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#3116 - Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Nonduality Highlights -    

Charlie Hayes writes...   "John Wheeler told me about this ... It is a really GOOD one!"  

(Many Thanks to Stephen Wingate)

The Absence of Separation

The author is Greg Goode and the following comes from his book Standing As Awareness, which you may read more about here:

Q: How can I better understand this?


A: Well, it's not a matter of taking up a new theory, but there is a conceptual structure at play here making you think you are separate and walled off. Without this structure in the mix, there would be no presumption or experience of separation. Let me ask—to you right now, what is the difference between you and me?


Q: You're sitting over there, and I'm right here.


A: And this couldn't make any sense unless you thought of yourself, as well as me, as bodies with awareness inside them. The great Advaitin, Krishna Menon, said, "What we take ourselves to be is what we seem to see." If you take yourself to be a body, then the world seems to be made up of physical objects. If you take yourself to be a mind, then the world seems to be made of subtle essences including minds. And if you take yourself to be awareness, then the world is experienced as nothing but awareness.


Q: But I know I'm not the body. The body changes over time, and I am what watches it, and I have remained unchanged.


A: Yet you feel like you are "inside" the body?


Q: Yes, I can see things only from this angle. If I were not inside this body, I would be able to travel anywhere, and see anything from any angle.


A: Do you feel like you are in any specific location inside the body?


Q: Umm, let me see....


A: Do you feel that you are above the waist or below the waist?


Q: Above, definitely.


A: Okay, do you feel you are above the neck or below the neck?


Q: Above the neck.


A: Okay, above the nose or below?


Q: Above.


A: Can you narrow it down any more?


Q: I feel like I am behind the eyes.


A: How big are you? What shape?


Q: Oh, about an inch wide, maybe round.


A: Behind the forehead? On the left, right, or in the center?


Q: I feel like I'm in the center behind the eyes.


A: How far back from the eyes?


Q: Oh, about an inch.


A: Okay, we've found you!! A marble-sized ball about an inch behind the center of the forehead!


Q: I guess so (smiling).


A: Now, what is it that this marble appears to?


Q: What?


A: Well, as we talk about this, does the little marble seem to appear as an image?


Q: Yes it does!


A: So if this image is appearing, what is it appearing to? That is, it doesn't seem like the marble is doing the seeing; it seems like the marble is being seen.


Q: Yes, I understand. The little marble isn't the seer, it is being seen. I guess it's just an idea I have of myself.


A: Yes, based on a few habitual things, such as the prominence of the visual sense over hearing, taste and smell. It’s also based on the association that arises over time between thinking of one's self and the subtle muscular contractions in the forehead region. It makes us think that this is where we are.

But now think of the marble image, and that which is aware of the marble image. If you had to place your true self on one side or the other, would you be on the side that is seeing? Or the side that is being seen?


Q: The seeing side, definitely. I feel that I'm looking at this marble. So how can I be over there inside the marble?


A: Okay, the seeing of the marble; think about this seeing. As the seeing arises, does the seeing have a location?


Q: No, it isn't experienced as being in a location. I can say it must be in the brain, but that's just an idea. The experience itself doesn't have any location at all. Aha!


A: That's it! Nothing else has a location either. And that awareness in which experience arises is your Self. It is the non-separate Self of all.


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