and Moller de la Rouviere
ARTICLES AND ESSAYS:
(editor's note: references to 'forum' and
'list' refer to email lists; reference to 'posts' refers
to letters sent to email lists.)
Non-duality is not created and sustained by thought.
Thought as a response of memory, fragmented in its
operation and therefore presuming the already existent
sense of limitation on our being, cannot reach out to, or
transform itself into that which is not of itself.
Non-duality is therefore of a different category of being
than the fragmentary operation of thought as it manifests
in its dualistic vision of reality. Non-dual reality may
include thought when thought is present. But it manifests
as an unfathomable, centreless sense of BE-ing,
inherently not interested in objectifying itself as
verbal definition and description. Not having its source
in thought, no amount of thinking can reveal the truth of
the non-fragmented disposition we may refer to as
From this perspective it may be clear that any thought
about the non-dual condition of being is in essense
nothing other than thought, and therefore an illusion if
mistaken for the Real. So whether we think about
non-duality or not, or whether we believe that our
thinking about non-duality has any reference whatsoever
with the actual living reality of centreless BE-ing, is
totally beside the point. It stands 'beside the point' as
something categorically different to the genuine article.
Thought is about', and 'about' is not the living
reality of the thing itself.
This realisation, (and by realisation I do not mean any
form of mental clarity, intellectual argument or
thought-created certainty, but rather the revelation as
living reality), is not generally our disposition when we
start out on the path of self-enquiry. We start out as
thought constructs called 'I', conditioning,
psychological problems and complexities, unresolved
emotional issues, and so on. In other words we start out
as seekers for freedom from our perceived problems. If we
were all happy, non-fragmented human BE-ings, we would
not feel the need to enter upon any search for freedom,
spirituality or truth. In fact it may even be argued that
the search itself is a measure of our unhappiness and
dis-ease. The free, sane and fully functional person has
no need for such extreme measures as sitting quietly for
hours practicing meditation, counting one's breath,
trying to become quiet, relax out of contracted states of
body, emotion and thought, or try to appear clever by
writing about all the highest truths obtained from books,
scriptures and teachings from the completed ones.
It is precisely because we are not completed in the
wholeness of our already existing truth of BE-ing, that
we enter upon the path of the great search, not realising
that that which we are searching for may never be found
by the instrument which we use in our search i.e.
thought. For the very reason that thought cannot
transcend itself, it cannot find or experience the answer
to the most fundamental question it can ever ask, i.e. is
there any truth beyond the truth of its own projections?
The answer to this question lies in the direct experience
of the non-dual sense of BE-ing and is not to be found in
the measure of the fragmented thought process.
So it is perfectly clear to me, and this much my practice
has revealed to me, that despite all the very clever
arguments my thought has projected over the years
relating to the wholeness of the living moment , behind
even the most clear and insightful thoughts, lurked the
separate self-sense. All these thoughts appeared to 'me'.
Not the high' Me of which the mystics speak. Just
the ordinary me as presumed observer of my thoughts. So
although very clear about all the arguments presented by
my own enquiry and intellectual endeavour (including deep
insights during profoundly quiet times of meditative
practice) about the non-dual 'nature' of myself, (and
everything else), over time it became clear that I was
still separate and unwhole. The most reasonable deduction
that could be made from this was that I was using the
wrong instrument to reveal the wholeness, or
non-dualistic nature, of the living moment to itself.
It became clear that thought can ask questions it simply
cannot answer. Also it can make statements about things
it has absolutely no ability to get 'in touch' with, or
to become one with. My thoughts about' non-duality
were as empty of the genuine article as the religious
mind's thoughts about metaphysical projections such as
God and other idols.
This was a watershed realisation in my own practice. When
it became clear that thought cannot answer the problems
of 'I'- consciousness, (which is clearly a problem
created and sustained by the activity of thought itself),
it also became clear that whatever thought might do to
relieve itself of this dilemma in human consciousness was
just part of the proverbial monkey chasing its own tail.
Thought cannot wash away thought. It can only try to
suppress aspects of its own projections with some
presumed 'higher thought', (or projection) or counter a
fondly held argument with some more refined argument. But
in either case, thought is still the active principle,
and cannot relieve itself of itself by itself. And as we
are more or less completely identified with our separate
self-sense or I'-conscious state, no freedom is
possible within thought.
But this is a profound insight. It has to reveal itself
through meticulous self-enquiry. It is not something to
be read, understood by the mere logic of it, and then
applied as a kind of practice' of non-doing.
Unless, of course, we are content to take the truth of
another, make a concept of it, and parade it to ourselves
and others as our own living understanding and reality.
As such it will have little liberating power, and in most
cases become just another thought-projection replacing
previously held thought-projections, both devoid of
integrity and active transformative power.
Seen from this perspective the wheel has to be
re-invented each one for h/herself. There are as many
paths as there are practitioners or enquirers. But what
has to be revealed as a fundamental truth and reality by
such enquiry, is that thought is not the thing. The talk
about non-duality, the thinking about non-duality is
false. Not because the thinking process itself is false,
but because thought can only project its own version
(mental creation) of these matters. And it becomes a
double lie if we propagate these illusory, conceptually
created, projections as having anything whatsoever to do
with the living reality of the non-fragmented BE-ing.
This is what I have once described in a post on
HarshaSatsangh as the Advaitist's dream.
And because very few know the way from here, partially
because the latter-day Advaitist guru's proclaim that the
thought IS the thing, and so the idea ABOUT the non-dual
state IS the thing itself, and so we are ALREADY 'THERE'
so no work needs to be done, the enquiry has become
stultified and this stultification has taken on the
epidemic proportions from which so-called Western Advaita
is unknowingly suffering.
This illusion has now become reality. And it is being
repeated, and has thus become 'conventional wisdom' or '
perfectly obvious' to all. Non-duality is now common
knowledge. It is no longer the exquisite confession of
the true realiser alone. And as common knowledge, it is
just that - empty, dead knowledge, devoid of the life and
integrity which is revealed in the living reality of the
living moment alone.
It is only obvious' as a thought. Nothing else. Not
unlike the existence of god being obvious' to the
religious mentality. There is absolutely nothing obvious
about non-duality or non-doing. It is just thought
presenting clever arguments to itself, and then believes
its own arguments to be the thing itself, or relating to
the thing itself.
Ignorance is nothing other than thought mistaking its own
creations for reality. It is what keeps the dream of
subjectivity alive. Because despite all the protestations
from all the pseudo-advaitists on these lists, they still
suffer the very same thing they are pretending to one
another to have left behind. But in fact, nothing has
been left behind. The 'I' is still there, with each and
every futile explanation or argument to prove the
existence of the non-dual reality, the very argument is a
revelation of their state of dualistic vision. And
because those confessors' of non-dualism are mostly
unaware of this inherent contradiction in their stance,
they maintain the very process active and alive which is
the very essence of duality and separation.
Once this problem of the monkey chasing its own tail has
been seen as the very principle of delusion, we may start
to enquire whether there may be something that could be
done, which does NOT perpetuate the very thing we are
trying to get away from. Before that, any proposition
that there is no-where to go, nothing to do, no-doer from
the start, and so on, is always, already part of the
fragmented being's desperate attempt at pretending that
separation and suffering is not real and does not exist.
While in fact it is just mind on mind. Concept on
concept. Delusion on delusion.
Once this process of self-observation and self-enquiry
has done its work to the point where nothing remains
certain anymore, not even the idea of non-duality as the
ultimate truth of manifest existence, only then will the
practitioner begin to wake up to the profound process of
enquiry into the presumed fact of non-duality itself.
Here begins the direct path of liberation from the sense
of separation itself. The content of consciousness is no
longer the main theme of enquiry. Rather the process by
which duality is created and sustained is allowed to
reveal itself in its functional reality in daily living.
At this level the power of observation has taken on a
very subtle nuance. It begins to sense the falseness of
the presumed separation between the observer and the
observed; of sense perception and its world out
there'. In fact all subtle aspects of dualistic arising
come under scrutiny as they present themselves from
moment to moment.
And gradually the sense of seeing' itself loses its
grip on our consciousness to reveal the natural, easeful
arising of present reality all by itself. Only at this
point of profound relaxation of will, attention and all
identification with thought, can we enter the refined
practice of non-doing. Non-doing is not letting go.
Non-doing is already alive as non-separation from the
living moment. It does not first cling, in order to let
go. This is still a prior form of practice. In true
non-doing everything which arises begins to appear as
already existent freedom from its implications.
Here we may use the term Transcendence. Non-doing is the
process which facilitates the Transcendence of all
present arising, which finally leads to the Translation
of all into simply non-dual BE-ing.
to top of
In a reply to an enquiry a few days ago, I brought up the
subject of what I called intellectualism. For the sake of
clarity I thought it might be useful to elaborate
somewhat on how I used this word as well as contrast it
with what may be called reality-consideration.
Intellectualism is fundamentally speculative. By this I
mean that thought has the ability to project aspects of
its own content beyond itself and then experience these
projections as though they are both real and some'thing'
to comment about. Thought may, for instance, create the
concepts of god, heaven, hell, enlightenment, wholeness,
truth, etc., and project these as somethings which exist
independently of itself. Once projected as not of itself
and with the status of having actual independent
existence, thought now starts to speculate about its own
creations, as though they were real. In this way it
starts philosophy and metaphysics, but essentially
dealing only with aspects of itself. Part of the great
illusion of human life is not only this delusion of
separation between thought and its projections, (which is
in reality always a unitary process within thought), but
because it is experienced as two separately existing
things ( i.e. the observer and the observed). Yet, more
fundamentally is the fact that this process usually takes
place unrecognised or unconsciously. We are generally
completely unaware that we are in fact the active
participants in this subtle (or gross) form of dualistic
creations or activities.
Being unaware of what we are doing, (and even THAT we are
engaged in this activity) we generally believe explicitly
in the projections of thought presenting itself as truth.
In fact, one could argue that at this level of being we
simply ARE our projections. If we think inferior
thoughts, we ARE inferior. If we think about sex, we tend
to feel a sense of arousal. If we think we are superior,
we have the real sense of superiority. So, generally as
we think, so we are. Our gods, metaphysical creations,
assumptions about truth and non-duality, how great or
small the guru is, our own I-conscious process, and in
fact just about every aspect of such activity in daily
life, all of these must be seen as part of this delusory
process within thought. Yet we live our lives on the
basis of this delusion where thought is under the
impression that it has come to rational, reasonable and
acceptable definitions of these things, while in fact, it
has not concerned itself at all with something outside of
itself. We get people going around telling people who and
what god is. Others explain the origin of the universe.
The one is called religion and metaphysics. The other
science. Both have their origin in speculative thinking.
Neither is more real than the other. So my personal
uneasiness of explaining all the truths' about
non-dualism and wholeness in such detail as some of us
tend to do on this forum, has been mentioned before. But
I just wonder to which extent these clear descriptions
and logically correct statements ABOUT non-duality which
we so often find here, are in fact DESCRIPTIONS of the
author's actual disposition and living reality, and to
which extent they are speculative. If the latter, then
according to the above description of intellectualism,
they can only serve to prolong the illusion, simply
because as such they form an intrinsic part of, and are
the very stuff of which illusion is made. I think we must
be sensitised to this possibility lest we delude
ourselves further in our generally deluded present
state.of thought- reality. Reality-consideration is the
exact opposite to intellectualism in that this process of
enquiry refuses to be deluded by the apparent reality of
the projections of thought. Enquiry is made on the basis
of direct personal experience, and is fully alive to the
dangers inherent in intellectualism. Reality
consideration has a further advantage. Because it
concerns itself with personal experience and present
evidence, rather than thought creations mistaken for
reality, it can be applied, and is a relevant process
anywhere along the way of self-enquiry. Nothing is too
low or too high to consider. In fact low or high are seen
to be further projections of thought, and as such part of
that which has to be transcended.
Reality-consideration is not speculative. And if thought
does operate in a speculative way, reality-consideration
is fully cognisant of this and lets it be, without the
complications of mistaking it for truth. The usefulness
of such type of consideration in this forum, is that we
have to be able to walk our talk' lest we fall into
the realm of speculative truth'. And it does not
matter where we stand in our individual search or
self-enquiry, we will not be fooled if we act from
that which has the integrity of our own experience. This
is why I said that if no-one has ever told us of the
non-dual condition of being, judged by the present
evidence of our LIVING REALITY, would we have been able
to discuss this matter of wholeness so eloquently? If we
ONLY had our present experience to go by, would it have
been possible for us to DESCRIBE that which has in many
cases not fulfilled itself in us as non-dual truth in
each ongoing living moment? Or are we describing an
aspect of our own thought projections, sincerely
believing that we are in fact describing non-dual
reality, from the non-dual perspective? Such
description' would again amount to speculative
intellectualism, masquerading for real insight into
Reality-consideration cannot allow for such a mistake.
And by staying genuine, with its integrity always
impeccable, the journey becomes real. And the sharing
takes on a human quality with tentativeness,
vulnerability and open-mindedness and open-heartedness,
whereas the most fundamental characteristic of
intellectualism is merely the certainty of the logical
proposition. But life is not a logical definition and
reality-consideration deals with life itself as an
ongoing process wherever it may lead us through both
confusion and clarity. Certainty is the death of growth,
because in certainty, there is always only the stagnant
pool of memory to refer to as the final arbiter of what
is real, instead of the living truth of the living
moment. Much depends on the motivation of our enquiry. If
the enquiry is purposed towards finding something
absolute, its motivation will most likely be that of a
need for security. If it is motivated by an open-ended
desire for understanding and clarity about all aspects of
life, no security is envisaged. Only the ruthless enquiry
into all that binds our being, including the search for
security. Only reality is investigated and considered,
with no imposition on what may come out of such an
I have always understood non-duality to include
everything. No thoughts, sensations, feelings, emotions
etc. can be seen to be outside or separate from
Non-duality. Surely this must then also apply to what you
have called intellectualism'. Only the play of mind
in the moment can create a belief where there is Reality
and some place other you seem to refer to as delusion. Is
this not a fundamental self-contradiction in your
My sense of what you saying here is that you are still
contradicting the very position you are trying to defend
(explain). You come to the conclusion that everything is
part of the whole. Yet, in the very next sentence you
mention that by the "play of the mind" a
"belief system where there is Reality and some other
place called delusion" can be created. Now again,
the point I was trying to explain still seems to hold
here. That is, Intellectualism (which in this case has
projected a particular belief system and then experiences
this belief as the genuine article) is integrally part of
the play of the mind'. This belief system'
can be absolutely anything, or anywhere. It is all false
or, to use your word, 'delusion'. Delusion is when one
thing gets mistaken for another. That is why I maintain
that well nigh our entire state is one of delusion. And
this delusion is absolutely true and real while we are
identified with it. In the same way as a dream is
absolutely real to the dream-state. No argumentation,
description or presumed clarity from within the dream
state can ever give the dreamer even the remotest sense
that there is another state called waking. For waking to
be the case, the dream must be abandoned. And only THEN
can the dream be seen for what it was. Only from the
non-state of non-duality can everything be seen to be
non-dual. But in this case non-duality is not the result
of some mental conclusion. It is a simple living reality.
Prior to that all our very precious descriptions of this
non-dual disposition is nothing but Intellectualism.
Thought mistaking itself for reality, instead of it being
recognised as simply being an idea ABOUT reality. The
contradiction is therefore only apparent and not for
real. The IMAGE of the real cannot hold the two positions
together because it is based on the logic of language
which presents its own discipline and order within its
own categories. But if present experiential evidence is
to be taken into consideration, and not ideas, duality in
the form of intellectualism, most definitely exists. From
the point of view of duality there is ONLY duality. From
the point of view of Non-dulaity there is ONLY
QUESTIONER: Or perhaps you are saying that you do not
have this delusion of belief in particular belief systems
etc., etc., but others do. "They" are dreaming
but "you" are not? All this business about
"dreamers" and so on sounds to me like a belief
system - sounds familar - one of my favorites, too. But,
demonstrate to me how YOU wake up - I don't know who
these "we" are. If it works for you - I might
just give it a try.
I have indeed been trying to demonstrate to you one
aspect of waking up. Until you see the simple fact of
Intellectualism (as I defined it for the sake of
simplicity) you, and for that matter any one of us who
are not sufficiently sensitized to this particular human
disability, cannot but remain engrossed in the delusory
play of mind. This is not only your or my problem.
Absolutely everyone who is not present in the living
reality of the living moment is caught in this projected
reality. I can assure you it will not be a waste of your
precious time to investigate this matter in great depth.
You may be surprised at how deeply rooted this process is
in all of us. Thought-reality is deeply embedded in our
entire field of consciousness.
Can we distinguish between intellect and intellectualism?
We usually use the word "intellect" to mean the
lower mind, what Berne calls the "computer
MOLLER: Yes, I think that is a good discription. But I do
not really see a great difference here. I have the sense
that Intellectualism is a product of the intellect. It is
the intellect taken to extreme where it has lost ALL
relation or contact to reality and has gone kind of mad.
If madness is the experience of something unrelated to
reality (or at least conventionally agreed upon reality).
Intellectualism is in other words ENTIRELY a creation of
thought and is entirely sustained by thought as
intellect. And because the identification with this
process of thought is more or less total in our ordinary
waking state (which is really not awake at all) we remain
alive only to its CONTENT, but totally unaware to the
FACT of it.
My sense is that one could more meaningfully contrast the
intellect with Intelligence. Intelligence can, as it
were, 'read' the intellect and apply the contents of it
as and when it may be necessary. And as intellectualism
is a product of the intellect, and self-enclosed and
isolated within its own borders, it has no place in the
acute clarity of Intelligence.
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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q and A -General
Q. Would you give us an example of the communications
that you deem worthwhile, or unworthy, on this path?
A. I do not regard communication as such as either worthy
or 'unworthy'. Communication is always in context, so
this has to be taken into account.
But from the point of view of this matter called life, it
would seem that there are indeed certain FORMS of
communication which may be regarded as more or less
worthwhile in relation to a specific aspect of this
Allow me to bring the following to your consideration:
I see man (person, woman, etc.) as the measure of all
things. High or low, Nirvana or Samsara, states of bliss,
kundalini, Self, etc., all of these, in order to be real
for us as a psycho-physical manifestation, must manifest
through and as this human manifestation. Only man can
experience the things we are talking about on this plane.
So this brings the whole thing down to a kind of
humanistic 'spirituality'. Nothing outside of man will
enlighten him, and nothing outside of man can hold him in
bondage. It is already all here. No human enlightenment
will be possible outside of the psycho-physical being,
and no human suffering is possible outside of it. And
each one of us on this list stands at some point of
relative or complete awakening in terms of the things we
discuss. Some are simply less awakened than others.
Now if my suggestion that man is indeed the measure of
all things, is correct, then it would be worthwhile for
us to discuss the possible human functions, or human
doings', which may be preventing the realisation of
that which is the wholeness of our being. We will have to
consider that we may in fact be ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING in
every moment of dualistic activity ( even if we are
generally unaware of our participation in such processes
active in us) which creates the dualistic vision of
So, to my understanding, our unenlightenment, the dream
of subjectivity, is something we DO, yet it gives us the
sense that it is something we ARE. From this perspective
the I-sense is an ongoing PROCESS, rather than a THING.
We may therefore have to consider our investigation into
the whole matter of fragmentation (I' and myself)
and duality as an investigation into a PROCESS. Only then
may we discover for ourselves the intricate details of
all the ways in which we obscure our inherent clarity and
wholeness of BE-ing.
There is much to share along such a lines of enquiry. The
question is whether we share the premises indicated above
for starting such an enquiry. Once we stand on common
ground, very meaningful discussions may indeed take place
around these matters.
Q. You have mentioned a kind of full
bodily meditation'. Can you elaborate somewhat on this?
A. Yes, the full bodily form of meditation is related
possibly to the kind of practice called Shikantaza'
or just sitting' meditation as proposed in the Soto
Zen tradition. But this is really quite an advanced form
of open' practice where even attention is
temporarily suspended, leaving just the very direct sense
of bodily' sensation. I use the word open' to
point to a kind of practice which has no supports'
such as one would find in many of the forms of
mindfulness practice suggested in the Hinayana tradition.
In this tradition there is always the object in its
relation to the subject. The one is conditional upon the
other. This object could be anything or any arising in
the field of present awareness, be it a thought, bodily
sensation, external sense perception, an emotion and so
on. But there is always this relationship between the
observer and the observed which holds attention in a
stable disposition. This is an invaluable exercise in
quieting down the instruments of both thought and
attention in their tendency for random wanderings. It
also brings the whole activity of these wanderings into
the conscious arena. So one could say that during this
practice we give the mind, as attention, a kind of
support in the form of its object.
But during the practice of
being-as-the-total-bodily-sense, no support is given to
attention. During this practice very little will is used,
if any, and no attention is being paid to anything. In
fact, even the body' does not exist, because when
the eyes are closed and therefore not seeing the body,
then the mind, as thought, does not produce an image of
the body as some -thing' out there. Everything is simply
so quiet that there is just the sensation of what remains
when thought is not projecting images, attention is
unfocussed and no will is used to hold anything in place.
One could say this is the beginning of the real practice
of non-doing' or no-doer'.
But this form of practice really rests on considerable
clarity and prior preliminary practices , such as
mindfulness. What this form of practice reveals though,
is that things don't have to be observed or attended to
in order to be. The quiet bodily sense is present in full
consciousness without any effort whatsoever to sense it,
attend to it, or hold it in place. It teaches us that the
observer really does not play any part whatsoever in the
appearance of things. The eyes see by
themselves. The ears hear by themselves. Thoughts appear
without anyone noticing. Bodily sensation is there when
there is no one noticing. So this is a very powerful
practice for the undermining of the separate self-sense.
It reveals that present arising takes place by itself,
and is self-aware, and this has a powerful effect on
establishing the ground for the Wholeness of BE-ing.
When the last vestiges of the so-called Witness finally
disappears in this act of direct perception', there
just remains the sense of what is, naturally existing by
itself, yet in full centreless awareness of its own
Q. You seem to say that it is
dangerous' to teach the higher' teachings of
Advaita to the beginner practitioner, especially the
information that his true nature is Consciousness. Are
you proposing that it is better that the student be left
in the dark about his true nature as Consciousness and
instead be given kindergarten toys to play with, lest he
discover some truth about h/herself that h/she may find
A. Not at all. What I have been critical of is the way in
which these messages about Consciousness and non-duality
have been brought to the beginner students, without at
the same time making it clear that such instructions are
really meaningless other than just a general introduction
to the notion of the non-dual nature of things and better
be put aside as soon as possible, if they want to avoid
the mistake of taking their new-found knowledge about
these matters for reality itself. Initial instruction
along the lines you suggested is good and necessary. But
it must be pointed out that it only serves a pointer and
not to be taken as a revelation and living truth of his
true nature as Consciousness'.
You see, my problem with your specific argument lies in
the fact by telling someone these high truths'
about h/her presumed true condition, you have actually
not told the person anything about h/herself at all.
Because it is generally not the living truth of the
beginner student. Your telling h/her about Consciousness
still leaves the person completely in the dark. You have
merely given such a student an image of your
understanding, which again may be limited or even wrong.
But let's assume there is such a state or non-state as
Consciousness or non-duality, would it not be kind for
you as teacher to point out to the student what the
factors are which presently inhibit the revelation of
such a truth? Surely in this it will not be expected of
you to give the person kindergarten toys to play
with'. You may indeed start the process of direct
perception of these blockages immediately. But this will
depend on the ability and willingness of the student to
approach these matters in such a direct way. Very often
you may have go much more slowly and first help h/her
mind and attention to stabilize to the point where such
direct forms of practice could be used with any measure
of effectiveness at all.. And even this may take a long
time of considerable dedication.
Q. What you say makes sense, but I still feel that your
position is rather elitist. Beyond that it is simply
unworkable in the modern era. Before the age of mass
communications, it was possible for secret
teachings' to exist. But now, you walk into any bookstore
or log onto the internet and get the real stuff
instantly. The cat is out of the bag! The masses are
getting the truth whether you like it or not.
A. This is exactly the problem I am trying to point to.
Despite all the knowledge being freely available on the
internet, the FACT is that the truth is NOT out of the
bag at all! Truth cannot be revealed to the mind which
presumes it has understood it. Mind, as thought, is NOT
the instrument for the revelation of truth - not if truth
is the non-fragmented, non-dual condition of BE-ing. The
knowledge which can be obtained from the internet just
becomes dead memory unless thoroughly investigated,
researched, contemplated and integrated into
The truth will remain hidden until it becomes the living
reality of the student. No amount of reading ABOUT it, or
thinking ABOUT it, or confirming it to oneself will
reveal the reality of the thing. By accepting your
statement that h/her nature is Consciousness, it becomes
just another aspect of self-delusion. All acceptance and
rejection are resistances to what is. Such acceptance
will only complicate matters. It becomes just another
obscuring to be removed.
Q. Quote: " Jack saw Peter's new car.
And then he identified himself with Peter and drove away.
Peter returned and Beat up Jack. Where did Jack go
A. This is obviously a case of mistaken identity. But I
wonder if it would not be appropriate to ask whether or
not ALL forms of identification have the same inherent
All forms of identity have in common one single process
which involves the unconscious association between
attention and thought. When John identified himself with
Peter, he was unconsciously caught in the reality which
was created by the association between attention and his
thought that he was Peter. Were there not this
association between attention and thought, the thought
might have arisen that he is Peter, but it would not have
had any sense and force of being REAL. Jack acted because
his identity with Peter was total. Jack WAS Peter for as
long as this process lasted. Nothing else was true. In
fact, at that point Jack did not exist for any practical
purpose at all.
But this is true of ALL forms of identification created
by the unconscious association between attention and
thought. Whether such identification is with one's
country, the nation, a religion, a philosophy, an idea, a
principle, a moral code, a way of life, one's role in a
personal relationship, one's self-image, one's
responsibilities, etc. All these forms of identification,
when active, form a self-enclosed CONDITION OF REALITY
which more or less completely dictates not only who and
what we ARE but also how we will respond in a given
situation or to a given challenge.
Because thought is deeply conditioned by culture and the
general environment we grow up and live in, when we are
so completely identified with the content of thought via
the thought/attention mechanism, we take on the form of
these conditionings. There is no other limitation on our
being than just this process of being identified with the
content of thought. It may then also become clear that
because conditioning presents to us a fragmented and
often contradictory response pattern to the challenges of
life, we ourselves, become the active participatory
agents for such fragmentation and contradiction.
In the unenlightened state of duality and fragmentation,
we ARE this state of contraction created by the
unconscious association between thought and attention.
When attention comes to rest, thoughts may appear but
because attention does not unconsciously associate itself
with the content of such a thought-arising, the thought
just tends to come and go quite naturally, entering and
leaving the field of awareness without being contracted
into the reality of its own content. And because this is
clearly something we DO, and not something we ARE, the
possibility does indeed arise for us to develop a kind of
practice which may facilitate possible freedom from this
self-limitation which is the very nature of Samsara.
Q. You made the atheistic statement that
God is just a concept', that God cannot be
known, and exists only in our imagination'. I find this
somewhat disturbing and quite sad, however true it might
be. Can you explore this a little further with me?
A. If God is really the beloved father, the benign and
caring principle in the universe, the all-knowing,
all-loving and all-embracing truth and beauty behind, and
in all existence, (as you have indicated in your previous
post), then I fail to see how such a god can ever make
one feel sad. For to say all these things about god,
surely these must be one's direct experiences which one
is describing. Otherwise, clearly, it is just
speculative. So the question which needs to be answered
is this: Is it god who is making you sad, or your idea
Per your own definition, god cannot make people sad. But
what CAN and DO make people sad is their experience of
the THOUGHT ABOUT god. Such a thought, as thought, and
because it is nothing BUT a thought, is naturally subject
to all kinds of variables. Its certainty can be taken
away by another thought called doubt. Its faith can be
ruined by sudden negative life experiences. As a thought,
the belief in god suffers and enjoys all the vagaries any
thought and all thoughts tend to suffer and enjoy.
So to feel sad at the possible idea that god is just a
thought, is a perfectly natural response of thought when
something it has fondly believed in may be shown to be
not the thing itself but just an idea. God was out there,
or in here, or at least somewhere. When this is seen to
be possibly just a projection, thought, in its search for
security, now senses danger and projects sadness in order
to shield off further investigation into the possible
exposure of its own imaginings which it has mistaken for
truth. The pain of the sadness generally precludes or
pre-empts any further enquiry.
You see, thought has this wonderful ability to create
images about everything and then to project these images
apparently beyond itself, resulting in the strange
situation where it then experiences these images as
though in truth separate from itself. It has done just
this with the image of god. Now god appears to have
independent existence from that which created it. But
clearly this is false. It is an illusion within the
activity of thought, mistaken for objective
reality. So the possible loss of this objectively
existing' god, naturally brings sadness to the heart. But
if seen in truth as explained above, the sadness quite
naturally disappears in the light of the same clarity
which has recognised the falseness of the entire
exercise, including the projected image of god.
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