It’s a vicious circle. The fake identity’s (‘separate self’) main ingredient is resistance (suffering). That resistance, by definition, doesn’t know unconditional allowing. Therefore, the imagined separate self is unable to solve the issue since it constructed by the issue. If resistance tries to surrender, that surrender will be as fake as the resisting, imagined entity and this won’t yield the desired outcome. There is merit in admitting that I, as the imagined entity, can’t solve the issue. This hopeless admittance is surrender and reveals the ever-present solution by showing clearly that the problem doesn’t exist at all, and that there is no chance that it will ever exist or that it has ever existed. This admittance is an alternative to ‘facing the suffering so completely that we can truly say that suffering is welcome forever’ (19:12). The separate self is not able to face suffering this way. Only the recognition that the suffering (fake) entity is not what we are can face anything so fearlessly.
Dietrich: The question I would ask is: Is the focus on the ‘about’ what is seen or on the seeing itself? The ‘about’ is never going to satisfy. To give ‘meaning’ – good or bad – is just another form of a comment (‘about’). A solution would be to let internal comments fade out by giving them less attention, simply by realising that looking for improved commentaries is not going to satisfy. In realising this, freedom and unconditional love are seen to be your nature. Frustrating self-talk doesn’t come near this. Comments can’t see this. Meaning can’t see this. It’s okay and joyful to see the impotence of meaning.
RESPONSE: the empty nothing doesn’t nourish nor satisfy. I don’t feel any qualities, no freedom nor love.
Dietrich: Thoughts assume an authority that thinks that it has to be served and filled with satisfaction. The issue is not that there is no freedom or love. The issue is that the imagined authority, demanding satisfaction, continues to demand like a 4 year old child (‘me’) that hassles mum (life) for ice cream after ice cream (satisfaction). That activity of demanding is the distraction from the freedom. However, it is not very efficient for the believed-in child to try to slap itself in an attempt to reduce demanding. It is more efficient to see that the mind recreates the demander – (the 4 year old) – from moment to moment. The demander is a believed-in thought product. By seeing this, the demander is seen through, together with the demanding, and what’s left is freedom from this tyranny. This tyranny is a blessing in disguise because the cherishing of such an imagined child is no longer seen to make sense. Once this is seen, eating ice cream will be a much more enjoyable activity as it is not polluted by the activity of demanding.
There a two aspects we can’t escape from: One is life itself as a whole, the other one is life’s momentary expressions, including our ‘personal,’ unique momentary expressions. Each expression – by the time we think about it – has already happened, and is therefore unchangeable. We can’t think about it at the time it is happening – only afterwards. Of course, that particular happening – the ‘thinking afterwards’ – is also an expression we can’t escape after it has already happened.
Naturally, thoughts happen like any other event, and naturally thoughts are made of the same stuff everything else is made of, namely no-thingness. Even the belief into past and future are made of the same. Seeing this, all is essentially equal in value and substance.
Therefore I recommend to forget about thoughts that attempt to escape life in any way. Life as all can’t be escaped from. This includes life’s current expression though our mind-body apparatus as each of our particular expressions has already happened by the time we think about it. Once we fully experience the unity between life and its current, momentary expression, a sense of freedom from worry comes with it. It’s the letting go of mental, futile attemps to disagree with what has already happened. Consequently, our actions are not based on beliefs that life should have been different. In a later article I will prove that such actions are more likely to be constructive rather than destructive.
To improve skills and to make homes look better is not in opposition to our subject of realizing freedom. Skills are tools, and we can enjoy these skills and improve them without compromising freedom. The identification with a ‘me’ that believes it is not good enough is the problem. You don’t identify with your hammer, and in the same way you don’t identify yourself with any skill, no matter how advanced they are. They are beautiful tools in the hands of the infinite. In fact your hammer will hit the nail more precisely if the identification with the ‘me’ has been dropped by just observing it when it pops up without judgement.
In response to a comment by Gavin.
One could call this a ‘method,’ the most shunned word in the world of advaita. Pausing, facing whatever is perceived could be called ‘the recipe.’ ‘Pausing’ is another word for ‘not doing anything.’ Therefore, the words ‘method’ and ‘recipe’ are inadequate as they usually imply some doing such as favoring, rejecting, changing, achieving, avoiding.