Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stop seeking.

The seeker has already gone too far. It's too much to say stop seeking because then it's two steps too far - first seeking and then to stop seeking. Instead, when we identify ourselves as a seeker stop! Rewind and simply be the I AM, not I am a seeker but the I AM - dwell in that, dwell as that I AM as that I am'ness - that is who we are.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Do we really think? Certainly thinking happens but are we creating those thoughts or are thoughts simply appearing in awarenes. For most people the cultural belief is that they are thinking and that we have been taught to think, and so it goes unexamined. When we meditate or closely observe the activities of the mind it becomes seen that there is, what seems like, a constant stream of thoughts. Scientists say something like sixty thousand thought a day are the norm - seemingly without a break. They just keep coming even when we want some relief from them. Occasionally it can be seen that when the mind goes blank that we can't actually generate a thought either. We just need to wait for the next one to arrive - which it does. If we were in control of our thoughts why would we ever have an unpleasant or depressing one. If we are responsible for having thoughts then on what basis do we choose them? How do we decide what we want to think about next. We can't think about it because that in itself would be a thought and how would we decide to think about having a thought? No. Thoughts appear, as can be observed. We are aware of them and we make sence of them.

Self realization.

Self realization. Seekers will often spend twenty or so years seeking this apparently elusive phenomena and yet it's right here and what we are all the time. In the last few months before realization it occured to me that it was a strange thing indeed to seek the self, since I am the self but something remained incomplete. So what is it I was seeking. It turns out that there's nothing to seek and nothing to find but the seeking causes the final realization that I am pure awareness. Along with this understanding is the turn around of understanding the world - that is we are taught that we exist in the world but later we find that actually the world appears in us. This completely reversed understanding, the realization of our true nature and seeing that there is no 'me' brings about final peace.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Our conceptual lives.

The wheelbarrow is more than the sum of the parts. My wheelbarrow is made up of a metal tray, two wooden handles and a rubber wheel. Put together in a certain way it becomes a wheelbarrow which allows me to move things around the garden. The same wood, metal and rubber put together in a different way would be something else entirely. So where did the wheel barrow come from? My car is actually only a concept - even though I drive it. It's a concept because the metal, rubber, plastic and glass is put together in a certain way. Assembled differently it might be two motorbikes, part of a plane or a piece of modern art. It's a car because it fits into fairly loose parameters - it has wheels, it's self propelled and driven and carries people and luggage. I was walking through a car park when it struck me how varied the automobile is. Makes, models, colours, styles and personal additions means there is often only one just like that in the entire park. They are all different but all have a common theme. That theme is easily recognised by a human once taught it, often at a young age. It's the concept that's learnt and mostly not the individual vehicles - that may come later. Toyota may bring out an entirely new model never seen before but immediately we recognise it as a car simply because we know the concept of a car in the first place. A kangaroo wouldn't know it as a car - just an object crossing it's path. Everything in our lives is understood conceptually. A tree. If ten people were asked to draw a tree they would all draw a different one - ignoring their individual artistic skills. Language is conceptual. Words and sounds are pointers to something. That's often why so many arguments happen. We have different understandings or emotions attatched to the concepts. A little girl's parents grow roses, it's a happy home, she's given roses to smell and happy memories follow. A second little girl has an unhappy family, she falls into a rose patch, get scratched and get told off for it. They grow up. Their boyfriends come to visit and each give a bunch of roses. One experiences it as a loving gesture, the other is offended and slams the door. Same flowers, different experience/association attached to the concept.

It was an important stage, for me, to understand the conceptual nature of language. It shocked me at first. I'd confused the word with the thing. I thought the truth was the truth, instead it's a sound which reprisents a word that points to a concept but is not the thing.

Life as an abstraction.

Our lives are lived fully but it's in the nature of the mind to only remember the major points. If we had all of our past available all of the time we most probably wouldn't be able to function. So memory records it all but only the major parts tend to be available. A typical day is remembered in the short and medium term for us to refer back to but as the days go on the ordinary things become less and less important and is more or less forgotten. After a week or so we don't need to know what we had for lunch on any particular day - unless it happens to be important for some particular reason. Over the months more and more of the ordinary things are forgotten and only the more important go into long term memory. What I did at ten a.m. last Tuesday isn't sigificant to me - although it may have been at the time. What I did the first week of last month has already been relegated to the unimportant and forgotten. The important items like I booked an international flight is preserved in short, medium and long term memory - it's useful, I need to keep refering back to it. The process of sorting through and only saving the salient parts is automatic. The reduction of a lifetime of activities is an abstraction. So we abstract out a long line of memories to becomes an abstraction of an abstraction of an abstraction. When we look back over our lives we see only the abstracted parts and that forms what we call our history - our life. Government statistics are a good example of abstractions. The major points of interest of our lives, to the government are what they need to run the country. Births, deaths, road fatalities, revenue/taxes and expenses - to mention a few. Our entire lives become a few numbers in a computer. We are abstracted down to a few points and that's it. But in our own minds we regard our history as an accurate record. When it's seen that this history is only a very thin slice of what actually happened, and a biased one at that, then it's significance is little more than a dream especially after self realization and it's known there isn't and never was an individual entity occupying the body - in control of things.

Who am I.

Who am I. Not who I take myself to be, or who I believe or assume myself to be. But who am I - really. Am I this body? If so then how much of me would be deleted if say a leg was surgically removed. That would be about one fifth of my body mass. Does that mean that I would only be four fifths of a person, or that every fifth word I spoke would be missing or I would have only four fifths of the original memory, earn eighty percent of my wages?

Am I my name? Then who would I be if I changed my name? Would I be a different person then with different memories.

Am I my profession and then I changed my job. Who would I be, a different person?

Am I my memories? Then who is it that's remembering them and am I a different person as my memories change over the years?

Who, or what is at the centre and where is that centre? Obviously changing any of the above wouldn't change the me I know myself as. So what is the self? The mind will find many answers to that question but none will finally satisfy. Actually the mind will never find the true self because it's completely out of it's terms of reference. It needs a complete paradigm shift to understand it. The mind will never find the answer simply because the mind is just another appearance in awareness - another object and not the subject. It's like my Toyota car understanding the factory and staff that built it. The created is not capable of knowing the creator. The mind is not capable of knowing the awareness it appears in. The mind is the wrong tool for the job. So, for a moment, stop the mind and just be, and then notice that you are still in existence - you still are. Then it's seen that the true you is not at all defined by the mind.

'BE STILL and know that I AM"

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Reality - nonreality.

What we call reality isn't in actual fact real. When we talk about reality most people would be referring to physicality - something solid. But science and Advaita show that not to be the case. Any scientist will quickly confirm that apparently solid things have no solidity to them. When looked at closely they are seen to be made of molecules of atoms. Then the atoms that in times gone by were thought to be the base building blocks of the universe. Now they are known to be made up of sub-atomic particles. Even these are now known to be only packets of energy spinning around each other with spaces comparable to the space between the stars. The packets of energy sometimes function like particles and sometimes like waves, they can't be pinned down. Advaita has a simple tenet that says anything that appears and disappears is dependant on something else and therefore has no independant existence. In which case it's considered not real. A movie needs a screen. If there is no screen the movie is not formed. There may be lights shining into the night but the movie needs a screen to reflect the lights - to make it a movie. It must appear to, in or on something. An example would be the ocean, as a backdrop - it's (relatively) substantial. A wave, however, is only an appearance in or on it. It's just a pattern of energy that we call a wave. It's a concept we understand so we can communicate with one another and words are generated depending on our environment. Like the Eskimos who are reputed to have up to fourty words to describe snow. The wave is a pattern of energy and appears to exist. As a concept only though does it exist. The wave doesn't actually exist as a separate something that can be separated from the ocean. If you get a bucket and scoop out a wave and take it to someone telling them you have a wave in it it would sound non-sensicle. What you have in fact would be a bucket of water from the ocean and not a wave. The wave is the concept. The wave is what appears and then disappears and only water is left. So anything that appears and disappears has no independence and is therefore not real. The seeker, although often doesn't know it, is looking for something real, final, something that doesn't appear and disappear, the basis of everything, the back drop, the final word. What we're looking for is that which never appeared and will never disappear. Now, any object is, by it's very nature, limited and therefore can not be everywhere - unless it's everything. The search through the question 'who am I' reveals the fact that no matter what we find, either an object or concept to identify as 'me', is always looked at/seen by the viewer. We can never see the viewer. We can never get behind the viewer. That's the direction the seeker has to look in. Who or what am I - the viewer. It's no good thinking about it because that which thinks is only an object, an appearance itself. That which sees everything seemingly coming and going turns out to be awareness. Well that's the closest word I can find do describe it. So back behind all the layers of belief of who I have taken myself to be there is the I AM - pure awareness. It's actually a no-thing, obviously, or it would be an object and limited and could be observed by the viewer. Being a no-thing is the ultimate let-go by no-one. Awareness is the back drop and is independent and totally unaffected by anything that appears in it, like the movie screen. When awareness becomes aware of itself it's called self-realization then awareness ceases to identify exclusively with the objects and becomes aware of itself as the true source. Hence the term self-awareness. This is the point where awareness ceases to identify with the 'me' that has always taken centre stage. With this change of focus the suffering of the seeker stops. The 'I AM' that I am is found and the 'me' that I have always thought myself to be is seen to be non-existant, a mere appearance. No more seeking takes place and there is peace.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Annoyance with our partner.

Isn't it interesting that people hurt and get hurt by the person closest to them - the one person they would most not want to hurt. The problem starts with duality - the fact of the opposites that cause everything to exist. Anything only exists because it stands out against something else - contrast. Good/bad, up/down, right/wrong etc. You get the idea. It's the mind that splits our world into opposites. Now that's not a bad thing but the next step is where it seemingly goes wrong. The same mind that creates the split then chooses one half and rejects the other. Good/bad - I'm good you're bad. I'm healthy you're unhealthy. I'm cautious with money you're. a spendthrift. Of course these are only relative terms. The opposites can be equally true and is probably true for your partner. I'm bad (isn't that a cool attitude these days?). I live a full-on life while you're too scared to try anything new. I enjoy my money (after all you only live once) you're too tight to spend yours. Now it starts to get interesting. By choosing half and rejecting the other half we're left with a feeling that something is missing - not quite right. The terms conscious and unconscious minds where conscious represents what we accept about ourselves and the unconscious where we hide all the things about ourselves that don't fit into our preferred (if false) view of ourselves. So here we are with the feeling something is missing. So we go out in search of the lost part. Some try speed, some money, some drugs and perhaps the most common - relationships. Most meetings just don't feel right but have you noticed that when you meet that 'special' person and you fall in love that there's a feeling of completeness - of wholeness? Well it's simply because that 'special' person has also fallen victim to their mind splitting their world into opposites, and they have chosen the other halves to you. So in fact you have met your other half - literally. The feelings of completeness is from the two opposites that have come together. Together you do feel complete. It feels right. The relationship is intuitively felt to be right and complete. Now comes the big BUT. The problems start a short while after you let your guard down, when the relationship becomes a primary one, because the opposites come into play and the judgements you made about yourself are the things that your partner represents and what drew you to them in the first place. It's only a matter of time before you become irritated by the features in them because they are the very things rejected in yourself. To simplify it lets take good/bad. I consider myself 'good' and reject the idea of 'bad' in me. It's the way this particular personality is set up. My partner finds it exciting to be 'bad' and find 'good' to be too boring. So we both felt incomplete in ourselves but felt complete when together but then I become irritated by her 'bad' because I've prejudged and rejected 'bad' and she gets irritated and bored by my 'good' because she prejudged that. The solution, of course, is to look at what we have each prejudged in ourselves and see that there's no real reason to reject it in the first place and then reclaim it. In that way we start to feel complete in ourselves. Then we're not two lonely and miserable people trying to get the other to make us happy.