This post is primarily in response to Gary’s questions/points raised in his comment of 11/27 (repeated below). Thanks Gary, for raising some good questions that are sometimes hard to articulate. And as always, thanks to you, too, Julian. And you as well, Anonymous, for your sense of humor!
Gary first said: “I was originally going to ask you what you thought the mechanism was that keeps us in illusion and doubt when it has no reality. But I see that that is probably a wrong question, a question that can only re-inforce the misperception of illusion and doubt. Is it not then an all or nothing deal?…”
Yes, in one sense it could be said Truth is an “all or nothing deal.” Actually however, it is an “All only” deal. There is only the specific Presence of All, and no “nothing” that could be an alternative.
In other words, the premise here (and not just here on this blog, but the “premise” or Truth of Life Itself) is that absolutely all that exists is Self, Being, Consciousness, the Infinite, or All Itself. There is only Itself, the endless Absoluteness of Presence, therefore no such thing as “nothing.”
Gary then said: “For most of us we are seemingly stuck trying to find something which is already here. So would you agree that any solution to this is only part of the problem? We believe in answers because we believe in the problem!I think I’ll just go and burn all my non-duality books…. :-)”
Yes, that is a good way to put it–in one sense. Yet even these kind of statements still imply a second state of “less-than-Self’s-Allness” or something “not-the-Present-Itself.”
To the Infinite Present Itself (the only One conscious, existing, alive) there is no “most of us.” There is no one going anywhere, thus no one to be stuck. There is no need for a solution, for there’s never been a problem. And Infinity’s Un-believing Allness leaves no lesser self to believe, period–whether in answers or problems. Changeless Infinite Presence, Pure Now-Awareness-As-All is not a belief–It is What Is, totally independent of thought, belief. (Truly, this stuff is un-believable!)
There is only Infinity Itself, being. And the only One to whom this is clear is Infinite Presence Itself. That’s the “weird” thing–it seems to require first getting clear to see that there really is only Self’s Changeless Clarity, and there never has been anything besides. But…”until” that’s clear, it can seem as if one gets confused or stuck. It’s the difference between “operating directly as” or being Pure Awareness, or merely thinking about Awareness with a seeming intellect.
Even this response sounds like, and could be accused of, double talk. But that’s because it appears we are stating the Absolute, the Infinite, the Changless-Wordless-Timeless, within a relative framework of finity, words, and time (of which there really is none, from the standpoint of Infinity!).
Gary then elaborated: “Following on from my earlier comment, I know that other “teachers” agree that what you say about the absolute is absolutely correct but yet if the “student” still feels separate he needs to practise presence etc (endless list..) to realise the absolute truth. Their point would be what’s been termed “advaita shuffle” of claiming all is God or Consciousness eg. my suffering or ignorance is oneness appearing as such. In other words they would say its still intellectual and not truly realised. I know from my previous comment that its not possible to go where angels fear to tread as it were but do you have a response to this? There seems two irreconcilable positions.”
I think I understand the question/issue, if not, perhaps you can restate it, Gary. It, too, is related to the point above. It seems that until Reality (which is simply the Being-only-ness of Pure Awareness) is clear, it seems there is a “me” that has to become clear. But once clear, it is obvious that there never has been a secondary self, thus never one that could have been unclear.
Another way of saying this is: From a seeming (emphasis on seeming!) personal or human perspective, it seems to this one that there is a “me” that has to get there. But this “me” would consist of nothing more than just a state of thinking, just a bunch of thoughts. These thoughts mis-identify as one body, a thing–not Pure Awareness–and the thinking assumes the body is its “me.” But, again, all there would be to this “me” are some thoughts, and a body–both of which are mere things one seems to be aware of–and neither of which is actually aware, or a conscious entity.
Because this confused state of thinking always thinks in terms of “me” as a body, naturally it then projects this “me-thinking” onto other bodies, and says they, too, are “me’s” just like itself. It then assumes that Realisation is a matter of one or several of these “me’s” having “gotten there” or become Realised.
All along, Realisation is exactly the opposite. It’s the complete absence of a “me.” It’s never that a “me” succeeds and becomes Realised. It’s that the false sense of this separate “me” dissolves–thanks to having been seen (from the perspective of Pure Awareness) as just a bunch of thoughts, and not an aware, conscious entity; never a real self. It was just a lot of passing, never-present thoughts that seem to have been “superimposed” upon Ever-Present Awareness.
It is not enough to merely intellectually agree or claim that God, Consciousness, is All, because even with complete sincerity, that’s still just a lot of thinking, basically still more of the superimposed “me.” There is a vast difference between that and un-thinkingly being Pure Present Awareness, Pure Isness–wherein there is no personal identification with thoughts or body. Only to, or as, Pure Awareness Itself silently being, is there “no other who is separate and has to become.”
It seems to depend on “where one is coming from” when making the claim. If said only by a state of thinking, there still is separation because idenfication with thinking is all there is to separation. If said while “grounded” as Presence, the Isness of Pure Consciousness, it’s very different. And again, it must be emphasized that all of this very discussion implies that somehow, in some way, Unchanging Present Consciousness Itself failed to be less than absolutely all that is present–and this simply never occurs.
The very word Realised or Realise (British spelling here) is basically made up of Real and Is. Turned around, it’s saying, Is Real. It means that which is real, or what really is. As we say repeatedly, only Pure Consciousness, Being, really is, thus is real. All would-be mind activity and thinking moves and passes on in time. And anything constantly passing away in time never really is, thus never is real.
The only One to be Real, or to be Realised is Pure Consciousness Itself, for nothing else ever is or is conscious to be Real or Realised.
The above being said, it still may seem that thoughts arise and occur constantly. Unless one is living in complete seclusion, thinking seems to be a necessary part of daily living. If thoughts continue to occur, does this mean one never will be “Realised”? No, not at all. The issue is, where is one “coming from” when that thinking goes on? Is the idenfication as Pure Consciousness, or as thinking? In Truth, the only One conscious is Consciousness Itself and It NEVER fails to be Itself. It NEVER wanders out of being WHAT REALLY IS, just as the Present never wanders from being present. This is the “key.”
When thoughts or intellectual activity seem to occur, there is all the difference in the world between saying, “Yes, there is a Present, a Pure Awareness, and “I” (the would-be thinking “me”) have to do a better job of being Awareness, of holding to the Present, and realising what is true of the Present.”…
Or…being clear that, “The Present already is AT Itself, and IT is the only One being aware, alive, here, now. Present Awareness never vacates being Present, and never falls from Itself. IT never feels It has to do a better job of being the Present It cannot fail to be! Nor does the Present feel It has to hold to Itself for fear It won’t perfectly, fully be present. The Present is RELENTLESSLY Present and cannot alter–and It leaves no other that also could or could not be the Present. The Present’s Self-Immediacy here, now, AS ITSELF is the only One, and this is all there is to “Realisation.” Why? Because for Eternity, this is all that Really Is.
Even with, or AS this Clarity, it still may seem as if thoughts “ding” at times–but there is no identification with them, or sense of possessing them; no false feeling of having to do anything or go anywhere.
The Present is being what It is for Itself only.