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#1730 - Saturday, March 13, 2004 - Editor: michael
Consciousness is all there is. So "who" is to know or
seek "what"? All there is, is the impersonal
functioning of Consciousness, or God, reflecting within itself
the totality of manifestation. Live life making decisions and
accepting the consequences as if you have free will - knowing it
is Consciousness seeking, doing, living, deciding... Ramesh S. Balsekar
Head space. We live in our heads. Our sense of identifty is wrapped up in our thoughts, our beliefs, our hopes, our fears, and our expectations. Our minds seem an endless source of thoughts. Our thoughts effect our emotions, our feelings. Our sense of well being or not being so well is often founded on whatever thought(s) we are giving attention to in the moment. Happy thoughts seem to lift us up in spirit and sad thoughts seem to weigh us down. Sages such as Ramesh S. Balsekar tell us that Conciousness is doing it all; in a rather impersonal way. Thus, one might tend to think that there is no joy or bliss to be found by anybody. Why? Well, Conciousness (God) is doing it all. In other words we are suffering under the delusion that we are somebody. Impersonal functioning of Conciousness doesn't leave much room for you and I. Or does it? Implied within the above quote is the message that we are not the "who" or "what" no, we are the Conciousness that is doing it all. The seeker after enlightenment or awakening or realization (or whatever term one prefers) is perpetualy caught on the horns of a dilema. On the one horn are the sages who say that the seeker is already what is sought. The other horn informs the seeker that he or she is a separate being; somehow apart and individual from Conciousness. What happens then, when the bull tosses its head? Ah, the Tiger's Mouth awaits! In this edition I've included the headless stories of D. E. Harding, Greg Goode, and Vicki Woodyard. There is also some food for thought and something to warm the heart. as ever - be well, michael
The best day of my life- my rebirthday, so to speak- was when I found I had no head. ...
It was when I was thirty-three that I made the discovery. Though it certainly came out of the blue, it did so in response to an urgent inquiry; I had for several months been absorbed in the question: WHAT AM I? The fact that I happened to be walking in the Himalayas at the time probably had little to do with it; though in that country unusual states of mind are said to come more easily. ...
What actually happened was something absurdly simple and unspectacular: just for the moment I stopped thinking. Reason and imagination and all mental chatter died down. For once, words really failed me. I forgot my name, my humanness, my thingness, all that could be called me or mine. Past and future dropped away. It was as if I had been born that instant, brand new, mindless, innocent of all memories. There existed only the Now, that present moment and what was clearly given in it. To look was enough. And what I found was khaki trouserlegs terminating downwards in a pair of brown shoes, khaki sleeves terminating sideways in a pair of pink hands, and a khaki shirtfront terminating upwards in - absolutely nothing whatever! Certainly not in a head.
It took me no time at all to notice that this nothing, this hole where a head should have been, was no ordinary vacency, no mere nothing. On the contrary, it was very much occupied. It was a vast emptiness vastly filled, a nothing that found room for everything - room for grass, trees, shadowy distant hills, and far above them snow-peaks like a row of angular clouds riding the blue sky. I had lost a head and gained a world.
Discussion proved almost invariably quite fruitless. "Naturally I can't see my head," my friends would say. "So what?" And foolishly I would begin to reply: "So everything! So you and the whole world are turned upside down and inside out..." It was no good. I was unable to describe my experience in a way that interested the hearers, or conveyed to them anything of its quality or significance. ... Here was something perfectly obvious, immensely significant, a revelation of pure and astonished delight - to me and nobody else! When people start seeing things others can't see, eyebrows are raised, doctors sent for. And here was I in much the same condition, except that mine was a case of NOT seeing things. Some loneliness and frustration were inevitable. This is how a real madman must feel (I thought) - cut off, unable to communicate.
Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:11 am
Subject: On Having No Head
(ed. note: "Larry" is Vickie's irreverent spirit guide and "Ruin" is the stck pony that Larry rides)
On Having No Head
Wisdom is ever
http://homepage.mac.com/casewright/essays/antikythera.html The Antikythera Mechanism
A True Mystery of the Ancient World
Nonsense and pseudo science run rampant in our world. Claims of conspiracy and extra natural phenomenology replace the proper use of rational inquiry to examine the unknown. Often, the creation of a pseudo science mythology is easier and more profitable than performing the needed research to discover a historical or physical fact.
What is the nature of consciousness? Is it limited to humans? Does free will exist? Read on for one scientist's view.
The Electric Brain
How does a three-pound mass of wet gray tissue (the brain) succeed in representing the external world so beautifully? In this interview with noted neuroscientist Rodolfo Llinás of the New York University School of Medicine, find out how the rhythm of electrical oscillations in the brain gives rise to consciousness, and how failures in this rhythm can lead to a variety of brain disorders.
http://www.zoofence.com/theohome.html with thanks to Sarlo for pointing to this page
Buddhism means awakening, so I am an evangelist for awakening. I agree with the Dalai Lama that it doesn't mean becoming a Buddhist; it means becoming an awakened Christian, an awakened Jew, an awakened Muslim, an awakened Secularist Humanist. But awakened meaning understanding what's going on, being kind to others, which is a source of your own happiness after all. I don't mind being accused of being an evangelist for wanting to help people awaken to that.
The Buddha's first noble truth is "life is
suffering." How do we overcome suffering?
The Buddha was referring to the suffering of unenlightened living, which means the suffering of self-centeredness and disconnection from others, shutting yourself off in a world of narcissistic self involvement.
The minute you awaken to the cause of suffering, which is your self-preoccupation and your self-misperception, your ignorance, then you'll begin to have a happy time. And the more you awaken to your interconnection with others, the more free of suffering you'll become.
The whole Buddhist path has to do with altruism and loving your neighbor, just as Christianity does. Christianity doesn't mean I love Jesus and he will save me and Jesus will love my neighbor. Christ says, You love your neighbor.
United States | 16:35 | Jason Reitman
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As Robert reads the words "In God We Trust" on a quarter, he is pulverized by a speeding truck. Upon his arrival in purgatory, Robert learns he is going to hell because he mowed the word asshole into his neighbor's lawn, shipped a box of vomit to his ex-girlfriend, and didn't get enough points in general. However, fate gives Robert a second chance and he escapes back to Earth. Now, he must score the points necessary to gain entry into heaven or die trying as the minions of purgatory use everything they've got to to stop him.
http://atman.net/nondualogicality/2003_01_20_nondualogicality_archive.html with thanks to Jody
Monday, January 20, 2003
Identity, The Self,
and the Snare of Significance
Why don't we know who we really are? Why are so many of us limited to the idea of being a person instead of understanding ourselves as limitlessness itself? Such questions are especially perplexing given the fact that we've never been anything else! What exactly is Maya's veil, this trickery that has us seeing snakes instead of ropes?
The process of identity forms the crux of the problem. We identify as the individual person we know ourselves to be. We have always known ourselves as this individual, and as much as we've changed over the course of our lives, we've always been just us. It's all we've ever known, and that's a clue to who we really are.
However, the sages tell us that we are not individuals at all, that we're never born and that we won't die either. A sensible person might not make much sense of this, but the sages insist it is so. Somehow, something that is not born and never dies gets born into a life that ends in certain death. It's as if the unborn gets stuck in being the born, like a child getting stuck playing with gooey bubble gum.
What we call "the mind" has evolved to do many things. It could be argued that one of its most important functions is to rank, to prioritize and label experiences and memories. We learned very early in our evolutionary history that some of our neighbors were stronger, and some were downright dangerous. If we wanted to survive we had to remember who to look out for and who to ignore. In essence, we learned what was significant. So the mind came up with a way to mark memories with varying levels of significance, and thus identity was born.
Significance, the mind's function of ranking memories with attached emotion, is the cause of identity. We (as individuals) are what we find significant, with the idea of being an individual person at the very top of the heap. This "idea of me," as Ramakrishna called it, is actually just a thought, but because it is the most significant thought in our heads, it clouds our perceptual capacity and we miss the truth that's as plain as the nose on our faces.
The reason it's missed is this: who we really are is perfectly insignificant. We rest in ourselves in every moment, whether we are awake or asleep, shining deep within our hearts. The mind has evolved to see the significant (that which brings comfort or hardship) and ignore everything else, so how can we expect it to see the constant yet unmoving, silent presence of what is often called "The Self?"
This tragedy is further compounded by that fact that almost all of so-called "spiritual" culture makes who we really are to be the most significant thing in the universe. We are led to believe that there's nothing greater than "The Self," that all the worlds arose because of it and that the entire universe rests on its being. That may well be true, but when the mind factors in and marks the inferred significance of this, it effectively eclipses the truth. We may as well have just blown off our foot with a shotgun!
What can be done about this? Perhaps not a whole lot, but if we endeavor to realize that what we are looking for is who we are right now, we might not waste so much time seeking something big and mighty and glorious -- that is, significant. We might do a bit better to seek out the small and quiet and quite unglorious, for that's much more akin to the wholly insignificant yet constant presence of this most significant of truths: we are all the One, The Self, right now.
http://www.nonduality.com/goode.htm with thanks to Greg
Years ago, there was lots and lots of vigilance in my life. Before and during spiritual seeking, I wasn't badly suffering or in pain or unhappy with circumstances in life or stuck in dysfunctional patterns. Instead, I felt a deep sense of loneliness, alienation, lack of fulfillment, and a strong yearning from the heart and mind to know "What is it all about? What is the purpose of life? What happens after? What are all these mystical truths that are spoken of? Where is fulfillment to be found?" I was very vigilant about it.
Going back 30+ years, I tried many, many different paths, from Ayn Rand's icy "Rational Selfishness" to the strictness and ecstasy of Born-Again Pentacostal Christianity. Years later, this all settled down to an intense inquiry.
For about 5 years, one question kept itself rooted in front of me. "What is the core of me?" I couldn't help it - I'd ponder this in every spare moment the mind wasn't engaged in something else. It was a sweet and relentless yearning. I really wanted to burrow into the deepest secrets of this. After a few years, the question refined itself. "What or where is this choosing, willing entity that seems to be in evidence?" "Is that the me?" "But where is it?"
The answer came one day while I was reading a book about consciousness. I was standing on the Grand Central subway platform during the evening rush hour, and the answer came. It didn't come as a conceptual statement like "It is ABC." Rather, it came by way of the world and the body imploding into a brilliant light, and the willing, phenomenal self thinning out, disappearing in a blaze of the same light. No separation was experienced; no time or space was experienced, yet I knew myself as the seeing itself. All "willings," "desirings," "thoughts" and other mentations were deeply experienced as spontaneous arisings in awareness, happening around no fixed point or location. And it wasn't personal. Not only the entity "Greg," but all apparent personal entities dissolved.
Out of nowhere, lightness, sweetness, brightness, and a fluidity of the world became qualities of everything, and became one with all experiences. My long-standing question had vanished along with what I had believed was "me." There arose resiliency, joy, and an untouchable happiness.
This experience uncovered the realization that without the conceptual structures that make things seem real, there is no presumption of a separate center. There is no suffering and no basis for suffering. There is no feeling that things should be different than they are. This is a sense of peace far beyond what happens when we get what we dream about.
"The Divine Beloved is always with you, in you, and around you. Know that you are not separate from Him."
http://www.bobwoodyard.com/satsang.htm with thanks to Vicki and her iMaculate Swami
Swami Z makes a shambles where shambala used to be.
Satsang With Swami Z
The doorbell rang before I had opened both eyes. It was the Home Depot man. I let him in and we sat down at the kitchen table. I want to build an addition on the back of the house, I said. Big enough to have drop-in satsang. He looked at me like I had just spilled some brains out of my head and he was going to have to pick them up.
You know--drop-in satsang. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile satsang.
He decided to let that comment go...to let it fly over his head. How big do you want it to be?
Big enough for the universe and small enough so it wont be overwhelming. Swami usually manages to pull this off. Surely you can do the same.
Unfortunately Swami wandered in at that point, pulling his ratty red cardigan closed. He had a notebook in his hand. Look what I found, Vicki, he said, my satsang notes from the seventies.
I considered changing my mind about the whole deal. I groaned, grimaced and got the picture. Swami would be doing his reverse-Swami thing on a regular basis. Lets listen in...
Im not a spiritual teacher, intoned Swami in a mock-serious way. "Im no one in particular. I just happen to (and here his voice grew very conspiratorial).... know. He assumed a mock importance and offered his hand to me as he said, This is one of my star students.
What could I do but keep the charade going. Yes, dear Swami, I reverence your wisdom and your ability to keep your schtick in place no matter what. The Home Depot man couldnt have cared less. He obviously knew loonies when he saw them. Okay, Ill draw up a plan and get back to you.
Good, good, I said, ushering him to the door. When it closed behind him, I began to cry. Swami, I cant do it. Ive aleady changed my mind. Im writing us back the way we used to be.
He looked almost real as he said softly, Would that were possible. Would that were possible. But he didnt say that. I deleted that sentence and chose to have him say this, Cheer up, kiddo, Im about to make some cookies.
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