One Plus One

One plus one equals one.

One is all there is.

Can you find two?

If you can, it’s only one finding itself.

~*~

Locate a beginning to one.

It can’t be found.

Locate an end to one.

It can’t be found.

~*~

No beginning, no end.

Where is there room for another?

One is all there is.

One plus one equals one.

Universal Law

‘Welcoming is a universal law. The night is welcoming, the sky is welcoming, the birds and the trees are welcoming. When we are surrounded by welcoming human companions, we live in beauty. Our shared presence gives us a taste of what the lost paradise might have felt like.’                                                                                                                                   ~ Francis Lucille, Eternity Now

To Feed A Hungry Ghost

In the news: another young adult from a western culture runs off to join a radical terrorist group known for its viciousness and total disregard for human life. All done based on the belief that ‘we are right and they are wrong.’

Disillusioned by the trappings of materialistic greed, unable to find happiness in ‘things,’ the young (or old) may go in the opposite direction and turn to religious fanaticism – the complete surrender of the supposed self to a higher cause – even if it means sacrificing one’s life. Or, conversely, someone living under a dictatorship or other oppressive regime might escape to a democratic country, join the military, and fight for its particular definition of freedom.

Most young adults want to know what life is all about. Why are we here? What’s the point? They want to know because they still have vestiges of their newborn innocence, openness, and curiosity. Even as they are being swept into the mainstream of mindless mediocrity, instinct tells them no, no, no, this is not the way, there is something more meaningful – there was something more meaningful, but I’ve lost it. But society says yes, yes, yes, this is the only way – you are basically a slave to your thoughts (beliefs), feelings, sensations, and perceptions, and we know the way to manage them.

But as long as we identify with these fleeting qualities of the body, mind, and world, we create a false sense of separation, which breeds isolation, loneliness, helplessness, depression, and despair. When a young mind is assured that fighting for some random idea of freedom will make them part of something greater, something powerful and dominating, this sounds like a real sense of purpose, a true sense of self-fulfillment.

The problem is that the separate self can never be satisfied because it is not real. You can’t satisfy something that doesn’t exist. It’s like trying to feed a hungry ghost. The only thing that is real is that which never comes and goes, in which all appearances arise and are known by, not, as we commonly think, some ephemeral thought or perception.

Our essential being, everyone’s essential nature, call it consciousness or awareness, is that which is always present and aware, untouched, unchanged, unstained by all appearances, yet contains all objects of the mind, body, and world. And because of its infinite and eternal nature there cannot be two. We are one, and one cannot harm one. The knife cannot cut itself. And our, its, essence is peace and love.

The Mother of All Containers

We are conditioned, in many instances quite lovingly and with good intentions, to believe in our identity as an individual self – a body-mind made up of a collection of fleeting thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, and perceptions. But this is all it is, a belief. This is not our actual experience, not our actual identity.

If ‘I’ am aware of my body-mind, what is this ‘I’ that is aware? Where is it? Can it be located? No. It can’t be found in any particular place, yet everywhere ‘I’ looks it finds itself. It is ever-present, aware, and holds everything. Nothing comes from outside it because there is no outside. No inside either. No boundaries. It is the mother of all containers.

Instead of placing our identity in something as fragile and impermanent as a body-mind with its limited thoughts and perceptions, we can pay attention to that which knows the coming and going of all things, yet never comes and goes itself. In this we discover a genuine security, which, in turn, reveals an immutable background of peace, happiness, and love that is our original nature. And this is cause for celebration!

All Appearances

All Objects, All Things

Are Held, Contained, Embraced, Loved

By a Seemingly Endless Universe

That Stretches Back in Time for

Billions of Years

And Into the Future

From Here to Eternity

Yet No Actual Limits Can Be Found

No Inside

No Outside

Only Boundless Awareness

The Mother of All Containers

THIS

Presence

“What is important is to wake up in the total absence of oneself; in this total absence is really presence.” ~ Jean Klein

AHA!

I am enlightened. I am not enlightened.

I am awake. I am asleep.

I am liberated. I am not liberated.

I am lost. I am found.

All observations of the seeker’s mind mired in the world of duality.

Thoughts, concepts, all bound by the limits of space and time, and therefore, in the truest sense, not real.

The only true reality is that which is ever-present and aware – that which exists prior to, during, and after all thoughts, sensations, and perceptions have come, lingered, and disappeared.

Call it a non-dual or non-conceptual awareness. But these are still concepts, and therefore cannot be real.

It is said that to realize your true nature you must go beyond all concepts, and then ‘go beyond the beyond’.

Asking someone to ‘go beyond the beyond’ is like asking water to flow up hill.

There is nothing you can say or do to realize your true nature. All you can do is be it, which takes no effort whatsoever because you are already that. But to try to be effortless, well . . .

To be nothing is true liberation, but you will never know it because you are nothing to begin with.

And in this placeless place of no action or inaction, of doing or non-doing, of no-thing-ness, is found perfect stillness, perfect silence. The Perfect Peace. It’s too bad that you can never experience this wonderful . . . idea.

Give up if you can.

But you can’t.

AHA!

 

Dead To The Present

If you are living in the past you are not living.

Doesn’t it make sense that when you live in the past you are dead to the present? We’re not talking about a pleasant daydream recalling a special moment in your life, like the first time you set eyes on your true love. In this case, we’re talking about the tendency to dwell on something negative that happened in the past.

There is a wonderful quote floating around the Internet that goes something like, ‘Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.’ Perfect. When you look closely at what you are angry at or upset about, it turns out to be just a memory, a thought. When you look closely at a thought you find that it has less substance than a cloud in the sky, and comes and goes just as quickly – if you simply ignore it.

Once you start engaging a thought, a memory, you bring it to life and it seems real. But a thought will never be real. The only thing that is real is that which is reading these words, the knowing presence from which all thoughts arise and with which they are known, and, ultimately, made out of.

It’s obvious that the past will not, cannot ever change. It will never become better or worse. It is what it is – a memory, and possibly a flawed one at that. To engage a negative memory in any way is a futile endeavor and will only cause more psychological suffering. It is dead and nothing you can do will change it.

Holding a grudge, bearing resentment, is like having to drag a thousand pound sack of rocks up a mountain. It’s exhausting, defeating, and futile. To drop this sack is to invite a lightness of being back into your life, experience the happiness that is your inherent nature.

And it is so easy to drop the sack. Just see it for what it is – a thought, an image, a ghost, a shadow. It may seem to weigh ten thousand pounds but in reality it is a weightless mirage. When you see the rope as a snake, you are frightened, but when you see the rope as a rope, you smile.

Relax. Let thoughts of the past and future naturally come and go and be your true self, that which exists prior to any belief, opinion, judgment, position . . . or grudge. This true self can’t be named, but is ever-present and aware, the original source of light and love. And you, I, we, are that.

Jean Klein on Understanding

“On the level of the mind, ordinary understanding, the nearest we can come to objectless truth is a clear perspective, a vision of the objectless. I often call this a geometrical representation. The contents of this representation are what could be called the facts of truth: that the mind has limits; that truth is beyond the mind; that truth, our real nature, cannot be objectified, just as the eye cannot see itself seeing; that truth, consciousness, was never born and will never die; that it is the light in which all happenings, all objects, appear and disappear; that in order for there to be understanding of truth, all representation must dissolve. When this representation, the last of the conventional subject-object understanding, dies, it dissolves in its source–the light of which the mind was informed but could not comprehend. In other words, understanding dissolves in being understanding. We no longer understand, we are the understanding. This switchover is a sudden, dramatic moment when we are ejected into the timeless.” ~ Jean Klein

‘Closer Than Close’

To paraphrase friend and teacher Rupert Spira, there is no distance on the direct path. That is why it’s also known as the pathless path. The direct path referred to is the spiritual path of self-inquiry – ‘Who am I?’ – or, more accurately, self-abidance – ‘I am’ – which can lead to the understanding of our true nature – the realization that our essence is that of eternal and infinite consciousness.

When we consider the nature of reality, the core of our identity, what feelings arise when we hear the words ‘no distance’? Nestle into this statement like a newborn nestles into its mother’s embrace. Imagine how that feels. How it felt. Warm. Secure. Intimate. Close.

If there is no distance on the direct path, and therefore pathless, what step need we take? There is nothing we can think, do, or say to get any closer to the truth because we’re already there, already it. The relationship between the one who knows and that which is known is, as Rupert is fond of saying, ‘Closer than close.’

The discovery that the knower and the known are one begs the question, who or what knows this? All that’s left on the conceptual level is the knowing presence of awareness in which everything arises, is known by, and made of. This knowing presence of awareness, or consciousness, has no edge or boundary, no beginning or end, and is therefore everywhere and indivisible, infinite and eternal. In other words, there is only one thing going on. Only this. The seeker is the sought.

We dance gracefully along the direct path, going nowhere, no distance, because in every moment we are already there. And with this understanding, this indisputable knowing, the heart bursts with the all-pervading sense of unconditional love. And you, I, we are that.

On the Direct Path, the Pathless Path

Travel No Distance and Discover that All Manifestations

Are but Unique Expressions of Unchanging Awareness

That Only Knows Itself

And We are That

Closer than Close

Rules to Live By

‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is the familiar form of the Golden Rule. If we all followed this ethical code of behavior there’s no doubt it would be a better world. But why don’t we? It doesn’t seem as though it should be that difficult.

All of the major religions and philosophies have some form of the Golden Rule at their core, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Sikhism, Christianity, Unitarianism, Native Spirituality, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Judaism, Islam, and the Baha’i Faith. The majority of the seven-plus billion people on the planet adhere to the beliefs of one of these groups. So why is the world in such a state of perpetual turmoil? Where is the love?

It seems as though these days ‘an eye for an eye’ is an even more popular moral code, ignoring Gandhi’s clear warning, ‘An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.’ If you tune in to the world news, you hear the terms revenge, retribution, and retaliation far more often than you hear the words peace, love, and happiness.

So throw out the Golden Rule, live by ‘an eye for an eye,’ and continue on our path of destruction, with past and current events the irrefutable proof of our willingness, on the one hand, to commit inhumane acts in the name of some higher being, and on the other hand to accept these acts as just the way things are.

Really? This is all the human race has to offer?

After thousands of years of religious indoctrination and philosophical rhetoric, all in the name of peace, love, happiness, and ultimately Oneness, you’d think that we would have worked things out, but in spite of the obvious failure of these efforts on behalf of some deity or special knowledge, we continue on this dead end path.

We could say that it’s all about power, about the control of the few who are rich enough and smart enough, strong and manipulative enough to convince the majority of the rest of us that they know what’s best for us. And we buy into it because we don’t know what else to do, and, of course, it’s easier to be a follower than a leader.

In the end, the joke is on us because the misery and brutality will endure as long as we consider ourselves to be individuals. And this has nothing to do with being faceless drones or sheep led to slaughter. This has to do with realizing the truth of our own nature, that there is no other to do upon, and that the eye cannot kill itself.

‘I and the Mother/Father/Self/Other are one.’ Period. Set aside your beliefs, for, as history shows, they only bring about endless suffering. Set aside all ideas of being a separate self and let your true self, that of infinite and eternal consciousness, be revealed.

Stop thinking of yourself as yourself. There is no self. If you would simply pause for a moment and look, you can’t possibly find this aggrandized or persecuted self. It doesn’t exist. I, we, you, are just a cluster of passing thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, with no more strength or staying power than a cloud in the sky.

And when this is fully understood, experienced, known for absolute fact, all separation falls away, all divisions vanish like a mirage in the desert, and you, I, we, stand revealed as one indivisible entity whose qualities are peace, love, and happiness. And no rule can ever give us this.