Concepts

Nonduality and I Am Not That Person

We are free. We are not the person that wants freedom. What we are is the freedom from identification with a person that wants freedom!

The seeing itself is the freedom. It is entirely neutral and unbound to any idea of identification.

If everything is nondual, how come, that the identification with a person is not us? One would theorise that everything is us and that we should not say that ‘the person is not us.’

Here is the answer: The identification with a person is, indeed, us. We are dreaming this identification as part of a bigger dream. Once this particularly annoying identification within the large-scale dreaming has been exposed as a dreamed image, the identification doesn’t continue.

In both cases, nonduality is a fact. In the event of continued identification, we believe to be a separate entity. In the event of seeing the mistaken identification, we see that freedom from identification with anything is what we are.

The point is that the seeing of ‘what we are not,’ namely a separate entity, is not in conflict with nonduality. It is the realising of nonduality.
What keeps going is the dreaming without identification with anything.

We see that everything appears and disappears within this freedom.

In response to depressing thoughts

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.

I Am Not the Body

Many nondual messengers say that you are not the body. As far as nonduality is concerned, that seems wrong as there is no division whatsoever. With other words: Being is everything that appears.

This is a quick conclusion that may satisfy the mind’s demand for logic and consistency. However, let’s look at this issue a little closer:

I repeat the statement: ‘Being is everything that appears.’ This statement is, in itself, not clear. Being is. Being is prior to the appearance of time, it does not come or go. Therefore, it is. The same can’t be said about appearances. They come and go. Due to their ephemeral nature, we can’t claim that they are. At the most, they appear to be. The appearance lends its substance from Being. Appearance has no substance of its own.

When we say ‘we are not the body’ we are referring to the fact that we are not an appearance, as appearances can’t be at all. They can only appear to be. The mistake the mind makes is to believe that it is the body, whereas in truth, neither the mind nor the body exist as such. The belief that appearances exist is responsible for their apparent reality. There is no evidence for such a belief to be true.

First of all, beliefs are based on memory. Memory is the imagination of a past event, an attempt to replicate a past event in one’s imagination. With other words, we imagine a memory to be true. It is easy to understand that an imagination is just that – a temporary flicker in the mind about a short-lived event that appeared some apparent time ago. Can we really rely on such a flicker of imagination to prove that it is real, that it is?

When we believe that we are a body-mind, we do the same to maintain such a belief: we remember events in which our body-mind was involved. This includes events that happened a second ago, such as having typed these words with fingers. I call them ‘my fingers’ if I identify with the body-mind. Interestingly, thoughts can only claim events to exist AFTER they already happened. Thoughts can never catch an event at the very instant it happens. Thoughts can only report on events that are already gone. They are no more. In truth, events never had the characteristics of ‘isness.’ They were extremely short-lived. Appearance and disappearance of any so-called ‘moment in time’ are simultaneous. A new vibration replaces the previous vibration. If the new vibrations resembles the previous vibrations, we could call this ‘patterns of vibrations,’ and the appearing phenomena seem to last for a while. Still, they don’t have any independent nature. All vibrations and the pattern themselves appear out of the only existence there is – Being.

When we see that ‘we are not the body,’ we see that all bodies only appear to exist by virtue of vibrating patterns that emerge from the depths of unfeathomable Being. Being does not identify with any seeming boundaries. However appearing mental activities can generate a belief that constantly claims that ‘I am a separate entity.’ It seems that most humans’ mental activities claim to originate from this belief which is also just a repeated mental activity.

Is Awakening a Process?

Today I was thinking about the question if awakening is a process or not. Awakening reveals timelessness, with no beginning and no end. And it reveals that this is what we are.

Some people sense this fact and others don’t. Some get frequently a taste of it in varying degrees of clarity, depending the degree of identification with a conceptual, separate entity. ‘Process’ is not applicable to the term ‘awakening’ itself, only to the reducing degrees of identification with a limited, apparently separate me.

If the identification drops suddenly, then the process is instant. In most cases, clarity and frequency of ‘no identification’ increases over apparent time until it is seen to be totally normal.

The Formless and Thoughts

‘Nothing is form, and form is nothingness’ is a concession to the belief that there are things (Rupert Spira).

Then, there is the realisation that this belief, produced by consciousness, can be replaced by the realisation that colours, sounds etc are appearing out of consciousness.

Consciousness would not be be able to come up with colours, sounds, etc without employing thoughts, necessary to design the mechanics of perceiving colours, sounds etc.

Driving a car is most enjoyable without identifying with it or believing in it as a separate entity. However, the designers of the car had to invest a lot of thinking into the functioning of that car.

Realising the formless does not invalidate thinking as a tool to maintain the mechanics (vibrations) of perceiving colours and sounds for the sake of entertaining consciousness. Luckily, there is no need for consciousness to forget itself to perceive colours and sounds, but it has to forget itself as soon as it assumes beliefs in separation.

Statement: There is nothing you can do to realise reality because there is no one

When hearing such a statement, it can trigger four types of responses:

1. Positive, such as ‘Wonderful!’
2. Negative, such as ‘Terrible,’ ‘Hopeless,’ ‘Depressing!’
3. First negative, then positive.
4. Rejecting, such as ‘I don’t believe this!’

1. A positive reaction is naturally triggered if there is a seeing that everything that appears is the expression of one intelligence-presence-energy.

2. A negative reaction is understandably triggered if there is an identification and sense of separation.
What a dreadful situation this must be: There is the sense of imprisonment, and I am told that I can’t do anything about it, no matter how hard I try.
I’d say that such a response is natural, like the first response, because the nature of life is fullness. A sense of lack will naturally trigger a yearning for fullness.
This natural yearning is, in a sense, interfered with, when the above statement is believed in, from the perspective of an assumed separate entity. That interference can be perceived as being inappropriate as it may take away any hope. Nothing can be done by me, all I can ‘do’ is wait, and I may continue thinking: ‘Even this waiting is too much doing because it perpetuates the sense that a will outside of myself has control, and it will decide when I am destined to wake up.’

Such a train of though may take the mind to its limits, because mental activity is so used to finding solutions in many areas of daily life, and it is used to hope for a better future. That habit of ‘being in charge for a better future’ is now rendered impotent as far as waking up is concerned.

Following is my opinion regarding the statement’s usefulness or lack of usefulness: It will either be useful or it will be useless in regards to waking up.

It is useless if the listener loses interest in the subject of realizing reality.

3. It is useful if the listener keeps inquiring – this is the third type of response -, even if this inquiry is reduced to looking at the situation as it has been presented. Let’s assume that I consider that the statement may be true.  This does not mean that I stop looking at the fact that this statement may be true. The very looking at this statement and its possible relevance may reveal what I have been yearning for. That initially disappointing statement that ‘I can’t do anything,’ when looked at, can cause a mental relaxation that may turn out to create the ‘condition’, yes, condition, that facilitates the seeing of what has always been the case, the timeless presence that is. The looking at this statement could be classified as a ‘meditation;’ and therefore, it could be classified as a ‘method.’ I am fully aware that the presenters of such a statement avoid the label ‘method,’ as it could fuel the greed towards an outcome in the future, and this would distort this method and make it a useless imitation of itself!

4. Rejecting such a statement will lead the listener to investigate other avenues, some of which may also carry the opportunity to waking up. We could state that all useful methods do not contain hope for a better future. Hope for a better future is, however, the incentive for most people to look for methods to start with, useless ones and useful ones. As mentioned earlier,  useful methods do not deal with any imagined past or future, they always deal with facts. Looking at facts has never interfered with waking up. In coming posts I will look at a range of such useful methods. Hope for a better future is totally understandable and the resulting motivation to look for useful methods is equally understandable. This motivation does not need to be killed. As soon as a useful method is found and applied, this motivation will come to an end during the application. It may arise again during daily life and fade again during meditation. By alternating between these two instances, the timeless presence is bound to emerge more and more, and consequently the illusion of a separate identity is more consistently exposed.

Identification with a tool

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.