20 July 2017

Ed is an old guy living on social security and very rare work editing.  He spends most of his time studying himself, Robert Adams and Nisargadatta, and writing about them and himself for his students and readers. Satsangs are free on Sunday, as are all these posts answering students' questions.  His single book is posted free on wearesentience.com, his website, and queries are answered by email, on his blog, or Facebook.  He takes care of his own 7 cats at home, and helps feed several hundred homeless cats in Los Angeles.  The cats need the money to eat and so does he in order to help you.  Do not feel obligated, only if you are so moved.

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What does "It is not real" mean for Robert Adams and Ramana Maharshi?

I think it is very unfortunate that Ramana, Robert, and Nisargadatta all refer to the world as not being real without explaining in detail what they mean by "not real."

I want to most forcefully and explicitly state they do not mean you should stop eating, or deny yourself shelter, or deny yourself clothes, or not own a car, or not have a job because they are all unreal.  They are not saying the world or your body are not real, therefore live like a zombie totally bereft of feelings, reactions, or needs relevant to sustaining your body.  It does not mean that you should not protect yourself financially and avoid scammers.  It does not mean you should not have insurance if people depend on you.  It does not mean that if someone in your family or others in the community have desperate needs, you should not help them because they are not real, that they are some sort of fake news.  They do not mean that if there is a dire political situation, such as a tyrant arising that will destroy the nation, you should not insist that they be stopped.

By "not real," they mean that all external and internal forms, such as your body, your sense of presence, your thoughts, your emotions, your house, the tree outside your door, are all temporary, are all ephemeral, all pop into existence, exist for a while, and then cease to exist.  No appearance is permanent.  Therefore, every situation in your life is temporary, a brief appearance that will pass, so do not get too involved in relationship to them, for you, the perceiver, are always there, outside of consciousness, outside of the world, outside of your body, existing only as an observer, while your mind fills in the details of the situations surrounding you, giving it meaning and drama.  Without the mind making up stories about your situation and your body, you would be unperturbed by all internal and external events.

This is it.  This is their message.  Do not be too concerned about the external world, because everything in it is just momentary.  The real you, to be discovered through self-inquiry and meditation, is the ultimate observer, the witness, the principle of knowing, of sentience, of cognition.  You are the ultimate knower, seer, hearer, smeller, taster, feeler, and ultimately of all knowing and sentience.  As such you are beyond the physical and mental worlds altogether, so turn your attention within and find this, which we give the name That.  That is the only real because it is beyond all appearances of consciousness which are effervescent, ephemeral, and passing.  The Real, is that which colonizes the unreal, the not real, the play of consciousness.

But if you take "it is not real" literally, as it is only a dream, or a passing nightmare of consciousness, you would become a zombie, a homeless person, not eating any meals because your body is not real, your hunger is not real, your need to pee and to take a crap, are all unreal.  Your wife is unreal, your children are unreal, your mother and father are unreal, therefore pay them no heed, no attention whatsoever.  Ignore them and their problems, because they are not real.  And the na├»ve seeker then expands his attitude to all things. 

There is no need to buy insurance, because nothing is real.  Robbers are not real.  Murders are not real.  Tyrants are not real.  Trump is not real.  Hitler was not real.  They are all just passing appearances, just as is your hunger, or your thirst, or your feeling chilled or too hot.  None of these are real, so just sit in one place and observe the world, observe your body, observe your emotions and thoughts, and take no heed of them.  Just turn your attention inside and find your true self, the only real, the only permanent.

Here is the next important thing you have to understand: “it is not real” is a teaching message from the teacher to the student who is not yet realized who or what they are, or for other persons in the audience who may be suffering from the loss of a loved one, debilitating physical disease, psychological or physical pain.  This is a message to look within instead of without into the world, and by looking within one can find your own permanent truth of who you are.  However, after you discover who you are the journey inwards has essentially ended, because the division of inward and outward disappears, and you discover you are the source of everything and that everything rests inside of you including the world and your body.  That is, the message “it is not real” is meant for a student, or someone suffering.  It is not meant for someone who has realized themselves as Self.  That person is fully aware of the rather trivial nature of the external world and the body compared with the direct apprehension of one’s own self and its eternal existence.  But after realizing the self, one just cannot continually turn within, because the division between inner and outer is dead.  One is everything.

You see the consequences of selectively saying certain things are real, while other things are not real, so take no heed of them, like the present crisis in the United States of the Mafia-like Trump family, and Trump administration that has promised to drain the swamp, yet has hired 193 corporate lobbyists, and former corporate insiders, to run the Trump administration of the United States according to Elizabeth Warren.  So, do we just watch Trump destroy our country, destroy Medicaid, eviscerate Social Security, create a huge databank on every potential voter in the United States that can be used for voter intimidation and other forms of suppression?  Do we ignore the fact that there are 60 million people that are so dumb that they cannot see through Trump's constant lying and changing positions on everything, or his naked self-interest in everything he is engaged in?  To ignore the fact that Trump is utterly fawning around Putin, ignoring all the other leaders of the world but meets privately with Putin for three hours, perhaps discussing Russia's loan agreements with Trump's family business, or perhaps discussing Boudin's videotapes of Donald Trump engaging in various sexual situations with Russian hookers?

Most emphatically, "It is not real" does not imply ignoring injustice or abject stupidity or abject brutality in the world.  "It is not real" means do not take the world too seriously until it hits you in the ass, and you are forced to take stock, just as you would be if you found you had a cancerous tumor, or were having a heart attack, or a potential murderer was threatening your life.

Remember, all the while that Robert was teaching about the world not being real, to take nothing seriously, and to turn all your attention inside, he was in fact living as a family man, raising two children, as well as fostering children.  He had various jobs as a handyman, teaching non-smoking classes, producing pirated audiotapes, etc.  It means that he had extensive dental work done during the last year of his life at age 69 because his teeth were so bad.  He had a whole mouth reconstruction during the last year of his life.  Nisargadatta ran the family business of selling cigarettes from the time he was 36 to the end of his life at 82.  He spent many years speaking with friends and other devotees of Siddharameshwar regarding the nature of reality, of consciousness, of birth and death, while he worked on his final understanding as expressed in his talks in 1978 to 1981, his final teachings, including those of unreality.

To make this a little more real, pardon the pun, we must realize these are the teachings of an 80-year-old man who has seen everything and done everything.  For him, the world had no reality, no meaning.  He had seen and done everything.  There was no more interest in the world for him.  He was through with it.  From that point of view, of being a tired old man that is seen and done everything, nothing in the world was of any value to him.  Even his own consciousness was of no value to him any longer.  He repeatedly says in his last three years, he was waiting to die, and get the whole thing over with, hopefully without too much pain or trouble in the process of dying.  He wanted to throw away the whole world and consciousness because they disturbed his peace which he found in his deepest depths.  Compared to that peace that lay closest to his soul so to speak, nothing was of any value.  And in that sense it was not real to him.  He was selling this philosophy to other people who were suffering, as did Robert.  In this sense, the phrase "it is not real" is a universal solvent dissolving all suffering based on one's experience in the external world including pain in the body, rheumatism, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, poverty, lawsuits, and the scorching heat of the Arizona desert.  They exhort others just turn within and find that peaceful center and take refuge there in the deepest part of your Self.

16 July 2017

15 July 2017

Beyond the body; beyond consciousness; what am I?

If you assiduously practice self-inquiry, either in the form of looking for the I thought, or where it arises rises or sets, or looking for the sensation that you exist, the I-am sensation, and resting there, you become aware of that which before you were not aware.

For example, you discover emptiness everywhere, it is like the feeling analog of internal space.  It has a visual quality as well as a feeling quality.  It seems to permeate everything, your body, and all internal mental objects, including your sense of presence.

Your sense of presence, your feeling of an internal and slightly external extending energy body, the so-called Subtle Body, also permeates your body and extends into the surroundings around you.  In it, you feel bliss, you feel love, you feel emotions, you witness thoughts, and you have kundalini experiences, witness and travel in astral worlds and dimensions.

Eventually you get to the point where you no longer consider yourself your physical body.  Usually meditation alone will not convince you of this fact.  Usually you have to do something like read transcripts of Robert Adams talks, Ramana Maharishi’s talks, or Nisargadatta’s talks.  While they provide only conceptual understanding, there is something deeper within consciousness that begins to understand what they are talking about on a deeper level.  They all say you are not the body, you are consciousness, that everything you know is in, and known by consciousness.  Sometimes when you hear this it feels like you are being pounded in the head by a huge hammer, stunned by a new interpretation of the world and your beingness that you never expected.

If you keep this up for a long while, you begin to be able to grasp consciousness as a whole.  This is hard to describe, but it is like you are stepping outside of consciousness and watching your consciousness do its thing, with its ever-changing presentations, temporal limitations, random appearances that come and go, and consciousness itself as the illuminator of both the external and internal worlds of yours.

When you begin to be able to watch consciousness itself, you see that even your body is just an appearance in your consciousness, and that your consciousness itself does not have any stability.  Just like the world with all of its myriads of entities and appearances, all of which come and go, so too does consciousness.  In the morning it passes between the nothingness of deep sleep, into a gap where there is awareness, but without awareness of self or of the world, and then it passes into waking consciousness.  At night waking consciousness gradually fades into nothingness, and you are no more.  Then there are sometimes dreams that arise out of this nothingness, spontaneously, with a beginning and end in time, for consciousness itself creates all-time.  Without consciousness there is no time, nor is there space, nor is there a world of appearances.

When you can watch the totality of consciousness, already you have transcended the body and also are in the process of transcending identification with consciousness itself.  Already you have transcended almost all concepts, except the concept that consciousness exists.  Gradually even that disappears.  You see that consciousness is not solid, it is rather decrepit, is constantly changing and going through various states, and it sprang out of nothingness and became you over a period of time, and at the end of your body’s life, will disappear into nothingness again.  As such, with such a fickle and shallow existence, you begin to see that consciousness itself is an impurity dropped onto you, who is witnessing that play of consciousness.

In other words, all of human existence, all of life, is a fraud.  It does not belong to you and has nothing to do with you.  It only appears to have something to do with you when you identify with the body, or with the mind, or with consciousness.

Even when it comes to advancing spiritual insights, some people measure spirituality in terms of bliss, kundalini experiences, astral bodies, and astral worlds, and thus still are identified as related to physical or energetic existences.  Astral worlds may transcend the body, and may transcend every day consciousness, but they still posit as existent alternative realities that have the same qualities as your present experience of your body in the world.  One could say they are just on different frequencies, but such a concept explains nothing.  Altogether, all these alternative worlds as well as this one, are no more substantial or solid than the dream you have at night.  They are just longer in duration, and duration is just a quality of consciousness.

At this point you become aware of an amazing truth: none of that which you perceive, including the external world, your own body, your inner world of space and sense of presence, nothing has anything to do with you.  You are apart from all that activity, all that storm and drama, peacefully watching the play of consciousness.

At this point, you realize that you, your real nature, has nothing to do with the consciousness in the world that you watch, is entirely beyond it, but is in itself ungraspable, unknowable, not an object of knowledge.  But what you do know about what you really are, is that it extends its awareness through all continuums of consciousness, all the related worlds, all the astral worlds, the physical world, your physical body, your mental body, your sense of presence—all of that is in you because you are everywhere that consciousness is.  It is you that grasps consciousness.  And since consciousness is as infinite as the furthest galaxy, as large as the universe itself, and is small as the tiniest subatomic particle, you too can be described as infinite.  And since time exists only in consciousness, you are beyond time.  It is wrong to say that you are eternal or immortal, because that means in respect to time-limited and the imminent.  In fact, you as the unchanging witness of the activities in time of consciousness, are altogether apart from time itself.  You even transcend eternity.

The more deeply you understand consciousness, the more deeply you understand that you have nothing to do with consciousness.  Although this knowledge about yourself is known in consciousness, there is a kind of “apprehending,” or “apperceiving” of what you are truly as pure awareness, the subject, ParaBrahman.  Since you have no attributes as pure awareness, or the subject, or ParaBrahman, are not known by the senses or the mind which  only deals with concepts, but by a direct grasping of what you are as the center of everything and at the same time extending to the limitless perimeters of the totality of the manifest consciousness.

The other thing that you apprehend clearly, is what you truly are is far more subtle, far more clean and crystal-clear than either the physical body, or the gross body, or even the most subtle and refined consciousness.  What you are has no qualities, no characteristics, no existence or nonexistence, and is not tainted in any way.  It is if these become imperfections imposed on you that you cannot wait to get away from the rest in your true nature as the absolutely pure source and sustainer of all.  You apprehend that the world and the play of consciousness is a total fraud thrust on you.  Consciousness illuminates the fraud, the mechanism of Maya, of illusion, and eventually you see it as it is, something that has nothing to do with you, and which you bought into by identify yourself as a player within this fraud, within the play of consciousness.

When this knowledge dawns, and one should really say pre-knowledge, because it is not conceptual, it is like a state of pre-verbal knowing, being unable to articulate that which is known because there are no words or concepts that can describe your intuition of what you are. You become free from life and death, from the world, from your identification with your body, with your troubles, with your relations, with your emotions, with your “apparent” life and death.

Truly you have gone beyond life and death, beyond the perceivable, beyond even the unknown, because you are that which is aware of both the perceivable, and the unknown, and have transcended all of that.  This is the nirvana goal of Buddha, or becoming the ParaBrahman of Nisargadatta.  You yourself do not exist, as existence is a fraud.  You yourself are beyond existence, untouched by birth and death, by war or peace, by life or death.  All of that is in the play of consciousness, and you no longer buy that limitation.

10 July 2017

Death and the Unreality of Life

My mother's recent death taught me so much about the death process including the ending of identity with one’s body, personality, mind, and even consciousness, and the dissolution of consciousness, and that none of these have anything to do with who and what I am. I am not the body, not consciousness, not the soul, not God. What I am is truly unknown and a mystery. I can only be it.

09 July 2017


Almost 12 years ago I started a website called “it is not real.” That is still the name of my blog. In it I set forth the essence of Robert Adams teachings, and even posted some of the transcripts of his talks. However, in 2010 when I had my awakening experience to the divinity within, to the Lifeforce, and the power of sentience, of consciousness, along with the divine breath of bliss and being wiped clean of all guilt and shame, I started a whole new website with a new purpose, called “We Are Sentience,” meaning basically that we are awareness, or we are that which gives life to inanimate bodies.

However, because of closely watching my mother’s death, and those same elements of consciousness and material which I had considered to be me, namely the body, mind, and consciousness, I can say with full surety, that the totality of human life, of my life, and your life, is a fraud. Truly a tale filled with sound and fury but to no particular end except as entertainment. I watched as consciousness and the Lifeforce had activated her body, and then left, leaving an insentience shell. I saw that she was transitioning away from identification with her body, her personality, and her life in her home in Peoria Arizona. And I saw that it was all unreal. Unreal in the sense of being an activity that goes on spontaneously and along its own course, with entities appearing and disappearing, growth and decline, but none of it has anything to do with you. That body that you imagine yourself to be, has nothing to do with you, nor the consciousness by which you know you are the body. That too has nothing to do with you. You are entirely beyond all of that.

To give an analogy, our lives are like a series of movie sets, with workmen creating the external props of buildings, infrastructure, railroads, and the inside scenes and kitchens and bedrooms, while the crews are the Lifeforce that make everything work, that direct the show, direct the actors, put them through the paces, shoot the scenes, and do post production. They are the driving force, similar to the Lifeforce.

Thirdly is the light of consciousness which lights the set, impacts the light sensor or film, and projects that to the audience—so that you, can witness it.

Exactly so is your life. Your body has nothing to do with you, although you may identify with it now. Nothing at all! Indeed, the life force which you may have discovered in yourself some time ago and with which you may still identify, also is not you. It has nothing to do with you. It is part of the movie set, part of the activity of making a movie. And that bliss that you might at feel at times, those energetic movements, the fears, depression, anxiety, love, and anger that you feel, also have nothing to do with you. They are expressions created by the director of the movie, which you, as the audience are supposed to feel as your own, and mostly you do.

But see it like I do, there is just his body which last for 10 or 100 years which you identify with, but really, you have nothing to do with the body, you are far beyond the body, far more pure than the body and immortal, not subject to time, so in a sense, even beyond immortality, beyond any attribute, beyond any experience. It is the process of identification that chains you to body, ideas, ideologies, or consciousness, and you make them into you.

And then there is consciousness and the Lifeforce within, all that which you discover once you turn inwards: the light of consciousness, the all-pervading emptiness or void, emotions, bliss, ecstasies, energies, imagination, images, dreams, waking state, deep sleep state—all have nothing to do with you. But, you had to first deeply explore each of these levels of experience to discover that you are nowhere to be found in anything that is found. You are not the body. You are not your mind. You are not your thoughts. You are not your I am sensation. You are not emptiness. You are not even consciousness or the Lifeforce. All of those have nothing to do with you. It is all just the play of consciousness, an article manufactured by a divine movie industry, arising from some unknown source, for unknown reason, playing perhaps for our entertainment, or the greater entertainment of Shiva, of God, of awareness.

When you see this, your body crumbles in unimportance. It is a leftover. You feel tricked. You have been sold a bill of goods that is temporary and rotten. The body grows for a while, and gets old and dies, and the same of all the bodies you see around you, all your pets, your parents, your children all are here just very briefly, appearing to be alive, appearing to be a personality, but it is all just a show, which you have nothing to do with. It is just entertainment for you. If you identify with your body, you always fear death. If you identify with consciousness, you will always have the problems of consciousness, the negative emotions, the desires, the vulnerability, for consciousness does not last any longer than the body you experience in you as consciousness.

None of these experiential-elements have anything to do with you. The external world, your body, your consciousness, are not really yours at all. They were identifications thrown at you and what you have accepted over time, but wisdom breaks those identifications allowing you to laugh at the totality of the fraud perpetrated on you and the entire human race if indeed it exists at all and is just not part of your personal movie, created by some unknown joker, or perhaps flowing out of your own unmanifestness.

In order to enjoy a movie, you have to throw yourself into it, and take it as real, you ignore the incredible aspects that would make it not real or not believable. You throw away your guardedness and discrimination in order to participate and be entertained by the unreal. But after awakening to the unreality of it all, you know it is really a fraud, all of life, the sound and fury of it, the attachments, the emotions, your body. None of it has anything to do with you. You are not touched by it. They come to you unspoken, unasked for, and you as a patsy take them as yours for real.

You are entirely beyond them. You are beyond the world. You are beyond your body. You are beyond your own consciousness and beyond your own mind. You are utterly free of all of it, but you imagine yourself still as contracted into a body, contracted into human being, but that is just the movie. This is exactly what the director was aiming for, to get you attached to the movie to see if you can break free. Or, as Robert said repeatedly in his last Satsang the words, “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!”



08 July 2017

Be always mindful of this:

You never really experience the external world.  You experience your consciousness’s representation of that external world.  In fact, the external world may not exist, and you would not know any better if your consciousness were to continue to inform you about a nonexistent external world.

Consciousness itself, at least in your case as an individual entity, is not immortal, it does not remain in any way after the death of the body, such as found in the concept of an immortal soul.  What you are really, is even beyond the concept of an immortal soul, but realizing this deep mystery is difficult indeed.

After you have learned how to detach yourself from your body, having lost identification with the body as you, you then begin to live for a period of time identified with consciousness itself.  By that I mean with your own sense of presence, the so-called energetic body associated with your human physical body, as well as all the objects that arise in your consciousness which you consider to be either yourself or the external world.  All of that is a happening or appearance in your consciousness, which itself is just a temporary bubble containing all of your universe, from the experience of your little toe, to all your thoughts, to all your emotions, to the entire external universe you appear to be part of.  All of this occurs in your consciousness, and consciousness begins to reveal all of its mysteries to you once you can grasp all of her at once, as separate from you.

Now consciousness itself, just like the physical universe that appears within your consciousness, and its individual manifestations are impermanent, but the totality of consciousness, the totality of living sentient beings from mosquitoes and worms to humans, to angels and to God, the entire manifest universe may appear to be infinite, and it may appear that you partake of that infinity by being part of the manifest consciousness, but all of it, even the totality, is time-limited.  Just like the physical universe began, so will it end; and the same is true for the totality of consciousness.  One day from nothingness it appeared, just like one day out of nothingness you came into being, and gradually developed a sense of self.  And one day it will end.

This sense of self may seem very solid and real to you.  Your personality may feel solid and real.  Your experience of your own existence may seem very powerful, solid and real, and the external world itself may appear to be very solid and real, but all it is, is your consciousness, and in a sense, your creation because even though you do not direct the show, you are the single audience for that show, and the whole thing belongs to you in that way.  It is your show only.

I know that there are teachers that teach that since you are the audience, and the only audience for what your consciousness presents to you, as that only audience, you can be considered the creator of all that is seen and experienced, even though you as an individual do not appear to have any control over the events that you see.  These teachers state that you can become the creator, the director, of the show that you call the totality of you in the external world.  They state that you can through different techniques, such as directed “intention,” energy or phase matching and manipulation, through using techniques that raise your “energy” state, can allow you to create an alternative universe from the one you were in before you began to take control of your own destiny.  There are many New Age teachers around like this who talk about mastering your destiny, fully realizing your divine potential, etc.

This concept of empowerment may or may not be true to a limited extent, the creation of alternative worlds through various types of mental or energy manipulation within your bubble of consciousness, but my teacher, Robert Adams, certainly did not recommend any of this New Age creationism, nor did my second guru, Nisargadatta Maharaj through Jean Dunn, my second  worldly teacher.

The best that you can do, the most sublime thing you can do, is to realize that you, as the audience for consciousness, are not consciousness, and are not the physical body within the imaginary external world created by your consciousness.  What you are is total freedom from that consciousness, and the trials and tribulations that that consciousness presents to you as its one and only audience within your consciousness bubble.

You become aware that you are not consciousness, nor the stories created by consciousness.  You just watch consciousness.  You just watch your emotions.  You just watch your thoughts.  But most of us imaginatively embrace that what we see as real is more than merely moving images, sights and sounds within our bubble of consciousness, which we give life, which we give reality, and which we give a storyline.  Yes, we can invent a different story line to explain and explore where we are within consciousness and as consciousness.  Psychologists call this “reframing.”  That is, we change the storyline of thinking about ourselves, from being a victim, to being a victor, from being a pawn, to being King.  But this is all within the new storyline we create, which means you still are entirely identified with elements within your bubble of consciousness and merely changed the imagined relationships between the appearances in your bubble of purported reality.

Robert Adams and Nisargadatta both invited you to go deeper into yourself, into your consciousness, into the source of consciousness, and much deeper entirely into yourself as that which is beyond consciousness and which has no name, no existence, no affect, no existence, yet is there in some unimaginable way apart from existence or beyond or before existence.

Robert Adams rarely spoke of getting prior to consciousness, because he thought that most people would never understand or agree to this as a spiritual way.  He did a few times, but was very guarded in his statement of this theme.  Instead he mostly talked about you as being the infinite, the eternal, Brahman who had many characteristics of transcendence.  But more often, he talked of nothingness, nothingness which was beyond even the void and emptiness, but is hard to imagine because we merely try to magnify any experiences of the void or emptiness into a bigger emptiness or a bigger void.  But by nothingness, Robert meant the absence of anything including the void or emptiness, which is which the advanced meditator always experiences about himself or herself, which is the emptiness that pervades all of consciousness, all appearances within consciousness, all sights, all sounds, all tastes, all touching, all smell—all are permeated by emptiness or the Void as experiences.  The Void pervades and also contains all objects or mind, the mind itself, and objects of the senses.

Robert and Nisargadatta both thought only about the ultimate peace, the peace beyond any understanding, so deep that your soul, your body, your mind, even your Void finds complete rest in being self-contained, and no longer needing or desiring anything from the so-called external world.  You are complete.  No desires race and rage through you.  You do not wish to change the world.  You do not wish to get anything from the external world anymore.  You take whatever comes to you as yours and yours alone, to deal with it as yours alone.

Robert and Nisargadatta were both Princes of Peace.  They taught avoidance of involvement in the external world dream, that nothing there is of import to the ultimate you.  You, the witness of all this, are entirely separate from the dreams produced by your consciousness.  You are entirely separate from consciousness itself.  Robert would say you are Brahman the creator and destroyer of the world, while Nisargadatta would say that the true you, the deepest you, is entirely beyond the body and the physical world, and is also beyond the consciousness that is your instrument for experiencing your body and the external world, and you have nothing to do with it, with the instrument, nor with the external world viewed by you.

Robert and Nisargadatta both would say that any alternative storyline created by you, may provide you an imaginary life of higher actualization and fulfillment, but you are still caught within a different story line that is just as mortal and temporary as the one you left.  In addition, you have spent a lot of energy, a lot of time, a lot of effort in creating this new fulfillment that really does not help you escape the Play of Consciousness. You have just built a different role within that play by a new identification and shifting the storyline.  Your only real hope for peace is by escaping all storylines and all identifications with appearances within consciousness, with the body, and with consciousness itself, escape from the totality of consciousness itself to recognizing and being your true self, which is beyond consciousness.

This can sound negative, this Netti, Netti, point of view meaning not this, not this, which means I am not this, I am not that, gradually losing identification with everything until you have no identification left.  It sounds negativistic, it sounds escapist, but only when put in this context or the storyline of a renunciation, renouncing identification with his body, with his family, with the earth, and with consciousness.  But in actionality, what really happens is the gradual decent of an ever deepening peace, an ever widening piece that wipes out your anxieties, desires, and even your storyline, the one you are living, as well as any you might create.  All fall away, leaving you in a deep peace.

However, there is a great potential danger awaiting that potential sage who desires to go beyond his or her own consciousness, and that is the tendency to dry out and get lost somewhere in the Void, as did I for a long period of time.  The solution to this drying out is to first having discovered the greatness of love, and how having love for everything in your heart, including yourself, is a safeguard from the potential Jnani drying out.  At some point, the aspiring Jnani, the aspiring sage, must become a lover of the world and the object therein, and even after attaining freedom from the known, from the world, from his or her own personality and consciousness, he or she must continue to love it all, worship it all, care for it all, otherwise one just dries out and dies as empty dust.

          I just watched my mother disidentify from the world, from her personality, from her consciousness, and watched her transition into the witness beyond all that appears as real, and this was the story she showed me ever so clearly: The utter mystery of going beyond the Void to the Absolute, about which nothing can be said.  Words and stories are only about consciousness and the plays within consciousness.

04 July 2017

Ultimately and truly, there is no truth!

When we use the word ‘Truth’, almost universally we mean something expressed, meaning, and equation, a theory, something about the nature of existence, the nature of God and our relation to God, or keys to understanding existence itself, life and death itself. This is generally what we mean by that word ‘Truth’.

That is, the word truth means words, concepts, ideas, defined sets, mathematical concepts, the continuum, quantum mechanics, relativity theory,, cosmology, id, ego, the divine, or something as simple as a city.

Nisargadatta uses the example of how the concept of a city defines nothing, provides no way to actually deal with an entity called the city. He used the example of the city called Mumbai. Let us change that and use a city I know so well, Los Angeles.

So what is Los Angeles? We will find that the closer we look at the sub elements recall Los Angeles, the less there is to be grasped, or better yet, there are so many complexities that the subcategories of city do not at all represent what that city is like.

For thousands of years spiritual teachers from Zen, to Advaita, even classical Buddhism have said that there is no truth. All concepts are empty, void of meaning, void of a public ability to our experience. As Alfred Korzybski said in his great book, Science and Sanity, the map is not the terrain. Words are a nongraphical way of describing terrain, or as a general metaphor for the subject matter under investigation.

When we come to the concept of the city, and we investigate more deeply into what a city is, and therefore what that label Los Angeles would describe, things get very complex very fast, because our experience of the actual physical entity we might call a city, is very different from the concept that most people have of the phrase Los Angeles.

For example, what do we actually mean by the term ‘Los Angeles’?

Here are some of the things that we might mean when we examine both the concept of ‘Los Angeles’, and what we actually find when we physically and conceptually examine an actual entity we might call Los Angeles.

When we speak of Los Angeles, are we not in a way speaking of the land there? Are we not talking about the Los Angeles River, the aqueduct system that carries the water into the city from Northern California, are we not talking about hundreds of thousands of residential buildings, the tens or hundreds of thousands of commercial and government buildings, are we talking about the thousands of miles of freeways, arterial streets, theater streets, and alleys?

Further, if were talking about the land, we should also investigate the infrastructure under that land, the subways, the storm drain sewer piping, the second sewer system caring away contaminated water to the sea, water pipes, gas pipes, electrical cable, fiber-optic cable, copper wires, and even the electrical power grid of the city, with its transformers, junction boxes, switching stations, and street distribution systems.

We also talk about the water piping system within the city, including fire hydrants, and access pipes to the house, as well as the natural gas distribution network of pipes, valves, and distribution stations.

We also talk about the networks of geological faults underlying the Los Angeles area, from the Santa Monica fault, to the Northridge fault, to all the other faults.

Finally talking about land, we talk about the farming quality of the land, the amount of tree cover or green cover, we talk about the amount of ground is covered by earthen but is covered by concrete or asphalt. We talk about the drainage system for when it rains, and how often it rains. You also talk about the prevailing temperature from day to day through the four seasons and throughout the year and varying over the decades.

Then we could go from block to block, and take soil samples and measure them at various points throughout the city to find patterns, and geological patterns in terms of types of rock, groundwater availability, the number of pumping wells, and leakages from various gas stations of oil related pollutants and other things.

And this is just looking at the land. What other things are contained in the concept ‘Los Angeles’?

Her approximately 4 million people that live in Los Angeles. Each has a name, each has a body, each has a major degree of education, each has an assignable IQ, each has emotions, each has wants and desires, and each has some job or is retired or is too young to even go to school. A certain percentage or high school students, others go to college, and 60,000 go to UCLA, studying a myriad of different disciplines, from law, to anthropology, to mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, and religion. How do we characterize these 4 million people? It is an impossible task is it not? Would we have to know every specific individual of these 4 million, and how they related to many of the others they meet from day-to-day, characterize the nature of that relationship, such as married, friends, enemies, coworkers, employers, employees, salaries, educational level, political affiliation, voter registration, voting patterns, financial patterns, distribution of wealth throughout the city in terms of where various social classes live, racial and ethnic distribution throughout the city of the various peoples and how they interrelate within those neighborhoods.

To see how complex the actual physical reality of what we call ‘Los Angeles’ becomes when we actually investigate all the sets and subsets and attributes that we would have to explore in order to thoroughly understand the concept of ‘Los Angeles’?

Then we would have to investigate the interplay of the public and private sectors. We would have to look at economic patterns, transportation patterns within the city of cars and trucks, trains and buses, subways and airplanes. We would have to talk about the distribution of goods and how they are distributed throughout the city by truck, car, train, etc. We would have to investigate the traffic pattern of users of these goods or services, such as by foot, car, bus, subway.

Next we would have to look at the various government entities and their activities, from County recorder recording person tests, land ownership, land transfer, taxes and collection, sending that money to the state, which is redistributed back to the cities. We have to look at the various enforcement entities at the city, county, state, and federal level that exists within Los Angeles, from federal buildings, and bases, the County Court system, the County Sheriff’s office and its thousands of deputies, and patrol cars, as well as the city of Los Angeles police force, and the police forces of the various suburbs of Los Angeles, such as Santa Monica, and how they interrelate in complex patterns to contain crime, and serve the public in its various ways.

I have only begun to investigate what we mean when we use the phrase ‘Los Angeles’. Can you see how incredibly complex our investigation becomes when we begin to define what we need to look at when we think of that city, or any city? We are investigating tens of millions of factors and humans, as well as pets, and how they interact with each other on a personal level, with the land, with their houses, with their water usage, their electrical usage, their voting patterns, political clubs, with the police and sheriffs departments, with the legal system, with the enforcement system, with their employers, with city Council, and also the various city services. There is no way that a thousand scholars that are digging ever more deeply into the concept of the actuality or terrain that the phrase ‘Los Angeles’ reach a conclusion of what that label means. We can always dig deeper, into the molecules of the soil, into the new changes of temperature over a year, rainfall patterns, violent deaths, accidental deaths, morbidity patterns, pollution problems and densities, Zika virus monitoring, etc.

Therefore, we come back to the fundamental truth that there is no truth, and that the map, the graphing or description of the actual terrain, of the actual subject matter, is not the subject itself. The mapping, or the descriptions, are about various activities, objects, processes, relationships, abstract non-discernible laws controlling behaviors, financial transactions, income distribution patterns, voting patterns, etc., add infinitum. There is no end to a thoroughgoing analysis of the concept ‘Los Angeles’.

That is, we could go on forever with a more and more subtle analysis, and never understand but the actual city is like. Even poetry cannot describe the entirety of the “actual” purported terrain of the city of Los Angeles. We can have endless analysis and descriptions about it, but we can never grasp it with our minds. We can only experience living in Los Angeles and tell our tail of what is like to live in Los Angeles. The terrain is our individual experience of Los Angeles, and what it is like to be an Angeleno. Multiply that by 4 million, and we have a hundred encyclopedias describing the city from our point of view.

Thus the only truth is, that there is no truth, and the map is not the terrain or the actual experiential object.

This is the truth concerning such an easy subject matter as the city of Los Angeles. But what if we get into less tangible subject matter, less tangible terrain, such as described by quantum mechanics or cosmology? Here the theories get ever more subtle, evermore obscure, evermore complex mathematically, were were talking about 11 dimensional space, and everything is made up of invisible strings, or vibrations in the ether, and the entire universe is but one among an infinite number of coexisting universes, sitting side-by-side in different quantum realities. Such as the state of modern cosmology now.

And supposedly talk about the greatest subject matter of all, and that is who I am. When we asked the question, “who am I?” Based on the example of Los Angeles given above, can you see how quickly this can become a very complex analysis, with lots of terms, lots of ideas, lots of attributes attributed, and in essence, the description becomes so complex and fundamentally we find out that there is nothing there the deeper we go, only emptiness, and beyond emptiness, Nothingness.

I have described the process of self inquiry hundreds and thousands of times. There is no use to repeated in-depth here. But when we begin to investigate who I am, do we not first look to books, to experts, to sages, to scriptures, to Masters and Gurus? Thus we may spend years gathering the concepts of Eckhart Tolle, J. Krishnamurti, Osho, Ramana marshy, Nisargadatta, Sailor Bob, Ed Muzika, the Bhagavad-Gita, Zen koans and Buddhist scriptures, Advaita or Kashmir shamanism philosophy?

The next step is to actually begin to look within at our own experience of self, from the first grasping of the experience of existing, that most referred to as the concept or experience of ‘I-Am’. Where do we experience that, if we experience it at all? In the head, in the heart, in our guts? To experience internal energies? Do we experience our inner emptiness? Do we experience a sense of presence within permeating our bodies and extending beyond them into the surrounding environment?

Do we go deeper, submerge our center of awareness, deeper within our sense of presence and located to be near the heart? Do we then go deeper into our heart of hearts, the most private, the most vulnerable part of our existence? And this is just the beginning of our search which can go on for years, going ever more deeply through the various levels of consciousness or self, including the descriptive pattern used by Siddharameshwar who was Nisargadatta’s teacher, and which is quite common in Hindu philosophy talking about the gross body experience with the external world, the subtle body experience of internal energies in the sense of presence, the dream state, the deep sleep state, the causal body of unawareness, which is the seed body of awakened consciousness, all the way through the mind and deep worked in deeper into the background field are void which is coextensive which what is called Turiya?

Can we go beyond Turiya, all the way beyond consciousness itself where there is nothing to be experienced, nothing gained and nothing lost, nothing to do, nothing to want? And ultimately there is no I am, there is no self That, there is no void, there is no nothingness, there is no witness, and nothing witnessed. All of that has been thrown away and the Investigation of Self ends, with no conclusion, nothing to be grasped or nothing to grasp.

Then once again, the only truth is that there is no truth, the map is not the terrain, all the intense investigations and descriptions ultimately capture nothing. With pursuing the description of ‘Los Angeles’, we get down to exploring the atoms that make up individuals in the dirt that holds them, and getting even more deeply to the emptiness within and around Adams in the quantum structures therein, until ultimately are looking has become so precise and so penetrating, that there is nothing there.

Then we are left with nothingness. Then our minds no longer work. Thoughts do not flow to the surface. We no longer question. Our minds are silent. Our rest is complete. We are at peace having discovered that there is no truth, in fact there is not even any terrain to be investigated, because ultimately the terrain itself is also empty, devoid of characteristic, devoid of quality, devoid of existence itself, devoid of time. All are dissolved retention, through awareness, of ever deeper levels of the increasingly transparent self.

Concepts are at best “Convenient Fictions” as described by my old friend, Lee Werth, retired philosophy professor from Cleveland.  That is, terms like Los Angeles, the federal government, Congress, medical science, atoms, self, I, God, are quite alright to use for superficial everyday conversation, but are not the city itself, nor are the 535 individual senators and congressmen, their offices, salaries, and payees of tens of thousands of lobbyists, with families, ambitions, and actual bills being constructed, lobbied and voted on actually well-described by the word 'congress'.  The closer the analysis, the more refined the description such that we better understand parts, but not the whole thing.  There is no Congress, no medical science as a whole, just individual researchers, trials, evaluated studies, FDA approved, etc., etc.  But we can use these terms as generalities in certain circumstances, but when used in others, allow stupid people to think they know, when they know nothing.