These are long posts—sorry, but there’s no way to deal satisfactorily with these issues in a few short sentences.
In chap 14, Cease Ye From Man, it is shown that “body” is no different from an “apple.” At most it would be mere sensations, thought, or “mental stuff” only. There is no such physical object.
Now a Reality check: Pure Consciousness, this very Self being presently aware, is infallibly Infinity only. This is the exact same infallibility with which the Present is now present–for Infinity and the Present is the same One. “Starting from” or as this Infinity precludes there ever being something besides Itself called “man.” So even the title, Cease Ye From Man is a bit of a misnomer. “Looking out as” Infinity-Self-I, there is only Its own changelessness, and there never has been “man” that It must cease from being.
This seeming discussion of the non-existence of objects (and this discussion, too, would be a seeming), has been prefaced by the above for a reason. One must be clear as to who or what ONE really is. The only Self there is here, now, is Infinity Itself, being boundless consciously alive Presence only. “Taste” or be this Alive Presence now. As pure Alive Presence, You are not, and never can be, an object.
If it is not clear at the outset that You are present as Presence, not a body, this discussion will seem muddled. If mistakenly identifying as a “body,” the fact that the “body” is not there as a body would also mean you are doing away with yourself. Rather, as Alive Presence, pure Awareness only, One is present changelessly, eternally—literally free of time and age—which is far more “permanent” than a so-called “body” ever could hope to be.
Now take a closer look at what appears to be “body.” Did you ever stop to realize that “body” never is actually present? Each time “body” supposedly is sensed (a sight of body; a sense of touch of body, such as touching a leg; a sense of hearing the body talk, etc.) those sensations would be all there is to “body.” Like the “apple,” there aren’t those mere sensations and a body-object that is giving them off—there are only those sensations. Touch the “body’s” leg right now. Take inventory. What, exactly, is there to this experience? Only a feeling of touching, a passing sensation. There isn’t that feeling and a leg that the feeling is coming from—there is only the feeling. Is that a solid object? No.
Far more importantly, that sensing of “body” always seems to be changing, moving, passing on in time, never stopping to be present. The sensations supposedly had of “body” even a few seconds ago are already gone, never to return. They seem to be replaced moment to moment by this sensation, and another and another. It’s like the constantly moving frames on a movie film—they’re always passing on in time and never being present. This seeming fluid state of never-actually-having-presence is the only “status” body ever seems to have. At most, all there ever seems to be is an ever-passing, changing sense or thought of a body—never a separate static object.
As “body” itself is not an object, then it can’t have objects called eyes. So does “body” really see? No. It’s more like a dream. When you appear to have a dream, is it really the body-you in the dream that sees the other dream characters? Are there functioning eyes on that dream-body that are optically seeing those other characters? No—everything appears to be produced or dreamed up by the dream, including the body-you in the dream. In the same way, do the characters that appear on a movie screen have physical eyes with which to see and react to each other? Of course not—it all would be just one big projected image that appears to animate all the characters that appear in it.
Now back to the “body” that appears to be sitting in front of this monitor. See “body” in your thought as it appeared to be doing something yesterday—perhaps eating breakfast. Look closely. Is it any different from a dream? No. Is there ever any kind of solid or material object there? No—it’s just a thought-image-body. What’s more, are there any physical eyes on that thought-body that could have done any seeing? Does that thought-body have a physical head-object that contains eyes? No. It all would be a mere thought-image, a kind of superimposed appearance, like a dream or movie.
The fact is that “body” even as it appears right now sitting at this monitor, has no more solidity or presence than that “body” at breakfast.
There is nothing about a mere dream-image or thought-image that can see other items—any more than a movie character image actually sees. It’s all being dreamed up or experienced by the would-be dream itself. It’s not being dreamed up by the “body” in the dream because that “body” merely would be part of the dream itself.
Now supposedly–and it’s a huge supposedly–everything that “your body” experienced yesterday—its morning breakfast, its noon, its evening, its entire world—all of it depended on the presence of that very “body” to sense or witness it. If there were no body present to sense it, none of it could be said to have occurred. And that’s the point—there really was no body present—so was anything really being sensed or seen? No. How could anything have been seen when there was no object-body, and no object-eyes to do any seeing?
The entire so-called “objective material world” supposedly depends on the presence of a body to testify to it—but no body is ever present to do any testifying! So could any of it really have been there? No! None of it, repeat, none of it, is really there. This means that all sense or thought of objects, including “body” itself, all so-called creation and manifestation, all time, all sense of space and universe is not really there—because all of it would depend on a “body” being present to sense or experience it. But there is no such object to do the experiencing.
All there truly is, is the “infinite sea” of object-less Awareness, the pure Alive Presence aware here, now, “experiencing” only Its own object-free Unlimitedness. At no point is endless Infinity “objected-to” by objects, or separated into finite portions, whether material or mental.
The thought may come, “Okay, I get that there is no objective world of materiality, but there still appears to be this illusion, and it is arising or appearing spontaneously in Awareness—because after all, I appear to be aware of it. Awareness lets me see it for the illusion it is, but it’s still here, as illusion.” Not really true, even though it may seem so. Only thinking assumes Awareness is aware of such a thing. Pure Infinite Awareness Itself never says that. This is an issue that Glen’s comment is basically concerned with, and it will be discussed more in the next couple of posts.
Even if referred to as only a “mental” illusion, and not materiality, this illusion still would seem to depend on the presence of “body.” Why? Because if there were no sense of body, there would be no sense of even an illusion—because the illusion seems to require “body’s” presence to experience it; they seem to be inseparable. Now go back again and really look at the “body” at breakfast yesterday, which supposedly experienced an entire world. Is there anything really there? The minute you try to find its presence, really pin it down, even as a so-called illusory thought-image—is there really something there? No. And yesterday’s entire so-called experience supposedly depends on that nothingness being there to experience it—but it isn’t.
This is not a perfect example, but suppose there were an illusion–a mirage of water in the desert, exactly one mile up ahead of you. At first, it certainly appears to be there. After walking up exactly one mile, do you find anything there? Not only do you not find any water—you don’t even find a mirage! Nothing is there—not even as a mirage. Only you are present, right where it had appeared to be. Likewise for the so-called “body” that supposedly says an illusion is present, or that “body” is part of a greater illusion—when you actually look as pure Awareness, right where “body” is supposed to have presence, it isn’t even there as an illusion. Only You, pure Awareness, are present—and changelessly so.
To try to say there is an illusion arising in the Infinite, pure Awareness, would be like the mirage saying, “Don’t tell me I’m not here! It’s obvious to me that I’m here!”
How could you rely on a mirage—that isn’t even there as a mirage—to tell you what’s true of your Life and Existence?
Even though this speaks repeatedly of the only-ness of Infinity Itself, it sometimes seems you have to “do your own work” or “make It your own”—otherwise this all seems to remain on the level of words or theory. Don’t be afraid to sit quietly, away from the computer and books, and “work this through” for yourself so it really “sinks in” or “fully registers” as present conscious Fact. To just intellectually accept this because of reading it in a book or on a blog would be merely a conceptual reality. To consciously function or be alive as pure Aware Nowness, pure Infinite Presence (even while it seems an illusion is being “seen through”) is the Actuality of Reality. It is the genuine Presence of Self Itself, for there literally is no “body,” no state of thinking, that has presence to be This.
This “exercise” of deconstructing can be taken only so far. One never can actually arrive at an “experience of the non-existence of objects” because it’s impossible to have an experience of non-existence. Rather, It is a matter of Consciousness specifically being alive Infinite Presence, which never fails to be present alone. Are you specifically being This “throughout the day”? Why pretend to be something other than what changelessly IS? And is there really a choice? To Ever-Present Awareness Itself, there is no choice, and there is no other.
If questions arise, be alert that they may be due to what sometimes seem to be “hangover notions” (discussed in CIA chap 15). What that means is, having seemingly seen through the illusory nature of a “material or objective world,” one may be clear to some extent that there is no such thing. The clarity that there is no materiality seems to literally revolutionize how one “sees” everything. But occasionally old “hangover” notions arise, and one unwittingly still tries to apply “standards” of a would-be physical realm to the spiritual.
In other words, questions may still come up, “Well how did Consciousness, Being, start? Where does It originate? When did It originate? Those would be standards of time, location in physical space, cause and effect, etc.–found only in a would-be material world–all of which has now been seen as non-existent. So obviously they no longer apply—and never actually did. One cannot ask such questions about Consciousness, for they have no relationship.
The would-be thinking mind (if it existed!) would be willing to do anything—even to keep thinking over and over how and why it doesn’t exist—just so it can hang around long enough to do even that! It is to still be functioning as thinking, which would be part of the very same illusion! Is the pure Aware Present ever thinking anything—whether about an illusion, or even Itself? Can anything other than the pure Aware Present Itself ever be present? Imagine attempting to go on and on, un-seeing an illusion, when actually no such thing is even present to be unseen in the first place! Now that would be foolishness—if the Present were capable of such, which It isn’t.
One more important aspect of this dis-assembling involves the illusory nature of time and memory, which will be taken up in the next post or two. When “seen through,” it makes clear in yet another way why only the Infinite, the Present, is present.
A brief commercial: the points touched on in these posts are also discussed at length in a soon-to-be-released set of DVDs from http://www.stillnessspeaks.com/. Peter and Chris Hebard have several hours of conversation on these and many other points. Watch here or on stillnessspeaks.com for availability, hopefully early October.
Now back to Reality (which You actually never left). It’s one thing to see through the illusory nature of objects, and it can at first seem to be quite a revelation—but that’s not enough—so don’t become too taken with this. It can still leave the mistaken notion that there is a “you” that now has seen through something. From the standpoint of the Infinite, the Absolute, not even that is true. The Truth is that, right this instant, Infinity is changelessly present as All, and there really is no one seeing through any finite illusion, whether “material” or even “mental.” And you have to “take your stand” as Infinity because this is what this One being presently aware is “doing” or being.
Equally, do not assume that any of this is coming to a “you” from a “Peter”–because a “Peter” too, would appear to be merely an illusory object, that has no real presence to do anything. If one were to talk about it, this all seems to be “thanks to” Boundless Awareness presently aware here, now.
So when it appears as if “body” is walking down a “street,” talking on the phone to “another physically distant body,” or sitting in front of a “monitor”–be alive as that which is really present–the unlimited Openness of consciously alive Infinity, utterly object-less Pure Life, distanceless Love, to Whom the whole of ALL is so immediately present, it’s unspeakable.
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