April 24, 2016 10:41 AM
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I believe in Human Beings. I just don’t believe I am one.
I believe in Souls. I just don’t believe I am one.
I believe in individual points of consciousness.
And I do believe I am one.
Point of consciousness is an awful term though—I just don’t have a better word for it. This “point” that I am—that we all are—has no boundaries (but it does have a center). What has a center but no boundaries? I don’t know. So for now I’ll call it a point of consciousness.
I believe I am a point of consciousness that rides around in a Soul which has lived for thousands and thousands of years.
And the Soul that I ride around in has attached itself to this human being—to this body.
Sometimes I forget this though—sometimes I get caught up in the world and take it too seriously.
But most of the time I remember.
And when I remember…
OLD RIVER LOCK, LA—I sit in my chair, high on a bluff, smoking one of my father’s old cigars. It’s been years since I smoked and I’m surprised at how good it tastes with afternoon coffee.
Down below, in the muddy river of a branch of the Mississippi, a curve in the bank creates a disturbance in the water and logs and branches, once flowing freely, get caught in a sort of limbo.
Feeling the force of the river moving rapidly by, they helplessly turn and swirl and bump into each other—mired in a circular whirling slow moving maelstrom of clutter and debris.
Further out, a snowy white pelican—aware of the dangers of mindless drifting—floats effortlessly on the current. One with the River, but separate.
The logs bump and rub and turn and swirl and gain no ground, but the pelican, content and at ease, is soon lost from sight.
I sit on the bluff, high above the water…
and watch this…
Emptiness and Radiance and Soul and Mortal.
One but Separate.
JEFF BUSBY CAMPGROUND, NATCHEZ TRACE, MS—I often talk about Mystical Oneness being a flowing experience from state to state since this is my everyday experience of life (Mortal, Soul, Radiance, Emptiness). In this morning’s Nonduality Highlights, there was an email exchange between Colin Drake and one of his readers discussing how we can’t stay in Pure Awareness (what I call Emptiness) and still function in the world, you have to “flip flop” between states. Drake uses a different vocabulary and a limited number of states (Pure Awareness and… non-Awareness?), but it’s good to see this matter addressed by someone other than myself—even if the dryness of typical nondual-speak makes me want to gag.
Drake’s Reader: I have realised that I am unable to stay in a Nondual state if I go about my everyday business in the physical—Dual-world, but I have a knowing awareness that it is there and I can easily just be and see the illusion. So I can “flip flop” between the two. One view is the spiritual and one view is the physical. Is it possible to stay in the “spiritual” all the time and still function in the everyday world of duality?
Drake: Nonduality is not a state, for all states come and go, but a world-view that informs our actions and the way we relate to others and the world. There is actually no division between the spiritual and the physical for all is just consciousness, the former being associated with This when at rest (Pure Awareness) and the latter being identified with this when in motion, or manifesting as cosmic energy of which matter is a form. So there is no need to ‘stay’ in any state as one can never leave That which is (and we are) of which all is a manifestation. It may appear that we need to flip flop but this itself is just a (necessary) illusion caused by consciousness using our mind/bodies as instruments through which it can sense, contemplate, experience, engage with, interact in, enjoy and love its own manifestation. For all engagement and interaction requires (an appearance of) multiplicity, but the knowing (of Pure Awareness) allows this to be enjoyed as the play of consciousness without being deluded by it. Sure there are times when one will ‘nod off’ and temporarily overlook this ‘knowing’ but luckily this invariably leads to mental suffering … a sure sign that we need to wake up again by instantly seeing that this has occurred in Pure Awareness itself!
A couple things to keep in mind:
Emptiness, from my experience, is something you slide in and out of—it is the realization of the no-borders state, but we can’t FUNCTION in that state. So don’t let fear hold you back as Oneness (not Emptiness) is the INTEGRATION of all the levels—NONE are permanent (Oneness is permanent, but it isn’t really a level or state).
I tend to operate from Radiance, and I use Emptiness as a sort of grounding when I get too caught up in mental noise.
Another thing to keep in mind, you will do so much more good when you operate from Radiance and use Emptiness (as I do) to keep your ego and fears in check—far more good than when you operate from the lower levels alone.
So don’t let Emptiness (what is left when you pull and drop the self away) frighten or discourage you. It is your Foundation, your Source, but not the Great End-All. 🙂
The reason you can’t function from the Emptiness level is because everything feels the same. You are nothing and at the same time, everything. The body you find yourself looking out of is exactly as meaningful to you as the chair you are sitting on. Nothing is important. Nothing needs fixing or doing or participating in (because all borders/boundaries are realized as only mind fluff).
At the Emptiness level, there is simply no self-interest so there is no need for action of any sort.
I differ from most nonduality teachers in that I consider Emptiness a level or state and that it must be integrated with all the other levels (Radiance, Soul, Mortal) to realize the Great Paradox (Emptiness AND Fullness). This integration of the Source (Emptiness) and the Stuff (Fullness) is what I call Oneness.
Hat tip to Ken Wilber for his integration ideas (though I disagree with a lot of his methodology).
The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.
— Yasutani Roshi
The mind can grasp this concept fairly easily:
Boundaries and borders are just in our heads. The sense of separation is just a persistent thought.
To live it? Not so easy.
When you stop living as a Mortal and start living as a Soul, your boundaries start to fade.
When you stop living as a Soul and start living as Radiance, your boundaries fade even more.
Finally, when you stop living as Radiance and start living as Oneness, when you drop the belief in separation altogether, then you are free of the “fundamental delusion.”
You must deeply believe that separation is an illusion. It has to be felt. It’s not just a concept to be grasped.
To awaken, Oneness must be lived, not just understood.
The less there is of you, the more there is of Her.
Sumner Lake SP, NM—On the lake, a fish leaps into the air, its yellow belly glistening, its tail slapping the water’s surface before it splashes back into the depths.
A small white heron struts in the grass, darting forward erratically as it snaps at some invisible prey.
Down below, an old man struggles with his canoe by the boat ramp. He eventually slides it into the water, then gingerly steps inside, pushes off and paddles silently across the lake.
The heron, seeing the dock is clear, takes flight. He soars downward and alights on the ramp. He settles in for a moment, making sure the area is safe, then peers deeply into the water.
A squirrel pops her head above a rock at the edge of the cliff. Cautiously she comes forward, sniffing the ground, stopping, evaluating. Then she shuffles forward again. She pokes her nose in the grass and pulls forth a morsel. She sits back on her haunches and eats it, her black eyes like tiny shiny marbles. Finished, she stands up and looks at me. I point my camera, shoot her picture, and lean back into the chair just as a seagull floats by overhead.
I close my eyes.
The sun warms my face and I listen to the breeze and the waves lapping at the shore below.
Across the lake, the seagull caws.
I decided to do a video to explain the last two “How To Find Enlightenment” posts. Videos seem to convey the feel of being—which is really what Oneness is all about. Enjoy.
Want to know what Oneness/Enlightenment feels like?
Push away your thoughts and see what is left.