When a Stranger Calls

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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

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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

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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

Not Two Ways of Being

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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.

Acting!

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Image by Andrew Ostrovsky

The One Thing, the Life Force, is always acting as if it is one thing or another. You can hear it in the voice of an imperious pretense. Perhaps it seems like your own voice, or another’s. But there is only one voice, one sound. Not this person or that, but this aliveness pretending, in high drama, to be this or that interacting with its apparent counterpart as this or that.

And what is, this infinite One expression expressing, can never do anything but, because it is not real. Like Pinocchio, it is coming to life. Character and drama is Its only possible manifestation.

To act is to draw out or forth, to stir up,” It is all a movement and a rest. The variety show that passes for a life lived. No giving or receiving, only the appearance of hands reaching, but never joining. Only merging, never separate. Appearing on the screen, for an instant. Nothing appearing as something(s).

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image by Andrew Ostrovsky

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image by Andrew Ostrovsky

 

Looking in the Wrong Direction

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The Understandascope, by Michael Leunig

“The refusal to see the snake in the rope is the necessary condition for seeing the rope.”

“Somebody likes a particular concept and passes it on to his disciples, and he gets a following. But with that, they cannot get eternal peace or satisfaction. In order to get that satisfaction, you must find the source of this primary concept “I am.” And once you know that, you can transcend it. Then you do not have anything to tell the world, because the world wants only fragmentary modifications. They want activities. So this knowledge will remain only with yourself, and there will not be any customers for it.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The spiritual marketplace is experience driven. One wants to feel good or just better, get a buzz, an insight, improve the life experience, and most of all, to understand–what cannot be grasped by the mind.

Turn around and see what’s behind it all, prior to experience. You can’t make sense of, or solve a problem within, the context of a dream. There is a whole lot of dream-fixing going on when really,  isn’t it much simpler to simply wake up from the dream? Isn’t manipulating images within the illusions ultimately futile and tiresome? Doesn’t it surprisingly and constantly shift and become something else, requiring more fixing, manipulation, and adjustment?

If I was observing you in the midst of a dream of being chased by a bear, would it make sense to tell you to run faster, or talk about bear safety? Wouldn’t it be kinder to jostle you out of sleep–so you’d just wake up and see there was no bear, literally never had been a threat at all, while you slept?

Can a problem be solved by moving images around or barking orders in a hologram? What does this mean? It is opposite land, literally. Instead of looking “out there” and relating to experience as a problem to solve, or something to find and gain there, how about looking in the opposite direction? The lens of the telescope is what distorts or enhances the experience, is what creates the images with which you seem to struggle. What is behind the lens, and looking through? 

Notice that something is in front of you on the screen now. Before you even read the words, or try to understand what they mean, what you truly need to know, is this awareness that comes to the page, that is already always here. Not one word that you read or see or hear is more important than that awake, alert, awareness that attends to everything that is read or seen or heard. There is no need to read a book about consciousness, or attend a spiritual event, if the awareness that precedes it–as in aware that the book is there in your hand, as in the same awareness of walking into a room and hearing noises, as in this same awareness of the screen in front of you–is simply recognized.

If you don’t come to know that, you will know nothing, no matter how many words you read or hear. If that is seen and brought to the forefront, then the Source of everything is known. What you are precedes all that is experienced. All questions dissolve here, not “out there.” And here and there merge as one.

“Deny illusions, but accept the truth.” ~ A Course in Miracles