30 March 2009

Hi Ed,

I have been seeking for over 30 years but the last 9 were more (or less) intensive.

Many teachers say Consciousness (turya, Brahman, I-Amness, etc,) is the final "goal". Some however say there is that which is beyond Consciousness which is the Absolute Reality. In fact Siddharameshwar calls Brahman the MahaMaya. It is the original illusion. The title of Jean Dunn's transcriptions, both titles approved by Nisargadatta: "Prior to Consciousness" and "Consciousness and the Absolute" speak to the point.

Consciousness may be a step towards realization of the Absolute, but as tourists say about the city of my birth, NYC., it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

I now have copies in a binding of the talks by Robert Adams from your site. Will take it with me on my upcoming trip. Have already read the 1st two. Also the recording of him "Awareness of Consciousness", I have listened to it several times. Funny though, this morning was the first time all of it got through. Thank you for making these available.

Best wishes, R.

To R:

Re Maha Maha.

Most of the famous gurus have metaphysics associated with their
"school." Ramana has Turiya and Turiyatta as does Nisargadatta. Lots of Buddhist schools have their own ontology and epistemology, while Zen more or less has none.

Both Krishnamurtis talk of unity consciousness and accept consciousness as a brain phenomena, while the I and you disappear in unity consciousness. They don’t go far from that.

Robert didn't really have any ontolohy. He'd mention them to entertain people--like me, and then at the end of the talk admit he was pulling their leg.

You have to take all if this with a grain of salt. Lot's of people
describe almost exactly the same experience in very different ways, and probably more often, very different experiences in similar ways.

As long as words are used to communicate, we never know what another experiences. Music, I think, better conveys the experience of another without too much distortion, but sucks at conveying ontology.

Therefore, how can you trust what anyone says that their experience means?

That is why I just advise people to practice self-inquiry and find their own experience and truth which they can then express as their message.

Therefore too, I recommend listening to sacred music. I think those who get it, all get more or less the same experience.


23 March 2009

A Reader Questions:

Dear Ed, it was recommended to me by a friend that I contact you with a few questions that I have. I am a 21 year old University of  XXXX student majoring in Classics. I am having difficulty understanding the definition of existence in Mind 4 of the Blue website. I understand that since the world is defined by the mind's perception that it has no foundation in reality because thoughts are not real and do not exist. According to the definition of existence provided on the blue website there is nothing that exists because there is nothing that is tangible, and there is nothing that is tangible because perception defines tangibility, and perception is simply a thought, and thoughts are not tangible so they do not exist. This is where I stumble. The suggestion made by this definition that thought and perception are one in the same is true on a biological level. Chemical and electrical signals in the brain and body work to affect thought and perception in a similar manner, but I wonder if it might be incorrect to suggest that sensory perception and thought are no different. In addition it seems to me that the given definition of existence is too narrow. When I hear the word exist I assume it is referring to something that "is," or rather something that "is not a lack of something," although making nothing the subject of a sentence, and making nothing into something that I can refer to seems paradoxical. I understand that what is and what is not depends solely on my perception of it and in that way there is nothing without the mind's perception. Is it possible that the only way to understand non-existence is that non-existence is that which the mind cannot fathom or perceive, and by that definition it is impossible to ever reach a higher state of awareness? And if that were true might it also be true that enlightenment is just another mind state.

p.s. I am aware that I use the word "I" a lot, and I realize the implications of this. But I am not sure how to convey through speech what "I" am thinking.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my ramblings. 


For future correspondence can you use a larger type, such as 12-14 pts and break up your questions into separate paragraphs to make it easier for this old mind to follow?

I am not defining thought or the world there. I am pointing out my understanding.

To use an analogy, thought is like a mass that distorts awareness, grabs hold of it, and creates a condition, such as an apparent object. Without the thought to give the formless awareness form, there would no form, no objects, no external world.

When the thoughts are no longer identified with through practice, they lose the ability to create forms including objects. Then they are seen to be unreal compared to the “seer” who is You.

You have the primary existence, all else is secondary to you, impermanent, having no substance. It is a passing imaginal form. You, as a person are as nothing in this scheme, just a passing form.

In any event, this is not a definition. Definitions are between words and concepts. It is more like a description which binds the world to concepts.

Ultimately awareness, the real, whatever you call it, cannot be described or defined. You need to get beyond this bottleneck of trying to understand with words, anything. The mind will never give you freedom. To go free you need to lose your mind.

03 March 2009

Communicating with a Teacher

I get several emails everyday form people asking directions about their practice and often with practices far from what I have recommended or practiced myself. These questions are very difficult to answer because I am not in their skin nor vice versa. We communicate through concepts, words and images, yet there is no common point "Rosetta Stone" whereby I can know that what you mean by "red" is the same as what I mean, or that your experience of "emptiness" or "I Am" is the same as mine was. We just all assume there is some correspondence, and in most instances things seem to work out as if there had been communication.

Therefore when you send a description, unless it is very detailed and dovetails into my own experiential progression on the path, I really can't tell where you are because you are still lost in what I call "Imaginal Space," the inner conceptualizing and imaging processes that fill our inner and outer sense of emptiness with a non-existent world of name, substance and form. That emptiness becomes polluted by the constant mentation/imaging processes.

The trick is to end imaginal space and its contents altogether. The I Am is the core component that arranges and orders that imaginal space giving the world its form and you your apparent body/mind.

But many of the questions I get are on how to proceed to enlightenment from some point inside of the questioner's imaginal space meditation experiences, which are all illusory. It is almost like asking, "In which direction do I need to walk in order to get into the Fifth Dimension?" Well, there is no Fifth Dimension from where you are, there will only be continuity of the illusion unless you want to wake up.

Meditation can only get you to an experience of a very refined emptiness such as the Clear Light Void I have talked about. The I Am feeling, imagining and thinking are in abeyance, and a feeling of the empty and void nature of things is strong.

This is very subtle and peaceful, but is not enlightenment which is a total blowing out of the imaginal space and its contents.

Nothing can show you the way to this true void, true emptiness; it has to happen to you. The best you can do is to prepare the way, that is, practice. Awakening becomes the focus of your attention.

Right now for the sake of communication, using a specific variety of Self-Inquiry which I feel is both rapid and least likely to cause you to go astray, I ask you to download Pradeep's "Nisragdatta Gita" from the Resource page. Print it out and put it in a 3 ring binder. Read 4-5 paragraphs every morning and "ponder" the meaning. Correct meditation then can be almost automatic.

I like his form because there is less likelyhood of getting lost compared practicing awareness watching awareness, or trying to follow the I-thought to its source.

As long as you can feel your sense of existence, you will have a guide. But asking yourself, "Who am I?, and waiting, or sitting trying to be aware of awareness, can lead to losing interest, getting lost, and puts an unnecessary emphasis on void-like or emptiness meditations. I know, because I did this meditation for many years.

After you do this a few weeks, then send questions and we will be a little bit "closer" to being on the same page.