LAKE TAHOE, CA/NV—The final event which led to the dropping of my ego was sitting next to a frog (my Frog Master) and wondering how he could sit still for hours on end while sitting still for hours on end was driving me crazy.
This event led to the following:
I realized that thoughts weren’t real… and everything I knew about myself consisted of thoughts.
And that’s the gist and importance of the previous post.
What are you without your thoughts?
Bonus: The email exchange that started this thread, to which I am grateful…
(P___’s response to The Subtle Senses Of Self post.)
Fundamental sense of identity. Thanks for the list of definitions. Having read your posts for well over a year now I have a fairly decent grasp of what you’re pointing to when you talk about “radiance”, “emptiness” and the “soul level”. But it’s nice to have you clarify the terms.
I think your taxonomy is more complicated than it needs to be.
I grew up in the northeast US of A near the Hudson river – a major geographical landmark and commercial waterway. Other people live near the Potomac river, or the Mississippi river or the Nile – all great rivers, full of history, commerce and geographical significance.
Now – look at a full photograph of the Earth – a 3D globe is even better. There are oceans labeled the “Pacific”, the “Atlantic”, the “Indian Ocean”, etc. But it is also abundantly clear that there is just “One” body of water on our planet. The Earth is seventy-five percent covered with water – it’s all over the place. The Atlantic and Pacific oceans are connected – as are the Indian ocean and the Arctic ocean and the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. In fact it is wrong to think about them as being different, or separate seas that are somehow “connected”.
All the rivers all over the world and all the lakes and all the ponds are composed of the same water from the same great source. It is all “ONE” great body of water that is all over the place and we just arbitrarily name different areas of it with different names. There is no”connection” between them. There is no “them”. There is only the water – pure and simple.
And this is made crystal clear by just looking at a good map or a globe of the world. There is no logical deduction to be be made. You don’t have to “reason” this out. It is “slap you in the face” plainly obvious if you just take the time to look.
So it is with consciousness and our innate sense of self. The self that we all experience, the mind that inhabits all of us (and which we inhabit) is the GREAT MIND – the oceanic consciousness that envelopes our world – and likely the cosmos beyond. There is no other mind. We are not little bits of consciousness walking around trying to make connections with one another. We are all the same magical and mystical being but located at different spots and calling ourselves by different names – “I am the Hudson. Which river are you?” Hah!
I think it plays too well to our analytical, logical intellects to define different “levels” of selfhood. It makes the intellect/ego think it can reason or manipulate its way to oceanic awareness. “I’m almost there – just one more level to climb”.
You’re already there. There is no climbing or self-improvement to be done. We just have to stop mis-identifying ourselves with the limited, unique specifics of our lives.
PS – I agree that there is a “level” of realization beyond that of universal selfhood. Once you fully understand that you are the universe and the universe is you – it is possible to experience a form of consciousness (?) that leaves all traces of selfhood behind. You reference Adyashanti in this regard. I call it the “Realm of Isness” – my own particular wording for something that really can not be talked about. Naked reality? The ground floor of existence? That which simply IS?
Wishing you the best – P___
And keep on keepin’ on.
My blog post in response.
You are 100 percent correct. There is the naked, pure, absolute reality that is flooding our senses all of the time every day – and then there is the constant flow of abstract thoughts, images, memories, etc that we lay over the real world. We often confuse the real with the abstract.
They say there is an equator around our world. If I traveled south to its location I doubt that I would see it. Could I pick it up? I doubt it. There is a north pole on our world. What would I see if I traveled there?
At this moment, as I sit with a keyboard in front of me and gaze out the window at the trees beyond, I see the world that is before me at this moment – NOW. I hear the voice of my wife in the other room – NOW. I feel the chair beneath me – HERE and NOW. And I am part of everything that I experience. I see the world with MY eyes. I hear the world with MY ears. I am an integral, necessary. and inescapable part of all that I experience – and it can not be otherwise. So am I merely an extension of the world, or is the world merely an extension of me?
Maybe the world and I are extensions of each other. Where do I end and it begins?
I didn’t mean to confuse the real with the abstract. My use of the water/ocean metaphor was meant soley as a means of illustrating to the unenlightened how our sense of identity can be both particular and universal at the same time. But it was only meant as a metaphor.
Words are devilishly slippery things. I suppose its sometimes better to just be silent and let the world/nature speak for itself.
Keep on keepin’ on
I knew you’d get it P___. Wasn’t sure if it would offend you, but I knew you’d get what I was saying. 🙂
I am just as guilty (as I hope I made apparent in the post) of confusing thoughts/beliefs with truth. Thoughts are tenacious little bastards!
But as I pointed out in the comments, I hope people realize that I experience the flow between the different selves, the different lived experiences of self-contraction. What you and I were talking about was the Nondual, the Emptiness, the One without an other, and I was just experimenting to see how much was true (me as everything I perceived) and how much was belief (TaoGodHer as Everything). Doesn’t mean beliefs aren’t true, just life and thoughts become friendlier and more flowing when we can distinguish between beliefs and reality.
Anyway, I got a lot out of the post too, so thank-you! 🙂
I subscribe to your posts because it is very clear to me that you have “been there and done that” and are sincerely trying to bring others along the “pathless path”. I appreciate this greatly and hope that you continue.
I wish you the best. And thanks for taking the time to reply.
END OF THREAD
Now go back to the top of this post and really contemplate it. What are you without your thoughts? – Don’t answer it, feel it.
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