Presence

Two ways of experiencing

In response to a question in a video with Rupert Spira:

Dietrich
One way to deal with this question would be to distinguish between experiences that include the act of believing in a reference point (‘me’) and experiences without such a reference. Without such a thought-based, believed-in reference point, it would be clear that the knowing happens happily in a referenceless, centreless field of awareness. That’s why most ‘teachings’ question this reference point first. The recognised absurdity of such a believed-in separate entity naturally reveals the boundless nature of awareness in which all appearances come and go. The ocean is aware of itself – with and without waves. Thinking that we are a separate wave is obviously silly. In that case, God plays being silly.?

mrnibelheim
An insightul observation, thank you Dietrich! How would you distinguish between experiences which have and do not have a reference point? Could you maybe give me some examples to inquire into for myself??

Dietrich
Experiences with and without a reference point (me) are perceived by the same consciousness that everyone is. However, the (self-imposed) identification with the action figure ‘me’ distracts from this fact. Once the distraction has lost its attraction, this fact is clear. So the difference is clear seeing versus blindness. The experiences may be similar in both cases (say washing dishes). In the first instance, it is seen that boundlessness expresses itself in the act of washing dishes whereas in the second scenario an independent entity is believed to wash the dishes. In the first case, there is fulfilment, both regarding the sensing of boundlessness and regarding the perceiving of a playful expression as a fleeting flavour of boundlessness. In the first case, everything is fused with love, in the second case, experiences contain domineering elements of desire and resistance (I’d rather go to the movies) because of the inherent frustration of relating everything to a limited, seemingly disconnected me.?

mrnibelheim
Yes, thanks Dietrich, this makes very good sense, and I would say that in imagination I have been able to see this mind-body “me” as an expression washing the dishes – another expression – and those moments have felt “genuine” in the sense that I did not have to make too many concessions to conventional reality. But if pressed too far, the experience can become somewhat threatening to me because it becomes non-conceptual and “things,” including “me,” feel as if they are falling apart, which I suppose is not a bad thing, according to teachings such as Rupert’s, but I can’t say I find it rewarding just yet, though I can see how it could grow on me. Does this ring a bell for you? And if so, have you found that you were gradually more able and willing to go along with the apparent meaninglessness of events??

Dietrich
There may be an element of fear in the sense of ‘falling apart’. Falling apart is not rewarding for what falls apart. It knows that it’s doomed to expose itself as being non-existent. It just appears to exist. The activity of believing in it keeps its momentum. It’s not a question of ‘I should allow the falling apart’. It is more an issue of seeing what is truly the case. Allow resistance – to the sense of falling apart – to show up as much as it likes. Just see it when it shows its scary face (like a clown) without doing anything about it. It can’t stand the light of truthful exposure so it will go away by itself. Consequently, me’s absence reveals your authentic presence that is not scary at all. (Only the idea of ‘no me’ is scary to me – for obvious reasons.)?

mrnibelheim
A most helpful response, thank you very much! I find your sentence “It knows that it’s doomed to expose itself as being non-existent” comforting in a weird way, I suppose because in that view there is no “me doing or allowing” anything – a welcome relief from all the mental gymnastics which so many meditation teachers suggest.?

Dietrich
The sense of relief is a reliable indicator. It confirms a clear seeing that mental gymnastics are performed by ‘what you are not.’ Therefore, there is a natural letting go of interest in mental gymnastics. In that relaxation (relief) is the presence of what does not need to be acquired. It is already so. (It will never be acquired via gymnastics. Any attempted movement towards it is actually another misleading strategy of blindness to perpetuate itself.)?

mrnibelheim
Thanks for that confirmation, Dietrich. I have of late been able to see, as you say, that any movement towards relaxation pushes it into the future, and that turns it into an endless mission – the dangling carrot tied to a stick above the donkey’s head!?

Dietrich
The relief realises that the chase after the carrot keeps the donkey appear real.?

mrnibelheim
Yesss!!!

In response to a beautiful video by Rupert Spira:

Veiling the screen is the most common, global habit. Repeating instant unveiling is portrayed as another habit that is ‘reinforced’ by like-minded people. That was also the purpose of genuine Ashrams etc. That second habit is getting used to seeing what is already the case, whereas the ‘veiling habit’ is repeating the act of believing what is not the case. In a way, the second habit exposes the fraudulent first habit. Once thoroughly exposed, the second habit is non-functional as there is nothing to expose as fraudulent anymore. Being of no use, the second habit has turned into a love affair with what is already the case.

To watch the video go here:

Do Something!

Doing is going on. Spiritual paths usually encourage personal development. That’s doing something to get somewhere. That’s what society understands since every conventional step in a lifestream focuses almost exclusively on a better tomorrow. So what’s wrong with that?

This ‘better-tomorrow’ drive can include the idea that tomorrow is the time to wake up to the boundless energy that’s closer than any thought about it.

It may feel like a disappointment to the ethically conditioned mind that the focus on personal development can keep us identified within the boundaries of time.

The point is that doing happens anyway in all areas of living. Personal development may happen anyway, practising a musical instrument may happen, improving a health condition may happen, financial issues may be tackled etc.

It would be a mistake to think that doing stops. Thinking, doing, expressing, creating, improving, are natural movements in time and will continue to be enjoyed.

The keyword is ‘natural.’ By that, I mean that these doings will happen naturally. Our almost compulsory, mental focus on the belief that something depends on a better tomorrow is the trap.

In reality, everything depends on the timeless energy that is present in every move. If our beliefs focus with priority on ‘moving to a better tomorrow’ then stress will replace naturalness, and with that stress comes the worry about tomorrow. At the same time, worry distracts from the only reliable fulfilment there is, namely the ever-fresh boundless presence of our true nature that is closer than our next thought about it.

Good musicians express that timeless presence, they don’t worry about the next note. Even when practising a scale to improve the skill level, the exercises can be done playfully, without worry about the outcome. The outcome will present itself anyway. In fact, efficiency increases when there is no worry since worry consumes a lot of energy.

On a global scale, suffering is caused by the effects of worry and self-concern.

The last point is that this self-concern will come up again and again as long as there is a disregarding of our true nature, a conceptless presence that can’t be measured, and that is closer… than the next thought about it. 

Seeing Counts

In response to the question if repetition/reminders have value:

It’s the seeing that counts, not the doing.
Seeing doesn’t need to be done, it happens anyway.
It’s effective to be pointed to this fact again and again until it is seen without another reminder.
To emphasize repeated practice emphasizes the doing and is therefore totally misleading.

Substance

In response to a question


I can’t confirm that the non-dual has created a substance. I agree that it appears so. The mind tends to believe it. (I don’t.) Everything is really empty but appears to be not empty, particularly if the mind continuously refers to the believed-in past to confirm that there is substance in the presence. These assumptions are projected into a non-existing present as if that present was a section out of time. In reality, the present is timeless, non-dual awareness. If anything could be termed ‘substance’ I’d say it is the timeless that is ’empty substance’. The mind will think that this statement is based on fantasy whereas nondual seeing ‘says’ that believing in matter is based on fantasy.

Worry

Am not terribly interested in philosophy as such. Appearances are happening, that is not a philosophy. That activities come and go is also not a theory. The bondage, one could say, is diverting the attention from ‘whats happening’ to identifying with an action figure in imagined events in ‘the past’ or ‘future.’ Sure, such an identification can also only happen NOW, but the mistake is happening if this is not seen to be the case. There can be a common belief that we ARE the past action figure and that we are a future action figure, and with that belief comes
1. the worry about our body’s future well-being
2. the overlooking of what is happening now
3. the overlooking of what we really are, namely, the looking itself (Francis of Assisi: ‘What’s looking is what we are looking for.’) The looking itself is the natural freedom (not a philosophy 🙂 ! ) The looking is timeless, looking at the dream-like construct of time, not believing it.

(in response to Gail’s question on Facebook)

Salvation

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.

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.

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.