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

 

 

 

 

Pre-Existing Condition (ΑΩ)

4DeD4fvSeekers seeking peace. The very act of looking for it is to step away from it, like a paper doll cut out of the paper, that then tries to find itself, and its source.

Peace doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t come and it doesn’t leave.

It is the unmoving eye at the center of the experiential storm.

Peace is neither a place to get to, or a status barometer.

It is not yours; nor is it mine. It isn’t personal. It cannot be owned, kept, found, or lost. It’s what is here when there’s no “you-ing” or “me-ing,” (i.e., hoping, looking, waiting for it).

It cannot possibly be had one minute, and then lost the next. Because it is prior to time; prior to the idea of looking for it; prior to hoping and waiting; prior to everything.

Peace is the pre-existing condition. It is just here, now. It is the absence of any condition.

Peace is the water, the ocean in which you swim. And you are not the fish.

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The Broadest Possible POV is No POV

“Any movement of consciousness toward the phenomenal is equivalent to a movement away from what is real. The Real is attained by a movement of consciousness in the direction opposite from that by which the phenomenon is experienced.” Wu Hsin

To opposite world: attention flipping.

Take a playing card from a deck. In the game, all attention is focused upon the face card–the queen, the ace, a six–all of which represent the phenomenal. That with which the game is played. All experience–of self, other, world–all phenomena is the result of attention limited to which particular face card, or cards, appears.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” ~ Alice in Wonderland

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March Thinking Dialogues ~ Dates/Times

Flower Petal and the Puppy

Flower Petal and the Puppy

Please let me know if you wish to continue participating in these group calls. If there is sufficient interest, we will resume the second week in March. There will be no calls the first week of March. And there will no longer be dialogues on Saturdays, after February 28th. I am looking into a possible 3rd date and time during the week, which will depend upon interest and availability of those who are interested in participating. So let me know if and when. Due to various differences in time changes, March calls will take place on Tuesdays at 9:30 am and Thursdays at 1 pm, all MDT, Denver Time. This might change in April, after all the clocks have been set forward or backward.

If you’re interested in observing the body/mind and its reflexes, but you cannot make the calls, there will be the option of subscribing to the recordings of the calls, for the same price–$40 for 4 1 1/2 hr recordings. I’ll send the link for the “best of” once a week.

It’s hard to express the gratitude and awe that has been experienced in hearing all these voices, as One Mind, over the last couple of months. Mind is not, it seems, a big hairy entanglement, but more like a rascally puppy that doesn’t know what it is doing, but can be pointed in the right direction. Chewing up your shoes, and pooping on the floor is not an expression of aggression. It is not the absence of love, but an exuberant confusion of boundaries. It doesn’t know what it is doing, this playful pup, and is unfamiliar with right and wrong, and boundaries. And it knows not what the body does, or the inside from the outside. It can be loved “into alignment,” and never lose that wild exuberance, that playfulness.

Clearly, words and metaphors are limited. Pandering to puppy love is an apparent result of the limits of language. Please let me know if you’re interested in continuing to look into thought and its unpredictable yet entirely predictable antics. You can contact me at colette.kelso@gmail.com.

Thank you all for the wild ride.puppy6

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.