be, all that is, is unconditional love. What we have been led to believe is reality is dreamlike; it is not dismissed, but seen as appearance, a most fitting appearance, the appearance that must be; and like a dream to the untutored dreamer, it is intense, fleshy, juicy, more itself for being seen. Yet there is an imperative that ricochets amongst the bedlam that the goal is service, to be all- compassionate, to lose the small self and expand into the wonder. In all there is all, in the appearance there is duality, and duality demands sinners for the saints, and evil deeds for altruism. There are many paths to enlightenment, and life itself is path enough for some apparent persons. There are not too many tomes written about the WHAMMO! What the hell?!? path, where the unsuspecting individual seemingly drops the self spontaneously, but this story exists too. There are many ways to say, "I am lived." There is "there is no one," or, "all that exists is God's will," or "there is only Consciousness," or all the precepts around Buddhist Nirvana or Mukti, in Advaita Vedanta. It needs nothing; not understanding, not wisdom, not just the right words; it is all. There for all to see, difficult to approach. Difficult because to see the worst crimes as love is antithetical to all the socialisation we have so painstakingly gone through. It is all love, and it doesn't matter if it is seen or not, or how hard the disciple works for it, or how unconcerned most individuals are about it. Absolutely everything that seems to be is the perfect expression of love. And, if this is seen, if the self drops away either through apparent hard graft or unexpectedly, those ideals of service and compassion usually unfold. But there is no guarantee. Just look at the life of U. Krishnamurti; it gives flavour to the maxim "An enlightened asshole is still an asshole."

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

For In Every Thing The Purpose Must Weigh With The Folly.

There is no goal, save what is. The goal is achieved always. Whatever the story of a life seems to be, whether filled with goals and purpose or directionless frustration, each apparent circumstance is fulfilled life, existing, miraculous. Whether that circumstance is a deep hell, filled with mental and emotional suffering, or a shining path, wherein all past misdemeanors have been dealt with and life seems light and whole, life is doing as it must, always. The hell is not happening to you, it is happening. The light is not a pleasure to be maintained, it is just light. But whether there seems someone to claim these circumstances or not, life is life, and does what it must, unconcerned of whether there is perceived separation or not. We are all lived, whether we think so or not; our thoughts are not ours, nor are our feelings. We long for home, whether we realise it or not; the paradox seems to be that we are already home, for even separation is oneness. There is nothing else. If the story is noticed, goals may seem to arise, but perhaps they are just for fun. Awakening is not the goal. There is no goal. There is just this.

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.

Monday, 27 April 2009

This Love Feel I, That Feel No Love In This.

Whatever it is that asks to be released from the bondage of self is not in bondage. Whatever it is that seeks awakening is what is sought. The despair of futility is the song of freedom in a minor key; accepted or not, separation is the perfect opening for playing the game of coming home. All these words, thousands of them now, are just this message: the secret of life is this, just this, just as it is. It confounds the mind with its simplicity and immediacy. How can this be enough? It simply is. That which cannot see it is illusory, and that which longs for it to be seen is what is longed for. What is observed changes by being observed; what is lived, simply is. There is nowhere to go but here. There is no one who can get there, and the paradox of no one, when identity seems so solid, and is reinforced by most of the stories encountered, is difficult to grasp; in fact it can't be grasped, for that which tries to overcome it reinforces the separate identity. Whatever you seem to do or not do, life is. Whether you seem to control the story or not, it will appear to continue. However much fear there seems to be in losing the self, this life is freedom, even if the fear seems to veil it. The love that is all is all, however it appears. That which seeks itself, is already itself, so even in separation, perhaps, in this love, there is comfort.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

But Life, Being Weary Of These Worldly Bars, Never Lacks Power To Dismiss Itself.

It's amazing, the freedom of this. However frightening nothingness seems, when this is recognised, it is seen that it was always the case. It's a bit like forgetting you have legs, then suddenly realising you've been walking all along, however deluded you were about not having legs. In losing yourself, you gain the whole world, only it is more than the whole world. All those questions the mind puts in the way are desperate attempts for the little contracted self to survive. How can "this" be enough? What am I going to do, if I have no will? Will I become an insufferable dickhead to my spouse? Will I encourage my children to get piercings, or go postal in the mall? How can I carry on, if nothing matters? When these questions the mind churns out dry up, then there is the possibility of something they veil. It is freeing to see that the solid world is just a construct, so much nothing, dreamed up for the fun of it, and the pain of it, and the joy of it, and the sharp, heavy grief. That specific center of "you", that sees the tree over there and hears the train passing unseen, that feels overwhelming emotions and seems lost in thought, all those sensations seemingly apprehended by a tight point of awareness, that tight point is an expansive all; it is everything, that awareness, consciousness, whatever we're calling it this morning, and it is the only thing; it is forever and endless. The strident feelings and all-consuming thoughts and multifarious sensations still seem to happen, in much the same reactive or proactive ways they always did, but they are just happening, strangely to the same mind/body bundle, yet not; the importance of the story melts away even as it is participated in all the more intensely. But these words only describe ideas, they are read, the chair chairs, and the screen screens; whatever this seems to be is the answer to every question.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

To Leave For Nothing All Thy Sum Of Good.

While the dreamer still dreams of being separate, it is anathema to even think of leaving it all behind. The idea that everything you ever believed in, everything you ever valued, and all the treasures of life meaning nothing is very hard to take. The separate self will do a lot not to die. Yet paradoxically, this separate self is just oneness, separate-selfing. This is beyond any idea of right and wrong, or good and evil. Yet all the complex and dark, twisted paths that individuals seem led down by their (often immutable) beliefs are just as they should be, and are as meaningless as anything else. Purpose may arise, but there is no purpose to life. Meaning may come up, but life, as a story, is meaningless. The meaning is a shining, obvious thing, the salient quality of everything that seems to manifest. My little dream-self knows she is dreaming, but the dream unfolds very much as it always did, with perhaps less trouble, and certainly what trouble there is remains unclaimed. Strangely, the values and the way I live seems more useful, but this is not the goal; there is no goal. There is no one who could have a goal, and if a goal arises, the apparent process of attaining it or perhaps failing to is sweet in its playful, intrinsically fulfilling nature. Even bitterness, short-lived, is notably apropos. I seem to remember a tumbling feeling of despair when I realised that the ups and downs of my seemingly extraordinary life were empty, yet in their emptiness, were somehow even more profound. Yet any memories that seem to come up, rather than proving time, belie it; any memory is a memory remembered now. All the good and all the bad I thought that I had done is of nothing. And all the good and bad that seem to arise, are different faces of unconditional love.

Friday, 24 April 2009

So We Profess Ourselves To Be The Slaves Of Chance And Flies Of Every Wind That Blows.

Nothing is wrong. Nothing is going wrong in your life. This doesn't mean there is no compassion for those who suffer in separation, for whatever very good reasons. There are some who say that pain is alright without the resistance of the false ego, and that suffering will end when our true nature is seen, but these are tenuous labels for difficult to describe feelings. Anything can happen; everything is available, for everything manifests, or appears to. What seems to be the case is that suffering is less, resistance diminishes, but resistance can arise along with everything else. There are no deals the separate dream-person can make with oneness, enlightenment, awakening, whatever we're calling it on a Friday afternoon. Pain without the illusion of someone it's happening to is unfiltered pain, and it hurts. But what seems to happen is that it slides away, or appears to, since it has no one to claim it. It seems to be replaced by the next exciting feeling more "quickly". But there is no guarantee; there are no sureties, except the spark, life itself, the still source, the One, or whatever that Friday afternoon label is. My character is quite overwhelmed with empathy and identification when I hear of pain and suffering, and I want to heal it, but making it all better is not the goal. It's a film, a story, and in a film anything can happen; in fact, it's a rotten film if the plot is "the butterflies kissed the noses of the scampering bunnies, and there was endless joy in the sunny meadow forevermore." And it's not "just" a story, as I have sometimes written; it is intense and enrapturing and sometimes horrifying, spellbinding, captivating, fleshy and extraordinary, sensuous and exquisite; and don't forget hilarious. So if it isn't seen that life is a dream, and it needn't be taken so seriously, and the suffering is acute, the only and best advice for the dreamer is: hang in there. There is no escaping from what you truly are, and that is infinite and eternal.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Why, Then The World And All That's In't Is Nothing.

There are a lot of ways to put what these words attempt to point to. A lovely Zen saying: riding an ox to find an ox. The eye that cannot see itself, but if not for itself it could not see. What you are looking for is what is looking. Some apparent individuals, with their apparent bodies made of nothing but energy, seem to get hit on the head with it. Bam! So this is it. This. Just this, that's been here all along. Some apparent individuals sit their bottoms made of nothingness - for nothing is what is seen when the nature of matter is investigated - and grit their nonexistent teeth and say: I am going to sit here until I die. I am going to stay here until I get this. I will not move until the seeker croaks. And perhaps, eventually, they say, oh fuck it. I have to pee really, really badly. I give up. And voila! The sitting and the fullness of the bladder and the uncomfortable derriere was what they were looking for. I feel strongly, and cannot stress enough, evidently, how present what is sought always is. Whatever is sought; it doesn't matter what it seems to be, success, safety for the family, God-consciousness, riches, a 1966 convertible apple red Mustang with side grills. (I'd like one of those.) "Spiritual" seeking seems more noble, but it is all the same longing for home. It is an extraordinary, literally mind-blowing miracle that anything seems to exist at all: there is nothing, a vacuum, no world, no universe, nothing. And the only thing that does exist, awareness in stillness, consciousness, presence, God even (if you must), whatever, there is no word to contain it - is what we are, what we truly are, our true nature (as some like to put it). We all are that. We have dreamed ourselves up. We run around and try to find ourselves again, but it is a great, compassionate, cosmic joke. Seeking is what is sought.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

As One, In Suffering All, That Suffers Nothing.

There are so many seekers just desperate to awaken. They suffer, and the suffering is what is. Perhaps there is an experience of "awakening" or "enlightenment;" for me, it seemed to be staring at a knife while washing up, the knife becoming more itself, perfectly knifish, life knifing. It was accompanied by some vision of All, constantly reforming, here, not here, here, not here. The idea of time seemed ludicrous, and just that: an idea. There seemed to be infinite space and no space, and the knife and everything that seemed to be happening - the kitchen, my body, my thoughts (not a lot of those) and my feelings (which were akin to "whoa!" as uttered by Bill and Ted on their excellent adventure) were very obviously constructs, just there, but really, really there; and yet not there at all. Such was my "ah ha" moment, very difficult to describe, and not unlike a lot of others that seem to occur. But the important thing about that for my character, I suppose, is that it wasn't some Great Happening. It was as profound as walking down the street and stepping over dog poo, holding my newborn children for the first time, watching an episode of Damages on television (what a fantastic plot!), sitting through a horrifically vivid post traumatic stress flashback, or glancing at reflections in shop windows as I walk down the street. It absolutely doesn't matter what seems to be happening. Whatever events are depicted in the film, they are composed of light.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

You Would All This Time Have Proved There Is No Time For All Things.

Some of the people who follow this blog, I know. A couple of them have asked me "what's it like?" referring to whatever the hell it is I'm trying to write about in the blogs. It's like nothing, and that makes perfect sense to me, even to my poor beleaguered mind these days, within its limitations. "I can't describe it properly" or "it's like nothing" are extremely unsatisfactory answers but they're the best I can come up with. Some people I know who read the blog react slightly differently to me, and my character doesn't like it. I'm not weird, I want to say, this isn't weird, it's normal, it's the opposite of weird. Strictly normal and ordinary. I correspond by email with some of the people I link to, the ones who use the same kind of words to point to oneness (or whatever the proper word is) by some tacit agreement. He was saying he was into Chinese herbs or something, and I responded I was not into herbs or meditation or primal screaming or attaining any of the variety of states of bliss available or self-inquiry or bikram yoga or much of anything except a good, strong cup of coffee and a fag. (Fag in the English sense meaning a cigarette.) This is available to all, it is all, it is the absolute reality; the recognition that what we call reality is tenuous, a construct, a play, a game, a meaningless form of the formless, imbued with shining wonder, even the yucky things. The person still believing they are separate is this as well. Absolutely everything that seems to happen is this, whatever it is we are trying to point to with these meaningless squiggles; what is, is. Whatever you are doing or thinking or feeling, even if it is violently opposed to this concept, is this. All is love, or grace, or Jehosephat if you like, it doesn't matter what you call it. It doesn't matter if it is seen or not. It is, whether you like it or not, or whether my friends think I'm weird or not; there is no escaping from this. Sometimes what seems to happen is a separate person walks down the path through the woods towards the field in the drizzle feeling discontent, and suddenly, oh! What they had been seeking was the path and the woods and the field and the drizzle and the discontent. (I love that Zen saying: before awakening, chop wood, carry water. After awakening, chop wood, carry water.) It is screamingly, laughably obvious. It doesn't matter how many layers of self you peel away, how much self-inquiry you pursue, how thoroughly you banish your ego, how much you deny yourself, how selfless you become, how many gaps you find in your thoughts, how often you seem to be in the stillness of source, or how many witnesses you find, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with all of that. Wherever you go, there you are. This is it.

Monday, 20 April 2009

The Poring Dark Fills The Wide Vessel Of The Universe.

The universe fills the vacuum of nothing, and nothing fills the wide universe. You are everything and nothing. Involved in the story of life or not, "doing the right things" or not, there is only oneness, treeing, car-ing, person-ing. The struggle for meaning is both fruitless and gratifying, for there is no meaning in any of the cacophony and incongruency of life, except that it manifests in whatever apparent form; and that expression is always perfect, and always drenched with intrinsic significance. It is impossible for the dreamer to let go of the dream, for the end of the dream is the end of the dreamer. And the dreamer is very important! The dream itself is so extraordinary; it is filled with turbulent twists and revelations of truth; dark, dark places and soaring joy. It is populated with tiny babies holding your finger, and kindly wise father figures; falling deeply in love, and discovering selflessness; the exuberance of youth and the acceptance of age and death, or resistance to the end of the story. It is a wholly pre-possessing journey, in which hard lessons are learned or perhaps many mistakes are made, and it seems pointless to many, and hard to bear. The worry of the moment seems overwhelming and endless. The joy of the blooming summer and the heat of the sun on your face is sometimes not savoured, for there is a voice that says "I want this pleasure to last forever". Yet even the resistance and the discontent are exactly as they must be. The intense longing for awakening is both fruitless and gratifying, for the shadowy dreamer cannot awaken. No one has ever been an enlightened person. But the dream could shatter at any moment, and you are no one, just boundless wonder.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Nothing Can Come Of Nothing: Speak Again.

My little dream self is just like she has always seemed to be. Lessons are learned, nurture is valued, life is treasured again, or perhaps for the "first time". The story is mesmerising, redemptive, and still sometimes troubled. Breakfast is eaten and conflicts handled, sometimes well, sometimes insensitively. There is still great reluctance to engage with others, always risky. Even swapping emails seems fraught with potential misunderstanding and confusion. But my character plugs away at it, sometimes unsure, sometimes with confidence, guided by thoughts that do not belong to "me", and feelings that are unfiltered. Sometimes I seemed aligned with some ideal of selfless service to humanity, sometimes I am baffled by the tiniest disagreement within the small nuclear family. It seems a boxed-in life, slightly frustrating, intermittently fulfilling, and often like groundhog day. There are so many who will identify with this muddling along, yet it makes no difference what the story is. Each story is a treasure, however dark the chapter. There is no burden of meaning, or of some payoff to come, although a payoff is sometimes desired; the meaning is in the very existence of the story at all. One of the lessons that seems to have been learned is that anything might happen, absolutely anything; there is no one who can control the outcome; there is no outcome; and the "anything" that seems to happen is the only thing that can. There are quite a few ways people try to put it, but a common one used by many - Hindus, Buddhists, Christian mystics, Kabbalah followers, modern advaitists, loads of the 57 varieties of seeker - is: I am being lived. Sometimes that "anything" is beyond what my character could have imagined, and this seems the case more so. Yet what is difficult to describe is the immediacy of it, the presence of the source, or however we're putting it today; how boundless it seems nearly all the "time" now, how fitting no matter how uncomfortable. It is right here. It is everything. It is impossible to use words, it is bigger than words, yet it embraces them; so although the nothingness that is everything cannot be described, in being lived, my character will continue to try.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Very Substance Of The Ambitious Is Merely The Shadow of the Dream.

Guildenstern was supposed to be an idiot but he chided Hamlet to great effect. It's a paradox, how important this story seems and how meaningless is actually is; or how fraught with meaning and beauty each atom is, whilst swirling together to create a shadow of a dream. People read this blog and ask questions there are no answers for. They grow frustrated with not being able to see this, whatever the hell it is, and long for the seeker to die. However frustrating or despairing the feelings are, however uncomfortable existence seems, oneness is singing and feeling and shrieking and chairing and walling all around; it is everything, including not seeing it. There is absolutely nothing the shadow of a dream can do to speed its own demise, but its demise could happen at any time. The only advice I would ever hazard to give, for any apparent individual anywhere who cannot bear to be in whichever uncomfortable reality is arising, is this: hang in there. Hang on, it's worth it. Whether this is seen or not, it's worth it. Everything is an immaculate, perfect gift of love, so hang on.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Much Ado About Nothing.

Some of the questions asked about this - whatever it is we're talking about, awakening, liberation, oneness, non-duality, advaita, whatever - fill my character with compassion, and make any co-dependent tendencies come right to the forefront. I want to make it all better, I want to take the pain away. I want to cuddle people and day, oh, please don't worry, everything will be alright. Well, as a point 0f fact, it will, or more accurately, it is. There are a lot of ways to use words in various orders to say "this is it". It's very ordinary, awakening, enlightenment, whatever you want to call it. There are a lot of ideas the mind has about how it should be, all blissful and peaceful and wise, floaty and detached and charismatic, and only obtainable (by who?) after loads and scads and surfeits of extremely hard and intensive work. There are a whole heck of a lot of ways out there to chip away at the apparent self: inquiry, meditation, achieving certain states on a precise timeline, therapy, 12-step programs, diminishing the ego, etc. and so on ad infinitum, go ahead, do them all, there's nothing wrong with these practices. But perhaps the despotic mind can hold onto the idea that there is nowhere to go. This is it, all there is is this, whether it is seen or not; and there is nothing the dreamer can do to shatter the dream. The only hopeful thing I ever heard was, you could die at any time. The "ah-ha" moment, "when" what is becomes what is, can happen at any "time". The only useful thing practice seems to do is help the dreamer give up.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

A Tale Told By An Idiot, Full Of Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing.

Everything, absolutely everything in the appearance is already the immaculate expression of being. This includes everything, with no exceptions. It includes all the billions of incongruencies and unresolvable dilemmas that crop up when one story seems to intersect another, and there are so, so many stories. It includes scientific outrage at the concept of oneness, and the disparagement heaped upon various advaita disciplines (or lack of discipline) by various other advaita practices. It seems a chaotic bundle, a confusing dichotomy, or a plate full of impossible choices; but whatever it is that seems to be arising, whatever this is, is perfectly and exquisitely whole. There is nothing to be done, it is done. Perhaps there are still a lot of questions that come up, and the questions can be asked until it is realised that there are no questions, for there are no answers; there is no problem, whatever seems to be is what is, and it is just as it must be. There seems to be so many apparent individuals who cling to the desire to make the story just right, and there is nothing wrong with that; but in fact, despite the appearance of so many of them, there are no stories. Stories need time to unfold, and there is no time. In fact, there is nothing at all, despite the appearance of vastness in the cosmos, and vastness in the minute workings of matter at the tiniest level. Nothing is happening, despite the appearance of great workings and doings and contrivance; there is nothing at all but the light that makes the appearance possible. It is the deepest reality, the absolute source, consciousness, oneness, whatever you wish to label it. It is the biggest thing in any apparent room, or field, or space station gazing down on the Earth. It is the only thing. There is no need to detach, or self-inquire, or be the stillness, or know yourself completely, although these apparent actions can arise. You can't kill yourself. Trying to kill yourself, stripping one apparent layer back at a time, until there is nothing left, certainly seems the right way to go about seeing the absolute, but it is here already. Whatever it is that seems to need to be done will be done. It seems to unfold, flawlessly despite the flaws, unblemished despite the warts. There is no one who needs help in this perfection, but giving up might be helpful.

Monday, 13 April 2009

With Nothing Shall Be Eased 'Til He Be Pleased With Being Nothing.

Bill Shakespeare seemed to have some brilliant words to attempt to describe this, whatever it is we're talking about here. Absolute immediacy, absolute being, oneness, whatever. It seems pertinent to use some of the yaddah yaddah to address the concept "everything is meaningless". For the still separate individual, who is loath to even consider the possibility of not existing, the idea that everything that seems to happen is meaningless is just dreadful. What was all that work for, then? Why did I suffer and sacrifice the way I did? Why did I spend all those thousands of dollars on Jnana Yoga lessons? Why did I drink and drug for 20 years, destroying the lives of everyone close to me in the process? Was it all for nothing? We-e-ell, strictly speaking it was nothing, but there is another way it can all be seen, all that struggling, muddling, disarrayed living. As this is written, a strong memory comes up of a fantastic feeling of surrender when the idea of no-me was sort of accepted, or recognised. The story of your life may be meaningless, but each circumstance, feeling or thought that seems to arise is perfect. It has always "been" perfect, it is perfect "now". The destruction was perfect; the selfish, betraying, neglectful acts were perfect; the moments where everything seemed to be in harmony with the Universe were perfect too. There has never been anything "you" could "do" about any of the appearances; you are oneness, person-ing. The idea of free will and responsibility are just that, ideas. Responsible acts seem to arise very frequently, but there is no guarantee; whatever seems to happen is just perfect. When this is seen, everything seems a gift, no matter how dreadful or wonderful. Life is a gift, many aspects of which are not terribly well appreciated. Suffering can still happen even after this is seen and the suffering is happening to no one, but there is often appreciation that accompanies the pain. Oneness is perfect, neutral and all-encompassing. It is unconditional in its acceptance and love, for it is all, and cannot reject itself. The fundamental simplicity of it is here, everywhere, always. And you can read this blog and all the literature that states this and never "get" it, because you have never lost it. It is what you are, what I am, what all is. When it's all just happening, to no one, no one often seems pleased with being nothing.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Is There A Right Way To Do It?

There are various links and blogs referred to on this site to your right, most of which more or less use the same language, and have pretty much the same message: oneness is already everything, awakening is this, enlightenment cannot be achieved by a dream-individual, everything you ever wanted is already right here, there are no separate individuals, there is nothing special about awakening, nothingness is the absolute, all that exists is beingness, consciousness, aliveness, whichever you care to label it; blah blah and more blah. In exploring this stuff, of which volumes has been (paradoxically!) written, and which can be labeled "advaita" or "non-duality" writings, I've stumbled upon an apparent contentious point. You can be sure we're back into a (highly amusing) story when "right" and "wrong" rears its jolie laide head. One particular fella, Dennis Waite, takes great umbrage at Tony Parson's et al message, which says that all there is, is this, no practice is necessary. No meditating until the butt is numb, no high states need be achieved, this is already all that is, and that can be seen by anyone if they are no one; that is to say, if the personal identity embodied in the seeker slips away. It appears he is upset that this may be seen by just anyone, and writes to that effect. He variously says that practice of traditional teaching chip away at the "bad" bits of the story, or of the dream-person; that all the usual perceptions of reality must be thwarted one by one; that "neo-advaitists" doing things like dropping the personal pronoun is no proof that the ego has been dispelled, which is evidently necessary for awakening. The neos, he opines, are saying "Don't bother telling me about arithmetic. I want to learn quantum mechanics!" Tony directly addresses the debate on his website, with finality. And balls.

Well, follow the links and have a nice surf. I'd turn it around, the analogy about quantum mechanics, and say it's a bit like taking degrees in meteorology, cosmology, geophysics and astronomy to learn that the sky is blue. There's another fella, Stanley Sobottka, who writes about this stuff (one of the first I stumbled upon, a quantum physicist) who says (in section 3, 17.5 of his work A Course In Consciousness) it's either/or; although, to his perception, practice usually seems to happen "first", and that there is no causal relationship between practice and awakening. He's big on the words "no doer" whereas I like to say "no one". But honestly, folks, blah blah and yet more blah. I'm pretty sure we're all talking about the same thing, oneness, awakening, whatever we call it on Easter Saturday. Just what exactly is it that we're trying to describe? It's all very well, and very convenient to the suspicious, to say "it's ineffable" or "it's indescribable". OK then, I'll give it a go, just for fun. It's looking at something and without any doubt being that thing. It's being somewhere and there are no boundaries between you and where you are, or where you seem to be. It's an awareness that what seems to have happened is only memory happening right now, and the next thing that happens doesn't really happen in the future, it is always now. There is only this, and I am that, but there is no separation. It's not necessary to label it, it's just a shift in how everything is seen. It's seen that suffering is as much a gift as joy, for it is part of everything, and you are everything, so everything is available. It's seen that there is no right or wrong, just existence; and it's seen that no right and no wrong don't mean anarchy, they don't mean anything, it all goes along just as it always has, because there is nothing wrong with what seems to happen, it was just the dreamer that thought there was. Wholeness and completeness and unconditional love, it's right under the dreamer's nose, expressed in absolutely everything, every bird call, every thought, every feeling, every disaster, every violent urge. It couldn't be more obvious: it is this. It loops round, or seems to, back to everything just exactly as it is. Poor Mr. Waite, in his tome cited above, is worried that "such characteristics as renunciation, discrimination, and self-restraint" are left out by the neo-advaitists. They pop up, along with everything else. Oneness has no interest in whether the dreamer renounces anything, or lets go of his ego, or restrains himself; ego is oneness, ego-ing. The assertion of a "right" way and a "wrong" way is surely proof that duality is still being dreamed, that the mind is still wrestling with the simultaneous coexistence of mutually exclusive polarities, which can never be resolved by the mind, the tool of duality. The really cosmically funny thing is, that of course, everybody is doing just exactly as they must, and there is nothing wrong or right about the debate. It all unfolds, or seems to, just as it should.

Friday, 10 April 2009

No Matter What, This Is It.

It's possible to be entirely consumed with the circumstances of life. To be held hostage by the rogue self that demands its existence; that cries with despair at the complex mess that seems to be their life, and suffers for the mistakes that seem to have been made. It's possible to feel anything and not ask "why". But it's also probable that why will be asked, and a story will unfold, and great wrongs will be wrestled with, and great hurts healed. There may be hidden aspects that suddenly arise, memories that seem real but perhaps are not, or giant pieces of the puzzle that materialise and make sense of it all. There will be suffering, angst, indecision, discomfort, and loneliness. There will be relief, joy, acceptance, peace, and wonder. When this is seen, that all is one, then these things still arise, but perhaps have very little to stick to. There is no right or wrong way to be. There is no such thing as an enlightened person. There is no correct way to go about enlightenment. That these sometimes excruciating circumstances of life arise isn't some clue that "you're" getting it wrong. Apparent separation can arise even when oneness is seen. All there is, is this, whatever seems to be happening, the feelings, the memories, the sense of a separate self; these things arise in this one exquisite endless moment that is the only reality. It is just as it must be, exactly as it is, even if what it is seems puzzlingly paradoxical. There is a sense, however, that even the most painful circumstance is another gift, a gift of nothing to no one, just another face of love.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

This Is Paradise.

Look no further. This is paradise. The wonder of it cannot be improved upon. There is such freedom in seeing there is no one, that we're all just flickering characters on the big Projector of Life or Divine Puppets or whatever inadequate analogy we're using today. What seems to happen, so fraught with meaning, so involving and distracting and important, is mere appearance, and we have no more choice or control than the flickering characters in the film or those puppeteer-less puppets. The dreamer who dreams of being a person with choices and free will will balk at this. If nothing matters, what's to stop me going on a killing spree? Or cheating on my wife? If nothing matters, then what's to stop me starting a war or going postal in my local Spar? It's probably unlikely. If the character you seem to be is not already an adulterous war-mongering psychopathic murderer, it's unlikely that such apparent behaviour will come up. When this is seen, the character is celebrated, in all its flawed, neurotic, good-hearted, half-baked, sometimes flourishing, sometimes wilting, glorious multifarious humanity. It is all such a perfect fit, it could not be more suitable, more loved or treasured, the character that you are. Treasured and loved by all, because it is all. Relax, and stop looking. This is it.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Pain and Pleasure.

The drive to seek pleasure and avoid pain is strong. In the story of the evolution of mankind, it boils down to instinct and survival. It's understandable, and there's nothing wrong with it. Sometimes pain is lauded for being a signal that something is wrong, so we have to do something to fix it. Others opine that emotional pain is the furnace of spiritual growth, and is necessary for a phoenix effect; we will arise from the suffering and be better, stronger, and more compassionate. We see others in pain and want to kiss it better; we can't stand to see them in discomfort, we want to heal their pain, for pain is means that something is wrong, the pain itself is wrong, and we have an idea that humanity can be this blissful, calm, peaceful, painless wonder, except of course for the pain of bereavement, which is unavoidable. Some people even try to avoid this grief by rising above death, being all-accepting, taking the irrevocable separation in their stride, unwilling to feel the knife-like heartache and stupor of bereavement, more unwilling to face the part of the story that is The End and that terror of the void of not existing. We fear pain, because it hurts. We seem to take what is and we poke it with a stick. But there is pain because there is pain. There is pain because there is pleasure. Pain is just another face of love. But facing or avoiding or poking or healing, grief or joy, pain or pleasure, what we do with any of it is not the choice of the individual, although it may seem there are many choices. The pain is a gift, a dark one perhaps, but it is, so it is not wrong or right. There is no one in pain, there is pain. There is compassion. It is all working just as it must.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Give Up.

There is no way to get this. There is nothing a dream can do to dissolve itself. The more frantic the seeking, the more intense the desire to see that there is no one but the one, the more fuel the idea of being a separate person gets. There is nothing to be done. Nothing is being done anyway. And there is nothing wrong with frantic seeking or intense desire, although it can certainly seem like there is. The crisis of meaning, the search for a higher, better way of life, and the inability to get there can result in so much pain. Pain sucks, yet it doesn't really; it is the way of duality, it is there because there is bliss as well. We seem to long to have a perfect formula, and it goes something like: meet adversity with grace; conquer the negative emotions, for they bring about suffering; alleviate all suffering, for suffering is wrong; put your life in order, so that all that remains is the journey of deepening and self-improvement; have a balanced life, so that everything has its place, and is harmonious with the grand cosmic dance; stop resisting, go with the flow; don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff; forget yourself and be of service to others. The formula is already what is. It is perfection, in perfect balance, because it must be, because it is. Wherever you seem to be is where you are, and where you should be; there is no other way it could be. And behind all this chaotic, whirling, frenzied, joyous, multifarious manifestation is what is, what "you" are, what all is. That is what these words inadequately point to. There is no "how" to get this, but perhaps it could be said that is is the most obvious thing there is, for it is everything. Everything, just as it seems, as it appears, as it is. With all the flaws, and neuroses, sufferings and disasters, beauty and truth, deceptions and crimes, all of it, every thought, every feeling, every sensation. Whatever you seek has never been lost.

Monday, 6 April 2009

The Heroes In The Story.

I heard a story last night about a drug addict. He died of an overdose. They found him, some time dead, in his armchair in front of the TV. He had so alienated everyone that ever knew him that almost no one came to the funeral; they were not even willing to celebrate the boy he had been. He died alone, friendless, broke, and a pariah. I was told the story by someone whose story had been similar, but whose story now is one of redemption. The other people who heard the story with me were all in varying places in their own stories of salvation. Every person in the room was busy becoming better, more peaceful, more fulfilled, more in harmony with everything. We all work very hard at not getting in the way of our relationships with others, at doing the next right thing, at surrendering to life. How hard to be the one who doesn't make it. What a difficult role to play. The thoughts and feelings that arise about it are ones of compassion, and this: maybe it's these people, these lost ones, who lash out, who never "fix" themselves, who never call upon some power greater than themselves, who smash into the brick wall at the end of the road to self-destruction, maybe it's these people who can be called heroes. Perhaps the villains of the piece are not so much to be reviled or pitied, but revered. But heroes or not, revered or reviled, there is nothing wrong with anything that seems to happen, including the drug addict's tragic life. It's very, very difficult to accept, but there is also nothing wrong with not accepting. It is only the play of life, it seems to happen, but there is only this perfect endless moment. Crawl deeply into the story of becoming, or not; work hard for salvation, or not; there is no choice in whichever seems to happen anyway. It isn't redemption you are looking for. It is this. You've already found it.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

The Paradox Will Not Be Resolved.

The mind can be equated with the sense of self, the personality, all those things we hang onto existence. It is the story of brain function, the science so revered by those in the know, whose minds are well on their way to figuring it all out. There is no transcendent human experience, the latest research tells us; the brain has been scanned, and primitive parts of the brain light up along with the more well-respected cerebral chunks, working together when a difficult moral question is posed. It is a story within a story. The brain, the mind, is never, ever going to get this. There are too many requirements for the co-existence of mutually exclusive concepts. The research cited opines that perhaps there is less volition, less personal choice, fewer acts of will than is generally held to be the case. Science is getting there; there is no volition, no personal will; we are set up, by nothing, to apprehend nothing being something. For the mind to grasp there is nothing and something, both, "simultaneously", is impossible; the mind's job is to divide, and it does its job well, and has become something of a despot. Try telling the great scientific minds of the world that it's all just a funny story. They will regard you with derision and disdain. But those scientists that observe matter at its most fundamental level, peering deeper and smaller, not only observe nothing and something simultaneously, but realise that anything observed is changed by being observed. The fundamental structure, the matter that makes up the chair and the mountain and the microchip and the bones and the grey matter, the stars and the gasses, is elusive and unmeasurable. But all this misses the point, if there is one, and there isn't. What beauty there is, is this. The desire to understand it all, even what neurons fire up when we desire to understand it all, is just as it should be. Life strains and looks and seeks and never really finds. The thirst for knowledge is simply another way to play.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

It's Really, Really Simple.

Such a lot of complicated mess everywhere. Such a lot of bother and to-do in order to get anything done. There's nothing wrong with that, but there it is. The mind boggles at the simplicity of this message. It just doesn't seem right, that there is nothing to be done, no one doing it, nowhere to go. The mind will string along the apparent happenings into a story, and doesn't like the idea of not being in charge. According to the mind, it all will happen later. Subtle procrastination borne of a feeling of unworthiness causes untold wretchedness. Perhaps this is "good" news then - there is no real procrastination. The goal is met, even in the midst of that uncomfortable feeling of mixed regret and hopelessness, that mix of the perfectionism that quells the birth of endeavour and the fear that it won't be worth the effort. Maybe if this is seen, then life seems lighter, and thought this is likely, there are no guarantees. Perhaps if there is nowhere to go and no one to get there, every obstacle dissolves. Goals seem to arise and the apparent actions that ensue can be loved for their intrinsic value, not their magical curative properties, the malaise being the sense of pointlessness and meaninglessness. The mind won't see it, but this is enough. Simply what is, is enough. More than enough, more than the mind can fathom. Beingness loves being, and that is enough, for it is everything.

Friday, 3 April 2009

What About Time?

Perhaps the mind can just about grasp the fact of no time. Time is dependent on memory and clues, on plans and speculation. But in fact, there is only ever this. It's not even now, because now infers "then", and "what will be"; and the past is always gone, the future never here. Recovering addicts in 12 step programs put it ever so delicately thus: with one foot in yesterday and one in tomorrow, you're pissing all over today. Keep in mind that however amusingly pithy the aphorism, it's still a message of becoming; becoming more involved in your life, becoming more present in the moment, in fact becoming a paragon of total presence in the moment through so much meditation your butt falls asleep. Awaken, butt! It is only ever presence. Whatever the thoughts of tomorrow or regrets of yesterday, whatever the last move was and the next move will be; whatever feelings of nostalgia or glorious anticipation arise, they arise in this. It is always this everlasting moment. It is not happening in time, it is simply happening. There is no past or future, and the present can't be quantified. When is it now? It' No, now! But doesn't it take some time to say "now"? When does the future start, and the past become the past? How infinitesimal is the present? It isn't how small it is, it's how boundless it is. There is only ever this, an everlasting moment of love, in its endless manifestations.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

It Is Just As It Should Be.

No matter what it seems, it is just as it should be. There is so much frustration when seeking the Big Answer, the Meaning of Life, which some people decided is Awakening, so a lot of other people just about kill themselves to Attain the Moment of Enlightenment. They try to think their way out of thinking, suffer their way out of suffering, "me" themselves out of "me-ing". They set upon a careful course of study and meditation, convinced that the harder they work, the less they will become, until there is a fabled Flash of Insight and they are One With the Oneness. Oneness, or whatever we're calling it on a Thursday morning, is always the case. The absolute has always been the absolute. It always is, and thinking it's not is the way of duality, of me and you, good and bad, right and wrong, awakened and asleep. Seeking is lovely, but redundant. You can't see your own eyes, but they are there. What is sought by everyone when they work hard to earn a living and support their families, or stay home and do their best to raise their children right, or give up the materialistic life and become self-sufficient, or embark on a spiritual journey with a respected (preferably bearded and Indian) spiritual advisor, or any of the things we seem to do to be fulfilled, is already all there is. No matter how hopeless is seems, it is just hopelessness happening. Seeking the answers is already the answer. You live in complete fulfillment always, even if it is not apprehended. Love has many faces, in fact every face is love, even the face of frustration at not being able to see that love. The frustration is just as it should be, as is everything.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

More Stories Of Aloneness.

Aloneness is the perfect circumstance for seeing you, in fact, are everything. A moment of despair seems to arise and the loneliness is crushing; "I can't do this life thing," you may think, full of fear of the pain of being alone, of friends and family dying, of your own personality being no more. But being alone, seemingly unable to bridge the chasm between me and thee, is the perfect parable of oneness. There must be dark for there to be light. There must be aloneness to see that all is one. Awakening doesn't mean I become you, and feel what you feel, and think what you think. It means that this is seen as the story, the division necessary for oneness to be existence. The feelings and thoughts, the brain processing the colour blue, or the way wind feels on a particular cheek; all of these singularly distinct things are oneness, playing at twoness. It is as it must be, and when it is seen that there is nothing that can be done about it, there is an opening up, a boundless freedom that underlies everything, that is everything; we are the light that makes it possible, all this exuberant expression of aliveness, which is nothing more than the mere fact that anything exists at all. The contraction of aloneness is the greatest clue that you are not alone. You are a story, a beautiful story, which can be enjoyed in limitless liberation, each apparent goal an exercise of joy unto itself, unburdened by the need to be anything more, or to provide any meaningful answers. We are all alone in our stories together.