Reading the Room

Krishna and Arjuna

Writing about the illusory nature of problems can look like a denial, or outright ignorance, of what today appears to be a highly problematic state of the world. There is a battle going on, right? Many social media posts speak of love and mindfulness and peace. All well and good, but do they meet the demands of the visible unrest?

Do these mindfulness reminders create a restful moment of pause, or do they engender more anger as a striking lack of awareness? Seemingly irrelevant tropes in the face of powerful upheaval–akin to bringing a rubber knife to a gunfight?

Concepts of love, mindfulness, and peace are empty, and thus not a source of solace. We cannot talk or write or read about these ideas unless they are transformed and lived. Love is not the selective feeling of affection and connection to a delineated few. Mindfulness is not a scheduled respite, a moment or two taken out of time in the midst of conflict. Peace is not an impossible goal to be hoped for sometime in the future, and not really an agreement between two or more parties.

Peace is an allegiance to the calm that always can be found under or behind the storm. Not a break from it, but a dwelling as and in that calm. Mindfulness as a way of being. Ultimately, it becomes the realization of no-differences when the two or more are the illusion, the false segregation created by the split mind. The experiential realization of inseparability is love.

The hardest thing to accept right now is that the division is within, is projection. Anger and fear are the unavoidable manifestation of this inner conflict projected out there. Even if you don’t or can’t believe this premise, there is a close-enough proximation of being the equanimity in the midst of outbursts all around. See the power and the solace in the refusal to give in to the temptation of helpless fear or an over-wielding anger.

The need to be right is a powerful force. It is, however, a weak defense in this shadowy world of not really knowing, of honest uncertainty.

In those most disorienting moments of there-is-something-wrong-I-need-to-do-something distress, some response will and always does emerge in the space that is beyond fear and anger. It helps to realize we are not in charge, but simply vehicles of this greater intelligence. Simply allow the response, the doing/done, to emerge.

Let it come from the equanimity that comes from trust in this larger/largest Source. And it will be reflected, this trust, this returning, out there. You will then more often notice images like that of the young white girl jumping in front of the young black male as the police move towards him, or the National Guardsman who takes a knee in solidarity with the protestors. That is the unitive perception, instead of the fearful division.

That is why you are here. You are/I am the unbiased witness, like the sun, that does not discriminate where it alights. And fear and anger will dissipate, if only for a moment. And that is the moment that matters, that fearless space of clarity and inseparability.

And in the silence, the vastness, of the indiscriminating light, the response comes through you, not from you.

You don’t need to do anything in particular. Forget the particular, the perception of parts, of right and wrong. There are no parts in this Whole.

Why did Krishna tell Arjuna that he must fight, as he stood in the midst of the battlefield,? Is he not fighting the doubt he feels in seeing this world split in two? Where is the battlefield? The great divide, thus the great anguish?

“It was Vyasa’s (the author’s) genius to take the whole great Mahabharata epic and see it as metaphor for the perennial war between the forces of light and the forces of darkness in every human heart.” ~

Bhagavad Gita

When a Stranger Calls

v1

Having witnessed and experienced the brain fog that generally settles back in, both after nondual realization, and seemingly mind-blowing psychedelic trips, yours and mine, the question arises:

What is the nature of the elasticity of mind, the snap-back from the clarity and expansiveness of inseparability, to the inevitable sense of danger and imprisonment of the separate self?

It seems it’s not enough to see, for a shining, clear moment, to know the truth of the inseparability of existence, and the obvious lie of separation and the separate self story. Clarity becomes clouded and troubled, as if the fog of the everyday is real, and the clarity is the illusion. Why and/or how is that?

Mesmerization. The definition of mesmerize is to hypnotize. Hypno=sleep; tize=state. Or to enthrall–to hold in mental bondage. So, mental bondage, or asleep instead of awake. In the case of psychedelics, when the Default Mode Network (DMN) is inhibited, the result is often metanoia, or the “spiritual experience,” the dissolution of limits and boundaries. Having experienced this expansion, why contract back to the default mode of little me, little mind?

The easiest answer is to say, “It is what it is, man,” rather than to make personal, or conceptual, the quirk of mental tyranny. This was the thought that was behind the giving-up-on pointing to the silence behind the mind, rather than fighting the trend. This snap-back tendency seemed just the way of the mind and identity. Wouldn’t the human form that is clucking and pecking like a chicken have some awareness of the confusion of identity? Maybe the hypnotized subject doesn’t have the capacity to snap out of the trance?

The hypnotist creates the illusion of chickenhood in the same way that the mind, the voice to which we listen and unquestionably attend for further instructions, creates the illusion of a separate self trapped in a body, apart from other bodies and minds. Can the false voice be detected before the confusion of identity takes hold again?

The hypnotist/mental narrative simply begins to speak, and we drift off to sleep in a false identity/story. There is an ongoing, repetitive, sonorous, mesmerizing voice in our heads muttering all the time, telling us we are something we are not. If it were truly “my” or “your” voice and thoughts, wouldn’t we choose more liberating and sane thoughts, and less self-deprecating, limiting thoughts?

Why go on listening, believing, conforming to this false narrative, when a cursory investigation, even opening one eye to peek at the source of that voice reveals an unreliable narrator that has taken up residence in our heads, and wants to f**k with us where and as we live.

“We’ve traced the call…it’s coming from inside the house!” is the chilling line from the horror movie, When a Stranger Calls. This is the movie being lived…except that it is a masterwork of fiction. Be entertained, rather than enthralled. You can put down the phone and check to see what’s going on. The impugning voice can no longer hold you hostage–with a little bit of looking around, in the light of day.

To A Friend

Grasshopper-Brown-Insects-Day-Free-Image-Sitting-W-2582

Shhh…now, Grasshopper. Be still for a moment.

If you let go of that question, that complaint, that frustration, that need, that anger, that belief/assumption—-its all mental, right? Let it all go by. And make no demands upon the bodily reactions to those mental instigations, just acknowledge how the body is playing its part in the scene building. If there is this pause, this intervention, two things can/will happen. Continue reading

Undddduck Yourself

unducklogo1

G-rated version

This post begins and ends in silence. What emerges in between is a little noise about a problem and seeking a solution for this problem.

Or, seeking a way out of the repetition of apparent problems and solutions, that is called a life. Silence all around. Continue reading

Cease and Desist

IMG_0232.jpg

Here’s the unequivocal thing: Nothing in this dreamstate makes sense. It is made, as an appearance, by an incoherent, split mind, exhibiting and manifesting nothing but fragmented reality from fragmented thinking. The experience of living in this incoherent world is then a striving to make sense of, and find solutions for, the “problematic” situations in which we appear to find ourselves. Like Don Quixote and his giants.

“What giants,” asks Pablo Sanchez? Continue reading

The Triune Self – A Beautiful Read

Doesn’t matter if you’re done, faking it, or you’ve given up–this book,  The Triune Self, Confessions of a Ruthless Seer, by Mike Singer, is worth a read. Worth reinvesting any time you’d be spending doing anything else. It is a joy and a thump-to-the-chest kind of read.

Perhaps you might, out of habit, respond–“There’s nobody out there,” or “I already get that,” or some such equivocation like, “Another spiritual book? Really?” Yes, really. Something about these words truly pierces to the heart of the matter, and I mean that almost literally. There’s something about Mike…

Such a totally and unflinchingly honest and earnest reflection. It might bring joy, or it might scare the ever-livin’ spiritual pants off of you. Perhaps a more suitable subtitle would be, “The Reluctant Sage,” though my guess is Mr. Snider might quibble with the “sage” handle.

Here are a few quotes, though I hesitate to parse it out ineptly, when the whole speaks for itself:

On life:

“I find the whole of it is benevolent imagination any way you cut it, no matter how crooked it appears.”

On effort, non-effort, pointing:

“It means nothing to those who have their most essential nature pointed out to them if they haven’t struggled for its recognition.”

On self:

“He seems to be more interested in his objectified universe than he is in the mysterious wonder that registers it.”

On the spiritual marketplace:

“All the theatrical drama that enshrouds this obvious and simple Truth we all are, pissed me off when I finally came to See.”

 The Kindle version is available here.  I cannot remember the last time I bought a book, or even how I landed on this listing, but for whatever reason, I downloaded the sample and when it ended, I just wanted to keep reading. And though I don’t seem to have much spare change these days, if there was an audio version, I’d probably buy that as well, just to hear Mr. Snyder sing it. It’s what we’re here for.

Not Two Ways of Being

10

In seeking, the assumption is that there is something else, something more–that there is some other way of being, or something or somewhere to which one gets or arrives.

There is perhaps another way of seeing, but nobody goes anywhere. It’s not out there somewhere, or down the road.

There is this appearance, or what seems like a variety of appearances, including the apparent self, or most notably some kind of feeling state, that is perceived as this way or that. Usually, some version of suffering, or not. Awake, or asleep.

There are appearances…and that’s it! To talk about “false” and “true”, or real and unreal is misleading. The false is just the way the true appears as something it’s not, through an amazing feat of creation that appears as me, as the world, as many apparent things and circumstances. But it’s all as true as it gets.

So it cannot even be said that appearances are false, and awareness, the backdrop and creative force behind appearances, is true. Because what else is there?

Form is the expression of the otherwise inexpressible Formlessness. That’s all there is. Like “all there is” to a dream.

There’s no way out of this expression. But maybe the mind just tires of its drivel, gets weary of the whole ruse of seeking. It wears out, so to speak, and sees the futility of keeping up the charade, attempting to prop up the eternal emptiness, of form. Ever been close to an elderly person as the mind and body wears out?

Yet here it is, anyway you look at it. No one ever went anywhere, like in a dream, but the dream appears to go on. Because it appears to still take some kind of form.

Isn’t that just marvelous? Nobody has to go anywhere or do anything, because there’s no parts or places. Suffering is believing there is something else, something more, something better, when here it is.

The entrance to the tunnel is seen in and from the same place as the light at the end. There is no distance. It’s an illusion, but it’s all we’ve got, for now.

 

Around the Broken Heart

The story is strong; the story is saddening. The way things appear to be today, this disjointed, split vision of the world–yes, there is grief, but who or what are you in response?

There are not two worlds–one of peace (can I not find/return to it?), and one of painful division (please make it stop!).

There are only infinite perspectives, emboldening the division, or holding the peace. Can we not be the benevolent, generous, whole heart that surrounds and holds the broken heart that appears as the world?

Be as you truly are, the undivided that surrounds the perceived division. You/we are more than big enough.

Feeding Wolves and Wearing Wolf Suits

AdobeStock_201416492

In the post, What Remains, the point was made that nothing, no circumstance has duration; nothing is fixed. So what makes any situation, problem, or identification appear to have duration and substance? What makes it seem real and seemingly long lasting?

Attention.

Seeing this, that past and future are nothing more than random images and thoughts happening now, changes everything. How you can have a solid sense of self, or anything else, if there is no fixed past or future image for it to have been or to become? Attention to, to the point of what could be called “fixation,” is what appears to give it (anything) life.  Experience is quite literally determined by the wolf you feed.

The wolf is the problem or the identity. Attention is how it is fed.

Attention to fearful thoughts and emotions, creating deeper and deeper reality tunnels–is no different than being in the midst of a dream, a nightmare, and forgetting that you are asleep. If there is, for instance, a medical issue, by all means, seek medical attention. But then what? Is a diagnosis what you are? Or is it what you think about, and feel all the time? There is a mental proclivity to do just that, of course, but who or what are you absent the fixed attention on a thing apart? Shift attention away, from everything. Catch that, even if just for an instant. The sky is still wide open above you. Attend to that openness.

Max in his wolf suit, in Where the Wild Things Are tells the whole story. There really are no wolves, only kids in wolf suits, imagining things to be a certain way. But eventually it’s time to go home, to your own room, where dinner is waiting, and it’s still hot.

download

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

Loops

So it’s as if there is this imaginary line between you, and me, and everything else. The line creates loops, and looks something like this: (Me and others and experience)loopsThe wonder is that each loop tends to mistakenly believe in its own isolated identity. The interior of the loop becomes crowded with (tinyplus or tinyminus)images, feelings, ideas, beliefs, and everything seems to be experienced entirely within that loop as a function of those inner fluctuations. “I” live within, and am defined by, this loop. And all this from an imaginary line that seems to divide the world into parts. It feels very real within the loop, but it’s still a part of the imaginary line.

plus&minusLoops, by the very nature of the line, can and do change all the time. One loop (within the continuous line) can look look, at any given time–when a belief, opinion, or perspective is changed, or it just changes shape, or loses volume:

normlooptwistedloopwideloop

 

 

—–>Not discrete parts, or other than.

 

What you think you are–name–is this ever changing, expanding, contracting loop, that appears to interact with other loops. How can the illusion be maintained that you are this loop or that, given its changeability, and its unreality as a discrete entity, separate from the imaginary line that creates that loop?

What happens when you pull the line taut, and all loops disappear, along with their specific qualia, left to float free, attached to no body and no thing? No loops. No parts. Just an imaginary line that is done playing loop de loop.straightline.jpgYou are not that loop. Nor are you defined by the tinyplus or tinyminuscontained within the loop, that only seem to define you.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss your loopiness, or other distractions. Thank you.