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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #328

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MU

Conciousness.

Sweet gift
Frail illusion
Granted freely
Taken swiftly
Enjoyed infinitly.

Conciousness.

___________________________________________________________

TIM GERCHMEZ

A return to
ultimate simplicity...

I am that I am.

All else is unknown.

No desire to know anything more...
No need to know anything more...
No way to know anything more...
Nobody to know anything more...

I am that I am.

There is only This:

I Am what I Am.

Why ask what I Am?

Is it not enough...
To BE what I AM?

What are words, but noise...
The hissing static of chaos.

I Am That Which I Am.

Nothing to gain,
Nothing to lose,
Nothing to desire,
Nothing to renounce.

I am not bound.
Nor am I free.

Rather:

I Am.

There is nothing more
to know than this:

Whatever I am,
Indeed, I am That!

Remaining with That,
there is only That.
The total Fullness
of being what I Am.

No more questions...
for which the answers
are all imagined.

No more answers...
for which the questions
are all imagined.

Only This:

Whatever I may be,
I remain Always.

What I am is undefined.
What I am not is undefined.

Resting in MySelf,
Everything drops away;
Only I remain...
Here,
Now,
Always...
Just what I am.

I know that I Am.

Knowing that I Am,
And only that I Am,
There is nothing more.

______________________________________________________________

DAN BERKOW


Just stop for a second.

Stop the world and get off.

Don't mistake paste for a diamond.

If you believe what you've been told,
you'll be lost forever.

Forget anything you've heard about it,
and forget that idea that forgetting
will get you anywhere.

Freedom is real.

It's close at hand.

But breaking through to freedom
has little to do with anything
anyone says to do or not do.

Only you know what this means.

To undo the tangled knot,
unweave yourself.

Notice what can't be seen,
hear what isn't a sound,
feel without touching.
_____________________________________________________________

MATTHEW FILES

I think that unless you have spent a minimal amount of time
with a teacher/guru ie: 5-10 years, you arent in much of a
position to assess what value the physical presence of a
Real teacher has,because if you think that all a teacher
can do is point the way and pray you are seriously
mistaken.

______________________________________________________

TIM GERCHMEZ

But it seems that many here are busy weaving the web of
concepts and ideas yet more tightly about themselves.

Luckily, webs are full of holes. Perhaps unluckily, they
are sticky.

Cocoons may be stifling and often miserable, but they are
both familiar and comforting to those who have been
enclosed within for a long time. Many are willing to poke
their heads out... few are willing to emerge fully and
leave a cocoon behind permanently.

__________________________________________________________

ASTA VAKRA

I have been reading some of the comments made on the brain
and consciousness. A group of opinions express that all is
a concept percieved by consciouness. Whereas some have
countered this arguement effectively.

The school of opinion on consciousness says that since we
are conscious of thoughts, actions and sensations,
consciousness must be prior to the gross body-mind
organism. They further go on to say that all other is
concept since they appear and disappear as one is
conscious or unconscious. What ever is said is based on the
consciousness. This type of consciousness is the
phenomenal consciouness and not the word used in the
advaitic sense (otherwise we couldn't talk of
unconsiousness). The fact that some of the opinions talk
of consciousness and unconsciousness shows about its
transient nature. Then how can one use a transient concept
of consciousness to justify that the body-mind is a
concept? It is nothing but self-delusion.

Now to the arguement that since consciousness is aware of
the body-mind it is prior to the body-mind. If we are
talking of consciousness as in that which percieves the
phenomena of body-mind as well as that of manifestation
then we cannot say that it is prior to the body-mind.
While in so doing we are just concluding something on the
basis of the causality perceived. It has been found that
the body reacts to external stimulus before we are
actually conscious of the cause and the effect. In fact
the whole scenario of cause and effect gets reconstructed
after a delay of few hundered milliseconds. So the tricks
our conscious mind plays may lead us to conclude that
consciousness exists prior to the body mind. That there is
something which continues independent of the body-mind.
But the phenomenal consciousness is due to the body-mind.
It has been evolved in human life form as part of natural
selection. Make no mistake when I say consciouness I am
talking of the phenomenal consciouness and not the
consciousness in advaitic sense. This phenomenal
consciousness is a faculty in the brain which can observe
its own working. This faculty has however a side effect of
creating a concept of an individual or ego. This is a
device used by the brain to observe and control behaviour
of other body-mind organisms for it own survival. The ego
acts as self referencing entity to compare and understand
the working of other bodys brain function. If at all there
is a concept it is this concept of ego which is built up
and given the role of a doer. The clear seeing into the
working of this brain-consci ouness-manifestation could be
called realization. Realization of the fact that there is
no doer of action one or another. This understanding will
inhibit any further growth of the concept of ego. However
the self-referral entity has to conitnue as long as the
body exists as it is the product of the bodily existence.

Now there are a lot of confessor on this list. I would like
to know what they feel about the concept that has been
presented.

JODY Responds:

Realization occurs when Self recognizes Self, and the mind
sees that it is really nothing. The mind "knows" the fact
of its own non-existence.

GREG GOODE Responds:

hank you for your posting. You make the valuable point that
in these discussions about consciousness and the brain,
there has been equivocation about the term 'consciousness.'
Sometimes absolute consciousness is being talked about,
and sometimes the waking-state consciousness is being
talked about. Advaita is extremely clear on the
distinction between these two:

(1) Om/Brahman/Atman/Self

absolute consciousness (2) Jagarita-Sthana waking state

We could perhaps say that the brain is prior to (2), but
not to (1). [Unimportant side-point: I say *perhaps* prior
to (2). Perhaps the brain being prior to (2) is not so
defensible, since all the claims and arguments are being
made from within the scope of the Jagarita-Sthana itself.]

[Back to the main point] If we look at the usual Western
explanations of mind/body/world, most often we encounter
claims that the brain is anterior or prior to waking-state
consciousness.

Then what about the brain and *absolute* consciousness? I'm
not sure if anyone on this list seriously argued that the
brain is anterior to the Self or *absolute* consciousness.
Rather, it is usually at this point that unclarity and
equivocation can take place, where the meaning slips back
and forth between the two meanings of "consciousness."

Advaita is very clear that no object in the person, mind,
body, or world can be prior to absolute consciousness.
Ironically enough, as you hint, Asta_vakra, the very
argument that the brain is prior to absolute consciousness
is seen in advaita as confirming the primacy of absolute
consciousness!! As for advaita's theory about the brain
versus the waking state, there are different theories
accounting for the world, not all of them mentino the
brain. One theory in fact argues eloquently against any
kind of causation ever taking place among phenomena - it is
Gaudapada's "ajata-vada" or theory of non-causation as
presented in the Mandukya Upanishad. It is a bit similar to
Western philosopher David Hume's theory on non-causality
as presented in his _Enquiry Concerning Human
Understanding_.

Thanks for bringing out this helpful and essential
distinction in the discussions!

(editor's note: the conversation is extended in three
further posts. Please see Nonduality Salon Archives.)
_________________________________________________________

MANCHINE

When I was younger, I had a number of rhetorical questions
which seem to be coming back now as very real answers.

One, could it be that God is just having a dream, and it is
me? Two, Love is just his sentiment for himself?

The second of those had me preocupied... an ego thing I
guess, jealousy, remember, I was young!!

With respect to this second question, we have always been
taught not to be selfish or egotistical or self-centered,
and then it seemed that the very God himself was all of
those. But those were distortions of a young mind. How
could I not see that I was separate, a little boy that
needed love. Love was what I felt wrapped in the arms of a
parent.

That love was programmed before I was born. It has
characteristics, ingrained to the species. Other life
elements have ingrained characteristics. hunger, sexual
drive etc. etc.

But these rhetorical questions strangely enough started to
become the only logical answers to so many impossible
realities, all the doubts and questions that we have here
on NDS for example sometimes seem to cloud the issues,
leave more doubt. We remain floating in this world of
"meaningless words" the poor ego waiting for some answer,
arms to embrace it and make it feel better.

But the love of a father / mother is different. It is not
that which is embraced, it is that which embraces. It is an
unconditional giving. What would that be like if you were
the father and the son.

What grace!

What more could you ask?

_________________________________________________________

...I am not enlightened... --Neo

Are you really really positively certain about that? If so,
where does that certainty come from? Are you comparing
your image of yourself with your image of yourself as you
would be? Both of these images are only images... How are
you able to say with certainty that you are not
enlightened? --Andrew Macnab

__________________________________________________________

Michael asked: How do we transcend, pass beyond the limits,
of mind completely?

Mark Otter replied: good question, but like all questions,
a product of mind. lose your mind (go mad, dive in)
surrender to the cooking pot. You can't do it. It happens
when you let your guard down. Use your mind until it's
completely exhausted, or quiet your mind until it's
completely quiet or... lose your job, your family, your
belongings, your very reason for living, the then notice
what a lovely day it is... It just is. nothing to do,
nowhere to go, no harm to come. It's already happened. Have
you noticed it? words point until they get bored pointing
and become nonsense - fluff, they float away. That's fine
too. remember how it was before you had a mind. don't mind
your mind. it's mindless I know, I'm just babbling, but I
like the sound of running water. What's it running from,
where's it going to? It doesn't care, just down. Don't
worry about falling. everything's falling. falling is
natural. there's no bottom. how lovely. fine. very fine.

P.S. All this talk about supper is making me hungry. I
think I am at the stage where I'm realizing that hunger has
merit in itself. I've always rushed to eat whenever I'm
hungry, and the hunger never got the chance to tell me what
it knows. I think I may fast awhile now...
SSSSHHHHHhhhhhhh..... ah yes.

________________________________________________________

MICHAEL JOHNSON

How does one go beyond ego mind without a physical
spiritual teacher? Ego filters all that we read and all
that we hear. If there is no one to challenge ego how will
we know the truth?

_________________________________________________________

JERRY KATZ

I typed up a few pages from Oddo's book for the Nondual
Daily Nugget today. It is about a dangerous encounter. In
fact, there are a few such stories in the book:
http://www.nonduality.com/nugget.htm

And here are some more excerpts from his book. It sounds
very NDS to me:

The greatest game the mind plays is to search for itself by
observing its own workings. Spiritual paths lead one into
a quagmire of investigation, and you cannot go beyond the
limitations of the mind, but using this same mind to
dicipher your true nature -- you merely build a concept to
embrace, and spend your precious time in its shadow.

***

We all establish artificial criteria to order the
importance of our life...

***

Remember that most teachers and masters started off
confused and ignorant. Their condition provided a catalyst
for change, and also a perspective from which to teach.
Everyone has the same equal opportunity to reorder their
priorities, and thus allow their consciousness to evolve
into deeper understanding, and bring remembrance of their
true nature within life's expression. Your integrity and
sincerity are the key to spiritual growth...
______________________________________________________

DAVID AIREY

I'm jumping in here –my first time. I wanted to respond to
the spiritual teacher question. In my experience there is
no substitute for a teacher – a living teacher. I find it
is practically guaranteed that I will delude myself even
when I have the help of my teacher, let alone when I don't
have help. I know it's very un-hip these days to be so
na´ve as to trust a teacher, and I suppose that's not
surprising when you consider the track record of spiritual
teachers over the last twenty years, but what if……imagine
this……what if you could find a teacher that you did trust?

***

We feel fundamentally victimized by our own egos, by our
own experience of life. If you step back and look at it
objectively it's pretty crazy. Nevertheless I find that
this is the greatest challenge in trying to live a
different kind of life - to step out of that craziness.
It's pretty shocking to see how much I prefer craziness
over freedom when push comes to shove.

***

Of course there is the element of grace in a relationship
with a true teacher, manifesting in who knows how many
ways. But there's also the very non-esoteric unmysterious
element of being set straight in no uncertain terms by one
who sees exactly what you're really up to most of the
time. Also the element of sincere and dedicated spiritual
practice under his/her instruction. There's so much new
age airy-fairy kind of Dharma out there these days and I
think it's very confusing and misleading for people who
are trying to find something real.

__________________________________________________________

JODY

I'm not saying teachers don't work. I'm contending that
they are not necessary in every case. A good teacher is a
deep blessing, but one that isn't available to all. If you
asked me, the best tactic one can employ is devotion.
Simply surrendering oneself to their own higher good is
about the best thing one can "do".

I've been initiated for about 10 years, practicing for 17,
and I lived in an ashram for a year. All this means exactly
doodly squat. My guru is aware enough to know that all he
can do is point and pray. His advice to me all along has
been to pray and meditate. He told me nothing I hadn't
already surmised myself, and he gave me all the room I
needed to practice in whatever way my heart directed me
too.

As I said, I've been blessed with a guru and wonderful
teachers, some of whom post to this list. However, neither
guru nor teachers would ever take one microgram of credit,
knowing full well that all the credit goes to Mother.

___________________________________________________________

NEO

That there is not a brain or any other objects should be
clear. I do suppose it depends on your concept of brain or
how you define it. Here are some reasons, IMO, why the
brain and objects do not exist:

1. There appears to be no solid matter. 2. The brain is not
separate. It is connected to the rest of the body and from
there to the universe. 3. The brain is in constant flux
from instant to instant so what you call the brain in one
instant is totally different the next. 4. It is a
projection of mind.

There are probably more but in any discussion like this it
ultimately comes down to varying beliefs. Neo does not
exist either for the same reasons. As to how words appear
here, it is a very complex exchanges of energy (for lack of
a better expression) that is far beyond the limited
beliefs of "neo". In other words "I" do not know.

______________________________________________________

HARSHA

We need not worry how we will know the Truth or how the ego
can know the Truth, etc.

How can anyone really know the Truth as a separate entity?
Is the Truth an object to be known? We can Be the Truth
because We Are the Truth. That is our Original Nature.
Truth Knows ItSelf.

_______________________________________________________

XAN

ACIM - First Ten Lessons - excerpts

1. Nothing I see means anything. Look slowly around you
and practice applying this idea very specifically to
whatever you see. "This table does not mean anything." etc.

2. I have given everything I see all the meaning it has for
me. Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting
specific subjects...

3. I do not understand anything I see in this place. The
point of the exercises is to help clear your mind of all
past associations. It is essential that you keep an open
mind...

4. These thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the
things I see in this place. Begin with nothing the thoughts
that are crossing your mind. Use 'good' thoughts as well
as 'bad'. None of them represents your real thoughts,
which are being covered up by them. "This thought does not
mean anything."

5. I am never upset for the reason I think. Until you learn
that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper
subject for the exercises for the day. "I am not afraid for
the reason I think." etc.

6. I am upset because I see something that is not there. "I
cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For
the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them
all as the same."

7. I see only the past. This idea ... is the rationale for
all the preceding ones. Everything you believe is rooted in
time. "I see only the past in this shoe, this hand, etc."

8. My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts. No one really
sees anything. He sees only his thoughts projected
outward. ... Your mind cannot grasp the present which is
the only time there is. It therefore ... cannot, in fact,
understand anything. "I seem to be thinking about _______
but my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts."

9. I see nothing as it is now. The recognition that you do
not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false
ideas. ... It is difficult for the untrained mind to
believe that what it seems to picture is not there. This
idea can be quite disturbing and may meet with active
resistance in any number of forms. Yet that does not
preclude applying it. "I do not see this computer as it is
now." etc...

10. My thoughts do not mean anything at all. The reason the
idea is applicable to all the thoughts of which you are
aware is that they are not your real thoughts. When you
have a basis for comparison you will have no doubt that
what you once believed were your thoughts did not mean
anything. "This idea will help to release me from all I now
believe."

addendum:

12. I am upset because I see a meaningless world. You think
that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad
world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these
attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in
itself.

13. A meaningless world engenders fear. Recognition of
meaninglessness arouses intense anxiety in all the
separated ones. It represents a situation in which God and
the ego "challenge" each other as to whose meaning is to be
written in the empty space that meaninglessness provides.
The ego rushes in frantically to establish its own idea
there, fearful that the void may otherwise be used to
demonstrate its own impotence and unreality. And on this
alone is it correct.

***

this is my favorite quote from the Gurgieff group:

Student: What is the enneagram?

Teacher: It shows which kind of idiot you are.

***

Quietness is the surest sign that you're dying Your old
life was a frantic running from silence.

Rumi

When you are silent, His speech is your speech. When you
don't weave, the weaver will be He.

Rumi

______________________________________________________

How do we transcend, pass beyond the limits, of mind
completely? --Michael

Show me the mind and I will show you how to transcend it :)
--Jan

__________________________________________________________

MORE ON THE MATRIX

JODY REPORTS:

I sat through "The Matrix" again last night. Upon a second
viewing I came away with a new appreciation for it's value
as an allegory and saw the error in my earlier critiques.

There is one major flaw in the representation, but if one
forgives the paradigm presented to us by the writers, the
story itself walks along the same lines as those we walk on
here.

Neo represented the seeker to me. The flaw in the allegory
was that "the One" was one person. That's what I was stuck
on before. However, if we see Neo to represent ourselves,
the seekers and devotees, the story works very well.

Neo came to his "Oneness" by realizing a simple truth, that
the computer program he was in was perfectly plastic and
easily manipulated. He struggled fiercely up until the
point he realized. Upon his awakening, he saw how simple it
all is, and how he had it all along.

That's where the allegory holds true. It really is simple,
and we really do have it all the time.

Now if we could only jump 500 miles at a time. . .

***

MU Responds:

You can do ANYTHING. It scares people though. Be gentle.

No matter how people appear to the normal eye They Glow!

++++++++++++++++++ Shush! Be still.

Ohhhh! Fear nothing.

Ahhhh! I AM THAT LOVE!

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