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#1986 - Thursday, November 25, 2004 - Editor: Jerry    

Selections from a new book, Already Awake: Dialogues with Nathan Gill. Non-Duality Press.  

East Sutton, Kent  

One-Day Retreat  

Q: Nathan, all the stuff about awakening seems to become an irrelevance, more and more, and there's more a being puzzled about, 'What's this all about?' It seems to become so irrelevant. I don't know how to explain it properly.  

N: Well, there isn't a point to it. This movie -- this play of life -- appears, and when the thoughts are seen for what they are and there is no longer the play of identification as the character, then it is noticed that there is already awakeness and everything is arising spontaneously. Everything is on 'auto-pilot', so there is a play today of there being a roomful of characters, questions being asked and answering going on, but nobody's at the helm.  

Q: I think the auto-pilot image is very clear.  

N: Yes. If we use the analogy of a movie appearing on a screen, there's nothing there but images appearing -- the screen and the movie go together. The images appear on the screen and that's it. It's only when there is this mesmerisation in thought that there is the idea appearing that something can be done about it, that there's a point to it all. But that's just the play.  

Q: Aren't these images solid? They're three-dimensional.  

N: Yes. It's a multi-dimensional movie, being viewed from within the movie, not being viewed by a viewer from outside. This is the movie. Using an analogy of the human characters representing cells within the 'body' of Consciousness -- viewing points, then we can see that this movie is being viewed from all these different points within itself by Consciousness. Consciousness is the movie, and is viewing and experiencing itself as each character.  

Q: There was a Woody Allen film some years ago where a character does actually slip out of the movie -- I've forgotten which film it was, but maybe we as seekers are trying to do that.  

N: Yes, but there is nothing outside of the movie. There is only the movie and the present registering of it from 'within' the movie. The registering and this that is being registered -- which is wholeness, Consciousness.  

Q: And no need to escape.  

N: No, that's the goal of traditional spirituality: escape from identification as the content into the awareness aspect.  

Q: But that's not it either.  

N: No, our true nature is wholeness, with the simultaneous aspects of awareness and the content of awareness.  

Q: Knowing is deepening here, but there is often still a sense of separation.  

N: It is unlikely initially that there will be a felt sense of oneness. But as there is more of a resting in knowing, then this sense of being bodily confined may seem to dissipate, so that there is still a body appearing here but it's not 'my' body any more. There may be less of a concrete feeling of being 'I -- this body'.  

Q: And the apparent evolving can be so subtle it's hardly noticed.  

N: Yes. This is the play -- of seeking, of coming to talks, of reading books, so that this exclusive identification as the character has already been fairly well undermined in the case of most of the characters in the room.  

But 'out there in the world', this message with regard to our true nature isn't commonly propagated. It's not permeating into the play as part of 'everyday life'. So, within the play, there is a constant tendency of forgetting of our true nature. All the characters are behaving as individual characters, completely unaware that our identity  is the same. When there is reminding of your true nature, it's not hard to see that everything, every form, is Yourself. There is still, however, the appearance of separation, distance, perspective, as a functional aspect of the play.  

~ ~ ~  

Q: After liberation...  

N: There is no liberation. (laughter)  

Q: After the true nature is realized, you...  

N: It is always presently. There is no 'after' or 'before' -- it's always presently. So let's just say, 'In the present recognition of our true nature.'  

Q: In the present recognition of our true nature ... (laughter)  

N: Notice the subtle ways in which speech arises as an outward extension of thought.  

Q: And it keeps us trapped.  

N: Nothing can keep you trapped. Your true nature is oneness. Oneness is never trapped, but there are subtle ways in which thought and speech seem to promote immersion in the play, the mesmerisation.  

Q: I hear this talk now and it's all clear and it's recognized and it's great. And then the phone rings or I go out to dinner, and back I am in the 'I' again. Why isn't it more constant? I mean, I know it's there constantly, but the clouds of 'I', 'I', 'I', 'I' come thick and fast.   I

hear from you, and from other people, that there is no need for practices -- I don't actually do any but I am just re-inspecting that, because I feel hijacked most of the time. Is there anything efficacious for letting one's true nature be felt? (laughter)  

N: No (laughter)  

This 'I' -- this 'I' thought that is piggy-backing all these other thoughts about bringing your true nature to the fore -- all of this is a play, an appearance in or on your true nature. This play seems to be about the recognition of oneness, about relaxing into the ease of being -- which is actually already the case anyway, but is simply recognised via the medium of the play.  

Q: I totally hear you, but my living isn't mainly like that. My living is mainly in forgetfulness with the clouds parting here and there. Many times a day, certainly, the light falls on this object which calls itself 'I', but when I go out there, my true nature is obscured.  

N: This remembering and forgetting is the play. Maybe an ease arises as to whether 'I' is there or not. It is simply seen through when it appears. Not believed anymore.  

Q: So when it arises, you stop and take a look.  

N: Maybe that happens as part of the play.  

Q: Is it something natural, like self-enquiry naturally occurs?  

N: Yes, just as everything is naturally, spontaneously occurring. Maybe something called 'self-enquiry' -- inspecting the 'I' -- happens. But there is actually no one doing it.  

When this message permeates into the play, seeking begins to subside and there is relief and ease. But there is no answer to the apparent problems appearing in the play. All the while there is the assumption that your nature is this 'I', there is the attempt to deal with problems and to sort it all out. And for every problem sorted, there will always be a further problem. It is only when this recognition of your true nature begins to arise that real peace or ease is revealed. All the 'problems' are still there, but there is no longer indentification with them.  

Already Awake: Dialogues with Nathan Gill. Non-Duality Press.

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