Stepping Stone To The Sun

As a dedicated spiritual seeker it’s not long before you discover that there are two of ‘me’ – the individual self, made up of the body-mind living in the world, and the witness, that which observes the individual self and the world. As you investigate further, one ‘me’ emerges as more real than the other. In the end, both dissolve into pure knowing.

We think, feel, and act in the world as though we are an individual person, separate and unique from all the other beings. It’s obvious that we are all unique individuals, but if we look closely at our experience we are not separate. Nothing separates us from an other or anything else except the idea of separation. And how dependable is an idea? Dependable as using a cloud as a stepping stone to the sun.

There is an element of our being that is aware and unchanging. It exists with or without our body, mind, and world. It is the background of all experience, but is itself not an experience. Experiences come and go, but this unchanging awareness is ever-present. It is totally dependable.

If we identify with the changing elements of our being, such as ideas, emotions, sensations, and perceptions, we will be forever searching for some stability, some meaningful lasting peace, or, as the mystic Dattatreya sings in the Avadhuta Gita[i], the ‘unchanging bliss’ of pure consciousness.

The quickest way to identify the unchanging awareness within you is to notice that part of your being that is ageless.

When someone asks us on our birthday if we feel any older most of us might pause for a moment and then say no, not really. What if you were asked, do you feel any older than you did 10 years ago? Twenty years ago? Fifty years ago? You might say that my body definitely feels older, and my memory might not be as good, but there’s some part of me that does not feel any older. Where do you go when you answer these questions? Who is speaking? Which ‘me’ is speaking?

Something timeless is speaking.

This is it. This timeless element of your being that emanates from the light of pure consciousness or pure knowing. When you look at the core of all experience, the common element is knowing. Nothing exists outside this field of knowing. If you can find something that appears outside this field of knowing . . . well, you can’t.

Rest as this light of pure consciousness and know the unchanging bliss that is at the core of your being, actually, our being, as there can be only one. If we look at the qualities of this pure consciousness we discover that it has no beginning and no end and is ever-present, therefore, it is infinite and eternal. Where is there room for two in that? As Dattatreya ends the Avadhuta Gita, ‘I am everywhere, like space.’

Now back to the beginning, ‘all two of me’ – the individual self and the witness that observes this so-called individual self. This is a very interesting concept, but that’s all it is – just another one of our nebulous stepping stones.

Step beyond all concepts, all thought. Step beyond the beyond, dissolve into pure knowing, and discover the timeless self. Our timeless self.

[i] https://centerlesscenter.com/2017/04/21/avadhuta-gita/

Supreme Self

Trying to find the Supreme Self, or Absolute Being, with the mind is like a shadow trying to find its own shadow.

Paramatma.jpeg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramatman

Are You Experienced?

‘But first, are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have’ ~ Jimi Hendrix

We are all experienced. We live our lives one experience after another. We hopefully avoid repeating old experiences that were unpleasant and often seek new experiences to keep life interesting. We might even go to extremes, thrill seekers in search of the ultimate experience, one that will take us beyond ourselves, like feeling the adrenaline rush of skydiving or meditating ten hours a day to reach a blissful state. If we have a particularly powerful experience we may spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to duplicate it.

Not only are we all experienced, we ourselves are an experience. For starters, each of us is someone else’s experience – the ‘subject/object-object/subject’ paradigm.

What is the nature of an experience, of all experiences? They are temporary events, arising and passing away. Experiences don’t linger, and the individual self is made up of experiences of ever-changing thoughts, emotions, sensations, and perceptions of the world.

The individual self thinks that it is experiencing all these experiences, but is itself an experience being experienced by something beyond itself.

What experiences all experiences, yet itself is not an experience, cannot be experienced?

There is an element of our being that is aware of all experience but does not share the ephemeral quality of all experience. What is this? Where is this? It can’t be named and it can’t be found, but is undeniably present at all times.

It is unquestionable that we know that we are. We are aware beings that know we are aware, but often overlook this fact and identify with the fleeting qualities of our ever-changing thoughts, moods, sensations, and perceptions. Identify with the unchanging, dimensionless awareness that is always with us and experience the changeless, formless, all-embracing source that we all share, as there can be only one. (Where is there room for two of something that is dimensionless and unchanging, infinite and eternal?)

This is the ultimate experience. No need to seek any further.

This Too Shall Pass II

‘This too shall pass.’ This common phrase has been around for a long time, its origin attributed to, among others, early Persian poets, the Bible, Judaism, and various Western and Eastern philosophers. A version of it can be found in most world cultures and for good reason – it’s a starting point for a true understanding of the nature of experience. If we pay any attention to what’s going on around us, it’s obvious that all things come and go. Some things take longer than others to arise and pass away, but the rise and fall of all objective experience is inescapable, and many of us base our life’s actions on this inevitability.

We usually say ‘this too shall pass’ when we find ourselves in an unpleasant situation, one we’d rather avoid or not experience at all. It might be physical like a sickness, or psychological like a bad mood. Whatever it is, we assume it is I, the personal self, who says ‘this too shall pass’. But the personal self consists solely of passing attributes. Try to name one characteristic of the personal self that doesn’t come and go and you can’t. The body-mind is comprised of thoughts, images, emotions, sensations, and perceptions of the world. All constantly changing attributes, coming and going, appearing and disappearing like colorful fall leaves floating down a mountain stream.

So if there is no personal self, who or what is actually saying this?

Whoever or whatever is saying ‘this too shall pass’ cannot itself be passing, otherwise how would it know anything was passing? It’s like the difference between sitting on the edge of a stream watching the leaves drift by and being one of the leaves.

Identify that within you that never comes and goes, that is ever-present and aware, and you have found your essential being. Although that isn’t quite true, as your essential being was never lost in the first place, it was just mistaken for a drifting leaf. But once you discover this unchanging element of being within you, within all of us, it can be said with assurance that this understanding shall never pass.

No Way In

No way in.

No way out.

What are you?

You are like space.

Where are you?

Everywhere.

If you were in, where would you go to get out?

If you were out, where would you go to get in?

For space, there is no in or out.

Space contains walls, but walls don’t contain space.

Just as there is the illusion that walls contain space, there is the illusion that the body-mind contains consciousness.

Space exists in its fullness regardless of what appears to exist in it. You can take things out of space, but you can’t take space out of things.

Space appears to be the background of all things.

Recognize the space-like element of your being – that which is ever-present, aware, and unchanging regardless of what comes and goes within it.

But you are not space. Space is also a thing.

You exist without space, but space doesn’t exist without you.

Who are you?

Regardless Of What You Think

Regardless of what you think, feel, sense, or perceive, you are not that. We have been conditioned since birth to believe that we are made up of our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, but if we look at the facts of our experience, nothing could be further from the truth – they are all temporary attributes, they come and they go, and therefore can’t be considered real.

If we aren’t our thoughts and feelings, who or what are we?

Ask yourself, do I know my thoughts, do I know my feelings, do I know my perceptions? The answer is obviously yes. And then ask yourself, when my thoughts disappear, when my feelings disappear, when my perceptions disappear, do I disappear with them? The answer is obviously no.

You, your essential aware self, knows the coming and going of all thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, but doesn’t come and go with them. Identify with this awareness that knows the rise and fall of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, not with the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions themselves.

And then see clearly that even this so-called awareness, this witness that observes the coming and going of all things, is itself a concept known by something beyond it.

We are That.

No Mistaken Identity

‘The known always changes. The knower never changes.’ ~ Rupert Spira

To know yourself is as simple as knowing that which knows our experience. Our experience is always changing, but the knower of experience, of all experience, never changes. Discover the knowing presence within yourself that is never changing and know your essential being, our essential shared being, once and for all. No mistaken identity.