1939-2011When one truly awakens from the dream of ego, it is realized that the mind has built a universe of ideas, beliefs, relationships, things, and concepts about everything, never realizing the falseness of this process.
To the Enlightened mind, it is clear that this process is void and empty.
There is only this nameless Creative Mind, which is Life, flowing from instant to instant in constant change.
There is nothing to hold on to. It is seen that all things are mental projections from the fog of the ego.
Emptiness is seen as just that: empty of all objectification.
This insight is not a mental projection but a direct seeing into our true nature.
This is a profound and transformative insight.
Life is seen as continual transformation.
Q. I have been reading up on advaita/nonduality for some months now and I do find it an attractive concept (or non-concept). I have to say however I have been put off by the smugness and, dare I say it, egotism, of some of the practitioners/teachers I have encountered. Answering questions with questions is another bugbear of mine. It also seems that there is a deliberate attempt to be as obtuse as possible in answering any difficult points, albeit I recognize the difficulty in trying to explain Truth by using words. Another trait I find is an almost callous attitude towards suffering. "Oh, the self is an illusion" they say. So is suffering, therefore it doesn't matter seems to be the prevalent view. Try telling those who died in the holocaust or those millions around the world today dying of famine or disease or at the hands of psychopathic torturers, that their suffering is an illusion and doesn't matter.
I never really get an answer to a couple of basic questions and wonder if you could "enlighten" me.
A. I share your feelings about what too many teachers of Advaita have to say, or don't say. I will do my best to try to clear up some of the misunderstanding that is being spread around by too many would be gurus of Advaita.
Q. Is Awareness aware of itself and of Manifestation? I ask because some say Awareness is not an entity, does not cause anything, is completely impersonal, and has no meaning.
A. Awareness is aware of Itself through us. Or more correctly, Awareness becomes conscious of Itself through us. Yet, Awareness is not conscious. Awareness is not an entity, is not personal, and is not a cause of anything. Although it has no meaning in one sense, there would be no meaning without it. Just as there would be no manifest universe without it.
Q. Is Manifestation what Awareness wished to happen, and if so, why?
A. Awareness does not wish anything to happen; yet, all happens within Awareness. There is a basic understanding that has shown me how manifestation came into being but it is so difficult to express in words as to most likely sound foolish or insane. However, I will try to point to it.
From the perspective of the human mind and condition we can only see that things are here, be they people, rocks, stars or lady bugs, but there is a deeper seeing that can be every bit as clear as seeing the moon on a clear night. There is a creative force (I want to say force or energy but that is too solid but I will have to use those words to at least point to what I mean.) which has no direction. This creative energy can never be anything because there is nothing outside of Itself to act upon. It just Is, yet it isn't. Because this creative non-energy cannot act, it turns on Itself. It's non-action becomes manifest as seeming action. Yet, nothing is really taking place. Mind you this is all beyond the human experience and this understanding is not needed to live a complete life. There is a seeing that goes beyond our normal capacity that is so subtle as to seem like nothing to the conditioned brain. It is sort of like reading between the lines of perception. We normally only see what is perceived by the mind, eyes, ears, feelings, etc. This seeing is beyond all that.
Back to the nature of manifestation: All that can be said about the nature of the manifest universe, from this perspective called Melvyn, is that it is pure relationship. There are no things, only relationships. This creative energy was the first relationship, with Itself. Because it cannot be anything other than what it is, it could not act. However, because it could not become an action, the Universe with all possible outcomes and expressions expressed It's non-self as all that will ever be or could ever be.
For many years, I have tried to come up with some simple way of showing this to others but it just cannot be expressed; yet, it can be seen. One, seeming thing cannot exist without something it is in relationship to. The things are not the reality; it is the nature of relationship itself.
Science tells us about the Big Bang and how from a speck of energy the Universe burst into being. Most people accept this as true. What I am trying to say is no more far out than that, except the Big Bang was not from a speck of energy but from a burst of relationship. One movement, thing, process, etc., created all other such expressions to infinity. Unlike the Big Bang, what I am saying is non-linear and is not time based. The moment of the seeming beginning was the creation of all possibilities. All time, all expression is concurrent. We humans think in a linear process so it is very difficult for most to see beyond that limited view to see what is really taking place.
Many years ago I made the prediction that as science went deeper and deeper into the subatomic structure of life they would find more and more new particles. Not because they are there, but the looking, the relationship of looking would create those new particles. In time they will see what I am saying, there is only relationship and no particles at all at that level. I am sure there must be those in science who already see this.
Our looking creates a new relationship, which seems to manifest itself as reality. As consciousness of the nature of relationship becomes clear, we see that our action as thinking beings becomes an active state of creation. All possibilities are already here in potential but it is the active participation that helps bring it into manifestation.
This is so difficult. Not only because of the fact that it cannot be expressed, but also because it is sidetracking from what I am trying to communicate with people. All of what I have been speaking of here is part of the great mystery that can never be seen clearly by the conditioned human mind. It is also not a part of the problem we humans face. The problems are fairly easy to see and understand; yet, that understanding has to be gone beyond to fully awaken to what is going on within the human mind.
Q. If Manifestation was an accident or just happened without being caused by Awareness, does this not mean Awareness is not omniscient, not omnipresent, and not omnipotent?
A. Awareness is omnipresent and omnipotent, in the sense I spoke of above. Awareness is all-inclusive; there is no 'my' awareness or 'your' awareness, it is just Awareness.
Q. Why suffering? Everyone seems to describe Awareness as Love yet it causes or allows a situation where the ego can exist (or not exist but to the same effect) and suffering to happen. If it's an illusion it is still a very real one.
A. We will experience pain in various forms as long as we are living in a physical world. Suffering is more from the belief we can escape from it than from the conditions we claim to be suffering under. The body needs to know when there is a malfunction, a cut, burn, etc., in it. We would not have survived to evolve without that protection. However, when the ego image arose in the mind, it not only felt it was in control, but that it needed to get away from pain in any form. The suffering is in the feeling there is someone to escape.
Some years ago, I needed to have three teeth filled. I thought it would be interesting to put my insight into suffering to the test. Two of the fillings were of average size; the third was large. I told the dentist not to use any pain medication. I just remained aware of what was taking place without naming it as pain or anything else. I was not surprised when it was quite comfortable. There was sensation, but without trying to escape, it was not suffering.
As for Awareness allowing the ego to exist, there are different perspectives one can see from. First, there is no ego. It was uncaused by anything, it is a reflection of the conditioned consciousness that creates the sense of a 'me' within a body. Awareness had nothing to do with it. Yet, without Awareness we would not even feel there was this dream image. However, as I have written about before even the evolution of that dream image had a purpose. Without its development, we would not be able to be conscious of Awareness, Mind, etc. By becoming aware of our real nature we are changing the relationship with life in such a way as to become more creative participants in the action of Life.
To deny that people and animals, etc., are suffering does not help at all. There is suffering, but there is no sufferer. We cannot turn our backs on this fact. Just seeing it brings about compassion in those who are open.
Q. Why if "enlightened" i.e. having become one with Awareness, does it seem that the "enlightened" still does not know everything? Surely that must mean that either Awareness is limited (which it shouldn't be if it is all that there is) or the enlightenment is only partial. Is there a possibility that the "enlightenment" is in fact only a waking up to one of many "higher" realms behind manifestation? I am thinking here of the Cabalistic concept of Yetzirah (World of Ideas) which they say, is the immediate "realm" which lies behind our world of forms. And there are "higher" realms above Yetzirah. It seems to me that Yetzirah fits descriptions I have read on enlightenment. It is also where astral projection takes place (re your comments thereon). In other words, it is not the final Truth and there are "more things in Heaven and on Earth than were ever dreamed of in your philosophy Horatio" to quote Shakespeare...
A. You are trying to bring together two different processes, the thinking mind, and universal Awareness. Awareness is aware, it is not conscious. We as the expression of this level of relationship are conscious. As ego mind, we identify with all of our conditioning. As an awakened being, we are still aware of the conditioning, but we see it for what it is, a dream.
There is a state of All Knowing, but it is not what the ego thinks of as knowing. Knowledge is a form of conditioning. It is a conclusion in the mind of a dreamer. It may, or may not, be factual. The All Knowing is from a much deeper level of our being. Just as insight can come to us seemingly out of nowhere, this All Knowing comes from that same source. It in Itself is unknowable, a mystery, yet we Know. There is no concept that can express such Knowing. Just the same can be said for Love. Where does Love come from? Is it an act of a separate being? What we all too often call love is not love. Love is not from a separate being; it is one flavor of Reality, as is Knowing. We Know Love, when we are Love. We Know reality when we are Reality. Of course, we are all Reality, yet the ego dream keeps most of us from ever seeing that fact.
As for what you wrote about the Cabalistic concept of Yetzirah, I agree there is a world of ideas behind, but also within, the manifestation. This is what I mean by relationship. It is a world made up of ideas. There are seemingly different levels of being within this Universe of ideas. Just in our day to day lives, there are all levels of insight/manifestation from person to person. What I see is very different than what most people see, but I am just another person. I can well see the possibility of infinite evolution of what we are. All of that both has nothing to do with Enlightenment, and everything to do with it. Enlightenment is awakening to the facts, not the dreams of life. Evolution beyond that can be accelerated to a great degree by the removal of the ego sense/dream. So, Enlightenment is very important, but also just another step forward into an infinity of creation we can hardly imagine now. It is all very wonderful.
There are too many people who think because they have an intellectual understanding of what Advaita has to say that they are above it all and are enlightened. Few really are.
Q. I also am not convinced that the ego is all-bad. Unenlightened life can be wonderful as well as awful and I do find the negativity displayed by some towards life somewhat disturbing.
A. I agree that life is wonderful just as it is when the ego is seen through. The ego had a purpose, but it is time to awaken and move on. The ego has caused just about every problem we human's face and it has to be gone beyond soon if we are to survive on this wondrous planet. I am deeply grateful every moment for the wonder that Life is. The ego will go in time. Looking at the way the world is being destroyed by ego driven corporate greed, nationalism, racism, fear and insecurity, makes it very clear we have to act, to come to understand what is going on and why. Only then can we find real freedom and sanity. Only by returning to sanity can we evolve beyond the dreamer.
Thank you for these most difficult questions to try to express. You may well be more confused by the answers than you had been before. Let it sink in and in time it will make sense to you
Q. Thanks for answering my previous questions. I have another few for you, but these may be kind of odd. My questions are about sex and masturbation. I know that you do not follow these traditions, but many religions/philosophies extol the idea of chastity and celibacy. I even read once that masturbation is considered to be a sin by many of these traditions. How can this be the case? I can obviously go quite some time without having sex or even masturbating, but it seems that there is no way to "master" this urge by just abstaining. I mean I know of people who abstain from sex but are the biggest horn dogs in the world! It does not seem to be an evil process. So, what's up with all of this?
A. Good question.
What religion has to say about sex is nonsense, as almost everything else it says. The ego has put together all sorts of distortions in an attempt to make itself seem real. It has created so many ideals as to how people should act and what is acceptable by 'GOD', never realizing the truth of anything, and then try to scare, force others into conforming to their dream/nightmare.
We have evolved over millions of years and sex has been a major drive from the beginning. Then comes along religion a few thousand years ago and starts to tell us what to do. If there is any sin in this, it is the religion's sin of putting so many guilt trips on people for doing what is perfectly natural and needed.
It makes about as much sense for someone to preach the need to give up urination or defecation as it does sex. If there were a God that was so uptight about sex, then why would he/she create such a process? I can see religions saying some nonsense like, "God created it to tempt us so we could be better people by giving it up." Bull droppings! Humankind created god; not the other way around.
I saw a PBS program on sexuality where they showed an ultrasound video of a female fetus masturbating. Of course, this was a surprising discovery for the doctors doing the research. Now, is that little baby a sinner? I suppose religion would have to say yes, she is a sinner. What utter nonsense. No one is a sinner. Sins are nothing but concepts and concepts are not reality.
Religion trashes Life while claiming to be the high authority on good and evil. We need to laugh religion out of existence, and we will as we awaken to reality.
Sex, like everything else, can be used to cause great suffering and pain to many, but it is not the sex that is the problem. It is the ego-created violence that is at the heart of all such problems. If religion would point to the real causes of evil in the world, it would have to point at itself first, then see that it is always the ego dream at the root of all evil.
I have talked with so many people who have all sorts of hang-ups brought about by being taught that what they feel so deeply drawn to do is a sin. They are afraid to let go and be fully human.
I know some very good and clear thinking people practice celibacy as part of their spiritual practice, but they are not teaching that sex is sinful or wrong. It is more to try to help one see more clearly the processes going on within the mind and to try to understand desire, etc. It seems that next to the fear of death, the fear of not being sexual is about as bad as it gets for many people, if not most.
People need to just look at the facts if they ever want to get beyond the dream of ego. Sex is just another fact of life, and a wonderful one.
Q. I often feel like I will go crazy if i lose my ego. But from what you are saying it seems that it is a safe, loving place to be. Yet I can't lose my fear of thinking that I will go crazy when my ego starts to fall apart on me. What grounds you after the ego is gone? This fear started while taking LSD when I was about fifteen and I am now 26. Was I prematurely shown the loss of ego through the LSD or am I now mentally damaged? Well, I don't know what's going on. Do you have any advice?
A. First: You will not go crazy if you lose your ego. That is a promise. What grounds us after the ego is gone? Life, reality, sanity, and wholeness; It is the ego that is ungrounded.
LSD can be a useful tool for some if one is ready for it and has someone there who has been through it enough to be a guide, but it can be a scary place if not prepared. Its intensity is so powerful that if not understood it can lead to problems as it has for you. But those problems are just in belief and ego insecurity.
Let us go through what is taking place. There are too many people out there writing and talking about ego death that don't have a clue of what it really is, scaring the hell out of people. If one really comes to see what the ego is, there can be no fear. What you truly are will not end with the ending of ego. Ego is not a thing, a power, or an identity. It is a process of misunderstanding that leads to all manor of mental nonsense and fear. There is no such thing as ego. It is a dream brought about by the evolution of the thinking process. We deeply sense we are an ego but in time you will awaken to the fact that it is nothing. But just feeling it is real and having an intuitive, subconscious feeling that to lose it would mean death, keeps us in a state of insecurity. Out of that insecurity we do everything we can to keep the dream going. We identity with anything, person, belief, religion, etc., in order not to face death. But I can tell you from firsthand experience, it is nothing. You will not die, you will just let go of a lot of mental baggage that keeps one from seeing reality.
You may not realize it now, but you are very lucky to be in the state of fear and stress that you are in. Most people go through their whole lives and never allow themselves to face reality enough to feel that fear openly. At the root of the ego dream is terror. The terror of nonexistence, death. This is where you are now, but that can all change in an instant when the mind realizes what is going on. People want to believe this and try to believe it, but it is beyond belief. It is a direct seeing into the fact that transforms one from fear to freedom.
Your LSD experience so deeply left its imprint in your mind as to leave you at not only the door to reality, but also the door to panic. You are doing a balancing act between reality and the dream of fear. Let go of the fear and just be. I know, that sounds too easy. But it is easy. It can't be with any effort. Just let go, with a certain trust that what has been said for so many thousands of years is true, there is no ego, there is nothing to fear in letting go. Life is complete this very moment and you are Life, not the dream of life, but truly LIFE.
Q. My second question is that I have a lot of emotional pain from when I was a child. Will working on releasing these things help me heal from my fear of loss of ego? And will it in part help me to healthily lose my ego without false assistance from LSD?
A. When one awakens and sees what the whole process of ego is, then all emotional problems will be faced from a new perspective. A perspective of freedom and newness. Things from your past will come up from time to time and may still hurt. But as you see them with a new light of wisdom, they will fade away as all old dreams do. We have all been hurt and then we hurt others and on and on. That is the state of the world. But when you clearly see that freedom from all that is here now, then you will change and so will your world.
LSD is too much. It can be a powerful teacher, but it can also mislead if the one using it is not already very clear. The main problem I have seen that people have with LSD is that they can't just let go. If the mind as ego process and its insecurity is still functioning then there will be trouble. It, LSD, will just project the fear more deeply. If, on the other hand, one has enough experience to see how important it is to just let go, then it can be a most powerful tool. I am not recommending its use to anyone because of the problems they may face, but I also honor LSD for showing so many people something beyond the ego mind.
Q. How is it that this awareness -- the only part of it seen from here, anyway --is riding along with this particular body and not one of the other six billion bodies walking the planet? How is that so? In other words, how am 'I' here and not there?
A. Awareness is never "riding along with this particular body....". Awareness is All-Inclusive. There is no "my" awareness and "your" awareness. There is the separate identity called me, and you, which is just memory-based information, but that identity is seen by awareness, it is not awareness itself. When you drop all sense of self you will realize awareness to be primal and that it is beyond any manifestation. The information the brain carries is important for the safety and well being of the body, but it is also the cause of the sense of being a separate being. We are individuals, expressions of the whole, but the ego is not part of that reality.
Q. In other words, how does Awareness become localized? It seems that awareness identifies with a body-mind, or a body-mind identifies with awareness, based on the evidence that all that is known here is what happens in this body-mind and not in other body-minds. If you chop off your toe, YOU scream, not me. And vice-versa. Or so it seems. And so I wonder. Or such wondering is happening here, anyway.
A. Awareness is never really localized in the sense I think you mean. In one sense it is always local because being one infinite reality it is always local everywhere at the same time. But the feeling of being localized is, again, just memory responding to the situation it finds itself in. If the brain/memory didn't react to what was happening and just see it without any thought, it doesn't feel so separate.
I have had many experiences, so says the memory banks, of knowing what others were feeling while being many miles away from them and then had it confirmed by them. I have seen across seeming time and space what was going on with other people. I have seen events yet to come and when time caught up with the event it was just as I saw it. Many people have these experiences. It shows clearly that awareness is all-inclusive. But beyond experience there is direct Knowing of this fact. We think we know something when it is stored in the brain but that is more like a filing cabinet. There is a state of direct Knowing that goes beyond the brain. Most people rarely see what is really taking place in their own lives. The knot of ego is so tight it won't allow a broad enough view to see clearly.
It all starts with asking questions as you have been doing. If we don't question reality we won't find the truth. It is a fascinating life to always be on the edge of discovery. To open yourself up to the Universe and let go is to be truly alive and awake.
I hope the tug of reality keeps you focused on fully understanding your own nature. It is infinite and can never end.
Q. Thanks very much for your reply. It's got me floating, in a sense, dissolving, sort of... It's kind of scary, actually, but it feels great.
A. Great! I am glad to hear it.
Q. You know, it occurred to me earlier today when I was thinking about the question I had asked you, that what I was really asking, in effect, was 'why do people have separate, private mental phenomena? Which is kind of a silly question, I guess.
Q. It occurred to me that most (if not all) phenomena may be categorized as external (physical) and internal (mental), with external phenomena being things that others can perceive, and internal phenomena being things that can only be perceived (usually) from one unique vantage point of a given body-mind -things such as thoughts, memories, emotions, and sense perceptions. That is simply the way phenomena seem to occur in this world, I guess. To ask why it might occur that way, in two basic modes such as external and internal, makes little sense, I guess, like asking why is there a universe at all.
A. Inside and outside is the same experience. It is only the conditioned thinking mind that 'feels' that it is inside and everything else outside. When we say it is all one that is just what we mean. If the 'me', as ego, is seen through, it all becomes very clear.
And it occurred to me that the very private-ness of mental phenomena -that private-ness itself- is perhaps what most fuels this sense of a separate 'me'. Nobody else can see those mental phenomena, so a sense of a 'me' arises that acts as the gatekeeper to that internal world of mental phenomena. The 'me' gatekeeper seems to decide what mental phenomena get communicated to others, and which ones get acted upon, and which ones remain secret, thereby giving the 'me' a sense of importance and solidity, perhaps.
A. It also helps the ego/me feel more secure by identifying with that whole process. There is no gate, no gatekeeper, no things, nothing really private. It, Life, just goes on as it does. But even to think of it as an 'it' is misleading. It is just the suchness of what is and isn't. Words just get in the way.
Q. The simple fact of (relative) private-ness itself seems to confer special status to those mental phenomena and to the imagined 'me' character who seems to manage them, just because they are 'private', perhaps.
Q. But the 'internal' phenomena are really no more special than the 'external' phenomena. In fact, the internal/external distinction itself may be dubious, misunderstood, (or meaningless).
A. Yes, of course it is both dubious and misunderstood.
Q. Anyway, just felt compelled to share part of my current dream-state with you.
A. Thank you for sharing.
Q. That saying, 'From your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water,' keeps bubbling up in my mind, and the Reality it alludes to...
A. We are the flow of living water, Life. The ego is like a dream stick in the mud that causes what seems to be turbulence in that flow. Let the stick dissolve into its nothingness and the river flows on.
Q. I think the fog is starting to lift... Will keep you posted.
A. Good, and please do.
Q. Thanks again, very much. Please feel free to tell me anything else you feel compelled to tell me. I am by no means 'there' yet.
A. You are 'there'; you don't realize it fully yet. Where else could you be?
Q. Have you heard of Douglas Harding (www.headless.org)? If so, what do you think of the "experiments" he uses to trick you into seeing your true nature? Would you recommend a different approach?
A. Yes, I know of Mr. Harding's work, but I haven't really gone into what he has to say. What I have read makes me feel that it is just a trick of the mind and is not really anything near a real awakening. I could be wrong. I had one fellow write to me who had been into Harding's method for a few years and it became clear that he really had not awakened but that it was comforting to him to have experienced what he did. The only approach I point to is to watch the process of how your own mind works and come to see the ego in action. If the ego is still active, then whatever approach one uses to try to see beyond ego will fail. If, on the other hand, one sees what is going on, it tends to paint the action of ego into a corner it can't escape from. If seen clearly this brings about a crisis within the mind, much as a Zen Koan might, and it leaves one in a state of mind that can bring about a real awakening.
Q. What happens to a person who dies that hasn't had a realization? Do they experience the same thing as the person who was enlightened? Is death just a thrust into the enlightenment experience?
A. If you see what it is that keeps one from an enlightened state, it becomes clear that the process of ego will still distort perception after death as it does before. This is the way the Buddhist's and Hindu's see reincarnation. It is the ego dream that keeps the wheel of birth and death going.
Some have said that on death we do enter the awakened state, but if you take the reports of people who have had near-death experiences, then it is pretty clear that is not the case. Of course, one may go through such a shock at death that one could awaken, but it is doubtful that many awaken that way.
Also, we must see that the ego level is just a dream level and that the awakened state is always here. The state that has never known the ego dream at all is always here. Therefore, on the one hand it is as I said; if you are dreaming yourself to be this ego, then you will carry that over. However, at the same time there is no ego to carry over. I know, this seems difficult to see, but it is really simple when seen clearly.
Q. You mentioned that only the belief of separation dies, and that there is still the individuality and the personality. From what I have heard at lectures, and read in books, it is said that it is the ego that dies, which includes individuality, personality and belief systems, and what is left is nothing but an impersonal, but loving, being. But having gone to some lectures of this enlightened spiritual teacher, there was still an individuality and a personality, and at times even ego was very prominent. So was he writing the Truth or was he being the Truth? You see my dilemma. Just when one feels she has received Truth, it then seems to get completely obliterated. One just wants Truth, Absolute Truth. That doesn't seem too much to ask, or is it? The confusion is that if Awareness is impersonal, how can there be individuality? And if there is individuality, where does it come from?
A. Good questions. When one awakens, it is evident that there is only this impersonal awareness with no me. That is the Truth. Yet we live in a relative world and just as even animals have personalities, so do we. There is the character of a person, the gifts one has, the capacity to express oneself, and all manor of other processes that make up the human being. They are not lost on awakening. They are just put in there proper place. After one is awake it is so very clear what you are, both absolute and relative. When I awakened all that was wanted was to be alone and just stay in that state forever. I ended my marriage of almost 20 years and was living alone on a wooded hillside overlooking a beautiful valley. It would have been relatively easy to stay that way. But one doesn't become blind to the problems of the world upon awakening. You see them all the clearer. You realize there is just about nothing you can to do to change it, but you must try. After all, those other beings are also who I am. To not reach out in whatever way one can to help would be like watching your left hand burn and not do something with your right hand to put out the fire. You have to act. Love demands that you act. It is choice-less action. It is a very big sacrifice to step out of the quiet world you know is your real home and into the world of insanity this world expresses, but it has to be done. And one knows in time it will all end and there will be complete peace again. But even while dealing with all the nonsense of this world there is peace within. It is what we are.
Q. You also mentioned that by using the language of "I" and "i" there is a price. Does that mean that there is a possibility of going back into a separation state again?, back to the ego state?
A. Yes, it is a problem having to use a dualistic language and it does help create a sense of me when you would not have it if you just stayed alone. But you can't go back to the ego state again. Once it is seen clearly it is dead. Even if it seems to appear from time to time, it is just an appearance, not a reality.
Q. You also mentioned that Love is the state of our real being, and that depending on our state of consciousness it can be powerful or not so powerful. What do you mean by "states of consciousness"? Is there more than one state of consciousness? If so, what are they?
A. I think I touched on this in my last answers to you. Yes, there are different states of consciousness. Not of awareness though. If we are depressed that is a state of consciousness, as is happiness, etc. And there are also those rarer states that take one into other levels of reality. We go through many states of consciousness daily, even hourly at times. One moment we can be in love, the next we can be very angry, etc.
Q. Would you say that Awareness is Love? Is Truth? Is Energy? Is Light?
A. Yes and no. Awareness is beyond all feelings, expressions, etc., yet none of those states would be experienced without Awareness. Awareness is unknowable in Itself. One can be Awareness, is awareness, and can understand awareness but one can never know awareness as an object of perception. To do so would be for it, life, to be more than one. It is never more than the One. Even energy and light, which is a form of energy, are not awareness Itself. It is beyond all expression. It will always be a mystery to the mind, as it should be.
Q. How do I awaken? How do I let go of ego, or as you say, let Truth let go of me as ego? And how do I get rid of this incessant fear of letting go? I apologize for the length of my question, and if any of these questions have already been asked and I failed to recognize it, but I felt you needed a bit of my "spiritual" background to better answer them.
A. Reading can be very important in the beginning to help us see what others have been through and what they can share with us. However, the intellect can become a trap too. In the west, the way things are taught keeps the mind lost in its own process. We accumulate information and think that will somehow free us. Most teachers today teach from that perspective. When I speak of using the mind to question everything, I am not speaking of the intellect. It takes a direct looking into what is taking place right this moment. Like if you lose your car keys on a trail while walking, it would do little good to use the intellect/history to find them. One would have to really look for them in that moment to see where they really are. I know that is not a great analogy, but it does show there are different ways of using the mind.
That is one of the biggest problems people face when trying to understand these things. The truth is very simple but when the mind thinks it is looking for the truth, it creates a lie. One time I was talking with a 5 year old little girl. There were adults in the room and we had been talking about reality. The adults were having a difficult time trying to understand what I was saying. However, this little girl understood very clearly. I asked her if she sees that life is whole and that we are all one being, she said "Of course it is!" She was seeing directly, while the grownups were still lost in their own minds. We really do need to be that simple.
I hear from many people who fear the ending of ego. Too many teachers out there seem to want to instill this fear in their students. It just shows me those teachers are not awake. There is nothing to fear at all. If you are having a nightmare and awaken, you are very happy to understand you were just dreaming. The ending of ego is just such a process. There is no ego now and there never will be one. The mind has been conditioned to feel/think that it is separate from life. It is nothing more than an accumulation of ideas, beliefs, fears, history, etc., and when it is seen for what it really is, one can say the ego is dead. However, there is nothing that died. You are just seeing the truth. It is a profound truth and it transforms one, yet it is just the simple truth of how things are.
Q. Anything that you can tell me about your experience would be greatly appreciated, whether or not you believe that I can comprehend it or not. I assure you that I will comprehend it on some level and if the intent is pure and good then there is no way that it could not help.
A. It is difficult to really express what I went through to reach a deep awakening because by the time it took place I could see that nothing I had done made any difference. It is funny how we have to go through all the steps we seem to have to go through but in reality we are always what we were searching for. It is just a change of perspective between being asleep as ego and awake as Life. The ego truly does not exist. Never has and never could. Yet, there is this image of a me doing all these things in the hope of getting beyond that which has no existence. All the goodness you feel is you. All the care you feel towards others is you, the love you feel is what you are, but there is this sense of someone it is all happening to. What is that someone? Is it real? It is both real and not real? When the ego is seen through we realize we have never been who we thought we were, yet we are far more. It is only then that we realize we truly are individuals, yet we are also the totality of reality. When we see this clearly we do have great joy and happiness. It is funny too. We realize what a joke we had been playing on ourselves and it is downright funny. The happiness is more than we have ever known, because it is also a release from a form of stress that the ego process is. We are so busy our whole life trying to stay safe, happy, and secure when we are not any of it. We deep down know we are being fake people, yet we cannot become fully conscious of it for the fear we feel. We see it as death. And the ego does go through death. But it is the death of a dream, not a reality. After awakening we still go through adjustments. We lose sight at a mental level and seem to be back asleep again. But at the center of our being there is an unshakable sense of poise that cannot be moved or lost. It is all so simple, but it sounds complex when we have to use words to describe it.
Q. Do you believe there is any benefit to the refinement/purification of the physical instrument (body) through ascetic practices such as celibacy, fasting, etc?
A. It is important to have a healthy body for obvious reasons. Other than that I see no reason to do any ascetic practices. It is not the body that is the problem; it is the conditioned mind.
Celibacy isn't needed either. I see no need to reject what is a natural function of the body and life force. If one is lost in desire, then look at desire. Find out if it is your natural need that you desire or are you using it to feel secure, needed, powerful, or all the other reasons besides sex that drives you. Sex is pure in itself. What we add to it out of ego needs is something else. We have been told, too often, that sex is impure and a sin. What total nonsense! That is just the ego mind telling us this nonsense.
For a teacher to ask their students to be celibate is a lot like asking them to withhold urinating, or having bowel movements. You may stop for awhile but in time nature will take its course.
If a person really feels they could gain from being celibate, for whatever reason, then try it. However, don't expect to awaken because of it. I have been celibate for almost 15 years and it is no big deal to me. I could have sex hourly for the next 15 years and that too would mean nothing to me; except I wouldn't last 15 years or 15 hours.
When one clearly sees what the problem is that keeps us from seeing reality, Enlightenment, then all these other things will be seen from a different perspective and take their proper place in our lives.
As for fasting: It can be a healthy thing to do from time to time for the body's sake. It can also help clear the mind if we are full of toxins and can flush them out. As far as helping one to awaken, I see little that it can do to help.
Of course, I know there are broader issues in all of what has been said here. However, it is important to see that real Awakening has nothing to do with all this.
Q. I was wondering, how can I be open to that energy field that transmits itself from an enlightened one in the best way?
A. That energy field is just the clarity of what is real. Most people are living in a cloud of misunderstanding and misidentification, and when they encounter someone who sees clearly they may feel a very different energy. One has to be really aware to even sense this though. In my life I have talked with people who right away felt something very different about me and responded to that energy. However, most people see and feel nothing out of the ordinary. When a person goes to anyone who has a deep understanding in some field, and they want to understand what this person knows, what is needed? To pay attention to what is being transmitted. So being open is paying attention. It is also important to not let your conditioning get in the way of that attention. By this, I don't mean you should not use your best judgment. Don't just believe whatever a teacher has to say because you believe them to be awake. They may not be awake. The energy you seek is within you right this moment. You really don't need to turn to anyone to have it transmitted to you. Just watch your own mind and how it relates to life. When the answer comes, it will not come in any form you would understand from a conditioned state of being. It will be a melting away of all the nonsense of the ego mind and a realization of what you really are. Then there is nothing to be transmitted; you just realize you are the very energy you had been seeking.
When you are awake, in a very real sense you are empty. Empty to the conditioning that keeps most of us blind. If you are communicating with someone who is awake, try to let go and be empty also. When you are both empty at the same time then there is a totally different energy. It is the same energy in both of you, or better said, you are both that energy, as you always have been.
Q. How can I be open to a master's help in the best way possible? I am ready to do what the master wants me to do.
A. As I said above, pay attention. And make sure the person you are trusting to be a so-called master is really awake. This is very difficult for most people to perceive. If it is just a moon buddha you are seeking understanding from, then he can't really help you. A teacher can have all the book knowledge in the world and still not be awake. When you let go of your conditioning and just deeply listen, you can understand.
You said you are ready to do what the master wants you to do. Don't be. Unless the teacher just says, pay attention. Don't let the belief in any teacher be so strong in you that you allow them to control you in any way. Remember the best teachers are still just people.
Q. Can you tell me what creation is?
A. First, there is never going to be a way to express the deeper reality one can awaken to. Not because it cannot be understood, but because the conditioned human mind can only think in abstract images about things and not see the thing, truth, directly. Even when one is awake, we find we come to a wall of mystery that we cannot go beyond. When we are that close to the Real, we lose all sense of separation and the questioning mind ends. However, I can tell you some things about creation.
Out of this mystery we call life there is a force that drives expression, all life forms on to express more of the infinite, the poise, the balance, etc. It can be expressed in Love/Wisdom, but the human mind in the conditioned state cannot understand this. That Universal Suchness that is Life is all there is but it cannot know itself, as we humans can seem to know ourselves. In order for that Life Force to be able to know Itself It had to create a creature capable of Self-Knowledge. It did not think up an idea of what was needed, it does not work that way. It is just a profound evolution towards greater expression.
The development of the ego has caused most problems in the world. The ego in itself has no existence; it is a dream, which is a byproduct of the evolution of the brain. If seen as only negative we would miss a deeper meaning. The only way consciousness could develop in a way to have Self-Knowledge was in just the way the ego developed. When we reach a level of evolution where we can perceive this Reality, we Awaken. We, in a very real sense, become the whole and we Know our True Being, which is infinite. I have no idea of where we will go from here. However, I realize our nature is Creativity Itself. We can call it Mind, Creation, the Self, or whatever name we wish, but it is a state of Being that is fluid and far more Mind like than physical.
There are many very subtle ways I could say this all but it always seems so complex to people. It is really very simple; it is just the human mind that makes it seem complex. When one comes to that wall of mystery there is such a state of bliss that we don't care what it is, we just know it is what we truly are and the mind that would ask questions is no longer functioning. It is infinite and eternal life.
I hope this helps some. The most important thing is to get to know who and what you are. Then go beyond it to what is Real.
Q. Did anyone go beyond that 'wall of mystery' or is it simply impossible for anyone to do so?
A. One cannot go beyond this great mystery; not because we don't know enough, but because the 'knowing' itself keeps us from ever Knowing, in the sense that most people use that word. The conditioned ego mind is the thinking mind. It can only know within the limits of abstraction from reality. It can never see Reality directly. Yet, at a certain depth of insight one can Know, but this knowing is not a mental experience. It is a direct realization of our Oneness with the mystery of Life.
Q. Now when one awakens, he becomes one with the so-called 'Life'?
A. We are always one with Life. We cannot become it. But for the one who has Awakened, it is realized that we have always been one with all Life.
Q. So, is a mystery to an awakened person a mystery to the Life too, I mean is the 'wall of mystery' a mystery to Life too?
A. For Life there is no mystery because It does not function the way the human ego/mind does. There is a state of All-Knowing that does not contain things, abstractions, memory, etc. One can Awaken and experience this state of Being, but it cannot be brought into the thinking mind. It can only be felt at a very deep level. Life and this wonderful mystery are the same thing. We, as ego, don't really see anything directly. Therefore we miss our true Being.
Q. Or is it that the Life is stopping us from going beyond the 'wall'. I don't see any reason for the Life to do so?
A. Life never stops us from doing anything. We are conscious beings, which in its simplest form means we are conscious of things outside of us and things inside of us. When we Awaken we realize there are no 'things' inside or outside. There is just Life, complete and whole this very moment, which is eternity.
Q. What is the nature of life? Is it pure consciousness?
A. It is impossible to say what the nature of Life is. That is the mystery. We see the shadows of Life and call it life, but it is beyond all of our knowledge and will forever remain so. Many people, and many spiritual teachers, say it is all pure consciousness. If you see that to be conscious is to be conscious of some thing, or process, etc. This is a lower level of understanding. It is still part of the mental process, which is where the ego seems to take place. I prefer Pure Awareness. I know, it is still just a word, but it conveys a clearer understanding. If I am conscious of a tree, lets say, I will be in a state of consciousness, I will be in a sense be naming that Suchness we call tree. If on the other hand I am just deeply aware of the suchness then the whole being is awake to this wonder. It is a very different state of being.
Q. If yes, 'what' caused it to know about itself or 'what' has disturbed it from that state of pure consciousness?
A. The development of the thinking mind in evolution is where knowledge came from. It is also what caused the, seeming, creation of the ego/mind, which is what causes all disturbance. Pure Awareness is not conscious of the ego. It is just a dream, no reality at all. Just action based on misinformation. And nothing ever disturbs Awareness.
Q. Can life think?
A. As we think, life is thinking. Not pure awareness, just the mind of human like beings. We are a part of Life, or better yet, we Are Life. Thinking is not a problem for life Itself, but it is a major problem for the rest of life on this planet. Not just simple thinking, which is needed for beings like us, but the ego dream that is kept going by thinking and misidentification.
Q. Does the Life have an origin, if yes, does it know how it happened, and does it know the reason of its existence here, alone, in the vast space?
A. What I have seen about the origin of existence cannot be expressed in words. In a very real sense it never had an origin. As you can see it makes it impossible to express. Also, when we use our minds to try to understand these things we are using a linear way of thinking and it is useless to try to understand something that is both too complex, but also too simple to think about. But one can have insight into its nature beyond that way of perceiving. Life is not alone in vast space, it is vast space and beyond and before.
Q. And you said the most important thing is to know who and what I am and then go beyond it to what is Real. Aren't knowing about me and knowing the Real the same?
A. It depends on who you are referring to as you. The "you" you think you are cannot see what is Real. Because that is the ego process. When the ego breaks down and is seen for the nothingness it is, then one realizes themselves to be the Real.
Q. So, is a mystery to an awakened person, a mystery to the Life too, I mean is the wall of mystery' a mystery to the Life too?
A. Life is a mystery even to Itself. That sounds wrong, but when you realize that everything is in constant flux and ever creative, then you can see it will always be a wondrous mystery, unknowable. There isn't Life and the mystery, they are the same, and we are One with it All.
Q. Finally, are the rebirths true? Do we really take some other body depending on our sins in the past births?
A. This too is very difficult to put into words. We, the Universe, live in a constant creative relationship with every seeming thing there is. We, as Awareness in this constant transformation can never end. Each seeming separate life is constantly creating a new field of expression. That expression can only change, it cannot end. We also live on many levels at the same time. And it is important to know that in reality there is no such thing as time. What was seemingly the past is present now, and what seems to be the future is also now. I see this clearly in the mind, but words make it very difficult to express.
As for other bodies depending on our sins in past births: There is no such thing as sin. There is no one to judge us, and no one to punish us. What we do in life, as stated above, is creating a structure of sorts in the Mind/Life. If we are doing something now, we will most likely keep that energy and direction going in what seems to be the future. There is not a you to go on from life to life. Not the "you" you think you are. This pattern we are creating does go on. It is in the best interest of Life for us to live good lives in tune with our true nature, which is loving and caring for everything. The Buddhist way of seeing this is a good way: It is like the flame of one candle lighting another candle. It is the same energy going from what seems like one life to another. It is only the flame of the creative energy with no entity at all. If that energy is still carrying the impression of ego, then it will take that distortion along with it.
I realize how limited these answers are, but there is truth within them. Look at it all very deeply and clearly and make it your own reality.
Q. When I tune in to a moment, for example, a sunset, and allow myself to become "input only" (no-mind?), I can experience every little detail with all of its great beauty and wonder, and gratitude fills me. What I find difficult however is sharing this with others. I have had a lot of experience with meditation, too. However, how can one transform the world and how can one transform oneself fully, that is my question?
A. Today I would like to look at the state you are in when you are in the "input only" mode. You have most likely already thought about all this before but I will go over it again. When you are in that state, what is it that is responding to the wonder of the moment? And why do you think you go into that state? If there is no output, then what is it that is left? Is it a who, a thing, a process, a dream, a conditioned response, just what is it? Then when one leaves that state who reports the experience to whom? Is there someone waiting while someone else is in the "input only" state? If so, who is that one? Then when you, whatever you are, wants to communicate this to someone else, who is that someone else? Is there anyone at all who sees with the input only eye, or is there anyone who tries to share that with another? Is that other one different from the state of input only? If so, in what way? Is there not just awareness with no other? What is it within the mind that believes there is a you or an other? Is that mental image called me, or other than me, real? Also, when you are in the "input only" state is there time? Not chronological time but psychological time. Or is it timeless? Are you as history in that state? Do you exist without history? If not, then what creates the sense of history? Is history real? If it is not then do you, as history, exist? Can history and that state of just being exist at the same time? If not then which is real? If you, as history, are not real then can you ever know death? If history is only a thing of the mind, which creates a sense of psychological time, then have you ever been anything but that state of awareness you call "input only"? As you are aware of this process of "input only" and you see that things within that awareness change, do you as awareness change? Or are you that state of awareness itself, which is changeless and always free?
Answer these questions and see what you already know.
Q. My question to you is this:
It seems that for both you and Tolle an awakening just happened suddenly, out of nowhere. There was considerable prior suffering, but not a practice or intention of awakening. Yet, you both endorse a practice, in this case, "paying attention". How do you know ANY practice can work since you didn't go through one yourself?
A. To me, paying attention is not really a practice. Its object is just that, pay attention. My first awakening did come out of nowhere, in a sense. However, I was a very aware person who was searching for understanding and had reached a point in my life where I was just letting go of all of my past. Not as a practice but just as another evolutionary step. Paying attention was an important part of that process.
That was the way it was with that first Satori. It was 8 years more of an ever deepening look into all aspects of my life that brought the mind to a standstill and the next major awakening. Therefore, when I speak of paying attention that is how I came to see what is real. If one has a real need to know the truth, then doing as I did will take you as far as the energy you are willing to invest in your enquiry.
However, as I have said before, when the awakening took place I saw that nothing I had done before really meant anything. I was already awake, as you are now; it is just a profound change of perspective that takes place. Just as in a dream, you are aware of the dream and when the dream, which is also the dreamer, ends then the awakening to your normal life is a great change of perspective. It is the same thing but far more profound and life altering when Enlightenment occurs.
Q. Does one become more or less ill equipped to live in the work-a-day world once one attains Enlightenment? In other words, can a human being that attains Awareness still function reasonably as a computer programmer or financial accountant as he or she did before Awakening? If not, then how does a newly Aware one of meager economic means survive as a human being for the remaining duration of his or her physical live?
A. After awakening you will find you will actually be better able to deal with anything life brings your way. You will see more clearly why people do what they do, why you do what you do or did, because most of your old mental ruts, fears and insecurities will be gone. Without the mind games going on we are all familiar with, we can do everything better than before. Except the kind of ego competition where we are trying to beat someone else, to act better than others, etc., will not have any power. That doesn't mean you will give up and not try to do better; you will do your best because that is what we do by nature.
I worked as a photographer and was very able to do a professional job. I had to deal with all kinds of people and situations and did it well. The level of creativity goes up too after awakening. That is because your mind doesn't place limits on where thinking can go.
This doesn't mean that from the moment you awaken you are totally free of every problem you had before awakening. There is a certain inertia, or force of habit, that will go on for sometime according to your conditioning. However, the mind sees it all playing out and understands what it is. You learn not to feed it by trying to fight it. It will just die of lack of being nourished by he ego process.
Q. PS. I recognize the frightened ego characteristics of this question, yet I believe that it is nonetheless a valid inquiry. Certainly we are not all cut out to be teachers, or heaven forbid, messiahs once we become Aware.
A. Yes, this is a valid inquiry. I am sure many people wonder about this and I thank you for asking about it. Not everyone who awakens will become teachers, but their lives will teach just by being who and what they are. And, of course, we don't need any messiahs.
Q. Here is another question.
I recently read a short but interesting book called "Collision with the Infinite". About a woman named Suzanne Segal who had an apparently profound awakening, also "out of the blue". But her mind responded with intense fear, which dominated her life for over a decade. She eventually found interpretation and support and had a second awakening and became for a while a spiritual teacher. Then she abruptly developed brain cancer and died.
One of the most interesting things is that towards the end she appears to "lose" her realization, the fear returns and she becomes frustrated. It seems like she "loses" her awakeness. You talk about a "shift of perspective". It seems her perspective "shifted back".
People I've talked to who have had some level of breakthrough talk about "contractions" along the way. But those people don't claim to have had the level of enlightenment that you do. What do you make of this apparent loss?
A. Thank you for the question and the URL to the article about Suzanne Segal.
I first read about Suzanne only a few months back. As I was reading what she had to say, but didn't know she had already died, I wanted to talk with her. There were questions I would like to have asked her about her experience and felt I could have helped her clear some things up. I was sorry to see she had already gone.
From the information I have, I don't think she was truly awake, as in Enlightened, but she was very in touch with part of our reality. The vastness can be a precursor to awakening, but it can also just end at that level and not make the leap to Enlightenment. I, too, have experienced the vastness but never felt it was Enlightenment. When one goes beyond the ego contraction, it is realized we are the vastness, which is just the natural state prior to the formation of the ego process.
We can have many experiences that are out of the norm that can make us high. Too often, they are mistaken for Enlightenment. The perspective shift I write about can't be reversed. That doesn't mean we can't go through some difficult times and have some unhappy experiences with our day-to-day life as we adjust to a deeper understanding. However, once seen for what it is, Life cannot return to that blind state we once lived.
Suzanne may have had an emotional problem, as seems clear from what I read about her, where by staying in that state of vastness, and identifying with it, was a protection from her deep-seated fear. This can also happen with people who do their best to stay focused on the now. It can both be something beyond the thinking mind and it may be a fear of letting the past in. There is a subtle balance there that we have to keep in mind. The mind in its state of insecurity will hold onto anything that gives it some relief. However, the fear and insecurity can return at anytime.
On the other hand, if one truly awakens, that shift can't change back. It is like doing a math problem and coming to a clear answer. You may get upset with life or all the other things one can experience, but the answer is still the same.
Suzanne's case is interesting. I really do wish I could have had a talk with her. However, as I said above, I don't think she was truly awake, but with the right push she may have been.
Q. What is your understanding of Astral Traveling and do you feel the experience has any value in better understanding our non-physical or spiritual reality?
I have heard that in order to experience non-physical or spiritual reality fully you need to develop your Psychic abilities, what is your take on this?
A. I personally have traveled outside the body, so has my daughter, and of course read accounts by many others over the years who have experienced this. I think in order to better understand the nature of reality we need to consider these things. For a long time now I have seen that awareness is all-inclusive. There isn't your awareness and my awareness; there is just awareness. There are individual histories we focus on, and from, but we truly are One Being. There is also a lot of evidence coming from science showing the inner connectedness of all systems. We need to be open to all of this and go deeper in our understanding of what it all means. So, yes, it is of value to better understand our non-physical reality. However, it is also clear we need a new term for reality. We cannot say there is any difference between the so-called physical and the spiritual. The conditioned mind has made this separation. I prefer to call it simply Life, which includes seeming death.
The second question: No, I don't see any reason why one should develop psychic abilities in order to experience and understand the more spiritual side of life. We may or may not have psychic abilities, but wisdom can show us what our nature is without developing such abilities. If one has an interest in the psychic, then by all means investigate it and go as deeply into it as you can. Too often, those who seek such understanding use it to gain some sense of security for the ego dream. It is very rare to find a psychic who is also Enlightened. In fact I have never heard of one. On the other hand, I am sure there must be a lot of Enlightened people who have these experiences, but that is not their focus.
I have experienced many psychic abilities but I don't pursue them at all. When they happen, fine; I learn from them and move on. When they don't happen, so what?
Someday we will all be able to use far more such powers, although I don't really see them as powers, they are just a part of Life, but for now, the main thing we humans have to do is become sane. As long as we are functioning from the ego we cannot be free to fully understand our place in the Universe and we will go on destroying all other Life forms that share the earth with us. We are in a crisis right now because of the madness of ego. If we don't act soon to truly awaken, or at least come to a clear understanding of the problem, we won't have time to develop our full potential as Humans.
I hope this helps.
Q. I have talked to some who have astral traveled and they say that this experience of the non-physical reality is what will be experienced when our physical body passes or dies. Was that your experience?
A. It may well be that it is this nonphysical state that can, perhaps, go on after the death of the physical body. There seems to be clear evidence to indicate it. I have had too many such experiences to doubt that there isn't an essence body that is capable of being aware, conscious and have experience of other dimensions.
Q. I have also heard some say that they have the ability to end the reincarnation cycle by what they have learned while astral traveling and have every intention of doing so when the time is right. Their view is that the human incarnation is extremely limiting what they can become and experience and is not an experience they want to go through again. Could their consciousness be so evolved that the human incarnation serves no purpose to them anymore?
A. This brings up more important questions. Like, who will reincarnate? Who is it that wants to make sure they don't come back in human form again? What is the reasoning behind such desire? What is it about this level of consciousness that is so limiting and why?
If those who think they are so evolved that they need not come back, assuming they can come back, or that there is someone to come back, then why don't they leave now? What is keeping them here?
Most likely, they are still functioning from the ego dream. They want to escape suffering and insecurity. By feeling they don't have to come back they can feel more secure. This whole question of who is it that wants whatever, is the most important understanding to come to. If one is really deeply evolved, you feel the fullness of Being wherever you are. You don't try to reach somewhere else, or look for security in any experience. You know there is no one to feel insecure, except the ego dream.
I have thought about how interesting it may be to just take off as pure conscious awareness and see what's out there, or in there. However, it is just curiosity and a way of looking into other issues of what it means to be human and the possible evolutionary steps we may take.
When my awakening, I use 'my' with the understanding that no one awakens, in the sense that there is an ego that is real, took place, it was clear that no ego had ever existed and that what I was was unlimited and timeless Life in all of Its possible forms and expressions. That was a death to the dreamer, a painless and happy one. It was also realized that to be absolutely nothing was pure happiness, Joy. If the body had ended that moment and no experience ever took place again, it would be fine. In fact, it would be wonderful. What we are is beyond expression of any kind. In fact, the going on after awakening and communicating with those still trapped by the ego dream is a kind of sacrifice to that expressionless Being. Not that there is a problem with seeming expression of life, it just meant one had to still stay somewhat focused on the dream to be able to communicate at the level we must on this planet at this time.
Ask the people who tell you they won't come back if they are awake or not; if they are, wonderful for them. If they are not, then they had better make use of the time they have here and find out what it means to be awake.
If they are still enjoying all the things that tend to draw people into desire, then what makes them think they won't still feel that, if in fact they survive physical death?
As you said, one question leads to more. There comes a time when we see what a Mystery life is and we really don't need to ask anything else. We just need to let go and let Life do what it will with our experience. This if freedom, this is poise, this is love, not just traveling about without a body.
Q. If you have been asleep in reality for so long, and then you awaken, I'm sure it would be a very euphoric experience. Everything would be serendipitous because you are seeing everything in a different light then when you did before. How exciting is this?
A. It is far more than euphoric. I am hesitant to paint too clear of a picture of it because then people will have one more mental image to cloud their perception. I will say, it is beyond anything you imagine. Yet, I have read reports of other people's awakenings that were not that intense. It all depends on the individual's energy, level of understanding, clarity before awakening and pure luck. I was very lucky.
Q. How do you use this experience to help? I mean what advantages does this give you in being able to help or overcome problems that existed on a lower level of consciousness?
A. If one is delusional and not perceiving life in a direct and clear way, then when that delusion is gone, it can help tremendously. All the parts that have been fragmented by ego all of a sudden fit into one complete whole. How could it not help?
Q. How difficult is it to stay "awake" once you awaken? Can you fall back out of being enlightened? If so, how hard is it to get back to that state of consciousness?
A. Once you awaken you cannot fall back asleep. However, you may feel like you are. That which is awake has always been awake and cannot be otherwise. The ego is a state of sleep and will continue until it is seen through. After awakening, there will seem to be relapses into the dream again. The force of habit keeps the process going. However, with awakening comes a deep state of wisdom, which has also always been there but overlooked. From that state of wisdom one sees the ego process fading and doesn't feed it by reacting to it. Many things from the ego just drop away from the moment of awakening; others have more momentum and take awhile to fade. All this time there is still an awakened being observing it all take place and is not moved by it at all.
Q. How upsetting is it to see that you have finally awakened and nobody else has? Isn't life really simple but peoples' egos make it too difficult to be simple?
A. It was difficult to see so clearly what the root cause of humanity's problems is and find few who even cared to talk about it, much less look for it within them selves. At first, I thought it would be easy to just point out the obvious and they will understand, but that was naïve.
Yes, life is simple when the ego is out of the way and it is the ego in others that keeps them from seeing with true simplicity.
Q. How frustrating is it to be enlightened and have to deal with people complaining about heir problems, but are unwilling to correct them because they are too consumed by themselves to elevate their consciousness to the higher level that can only be attained by letting go?
A. It is frustrating but I have been there and know where they are coming from. The most frustrating part is having so few even try to understand. Even people who want to understand keep missing the point and turn something so very simple into something too complex for them to deal with.
Q. Isn't there a greater responsibility that goes along with being enlightened?
A. Yes, there is, but it isn't a personal responsibility. Not that I don't feel it but I know it is not the individual that is trying to awaken seeming others. If it were not for the urgency of the times we are living in, the drive to help others awaken wouldn't be so strong. We could just sit back and wait until everyone evolves to the point of awakening. However, there has always been an urgency to help end needless suffering.
Q. Are there foolproof ways to deal with the ego once you have been enlightened so that you can keep it at bay?
A. There is no reason to keep a dream at bay. When one is awake, you see what foolishness the mind can get into and see what it is. Even when we try not to see too clearly, because we would like to do something we know is foolish, we can't help but always come back to the fact of what reality is. Enlightened people can be foolish at times and can surely make mistakes, but there is also always the present clarity just beyond that reminds us of what is real.
Q. How hard is it to stay enlightened when you are constantly surrounded by unenlightened people? Is isolation helpful?
A. It isn't that difficult because the contrast between the way people perceive reality is so apparent that it keeps one focused. The main problem is that in having to use a dualistic language it tends to keep us at a lower level than one would wish.
Isolation is helpful at times. I really enjoy my hermit life. But we learn most by interacting with others. As a teacher (Reality Facilitator), it is important to see as much as we can of where other people are coming from so we can best deal with communicating with them at whatever level they are at. However, it is great to have a quiet place to withdraw to and recharge. I spend at least 90 percent of my time alone.
Q. It seems that most of us operate out of partial paradigms, we do not understand everything about certain concepts or philosophies, but there are not enough teachers that operate from complete paradigms to teach us, and when they do present themselves we are seldom at a place in consciousness where we are capable or willing to learn. Urges to learn different things seem to come on strong and then fade away like the ocean tide. As people, we seem to learn gradually and become marginally better, or smarter, or wiser. Enlightenment seems to not have anything to do with this though, it is more of a personal struggle, and the only way to win is to let go and stop fighting, but this seems like it would take a horrendous leap of faith. How hard is it to take this leap of faith? Wouldn't it be easier for a person to completely change their environment to get away from other peoples limited views before they work on attaining enlightenment?
A. It is true there are not enough teachers, but there are also not enough students who really want to awaken.
Yes, most of us do sort of ebb and flow in and out of our work on ourselves. This is not a bad thing. We need time to digest what life has shown us, so we let go of the whole process for a while. However, in time we will always come back because there is such need to understand.
When one awakens it is a very different process that takes place. Your whole understanding of what life is, is turned inside out and upside down. No more trying to find something to make the ego feel secure and happy. It is gone as a belief in being separate from the wholeness we truly are.
I find faith useless. That is the belief, hope, and dream, that there is something beyond our suffering and insecurity. If the Truth is what is important to you then you don't need faith. You just have to be focused on what is taking place in and around whom you think you are. When the mind is ripe, Enlightenment overwhelms the dreamer and Wisdom sees clearly the problem we have been facing. In that seeing, the ego is objectified so clearly it becomes the nothingness, it has always been. Faith has nothing to do with it.
Q. I'm sorry about the rambling of my questioning. I have a hard time being articulate when I am writing. My inner dialogue makes sense to me, but when I try to convey it to someone else it seems to come out pretty scrambled.
It seems that there are a lot of things that go on between forming a thought and trying to convey that thought. And I feel that much of this trouble may come from the ego, but I am not sure.
A. It is from the way the dualistic mind works. There is a sense of what is real but as soon as we try to put it in words, it becomes something different. We learn to read between the lines to see the real meaning.
Q. Is there anyway that you can classify the ego into groups maybe. And help me to better define it? I am looking for a more structured way of learning these concepts.
A. The ego really can't be grouped into any classification. It is a process of misidentification brought about by the evolution of the thinking process in humans. It has no real structure, it is just a process. And this is not about concepts, which are part of the ego process. Not that we don't use and need concepts in dealing with our day to day lives, but it is the ego forming concepts and thinking the concepts are the reality that is the problem.
Q. I feel intuitively that as more people become enlightened they may come together and synergize and figure out ideal ways to teach people how to become enlightened. I am very excited about the thought of this happening, and the transformation of the world that could come about because of it. It seems that the whole universe seems to be in alignment and the one major factor that keeps people from aligning is the struggle with the ego. Humans have really made enormous progress on a conscious level, but I think the possibilities are incomprehensible . . .
A. I agree with your intuition. This is my hope too. I don't know if enlightened people can come together in the way you hope though. I say that because we are all so different in how we came to be awake. Each teaches in the way that they see best from their own experience. It still seems possible for all who really understand to come together and discuss all the issues involved and come to some consensus on how best to help people. It would not just have to be enlightened people. It should involve those with training is psychology, brain sciences, etc., but no religious teachers. All too often when groups try to get together to understand these things they include the religions, but religion was brought about by ego and cannot be a cure. It will take a new mind to find the answers to the problems caused by the ego. We can't look to the past for answers.
Q. When I inquire on the question "who am I" or do the process of establishing everything that I'm not, I get to the point that there's nothing. There's nothing there and I sense that asking the question is meaningless since I need to know who is asking it. Trying to go further, I stop thinking linguistically, since I understand that language won't solve the problem. On the other hand, when I go into silence trying to contemplate the I, the ego, without identifying with thoughts, emotions, images etc, nothing happens. Have you ever had this sensation while you were still asleep?
A. Yes, of course I went through this too. It is important to not just ask any questions of your self, but to just be aware of what is going on within the mind. Just simple observation of all that goes on does not require any formal questions. It is a different dynamic that takes place when you are just watching the process of thinking, identifying, rejecting or accepting, than merely asking a question. We have been so educated that we feel everything has to be a question and answer process, but that is limited. By simple observation there is no one asking or getting answers. There is wisdom in each of us that has nothing to do with the mental processes we think we are using. It is that wisdom that opens us to reality. Intuition is its language. But over education has dulled most people to a more direct seeing of the facts as they are. I realize at first this all seems very subtle and difficult to see clearly, but as we go ever deeper into the problems the ego mind has brought us, the simpler it all becomes. When we awaken, it is a direct insight into wholeness and brings freedom from the belief in a separate self.
Q. I have a question about what is commonly understood as the awake, dream and sleep states. I just heard someone (who is awakened to the Self) say that he still has dreams occasionally. This is confusing. Why would someone who is aware in the normal "awake" state, re-claim the ego when they are dreaming? Maybe I misunderstood what he meant, but I assume that he meant that he has regular ego dreams.
Can you please give me some insight into this and maybe share your experience in this regard? It would seem to me that if the "me" were gone that it wouldn't show up in dreams either. This actually also brings up the question of dream lucidity. Occasionally, I "wake up" in my dreams, but there is still a me there. Where does dream lucidity fit in regarding those who have awakened to the Self?
A. Thanks for writing. I will do what I can to help clear up this question for you. It is an important question because it points to a misunderstanding that many people have regarding the ego.
There is not one awakened teacher who does not still think and dream. If they do not, then they are dead, or at least brain dead. The misunderstanding comes from not clearly seeing what the ego is and how it came about. I have written a lot about this, but not the question you are asking. So, let us go into it.
There is so much misunderstanding about the ego and far too many teachers don't seem to have any clearer understanding than their students. You will read how we have to stop all mental processes, that all thinking is ego, etc., etc.......... Too often a teacher will have a taste of enlightenment and start teaching before they have fully gone into the subject they teach. I once heard this well-known woman teacher’s response to a question by one of her students who asked "What is the ego?” and she had no idea. If you don't understand the ego, then you really can't understand enlightenment/awakening.
When the mind is still lost in the dream of ego, they cannot have a clue of what enlightenment is. Not because of lack of intelligence or imagination, but because it is in a totally different dimension that thinking cannot go to. When the mind drops its sense of self, there is a deeper wisdom that comes forward to clear up all these misunderstandings. One can have a Satori, yet still not see the facts clearly. This was the case of my first Satori. Yes, the mind turned inside out and it was realized that there was no 'other', it is all one Life, one Beingness being all of us and filling the Universe, but there still was no real understanding of the ego process nor how it came into, seeming, being.
I know I will be repeating a lot I have already written but, the ego is a by-product of the evolution of the human mind/brain. It is a ghost image brought together by ideas, beliefs, conceptual thinking, etc., that created a sense of separateness where there is none. It feeds on itself, which is just beliefs, to perpetuate the idea of 'me'. It is not now, nor has it ever been, a reality. Hence, it is the ego dream. It being a dream, yet there being intelligence at a deeper level, that intelligence senses the lack of reality the ego is. This is not clearly seen by the ego mind, but it causes a deep sense of insecurity, which is the basic cause of all human problems. It is constantly seeking support to try to maintain itself as the center of all there is. When that process breaks down, one awakens, the ego has came to a crisis of identity that can no longer be supported, and reality shows Itself. Reality is always present as the Universe and It was never lost in any dream. The dream of ego is just within its own distorted process. We are never really lost to it, because it has never existed.
The human brain has evolved as a tool and it functions well when not distorted by ego. When one awakens and sees clearly, it does not kill the brain and its capacity to function with intelligence. There is now just the brain doing what it evolved to do, free of distortion. The mind can think, dream, respond, feel, taste, have pleasure and most other things the brain is capable of. There is a sense of poise, peace, love, compassion, deeper, sensitivity, than the ego could never understand. When we reach this state, we become fully human. Only by us transforming from the ego state, to being fully human can this planet be saved from the ego destruction we see all around us. There are some teachers, far too many, who tell their students not to worry about the planet because it is all a dream. They are not fully awake. Yes, there is a dream about reality that is distorted; yet there is Reality to this Life and this wondrous Planet that is ever present.