The term ‘real’ when applied to ‘what’s happening’ explains that we can’t deny the appearing and disappearing of specific phenomena. They are as real as mirages. We can’t grasp any phenomena. But the perceiving of mirages cannot be denied. If we apply the term ‘real’ to the capacity of perceiving, rather than to the fluctuating colours, sounds etc, then we give credence to the fact that there has to be a capacity to perceive so that perceiving can happen. Perceiving requires alertness. Alertness is just another word for awareness.
I understand that a term such as awareness can be a trap by triggering the belief that there is a separation between awareness and the perceived phenomena. Nevertheless, awareness is fundamental for any descriptions, statements, claims, perceptions. There is no harm in realising that what’s happening is fluctuant (subject to coming and going) and that the capacity to perceive is neither coming nor going. There is no harm in realising that the sense of ‘no-me’ is that undefinable space without measure in which phenomena arise and disappear. Let’s call it awareness. It is the capacity of perceiving.
Here is another small sequence of comments, should it be of some interest.
Comments in response to a YouTube audio with quotes from Nisargadatta:
The ‘born apparent’ cannot be led to its True Unborn Self. However, the recognition of the True Unborn Self reveals that the born is only apparent and therefore is not. Something that is not will never see what is.
Dietrich, The ‘born apparent’, let’s call it the body-mind is the starting point that believes it can do something to arrive at the Self. Whether led by grace or by own persistence [or both], it must start from somewhere to get nowhere and to disappear at arrival in the realisation that it never actually moved. The mind is the only tool that leads one to the realisation that it doesn’t exist.
The term ‘mind’ is a broad term. The ‘born apparent’ is a specific application of mental activity that miraculously convinces awareness to believe that it is a separate entity. That believed-in, fake, separate entity is unable to see that it does not exist, that it is imagination only. The questioning of this belief is a mental act, guided by intuition. Thoughts can point in the right direction but the waking up from the illusion is a non-mental realisation. The same applies to creation as a whole. It does not exist; it only appears to exist. It only seems real to the believed-in ‘born apparent’. Both are unreal. They continue as Lila (light-hearted play) once Maya has been exposed as being an appearance only without any independent substance.
From a discussion related to a video by Francis Lucille:
What about universal principles, which are timeless and nonlocal, are they aspects of consciousness, and appear in consciousness, like the platonic realm of ideas? They penetrate all that appears to exist but are not dependent on existence or creation. For example the principle of expansion or reduction, the principle of centeredness, the principle of balance, harmony or the principle of motion. They are not even in a “realm” and they are not dependent on concepts. The laws of the universe seem to derive from them, but they do not need a universe. Are they prior to all expressions, and are they an underlying reality of all ideas and expressions?
Timeless, non-local principles, appearing in consciousness, are still subject to consciousness. (Whatever can be perceived cannot do the perceiving.) Even timeless principles are secondary to the perceiving consciousness, not the other way round. I agree that these principles are not usually discussed as part of a nonduality class. The reason is probably that the focus is usually on realising consciousness, rather than on realising the mechanics of universes on all their potential and actual levels.
This usual focus is based on an urge to rediscover reliable contentment. Whilst considering universal principles can be so fascinating, contentment is only re-established by realising universal consciousness. (In my case, I used to be very much drawn into the areas you speak of but that did not lead to reliable fulfilment.)
‘The dreaming can’t be perceived; the dreamt is what can be perceived.’ The dreaming is an activity of seeing. That activity is the same as what Paul calls ‘conscious contact.’ Seeing is like the open sky, and conscious contact or dreaming happens when seeing releases the activity of ‘clouding’ – when clouds playfully arise and disappear out of the sky and without affecting its sense of ‘skyness’. There is no question regarding the nondual nature of this.
‘You are not going to meet the dreaming as the dreamt.’ Once identified as a cloud through a particular act of ‘clouding’ the playfulness becomes seemingly serious and the believing in duality is considered accurate, but it isn’t. That activity of believing can’t ‘unbelieve’ itself. Rather, it will fade away altogether by the sky seeing its error in relation to a particular identification with a cloud. That’s why Paul recommends seeing what we (the sky) are not. We are not what the activity of believing tries to manufacture, an independent identity. (from 44:00)
A questionable conclusion would be to think that the exact novel is complete and present (5:42 onward) on a level that the mind can’t access. We cannot accurately postulate that the illusion is already complete in timelessness since timelessness is real – it doesn’t come or go. Illusion (the novel – the story) happens when timelessness releases or expresses its potential as a streaming of dream activity that includes the appearing of time. In nondual seeing, the timeless is all there is. The appearing of time is seen as well but as an illusion. It is seen that time is not. It is seen that it desperately tries to appear to be. Time, together with the appearing novel, is only taken for real by minds that are conditioned and blinded by the exact same dream activity.
The game is so well designed that it contains the notion of a free will of an individual and its execution. I agree that you, identified as a body-mind, will follow that belief or you see that everything is done by life itself. This is not another belief. The way to see this is to start realising that your body-mind is only an appearance, it does not have the status of Being. Again, this is not a belief, but you can allow for the possibility that it is so. Once you realise that the identification with a body-mind is based on memory (thought) and imagination and that Being is not something that thought and imagination can capture, then you will give less emphasis on focusing on and fixing the body-mind. It will then innocently express the directions of Being, without taking a mental credit that ‘you’, as an individual appearing, are in charge.
In response to a video by Rupert Spira with the title ‘ All Times Take Place Now’
The model that all events (appearances that come and go) are equally present like the pages in a novel is interesting but it can also be quite misleading because it may come across as if the pages had the status of existence. The pages do not exist, except as potentiality. Potentiality is timeless. To say that the manifested pages are already existing as potentiality is like saying that the recipe is the meal and that all combinations of recipes are already present as an infinite number of cooked meals. I don’t think so. The Now carries all the potentiality but releases (manifests) very specific, momentary events out of this virtually infinite pool of potentiality, as specific appearances, all happening in the Now as stated. In my opinion, there is a degree of unpredictability, built into the potentiality that includes and allows some creativity – unpredicted combinations of recipes – to appear. The point is that time does not exist, not even in the form of a novel. It only pretends to exist. It’s okay (of course) to enjoy pretended existence, and that’s what’s happening anyway. It’s more enjoyable though if the pretence is seen through! It’s less serious.
Omnipotence (3rd godly aspect) includes the power of believing in the value of its mental activity to an extent where it distracts from itself, the source. The act of distracting can be exposed as ‘foreign’ as it pretends to be other than nondual.
The nature of a question is that it longs for an answer. Once we find a satisfactory answer, the question has been replaced with information that we could also call ‘knowledge’. Based on that information, more in-depth questions are possible. As a rule, the more questions we ask, the more knowledge or information we obtain.
Questions will always arise, be they theoretical or practical or a combination of both. A practical question would be: Where is the closest grocery store? The answer could then give rise to further questions: Does this grocery store sell organic food? A related theoretical question with practical consequences could be: What are the advantages of natural food?
Most people who are interested in nonduality would have asked theoretical questions about it and ‘know’ that there ‘is not two’ and that there is no separation. Whether we like it or not, this framework of questions and answers shows its limitations when attempting to probe the subject of nonduality. The most useful conclusion is that nonduality answers have nothing to do with realising nonduality.
The word ‘information’ as a synonym for ‘knowledge’ makes the issue clearer. Knowledge is related to form, measurement, time and space.
Since knowledge is formed it can’t access its own formless source. The rediscovery of the formless happens when the form, the knowledge, or thought, has lost its over-rated appeal. It has not provided happiness in the past, nor will it ever provide happiness in the future. Why is it so appealing to people? Because they are hypnotised into the belief that one day it will bring happiness. The activity of reinforcing that hypnotic belief could be classified as a ‘dark force’ of the universe. We could conclude that all suffering stems from it.
When it has lost its appeal, the realisation dawns that the formless is already here as our nature. This obviousness removes that hypnotic spell instantly and completely.