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.

 

Feeding Wolves and Wearing Wolf Suits

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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.

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Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

What Remains?

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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.

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

Continue reading

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

Reuniting the Apparent Mind/Body Split

Split, by Rodrigo-Vega

There is much talk of the importance of the body and it’s contractions, feelings, in this spiritual marketplace. Though the dialogues we are engaged in are called “Thinking Dialogues,” they in no way exclude the body. The title of the book that is, in part, the inspiration for these dialogues, is Thought As A System, by David Bohm. And upon investigation, whether we are looking into thoughts, sensations, images, or sense perceptions, it is just that—a system, not of divided parts, but the undivided experience prior to the idea of parts. 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

 

Going to the Land Beyond Belief~Confabulating Oz

Becoming Aware of the Mind, by Andrew Gable

Becoming Aware of the Mind, by Andrew Gable

Thought persists, but does our belief in it, and identification with it, have to continue as a persistent way of living, albeit incoherently? Is there a gap in which to look and see–does thought really tells us the way life is and who we are? Or is it the very thing that creates what life appears to be, and all the changing ideas we have of ourselves?

Inspired by the book, Thought as a System, by David Bohm, I’m proposing opportunities to look as a group at the mechanics of thought, how it both plays tricks and doles out treats—moment by moment.

Thought/mind is a system. It has its fixations, reflexes, coherence and incoherence. It is in cahoots with the body, also part of the reflexive system, that appears to make thoughts evidence of truth, of identity–this opinion is true; it is mine; it is who I am. I know because I feel it.

Thinking in and of itself is not the problem. It’s useful, necessary, and highly creative. But incoherent thinking can be observed, and perhaps in that seeing, become coherent, servant rather than master.

I’m starting a series of group dialogues on the incoherent tendencies of thought and how that incoherence manifests as feeling as if what thought says were true, and seemingly coherent. It can mean the difference between being at war or in peace with ourselves and the world, which are one and the same–in thought.

Attention to thought is not exclusive to nonduality. Where is Buddhism, Christianity, Advaita, Zen, but in the objectifying, the structural nature of thought? Incoherent thinking impacts everything from politics, the environment, world hunger, family, relationship, and my/your life as it is lived day to day.

Perhaps we won’t have so many “problems” to solve, if we are able to watch how the problem is created. This ongoing dialogue could be thought of as a kind of “thinking school,” where the separative, divisive, personalized tendency of thought is seen for what it is, in the crucible of the group, from the premise of inseparability. One mind, not my mind and his/her mind.

There will be three 1 1/2 hr dialogues per week, to accommodate time differences. They will be held on Tuesdays at 9:30 am, and Thursdays at 1:00 pm, and Saturdays at 9:30—all MDT, beginning January 6th, 2015.  The idea is to look at this on a weekly basis until Toto pulls the curtain aside and there is less smoke and mirrors and more-kindly-old-man-from-Kansas running the show. The kingdom of Oz is not———what we think it is.

Having decided that looking at incoherent thought is absolutely separate from and more important than the money charged or the money to be made, I am changing the price structure, literally reducing the cost by over 50%. Because I do have to show up, keep track of who is coming,  send out invites, answer questions, update the website with developments, and other administrative costs, the price has been reduced to $40 per month, for 1 call a week, which will add up to 4 calls per month, 6 hours of dialogue time. depending upon the month. These dialogues will be ongoing, for as long as interest (and/or the tendency towards incoherent thinking) continues.

If interested in exploring and exposing the mechanics of mind through group dialogue, please contact me at Colette.kelso@gmail.com The book, Thought As A System, by David Bohm, is available as a downloadable pdf here–in addition to the link above. More details can be found on the Thinking Dialogues page.

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road ~ eone Film

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road ~ eone Film