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#3115 - Monday, March 24, 2008 -
Editor: Gloria Lee
Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
Rumi says -
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask yourself what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.
from Susan Lucey with photos by Bob O'Hearn http://www.pbase.com/1heart/dont_go_back_to_sleep
In the meantime the mind continues to do what it does.
It assumes the job of answering the questions put to it, but based on nothing more than its own interpretation of itself and its way of viewing reality.
So that mind tells you that you are human, male or female, healthy or unhealthy, good or bad, happy or unhappy, having needs or desires, and on it goes unsupervised and often unnoticed.
An entire industry has been created to encourage positive thinking as a way to improve this image of you while encouraging the notion that you are what you think.
While this is somewhat true for the person or the ego, in all the mind's questions, answers, problems and solutions there is one thing in common: it is all about objects, whether they be thoughts or things.
Objects are all that the mind knows and will know.
To repeat a simple concept, what you are, is not a thing or object that the mind can grasp.
- John Greven
Oneness, Non-Duality Press, p.26-27
posted to Wisdom-l by Mark Scorelle
Opposite Shores by Alan Larus
excerpt from When Fear Falls Away
by Jan Frazier
"Watch the mind - but don't judge what you see it doing. Neither
berate yourself nor congratulate yourself. Don't beat yourself up for
what you "catch yourself" doing, even if it's for the umpteenth time.
It isn't a tender'hearted, self-forgiving stance that leads me to urge
this nonjudgmental aproach. I'm not saying, Love and accept yourself
for all your warts. The point is, it's neither here nor there, how
your mind judges what you do. Its the judging that's the problem:
because it indicates you're taking too seriously the life of the mind.
If you are hard on yourself (or praise yourself) for the activitiy in
your head, you are giving your mind power over you. The point is to
not invest any of it with substantiality. Any kind of judgment only
feeds the ego with the illusion that this stuff is valuable. Starve
the ego to death: its ongoing vitality is like a wall that keep you
from seeing clearly who you really are."
A reader's contribution from Susan Lucey
When Fear Falls Away
by Jan Frazier
delicious, liberating, radical book."
- Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
Do you mean the potential for this has been here right along? That I've been holding it at bay, holding my shoulder to a bulging door all my life -- all my effortful, fearful life -- trying against all reason to hold away this thing that always did want to come in and overwhelm?
The poet Linda Pastan writes, "The world wounds us with its beauty." How this idea used to run through me like a knife: time was always running, running out. Mortality was the dark underside of every loveliness, every pleasure. I could not look at the beautiful world without feeling its terrible brevity. I could not touch my tongue to life without tasting death. Whatever made me think I needed the threat of anniliation to make me love, to wake me up? I thought the specter of time running out would press me to live, to stop wasting time. Now it is no longer so. Now the lovely sky takes me into it, blue by day, black by night. The loveliness of the sky is forever. I am forever. I no longer hold back from loving it: I will not lose it. I am the sky. Joy is unbroken, unbreakable. There is no more poignance, no more ache.
We want to laugh. We ache to be light. We want to pick ourselves empty of all the rot. The lovely world is patiently waiting to rush into all our spaces, to remind us of who we are. It will wait as long as it takes us.
What did that mean, to be both human and enlightened? Before this happened to me, I used to think that if a person were enlightened, all that being human stuff being frail, imperfect, subject to suffering, to desire and fear would be sort of held down by the higher state. I supposed the higher state would be powerful enough to constantly overwhelm all that ordinary human stuff, sort of keeping a lid on it. What in my particular case would the human condition feel like without desire, without fear? These were gigantic forces in my life. Could a life without desire and fear even be said to be human? Werent those emotions inevitable in the mix? How could it be possible to love someone my children, my lover, my creatures and not also fear losing them? And if the fear of loss somehow were to evaporate, wouldnt the love go with it? When the change in me began to occur, it was the feeling of the departure of some of this stuff that was at times unnerving to me, a little scary even. I often said to myself, Wow, who am I without all THAT?
It turns out it isnt a matter of that human stuff being held down. The negative just . . . isnt there anymore. But that doesnt mean there isnt plenty of recognizable, familiarly human stuff that is very much ongoing. My experience of being human now is that enlightenment enlightens the human state. It enlivens it. There is much about my humanity that feels quite intact, thats familiar, particularly in the realm of love, delight, savoring. I enjoy things as much as ever well, even more, because I am not invested in having them, in their continuing. My joy does not depend upon them, is not poisoned by the dread of losing them. So in a way I am freer to enjoy them.
Its not like being liberated in spite of being human. Enlightenment comes through being human. The idea that our humanity would somehow be blotted out or held down or overwhelmed by being enlightened, I now see, is out of whack; but of course I couldnt see that until I got here.
My experience of whats happened to my humanity is like this. My ways of encountering the world and experience that didnt serve me or that were a waste of energy those things fell away, evaporated, and thereby freed up space. This is how I literally experienced the process of becoming free. When fear left, all these other things abilities, insights, profound tenderness came rushing in. So enlightenment seems to transmute the human condition by cleansing away the things that dont serve us, at the same time shining a light into our fullest human potential, infusing it with energy: to be wise, to be kind, to enjoy our lives, to make right decisions, to take effective action. The parts of our humanity that have been blunted by our huge burden of unnecessary suffering become able to thrive and to dance, to become fully realized, to be given air to breathe. So the fundamental nature of humanity if enlightenment can only be allowed to happen is vastly more exciting, inspiring, hopeful, restful, creative, and powerful than anybody supposed. Enlightenment isnt becoming super-human or inhuman; its becoming fully human which turns out to exclude all kinds of things that I used to associate with human nature. Things I believed to be inextricably a part of being human: fear, desire, and so on. Most people believe these things to be innate to our humanity.
Everyone senses what potential the human race has to create, to bring about joy, to alleviate suffering. People also are in general agreement that we tend to botch it, on both the individual scale and the grand one. It has become a cliche, what a bad job we humans are doing, and things seem to grow steadily worse. The fact is, we have it within us to do better dramatically better both individually and as a species.
I used to think enlightenment was rising above humanity. Now I see its coming fully into it. Human nature is enabled to come to full flower. Liberation transmutes the familiar human condition by making it possible to stop the suffering inflicted by the mind. It ends attachment, and it brings about a condition of well-being that is entirely independent of anything external to the inner life.
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