SOMEWHERE IN THE SIERRAS, CA—Having fled the snows higher up, I sat by a stream in the Sierras and contemplated an email I had received criticizing my previous post.
In his email, he said that, seen from a high enough perspective, all the streams and rivers and oceans were really just one body of water. He used this imagery as an analogy that we are really just One Consciousness and it was silly to break it down into all those parts.
I sat on a rock in the sun and looked down into the running water. I inhaled and exhaled and pulled away the hard Wayne-thing and expanded into Emptiness.
Without any boundaries, everything I saw was at once outside of me, inside of me, and as me. No self boundaries—no boundaries at all—does that to you.
“I call bullshit,” I said out loud. The ocean wasn’t inside me, because I couldn’t see the ocean. There was no “one body of water” because I wasn’t seeing the Earth from that high of a perspective. What I did see was me-as-a-stream flowing through me-as-a-bank in me-as-a-forest. Separate but One. What I could see—what I was—was unfiltered, untainted Reality.
When in Emptiness, there IS a “one consciousness” (lower case, nothing special) but it doesn’t include you (yes, you the reader). In Emptiness, there is only me-the-witness-of-me. Anything outside of my vision or felt sensation doesn’t exist. Girls from my past are just a thought. Jupiter is just a thought. Outer space is just a thought. The concept of one global body of water or One Universal Consciousness is just a thought.
In Emptiness, if it is not an experienced physical thing, then it is just a thought: The rock is real, the stream is real, the forest is real. All of those are both separate and a part of me, but Jupiter—not being seen or experienced—is not. Since I’m not seeing it, Jupiter is just a thought.
In Emptiness, where all boundaries are recognized as mind-generated, this becomes brilliantly clear. Thoughts are recognized as just noise in the head. Thoughts are not Reality.
In day-to-day life it is very easy to confuse thoughts with Reality. I still do it at least a dozen times a day. The author of the email was doing it, speaking from rational thoughts and not lived experience. I’m not blaming him or have any hard feelings toward him, people confuse their thoughts with Truth all the time.
There’s a simple test you can do to see if you are confusing thoughts with Reality. Ask yourself, “Right now, is what I am thinking also what I am physically experiencing?”
The reason the ego is not real is because the ego is made entirely of thoughts… thoughts which are mistaken for “the real me.”
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