No Expectations

When you have expectations of others that are not met, more often than not you feel disappointed, maybe even frustrated or angry, certainly not satisfied or happy.

Greet someone with no expectations and see what happens. This is more easily done with strangers than it is with someone close to you – with strangers expectations are low. We don’t know what to expect. When we think we know someone well, we tend to have a preconceived idea of how we expect them to act, and when they don’t act accordingly it upsets the balance of our little self, the only one who has expectations in the first place.

Just as the sky expects no particular formation from the clouds, awareness, the source of our being, has no expectations about the comings and goings of the self, others, or the world, and therefore accepts everything as it is, embraces everything as it occurs, in an open field of loving kindness.

When you greet someone from this perspective, you don’t expect anything in particular; you just meet them as they are. In turn, they will feel your unconditional acceptance and communication will be open and spontaneous.

And then recognize the infinite and eternal qualities of this awareness, its ever-present, boundless nature – that part of us that knows ‘I am’ – and realize that there can be room for only one. And you, I, we are That – one consciousness manifesting as the many.

No expectations. Try it. You won’t be disappointed.

We Are As Gods?

‘We are as Gods and might as well get good at it.’

So wrote Stewart Brand in the opening line of his first Whole Earth Catalog in 1968. This became the rallying cry for many a Flower Child. It was the perfect slogan to fuel the rising curiosity in spirituality that was being inspired by the hallucinogen induced psychedelic experience and the influx of Eastern mystics with their talk of meditation, yoga, and enlightenment.

We are as Gods.

An idealistic concept, and a goal worth striving for, especially for a young and enthusiastic seeker. To behave as a God seemed as good a way as any to reach a higher plane of consciousness, and if many followed this path it might even create a kinder, gentler world.

We are as Gods.

Not exactly. If we look closely at our own experience, we will discover that at the core of all experience there is only one thing going on – one infinite and eternal source for all appearances. Therefore, we are not as Gods . . .

We are as God.

There is only one source of being. Call it whatever you want – God, Divine Spirit, Consciousness, Aware Presence – but there can be only one, not many.

And because there can be only one, you, I, we, must be a manifestation of this one source, and thus, at our root we are all the same.

Why only one? Set aside your story for a moment – who you think you are, including your sex, race, beliefs and opinions, what you have accomplished or failed at in the past, and what you plan on doing in the future.

What’s left? With all sense of a personal self set aside, all that’s left is a sense of being, a sense of being aware that you are, a sense of being aware that you are aware. And does this awareness have any limitations? Any boundaries?

Can you find a beginning or an end to this awareness? Does it come into existence and then disappear? Is it ever not here?

No beginning or end can be found to this aware presence, or a time when it is not present. You have to be present to say that it is not present, which, of course, is an obviously absurd statement. Therefore, you must be awareness itself, infinite and eternal awareness.

We, you, I, are as God, and we might as well get good at it. And the good news is that once you recognize that your essential being is God, or consciousness, or whatever name you give it, you won’t have to get good at it, because there is only one way you can act, and that is Godly.

THIS STILLNESS

This stillness, its quiet, with no beginning,

this silence before the word,

before it could be said, all in the One Moment

lit by the morning, aging into light,

as the autumn promises with its resplendencies

the return of another summer,

the transformation from darkness

into transparency of this, given

so we might understand

this awesome This,

the one eye seeing this fragility,

this delicious tasting,

no matter how brief.

~ RC Williams (1931-2015)

Closer Than Close Encounter

For many of us the title brings to mind the great Spielberg movie, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind.’ This post is definitely about a close encounter, but, with a nod to Rupert Spira, we could say a ‘closer than close’ encounter of the only kind.

Just as the images on the screen – spellbound humans exchanging hand signs with an endearing little alien – is just a temporary appearance and has no affect on the screen whatsoever, so to does consciousness, that which knows both the knower and the known, the witness and the observed, stand undisturbed by anything that occurs in it.

A closer look at our experience shows that there is only one thing going on – that there is no division between the experiencer and the experience – the seer and the seen, the hearer and the heard, the knower and the known. Can you find the point where the hearer ends and the sound begins? No. It is one seamless experience – hearing – that takes place in the boundless field of consciousness.

And where do we go to find this boundless field of consciousness?

The instant you realize that there is no direction you can go to get any closer to the original source of your being – where can a cloud go to find the sky? – the only thing that remains is an all-pervading stillness and peace that can best be described as love.

And this is as close as it gets.

Now Showing: THE PARADOX

For someone who is deeply interested in the nature of being, the most important thing to discover is that there is no individual self. There is no ‘me’ that we’ve come to identify ourselves with. There is no one to improve, no one to get liberated, no one to be born, suffer, and die.

To get at the centerless center of our being, a serious seeker may ask ‘Who am I?’ But don’t get sidetracked by the question. Don’t waste your time with answers like ‘I am a man or woman who is of a certain age, has a family and a job, practices a specific religion and votes for the popular candidate.’

The individual self can be likened to a character in a movie that thinks and acts as though she or he is real. But it’s obvious that these activities don’t really belong to the character, they belong to the screen, come and go on the screen, are made of the screen. From the screen’s point of view, there are no characters. It only knows itself, just as consciousness, the aware presence in which all people, places, and things arise, only knows itself.

When the movie ends, the character on the screen disappears, but the screen remains unstained by anything that appeared on it. Similarly, when our thoughts, sensations, and perceptions come and go, which is their very nature, consciousness remains untouched, unchanged, ever-present, and aware. Always.

Now shift your perspective from being caught up in the movie, from being a character in the movie, and simply, naturally, notice the screen. Be the screen. Be unlimited consciousness. Be yourself.

Actually, you don’t have to make an effort to be anything. Any effort would be on behalf of a separate self that we’ve discovered doesn’t exist. So what can you do? Absolutely nothing. Absolutely not nothing.

The paradox – we are and we are not; we can and we cannot. In the helplessness of the situation, Richard Sylvester might suggest that we just relax.

In this non-doing doing, all vestiges of a personal self fall away and we stand revealed as our original, naked, innocent being. All residual concepts of self and other dissolve in what can be called the nameless, endless, absolute knowing of all-embracing oneness.