Seeing through the nature of traps is often sufficient to sense the presence of our innate freedom that becomes so obvious once the traps are seen to be based on the belief in mental constructs or ‘concepts.’
In spite of the fact that such traps are often understood intellectually, there can be a sense that the freedom from these traps has not been actually realized. A yearning for this to happen keeps nagging, and this can lead to a desperate feeling of helplessness.The question arises ‘Is there anything that can be done to make this happen?’
Our modern Nonduality scene is ‘divided’ in answering this question. For some listeners, the statement that ‘nothing can be done as there is no-one to do anything’ (Tony Parsons) is a great relief, and instant insight may happen. For others, this statement is unacceptable, and then the search continues.
There are opportunities during the day of every human to be awake to ‘This’ – the boundless Presence-Awareness that we are, and to see ‘what is happening’ to be appearing and disappearing in it. People throughout the ages have offered assistance – one way or other – to facilitate awakening to this insight. The statement ‘I can’t help you’ may, in some cases, facilitate awakening because the reliance on anything but life itself does not reveal ever-present boundlessness.
However, to say ‘I can’t help you’ is not the only way.
Some facilitators have come across as being radical and uncompromising, seemingly without compassion; others have come across as loving, showing more obvious gestures of supporting the (apparent) questioning seeker.
Guidance and exercises that promise to reveal a more elevated state of awareness to the seeker in an imagined future are often brushed aside as in actuality, there is no seeker and no future.
Nevertheless, the imagined identification with being a seeker and the hope for a better future are perceived to have validity by those who haven’t seen through this. For this very reason, assistance is naturally welcome, if available, with the anticipation that it may trigger clarity regarding this issue.
Some nondualists see exercises as being detrimental to the awakening to ‘what is already the case.’ Others see exercises to be useful tools to make the mental activity less domineering, thereby increasing the chances for the mind to losen its grip that it seemingly has on awareness.
There are, in fact, ‘nondual exercises’ available that use the capacity to ‘see’, not the capacity to ‘think.’ Exercises are not necessarily based on thinking. A thought may tell us where to look, but the looking itself is not a thought.
People who disqualify exercises altogether must have overlooked this fact. Again, Tony Parsons would say that thought and concepts are not the primary reason for false beliefs. He would state that there is ‘an energetic contraction,’ and that thoughts are merely reporting this contraction that, according to Parsons, causes the belief into a contracted, limited, personal entity.
The assumption that an energetic contraction comes first and the false belief into a separate person comes second – as a result of a contraction – is questionable. I’d say that the false belief comes first, then the contraction, and that then the contraction is reinforcing the belief.
A very beautiful collection of 112 exercises was gathered in the Himalayas, and these exercises are not based on thought, and they do not reinforce the sense of seeking. In other posts I intend to discuss these exercises.