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.
Where is the borderline between ‘me’ and ‘not-me’? It’s usually pictured to be the circumference of a body.
On the other hand, we claim that we ‘have’ a body – similar to having a car, a house, etc. We also maintain that we ‘have’ a personality. Furthermore, we say that we have an ego, big or small, or that we have lost our ego. The challenging question is: who or what makes all these claims to have something or to have lost something? At closer investigation, there are merely attempts trying to encourage beliefs in borderlines, including the concept of a separate ‘me’ that has something or that doesn’t have something.
Where is the boundary between ‘me’ and ‘not-me’? Both me and not-me turn out to be just two labels, attached to appearances.
Because of constant repetition, these labels have produced feelings of and beliefs in independence and separation. Listening to music or engaging in any other sense perception – without diversions into fake worlds of believed in assumptions – can deliver a taste of the freedom that is inherent in living without the belief in boundaries.
(Further investigation shows that the belief in separation is the cause of all apparent troubles in ‘us’ and the ‘world.’)
In response to comments on a video by Tony Parsons:
The misunderstanding in these discussions arises because the terms are not very well defined. For example ‘God’ is a word that can mean a lot of different things. I am not against the idea that there is a hierarchy in the world of appearances. The ‘top’ leader in such a hierarchy could be called ‘a Personal God.’
However, anything ‘personal’ is part of the ‘virtual’ world that is derived from memory. All these discussions are memory-based, including the citing of so-called holy scriptures. To see these virtual constructs as such is a somewhat courageous step as it dismantles any support from memory. You are truly naked, even naked of your self-concept.
Realising this is freedom from the hypnotic influences of the virtual world. It is not rejecting the virtual world. It’s only seen to be ‘virtual’, ‘made-up,’ another word for ‘created.’ It is not ‘believed’ to be virtual – it is SEEN to be so. The seeing is real. Saint Francis of Assisi: What’s looking is what we are looking for. We can’t ‘believe’ in seeing. Seeing is happening anyway.
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.
The concept of ‘salvation’ is usually misunderstood. ‘Realise the truth and it will set you free.’ What is true? True is ‘what is.’ Not true is what ‘is not but appears to be.’ For example, the activities of our life story are not really happening right now, and our future activities are also not happening right now. We could say that they are NOT real. Seeing that they are not real is true seeing. The bonus in seeing this is the realisation that what is left is what’s happening now – and it has always been the case, an appearing and disappearing of fleeting perceptions (including perceptions of mind-body activities) in a timeless presence of awareness. In this scenario, memories and plans for the ‘future’ are seen as imaginations that appear now, like other events. The bottom line is that in reality there is only Now/Presence, not between past and future, but as the only authentic reality.
Directionless attention is devoid of thought, directed attention is ‘looking through’ defining concepts (thoughts). The attention is the same in both cases, as light is the same, no matter what medium it shines through, and no matter what it shines upon.
The issue is if the light has temporarily identified with concepts while passing through them or if it remains unidentified while passing through concepts. If it stays unidentified then there is ‘freedom from identification.’ The other scenario is a seeming imprisonment in the maze of conceptual enclosures.
In response to a question regarding issues of a student-teacher situation:
I have been ever so grateful for people like Francis Lucille and others. They don’t reject the term ‘teacher’ as they have benefited from their association with their teachers. Sure, for some, teachers are unnecessary, and in those cases, teachers may feel like crutches you don’t need. If that is the case, it may still be nice listening to them to enjoy their unique expression without seeing yourself as a student. ‘Kill the Buddha when you meet him’ would perhaps represent your point of view.
The opposite ‘See that there is essentially no difference between you and any teacher or anything else’ is the other, equally valid statement. To be on the mission in favor of or against teachers is not on my plate. I don’t mind teachers but heard many in favor of no teachers, starting with J Krishnamurti who was supposed to become the world teacher for the Theosophical Society. I met him several times in the 70’s, and his words were filled with the freedom you are speaking of.
I have one very simple rule of thumb: As long as people identify with a separate person, they may benefit from following pointers that show them that their assumptions are imagined. A good teacher will just do this. Having realized this, there is no need for teachers. Sailor Bob starts his ‘Spiel’ with the statement, that he can’t give anything to anyone, and nothing can be gained from him. This is a statement of a true teacher, and in that statement is a true teaching because it can evoke insight in the listener. A good teacher may pull every support from under the feet of the ‘student.’ Nisargadatta Maharaj was very good at this, for example. Teaching is not necessarily aimed at fueling divisions, but as you have said, it often goes that way. Even if it often goes that way, I can’t claim that I could know that something is right or wrong.
Guilt is one of the strong tools for the bonded mind to reinforce bondage as guilt appears to be a virtuous feature, and it is often considered a prerequisite for salvation. As Paul says, guilt (self-blame) goes hand in hand with a need for forgiveness. What a relief to see that salvation is the freedom from selfing, that, among other things, thrives on the activities of blaming and forgiving.