This intensive is primarily for those who have attended prior workshops, or have a very strong interest in the main points found in Consciousness Is All.

The theme will be multi-faceted, allowing us to go as deeply as possible. While there will be plenty of spontaneity and ample opportunity for all questions, the purpose is depth and immersion as consciously alive Love. Some of the deeper points in Consciousness Is All will serve as but a springboard into even “more” of Life’s magnificence.

Particular emphasis will be given to the “softness” and “lightness” of Life–not as theory, but as alive, conscious experience. We will also work with some of the material from the forthcoming book, Simply Notice. The daily schedule will be approx. 10am to 5 or 6pm, with breaks, and plenty of time for sharing/socializing as a group in the evenings.

Attendance will be limited to most likely 15 attendees, possibly 20. Cost for the Intensive will be $450, or $400 for those who register before Feb. 1. This cost covers only the Intensive, not lodging or meals. (An events/registration page for this will be in place on the Consciousness Is All website in a week or so.)

Venue: Extended Stay Deluxe Hotel – Phoenix/Biltmore: http://www.extendedstayhotels.com/Reservations/SelectRoom.html?sid=db9219c5-86c7-4834-a85a-bba72425e407

This is not a high luxury or resort hotel, but was chosen because of its central location, conveniences and pricing. Rates will be approx. $79 to $89/night, very reasonable for high season in Phoenix. Each guest room has a full kitchen.

If you are seriously interested in attending, or have questions, please notify me here, or by email, or by using the “Contact” form on the Consc. Is All website.

This event will also be listed with MeetingTruth.com and TruthSpace.com

My deepest and most sincere thanks to all of you for your incredibly wonderful friendship this past year. May your Holiday season be totally Love-filled!

Science and Nonduality Conference 2012

This year’s Science and Nonduality Conference is coming up soon–October 24 through 28th, 2012.   It will be held in San Rafael, California as in previous years.

I will be there only briefly this year, giving a talk on Saturday morning Oct. 27, at 9AM.  The title of the talk is, “The Softness of Life.”  If you are attending the conference, please stop by–it would be great to see you there!

For more information:  www.scienceandnonduality.com

Preface for Simply Notice

Below is the Preface for the new book, SIMPLY NOTICE – Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams Is Here, Now. 

An upcoming post will feature the Introduction.  This is Book 1 in what will ideally expand to a series of Simply Notice books.  The book is not yet published (working on that right now…I may use a traditional publisher, or self-publish it.  Hopefully this will be decided soon.)  The main text is still being revised, and excerpts will appear here periodically, too.

Just as a heads up, this book is very different from Consciousness Is All.  The Preface pretty much explains it:

Preface – Why This Book?    

This book started out as an exercise in the power of noticing.

Then because of its very power, the noticing led to something big.  That’s coming up in a moment.

Simply Notice follows this author’s first work, Consciousness Is All – Now Life Is Completely New (Blue Dolphin 2007).  Consciousness Is All is an experiential book about the nature of Life and Reality.  It is highly popular within its niche, and has been deemed a “masterwork” and “classic.”    

Simply Notice says many of the same things, but in a basic way that is meant to propel this subject out of a niche so it is of interest to all readers.  After all, who doesn’t know how to notice?

Noticing is something familiar to all because it is so natural and simple to do.  It’s as easy as noticing the words in this sentence.  These pages show that visual noticing (such as with these words) is just one of many types of noticing.  

You’ll see that noticing isn’t exactly the same as being aware, but it occurs thanks to being aware.

Imagine having a sun-like searchlight that could be aimed at almost anything.  The light itself, which is always on, is like awareness—and that is a big part of this book, too.  The focusing of the light on something is a bit like noticing.

In the bright light of noticing, many things about oneself, one’s world, and the real nature of Life Itself become crystal clear.

The first part of the book talks about the act of noticing itself, and some of its benefits.  Noticing and awareness are such an integral part of living, that to speak of them in terms of “benefit” almost sounds silly.  It’s like saying breathing is a benefit.  However, noticing does seem to be beneficial in countless ways.

When used intelligently, noticing is priceless because it exposes false beliefs that limit and constrict living.  It frees one from bondage to false beliefs and puts an end to unhappiness.

Beliefs are nothing but assumptions parading as facts.  They’re like mental clouds.  Once exposed, they cannot limit or block—just as clouds never block the sun from being the sun—and false beliefs fade away effortlessly.
Other times, noticing is exciting and just plain fun.  The wonderful thing is, noticing is much more than merely a cloud remover!  It also shows how incredibly magnificent Life is, in ways previously unimaginable.

It is the nature of Life to be vitally alive, completely free and unlimited.  This is another way of saying the Life you really are is naturally “happy.”

This is not always experienced however, due to clouds of human belief and emotional weight being superimposed on Life’s natural vitality and ease.
Noticing makes clear that pure, belief-free Life is what “you” really are.

As you already may have seen, each page in this book stands alone, and provides a simple noticing of something.

The noticing may be about what you consider yourself to be.  It may be about everyday things, such as bananas and cell phones—or more serious subjects such as the world, and Life Itself.  There also is noticing about thoughts and feelings (this is belief territory).  There is even a look at the value of noticing, and how various aspects of noticing itself work.

With each simple noticing comes a fresh seeing, a keener awareness and discernment.  This is effortless—and leaves one free to enjoy Life as it naturally, normally is.

As you continue reading you may begin to feel, as this author does, that this book is inadequate.  That’s actually a good thing.

What happens is that a noticing of something here will trigger something you’ll notice on your own.  And that will lead to still more noticing.  You likely will ask, “Why isn’t the book talking about this—and why doesn’t it mention that, too?”  It’s just an indication of the unlimited power of noticing.

The noticing on page 21 says:  “Noticing is self-expanding.  The more you notice, the more you notice that you are noticing.”

It’s really true!  So this Book 1 is the first in a series, all under the main title of Simply Notice.  Each will have a specific theme—but thanks to its self-expanding nature, the noticing in each book invariably spreads in many directions.

During the writing of this first book, one point in particular kept coming up—as if asking for special emphasis.  It is profound in its impact, so there was little choice but to make it the theme in these pages.
It concerns an extremely limiting belief which is widely accepted today—but one which is rarely questioned by the general public.

To set the stage:  The biggest breakthroughs in the so-called history of man often involve a shift in perspective.  What basically happens is that new discoveries are made, or old, limiting beliefs are seen through.  These are called changes in worldview.

They all occur thanks to noticing something that wasn’t noticed before.

Near the top of this breakthrough list would be the now-clichéd realization that the earth is not flat, but a tiny sphere, apparently floating in a vast universe of space.  At one time, earth supposedly was thought to be so massive it was the center of the universe—the geo-centric belief.

The appearance of the sun, moon and stars rising each day creates a visual illusion that everything really does rotate around earth.  The human sense of sight also gives the earth’s horizon an illusory appearance of being flat.

These illusions gave rise to beliefs, and the beliefs acted like self-imposed barriers or limitations.

It’s worth noticing the role played by sensory illusion in causing beliefs, because a similar sensory illusion appears to be affecting you right now, today.

First was the illusory appearance (everything rotates around earth; earth is flat).

Then a belief seemed to follow as a result (earth ends at the horizon).

Then came the limitations caused by the belief (don’t dare sail past the horizon).

Notice what happens once the illusion is seen through.  The belief falls away automatically.  Then so do the limitations—like a line of dominos.

(Of course, it could be argued that the geo-centric belief was not accepted by civilizations worldwide—but this helps illustrate an important point.)

There is another similar illusion apparently operative today—but so taken for granted, it’s generally not even noticed.

What if exposing this illusion is so significant and potentially freeing—it makes the old flat earth breakthrough seem trivial?

What if you were not a mere passive observer in this—but an active participant?
Today it is generally believed that Life is only on planet earth.

Many are willing to entertain the possibility that Life may be on other planets, too.  But notice something here.

This still involves a belief of Life having to be on things—on physical planets.

The key word is “on.”

Hand in hand with this general belief of “Life being on” is the belief that Life also is limited to being inside things or solid objects.

Supposedly, Life has to be inside human bodies, or animal bodies.  Life also is believed to be inside forms of vegetation such as plants and trees.

And, of course, all these things appear to be on planet earth.

Admit it.  This belief of Life having to be on earth and in objects seems so ingrained (like the flat earth) that it’s rarely questioned by the public.

Why is this believed?

Because this is how the five human senses of sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell appear to portray the world.

To the human senses, it certainly looks as if Life is in human, animal and plant forms.  It also looks as if those forms are on a solid physical object called earth.

Notice these are the same senses that create the illusion of earth being flat!

If the senses are capable of producing one illusion, why not another?

Without getting into details here, the noticing in these pages essentially turns this traditional Life-on-earth view inside out.

Simple noticing shows that instead of Life being on earth—it is more accurate to say earth is in an all-embracing Life.

Admittedly, this may seem quite a stretch to today’s way of thinking—so there is a brief experiential example of this coming up in the Introduction, plus much, much more inside.  Easy, everyday illustrations and examples throughout the book help to clarify this.
Notice any thoughts coming up right now in response to reading this.  Perhaps it’s one of, “Life not on earth?  Okay, show me.”

This book does show this.  But notice if there’s already an expectation as to how this Life not-on-earth is to be shown.  Notice if there’s a thought, “If Life really is not on earth, this book will have to show how Life extends way out beyond this solid physical planet, and spans across all physical space in the vast universe.”

That is not how it works.

What appears to the human senses as separate, solid physical objects (such as earth) is another illusion of the senses.  In the same way the senses create an illusion of flatness, they create an illusion of solidity.  The senses also create an illusion that items are physically separate from each other.  They’re not.

This illusion is not anyone’s fault—it’s just how the senses seem to work.

Does this new view sound unbelievable?  If so, the old belief  is still in the way, distorting how you see things.

If there really is no solid physical object earth, there is no such object which Life could be on.

The irony is that none of this is new!  The notion of Life not being on earth—but rather that Life is all-embracing of all there is—has been known to philosophers and sages for centuries.  Today it is increasingly accepted by scientists.

In some religions we are told, “The kingdom of God is within you.”

In science we are told there is no physical world “out there” separate from the one who observes it.

Rather than merely being told about this theoretically, these pages are a way to literally see and live this, experientially.

The point of this book is to make these same things clear to anyone—all through simple noticing.  The idea is to have this “new view” accessible to all readers instead of being esoteric and limited to experts.

It took many years for the “round” earth to be generally accepted.  So the limitations lingered.  Today is different.  In this apparent age of having instant information everywhere, there is no need to continue laboring under an old, severely limited way of living.

The reason for dredging up the old geo-centric universe example is that it’s actually a helpful parallel.  Some of the noticings in these pages may seem radical at first, and bring up doubts.  That’s only because they refute the currently popular belief system of Life being only on earth.  If doubts come up, simply notice how a round earth may have seemed radical at first, too.

This seemed to be a subject well worthy of a book.  So Life’s all-embracing-ness has become a major theme in these pages.

To glimpse the fantastic implications of Life not being on earth, first consider what it meant to see through the belief of a flat earth.

The world and experience literally opened up in so many ways it’s indescribable.  Now there was another side of the new round world, and new realms to explore.

But notice that all of that new-world experience was still on a physical basis.  All of it still was assumed to be occurring on a physical planet, in a limited physical, material world of space and time.

What if Life and all experience really were not physical, and had none of those weighty limits of physical space, material objects and time?  

What if all Life really, truly was like a state of infinite imagination?

It literally would blow the lid off all those so-called physical limitations!

But the first step would be to start with Life as Life really is—and not be taken in by illusion, beliefs and limitations.

To expose the illusion, this book provides a thorough noticing of how the five human senses work—and how they seem to create illusory appearances.

Beliefs that arise from the illusion are essentially thoughts, and often emotions are involved, too—so some of the noticing here deals with those.
To balance this, there also is a lot of noticing of the nature of Life’s pure awareness or perceiving—which does not function on the level of thought.

You are about to go beyond even “thinking outside the box” and make it obsolete.  The very act of thinking is the box!

This is an adventure in getting altogether outside the box of thinking—and going way beyond, to that which notices all thinking.

This book has a sequence.  First, there is a lot of noticing about noticing itself, and awareness—to literally raise the “level” of seeing.  Please turn right now to page 77 for an example of this.

Not until later in the book is the illusion of a separate, solid earth exposed.  It is recommended that all sections be read in sequence.  But it also is realized that readers may not have patience and will want to jump forward to read about the illusion.  If so, go ahead.

Start on page 144 with an easy example of why a banana isn’t a solid object.  Then go on from there to the bigger illusory object, earth.

Be forewarned.  This jumping ahead may leave a feeling of floundering—with questions such as, “As there is no solid earth, then where am I?”—because the book does make it very clear there is no solid object earth.

When the sections are read in sequence, the reader is first put on a new “foundation” of all-embracing Life.  This is so there won’t be a feeling of not existing, or having had everything literally pulled out from under you.  After Life’s all-embracingness is clear, the sensory illusory regarding earth is exposed.

Those familiar with Consciousness Is All will find that Simply Notice is not nearly as broad in its scope, nor as thorough.  It is not trying to be.  These pages selectively emphasize content from only six chapters of Consciousness Is All.  Please go to www.ConsciousnessIsAll.com for more information.

Simply Notice – Book 1 has one point: to make clear in an easy, reader-friendly way, the unlimited and all-embracing nature of Life.

Since the seeming shift away from the old earth-centered view of the universe, millions of books have been written.  Most of them, whether it is realized or not, contain views which arose basically out of that shift.

How about the significance of Life not being on a solid earth?  Just making this one point clear is enough of a task for any book.  To then get into what it means is something else!

Millions of books can be written on this new basis also—and that’s what is so exciting.  So this is just the tip of the iceberg—a humble beginning to notice some of this unlimited magnificence that Life already, effortlessly is.


If THIS Is Indefinable, Why Call It LOVE?

First of all, it’s been a while since our last post, due to working on the new book, Simply Notice. The book is still being edited, but going very well, and there should be some excerpts posted here in the next couple of weeks.

The topic for this post about Love is thanks to a wonderful comment/question that recently came in from Anna. It’s repeated here:

“Hi Peter,

It would be great if you could clarify your perspective on what Love is and why you chose that term to attempt to define Oneness (the essentially indefinable :)) Also, as you are also appearing in this seemingly physical dream, do you not connect also with Love as a vibration (the heart chakra field)? It seems there is a clear overlap here.”

As always, the response that follows is not directed exclusively to Anna because the question has provided an opportunity to address similar issues that come up for many of us.

Anna’s very remark is a helpful reminder because it points to something that is often lost sight of with the proliferation of books, audios, websites, blogs, etc. on nonduality and spirituality. All of these, of course, use words. So it’s easy to unwittingly start from words/concepts, and then keep depending on those words and concepts, as a means of hopefully working back to, or ultimately arriving at that which is wordless. It seems essential to do this at first. However, at some point it has to be completely turned around.

Life’s Aliveness—the only ONE alive—is entirely and always wordless.

This which is being presently alive here, now, never has used, or even known, a single word. This which is being presently alive NOW doesn’t need a correct concept of Itself before It will be the Now that It is Now being! Existence is not waiting for a lot of humans to all “finally get it right” before Existence will be the perfect, whole, complete Presence It cannot fail to be!

A state of thought that involves excessive, continued dependence on words also then begins to think that the perfect presence of Life Itself also depends on those words! Such thinking acts as if Life will be somewhat less than whole and perfect until that thinking gets it straight!

So what is all of the above also saying? It’s showing/pointing to the fact that there is a “Something” that is alive, and is fully, perfectly present, whether words are used or not, whether thinking thinks or not. It is not something people cause to be present. It is present on Its own.

Inquiry shows that this indefinable “Something” is always present. It is present unconditionally, un-withhold-ably. It is entirely present. It is the entirety of Presence. It is present un-judgingly. This “Something” is pure because It exists alone.

This “Something” does not think; so It never thinks in terms of, or experiences, past or future. It never experiences otherness. It never thinks in terms of, or experiences, desire, lack, regret, or guilt. It just presently “alives.” It does not have a sense of sight—so cannot see “another.” It does not feel, so cannot feel “another.”

Besides all this, this “Something” is actually ALIVE. It is not a deadness. It is an alive feeling for want of a better word. This aliveness is single; there is only One of It—not two. So It is a harmonious alive feeling because It is present without an opposite, thus no opposition. So there never is a feeling of opposition.

Most importantly, it is entirely thanks to this “alive Something” that all of this apparent writing and word-usage and pointing can be done! Ignorantly, “we” usually assume there is a “we” that is doing all of this. There isn’t!  It is all thanks to the “alive Something” that it can appear to be done.

So back to the word Love.

Why that word? Well, as long as words appear to be used, Love is a word in common parlance in spirituality. It’s convenient and helpful to use because it seems most “get” its meaning. Yes, it’s only a lable, but it STANDS for something. It also actually conveys the “alive harmonious feeling” that is alive behind the words.

Whatever this indefinable-ness is, again, it is a “felt” experience, an actually alive experience—and this is not being experienced by another. The “felt-ness,” the aliveness is Love Itself being the alive Love that Love is. It seems convenient to label this felt, alive indefinable-ness as “Love,” so that’s what we do.

Again, It really is the “alive Something” or Love Itself that is “doing” all of this—so Love is what appears to give rise to all the words, including the word Love!

If words are going to be used, Love seems one of the best at the “current time” for conveying the “invisible, indefinable alive feeling” that is always present first. And again, it is entirely thanks to the “actual Something” being present and alive first, that the word Love can be used to describe the “Something.” In other words, alive Love Itself, Life, somehow appears to have inexplicably come up with the word “Love” to describe Itself.

Now for the second part of Anna’s comment. Please note that the response below is not directed only to Anna, nor is it meant to imply that Anna herself is taking any one particular point of view:

“Also, as you are also appearing in this seemingly physical dream, do you not connect also with Love as a vibration (the heart chakra field)? It seems there is a clear overlap here.”

Yes, it may appear as if that is what sometimes happens, but there is not a lot of emphasis put on it.

From a human or finite point of view, it appears as if Infinite Love can manifest or be experienced and expressed by way of a heart center. From a human point of view, it seems to be a “way in” or way to “connect” with Love. Many appear to work in this field as energy workers or healers—and it does appear to be helpful much of the time.

However, the realm of appearances, chakras, energy, vibration, of course, is the relative, the finite. (So is the writing of books, including books on Consciousness!)

If one is engaged in this kind of activity, that’s fine—because at the “current time” one is going to appear to be engaged in some kind of finite activity. The point is, just don’t get caught up in it to the extent that it is assumed to be real!

From a would-be human point of view, things such as chakra work are done in all sincerity, and they can appear to be very worthwhile on the human “level.” Infinite Love is not the least bit “anti” this kind of thing because Infinite Love is really ALL, thus leaves nothing to be “anti” toward. Again, it appears as if it were an “expression” of that Love.

But for just a moment, “see” from, or AS, Infinite Love Itself—not from a human or finite point of view.

Infinite Love-As-ALL knows of no such thing as manifesting someplace where Infinite Love isn’t already all-Present! Love-being-All co-exists with no other—so there really is no other who could manifest or channel Love!

To Infinite Love, co-existing with a chakra that also could be an outlet for Its Love would be like saying the ocean needs a faucet in order to access its own water in the middle of the ocean!

In the same sense—as pure Consciousness Itself is all the Existence there is—can you imagine this utter Consciousness needing a book titled “Consciousness Is All” before Consciousness will fully be the Consciousness It cannot fail to be?! What a joke!

As long as the allness of Reality is clear, then it doesn’t matter what appears to be done in relative experience.

A heart chakra can be both open and closed. Vibration can be either harmonious or inharmonious. So, if excessive emphasis is put on that basis, it tends to encourage and “feed” the notion that there really is a “me” besides Utter Oneness (Love) who can or cannot do these things. It definitely tends to reinforce the notion that a state of “less than Perfection” (Love)—one of change and variability, exists in addition to Oneness.

If Oneness truly is Oneness, It cannot vary. Oneness, being One, is another way of saying single or ALL. If there is the possibility of variation or a lapse in Infinite Life, Love, then there are two or more ways Life can be. That’s not One.

So right away you can see it’s a fine line, and one needs to stay alert.

To function constantly on that basis only—is to be enlivening an assumed realm of duality. But it’s all in the realm of assumption (or dream) because ONE cannot really do any such thing.

What’s more, even if speaking of the finite or human, it isn’t really that there is a “me” who is accessing more and more Love. It’s the other way around. The “me” is dissolving (as it was just a superimposed, imaginary sense of a separate self) and this dissolving is what appears as the experiencing of “more” Love—but which is really the Infinite Love that always is all-Presence.

Is there an “overlap”? Are chakras and energy the “link” to the Infinite? Again, we would have to “qualify” it and say that there appears to be an overlap when seen from a human perspective, yes. But when “seeing” from the Infinite, It knows of no such thing.

When looking at a movie screen face-on, from that side, it appears as if the movie character images and their activities have some sort of overlap or interface with the screen (even though the two never actually come in contact!) However, when seeing or looking out as the screen, the screen doesn’t see anything projected on itself, thus nothing co-existent with it, nothing that could overlap or interface.

There is much, much more that could be said on this…

I always urge people to consider the above not as “my” perspective as an author—but to investigate the nature of Life, Love, for “themselves”—and see that it’s really true of the indefinable aliveness right where “they” are.

Do A Freedom Inquiry – Part Two

What a Freedom inquiry seems to do is to provide yet another way of “staying free” in daily experience, as long as there seems to be a constant suggestion (and it’s only a suggestion) of separation and restriction.

There are many variations of this type of inquiry.

One also can do what might be called a lightness inquiry.

Lightness really is no different from freedom or openness. It also is based on seeing through the illusion of there being separate physical, material objects. To see through an illusion of physical matter, is to see through an illusion of heaviness, or weight as a separate state with its own existence.

How could “material objects” which have no genuine presence of their own, have any genuine weight of their own? They don’t.

There may seem to be a sense of weight, yes. But to whom? Only to the so-called noticer or witness of weight. The witness of weight and the so-called weight itself are seen to be inseparable. Each needs the other to pretend its presence. In inquiry, this is what is seen, and then seen through.

There is no identification with either the witness or what is witnessed as having its own genuine existence. The freedom that results from seeing through both the sense of weight and the witness of the sense of weight, could be called lightness (if one is going to use words).

Again, this does not mean a conceptual lightness, which has an opposite of heaviness. It is pointing to the freedom of no identification with either concept.

Whatever this freedom is, it doesn’t weigh anything—which is why lightness is used.

Why not do an “utter-absence-of-weight” inquiry?

What is this?

Not, what is it to thinking.

How light is utter lightness as it “tastes” its own lightness?

To see through the illusory sense of separate material objects is to also see through the illusion of hardness or density.

As there are no material objects having their own separate presence or existence, there can be no hardness in that sense either. Of course, the concept of hardness seems to have its opposite—softness.

What about the freedom that results from not identifying with either concept?

What is this?

This freedom or openness certainly can’t be said to be materially hard, or a hardness. So, similar to lightness, it is in this sense that softness is meant.

What is it to do a softness-inquiry?

Just how soft is un-locate-able, un-confine-able openness?

Another “take-away” from the traditional inquiry of “no separation” is the clarity that there really is no such thing as physical space or distance in which anything could be separate.

If there is no space, there can’t be three dimensions of length, width, and height.

In the same way that traditional inquiry results in “no separation,” it also results in “no dimensions.”

There can be no physical length, width or height in which there could be such things as parts or areas, one separate from another.

This is another way of saying un-dimensional.

What is this? Have you ever done an un-dimensional inquiry?

What is it to start as that which is un-dimensional, yet alive, and inquire, “What’s true here?”

Did you ever stop to realize that, as there is no separation, no separate physical world where there are physical dimensions of length, width and height—there is no distance.

To say “no separation” is to say “no distance.” None. Anywhere.

What is it to do a “distance-less-ness inquiry”?

What is it to taste that the only kind of “experience” there ever seems to be, is that of distance-less-ness being distance-less?!!

As there is no distance, could this post, and this alive openness be coming from another, “out there”?

How could it, since distance-less-ness leaves no “out there”?

How immediate is this?

As there is no separation, no distance anywhere, how immediately present is all that is?

Using these same kinds of questions, try doing an unconditional Love inquiry.

Do an Infinity inquiry.

Earlier it said that alive openness is un-shut-off-able.

What is it to do an un-shut-off-able inquiry?

What is it to do a freedom-is-inescapable inquiry? (That’s a paradox if ever there was one!)

Because these variations use different terms, this is not implying there are various separate characteristics or qualities.

Rather, they make clear that, regardless of the term or label, it is always the same, one, simple, non-separable taste: Freedom is the same taste as openness, is the same taste as aliveness, is the same taste as distance-less-ness, is the same as infinity, is the same as Love, is the same as history-less-ness.

And finally, what is it to do a never-before-ness inquiry?

Again, what is the entire evidence for there having been any and all so-called past times? The only evidence there is for a “past” never is “back there” but is found only in, or as, the current thought that seems to arise now.

All so-called evidence that there has been a long history of using traditional inquiry—is not “back there” in time at all either!

It, too, would be just a current thought!

Shocking as it may seem, there is absolutely no evidence of there having been a long tradition of nonduality or any kind of spirituality, or any kind of anything—for all of that, too, would be found only as current thought.

Even all evidence that there was a realization of “no separation” at some prior time—this also, isn’t really prior at all, but is found only as a current thought.

And is there the tiniest speck of evidence that there was a past of even several minutes ago when a freedom inquiry was begun? No—for even that notion, too, would at most be only a current thought arising now for the first time ever.

Not even this open, pure, freedom has so much as a moment of prior history! That also would be just a thought arising now.

This is how new, open and free you truly are.

Do A Freedom Inquiry

As you may have noticed, Reality Check activity has been quiet lately. This has been due to working on a new book, which should be published before the end of this year.

The book’s working title at the moment is: Simply Notice. It is a different type of book in that it is very, VERY simply written–intended to make some of the main points of nonduality/spirituality accessible to any mainstream reader. Hopefully some excerpts will appear here soon.

In the meantime, here is a post that first appeared last year on stillnessspeaks.com. It was posted on my inner micro-site there, and as you may or may not know, some parts of the stillnessspeaks site are not currently operable, including the microsites.

It seemed worthwhile to reprint the post here, as some may not have seen it originally. If you’ve already seen it, you might enjoy reading it again and “going even further” with it. Part One appears here today, and Part Two will be posted in a couple of days:

To say, “Do a freedom inquiry” sounds like an oxymoron.

Real freedom is just that—free—and doesn’t require or involve inquiry in order to be free. In one sense, inquiry itself even could be said to be a kind of bondage to thought, and a form of separation.

To inquire is to question. And to question is to quest—to seek an answer. Yet the very premise of nonduality is that there is no separate self to seek, to quest, or be a questioner.

So how is “freedom inquiry” meant here?

It is meant as a variation from most traditional forms of inquiry, and that variation is the subject of this post.

First, consider traditional inquiry. Despite what is said above, traditional inquiry is an extremely valuable tool in nonduality—perhaps the most valuable. It could be argued that the very act of thinking and inquiring seems to create a secondary or separate self. Yet the purpose of inquiry is to see through that very notion—that there could be separation of any kind, including a separate inquirer.

Thus inquiry, in its highest form, is designed to make itself obsolete.

Perhaps the “most freeing” inquiry is one that sees through the illusion of time and a past—resulting in the clarity that the very inquiry itself actually never happened!

In nonduality, the traditional use of inquiry is to closely examine the nature of experience.

There are many varieties, and they have been well documented. A few the most well-known are “self-inquiry” as attributed to Ramana Maharshi, which investigates the personal “I-thought.” There also is Krishna Menon’s Atma Darshan which is an inquiry into direct experience. Nisargadatta’s work was in many ways a form of inquiry. There are the Buddhist emptiness teachings, in particular the inquiries of Nagarjuna. And there are more.

This post is not an attempt to elaborate on those—because that has been done already, and by experts.

Notice again however, that in most cases the examination, the inquiry, is directed toward experience.

Usually the inquiry is directed toward what appears to be a form—whether that form be a so-called material object, or a mental object, such as a thought.

The purpose of traditional inquiry is to see through the illusion that there are separate material objects, and it deconstructs “objects” to show they are nothing other than mere thought and sensation, or mentation. Inquiry then goes further to see that not even what seem to be thoughts or sensations exist as separate entities.

What is called “self inquiry” on the other hand is devoted more to examining, and ultimately seeing through, the false notion of there being a separate self, ego, or personal “I.” It results in seeing that there really is no such entity—other than temporary arising thoughts.

In the book, Consciousness Is All, there is an example of inquiry into a so-called material object (an “apple”) in Chap. 13 which shows there is no “apple” as a stand-alone object separate from thought—and then it goes on to discuss what that means. Chap. 14 walks through an inquiry into why “body” and “brain” are not solid, separate objects either. There also is an inquiry into the nature of “I” in Chap. 4, showing that if such a term as “I” is used, it really is pointing back to Infinity—and that the personal-body-sense of “I” is an apparent finitizing of Infinity. Chapters 13 and 4 are free here on Writings page of http://www.consciousnessisall.com/.

If you’ve not had much experience with traditional inquiry, it is suggested that you look into the examples mentioned above, so that inquiry leads to “conscious experience” and unshakeable clarity, rather than staying only on the level of this intellectual description.

Must any of these types of inquiry be practiced by Life Itself? Does Life need to inquire or see through anything before It will be freely alive? Of course not.

However, as long as one still seems to have a body/mind that deals with what appears to be a world—any inquiry that dissolves the seeming sense of separation is useful and valuable. It may take practice—digging and working through questions—but that very practice is what keeps a false sense of separation from taking over (and it’s only a sense). Often there is merely an “intellectual agreement” that there are no objects, nothing separate, because it sounds spiritually correct. But when push comes to shove in daily experience, the sense of separation can rear up and run the show, because it hasn’t been adequately seen through.

The point, and ideally, the result of this traditional form of inquiry is what might be called freedom.

It is a freedom from illusion, misconceptions and false beliefs, and basically what would amount to any kind of so-called physical, mental or emotional bondage.

Another term for this freedom might be called openness—which gets to the point of this post.

If inquiry is something with which you have some familiarity, have you ever “turned it around”?

Instead of inquiring into the apparent, or what is called “experience”—have you ever started with freedom and inquired, “What’s true here?”

What is it to start from, or start as, freedom, and inquire, “What is this?”
It is similar to saying, “What is a pure Presence inquiry, as compared to an experience inquiry? What is a formlessness inquiry, instead of an inquiry into apparent form?

Is there anything that even can be said, or inquired into? Why not find out?

So, again, just what is pure freedom?

Not—“What is freedom to ‘me’ or to my thoughts about freedom.”

Rather, what is freedom to freedom?

What is the nature of freedom itself?

Perhaps in response a thought arises, “Freedom has no nature.”

There you go. You are off and running on your inquiry.

Sometimes this is met with one of those snappy intellectual retorts such as, “Freedom or openness can’t be reduced to inquiry or confined to something knowable. That’s why it’s called freedom or openness. So why try to inquire? If freedom were knowable, that would be getting conceptual—which is not freedom.”

That is precisely the point here.

A freedom inquiry isn’t supposed to lead to more concepts. It is exactly the opposite.

In doing a freedom inquiry, the key is to not answer with thought.

The “taste” itself is the only “answer.”

A freedom inquiry is not even intended to lead to a “deeper realization” or “deeper seeing”—although these are inevitable by-products.

A freedom inquiry keeps one consciously busy or alive as freedom.

Freedom is NOT a mere mental abstraction. Freedom is consciously alive stuff!

As much as we like to say we’re living a nondual life with minimal sense of separation, a lot of that sense often still clings in ways we don’t even realize. A freedom inquiry seems to dissolve a sense of separation in a way different from experience inquiry—because one cannot be consciously functioning as freedom and simultaneously be experiencing separation.

For example, if the net result of traditional inquiry is freedom from a false sense of separation—specifically what is this?

Exactly what is “no separation”?

Not—what is “no separation” when thought about.

Rather, what is “no separation” lived.

Where there is no false sense of separation, what “remains”? Anything?

Seeing through an illusion of separation doesn’t result in non-existence.

Certainly, Life is still alive.

So, what is this, as itself, right here?

Has the visual sense ever seen Life Itself? Has anyone ever touched or smelled or even thought Life? No. Yet here Life is.

What is this?

“Life is alive. It is aliveness,” the response may come. But do not settle for merely that thought. “Taste” it as consciously alive stuff.

As aliveness is being “tasted” or “alive’d” notice how aliveness and its alive-ing cannot be separated.

Stop and notice, taste, feel, be alive as, how this “no separation” of aliveness has also no evidence of borders, no boundaries.

To have borders or boundaries would be separation, or division.

So “no separation” is the same as un-divide-able.

Un-divide-able in this sense does not mean having something that is so big or powerful that it cannot be divided.

Un-divide-able means having no thing there to be divided in the first place!

It equally means there is no one to try to do any dividing.

There is just endless “un-divide-able-ness” as consciously alive stuff.

Once this is clear, rather than repeatedly starting from the apparent and working or seeing that there’s really no separation, no dividing—what is it to start directly as “alive un-divide-able-ness” and taste or be this?

This un-divide-able-ness again, is a kind of alive openness, an alive seamlessness, or freedom.

Can a point be found where the taste of alive un-divide-able-ness ends, and a separate taster begins?

If so, where is the border? What is it made of? Can a border even be found?

Right now, is it possible to divide or separate this alive openness in half, so there are two alive opennesses, two presences?

If so, how far is one from the other? Where is each one located—in order to know one is separate from the other? In fact, is there any physical distance here?

How would one half be distinguished from the other half? What would be its qualities? Can there even be said to be any qualities?

Notice again and see if it is possible to find a point where alive openness ends, and where a separate noticer or taster of alive openness begins? If there is a separation, how far are they from each other?

A lot is said in nonduality about the arising of forms of experience—the arising of transient thoughts, the arising of transient sensations, arising emotions, etc.

Notice closely. Can aliveness, openness, also be said to be an arising?
It may seem as if aliveness “arises” at the instant it is “noticed.” But does this mean that aliveness has suddenly come into existence from non-existence? Can anything come from non-existence? Can there even be such a thing or state as non-existence? If there were, it wouldn’t be non-existent!

Or is it that alive openness was apparently being temporarily “ignored” due to entertaining some sense of separation?

Notice in your experience how this focusing on something that is assumed to be separate instantly is experienced as a constriction, not openness.

Now notice even further. The notion that there was a previous tasting of openness, which then became a constriction—where is all of the evidence for such a thing? Look very closely.

Is there any evidence that such a thing really did happen “back there in time” a few moments ago? Or would the only evidence for all of that be merely a current thought that seems to arise right now for the first time ever? No such thing really occurred “back there” in time. At most it would be just a current thought.

Now what about openness itself? Has openness itself been present before, present the entire “past time” this tasting and constriction supposedly occurred? No!

Not even openness has so much as a split second of prior history—for that notion, too, would be just that—a mere notion, only a current thought, also arising just now for the first time ever!

Openness is completely, totally history-free.

Now that’s free!

Now how about finding a point or place where alive openness itself can be said to begin?

How could it, when openness simply cannot be said to have any prior history of existing?

What else? When “starting as” presently alive openness, can openness be said to have an edge? A center? How far would the edge be from the center?

Or is there just alive, un-divide-able, un-locate-able-ness?

Is alive un-locate-able-ness trying to get anywhere, or get free?

Is it trying to get more of its alive openness? How could it, when it is not a quantity in the first place? In fact, it is not even an “it”!

Does alive un-locate-able-ness have a material border, or even a mental border, where it extends only so far and then ends—thus feeling a need to expand itself?

Just how open is openness?

Again, this is not a thought of openness, but openness.

It’s never a matter of, how open is openness to “my thinking” about openness.

What is it to taste/be openness that is so open it almost “aches”?

In the same way, does alive openness have a bottom? Right now, try to find one.

Does alive openness have anything separate that is underneath openness—such as a floor? What about a planet? Or even an entire so-called universe?

How deep is openness? How wide? Does the notion of depth or width even apply?

Go as deep as you care to. No matter how “deep” one tries to go—one is still always “right here” as location-less openness, un-pin-down-able freedom.

Can alive openness be said to have a separate source or cause?
Will you ever find one? If so, where would it be in relation to alive openness—which itself is un-locateable?

The instant all this inquiring stops—is there any evidence of an inquirer that exists independently and is separate from alive openness? Or even during the inquiry—do the questions/thoughts have their own stand-alone existence “out there” separate from openness?

To alive openness, is there a limited supply of freedom?

Does it have a point where it diminishes, begins to sort of close down or shut off?

Or is this gently present, alive openness un-shut-off-able?

Can it be said that alive openness an extreme state—something that should be avoided for fear of getting out of balance? To whom would it seem that way?

Can alive openness ever have such a thought, or act extremely?

Does openness even act?

Can openness even be pinned down, as if it were a place, a realm—even a “higher state of consciousness”?

Is openness ever saying that there is no self—or that there is a Self?

For that matter, is openness ever saying anything—even that there is openness?!

Be clear that the entire so-called “time” during this type of inquiry, it does nothing to make Life, openness, freedom, more open and free, more alive and un-divide-able.

Please stay tuned for Part Two