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.
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)
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.
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.
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.