21 June 2012

Dear Ed, thank you so much for responding.  Am glad to hear you say that meditation is not essential.  In the book Autobiography of a Jnani there seemed to be only talk about what was experienced in meditation and not how this nothingness is lived in daily life.  None of the levels that you talk about which one can identify in meditation applied with what happened to me.  All was just being dissolved, happening in daily life - until nothing remained.  

It seems here that awakening is of no real use when it is just a state that is arrived at via meditation.  The human programming will still need to be addressed in daily life as there will be many parts of the programming that continue to run even after truth has been seen.  Seeing truth is not the end all - that is what I am experiencing anyway.  Would you say that is correct?

The main question, which seemed to not have come across in my first email is this:  It is a whole other story to live this nothingness in daily life.  Am living this nothingness not only as an inner awareness but also am living this in practical, every-day life as I lost all financial and material safety and security.  Stand truly as nothing and with nothing in life since several years.  

The existential terror and fear that is programmed into the cells of the human body, as well as the mental and emotional attachments with it, will have to be faced in order to truly live from and as nothingness in daily life.  As long as people remain plugged into their lives with jobs, businesses, retirement funds, homes, etc. where that 'security' part of life is not deconstructed, this very base, existential programming will never be seen, faced nor rubbed out.  

Am I getting this correctly?  

And if it does not get touched, how truly free is someone then?  It maybe a knowing that someone has but not an actual lived experience in all areas of material life.  Would you say this is correct?

Am really sincerely asking because am faced with this complete deconstruction on all levels of physical reality.  Because of it, am continually placed in situations since 2006, where I see things that I would never see would I have remained in a stable Western type environment.  Have been around people who say they are awake - but their focus is on money, on their financial and material stability, on how to keep their jobs and their every day life together.  Here, there is no such concern.  That got completely wiped out in 2006.  Whereever this body is moved that is where it goes and there is a complete knowingness that all will always be taken care of.  Live with absolutely no money, no security, no stability - and am 50 years old.  How I live would give most people a heart attack.  Even those who say they are awake.  

So what does awake really mean, when existential fears for one's safety and security are on the top of one's priority in actual lived daily life?

Please help me understand this whole awakening and awake thing as I seem to be seeing something others do not talk about.  Came at it from a whole other angle, having had no clue about awakening or enlightenment.  Slowly am piecing things together on my own, through having read some awake people's writings, through many discussions with Dr. Michael Hall and of course, how life keeps moving through me.  But don't have a handle on it because how things are for me are so completely different from what all other awake people talk about.  Keep being moved every three months to a new place.  Just the other day, saved someone from getting murdered.  The stuff that I seem to be moved to be present for, witness and see in actual life, no awake person has any clue.  It seems that life places this body into these situations, seemingly as a test to find out where programming is still running and how program-less and free its actions really are.  That is the explanation that comes to me but it might be completely wrong.  

If you have any comments that would be wonderful!

Thank you so much in advance for your time in replying.

 Ed:   M.

You are so completely right.

Almost no one who claims to be awake really is.  They cling to conventionality and habit and never see that the world they live in is so illusory, totally a mental creation.  They know it as an understanding, but they do not breathe it, and their "enlightenment" is confined to "Ahaa!" moments of insight, or recurring, but contained experiences of the Void, sighting the Self, or of bliss.  Then they return to making a living in their old way.

Ramana dumped everything.  Robert left his family and went to India at age 18.  I left my job and home to go to the desert to meditate and then to many Zen masters before I settled down again.

This is not to say it is a requirement of awaking that you abandon your family.  Both Robert and Ramana were boys when they left, and I was living alone.

Nisargadatta left his family for a brief time, maybe a year or two then came back to run his beddie shop.

The Buddhist tradition contains both the ideals of being wandering monks, or establishment or monastic monks, and also of being laypersons carrying out one's duties to family and society, and then when the children are grown, to become a monk, dedicated to seeking or to good works for mankind.

Now, I ask, is it you who is seeking to live in emptiness and therefore keep living like a wandering monk, or this is happening to you out of grace?  Are you deliberately creating a world that is falling apart, or is consciousness dishing it out to you?

The other question, is, is this path you are treading giving you happiness or do you feel a victim?  Or neither?

I hope soon this pattern will end for you so that you can really help the world in a  bigger way.

Robert said if it were not for his wife and daughters, he'd be living somewhere in a cabin in the wilderness or a cave.

Me too.  I feel that way, except I feel bound by a sense of responsibility of taking care of my cats and other homeless cats, that I remain in the world. Otherwise, I think I would be living in a tent somewhere in the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California, like an old monk friend of mine did in the 1970s.

I love you and hold you in my heart,



  1. I really appreciate this dialogue.

    My life as I know it on many levels is falling apart. I do feel plagued with fear along the way, but something in me knows that I will be taken care of.

    If I were a praying person I would ask God to deliver me from an enlightened ego from an altered state of mind.

    If I've gotta go through this, I want it to be genuine no matter how scarey it gets.


  2. Observing what is really going on with seekers is truly something else!!! They are completely predatory, only thinking of themselves, and their 'fix' which is enlightenment or waking up. But they are no different from the business man/woman going after money, fame and success. There is no difference! Maybe seekers are even more ferocious in their need and want to gain liberation/freedom/bliss/the ultimate truth (all ego stuff!!!) than even the shrewdest business man/woman....?

  3. Anonymous,

    Somehow your words ring true here. The spiritual ego is so inflated. It always smells when we hear ever so subtly "I am experiencing this or that. I am progressing. I am so special."

    I struggle with this. Even wanting to be humble is tainted with a desire. I feel trapped. All is grace. Sigh ...

    Janet B.

  4. I agree with you Anonymous...I so agree with you.

    So much of what people proclaim as enlightenment is nothing more than Truth talk in the dream state.

    I can't take credit for this statement. I just heard it on a video clip and it hit me like a mac truck. Somebody peel me off the road.

  5. You know, there are quite a few brilliant teachers who have awakened through a process of deconstruction of their present reality that talk about the harshness of the process. Often, it just happened to them as the woman above. Other times, it was aided by a spiritual process of silence and contemplative prayer, such as with Bernadette Roberts. For some, like U.G. Krishnamurti, it was a "calamity."

    However, all these people have lost, or perhaps never had in abundance, was love. Their heart seems to have gone out of wack through the process of emptying.

    It is so rare to find both in one person, a fully manifesting Void and great compassion and love. So very rare.

    Robert was very loving, but it was hard to feel in him because he was even more empty than loving. I have no idea about Ramana, I only hear second and third hand accounts about how he really was or about his internal states.

    Now, I think Osho in many ways was full of shit and kind of wrapped up in his intellectualism, but I felt a good balance of emptiness and love in him. Nisargadatta--the early one--had a lot of devotion and love, but that seemed to dry up as he got old and sick.

    Now I am hearing stories of Amma as being such a mixture, but time will tell.

  6. Yeah, I think most of us are falling apart. So What? Just think of the alternative to not seeking or going within. I am so fucked up I can only express it by saying I feel (really) that I am dying, and I don't mean physically. I cannot even believe the shit that comes out of my mouth since I have been following Edji.

    To me, everything I read on this site has validity. Yes some talk about progress they are making, lovely. Some talk about how predatory seekers are and how selfish we are. No doubt true. Then some point out how hypocritical people are being. Okay.

    I have been bothered by the fact that since really feeling Edji's energy since about a year and a half that my daily meditations went in the ashcan. I accepted that. The post above started out that Edji said meditation is not essential. That was a relief to hear, because just listening to Edji has changed many things in my life. Even formal meditation has diminished and I am not concerned.

    I hate this cliche, but here goes: maybe "this is the price of freedom", the price of questioning everything. I sure do not want to go back just because I am confused at times. I will take a bit of confusion over tyranny any day, as I experienced in traditional religions.

    I used to wonder what Robert meant when I read: (paraphrase) that the world is perfect as it is, everything is just as it should be. (Something close to that anyway). I am seeing now that it is so, but not always so.

    I am so grateful to Edji and every one who posts on these pages for the sake of freedom.
    Deep Love, Mike

  7. I look at my life of relative ease...which has been pretty much on the fringe of this society for years...and still realize that I have done nothing in particular to "deserve" what I do have. There is no point in feeling bad about it.The fact is that it takes very little to create a false sense of security; a lot can be stripped away and the ego will still find pride in what remains.

    I was homeless once for a brief time. As a woman, it was particularly terrifying. It's hard to describe the feeling of not knowing where you are going to sleep from one night to the next. I now know that I can live with very little...but M's life is a whole other world...

    What really grabbed me was the following, because it is so obviously THE bottom-line regardless of how much or little one has:

    "The existential terror and fear that is programmed into the cells of the human body, as well as the mental and emotional attachments with it, will have to be faced in order to truly live from and as nothingness in daily life."

    Very sobering.

  8. As Ed says in his opening sentence "almost anyone who claims...", I would go further and eliminate the 'almost', as that's a claim that can only be made from the point of view of an entity. Being "awake"? As opposed to being asleep? Awake, asleep and unconscious are all states, experienced by the body/mind.

    The livingness that M refers to is not a state as such. More a way of being.

    I too have lived in a state of pecuniary impoverishment for many years, with all the terrors that brings. Sometimes it's a valuable exercise to dive right into the maelstrom of fear, resentment, loneliness etc that life on the 'inside' (not as opposed to an 'outside') can induce.

    Particularly, when one discovers that 'one' is simply being lived as automatically as one's breathing occurs. and that a lot of the fears never eventuate and life seems to work it's own narrative out, without any authorship from "me".

  9. Also very poignant: "Now, I ask, is it you who is seeking to live in emptiness and therefore keep living like a wandering monk, or this is happening to you out of grace? Are you deliberately creating a world that is falling apart, or is consciousness dishing it out to you?

    The other question, is, is this path you are treading giving you happiness or do you feel a victim? Or neither?"

    LIFE seems to be leading me back toward a more conventional role of earner, social animal etc...

    And I know this is because this "solitary seeker" role has stopped being a valid expression of truth. Now it's actually time for this "one" (or this aspect of THE ONE, that is not two) to start doing a bit of community service!

    After all, we are still judged by appearances.
    And if the appearance is of someone who seems to self indulgently eschew all societal norms, while espousing some metaphysical gobbledygook, and yet is still happy to accept a handout whenever one's on offer, the message get's lost in people's perception of the messenger.

    Unfortunately, I don't live in a spiritually tolerant culture like India. Here in the land of Oz, a human being is valued primarily as an economic unit. And work is seen as the golden path to fulfilment. If that's the dominant paradigm, WHO AM I to change it?

    Victimhood is another worthwhile thought experiment tho'. Embrace everything a human can experience, if that don't create some empathy, nothing will.

  10. Yes, very sobering and healthy common sense:

    "The existential terror and fear that is programmed into the cells of the human body, as well as the mental and emotional attachments with it, will have to be faced in order to truly live from and as nothingness in daily life."

    And I do not agree with anonymous! For me is just another silly and empty statement of 'nobody'. What is this anonymous personal expirence? It is so easy to put down such statements.

    For me all this above doesn't seem to aply. My live since early childhood was a mess and now in time things seems to appear more clear. I was wandering around without work, sick and lonely. Now I have work although I don't enjoy it. I want to say, there is no recipe for liberation.

    I know peolpe who stopped working for there money because of this reason of not enjoying it. But this also doesn't seem to make them happy or free. Then I know some so-called advaita teachers :). One of them lives in solitude but on the money of social welfare. Another charges over $25,- for each 'satsang'. Isn't it all a big joke.

    Don't mind me,
    Dennis van der Flier

  11. nice one.
    I think glimpses are necessary for it helps a lot.
    1. You see through mental mechanics instantly
    2. You know what to do when a construct presents itself
    3. The life takes different shape, now situations are for deconstructing your belief system and you do it gladly no matter how painful and fearful.
    4. You may get clear dreams or visions where Ed comes and brings various situations where various complexes and beliefs is being shattered.
    5. I love Ed.
    6. Edward for the win!
    7. You finally don't know what the fuck is going on, something is moving...
    8. Finally you can smile when people come to you with 'problems' that you thought were very big problems before you stumbled into ...., that started this whole process. And those problems are "my wife got angry at me, my ferrari is getting old, they didn't pay me enough, he or she is mean to me, my toilet is not clean, oh my god world is falling apart". It is like listening to the children about sand castles being destroyed by other children...

  12. I don't mean to rain on anybody's parade and I certainly am not questioning the integrity of the writer, but I just have to say what I am feeling. I am open to correction and criticism.

    The person in the original post said this, " Live with absolutely no money, no security, no stability - and am 50 years old. How I live would give most people a heart attack. Even those who say they are awake."

    Here is my dilemma. In spirituality this statement makes aspirants stand back and gasp in awe. Those of us suckers who still cling to our bank accounts, especially those of us with children, wonder if we will ever reach such heights of freedom.

    In the homeless community many live this same way. There are actually people who choose to be homeless, who chose to live like the writer lives and they don't make a big deal out of it at all. It's just that they prefer to be free from the 'rat race' of society.

    Does this mean they are free according to spiritual jargon?

    Freedom, liberation, awakening...I don't know what any of this means. I am so utterly clueless. I feel like an old leaky vessel out in the middle of an endless ocean with no bucket to bail out the incoming water and no compass to know where I am or where I am going, totally at the mercy of the current.

    Thanks for all post and all the comments.

  13. Joan, YES and YES.

    I am totally with you. I couldn't help but feel the pride and lack of humility in the statement you quoted. Oh, I am so fearless, so deconstructed, so deeply into the existential fears others don't even dare look at - they will get a heart attack. I do not wish to put down the process of the person who is going through this. I just can't help but notice the inflation of the ego that happens in parallel. It happens to me too. I am full of shit.

    Don't we know already (from our brief glimpses) that all this is just unfolding, whether I am cleaning my dishes or fearlessly deconstructing my ego and life -- I didn't choose it, deserve it, or will it. It happens on its own. It is pre-ordained. Whether I feel depressed or manic or like a failure or blissed out is just an arising in this Oneness. I am not the doer, the one who deconstructs. There is no me more enlightened than you. It's all one full "BAG of GOD". So why get so riled up in all this? Why seek a guru and his presence? Because we are not stabilized. We have no choice - it's all Grace. It's useless, it's futile. So we seek. As Nizargadatta said "What is the root of pain? Ignorance of yourself. What is the root of desire? The urge to find yourself. All creation toils for its self and will not rest until it returns to it".

    And yet, some of us have had so much Grace to feel the longing and the love for the Beloved in meeting Ed. This Love that pushes forth is not ours but His. It burns and shatters until only Love remains. Not me, not you, but simply THIS.

    Janet B.

  14. I have seen M(or Margot)give a presentation on www.nevernothere.com and to be honest I wasn't sure just what to make of her "story." She came across as someone victimized by the precipitous descent from a rather successful life with a secure job to a life characterized by the total loss of everything that could provide even a modicum of security. Noteworthy in her presentation was her repeated emphasis on the notion that the self is a complete lie(which she writes elsewhere perhaps on a blog she created)but you have to wonder if she's really LIVING free of the conditioned "self" she was so eager to attack or trapped in some conceptualized story about this and out of some ego need wants to draw others into her own self seeking narrative.


  15. Great thread. Clearly much of what the original post addressed resonates, in some fashion, with many of us. Thank you for sharing this and for those of you who have added your own comments.