Friday, 29 January 2010

This Comes With Seeking You: But There's No Remedy; I Shall Answer it.

That quote usually attributed to St. Francis, "What you are looking for is what is looking", really nails it. Nobody will believe how simple this is. Nobody will believe there's nothing different, nothing special, nothing changed about awakening or enlightenment or whatever we're calling it today. There are a lot of handy dandy pointers, along the lines of "what you are is awareness and everything arises in that", or "what you are is present awareness, nothing more," or "you are one without a second". They're all concepts. These words are concepts. The seeker's frustration obscures the utter simplicity of what is. And even the obscuring is what is happening, now, in present awareness.

There can be looking for what is, or there can be what is. There can be a lot of tweaking of the story of life; there can be therapy, meditation, recovery, healing, looking at one's life story nakedly and accepting it all; these things may provide an open mind, ready for the message that what is sought is exactly what is right now. Yet there need be no readiness. You are what you are, timelessly, right now. There's nothing wrong with the tweaking, the healing, the changing of a life story from a "destructive" one to a "creative" one. But awareness is immortal, unchanging, not bound by time, not confined by space, taking up no space in fact, for space is just a convenience, as is time. As are thoughts. It doesn’t matter, therefore, what arises, as it’s all just a play for its own sake. So no matter what thoughts are doing, or whether you’re “getting it” or not, it’s all happening just as it must, for no particular reason. When the big “letting go” or “ah ha” thing seems to happen, all that is really plain; and the St. Francis quote makes perfect sense, both to the mind, which is finally in its somewhat more auxiliary role, and to awareness itself, which was always looking anyway. It all loops back around to the simplest of simple things: instead of looking for looking, there is just looking. And life is just as it ever was. Oneness is known to be awareness, the only thing; the content, just energy, and feel free to rename and hone those particular concepts.

You are this. You are this now. Whatever thoughts are flying, whatever feelings are strumming, whatever sensations are pulsing, whatever actions are unfolding - this is it. "You" are "there". We "all" are.

I'll bet Jackie Chan is too busy for an existential crisis. He CRAZY!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Simply The Thing I Am Shall Make Me Live.

I was listening to a friend describe his life; it was unbelievably profound, and went roughly like this: "...My work is patchy, and it's a pretend job anyway, the kind of thing your dad always told you to be ready to ditch at any moment because you'd never make a living at it - I don't really pay enough attention to my kids, which are the main thing and I know it - and I really think I'm messing up my marriage in a big way - I'm too lazy, I don't do even half of what I could in a day - and I'm not nice enough to people..." And here he paused, with commendable comic timing, and continued:

"...But so what?"

Oh, how we laughed!

That black hole, that void, that cause of all existential crises, the sure knowledge that life is meaningless inasmuch as the story of it is concerned, that nothingness that is reality – it’s a big bummer for the persona. The mysterious life force, the awareness that everything arises in, that which seems to animate reality, and the dead body at a funeral that is the proof of manifestation’s transience, will never be understood fully by the mind; although in the story of humanity, there are plenty of scientists and philosophers that give it a good go. That animating force that a corpse lacks - despite having the same mass as when it was Auntie Jane - is simply what you are, what is expressed by everything, and the mind can’t really grasp it because it’s what the mind arises in. But what consciousness can do, in witnessing the mind’s take on it – the take on it can be:

“Well, so what?”

And there, in that sort of complete letting go, absolute acceptance, cosmic f*** it, is the freedom that eludes the mind. Then, slowly, what arises is a chuckle, then maybe a slightly hysterical belly laugh.

Because all of that taking it oh so seriously that the persona was doing – the ego taking itself to be everything – is seen for the absurdity it is.

The ego will die. The small “me” will die. It can die right now. Death of the body and mind isn’t death of what they arise in. And those struggles and conniptions and flashes of bliss and happiness that are humanity can be truly relished, by themselves, by just doing what happens…which is all anyone ever does anyway.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

What's Gone And What's Past Help Should Be Past Grief.

Why, why, why? How does it all work? These questions can be explored; the story of the exploration of these questions arises all the time. There's nothing wrong with it. Perhaps the difficulty is that the answer to these questions is what the individual believes will bring relief from suffering. Suffering, after all, must be relieved.

Live your life. Live it. That is what you are doing. There is no way to get it wrong. No matter what the quality of life, or its apparent circumstances, or how much it is plagued by internal, thought-bound activity, you cannot fail to live your life. The goal is met; existence is accomplished.

It doesn't matter that it isn't in perfect balance. Such a judgement is subjective anyway. It doesn't matter if you "fail" to be "selfless". Selfishness, or the appearance of that circumstance, and the firing neurons and belief systems and interaction with the environment that give rise to the judgement "I am not selfless enough" is just another story we tell ourselves about ourselves, with no more substance than the ghost of Christmas past. (All of Scrooge's ghosts were the embodiment of guilt.)

It doesn't even matter if your life is one, big, chaotic, unmanageable mess. There might arise some new revelations about your circumstances, and what blocks are in place that keep you running from reality (the "now"), whatever form the running takes: actual geographical change, working too much, reading too much, taking mind-altering substances, neglecting your responsibilities, or protecting yourself from engaging with others. There can be revelations, and a reckoning, and the healing of your ego, new risk-taking, meeting your responsibilities head-on, looking at your past nakedly and without the stories you've been telling yourself about yourself, and those stories losing their power over your behaviour. This is how the story can unfold. But these apparently momentous happenings, whilst making for an easier, less guilt-ridden, more efficient, and happier life story, are not the be-all and end-all. Beneath and beyond and infused with every happening, is simply what you are, untouched by the story, whatever that story may be; the story, of no import, is also the point. Whatever is happening, that is the point: simply that it is happening.

What you are is what you are. No matter what.

And Woody, life IS like this!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Not Knowing How To Find The Open Air, But Toiling Desperately To Find It Out.

Seekers of something other than what is are convinced there must be some extraordinary difference in the quality of experience other than that which is already known; the flavour of reality must change, and subsequently, the motives for all apparent actions. The very timbre of what is heard must be sweeter; what is felt must feel more whole; what is seen must seem to be more crystalline and defined, the very essence of reality contained in each apprehended atom of the appearance that shows up for us. Whatever is known now is disregarded as incomplete, is perceived as lacking in some way. All of us seek to imbue some greater consequence to experience than what is already experienced. Imagination intervenes to provide an expectation of a world imbued with more: more meaning, more light, more love, more sensation, more appreciation. Whatever simply is, is not enough. Whatever simply is, is judged to be lacking. Whatever the sights, sounds, feelings, sensations of the world that appears to show up for us is not enough; there must be more.

These expectations are what keeps the apprehended world from being, to our perception, something other than the miraculous whole it is. And yet, the expectations and judgements themselves are part of the tapestry of wholeness, sensible and appropriate, and are merely humanity's facility for exploration and self-consciousness at play. There is no better way, in the story of seeking meaning, to find meaning other than by feeling that everything is meaningless; there is no better way to find wholeness than to feel that life is incomplete. We are constructed flawlessly for the purpose of exploration and being, looking at itself. Far from being dismissed out of hand, the appearance of the world and our seeming interaction with it is the point. It doesn't matter what that interaction is. There is no perfect blueprint for being other than what is apparently presented. The questioning, the anger, the resistance are fitting and could not be any other than what they are.

Yet it can be seen that the most mundane actions, judged to be dreary and ineffectual, are in fact simply the miracle of consciousness in whatever guise seems to be presented. This, this life, showing up just as it does, is perfect, complete and whole just as it is. It is so ironic that we agonise and question and seek and judge lacking and struggle, hoping to find what is exactly what is. Even when this is accepted, there seems to be the need for some act of will or intervention from beyond to make whatever is more than it is. Awakening, enlightenment, or whatever we're calling it today, is simply seeing that what is, is what is sought. What was sought was the very seeking. What was lacking was appreciation of lack. There is nothing different, in some nonexistent future, that will bring you to what you already are. You are life; and there is no time beyond this now, this moment, this seamless reality that is always here, and never to be more than it already is. So read with interest about the ego, and its false assumptions, and its taking on of a role bigger than it is, and its case of cosmic mistaken identity. It is the reading that is the point, not the content. It is life, this very moment, that is the answer. And if it seems to help to conceptualise that you are awareness, and everything arises in this awareness, including the ego-construct, that's fine too. It is the thinking of these things that is life, not the conclusions. Here is everything. There is nowhere, no when, and no one but here and now and this.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

This I Must Do, Or Know Not What To Do: Yet This I Will Not Do, Do How I Can.

Almost nobody, it seems, can believe how simple awakening is. Enlightenment, or whatever you want to label it, realisation as some call it, is simply what you are, right now. It's no different than what is happening - here, now. The thoughts that label whatever reality is for you, the thoughts that tell you that this isn't it, even they are it. The feelings that seem to be discontent or frustration, they are it too. Those thoughts that tell you that it couldn't be so simple...that it couldn't be any different than whatever it is you seem to have been experiencing all your life...they are what you are looking for. The thoughts that say "How could this possibly be it? This is boring!" Well, the boring-ness is it too, as are the thoughts that label it "boring". Those thoughts are just what's coming up in what you are. What you are is here and now. What you are is everything. What you are is not dependent on what your mind makes of it all. You will never be any closer to what you are than you already are. Those thoughts that it might be something different...those are it, too. Nothing is not it. Everything is what you are looking for. What looks is what you are looking for. Looking is what you are looking for. Here it is!