Monday, 30 November 2009

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The Felon Loaden With Irons Wiser Than The Judge, If Wisdom Be In Suffering.

What about suffering? The bound-up ego, fashioned of fear, resists anything presumed to be a threat; that resistance is suffering. There may be pain, but there need not be suffering. Yet remember, as this is discussed and pondered, that pain and suffering and ego are labels, words, concepts. The feelings and states they attempt to describe are fleeting, utterly so with the complete fluidity of reality, and these words, as all words try to, point to something else that is "real". So take it all with a large grain of salt; there is very little to say on any subject that can be pinned down and labeled "unchanging truth".

There are objections to the pointer "suffering is oneness, too." There are volumes devoted to relieving suffering. There are skills taught and techniques suggested, all for the purpose of delivering the sufferer from that resistance. Resistance itself is said to be undesirable. Resistance, and the inevitable suffering it creates, are the fearful ego's reaction to what threatens it, its existence, and its identity as the most important thing in the world. The point of all this teaching of
Advaita and nonduality is, supposedly, to release us from the bondage of self, of ego. Yet the bondage of ego is indisputably part of it all, this Life. Duality needs opposites, subject and object, for oneness to apprehend itself. The end of the search is the realisation that all is oneness, that we are pure awareness, nothing more or less, and the fragile ego construct is seen as the small and unimportant thing it is, unburdened by the mistaken identity of All. The appearance is not what you are, it is often stated. The mirror of manifest reality is not what it reflects. What you are is mind-boggling, untranslatable, boundless Life. The appearance can be seen as the illusory thing it is, despite its tenacious solidity. And, can be seen that there was only a veil hiding this thing from itself; that reality has been itself all along.

Even in trying to understand such a fundamental concept as oneness, the mind, splitter of oneness, finds it necessary to define awareness as the ultimate and the manifested reality (consciousness) as a shadowy, wavery, poor second.

Yet the appearance, the ego, all that which we are encouraged to discount, though seemingly limited, is beautiful in all its polar opposites and more subtle modularities. In the reflection lives suffering, for suffering is needed for acceptance to be understood and felt. There are no easy answers for suffering, or just HOW to stop resisting, although you may find a few helpful hints here and there. There are supposedly ways and means to deflate and destroy the ego, despite its unwillingness to die, for it has had possession of your identity for so long. Some of these are: stop thinking, if you can; ponder that mind is the creator of time; peel all awareness back to the most basic of realities - that you exist, often referred to as "I Am". If you are suffering, there will probably be help at hand, a stirring to action, a way out, with some energetic flow from resistance to acceptance. The story of life toddles along, and no matter how profound the subject, or how near to absolute reality to protagonist gets, it's all just a story in time.

For suffering to be relieved is a craving of the ego. The need for life to be "better" is the ego's desire. Acceptance is the opposite of resistance; again, perhaps that is the answer, if the question is "How do I stop resisting life?". Yet there are no mistakes. Perhaps resistance shouldn't be resisted; it may just play itself out, in this story. Maybe suffering is there so redemption can follow, for redemption has no meaning unless there is something - suffering - to be delivered from. Perhaps the appearance isn't so vastly inferior to pure awareness; maybe they are the same thing, despite the inconceivable paradox and incongruity of that possibility. Maybe there isn't anything better than right here, right now. If that can be considered by the suffering ego, perhaps the suffering can just be splendid, painful and intensely felt Life.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

It Must Be An Answer Of Most Monstrous Size That Must Fit All Demands.


I can't know what to seek if I don't know what it is I'm seeking in the first place.

Whatever form the mind projects onto seeking, making it an object or objective, what always is sought is home; what is sought is whatever is missing. Whatever is missing is often given a convenient name, like "happiness" or "security" or "truth". But what is sought is always this: to be an integral part of creation, rather than a lonely, separate, fearful, boxed-in, limited prisoner of ourselves.

If I'm sad, I seek happiness. It's easy to take the thing that needs to be changed, figure out its opposite, and then do what you have to do to get it. But I'm not sad anymore; I just want more. There is something more and I can't get away from it. To tell you the truth, I can't define what it is that makes me want more. If I can't define that then I have no idea what to look for.

That inchoate (unspecific) longing is simply the desire to belong, to come home, to no longer be a separate person.

What is enlightenment?

The realisation that everything is awareness, made manifest for the mere joy of it. There is only awareness, oneness, one unified whole; the appearance and ego are just here so that awareness can apprehend itself.

What do I really want?

To feel that there is nothing missing.

I seek enlightenment, yet I really don't have any idea what that is. What I am really looking for the thing most important to me more than anything else, is inner peace. For some reason I got the idea that enlightenment is a sense of deep and abiding peace. But does it really matter if I am "enlightened" As long as I have the peace I want that's all that matters, right?

"Enlightenment" doesn't guarantee "inner peace" because turmoil is a part of Everything too. However if the ego isn't taken seriously by itself anymore, many of the reasons for turmoil are moot, because the ego-structure doesn't have to bear its remarkable case of mistaken identity anymore; it doesn't have that huge burden of being All.

And it doesn't matter if you are enlightened. In fact, what you probably know as you - the ego structure - can't be enlightened. Enlightenment is seeing through the ego. And nothing matters; there is no meaning; the appearance, reality manifest, is play. Simply play. Meaningless play, where every apparent manifestation is a miraculous feat of existence.

Now that I know what I most desire, I'm still wondering what I am actually looking for. What is the opposite of this vague "wanting more"? What is enlightenment?

Put another way, the opposite of "wanting more" is seeing that whatever is, is enough...more than enough...whole and complete, just as it is, whatever it is.

Is it abiding inner peace?

It is simply seeing what is, and there is nothing that finds it wanting.

Is it detachment?

It is direct presence, without taking the machinations of the mind, thoughts, and ego-concerns too seriously. You are always in direct presence of absolute reality; in fact, you are absolute reality. Perhaps more intense than detached, although detachment can come up just like everything else.

Is it Oneness with All?

You are already Oneness with All. In fact, you are All.

Knowing oneself to be God?

Maybe God is a difficult concept, with a lot of baggage. Perhaps knowing yourself to be the whole Universe, both creator and creation, is a slightly better way of putting it.

Is there a point to seeking?

Not exactly. There is no point to anything, other than its intrinsic value in simple existence.

The only reason we seek for anything in the first place is because we think it will get us somewhere. It's completely the Ego!

The ego is just doing its job. The ego might like to grab hold of Totality and keep it, but Totality is too much for it.

The ego says "I need to feel better and this enlightenment stuff will make me feel better."

Maybe the ego can say "Ya know, I can bear not feeling better. Not feeling better is just fine." And with that, perhaps there is acceptance, and letting go...the ego can perhaps let go of itself. And the ego can also go right ahead and do its job, negotiating through the convenience of time and its story. The story might change to something "better", or it might not. But a full, whole and complete human existence is certainly always available. The "bad stuff" is seen perhaps not as something to be avoided, and not exactly enjoyed...but appreciated, even relished. And certainly, there can be a lot less fear.

I get fed up with the Advaita stuff.

It is frustrating, the futility of Oneness not being able to see itself because it already is Itself. But what's wrong with frustration?

So what is the question?

Maybe the question is: why do I have to feel "better"?

Whatever the question, the answer is always the same...
This. Is. It.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

This Is The Monstruosity In Love, Lady, That The Will Is Infinite And The Execution Confined.

Boundlessness is not going to be more infinite tomorrow. Timelessness isn't going to be more eternal after the next satsang. You are whole, complete, perfect and limitless right now. There isn't any other time, and there isn't any other state. So what are you waiting for? There is no utopia but this amazing playground, where everything is always available and every possibility balances on the knife's edge, teetering deliciously, free falling this way or that with the merest whisper of intention. Perhaps you feel your small self is limited and limiting, getting in the way of infinite vision, hampering this shining thing that is enlightenment, where everything is wonderful and all cares and woes dissolve into some sagacious, loving, compassionate ether; where all apparent acts are righteous, and the story of life is devoid of harm and malice. That idea keeps you waiting for what is omnipresent. This expectation veils what is omniscient; the sense that you are not already what you are hides your omnipotence.

Liberation isn't about being more than what you are; it is recognising that what you are, right now, is already free. Enlightenment isn't something you can claim, attain, or take comfort in; it is seeing there was never a limited, separate, sweetly human creature in the first place. Awareness is this, just this, and whatever this seems to be is you, created by you, for your delight. It can be seen. So while you self-inquire, sit in silence, be with stillness, stop thought, meditate, talk with others, agonise over ever being enlightened, make your breakfast, argue with your boyfriend, write tomes about how inadequate life is, feel frustrated, and lament the woes of the world - while you do whatever it is that is done - oneness isn't hanging around, getting any "one-er". The dance of life is danced, and you are along for the ride, the rider, the ridden, and the maker of the ride itself, always. Not tomorrow, or after you've read the next book, or sometime in some nonexistent future. Now. It has to be now. There is only ever now.

My interview is up on, but seeing that won't help either!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Time Hath, My Lord, a Wallet At His Back, Wherein He Puts Alms For Oblivion.

"I seem to come back," say some, confused. It seems so important that there is always that stillness of mind, that the mind and its thoughts - oneness, "thought-ing" - are "stilled". The seeker of enlightenment, it seems, has to have something to do. "Be quiet long enough to see this," or meditate, or go to a meeting or "gathering of friends together" or a satsang where oneness, somehow, is more obvious. Join a live webcast or a virtual meeting in Second Life, or a three day residential, or a have few one-on-one sessions with an Advaita teacher, paid for or not, neo- or traditional. Even the edict to give up, the insistence that there is no one already, the maxim that any sort of practice fuels separation by emphasizing there is indeed a seeker who can do any of this, gives the seeker something to ponder, to avoid, to do.

Yet there is nothing wrong with any of this. Oneness is, whether the "me" drops away or not; whether there are "glimpses", and the small self seems to return, or not. Comfort is not the goal - there is no goal - not even enlightenment. But maybe it's a comfort to realise that this is, whether it is seen, or not, by no one. There are no goals, for goals need time, and there is no time; time is a convenience, just as the separate individual is. Oneness is, no matter what. Giving up may seem to happen. Or it may not. There is nothing to do but what is done. And if what is done is seeking, and what is felt is longing, and what is experienced is suffering, perhaps it is a comfort to know that even separation is oneness, in a particularly tricky guise. And if you're hopelessly separate, suffering and alone, perhaps it's an idea to treat yourself as you would some other separate-but-not individual you found to be suffering; that is, with compassion. Perhaps, too, there is comfort in the fact that there is no need to suffer and wait; it's not gonna get any more "one" than it is right here, and right now.

Friday, 6 November 2009

You Have No Such Mirrors As Will Turn Your Hidden Worthiness Into Your Eye.

Why even talk about this? Concepts about enlightenment are fruitless, and can never be it. Why not spend time eradicating poverty? Last night I heard a comedian end his act by saying "If we [America] used all the trillions of dollars spent on weapons to eradicate poverty - which it would do, many, many times over - we could explore space together as a unified world". Well, in spite of the massive logistical social/national problems with such a task, and the fact he left out disease, he has a point. What I and so many write about, whether they emphasize there is no utopia but this or not, there seems to be a real lack of putting value on the story of life, and making that story a more compassionate one. It's an illusion, we say; you have no choice in anything you do. Yet seeing reality clearly brings with it - or can - a certain lack of fear, a loss of ego-concerns. The apparent actions of one's life can usually change to something "better", when we are not in the way, boxing our delicately constructed ego into a tight, protected corner, or lashing out in fear-driven anger against apparent others who threaten us. This is not a philosophy of life; it is merely seeing through the illusion.

"There is ONLY seeing-knowing. The expression is NOT it – the expression is like a reflection in the mirror. The reflection is never what is reflected and there is a SEEMING distance between these APPARENT two and YET they are actually One." -Gilbert Schultz

Gilbert's pointer to pure awareness - or seeing-knowing, beingness, or whatever we call it on Fridays - can be confusing, when in one breath the writer says there is only seeing-knowing and the the appearance is not seeing-knowing, yet in the next breath says that the appearance is, indeed, oneness. It's the kind of paradox the mind hates - the mind can't stand mutually exclusive yet co-existing concepts. They are, after all, just concepts. You can pay attention to the machinations of life - the ins and outs of the expression - pay attention to the apparent causes and effects - or there can just be paying attention. Thought, it is often said in these blogs and books about enlightenment, is overvalued; too much importance is placed on it, it is said. Boundless, infinite, eternal, timeless awareness is before thought; without thought. Thoughts, and the ego-structure they create and reinforce, are the problem; or perhaps put more mildly, the difficulty.

Well, maybe so. But it seems to me we have the perfect mechanism to explore, act, ponder and emote right here, staring us in the face; it is the face. We are boundless, and not limited; yet any apparent limitations of manifested life are the perfect playground for any and all actions. So if a strong urge to eradicate poverty comes up, volunteer. If not, don't. Without embracing the ego-fears of worthlessness, the energy for action is available and the freedom can be intense. However, the danger of trying to describe any supposed benefits of enlightenment is that the ego will desperately cling onto the idea of a "better" life. Life doesn't have to be orchestrated by a small self, just seemingly executed by it; All-ness takes care of it, opening up the story in ways the ego could never have imagined. And if the small self seems indelible, the playground is still here, oneness is, and many possibilities are always ripe. If there is a point to awakening, and there isn't for the ego, it is the intrinsic value of liberation itself. But don't take my word for it, or any word. It is everything you are, seem to be, thought or no thought; this, just as exactly as it is. See it "for yourself"; just see it; it is simplicity itself; it is everything, now, here, this.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Why, Courage Then! What Cannot Be Avoided 'Twere Childish Weakness To Lament Or Fear.

Everywhere - yes, there is me.
So whatever comes to be
Will melt into all that was,
This, no matter what life does.

Here I am, and here I stay
I am everything today.
I am time, and I am space,
Every deed, and every place

Every when is when I am
I am lion, I am lamb
I am anger, I am peace
I will never ever cease.

I, the only thing that's real,
That can harm, and that can heal,
I, the only thing that lasts,
No more futures, no more pasts.

I am what has always been.
I am sainthood, I am sin.
I am everything I see.
I am what it is to be.

All that happens, that is me
All love and antipathy.
I cannot reject myself;
Take me from the dusty shelf.

Everything - yes, that is me.
I am all, totality
I am me, and I am you.
This, no matter what I do.

S. Foxton 2009