Friday, 24 September 2010

I'll Show You Those in Troubles Reign, Losing a Mite, a Mountain Gain.

It's so easy to get caught up in the story, for outcomes to determine identity, and for causes and conditions to define the apparent substance of our persona. Consciousness likes this; consciousness delights in it. Remember that whatever conditioning seems to be present and whatever it is that is perceived, it is a phantom, just a thought, mere unreconstituted energy appearing as what is. Any conceptualising of it is simply the story of it. What is, is what is; this, just as it is, is what you've been looking for all your life. You never lost it; you never were what you thought you were; you are it.

The goals, the grief, the happiness, the bliss, the murderous intentions - they are not what you are. It may seem a wrench to contemplate the death of the persona as what you ultimately are, but persona still comes up. All the apparent causes and conditions still come up, or seem to. If the story of what you are and how that story turns out is not the thing that "what you are" depends upon, the story can, at last, just be enjoyed, relished, resisted, everything. You are not enjoying it, that personality you seem to think you are - the lattice of thought and the myriad feelings you think you are, even the thought that thinks it is what you are - is not enjoying it. It is enjoyed, by itself. Relishment relishes itself, and life simply lives.

There is a quality to being. It seems that quality of existence at its most essential is the specialness and singularity we associate with our selves. Our selves, our persona, our likes and dislikes, prejudices and inclinations, body shape and health, belief systems and emotional baggage are the ever-changing extras we take to be who we are. But that essential quality - that feeling of "I am me" that we have all the time, that we feel when we look into the mirror in the morning, that me-ness, that specialness, that abiding sense of being here now is what all sentient beings feel. We are one, we are united, we are the same thing. We are what life empties into. We are the unchanging what-it-is that sees itself, for the sake of seeing it. We are all there is. Even the discontent is what-it-is. Even the idea that this is not enough is it. It is undeniably always here, and always now.

This clip embodies the perfect illustration of how iffy perception of the "real world" is: the amazing, achingly funny Father Ted tries to explain perspective to Dougal.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

In This Harsh World Draw Thy Breath in Pain, To Tell My Story.

It doesn't matter what the story is, or seems to be. It doesn't matter how to-the-point it is. It doesn't matter if the story is about a long, well-disciplined and arduous journey, full of self-revelation, full of rising consciousness from one plane to the next highest, and higher still; for all states are one, all revelations just the energy of thought, emotion and body, and all disciplines equal, whether they seem available to the clever and energetic few or not. It doesn't matter if the story is one of a great seeing all at once, a spontaneous energetic shift of perception, the knife cutting all the fibers of the rope instantaneously rather than one hard-won fiber at a time.

Existence is existence, no matter what its face or quality. That which is, is, no matter what it seems to be. The story, whatever it is, however it is interpreted, is the same as every other story; all apparent beings are equal; and all space and the effluvia that populates it are a seamless whole. Beliefs, beauty, appearances, evil, the universe, and all infinite parallel universes are as nonexistent as a mathematical point, yet occupy all infinite imagined space; it is here, and not; it is now, and never. Identity and ego are endlessly diverting window dressings. Taking the story seriously is icing on the cake. The apparent universe and its inhabitants, the universe and its unlimited possibilities, and the mysteries of the composition of matter are simply not important, although miraculous and manifested for the mere hell and heaven of it all.

Perhaps it all seems very important. Perhaps the goals of life lived are the focus. Perhaps cultivating compassion and tolerance, or rooting out evil and suffering seems to be the most important thing. But no matter how truthful the latest truth seems to be, and no matter how clear the meaning of existence has become, it is and has become that way to something that judges these things. There is just truth, and existence, unjudged. It is that way whether you want it or not, and whether you have apprehended it or not. The wanting, the truth, the being and the comprehension are not what you seek. What you seek is much simpler and pared down than that. It is this, all around you, you, here, now, just as it is.

Brainstorm is perhaps my favourite movie - certainly my favourite for watching unbelievably late at night, in some very reduced state of mind. It has a fantastic premise - experiences are recorded direct from people's brains, and when played back, you can have the same experience that person recorded. It is terribly revealing of some of our assumptions about life and death, personal experience and perception. The leading researcher of this project (played with chain-smoking relish by Louise Fletcher) has a fatal heart attack near the recording device and has the presence of mind to stick the recorder on her head, managing to record her death experience. This clip is that tape - and the end is fascinating; is there really a heaven? Are those images just her dying brain's last electrical sputterings? The ego involved so heavily in the story, and so fearful of its own demise, needs a little hope now and then; here it is, provided by the imagination of Bruce Joel Rubin (who also gave us Ghost). It's freaky! Enjoy.