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Highlights #686

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Wednesday, April 18


JB789

My question is, is there a consciousness which is not
conditioned and independent of conditions ? ... What do you
say/see ?

TIM GERCHMEZ

Yes. Consider it the 'feel of Beingness' or the feeling as if,
"I AM" (without giving importance to 'who that is'). This
humming of Beingness or 'sense of consciousness' is 'prior to'
the innumerable forms appearing.

There is multiplicity, there is duality (two) which is the
Beingness or I AM, and there is nonduality. But all of these
divisions are conceptual, pointers only.

JAN BARENDRECHT

There is a perspective which also is a non-perspective, where the
question is moot.
A matter of "experience" or as some could say "non-experience".

GREG GOODE

This is a classic question between Buddhism and Advaita.

*Many* Buddhist tenet systems, but *not all*, say NO to your
question.

Advaita Vedanta says YES, and characterizes consciousness as
"The I-Principle," "the Unseen Seer," "That which appearances
appear to," and many many other things.

It can get very intellectual, but on the other hand, you can go
with that which draws you....

_____________________________________________________________________

JAN BARENDRECHT

"Which method worked for you?"

Not a method but the proverbial visit to lord Yama - that worked
for Nachiketas and Ramana too, to mention just two of the
"famous characters". And what about the Buddha, who must have
come quite close with the extreme asceticism... on this list,
not to forget Timji who also had some encounters... Yama is the
teacher par excellence...

_______________________________________________________________________

DOC HOBBES

Let me ask you then, why two words (concepts) for the same
thing? Like nonduality and no-mind. Surely these 'masters' are
idiots as certainly, if there were both looking at the same
thing they would have come up with the same word...

or.. has all this religious bullshit warring gone to our heads
to the point that we can not see that the apples are still
apples and mangos don't grow in Canada?

Peace or at least 'global peace' is a facist idea under any
banner and a foolish idea as 'clearly' each and every one knows
the simple law of this and that to each other on a spiritual
(subtle realm) and physcial planes.

I fail to see how a few so-called 'good men (and women)' that
are so disconnected and isololated from the reality of the
'existing conditions of callapse' while living in luxury, can
even make any informed desicions.

Perhaps then 'peace', or contentment with a sense of belonging,
is a 'community organized event' and not a 'global summit'.

Now, what do we want?

__________________________________________________________________

CYBERDERVISH

Is not the Self powerful?

If one is the Self, which is non other than the supreme being.
Why cannot ONE just brush aside the body/mind illusion?

If we are the Self than what need is there to do anything,
anything at all?

It is only the self, the body/mind illusion that has the
problems. But if the self itself is an illusion and the problems
are illusions too. The self, the body/mind is an illusion to
whom?

If the Self has become mired in this body/mind illusion and
thinks that it is the self, then it is not powerful, is it?

The Self has no problems, the self does not exist ... so what is
the point of it all?

I know. I know. Just find out 'who am I'. All the questions will
die a natural death.:-)

Again what is required is blind faith. All the superstitions and
religions in the world too require blind faith. So which path to
follow? Should we rely on our minds? Should we rely on our
hearts? Should we rely on our intuitions? Surely all these are
the enemy? All Illusions?

Don't get me wrong! All these questions are being asked by my
mind. Inside, somewhere I have no questions. I feel I am being
guided in the right direction. As for my heart, it is laughing
most of the times [though I guess that too is an illusion.]

____________________________________________________________

MIRROR

Dear lists, Hereby I forward you an article written by Vartman
(some of you may know....). He addresses an issue that I myself
have been confronted with within the last year and a half or so.
The issue of 'walking beside the razors edge', instead of
walking the middle way, jumping from the concept of 'self
assertion' into the concept of 'self denial'. I may (or may not)
relate some of my more personal experiences later, but I thought
I'd send this article, as it directly jumps into open inquiry of
our concepts. It also addresses the issue of intimate
relationships and sexuality. Vartman and Susanna are two
beautiful people who devoted their lives to the continuous
discovery and sharing of truth, having found the one beloved in
each other. Mira

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

---------- When I started to hold Satsang 3 years ago, I would
often talk about the importance of walking the middle-path or
razors edge between self-doubt and denial.

It appeared at that time, that 98% of spiritual seekers were
trapped in the dilemma of doubting that they were already
Consciousness/Love.

Even in this relatively short time many seekers have turned into
founders or possibly many have just jumped to the other side of
the razors edge from self-doubt to denial.

Over the last year or so there has been a huge proliferation of
satsang teachers pointing to the simple fact that we are already
perfect, pure and whole. It is totally true, but the mind is a
tricky beast, and it can use almost any truth for its own
benefit. The challenge is that generally the mind is not keen on
making effort when it thinks it can get away with comfort and
even less enthusiastic to be shown areas that need more
investigation and not entirely illuminated.

It appears that all of us suffer this habit from time to time.
Its nothing personal, it is just the way the mind operates, and
is not a problem unless we are attached to our level of
spiritual attainment more than we are open to honest and naked
spiritual existence.

As the spiritual community grows, the spiritually transmitted
disease, of denial seems to be turning into somewhat of an
epidemic.

At some level it hurts less to be thinking that you have got it
together, than being plagued by the mind stuck in self-doubt. As
H.W.L. Poonja once answered, when someone asked him: Why do so
many of your devotees think that they are enlightened? His
answer was: Better than thinking that they are unenlightened! So
why rock the boat? Because life, if not death, will probably
test the depth of our ability to be ok with what is, at a pretty
extreme level.

The first step out of this trap is the willingness to truly
inquire and see where we may be constricting our inherent
openness.

The good news is that there is a really accurate and tangible
depth meter to give us a realistic measure of how deeply we are
embodying our realization, illustrating where the truth may only
be at a mental level.

The Tibetans are really clear on the point of not resting in the
bardo of I have seen that I am already perfectly free
irrespective of anything I do. What so often seems to happen is
that it is taken for granted that I can always count on
perfection being here, so we believe that we can attend to it
later. In Dzogchen the 3 aspects of realization are listed as:
view, meditation, action. Correct seeing of the Truth,
meditation/practice to get used to the correct view, and then
spontaneous action, always grounded in love (regardless what it
looks like), is a confirmation of the depth of our living
realization.

So the practical test often looks like this; a predominantly
masculine person in his spiritual path primarily feels at home
in the emptiness/stillness of consciousness. Through meditation
(or some other practice that allows him to become grounded and
familiar with this fact of who he is), he can fully participate
in the ever-changing flow of life. As he deepens, fewer things
in life can make him fixate on experiences (in mistaking the
promise that they would be able to give him more freedom than is
inherently already here), or can overwhelm him into retreating
from life.

In a predominantly feminine person, her true spiritual life
connects her more and more deeply with the fact that she is
inherently Love. And through her practice, her conditioning is
less and less able to limit the natural radiance of Love.

Both the masculine and feminine person can deepen without being
in intimate relationship, because their primary potential to
live totally open is always in the fullness of the moment. The
masculine is at home in the peace of nothingness, but is also
totally attracted to the feminine energy, perhaps in nature,
art, and especially in women. The feminine person is home in
love, but is also attracted to feeling the stillness of divinity
manifest in front of her in a man that seems totally trustable,
dependable, and uncollapsible in his ability to be directed and
strong in the midst of the flow of life.

The interesting test is when these two people meet and become
intimately involved.

I would love a dakini for every time that I hear someone gasp;
"I am so enlightened until I get into relationship.

Intimate relationship tests the level of our practice to an
extreme. As the honeymoon period wears off and all the latent
conditioning and childhood neediness arises, it becomes an acid
test of the mans ability to truly embody freedom. Particularly
when the woman is expressing her stronger emotional aspects of
love. Is he grounded and so clear that nothing finally matters,
so that he can play fully in life and be truly loving in their
life together? Conversely the test for the woman is to surrender
her strength of independence (as opposed to codependent
weakness) and fully living as her deepest natural expression of
love.

Its a tall order indeed but what else would we want to do with
our lives, when we have seen who we truly are?

This test works for virtually all people but not all. I have met
a very rare minority of people that obviously have no karmic
desire to be in relationship. For example, one of my teachers in
India, Dolano, never really had any interest in sex or
relationship, and there were no signs of strong repulsion to it
either. So for the modern celibates, this is not really
appropriate. Why I mention this to highlight the difference
between naturally being uninterested, and convincing ourselves
that we are uninterested as a defense against life which often
equates to being constantly wounded by love.

Four months ago I asked via our website if anyone could
recommend people that were "tangibly" embodying their
realization in daily life. Since then, Susanna and I have hung
out with, spoken with, and listened to more than a dozen of the
most notable western teachers that we could find alive at this
time.

By their own admission, virtually all the teachers that we met,
stated that remaining fully open in intimate relationship
without denial, is an extremely challenging test.

It is an area that many of us would prefer to leave out of
spirituality (as many religions have tried), as it seems to
bring out the best and the worst of our conditioning, leaving us
feeling schizophrenic in the tug-o-war between our spiritual
logic and our rapidly defending/denying/closing emotions, body
and mind.

For some, an understanding of the absolute truth is enough, but
in my experience, spirituality is only complete when it covers
and enlightens EVERY aspect of life, without leaving out parts
that seem unspiritual.

Someone that has a profound understanding of the use of intimate
relationships and sexuality for down to earth spiritual growth
is David Deida. Refreshingly, David lives this path with
tangible evidence as displayed in his life. He has deeply
researched spiritual traditions, delivering the essential truth
in a radically practical spiritual path.

We are deeply touched and inspired by the vision of a fully
sexual spiritual culture starting now so we have decided to work
closely with Dav id to serve who ever feels the pull to live
authentically, vulnerably and wildly open to God in every moment
of life.

In freedom and love, Vartman and Susanna.

_______________________________________________________________

MACE MEALER

Endeavor to think no ill of others,
and you will be challenged within the hour.
Endeavor to understand the Truth,
and you will know confusion within the day.
Endeavor to overcome fear,
and it will stalk you, unrelenting, in the guise of habit.
Endeavor to act with Compassion,
and the world will smile in anticipation.

Mace
______________________________________________________________________

OMKARA

To have unconditional love is to *be* unconditional love.
To lose one's way is to find it (congratulations! <smile>).
The fear that you have become enmired is the only enmirement.
Unconditional love is formless but can 'appear' as forms.
Love is out of your grasp.. it is exactly where 'you' aren't.
*To be* (as a separation) is to be in pain.

To search for meaning is to miss out on the meaning, joy and
fulfillment in every instant. You might consider stopping the search
(even for just long enough to take stock) and to see if what you are
is not worthy of contentment.

...

Freedom is freedom from both determinism and free will.
Everything just occurs, spontaneously and without a doer. Nobody
has to 'think about it'.

...

You will find out eventually that the words of others are only
words, the communications of others only communications... none
of it real.

Yes absolutely, 'your way', and finding out eventually that
'your way' never worked. Often that is indeed the way it goes...
not luck, only courage.

"Guru's way," if it's any "guru" worth the name, will also be
'your way' -- following the 'recommendations' of the Guru, "you"
will discover it "your way."

But in many cases, life is the Guru.

_________________________________________________________________________

MISSY

In searching for meaning, I fear I have lost my way, which I
understand is quite easy to do since there really is "no way". A
quote I am sure you are familiar with "enlightenment is a word
that is a gossamer vessel overflowing with sticky concepts." I
fear I have become mired in the stickiness. Having suffered
through a life of considerable pain at the hands of those who
prey on the weak, it occurred to me recently (within the past 6
months) that my weakness is a result of a lifelong search for
unconditional love. There does exist such, but not in the form
that I was looking for. This uncondtional love is not in human
form and cannot be presented to me by another, rather I sense
that it is within and around me yet completely out of my
grasp...which leaves me in pain.I understand or at least I think
I do that to have unconditional love is to love
unconditionally...it unravels here for me. Can someone help me
to pick up the threads?

DAN BERKOW

Thanks for something beautifully stated.

How will I love, if I have been treated
unlovingly, uncaringly, and hurtfully?

How will I not internalize and repeat
the past, and be open as "now",
open with/as love?

Can I know the love that doesn't reject --
although I have experienced rejection
from others? What is this love that
is "now" beyond what others have shown,
this love that has no "other", no
"outside condition"?

I start now, here, with whatever is
here -- this feeling, this moment,
if it be pain, then this pain...
if it be avoidance, then looking
into "avoidance" ...

Can I accept all of me, inside
and out, and so accept
all the universe, rejecting
no aspect? If I find myself
rejecting (self or other),
can I be honest
and look into that contraction
as it occurs?

The love with no self or other
won't be found by rejecting
self or other, or trying to
have self or other ...

Can I be this love that
isn't trying to get, have or
be anything, from which
all unfolds -- yet without
covering up my own tendencies
to want things, or want
things a certain way, or want
to get somewhere, or away
from something?

This love that judges not, for
nothing is excluded, compares
not for there is nothing else
to compare it to...

It can't be an object of study --
so its work begins at home,
here, as I am.

If there is pain or a sense of
woundedness or lacking --
it begins here with that.
Not glorifying or needing
those sensations, but
not negating or denying
them --

Just here, as I am...

The only love there is ...

JAN BARENDRECHT

There is only Unconditional Love (UL) - when memory would
function properly, one could remember that the first impression
of 'incarnated existence' is unconditionally loving this
sentience... It is loved in its entirety. But when that is
forgotten through traumas and/or upbringing, suffering can
arise. This is neither 'good' nor 'bad' but when put to its
extreme, it is like descending in a cone-like chalice of
suffering - even when there is no notion of it. At the bottom,
this singular point of a "nowhere", the loss of all notions and
then, in a flash it is found one wasn't descending but ascending
- the matter of perspective...

MELODY

I remember the day it dawned on me that the love I sought did
not come in human form....and not even in the form of my beloved
pets.

And I remember vividly the day....shortly thereafter....

when lying in bed one night...praying to Jesus that he would
help me open my heart to love. I prayed whole-hearted for what
seemed like hours. After a great deal of time had passed....
after my body and my mind and emotions were exhausted; and I was
so totally 'spent' that I felt I couldn't move a single muscle,

it felt as though my chest broke open....

and it was as if I was being filled with something so much
'larger' than myself.

It was tremendous! I recognized it as Love, and knew it was
unlike anything I could ever remember experiencing. Words really
fail here, but it was a sense of being 'lifted', expanded',
'filled', 'free', 'at One'. (...can't really describe it well,
but suffice it to say it felt damned great!)

I remember thinking at the time that my body could not 'hold'
the experience.....it was as if it was just too much for
me....something I would have to ease into,

and yet I knew, intuitively, that this was how Life could be
experienced day in, day out.

It was not until years later, looking back on that first
experience, that I could see that my challenge was NOT to work
to try to 'contain' that amazing energy of Love.... as I had
first imagined;

but rather to dissolve *into* that amazing Energy.

I could see, looking back on that night, that it was only after
I was so exhausted....only after all resistances were 'worn
down', and I was without expectation.....without hope or
desire...

that I first experienced UL.

Unconditional Love, Missy ......from my experience ....is what
remains when all our hopes, our sense of neediness,
expectations, desires and emotions have all been 'spent'.....and
thus a 'space' is made clear for what remains.

Perhaps this is what is meant by 'be still'.

GLORIA LEE

Dear Missy,

Take a look at this website for it has one of the best
descriptions that can be expressed in words of "be still" ....

http://www.magna.com.au/~prfbrown/hsinhsin.html

JP

With gratitude to all beings of vastness on this wonderful list
- my name is JP - new here - happy to share my deluded unknowing
with you in words and heart.

We are such intensely beautiful beings Who just want to Be
(wannabes?).

Then happily, we no longer Want to Be. The want is stilled or is
happily killed - just as all forms dissolve. Death, sweet master
death.

Then we find that we are not and IT IS with no we or me or you,
up and down, good and evil, male and female, truth and
falsehood, east and west, past and future.

Then we still live as we or me or you, move with the temporary
images, think complex thoughts, feel the waves of emotion, move
with delusion, co-exist with neurosis, eat peanut butter
sandwiches, drink pepsi, get sick, laugh, cry, grow old, die.

Neurotic? Be with it with honesty. Depressed? Be with it with
honesty. Dying? Yes, die and BE.

Enlightenment? Nothing special.

Ways innumerable to approach It - words uncountable to describe
It. Pick one. Go deep. Be honest. Let the veils burn one by one.
Or all at once in a conflagration.

Words in every tongue of every age - all just symbols,
metaphors, clues, images. "Tree" is not the one in my backyard.
"JP" is not the being sitting, typing, sipping tea. Saying I AM
a trillion times is not to experience It. Thinking of It is not
experiencing It. Experiencing It once - what can one then say
about it?

Form and formless, personal and metapersonal, deity and demon.

Complex? No.

Just BE as you are.

JP - eating fries and sipping tea.

MARK OTTER

I would answer - You've got it. Now, practice loving, and pay
attention to whether or not it's unconditional, and when it's
not, find out why and remove that obstacle. Keep doing this
until there are no more obstacles, and trust yourself to do it
right. Good luck, and let me know how it goes. (I'm considering
trying it myself, but it sounds like a lot of work and one of my
conditions is that it all happen by itself for free.)



__________________________________________________________________

GILL EARDLEY

Sound/ James

Ape your father's sins, your mother's mood swings
To perfection
Fall into a spin, shed another skin
Strip away all your protection

Laugh at the wonder of it all
Laugh so loud you break the fall
And you see the gathering clouds
Cry at the sadness of the world
Cry so long you break its cold
And you hear the gathering sounds

Do everything you fear
In this there's power
Fear is not to be afraid of

Laugh at the wonder of it all
Laugh so loud you break your fall
And you hear the gathering sounds

Come, dip on in
Leave your bones, leave your skin
Leave your past, leave your craft
Leave your suffering heart

Come, dip on in
Leave your bones, leave your skin
Leave your past, leave your craft
Leave your suffering heart

__________________________________________________________________

JAMES TRAVERSE

There is nobody to be enlightened so the question is moot.

However, I feel that there is awakening which I describe as
understanding ones basic nature. The most significant aspect of
this understanding is that 'you can never know who/what you are
- you can only be it'.

Awakening is relatively simply, living the understanding is very
challenging because 'being' nobody means the 'death' of the
I-entity.

HARSHA

Well said James. One does not know one's Self as an object of
knowledge as there is no "you" to know. Some sages (Advaita-Vedanta) do
not
make a distinction between Being and Knowledge. The nature of Being Is
Knowledge. The Nature of Awareness Is to Be Aware. The Nature of
Existence
Is Existence. Being-Awareness-Existence are same. When one finds one,
one
finds that these three are One.

James, it seems that living in general can be challenging whether
someone has the so called "understanding" or not. Why do you say living
the
"understanding" is challenging? Is it more challenging than living the
"non-understanding." How does one live the understanding? What is meant
by
challenging? Can you give an example? Would "Being" care about being
nobody
and how that means the death of the I-entity and trying to reflect that
in
living life and stuff like that? Just curious to know your perspective.

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