This post is in reply to Anonymous’ comment of 7/21 on the “Duh!” post:
“I have sampled a few good books through the years. But Spalding is the only read I have ever found where the adepts demonstrated life like nothing we know about today. Why? What do they know that makes them so different from us? Like a dog with a bone, I always make my way back to Spalding. Of course after reading you, I’m hoping you have something to help satisfy my curiosity about these people.”
Thank you for the comment, Anonymous. For any who may not be familiar, this is a reference to Baird Spalding and his inspirational book, Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East.
I’ve read the book and enjoyed it. If the accounts are true, it seems these masters were adept at manipulating finite phenomena of the mind. However, it should be noted that there is no evidence that Spalding actually made this expedition to the East, nor have any of the other scientists he supposedly traveled with been identified.
That being said, there are two ways this “adeptness” at manipulating phenomena can seem to occur. One is through hypnosis, which is based on the assumption that there are many separate minds, and that the minds of “others” can be controlled or manipulated within that framework. But it is all on a seeming “mental” level—one level of thought supposedly influencing another.
There is an account of a “genuine” adept in this regard, named Marbado the Magician who lived in India around 1900: http://www.wolaver.org/literature/The_Psychologist_and_the_Magician.pdf
Alfred Aiken occasionally referred to this account of Marbado to illustrate how what seems to be daily material, weighty, dense human physical experience really is not that at all, but just a would-be hypnotic state or dream.
Another, different version of “manipulating phenomena” has been described briefly here in a previous post on 12/25/09: “How many dreams or dreamers are there?”
…From the standpoint of Pure Awareness, there is nothing material or physical—and if one were to mention what appears as body, it thus sometimes is called “idea” rather than a physical object. An idea does not need food to in order to be the idea it is—nor do ideas breathe, and so on.
Right now, see the idea Mickey Mouse in thought. It’s just an idea—no breathing there, no food required, no sense of weight or material density, and no physical brain or “mind-activity” there—it’s just a mind-less idea, a thought-image. Nor does that Mickey-idea dream.
Now consider the body that appears to be sitting in front of this computer. See it in thought as it appeared to be doing something “yesterday”—perhaps eating dinner. Now see it in thought doing something “tomorrow.” In both cases it, too, is just a thought-image, exactly like Mickey. Body actually never is other than thought-image, no different—and there’s no brain there, either. To say there is, would be an assumption. A brain is supposedly a physical object—yet an idea, a mere thought-image, cannot contain a physical object. What’s more, that body as it appears to be sitting here right this instant, is the same. There really is no physical, material stuff there—it just seems so—and only to the degree one seems to be sensing, rather than being Pure Awareness.
The basis on which this is said is discussed at length in chapters 13 and 14 in Consciousness Is All. (If you do not have the book, chap. 13 is offered free on this website.)
This is NOT advocating that one should “try to see body as idea” because Awareness Itself is not doing that. It is being Pure Awareness only, with no concern over ideas. To try to de-materialize things is to mistakenly assume there are material things—and there are not! There is only Awareness—and consistently, persistently (and effortlessly!) abiding Here, the would-be physical sense of things will seem to eventually fade. To try to get rid of objects or physicality is starting with objects, not Awareness, and only making more of a “reality” out of them.
The point is, that which we call Awareness, pure Presence, Being, Spirit, is all that is present, and It does not weigh anything. In terms of Its Presence alone, there is no weight, no materiality. Now speaking relatively, to the degree one is “functioning as” this weightless Awareness-as-All, then one’s entire experience seems to be less weighty. What are called things also seem to have less and less weight—the same as ideas do not have weight.
Right now, you can see the idea Mickey Mouse in thought. Mickey can be manipulated and be made to walk on water, or walk on the ceiling, pull $100 bills out of a hat, or do whatever you want because all there is to Mickey, the water, the ceiling, the money, etc. is thought or idea.
The “body” now sitting in front of this computer really is no different from Mickey, although it seems to have a sense of weight due to mistaken identification with it, or AS it, instead of as pure Present-ness. To the extent or degree there is a functioning as pure Present Awareness, there seems to be less of this assumed sense of body. This all seems to be a matter of degree—yet in the pure Present, there really is no degree.
So…it might be said that these “masters” were functioning much more fully as pure Presence, Awareness, rather than entertaining an assumed sense of a weighty material world and body. This isn’t a matter of “knowing” some esoteric knowledge or of thinking something special—it is what one is consciously being.
However, the “way” to doing this is not by starting out on the basis of overcoming a weighty material world—but by “staying busy” as pure weightless Awareness only. From Here, the false sense or assumption that there is a material world seems to fade or dissolve. Pure NOW has no desire to overcome anything or demonstrate anything, for all It “knows” is Pure NOW.