Nonduality Salon (/ \)
Nonduality for the People
We become adept at swallowing the toad, warts and all. Our preferences are deleted as rapidly as they are engendered. Our stance is movement, yet this movement is the economy of rest.
ABIDING, NONATTACHMENT, AND DETACHMENT
by Gene Poole
Abiding admits to something
to abide. In this admission, is the admission of the
entire Universe. But unto what, is this Universe
admitted? Is there a space, so big, in which to fit all
of what is?
Yes, and it is space itself, which is awareness; awareness can 'contain' or encompass or 'know' the entire Universe. Awareness, properly understood, is 'omniscience', yet, what is 'having' this omniscience?
It is space, itself, the originator, which perceives itself, as reflected by what arises within 'it'. It is space, which allows definition; that is, the difference between (the space between) two things, is defined by the shape (definition) of those things. Yet, space is 'not-two'.
Space is one, things are many, yet all things return to the emptiness of space from which 'they' arise. In temporary display, things seem to become, to evolve, and to expire. And it is all happening 'in space'. In this regard, space is just like 'mind'; things arise, are entertained, and expire, in endless succession. The significances of things, are assigned by the one who gives rise to them; thus, all meaning is self-referential, all meaning is inspired and derived from the infinite pool of omniscience which is awareness.
It is in this arena that we find ourselves; what is not defined, is the one who gives meaning, the omniscient one. It is 'bad form' (for everyone except Michael R) to refer to self as infinite and omniscient; it is 'good form' to police the manifestations of 'others', to enforce the rules of decency and humility, to ensure that 'enlightenment' or 'self-realization' does not seem to occur, unless certain criteria are met, adhered to.
Abiding, admits to all of this, and any more of it which may be apparent. It is this constant barrage of judgement, this harangue of holiness, this admonition to be angelic, which is the irritant which is abided. Abidance in not static nor is it decided; it is a dynamic balance, akin to that of a surfer 'hanging ten' while riding the never-ending 'big one', yes drenched, but hyper-aware of the need to be hyper-aware.
The 'let's get it finished and over with and get on with our lives' approach, assumes that there are problems to be solved, states to experience, lives to live, deaths to die, and all in a linear fashion. What of simultaneity, one may ask? What of the (hinted) MultiVerse, containing this Universe, which is contained in awareness itself, as omniscience? What of the 'realm of possibilities?
Is it necessary to 'deconstruct', to see what is under, behind, or precedent of that which is apparent? How about simply jumping to the end? But taking that leap, one leaves the grounding of self, to travel to an imagined ideal, for some 'reason' this is done or tried, as though, something can be 'done' about anything. Is this done, to illustrate, to teach, to example, to help? Or is it otherwise, and later, rationalized as having 'meaning'? Is it simply spasmodics, or is it 'enlightenment in action'?
Detachment denies that there is anything to abide; instead, it sets up camp in a stasis-field, to keep away the bears and cougars and wolves and ants. Detachment has already decided 'how it is', and if that were the technique of the surfer, all waves would have to conform to that one form, which is already decided, or the surfer would take a header. This we see in the act of the control-artist, especially the control-artists who don the mantle of spiritual virtue, of superiority, of knowing the ethical prerequisites for entry to heaven, nirvana, or sunyata. Those who abstain from the struggle, are detached, while those who abide, those who are 'non-attached', are swimming with the sharks, yet avoid the teeth.
Abiding uses nonattachment, not detachment, as means, but not to an end, but as way of Being. Nonattachment allows the slithering/flashing/throbbing beauty/ugliness which is apparent, to continue on its way, noting, and letting go. Detachment is a pre-decided match, won in advance, the winner wearing the blue ribbon of 1st Place, and what competitor can dare claim victory, against the current champion? Detachment declares itself not only ahead of, but in abeyance of, any struggle whatsoever.
Abiding says: "I see this situation, and I will keep my balance as it transpires, and I will not expect this ongoing fluctuating field of effects to end, nor will I complain of the buffeting that I receive as I maintain my desired and learned stance of balance".
Says abiding: "I do not expect to reach the end of this job of work, so I will keep my tools sharpened; I do not long for the day on which, I can throw away my tools and skills, to sink gratefully into non-effort."
Quoth abiding: As I abide, I also learn to abide; thus, abiding is also learning. As I abide I abide my own ignorance, and also my own enlightenment. If God shows up with a big 'stop sign', I can stop, but until then, my task is to recognize and to compensate for changing conditions. Indeed, I can afford to have no feelings about changing conditions, but instead, have feelings for my own dilemma, that of abiding I know not what."
What is life, and what is death? Detachment knows not, but is self-defined as above or superior to those conundrums; nonattachment knows those puzzles intimately, yet, does not surrender to the contempt of familiarity. Wary for the next shift, abiding is dynamic, and if there is rest, it is in the flimsy assurance that disaster has been averted through the agency of non-reaction. The question is constant, and there are no final answers, only refinements of the question. Finally, there is no finality, and once that desire has been put to rest, all exertion is had in the context of acceptance; in that context, what comes, is a gift, as repulsive as it may be in the moment.
We become adept at swallowing the toad, warts and all. Our preferences are deleted as rapidly as they are engendered. Our stance is movement, yet this movement is the economy of rest. What is not forbidden, is mandatory, and what is mandatory is to suffer in proportion to forgetfulness. Remembering replaces compensatory fantasy, and the only fantasy is that of more effective remembering. Amnesia is not desired, for one has not forgotten amnesia, and the long and painful climb out of that singularity, nor has one taken for granted the buoyancy of Grace, nor the intuition of phases of 'growth'.
We know that we get what we choose, and that we do not always know what we choose, and thus we know also, to accept what we get, yet to note what circumstances brought what we regret, so as to better choose. Knowing this is to be able to refine what choice is available, to accept what can not be chosen, and thus to be freed of one more attachment.
Soon, what was a series of gross efforts, becomes as light as breathing, as light as the touch of wing of butterfly, as subtle as the odor of distant fragrant grasses in unseen mountain meadows, as light as the passing of seconds of pleasure; but to maintain vigilance then, is the work, for the job never ends, except in the myths of those who in their detachment, find finality, finished, ended, departed from this sphere of suffering, benumbed perhaps, maybe disabled and out on the sidelines, but in denial of wounds, and in imitation of the greater denial-artists, who in their smiling grace look down upon those still identified with the dynamism of the Great Breath of the Living Universe, and shake their heads in pity for those who by staying in the game, accept the only reward there is, that of enhanced skill and thus less effort expended, to the same or better effect.
And so on.
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