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

What Remains?

maxresdefault

Nothing has substance. (Wave? Particle? Non-locality? Schrodinger’s cat and probability?)

Nothing has duration. (Time as a random series of images?)

So how can you, or anything else, be anything in particular? The mind strings an infinite number of images together, creating the appearance of being linear. Which image doesn’t fade? And thus fading, which would be true?

There is no attempt here to be mysterious, or hyperbolic, or even spiritual. Seriously. Both time and object permanence are learned. Does that make them true?

Please contact me here, if you’d like to discuss and/or consider the fallibility of perception/time/identity. Nothing is fixed. So who are you, and what is happening? Thank you.

Nonduality and Neurographics

fullsizeoutput_555

Neurographic “Difficult Emotion” Algorithm

Nonduality is either a conceptual framework overlaid upon reality–your reality, if it be personal–or not. For that matter, any concept is an overlay. There either is a conceptual framework, or not. Nonduality is like every other picture frame around which the world is viewed. It’s just a frame. Forget about the frame, forget about the picture, and become aware of the seeing itself, that which is devoid of, and comes before, any concept, interpretation, labeling, belief, opinion–or filter that creates an apparent segregation of seer and seen.

If the separation between seer and seen appears to still be there, what is interfering is a translating mechanism, a pattern of conditioning, still running the show. That subjective translation is reinforced, made more real-seeming, by an emotional response. The interpretation is what you think is happening, or being seen. The emotion is the concurrent response–to the interpretation that is an overlay on the seeing itself. And by seeing, again, I mean that which has no, and is prior to, any conceptual filter.

Continue reading

Thought is Like Quicksand

Cartoon duck

“What’s the big idea?” ~ Donald Duck

Thought is like quicksand–one step, and “you” are in it up to your neck.

But we can learn all about quicksand, mostly how to recognize it, so you don’t get stuck in the mire.

Then you can step around it, like a seasoned eco-traveller.

Or go ahead and sink, losing all–or nothing.

Whaddya know?

Want to join the Thinking Dialogues? Click on the hat!

quicksand

 

Specialness: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Snow WhiteWhen you see through the need to be special, no one and no circumstance can hold you hostage. And lo and behold, everyone else appears to be just fine.

But first, you need to look and see, to find, that need. If you’re in conflict with others, it’s there–no matter how humble or self-effacing the facade. Sometimes, those who have a secret not-special identity, and who Ironically tend to be experts at letting others know they’re not special, seem to have the greatest need to be special. It’s just harder to see, harder to find, but running the game (the separation game) nonetheless. Pain is running the game, often disguised as self-assurance, or even arrogance. Spot it; you got it.

People strive to be special simply because they don’t feel special. Those who can’t abide specialness don’t either. Forgive it all.

Specialness is the ultimate gatekeeper, the burly bouncer at heaven’s door. Oneness precludes special. You can’t have both, and there really isn’t both, only the painful illusion of special and not-special. They are the same misapprehension. It hides well, wears many masks. Look for the need to be special, and/or the adverse reaction to seeing it rear its head in others. Specialness is the perennial itch that gnaws, whether you scratch it or pretend it doesn’t exist. It is the pea that keeps the princess/prince in constant discomfort, obscured as it is by so many mattresses.

The need to be special will knock you on your ass, over and over. Or, if you pay it no mind, it will slowly, silently, take down your house like a drywood termite. The false self, this character we play, will always strive to be special, boldly or in stealth, but it will never succeed because it is false; because it is only a character in a short-run play. Because it is not real, even in its most stellar moments.

Postscript: all posts here are written from personal experience. This ain’t book-learnin, nor is it a YouTube-generated epiphany. What I would learn is this: I am neither special or not special, but I have discovered it is a very heavy suitcase to lug around, and when I stop long enough to open it, it is surprisingly empty.

“Specialness is the seal of treachery upon the gift of love.” ~ A Course in Miracles

At Peace With Not Knowing

4169318053_561c68de17The topic being discussed on Wednesday’s Look-See is At Peace With Not Knowing. What does that mean? Not knowing and its relationship to peace is similar to a line from Faith Mind (published here yesterday):

“Do not seek for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.”

Science, philosophy, psychology, physics—all the ideas of yesterday become outmoded like the fabled myth of a flat earth. The string theory of today cannot hold, if we but empirically witness the historical falling away of one so-called truth after another. Conversely, in psychology, the adherence to behaviorism to the denial or a disinterest in genetics is to hold an opinion. To hold to a gold standard, whether as a metallurgist, an economist, or a moralist, is of course nothing more than opinion.

To espouse nonduality, Advaita, Christianity, Buddhism, or atheism is to have a perspective, an opinion—a way of perceiving and expressing that perception. Even to say, “We are all One,” is an opinion. Everything written in these pages is a way of expressing a perspective. It is not true, nor are these words or any of the above perspectives untrue, as long as they remain in the lightly-held realm of opinion, viewpoint, and perspective. There is nothing wrong with any of them as far as points of view go…until they are taken as hard-cold facts, as reality. Even unquestioned “consensus reality” is an opportunity for amusement rather than argument.

So what does this have to do with peace? The argument, the conflict, the separation of families, friends, tribes, and nations is what arises from cherishing opinions. Seeking and presumably finding truth is taking a stand, and then having to defend the very ground you stand on, even if only to yourself.

Matter is…mind is…enlightenment is…the truth is…the way to truth is… none of these things are known. Yet the attempt and the assertion of certainty in these matters keep us from equanimity, a relaxed uncertainty that allows us to see without “the smallest distinction” that heaven and hell are set apart only because we have made such a distinction. If knowing for certain pits us for or against this or that, we thus have something, sometimes everything, to defend and protect.

What if not knowing is the source of The Buddha’s smile? We don’t know. I don’t know. Letting go of the need to know feels like the deepest peace, releases the deepest and longest-held sense of contraction. The fist opens to reveal welcoming palm.

If you wish to join Beth Bellamy and I in this discussion on Wednesday, contact me here. We will not figure anything out; we will not become certain of anything, but we might very well smile, and be at peace by and by.

Faith Mind: All You’ll Ever Need…?

sunsetpic2Each line is a gentle persuasion, a nudge, an irresistible morsel of wisdom. The deepest peace is in every line. It takes only one, perhaps, to point towards the end of you and your suffering. Read, and see.

Verses on the Faith Mind by The 3rd Zen Patriarch, Sengstau

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. Continue reading