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Topic: Awakening Never Ends

Sifter started this discussion 6.5 years ago #278

Hello Dr Robert,

Thank you for posting this essay - there's a lot to think about there.

I'm curious about the fact that you stopped your artistic practice a while after you began this awakening. You also say this:

"But any true love in ones lifeI do not mean attachment, or habit, but true love, whether for a human being or anything elsedoes not disappear when awakening, but is all the better expresssed because now one is free, for the first time really, to love unreservedly."

Do you think you stopped making art because it was not a true love for you, or is art necessarily a product of ego struggle, or did something else change?

Laura L joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 12 hours later[^] [v] #0

This memoir is wonderful. Thank you for posting it and thank you for your honesty. Reading your words has encouraged me to keep going in my search for Reality. I wish I could study with you but I live far away.

Take care doctor

dr-robert joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 21 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Sifter, Laura L--

Thanks to you both for your appreciation of my essay on awakening to non-duality. I have been receiving compliments and interesting comments on that piece in my email.

I understand your question Sifter, but it is not one I can easily answer. I would not say that art is necessarily a "product of ego struggle" any more than any other doings in life seem to be a result of that struggle. I say "seem to be," because the "struggle" is only imaginary, and the products simply emerge as they will, when they do, without anyone's actually having done anything. This is as much true for the person who has not realized the Self as for the person who has, the only difference being that the realizer of non-duality has seen that "myself" is an empty concept, and certainly not the doer or producer of anything. As you understand, words lose adequacy at this level of discourse, but you can get a flavor of the idea by remembering that artists often speak of having to "wait for the muse," or "wait for inspiration," or about "being blocked," all of which imply that one cannot simply "decide" or "will oneself" to make art. This is still dualistic, but on the borderline of understanding. The step over the line would be seeing that the "muse," "inspiration," or whatever, are not different from the emergence of the work of art, just another name for it, and that the ego simply, and falsely, takes credit when that happens by saying, for example, "I was blocked, but then I got inspired." The "I" doesn't have to be there at all, you see. Really it is more an artifact of language and convention than anything else.


Thanks again, and be well.

Hexi joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 9 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

After reading the essay, my first thought was "but... i like feeding my ego and it's one of the few things that give me emotional pleasure" :) Ahh well.

Sifter (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 day later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Thanks Dr Robert. I find I've been looking through this for some kind of answer to my problems, an unblocking, but I know it's not that. I only write this rather than keep doing that loop. Probably I'm not ready for this now, possibly it's just not my direction anyway, but it makes me sad because I have these momentary glimpses of something - like the weight of the world restored to the lines of the world, instead of converging.

I was wondering whether you found in language arts like poetry the possibility of remaking language patterns for different possibilities, but I'm not sure I care about that these days, it doesn't feel like a sincere question. It seems to me that one could only ever entertain oneself that way, barring embarking on some kind of hideous reeducation campaign.

I know this is naive too, but I honestly don't know why people persist towards this kind of awakening, given there is nothing to get. Unless it is just a product of looking and looking and looking so hard at the entrapments of daily being that floating away is just some kind of natural byproduct.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

If you like poetry, try this one out:


"Time to cash in your chips
put your ideas and beliefs on the table.
See who has the bigger hand
you or the Mystery that pervades you.

Time to scrape the mind's shit
off your shoes
undo the laces
that hold your prison together
and dangle your toes into emptiness.

Once you've put everything
on the table
once all of your currency is gone
and your pockets are full of air
all you've got left to gamble with
is yourself.

Go ahead, climb up onto the velvet top
of the highest stakes table.
Place yourself as the bet.
Look God in the eyes
and finally
for once in your life
lose."
— Adyashanti

Differential joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

That poem does a good job of illustrating freedom from ego. While a simplistic interpretation, that's what I took from it. All I can say in response, however, is that avoiding the win for once in my life makes everything seem... pointless. Which I realize is the idea, however to me pointlessness removes reason, and I can't see why you would ever want a world without reason. Everything falls apart and ceases to be enjoyable.

Though I suppose that on the other hand, when reason and explenation aren't your passions, that wouldn't sound like such a bad thing.

I prefer intrigue to serenity. Hands down.

(Edited 56 seconds later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Hey, Differential. Welcome to the Forum.

Look, I have no interest in getting you or anyone else to do or try anything. We all just do what we do. Whatever floats your boat is cool by me.

That said, your post seems so distant and theoretical--what you are calling "serenity" is all in your imagination. If you have not experienced such a state, how do you what you prefer? See, that's what ego does: encloses, insulates, excludes, and then compares what is inside the imagined enclosure to what is outside of it, as if there really were an inside and an outside.

Be well.

Differential replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks, doc. Glad to be here.

I don't mean to imply you're attempting to make me try anything. I simply jumped into the discussion feet-first, so to speak. Gotta consider the alternatives, and I'm breaking my normal habits by being as honest as I know how to be when I'm around. That wasn't defensiveness, that was 'thinking aloud' so to speak.

I identify serenity as the absence of stress and worry. 'Not a care in the world,' no predators to be on the lookout for, no constant vigil for the next opportunity. Relaxed, safe, without guard.

I know you've stated your views on a lot of this, but I love to understand and quantify. I believe that those experiences I have had which I cannot understand are not beyond my comprehension, eventually - I will never know it all but I pin that on time constraints. Everything is POSSIBLE to be quantified and learned.

I could paint a noble picture of my great quest for enlightenment, but it boils down to a scientific-process mindset. I believe that willful ignorance is the greatest blunder, and I enjoy a good 'hunt for the truth.' I realize this may well change with age, yet for the time being I would rather know and be dissapointed than not know and wonder.

Wondering eats at me. I love curing it, replacing faith with knowledge. It's a combination of research, the 'new shiny' feeling bits and peices of knowledge have when first gained, and puzzlesolving that engages my mind. It's fun despite the fact that it often causes stress and worry, tires and even at times frustrates me.

Given the choice I will always opt to know, particularly to find out.

Now, it may be true that I have not experienced serenity. I am, admittedly, clinging to what I know for fear of letting it go. Why put down a meal I know I like in favor of one I don't know I'll enjoy? I ask this not to challenge you, but out of legitimate curiosity (go figure, heh.)

If what I have deduced serenity to be isn't correct, then what is it? Would you poist that serenity is much like the Tao, something that must be experienced and learned by the individual due to it's unique and relative nature?

Sifter (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 days later, 5 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr Robert,

What is with the emphasis on the tradition of (spiritual?) teachers in your essay? Why is it important? How do you relate to the kind of cultism around someone like Gurdjieff or Adyashanti, the way these charismatic men act kind of magnetically for saviour-seekers and daddy-seekers?

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 13 hours later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Diff--

Yes, hunt for the truth is good, and that hunt involves commitment to a completely open mind, to fearless investigation and to total honesty. Without that attitude, "truth" will never be found, but only an imagined, but false "verification" of ones existing ideas and programming. But real open-mindedness and honesty towards what is seen requires a lot of nerve. Deep investigation can be scary. If I am really honest, my whole world might be shaken by what I find out or learn. Right?

Now, if you have the nerve, just sit quietly, and ask yourself this:

"Who am I?" Just keep asking. Go as deeply as you can. For example, "I am a man. Yes, but who am I?" Report back.


Sifter--

Even in other fields, take science for example, student-teacher lineages are important. In theoretical physics, Max Born was the thesis advisor to Friedrich Hund, who in turn was the advisor to Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, who, is his turn, passed the baton to Karl-Heinz Höcker. Now the findings of science can be expressed in words and mathematical symbols, so science could be learned from a book without personal contact, but in practice it does not work that way. Certain attitudes and fine understandings which can not be expressed just or only in words inevitably become part of the teaching. We speak, in science, of "inspiration," and of "elegance." These are human values, which need personal contact for their fullest communication.

In the case of spiritual teaching, the need for person to person contact is even greater than in physics, because, unlike in physics, the crux of the spiritual search cannot be resolved in words or symbols. It takes place not in thought which is all that can be expressed in words, but in the spaces between thoughts. That kind of understanding passes from person to person often via wordless communication, similar to the kind of communication which takes place between lovers when they look into each others eyes, or the kind of communication which sometimes takes place in my consulting room when I simply raise an eyebrow, skeptically, while hearing something from a client.

There are things which cannot be put into words, but which nevertheless are true and valid (you hearing that, Differential?). In the example I gave in my memoir, Gurdjieff understood something which could not be expressed only in words. Willem Nyland hung out with Gurdjieff in order to learn it, and Gurdjieff passed it on to him while, at the same time, he did not pass it on to others who were on the scene (the daddy-seekers). Walter Chappell became a student of Nyland, and Nyland chose to share his understanding with Walter, while, at the same time, other seekers approached Nyland, and either were not offered the understanding, or, even if he chose to share it with them, could not grasp it. The situation with me and Walter was the same. Walter passed something to me, often wordlessly, to which others who approached Walter were blind, or with whom Walter chose not to share that understanding. In fact, in the years during which Walter was my teacher and mentor, I never saw anyone else get it from him, although many approached looking for something.

Now that I am in the role of spiritual teacher, I find that things are exactly the same, and, for the first time, I understand fully what Walter felt about our relationship, what Willem must have felt about Walter, etc. Even here on this Forum I function to a certain extent, for some people as a spiritual teacheralthough, as I say, personal contact, not just words, really are essential for the gist of itwhile others seem completely deaf to what I try to point out. And that's OK. As my good old buddy, the late, great artist Bill Gersh, used to say,

"You get what you get when you get it."

As for the cult situation. Yes, of course. There are loads of people looking for the next savior, first to worship, then to crucify when they find him or her disappointing. This says nothing about the validity of the teaching or the value of the teacher as a teacher. It's just part of the human situation.

Sifter (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 37 minutes later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

Let's not be too condemning of the daddy-seekers, seeing as I'm in that camp. I don't like it, but I don't choose it, either - it's just some tic. But how is it different from the bond of mentorship you are writing about here? Is it really? How much transference enters into that bond?

Differential replied with this 6.5 years ago, 30 minutes later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Diff--
>
> Yes, hunt for the truth is good, and that hunt involves commitment to a completely open mind, to fearless investigation and to total honesty. Without that attitude, "truth" will never be found, but only an imagined, but false "verification" of ones existing ideas and programming. But real open-mindedness and honesty towards what is seen requires a lot of nerve. Deep investigation can be scary. If I am really honest, my whole world might be shaken by what I find out or learn. Right?

"Bring it on" is my only response to that. I've been to the depths of hopelessness, I've experienced the void, I've stared my antithisis in the eye and spent years simply picking up the peices of it's aftermath. The fact is that if I'm currently wrong, my lack of understanding doesn't mean that I am right. When I discover what it is that shakes my whole world, I realize that what I'm discovering isn't new. It's the way things have always been, I simply haven't yet consciously processed it yet.


> Now, if you have the nerve, just sit quietly, and ask yourself this:
>
> "Who am I?" Just keep asking. Go as deeply as you can. For example, "I am a man. Yes, but who am I?" Report back.

I am alone, I am hungry, I am vindictive and I am defensive.

I am alone because I hate people.

I am hungry because my mind is all that I am. It needs to be fed.

I am vindictive because I have to be sure that any potential threat is dealt with. Permanently.

I am defensive because I am wounded - which is why I have become vindictive.

I was wounded because I was trusting, which is why I hate people and thus am alone.

Or was this not deep enough? I'm pretty sure that covers the core tenets. There might be more, but nothing comes to mind.

> There are things which cannot be put into words, but which nevertheless are true and valid (you hearing that, Differential?).

Irony of this is that since it can't be put into words, it can't be related, so without experience it can't be proven. I'll happen upon these by chance, if they do indeed exist. It's the only way I can.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 59 minutes later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Transference is when I don't see things as they are.

dr-robert double-posted this 6.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
No. Not deep enough. Those observations are observations of feelings or attitudes. Who is it who is aware of those attitudes or in whom those feelings arise?

Sifter (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 34 minutes later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
:)

Ailonna joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I agree with the Doc. They are observations. I do however want to point something out in reference to your observations.

> I was wounded because I was trusting, which is why I hate people and thus am alone.

Your last line bothered me. What (who) broke that trust, and why are you letting them (it) control your life?

I may be approaching this entirely the wrong way. When I read that it related (in my head) to a female who was abused a long time ago, and instead of letting her walls down (learning to forgive herself, and starting over) she has become infatuated with her own suffering, and continues to do so while simultaneously rejecting anyone from getting to know her. She's not able to get over the trauma, starts to resent everyone as if ALL of them hurt her, and causes her own lonliness in the process.

I know this may be nothing like your situation, but what you do have in common is the forced lonliness. Why? Why not clean this wound, stitch it together, then cater to it gently, everyday, until it properly heals? You will have a scar, it will never go away, but at least you took care of it instead of leaving it to puss over, infect, and spread. At least with a scar you can still move and function. You can't if the wound becomes infected.

Obviously, if I am way off, disregard. But my question as to what happened to give you this "wound" still remains.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Very nice reply, Ailonna. I am so happy with the intelligence I see flowering on this Forum.

Differential replied with this 6.5 years ago, 5 hours later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Ail:

You're actually pretty spot on. I was raped at the age of 12 by some people I looked up to at the time.

I've posted a different thread on that topic detailing that I'm not sure how to let that scar 'heal.' I would personally say that I feel more resentment over the way my religious background's populace controlled, belittled, bullied and berated me. My tendency to think for myself, my never-ending questioning, they couldn't handle it. I expect people to be empty, selfish, image-obsessed husks of me-too hypocrisy, probably because that's all I was raised around.

Irony that.

Doc:
If that's not what I'm looking to ask, then all I can say is that I am a mind within a body. I can't say I know who I am if not the amalgamation of my genetics and life experiences. If neither of those are taken into consideration, I am simply an idea, a generic person no different than anyone else. It is those qualities that come from genetics and life experiences (and how I have reacted to /grown because of them) that I use to identify one person from another.

Who am I, myself or who am I, the animalistic human stereotype?

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 3 hours later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

What if you are that which is aware of all that you have listed, mentioned, and written about, as well as everything else, including body, personal history, etc? In a word, what if the best name for what "you" are is "consciousness?"

Dragontongue joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 47 minutes later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I've been asking myself this question for years. I always came up with 'awareness+will'. (I guess since you believe free will is an illusion, that wouldn't be the conclusion you'd arrive at, but it is mine. ^_^)

Differential replied with this 6.5 years ago, 6 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> What if you are that which is aware of all that you have listed, mentioned, and written about, as well as everything else, including body, personal history, etc? In a word, what if the best name for what "you" are is "consciousness?"

A mind within a body. Without consciousness, I cannot perceive in order to process, reason, or know.

Is the revelation that I am consciousness, separate from identity, supposed to be world-shaking? I would have to say that I came to understand that very early on, probably as a reaction to the nescsesity of grasping what I should expect from those around me (One cannot expect a dog to bark until they first know it is a dog.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> Is the revelation that I am consciousness, separate from identity, supposed to be world-shaking?

It could be totally world-shaking, if what you see as "myself" ceased from defining itself as what you are calling "identity." If instead of "identity," "myself" were seen to be the consciousness which is aware of "identity" and aware of everything else, you might very well feel worlds shaking and the winds of freedom blowing through those worlds. But that is a big if.

dr-robert double-posted this 6.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Hi, DT--

I do not exactly see "free will" as being an illusion as much as an exaggeration.

Be well,
RS

Sifter (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 22 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi Doc. I was thinking, if one is consciousness, one could maybe open up to things beyond where one's ordinary identity stops, right? Other points of view, but also... I don't know what else. One might not so much escape one's ordinary identity as expand it, maybe?

I found your friend Bill Gersh reading poems on youtube - very cool.

All this makes me think about Whitman's Song of Myself - eg -

"Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it...."

(Edited 29 seconds later.)

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 29 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Identity is a collection of personal preferences and people cling to it because that is the deepest self they know. However it's like saying that god created everything, well, what created god? Your self has a collection of preferences but you are not the sum of those preferences, you are the mind behind what the identity is used to describe, chained by your inability to see past those preferences, wants and needs. Ofcourse i'm probably talking out of my ass. :)

EDIT: I was just intellectualizing what was said, i don't claim to know anything. Just incase someone got the impression.

(Edited 3 hours later.)

Jack joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 days later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks, Sifter, for informing me that my friend Bill Gersh can be found reciting poetry on YouTube. Regarding free will: Free will and determinism are a duality illusion. That which is this moment is this moment. The next moment will be different, in part because of what I do in this moment or the next. The next moment will be what it is, and nothing else. The moment that follows will be different. This is all encapsulated in the Zen joke quoted in the memoir: Nothing ever changes. Free will says "I" make the next moment happen. Determinism says the next moment happens by itself. Both are "true".

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 21 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> Free will and determinism are a duality illusion.

Hello, Jack--

Exacto! However, this still leaves open the question of whether the feeling of consciously choosing is entirely illusoryas is suggested by some recent brain-scan research showing preparations for movement taking place in the brain before the conscious "decision" to moveor whether there is, on the relative level, some element available to us of influencing events by conscious intention preceding those events.

How did you know BG?

Be well,
RS

(Edited 22 hours later.)

Jack replied with this 6.5 years ago, 20 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, Dr Robert, I am many worlds, yes. The "world as I know it" is the "manifestation of my intentions" (for which I am grateful in advance). The world of "ought" is the world of my desires (where struggle and suffering are alive and well, pant, pant). Of course, the world that is, is (where pixels can also be words, and where words can be connectors between "your" flesh and "mine", and where flesh is a manifestation of an intention beyond comprehension, whose unfolding is the subject here).

As for BG, I reply to that elsewhere...

Differential replied with this 6.5 years ago, 6 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> It could be totally world-shaking, if what you see as "myself" ceased from defining itself as what you are calling "identity." If instead of "identity," "myself" were seen to be the consciousness which is aware of "identity" and aware of everything else, you might very well feel worlds shaking and the winds of freedom blowing through those worlds. But that is a big if.

It fits well enough with my recent revelations regarding the ego. It also simply makes basic, solid sense. I'm unsure as to how this implies freedom, per se. I would have thought that one who was being 'true to the self' (by which I mean honest with one's self, not denying one's first instincts or struggling with the implications of their first thoughts on a situation) wouldn't nescessarily feel any more or less free whn the chains of identity are seen.

Basically I guess what I'm trying to ask is why is it that identity is a restricting factor? How is it holding one down?

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 44 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

"Identity" or "ego," as it might be called, is where all the anxiety, all the fear, all the self-judgment and judgment of others, all the craving, all the boredom, all the feelings of dissatisfaction, as well as the ever-present but usually denied terror of deathall of that stuffresides.

When it is seen that consciousness exists prior to all of that, and is not in any way dependent on it for anything, one experiences a tremendous relaxation and simultaneous release of energy which is the energy that had been employed in denial and repression. One feels as if one had been carrying a very heavy burdena heavily loaded backpack, let's saywithout ever having noticed it, or even having known that it was being carried. Not only is this pack heavy, but you are always worried that someone might steal it, or that another backpack being carried by someone else might have better things in it, or that someone might look at what is in your pack and ridicule you.

Someonethe "teacher"says, "Hey, why are you carrying that thing. It serves no purpose. You are just carrying it by habit, and because you were taught to carry it. You could put it down right now if you wanted to."

If you believe him or her, you try putting the pack down and going forward without it. "Hey," you say to yourself. "The teacher was right. I put down the pack, but I'm still here, and I did not need it, or anything it contained after all. Wow, what a relief!"

That's what I mean by freedom.

Differential replied with this 6.5 years ago, 23 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Note: After having written and read this post, I'm afraid I've stumbled across a concept that doesn't particularly agree with language. Having a hard time putting this into words.)

It sounds to me like putting down the pack is just giving up. Not in that sense that you lose all hope, or that you break down and lose perspective. But more in the sense that it's just like standing up from the seat and walking away from the chess board, or poker table, or whatever metaphor tickles your fancy.

Now, I realize that this is a bit of 'self-fulfilling prophecy' logic, but I've always lived to win. Not in the sense that the athlete has a dream to one day go pro or anything, but in the sense that I can't make sense of a willing decision that would lead to loss - loss in a confrontation, in a contest of any sort, or even loss of property (extending the term even to those people who have become useful or amusing for the time being.) Efficiency and reason guide me toward success in whatever goal I set out to achieve. That's just how it is.

Every action has a purpose, every means leads to an end.

What you're suggesting strikes me as simply removing the goals, or more accurately, removing the essence of the process of goal-plan-action-result. IT just kind of becomes a jumble of unintelligible, indecipherable nonsense. None of the 'rules' have any place any more, let alone any purpose. Pretty much nothing does, at that point. I could succeed just as much at that point by dumping a bottle of coins on the chessboard as I could by actually playing because none of it has any rhyme or reason.

The means and end are still there, but they're disconnected, they're not in focus, they simply don't matter. The purpose is gone. What's left after that? Blandly drifting from day to day?

Dragontongue replied with this 6.5 years ago, 18 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Mm, yeah. Once you've quit a game you may be free to do other things, but what do you do after dropping the ego? It doesn't seem like there'd be a point to anything anymore. "Put the pack down and go forward without it," he says... go where? Why?

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well, to both of you,

I you don't see the point, that simply means that it's not for you. No problem there that I can see.

Be well,
RS

Differential replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

I'm not saying the idea is without merit. In fact, I ask out of genuine curiosity, not as a would-be rhetorical rejection. The basic facts are simple: It's a view and practice different from my own, which I am not familiar with. In order to maintain objectivity to the best of my ability (which I need in order to catalogue and process the data in question), I must keep my mind open to the possibility that either I am wrong or that there are other acceptably correct points of view and methodologies of living. I'd be foolish to not attempt to understand it to the best of my ability.

My curiosity is piqued, and as such I'm off on a grand quest to sate it.

I, personally, best understand a complex topic like what's being discussed by approaching it with equal amounts skepticism and acceptance. I need to wriggle around its intricacies in order to fully grasp it. I can't drive a car if I don't know -why- the gas pedal makes it move forward, for example. I could, but I'd constantly be wondering and overwhelmed by a fog of confusion.

I definitely see that shedding the ego and dropping the pack frees you of all the stresses inherent in keeping it on your back (and I'm newly aware of what some of those burdens are.) I'm simply asking what happens in the aftermath of it all. I openly admitted, for example, that my current positions center around themselves. When they leave, that obviously opens up hundreds of potential doors.

I inquire as to your experience. What DOES lie on the other side of that window? As it stands, it will take me quite a while to achieve it. Is it possible to turn back should I decide I find it not to my liking? What is it that makes that scenario tick - what would you say are the quantifiable pros of walking that path?

What happens when my current stance is removed? Is there another purpose on the other side, or do I find that purpose is secondary and not a basic principle?

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

I already told you--freedom.

You can't turn back now. The past is dead and gone.

There is no security in life and no guarantees.

That's just the way it is.

Dragontongue replied with this 6.5 years ago, 59 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Freedom to do what, though? Once you've realized that the games people play don't really matter, why would you play? Well... giving up on the game does mean that you'll never lose; but it also means that you'll never win. So you would only play to amuse yourself, free from the desperate need to win? Knowing that losing isn't the end of the your world would make you a good deal less likely to panic when someone threatens your 'heavily loaded backpack'--your ego. So that would be nice. But is the game still the most important thing out there? Isn't there anything else to do?

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 8 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

In a world where everything is in flux and constantly changing, and each individual perishes, what can you possibly be considering "winning?" All that comes to mind is the old sarcastic line that says,

"Whoever dies with the most toys wins."

For me, win and lose are simply two halves of the same coin. "I" am nothing but the awareness of this very moment in which winning, losing, and everything else is arising.

Stop asking questions, Diff. I am not going to answer any more of them. You won't understand anything I say anyway.

You would do better to spend your energy trying to win something. Go for it, and don't hold back. Win! And, by all means, be sure not to lose.

That way, eventually your questions will be answered, not by Dr. Robert, but by life.

OK?

(Edited 35 seconds later.)

Differential replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 day later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Not OK, really. But I suppose I don't have much choice in the matter. Best to assess what I have and leave it at that.

Sifter (OP) replied with this 6.4 years ago, 2 weeks later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr Robert, do you think that coming into an awareness of the wholeness of everything, or awakening as you describe it, is dependent on psychological health, or made more likely by it, or independent of it?

Sorry if you've already covered this somewhere.

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Very good question.

In my experience, it is necessary to get beyond most forms of neuroticism in order to be able to welcome seeing the ego as a kind of false identity.

Does that help?

(Edited 4 minutes later.)

Sifter (OP) replied with this 6.4 years ago, 10 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, that does help. I guess I had the idea that the two were disconnected, and that some feat of conscious attention to one's being in the world could just invalidate all this work towards psychological health, make it pointless. Like, well, you might as well not have bothered with all that because that's not where peace is anyway. Does that make sense?

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 1 day later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, I understand how you could think that, but it is mistaken.

It is true that we already are everything we seek, and actually nothing needs to be done along those lines or even can be done. However, when unawakened, we fail to see that because of mis-identification of "myself" as a body, a personal history, and a collection of thoughts and attitudes, rather than seeing my true self as that which is aware of all of that and of everything else. And it is also true that when one experiences this mis-identification as mistaken a great deal of ordinary suffering is no longer experienced. If I know, for example, that I am not the body, then when the body has pains, I will know that they are not my pains, and so I will not be afraid. The pain may still hurt because pain is experienced within awareness, but that hurt will not imply fear because awareness is not afraid of illness or death. Only someone who is not identified with awareness, but with the body and the ego feels those fears. This does not mean that I wish for illness or death, just that I understand and accept that those things happen when they do. This is just an example.

To take another example, if I know that in this moment things are exactly as they must be, being the sum total of everything that has come before, I will not blame myself or others for how things are, but just try to deal with things as best I can in this very moment.

Now those two attitudesabsence of fear and realismare two criteria which a psychologist would interpret as signs of healthy lack of neuroticism. So you might be tempted to say, "Well, I am neurotic now, but I will just awaken spiritually, and then I will no longer be neurotic." The problem is, Sifter, that as long as one maintains fixed neurotic ideas, any awakening will be impeded by those very ideas, so we have a catch 22 situation. I don't think many people are following this thread, but if some are, we can expect a strong objection to the idea that I am not the body, not the thoughts, etc., and if we see that, we probably will notice the neurotic element in the objection. It will be an emotional objection.

Although I am seen as a spiritual teacher by some people, others just see me as their therapist. It all depends on what one is ready for. However, from my point of view, even the most basic psychotherapy is a kind of spiritual teaching since it is moving someone closer to being able to see and accept truth, even if that person will not do it immediately.

This is complicated, so I hope I have made it reasonably clear.

Differential replied with this 6.4 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

> If I know, for example, that I am not the body, then when the body has pains, I will know that they are not my pains, and so I will not be afraid.

This is almost completely identical to the process I use to lighten the ego's grip on myself. I recognize the emotional reaction as that of the ego, which is not the same as the self. And why would it bother me if something else is taking offense? It never has before.

EvangelineMade joined in and replied with this 6.4 years ago, 4 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert,

Yes, some people are following this thread with much interest.

:)

Sifter (OP) replied with this 6.4 years ago, 3 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thank you Dr Robert, that's a really good answer. Especially this, which feels instinctively right to me:

> However, from my point of view, even the most basic psychotherapy is a kind of spiritual teaching since it is moving someone closer to being able to see and accept truth, even if that person will not do it immediately.

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 11 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Glad to hear it. This is one thread on the Forum which has real and lasting value, as I see it.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes. An old therapy teacher of mine once told me, "Robert, it's like this: when you have the ax in your hand, just chop the tree as best you can. Perhaps the tree will not fall while you have the ax in your hand, but whatever work you do will not be wasted, because, partly due to your work, the next therapist may find the tree falling when he or she has the ax." In other words, just keep working without worrying about results. That is exactly what I do.

BTW, a "teacher" does not have to be a human being. If you honestly want to awaken, whatever is arising in this very moment can be your teacher.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

dr-robert double-posted this 6.4 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
This is sounding awfully good, Diff.

Hexi replied with this 6.4 years ago, 34 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Here is a thought that came to me. Is our awareness separate from our brains, it's own entity or a construct of our brain? If it's separate, where did it come from and where does it go? You cannot destroy matter, only change it's form and as such it stands to reason that it survives even if the body does not. If, on the otherhand it's merely a construct of the brain then it isn't separate from the body but rather an extension of it. Also, do animals have the same awereness but incapability to manifest it due to a less developed brain? If not, are we special somehow, shaped by an invisible hand? If everything shares the same consciousness, we are the universe and every molecule in the universe is us, merely apart. Perhaps our galaxy is an atom in some entitys brain we cannot comprehend.

James joined in and replied with this 6.4 years ago, 22 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert, thank you for this article and this work.

I wonder, how many people do you think are 'awake' in this sense? I don't mean guess the exact number, do you guys have meetings or anything like that. It's just that you seemed to bump into your teacher, more or less, and perhaps he his. I wonder how common this is among people who have really grasped non duality.

I think of that line from the Tao Te Ching: Those who know don't talk. Those who talk don't know.

So I find it so uplifting to think there might be countless people out there, quietly going about 'their' lives, experiencing this place I have not been and most people not picking up on it, talking about it only if asked. Not the 'spiritual teachers', the one's who hold satsangs, publish books and so on (not to disparage them). But the photographer, the therapist, the guy who fixed my shower...

So how often have you come across 'someone' who's awakened? When will I bump into my teacher?

Hexi - I think focussing on awareness like a substance and thinking about how it is 'made' is perfectly valid. Fun to engage in. And if each brain=each awareness then it's hard to see how we could be non duel, the same awareness wearing different minds and believing we are the clothes. But I don't think such thoughts makes a blind bit of difference to the actually task of being still and examining 'your' awareness. It's theory, not work, but that's just me.

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 4 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, James.

Thank you.

Let me start with your note to Hexi which really gets to the heart of the matter. The human intellect, having evolved over countless millennia, is extremely powerful. It is so powerful, in fact, that one can spend an entire lifetime simply moving around within the thought-forms which intellect can create as if they were "reality." If someone wants to do that, and finds it satisfactory, fine. But thoughts are not reality. Of course, thoughts are part of reality in the sense that everything that exists at all is part of reality, but that is not what I mean. What I mean by "not reality" is this:

The intellect can create all kinds of fantasized scenarios about me and who I am which have nothing to do at all with who and what I really am. And once these have been created, the intellect can devise countless ways of defending itself against any doubt that those scenarios are accurate.

When I refer to an "awakened state," I mean a state in which that processthe process of pulling the wool over ones own eyesno longer operates. That does not mean that the mental scenarios never arise, but that they are discarded immediately as false, and not identified with or defended. A classic example from Vedanta is that of seeing a rope as a snake. The fear that arises on seeing the "snake" disappears as soon as the rope is seen as a rope. Suppose, for example, that I awake with a headache, and then I have this thought: "This could be a brain tumor. Oh, my God!" That will be seeing a rope as a snake, because, obviously, a thought is not a brain tumor. If I see the rope as a rope ("Oh, that's just a thought, those arise constantly, and usually don't mean anything."), any fear of deadly illness disappears, and I am just left with the discomfort of a headache. In classic Buddhist terms, the headache is a pain, but the fear of deadly illness occasioned by the thought is the "pain of pain." The first experiencepainis part of worldly existence, but the otherthe pain of painis entirely self-inflicted and totally imaginary. One mark of an awakened state is the complete lack of the pain of pain. This is one reason why people in an awakened state seem so serene most of the time. They are free of any self-inflicted suffering, which, believe it or not, is mostalmost all, in factof our suffering as human beings,

Now it may seem that the kind of intellectual speculation which is so common among humans, and to which you point in your note to Hexi, is not anything particularly painful, but that depends entirely on point of view. I assure you that from an awakened point of view, such stuff is horribly painful, and is a principal reason for all the necessity for drugs, sex as drugs, idiotic entertainment, overeating, trolling, gossip, intellectual arguments, etc. Those are all ways of avoidance. But the avoidance itself is painful. It is the primary source of pain.

In other words, the primary source of pain lies in our attention being directed towards something imaginary, something that is not real. As soon as one directs attention towards what actually is real in this moment, the pain ends, and one simply exists as pure awareness. That is why I strongly recommend that anyone who sees any sense at all in what you wrote to Hexi, and in what I am saying here, simply stop identifying with thoughts entirely, and instead notice and identify with the awareness in which all thoughts are arising. The thoughts are not real, but the awareness in which they arise is real. This change of focus can make all the difference in the world to a person who is ready to make that change. Simple as that.

"No wonder you are so unhappy. You spend 99 percent of the time thinking about yourself, and that doesn't exist." ----Nisargadatta

Now to your first question. Not so many people are awake in the sense that I expressed in my memoir, but many people are only an eyeblink away from awakening. Some of those will awaken, and some will not. That is the real meaningthe esoteric meaningof the phrase, "Many are called but few are chosen." This might sound discouraging, but I see it simply as the way things are. In my experience, if someone sees the value in awakening to reality, and if that person sincerely seeks a way, often the way opens. Not that trying alone will turn the key in the door, but without trying one is simply in the condition of awaiting a random lightening strike. As this is said in Zen, "If you try, the very trying will impede the awakening, but if you don't try at all, there is no difference between you and a rock. So what is needed is a "non-trying trying." Why will the very trying impede the awakening? Because awakening is really very simple. It consists entirely in the intuition that a separate self which tries is an illusion--a widely shared illusion, to be sure, but still an illusion based on what I call "mis-identification." As soon as that is intuited, one is awake. Not that some person awakened, but awareness simply is and always has been. In other words, awakening has nothing to do with doing anything (there is nothing to be done and no one to do it), but in stopping doing something which one has been "doing" habitually since early childhood and now takes for granted as "me."

Yes, those who know do not talkat least not much. I have only begun talking recentlyafter many years in this condition during which I stayed in the closet so to speakand I described in my memoir how, and in a sense why, that happened. But, it is important to remember that my talkanyone's talkis not "reality"not the Moon, but only a finger pointing at the Moon. When you point, a dog looks at your finger, but a wise human looks not at your finger, but towards where the finger points. Therefore, do not take what I say here as some kind of description of an awakened state, but rather as one manifestation of how an awakened state appears in words--that is, the finger, not the Moon.

No, people in an awakened state don't have meetings in the sense that high IQ people have Mensa meetings, but it is comfortable to associate with someone who can understand what you are saying without foolishly trying to dispute it or argue with you about it, so I am happy to say that I have at present one excellent amigo who enjoys such a state, and it feels delightful for the two of us to sit together quietly and to speak and listen without resistance--without even knowing really who is speaking and who is listening. Quite opposite to some of what faces me here in this Forum.

Some "spiritual teachers"the kind who give satsangs, etc.are worth hearing. I recommend to Jennifer specifically that she try to pick up on Gangaji, whom I consider a skilled teacher, particularly for someone who feels unstable psychologically. Adyashanti, one of whose poems I quoted earlier, is another public satsang-giver whose finger seems to be pointing in the right direction. Some others are not so good, and seem either to be intentionally fooling otherscharlatans, I meanor are just fooling themselves and others unintentionally. As in any sector of the marketplace, caveat emptor. When in doubt, go to earlier sources: Lao Tsu, Hui Neng, Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta.

Yes, it is uplifting to understand that anyone you meet might be in an awakened state. In that regard, I will recount two incidents from my own earlier life. When I was quite young, 21 or 22, I felt confused about life in general, and spent quite a bit of my time in emotional pain and some level of depression or upset. I was living in New York at the time, and one day, while in a funk, automatically boarded a bus. In those daysthis was the 1960syou could hand your quarter to the driver, and he would give you change! (the fare was fifteen cents). I handed my coin to the driver, and he pushed a dime into the palm of my hand. When the coin touched my palm, I felt an immediate and dramatic change of state. Suddenly I was out of my internal funk, and awake in the present. I saw the bus, all the people, the colors, the sounds--everything, as if briefly psychedelicized. This was a kind of awakening which I remember to this day, although it lasted only a few moments.

A few years later, I was 26 at the time, I was walking on a beach in Mexico and happened to catch up to and then fall in step with a much older man. We began to converse. I have never been able to recall even a word of that conversation which lasted for at least an hourperhaps moreexcept for my final words to him: "Oh, I never knew it was like this!" Another brief moment of awakening mediated by a "contact high," so to speak. But this one took. Soon after, I found myself turning away from sex, drugs and rock and roll, and towards seeking something deeper.

Finally, James, you ask "So how often have you come across 'someone' who's awakened? When will I bump into my teacher?"

I hope you will not think this facile or clever, because it is heartfelt and true. In every moment there is a teacher. It might be another human being, or it might be anything else in your environmenta book, an animal, the ocean, whatever. In this momentthe moment of your reading this, these words are the teacher. Your sincere desire to awaken creates the teacher. Your true guru is within you in this very moment, always was, and always will be. Yes, most of usI was one of theserequire another human being to carry the guru energy for us until we see it for ourselves as "myself," but you must not wait for that. Make every effort now, and if you need a human teacher it is likely that you will find one. When I say "make every effort," I mean something very simple:

There is very little that we really know for sure. In fact, the more intelligent one is, the less that person "knows." This realization of ignorance is the chief feature of true intelligence, which has nothing at all to do with "IQ." Intellect is one thing, wisdom is quite another. Judging from your question, I imagine you would agree. OK, we don't know much. But there is one thing you really do know, so in your search for the real, begin with the one thing you really do know:

In this very moment, I AM.

Not my name, not my body, not my thoughts, not my personal history, but that which is aware of all of that. I am that. That's what "I" am: awareness. It was here when I was a child. It is here now. And between childhood and now, although many things have happened, and many changes have occurred, that awareness, that "I am," in which all the world constantly arises, has never changed. It is always here right now. Empty and just available to be filled. Just start right there, James. Right now. Only now.

(Edited 5 days later.)

James replied with this 6.4 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert,

I found nothing facile about your reply and am cyber blushing at its depth. Thank you.

I happen to be 23 so those to two incidents in your twenties are interesting to me. But I understand that it's not about any particular incident, or anyone else's experience, even if I don't quite 'get' that yet (as in getting a joke, as you wrote).

I will try. I focus on the sense of being aware, hold it... and nothing happens. There's nothing to 'get'. Sometimes I leave it with a sense of 'so what', sometimes with a sense of calm, and mostly just get distracted by something else. Oh what to say? I'll keep not-trying to stay in that place

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Dragontongue replied with this 6.4 years ago, 23 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Whoa. I think I'm going to be reading this over a great many times. Just... whoa. I hope it's okay if I ask questions, 'cause goodness knows I have a lot of them. :) For some reason, though, this is the one that's really itching: that awareness you talked about in the last paragraph; how long has it been here? Because I am very me-centric it makes sense to me that it would have existed throughout my lifetime, but surely it could (would?) have existed before that....
There was a little voice in the back of my head babbling something about Descartes and wondering why he came up with 'I think, therefore I am' rather than 'I am aware, therefore I am', but I think I may have it now; tell me if I have this right? It's not 'I think, therefore I am' it's 'I think, therefore I am'. 'I am aware, therefore I am' doesn't actually make much sense - it would have to be 'there is awareness, therefore something exists'.

Hexi replied with this 6.4 years ago, 19 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Another random thought: "awakening" is coming to the realisation that behind every thought, emotion, feeling and sensation is another being, separate from the sensory input, observing, living, always merely existing. Like a passenger and that passenger is what is sometimes referred to as the divine spark, the root of all ideas and creativity. How we process thoughts is merely how our brain processes the world around us, like an interface for that consciousness. Perhaps, then, the reason for our existance is to serve as a vessel to that awareness. Now, the question with this is this: Are some aware of the consciousness or is the consciousness aware of itself?

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 4 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

I was happy to read these last two replies, both of which pick up nicely on the direction of this thread.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> it would have to be 'there is awareness, therefore something exists'.

Yes, this is the position of many traditional philosophies such as Advaita Vedanta. You may be interested in googling that, DT. Have a look at some Vedanta, and let us know how it strikes you.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> how we process thoughts is merely how our brain processes the world around us, like an interface for that consciousness.

Yes, and because the human nervous system is that interfacenot "my" nervous system, but "the" nervous systemwe can never really know an objective world at all, or even if one exists. A being with a different nervous systema butterfly, for examplelives in a very different world from ours. In fact, we have no way to ascertain that there is anything, "out there" at all, or, if there is, what it is. Everything we think we know could all be a dream of some kind.


> Perhaps, then, the reason for our existance is to serve as a vessel to that awareness.

I would not say that existence has a reason or a purpose. Reasons and purposes are thoughts, and existence is prior to thought, and also prior to "God," which is also a thought. Existence, or what I am calling "I AM" is prior to everything except pure consciousness, which we also never can know or experience.


> Now, the question with this is this: Are some aware of the consciousness or is the consciousness aware of itself?

Being the field in which everything arises, and greater than which there is nothing, consciousness cannot be aware of itself, but only can be aware of that which arises within itself.

(Edited 18 minutes later.)

Hexi replied with this 6.4 years ago, 35 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

I've often asked people this question: Is this a dream or a memory, or, a dream of a memory? Most people don't know when they are dreaming though it is possible. For some odd reason, it's quite common for me to realise that i'm dreaming and then, i can shape the dream however i wish but then again, maybe that is an illusion aswell as nothing really makes sense in a dream but i usually remember my dreams. It stands to reason that if life is all a higher form of dreaming, we would never notice it, seeing as even outlandish dreams of monsters, aliens and whatnot are indistinguishable from reality.

>
> I would not say that existence has a reason or a purpose. Reasons and purposes are thoughts, and existence is prior to thought, and also prior to "God," which is also a thought. Existence, or what I am calling "I AM" is prior to everything except pure consciousness, which we also never can know or experience.

I worded it poorly. I meant that the existance of life itself is to serve as s vessel for a shared consciousness, for it to experience.

>
> >Now, the question with this is this: Are some aware of the consciousness or is the consciousness aware of itself?
>
> Being the field in which everything arises, and greater than which there is nothing, consciousness cannot be aware of itself, but only can be aware of that which arises within itself.

But then we come back to the sensory issue. If by abandoning clinging to the sensory input merely opens a new way of processing that information, it's still the same information. Your brain, interface, becomes aware of the awareness then it stands to reason that there is something tangible behind it, otherwise it's just a sensory illusion a brain creates. Mind you, i'm not arguing against awakening to a new way of looking at the world, rather trying to intellectualize it. It's likely futile but an excersise in futility is preferrable to knowing without understanding. The reason being that i don't reject the notion, i happen to look at life and people much the same way you do. There is just something missing with the whole concept, like a central piece of the puzzle is missing. Perhaps it is meant to be that way, i certainly don't know.

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 19 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

> There is just something missing with the whole concept.

Yes. Any concept has something missing: for want of a better word, heart, or "awareness in this very moment," if that works better for you. In other words, Hexi, a concept is only a thought, but there is something available to us which is not thought. But that something has no duration. It arises and passes away before it can ever be pinned down. It cannot be described or put into words of any kind. It is beyond words. It is here only instantaneously, and then dies, just to be replaced by a new "now," which then dies just as it is being born, only to be replaced by a new "now," . . . endlessly.

You know, Hexi. When the old Forum got trashedand you were there for that happeningI almost just said "fuck it" to the whole project. Then when this Forum became pedophilia troll-central for a while, I almost threw in the towel again. But some of the posts on this thread, including yours, make it seem all worthwhile. This is high-level discourse, and I like it.

Hexi replied with this 6.4 years ago, 44 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Every moment is it's own universe that appears and disappears. Perhaps it is related to the concept of time, the sensation, and "awakening" to it is like witnessing a universe born and die every moment as the "now" changes to "was" and a new "now" arises.

High-level? I came up with these posts while sipping coffee and having a smoke. Not years of singing koombaya in a temple somewhere, meditating. :) I guess that just illustrates the folly of pursuing "god" or whatever. If you puruse it you must have a concept of it and everything not of the concept, you dismiss and as a result, most likely, miss the obvious.

I know i'm not the model poster in here but thanks anyways, for acknowledging my posts, when they are of the more thoughtful kind.

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 13 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

> "awakening" to it is like witnessing a universe born and die every moment

That's just about it, Hexi.

BTW, I am not very big on sitting around in a temple singing Cumbayah either.

Hexi replied with this 6.4 years ago, 16 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Oh, i didn't mean to insinuate that you were. It was merely a remark on how some people do that in search for that something that magically makes their life meaningful.

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, that is how I understood it.

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 6.4 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

If not for those people sitting in the temple for years singing Kumbaya and meditating we probably wouldn't have a clue about any of this. Just sayin...

Hexi replied with this 6.4 years ago, 13 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Mushrooms have had a much larger impact on it than any meditation. Sitting on a mountaintop AND tripping your balls out, sure, but just sitting and meditating? Not really. No one has ever forced inspiration.

(Edited 46 seconds later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.4 years ago, 48 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Ok, fine.. you're right Im wrong. We should totally just blow off the many years those people spent searching for the truth. Who needs that info when we can all go get high, with shrooms, on a mountain...

Jack replied with this 6.4 years ago, 11 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Chop wood, carry water. Teachers are everywhere, but mostly they do not hang out shingles saying "teacher" and it probably makes good sense - with a few exceptions as pointed out by Dr Robert - to avoid those who call themselves teachers. If you must follow the path of "knowledge" to get to awareness, it might be useful to read Gurdjieff's Meetings with Remarkable Men. As for singing Kumbaya and drugs, it should probably be said that anything works. Imagine you wish to go to a distant mountain which is visible to you but obviously a long trek away. However, before you can even begin your journey there you must cross a deep river, wider than you can swim. A boatman with a raft is at hand, and he offers to take you across. When you reach the other side, will you put the raft - boatman and all - on your back as you start your hike, or will you discard them?

Jennifer replied with this 6.4 years ago, 9 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Of course you will discard them but you will respect the job they did... maybe even appreciate it. Also, it might be a good idea to get his number just in case you need him again so you never really discard him do you?

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

Jack replied with this 6.4 years ago, 5 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Jennifer, I think I understand where you're coming from, and I certainly agree that any workman deserves your respect (note that Ram Dass does not repudiate the contribution of LSD and other drugs to his enlightenment). While it may be prudent to "get his number", you could be unintentionally (and perhpas unwittingly) creating an obstacle by "preparing" to cross another river that may or may not be there, and by "clinging" to that little piece of paper that might connect you to a boatman, and then again, might not.

Jennifer replied with this 6.4 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

How deep do you want to go with this analogy? We could go on with why it is necessary to climb the mountain alone. Why the boatman gave so freely of himself. Why was he even there in the first place? The right place at the right time. Could he teach you all you need to know about the journey in front of you? He obviously knows this stretch. And how grateful would you be for the number if you broke your leg on the hike. But, lets not go that deep. :P

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

James replied with this 6.4 years ago, 1 day later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

I think I understand these neural interface remarks. As the Dr. has already commented on, one doesn't really know anything to a certainty. All sense experience could be different in different peoples and different animals, we do live in very different worlds, if those worlds can be thought of as anything more than dreams.

But this position of idealism, aside from being completely against the ego and 'shared reality' (which needs there to be at least some overlap in the mutual sense experience of different 'selves' for us to buy into the world concept) also strikes me as running against the sense of non duality we're talking about.

This will not be well written, but hear goes: When I go into 'my'self and try to just observe, see the thoughts and feelings as thoughts and feelings, and just be aware, I'm still in a position of duality. It's me AND the mind stuff. Much of this mind stuff concerns an outer world and 'others', neither of which I'm directly aware of. I actually find myself in a lonely place, with nothing magnificent or endless about it. Just one little spark of watching, and loads of mind stuff. The technical term is solipsism, only I'm trying to get at the experience of it rather than a philosophical position.

When I read the Dr.'s and some others work, it's like a leap has been made. The distinction between self, thoughts, outer world, others, other thoughts has been stepped around, and there's nothing isolating about it. It's limitless. It's a jump from my own sense of there being awareness, to there being only ONE awareness ("which doesn't belong to anyone in particular", Dr. Robert wrote in one of his replies once), to everything happening in the field of consciousness (singular, there is only one and it's everyone's?).

This is what I can't see. I am awareness and not the thoughts which it is aware of, cool. But why isn't that awareness singular, isolated and ultimately different from everything it is aware of? How do I step aside to this other place?

I know, I'm trying to speak about the unspeakable, and I'll never pin this down, but this is where 'I' am stuck at the moment.

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

> This is what I can't see. I am awareness and not the thoughts which it is aware of, cool. But why isn't that awareness singular, isolated and ultimately different from everything it is aware of? How do I step aside to this other place?

The awareness isn't singular or isolated because it is not your awareness, but simply awareness, which has no owner. The selfsame awareness functions in you, me, and my donkey. Yes, it functions differently in each of us due to being mediated by a nervous system, but the nervous system also is not "yours." You can't see it, you can't touch it, and you have never known it--all you can "know" is what arises in it (sights, sounds, etc), so how can you call it "mine?"

When you were a very young child, you did experience a unitary world, but soon you were taught that the image in the mirror is "me" (mom says "See, that's you!"), and that is where the mis-identification began. When I say "mis-identification," James, I mean that whatever arises in awarenesswhich simply, after all, just isnow is seen as "mine." From your point of view, there are objects (that which arises in awareness), and a perceiver of those objects: me. This is duality. Observing that these things are actually arising in awareness and are not truly "out there" somewhere is a useful stepping stone, but is still dualistic, since, as you have written, this still implies awareness and someone, the observer, apart from awareness, who is watching what arises in awareness. In that way of seeing, awareness is like a movie screen, and you are sitting in the theater, watching whateverthe world, my thoughts, etc.is projected onto the screen.

But the observer is the observed! What else could the so-called "observer" be than the sum total of all of "his" observations, including the observations of "my" body, "my" thought, etc? In other words, each observation brings the "observer" into being. No observations, no observer! If there are no observations, we say that the person is unconscious or in a coma. If I awaken from the coma, I will have no recollection of having "been" during the period of coma. The body still existed--others could "see" it (although they did not see "me," but just a body, which, conventionally is assumed to be "someone") but the "observer" did not exist. Why? Because there were no observations. The observer is the observed.

This phenomenon occurs to each of us every time we sleep. First we are "awake." In that state, for most of us there is dualityan observer and what he or she observesas you wrote, James. Then we drift off into sleep. What we call "sleep" consists, actually, of two states: periods of dreaming (REM sleep), and periods of no dreaming (deep sleep). What is the difference? In the REM periods the observer still existsthe dreams are the observer, but seem, dualistically, to be happening to him. In that state, the dreams which appear to be happening to me are so "real" that I can be terrified, sexually aroused, whatever. (This is a useful clue, by the way, as to how a jnani Sanskrit term for someone in the awakened stateexperiences ordinary daytime lifeas a kind of dream which is happening, but not "to" anyone.)

But in deep sleep, nothing is observed. Because nothing is observed, there is no observer either. In deep sleep, "I" do not exist at all. Yes, the donkey or another person would be able to see a body lying in the bed, but "I" would not be there. "I" am not a bodyafter all, we have just seen that without observations there is no observer, no "I"but the sum total of any observations which arise in "my" nervous system, including "my" thoughts, "my" feelings, observations of "my" hands or feet, etc.. But this is a totally automatic process. No one does anything. Light hits the retina, and seeing happens. If I have been taught to claim that seeing as something that "I" am doing, then I will see the world that waydualistically: a seer and what that "person" sees. If everything I seeor notice, as in your experimentis apart from me (dualism), this is, as you said, a very lonely place indeed. And the loneliness of it, just reinforces more and more the sense of dualisma vicious cycle.

However, all of us have had moments, usually quite brief, of "myself" not being there while the world still was there. Perhaps this happened when seeing something amazing, like a perfect sunset, or light on water. Perhaps it happened in a moment of danger, when "I" reacted without thinking, and then, when the danger had passed, came back "into" "myself." In other words, all of us have experienced moments of non-duality, but because the dualistic habit is so deeply engraved, we do not notice them for what they are. We paper them over, or fill in the blanks, in the same kind of way that a picture of a face with much of it missing will still be seen and interpreted as a face. We fill in the "I" which really was not there, by claiming after the fact, for example, that "someone swerved into my lane, but 'I' managed to avoid a collision." No. That is not what happened. Avoidance happened, but "you" did not do it. There was no "you" when that happened. Probably someone will object to this, saying, "Well, perhaps it was not a conscious avoidance movement, but my reflexes did it." But why are they "your" reflexes? You cannot control them. You cannot make them happen or not happen. They are human reflexes, to be sure, but not "yours." If you get the flavor of thisand words are not adequate fully to express any flavor (after all what is the flavor of a peach?)you will have a clue as to what life is like for someone in my condition.

Beyond this, words fail, James. Intellectual understanding may be a kind of clue, but no concept can describe even a millisecond of experience.


> How do I step aside to this other place?

You don't, you can't, and you never will. When the "other place" happens, "you" won't be there to see it. I know this seems difficult or even impossible to grasp. I know because I remember. But it is actually, like the optical illusion to which I referred earlier, always there and utterly obvious. Its very simplicity is the greatest obstacle to awakening. It's too easy to "do." It exists prior to doing. In the same way that frowning takes muscular effort, but smiling only requires relaxation, perceiving the world dualistically requires effortso habitual an effort that we fail to notice itwhile seeing things as they really are is effortless, as natural as falling off a log. We expect that something will "happen" when I am "awake," something glorious or special, and those expectations are completely wrong. They have nothing to do whatsoever with awakening. And just because it is utterly simply and totally obvious, awakening cannot be put into words, and there is no method or path to realize it. After all, how can there be a path from here to here--a path from what I already am to what I am?

Nevertheless, here is something I wrote to a student of mine which she found helpful:

No matter what you imagine "I" to be,
You do feel "I am here, I exist."
That feeling is always present.
Awakening does not consist in negating that feeling, nor in explaining it away, nor in somehow "transcending" it,
But in finding the root of that feeling in this moment.
Not just the feeling, "I am," but the root of the feeling "I am," is always present, always here. Just find that root and abide in it.


Be well

(Edited 3 hours later.)

Sifter (OP) replied with this 6.4 years ago, 23 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr Robert, this writing is both very interesting and very helpful. Thank you, and thanks James for asking the right questions.

Doc, sometimes in dreams I have experienced being both observer and observed at apparently the same time - e.g. being both a person being filmed and the person watching the film. Sometimes I've had dreams where there seems to be no 'me' at all - just particular colours, for example.

Are these moments of awakening, or something else?

Ailonna replied with this 6.4 years ago, 5 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

^^^ I have the same dreams. I remember all of them for some reason, they are very vivid and colorful, and I am able to just change my plot with a thought. Some of them seem so real that even when I am awake I have to check the time in order to make sure I'm not still dreaming. For some reason in my dreams there is usually never a time. I don't understand any of this.

I'm awaiting the answer to Sifter's question as well Doc.

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Sifter, Alonna--

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Are these moments of awakening, or something else?

I don't know.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> I am able to just change my plot with a thought.

I have heard this called "lucid dreaming." I does not happen to me, so I don't know anything about it.

James replied with this 6.4 years ago, 3 days later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thank you for the reply Dr.

An insight gleaned is that the duality I talked about does exist in thought and is not a felt inherent sense. My mind moves too fast to out think it. When I apply myself to being aware of what is, as soon as there is awareness of thought, always following it instantaneously is awareness of the awareness of thought. The awareness miraculously becomes 'an' observer, a perceiver, the identity I call 'me'. So when I try to just be aware I often end up enforcing this identification. I have to learn to feel and not think this sense, and abide in it, as you say.

I would write something about lucid dreaming, but as a new thread has started regarding it I'll put in there

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

> An insight gleaned is that the duality I talked about does exist in thought and is not a felt inherent sense.

Yes. Language, by its very nature is dualistic. Subject and predicate. The doer and the doing. Therefore, thought, which is language, must be dualistic by its very nature as well. Direct perception, prior to thought, prior to judgment, prior to categorization does not have to be dualistic. The perception and the perceiver are one and the same. No perception = No perceiver. When perception happens, then thought claims that perception as "mine," creating the idea that "someone" perceived something. Go back to the my reply to the question that Sifter asked me about art to see another take on this.

Good work, James. You have found a valuable approach here. Go with it.

James replied with this 6.4 years ago, 2 days later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

From a recent question sent to Dr. Robert -

'The entire spiritual dilemma, you know, boils down to only one problem—denial. Denial that everything which is born will die. Denial that everything I want to keep—identity, possessions, friends, family, lovers, health, life—will be lost. That denial, that continual avoidance of this simple, basic, undeniable truth, obscures my true nature by forcing everything I do and everything I think to serve an unconscious strategy—a strategy of denial--so that instead of simply living, which means allowing whatever is to be, and whatever arises to arise, I continually attempt to protect myself against the pain of that simple truth: nothing that I think I have, nothing that I think I am, has any permanence whatsoever. It never did, and it never will.
Everything, Marilyn, even my imagined "self," awakened or not, dies in every moment, to be replaced in the next moment with a new version of what I think I am. Because such total impermanence is terrifying, we paper it over by creating a story of who I am. A story, we imagine, can continue. But that story, which is only a thought-form, obscures what I really am: the endless awareness in which that story, along with everything else, is born and passes away.
In each moment, Marilyn, be honest. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to which you can cling for security. Accept that factfor it is a factaccept that pain, stop telling yourself the story of denial, and all will become clear without any effort whatsoever.'

Wow.

The self as a defensive mechanism in the face of impermanence, re-enforced moment by moment. The attempt to bring stability to the free flowing and chaotic. What a fascinating thought. Thanks again Dr, and thanks to Marilyn (I guess she might be Dr. Marilyn) for drawing this out.

I wonder - why the need for the stable in the first place? You need to have a self to fear losing ourselves. The whole project is doomed to failure from the get go. It begins in childhood, but is not there in young children. Is it that awareness of the flux of life is the very cause of the mis-identification in the first place? Why do we not see things as they are from the first, how can fear of losing that which we have not developed as children, cause THAT to develop? Is it something continuously enforced by adults and others, or something more fundamental?

Hexi replied with this 6.4 years ago, 59 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

I never understood the reason for this mechanism. I was 11 or 10 when i came to the conclusion that everything dies and there is no after for any of us. It simply ends, conscious ends. Many people ask "What, so when you die there is just darkness?" Which is A thing, not no thing. I've accepted my own mortality at that young age, perhaps that is the reason why there was never anything for me in religion or spiritualism, i had no need for the comfort it brings, ceasing to exist is fine, natural and intended. The when and how are unimportant, the important part is what you do before it happens.

James replied with this 6.4 years ago, 40 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

I'd like to think I think the same way. But the last bit, the important part being what you do before the end - we don't know when we will end. I could have a tumour in my brain as I type this and be dead from stroke as soon as I finish. For me, the anxiety that I'm not doing enough with the precious time I have left, that I may never be content with the fact of death, is what has replaced my fear of death (in and of itself).

What I got from the quote from Dr. Robert is that even the becoming (as opposed to just being), the change we all go through as we go through life, ends, along with the life itself, and we can be in denial about this too. I'm not in denial about my life ending, I'm in denial about nothing fundamentally getting better or really changing in it at all before it ends. There will be no glorious transcendental transformation, I'll just die, I'll still be me and that's it. Which I guess comes to the same as fear of death, contentment as a permanent state being as impossible as any other permanent state (of 'personal' emotion).

Sorry Hexi, I believe this is known in the trade as a tangent.

Hexi replied with this 6.4 years ago, 11 minutes later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Exactly, we don't know and as such we should live how WE want and indulge in things we want to indulge in, now, not slave in a cubicle for 40 years, growing bitter and forgetting why we even did any of it in the first place.

No, when you die you wont be you. YOU cease to exist, YOU wont be inside the biological machine we call the human body. You cling to the notion that death is A thing when it's not. When you die, the universe will end from your point of view. There is no "when i die" there is only "i die".

EDIT: This is, ofcourse, how i view the matter. Obviously, i don't *know*, no one does.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

Anonymous L joined in and replied with this 6.4 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> If you like poetry, try this one out:
>
>
> "Time to cash in your chips
> put your ideas and beliefs on the table.
> See who has the bigger hand
> you or the Mystery that pervades you.
>
> Time to scrape the mind's shit
> off your shoes
> undo the laces
> that hold your prison together
> and dangle your toes into emptiness.
>
> Once you've put everything
> on the table
> once all of your currency is gone
> and your pockets are full of air
> all you've got left to gamble with
> is yourself.
>
> Go ahead, climb up onto the velvet top
> of the highest stakes table.
> Place yourself as the bet.
> Look God in the eyes
> and finally
> for once in your life
> lose."
> — Adyashanti

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 1 day later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

James--

In the words you quoted, it is not that I meant to say that the selfthe egoic self, the false selfis a defense mechanism, but that a defense mechanism, denial, is what keeps an individual from realizing the true self. Through what I have called "mis-identification," "myself" comes to be defined as equal to ego. But the impermanence of ego is ever apparent, and is terrifying to one who imagines that ego is me. Death, of course, is the most obvious marker of impermanence, so the idea of an after-life arises as the mechanism of denial. Then, immense energieslife energiesmust be used to maintain that idea. The ideas that defend ego, not ego itself is the defense mechanism.

For example, I go to church which I define as a sacred or holy place whereas others places are not sacred, not holy, I imagine that some holy book, and that book alone, contains the truth about life and death, I argue that "my" religion is correct, while people in other "faiths" are misled. I stone apostates to death, etc. This is just an example, the limiting one. But life is filled with small "deaths," and instead of allowing them, and so allowing the real self to be born and born again, moment after moment, ego digs in and and denies. When someone on this Forum feels insulted, she fights back, as if the insult somehow threatened her existence. No, it threatens only her idea of "myself," the story she tells herself, but she fights as if her very life were in jeopardy. I just had to delete a series of posts on this very thread which were purely and foolishly ego-defensive in that way: "when you disagree with my ideas (which were silly to begin with: the world was "created," babies are "created" by their parents, people are "born losers" by nature) you are attacking 'me.'"how ironic. The very existence of the idea that there is a state more "awake" than where "I" am nowthe very existence of this discussion threadis an affront and a threat to such a person, and she defends against it by defacing this discussion with nonsense. This is another examplea less extreme one than the death/religion example.

The original roots of ego is a complex matter. That particular illusion or delusion has many antecedents, including cultural conditioning: "Look," a parent says of the child's reflected image in a mirror, "That's you," which is clearly nonsense. A reflected image cannot be "me." Think of the story of the dog with a bone in its mouth who sees its reflection in the pond. Seeing another dog with a bone in its mouth, it attempts to grab that bone too, and in the process drops the original bone, ending up with nothing. In other words, the parent has lied to the child, and the child believed the lie.

However, the mis-identification is not entirely cultural. For example, in a human mind, the natural genetic programming to make efforts towards at self-preservation (even a mosquito tries to avoid being swatted) becomes mapped onto human awareness as if awareness really needed that particular body to survive in order for awareness to survive. Consider, that is, whether human genetic programming really is "me," or whether I am that which can be aware of such programming along with everything else.

I see that you are considering all this on a deep level. Good work. Keep going. Awakening never ends.

Remember, James:

No matter what you imagine "I" to be,
You do feel "I am here, I exist."
That feeling is always present.
Awakening does not consist in negating that feeling, nor in explaining it away, nor in somehow "transcending" it,
But in finding the root of that feeling in this moment.
Not just the feeling, "I am," but the root of the feeling "I am," is always present, always here. Just find that root and abide in it.

Be well

(Edited 9 hours later.)

Viv joined in and replied with this 6.4 years ago, 5 days later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

I just wanted to say that the essay 'Awakening Never Ends' is the most honest and real account I've come across about awakening (or whatever it's called). Particularly this:

"10. This list is far from complete, but I will close here with one final item. Awakening won't get you anything. If awakening got "you" something, it wouldn't be awakening at all, but just more of the same old dream of getting and becoming. Awakened, you will not feel that you have attained or gained anything. Life will go on just as it always did.

Before awakening, chopping wood and carrying water
After awakening, chopping wood and carrying water

Life simply unfolds as it must. Krishnamurti called this "choiceless awareness." Good words. The world appears very much the same as before, but you find that you see things as they are, not as the ego wishes they were.

Probably you will feel empty and alone, while meanwhile feeling no separation between "myself" and anything else. Strangely, this won't seem to be a paradox, but simply truth."

Phew! - so glad that I came across it. It says it perfectly. No BS. No carrot-dangling. Just the bare bones of it. That's all - very refreshing! :0)

V

dr-robert replied with this 6.4 years ago, 6 hours later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks, Viv, and thanks, non seeking. I appreciate these words from both of you.

Be well,
RS

Darnella joined in and replied with this 6.4 years ago, 1 day later, 1 month after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hello, Doctor,

I just discovered your memoir, and I love it. A total inspiration.

Thank you.

SALLY joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 days later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, just want to see if i can reach you, if so questions will follow !!!

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 57 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, Sally. Welcome to the Forum.

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I think i finally managed to intellectualize it after intense chats with Diff and Sifter. *I* only come aware of thoughts after they are already out of the subconscious, meaning whatever *I* see as thoughts has already been intellectualized and molded into a format *I* can understand. This begs the question, how much is missed entirely? The answer is fucktons. *I* only see what i can comprehend and then claim to know myself? What nonsense. The thing that is aware is simply an eye above a highway, focusing on 1 car at a time without any clue where it came from or where it's headed. Every moment that awareness regocnizes a thought is what reality is and the only logical connection to make from that is that what we know, and can ever know, is but a tiny, miniscule fraction of what is and yet we think we *know* anything? It's like a 2D entity telling us how shit works, that's how much we know about reality that we so cling to.

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes, Hexi, this is very good. I particularly like the idea of "clinging," which I use often in my teaching work. Perhaps you, Diff, and Sifter would like to read this recent "ask dr robert" called "How Does An Awakened Person See The World?.

Be well.

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 26 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
See, i get that. I don't do anything, I simply notice things as they enter, and leave but I don't do anything, simply become aware of things, thoughts, ideas, concepts, everything. Yet even those are mere fragments of what really happens, it's just the portions that we catch - come aware of and those we cling to. It's like a rope, I can only grab a part of it.

Hexi double-posted this 6.3 years ago, 46 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
The only difference, for me, is the realisation that passing judgement makes no sense. The moment somoene says or does something, that action has already been decided in a previous moment, by the time you realise you do something, you've already done it and as such, judging someone for their actions is meaningless and irrelevant. You can punish, but, judging... that loses all meaning.

The saying "i'll be the judge of that" becomes "i'll let you know when I realise what my judgement is"

(Edited 1 minute later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 3 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes. The judgment has already taken place before anyone becomes aware of it. Simple when you see itundeniable reallybut hearing it discussed seems to upset many people.

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 3 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, just reading the comments posted today have made things a lot clearer. I have been seeking for years, reading and attending meetings here in England, Tony Parsons and Nathan Gill mainly. I understand it intellectually but always feel that the real seeing of it is just a veil away. My understanding of todays posts are that things are just happening automatically, there is no free will just a witnessing of the play of life. There is the urge though to want to change life in many circumstances, that I guess will go when the veil is lifted? Also,I`d like to thank you so much for your time and help, don`t suppose you ever come to England? !

Differential replied with this 6.3 years ago, 39 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Why would the urge to change life go away? It's part of the construct that resulted from your past.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 30 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I don't think you quite have it, Sally. If the urge to "change life" arises, fine. What makes you think there is anything wrong with that particular urge? And isn't that urge also part of life, so if you tried to somehow eliminate that urge, would that also not be "changing life?" Yes, there is no free will in the usual sense, but that does not mean that one should not try to accomplish things. I know Tony Parsons says one should not try, but I don't buy that. Maybe that's OK for him, but maybe it's not OK for you. Forget Tony Parsons. Just be who you really are, and things should clear up a lot.

I have no plans to be in England, but you are welcome to hang out here on the Forum if you like.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 4 days later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

thanks for that. Was wondering given your answer, what you think of stuff like ` CREATIVE VISUALISATION ` and `THE SECRET `?

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I have no interest in that stuff.

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 18 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

oh dear, feel as if ive been told off ! may iask do you have no interest because its all a load of crap, as in a part of a story or do you have no interest because you have such a fabulous life and no need to change it?

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 3 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Change happens by itself. No one does it. Change happens more gracefully, and probably quicker when it is seen that no one is doing anything but getting in the way of change, or getting out of the way. I am not interested in any method whatsoever, nor the advice of anyone else, and certainly not anyone making a profit selling that level of self-hypnosis. My source of understanding arises in silence when I look within my own core non-judgmentally. I never intend to tell anyone off. You asked, and I replied honestly. That is what I always do. I have repeated that often all over the dr-robert.com website: If you don't want a straight answer, don't ask any questions. If I reply, it will be straight from whatever seems closest to truth at the time.

My writing is intended to stimulate waking up and smelling the coffee--black coffee, I mean, the best beans, no cream or sugar. OK?

p.s. Read some Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching, if you are looking for spiritual advice.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 8 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

ok, thats great, just what i needed to hear, maybe the coffee has been smelt !! thankyou. the only thing i cant grasp is, if events and life is happening all by itself , what is the point in trying to change or achievr any thing? i understand the concept intellectually but cant quite feel it

(Edited 18 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 3 days later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Sally--

In this moment, what is is, and cannot be any different. This is obvious.

It's not a question of trying or not trying. What happens, happens, and if trying happens in this moment, then that is what happens.

Suppose you don't try to do a certain thing, and someone asks you "Why didn't you try?" And you reply, "I didn't feel like it." Does that mean you chose not to try? Or, did you choose not to feel like it? If so, when did you choose to choose to not feel like it? etc.

You see, I am not saying that the feelings of wanting to try or not try do not exist. Of course those feelings exist, and they may be part of what stimulates trying or not trying. I am saying that since you don't choose the feelings, you don't choose whether to try or not.

Tell me if you understand this.

(Edited 47 minutes later.)

Anonymous R joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 15 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I would say you chose not to feel your feelings of not wanting to try so you could get past them, as they are fleeting, and realize what good trying would do.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 33 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Who chose that?

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 6 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

hi, thanks for your reply. Yes I do understand, I used to meditate a lot a while ago, and over the last couple of years have abandoned it, but during the last few days i`ve gone back to it trying to find something in the silence. I do find something that is almost tangible, hopefully not just the frustration.There is a readiness here, but maybe a bit of fear is holding me back. thanks for your help

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 38 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Sitting and meditation could help, but the important thing is to try to become more aware of the emptiness or space in which thoughts are arising. In other words, there is something empty which is always there even though thoughts keep changing. That same space is where seeing happens. If you turn your head, the scene changes, but the space which is being filled by that scenery does not change. The same is true of sound. Different sounds arise and fade away, but the emptiness in which they arise and fall away does not change. It is always there. So you can work with thought, or you can work with hearing, or you can work with seeing. It's all the same work. Just try to find what does not change.

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

thank you

David joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 22 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

This is an interesting discussion, thank you.

Dr. Robert, it brings up a few related questions to mind: Is it possible to perceive empty space and silence without there being some forms (objects)? The mind seems to be conditioned to notice only these objects. Can the intellect conceive of awareness itself? Due to the inherent limitations we seem to be caught in thought. Everything becomes a thought/concept, even what is not; no-thing and non-being is so elusive to the thinking mind. What is not is precisely that which escapes the mind, therefore bringing attention to it is difficult. You put it so well: focus on the root of the feeling I am.

With so much clinging to forms (thought or physical), how can we consciously loosen the grip? There is also clinging to spiritual search and practice...

On the subject of self, the mind-made entity some refer to as the ego or the voice in the head to me seems to be the embodiment of fear itself. It probably ties into the primordial survival instinct and must have played some role in the human evolution. I remember the feeling as a kid when faced with the decision to jump from a tree, higher than what I was comfortable with. There was this tightness in the belly that would hold me back. Because most of us still identify (are totally obsessed) with it and defend it at all costs, what are the chances that the ego will allow the leap into the abyss of its own non-existence, since it clearly believes it exists? Is it possible to awaken and still retain the notion of this false self, even while recognizing it as an illusion, perhaps as one of the objects in awareness?

Thank you and sorry for the multi-question.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Good questions.

No, the intellect can never conceive of awareness itself, because intellect arises within awareness along with the body and the rest of the world. The part can never know the whole. In fact, even awareness does not really know the source of awareness, but only intuits it.

You can work on loosening the grip of clinging to forms by attempting to focus instead on the emptiness in which forms arise. For example, if a thought arises, there will be a space between it and the next thought. Look for the space. Focus on the space. This is similar to looking at a tree, for example, as negative spaceseeing the light between the leaves and branches as the form of the tree, instead of seeing the leaves and branches. If you do this with sound, you will perceive the utter emptiness between the decay of one note in musicthe right kind of music--for example, and the birth of the next note. Or you might try this in a fairly quiet natural setting.

As far as clinging to spiritual search and practice, there are two ways this ends. Either you keep at those tasks until you are utterly exhausted, then you awaken to the futility of it, or you find a way to understand the futility of it without having to take the long road. This is entirely up to you.
Here is a quote from an interview I gave:

Noticing awareness, and abiding in it requires no effort at all. You do not have to earn it, and you do not have to deserve it. It is here now, always has been, and always will be. Nothing needs to be added to this moment, and nothing can be added to it. But when I tell you this, you doubt it, and so you continue the relentless seeking—which is simply more egoic seeking. Calling it “spiritual seeking” or “practice” changes nothing but the name. Although this very moment is all we ever have, you continue to seek something “better,” something “higher,” something more “evolved,” some accomplishment you will eventually realize by following a supposed path. That fruitless search continues, and will continue until the fantasy of becoming exhausts itself and you find yourself at last, just as you always were.

Yes, you are correct. The chief engine of ego is fear. According to child psychologist Donald Winnecott, a child is born with two primal fears already there at birth: fear of falling forever, and fear of not being at all. If this is true, it will account for the stubbornness of ego in clinging (fear of falling), and in creating survival fantasies: heaven, reincarnation, etc. (fear of not being at all).


> Is it possible to awaken and still retain the notion of this false self, even while recognizing it as an illusion, perhaps as one of the objects in awareness?

Yes, this is what happens when "myself" is found to be the awareness in which consciousness of objects, including the body and its autobiography constantly arises. Ego still exists but is seen more like a suit of clothes which one wears in public but which can be removed at home. It is a bit constricting to wear, but is tolerated because it is necessary and useful. This is only a metaphor and is not exact. Personality also continues, but its likes and dislikes carry much less force, and seem unconvincing.

I am just now being interviewed in depth on some of these questions, and will put up a link when the interview is published.

Be well.

(Edited 16 hours later.)

David replied with this 6.3 years ago, 18 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thank you, doctor, these are very helpful pointers.

Yes, the mind keeps doubting, even if on the conscious level I may understand who I am not, deep down there is still clinging (conceit) and it is exhausting and a source of suffering. I have been looking for the space in which objects arise and your examples of negative space are great. Mind the gap they say. In a natural setting it is much easier to be aware of the connection with the world, I think partly because of a higher energy level and less noise pollution. As an amateur photographer, I find that looking through the lens helps me focus better. The longer I keep at it, I am drawn into the subject matter as if looking through one big eye, and it all appears inside without me getting in the way. This is how I have (re)learned to perceive without analyzing. However, these moments of connection are relatively brief and difficult to recreate in daily life. Being able to detect the point at which a thought arises remains elusive even if I keep very still; usually I notice thoughts once they have been on for some time or have triggered a reaction.

The idea of exerting no effort is also a tough one because effort is all I have known for such a long time that trying not to exert effort also becomes effort. Letting go is easier said than done. What is just the right amount of trying?

I like your metaphor for the ego being a suit of clothes which one wears in public. This reminds me of something Douglas Harding used to say about private and public identities. He even devised seemingly simple experiments that encourage people to bring attention to what they are looking out of (first person singular, present tense) and notice that they are built open, capacity for the world. The focus on direct experience is the key, as much as I enjoy the philosophical aspects of spirituality.

You mention intuition. I would be very interested in your view on, or experience with, it and also with Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity - the non-causal events.

I am looking forward to the posting of your interview. Thanks.

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 4 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi David, its helpful to read others questions and views. I completely get the point thats its easier to touch the connection in a setting thats natural and uncluttered. I must say that in the last week I have been meditating on Dr. Roberts advise and noticing the gaps between sounds and or also thoughts and at times have had what feels like an opening of the heart. Thats what it feels like in the physical anyway, almost tangible. The trick is I presume is not to try and hold on to that feeling but to go deeper into it ? I do have the sense that it is but a footstep away and there is a longing for the peace it may bring, good luck

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 19 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Peace? See, this is why you, and many like you, will never get there. You are looking for something that you want it to be instead of looking for what it is. It's not some harmonous sensation, no birds landing on your shoulders, no slight breeze in the sunset. Forget everything you imagine everything to be, forget what you want something to be and try to see what it actually is.

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 11 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

thank you for your advise but i think your idea of peace, though very nice is not quite what i had in mind

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You missed the point entirely. Don't thank me for my advice when you don't bother to comprehend me.

Differential replied with this 6.3 years ago, 31 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
You can't have anything in mind. Reality doesn't care what you think.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 9 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Isn't peace the goal? Or is there some other destination you are talking about, Hexi? What would that be?

(Edited 17 seconds later.)

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

it seems to me that mind is playing a great part here, it seems in certain personalities it really wants to be understood and deemed to be right ? I`m aware that reality does not care but .....

Differential replied with this 6.3 years ago, 3 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
The point, Sally, is that any preconception of what is going to happen actually stops you from getting there in the first place. You need a perfectly clear picture of what things are, and if you look at that picture through a lense that has any tint, color, smudge, or scratch - anything at all that alters the vision - you miss the mark.

Hopes, dreams, wants, expectations, suspicions, these are all things through which you see everything and as such count as alterations of the vision of what is.

David replied with this 6.3 years ago, 3 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, Sally. Hexi and Differential make a good point. It is only in a desireless state that true freedom from selfing can be found. If you are looking for peace, depending on the definition, there is someone doing the looking and it will most likely not be found. That's why I mentioned the clinging to spiritual search. If you can find a way to stop the urge to keep searching, you may be a step closer.

It's about a way of being - a certain quality of the mind you might say - rather than doing, although observing the mind's activity is very helpful because you can bring awareness to some self-feeding processes that keep you stuck. From my own experience, after some time a bit more spaciousness or softening develops around some of the trouble spots, for lack of a better word, and you may realize that trying to fix it or get somewhere else is really not necessary. Perhaps that's what peace of mind refers to, but then again I don't really know.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 3 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Comments:

Jennifer asked about synchronicity the other day, and now David. I don't really get the connection, but apparently you do. The notion of synchronicity arises due to a belief in time as a fixed reality. But what if time is an illusion entirely? In other words, everything already exists, and wethe limited ego or point of vieware just traveling around in this "everything" the way an ant might crawl around on the kitchen table. The ant will find one crumb from breakfast, eat it, and then, after crawling around some more, upon finding another crumb, say that "later" the second crumb appeared. But the other crumb was always there, only not in the ant's limited experience--a self-centered experience. In other words, if the "crawling" is not seen for what it really is, the idea of time or sequence arises. Einstein's mathematics indicated that space and time are not separate, so this is not at all far fetched.

Jennifer, Sally If you search for "peace," you will never find it. If you look only to see how things really arewhat is true, in other words--peaceful or not, then you might find peace of mind. If you search for anything other than truth, your search will prove to be useless, and futile. Perhaps I will go into this further later, but right now I am pressed for time.

Hexi, you have the idea, but why so irritated if someone does not catch on immediately? It is almost as if you want to get pissed off. Everyone comes to this in his or her own time. If you see a bit more, all you can do is put it out there, and then your work is done. Exasperation does you no honor.

David, at a certain point it is not a question of trying or not trying, but of admitting to yourself what you really know. There is no yesterday, and there is no tomorrow. This is a plain fact, and I think you already really know it, but you do not live it. As soon as you do, everything will come clear. This is it, my boy. This is all you get. All the rest in your mind"enlightenment" and all that stuffis only hearsay. If you chase hearsay, you lose yourself, and yourself is all you have. BTW, my teacher, Walter Chappell was a photographer and so was I. That's how we met. Looking through a lens can be a good way to see yourself in everything.

Be well, all.

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 25 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Why so irritated? Because i'm not a teacher. Because i have little patience when someone doesn't understand me, even when i'm clear as i can be. Especially when something i say is taken out of context and only partially even registered.

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

the peace i was refering to was not a notion of bliss and i am certainly not looking for anything, i am aware after years of spiritual searching that there is nothing to find. i was mearly meaning the end of the search the realising of all that is understood intellectually, the ah moment when truth is felt

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

And what if there is no "ah" at that critical point, only "wow, how dumb"? What then? Will you discard it? Yes, you will becaue it's not what you expect and you will never follow it further but instead, knock on the door of the next guy with "teacher" written on his door.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

The "ah" comes just after that critical point I think. Hexi, is it your life's work to trample on what others find good and meaningful? Don't answer that.
Doc, I can't argue with that except to say that I think there is peace in the truth for those brave enough to face and accept it. I don't get the negative spin on it though.

(Edited 10 minutes later.)

SALLY replied with this 6.3 years ago, 6 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Jennifer thank you , I think the negativity is in the angry person? ! I was under the impression that this was a disgussion not a space for attack ! Please excuse my grammer Hexi, maybe the ah should have been mearly an `oh` and likewise please dont answer that

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 4 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Again you miss the point entirely. I'm also not angry, i simply have no desire to pussyfoot around, either. If that is "hostile" then that's your issue, not mine and it also isn't skin off my back if you prefer to cling to your delusions and teddybears like a little girl.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 34 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I don't understand the "there is nothing to find" mentality either. Or how what you find can be "dumb"? That's like saying "I am nothing" and "I am dumb." imo..

(Edited 19 minutes later.)

Jennifer double-posted this 6.3 years ago, 31 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

There is no yesterday, and there is no tomorrow.

See, this is where you lose me. With the earths rotation and the way light hits the world there are days with nights separating. People gave these times names. We use day and night. With further language development we can differentiate which day. Yesderday, today, tomorrow, the day after that. This all can be proven and is true. So, where does this there is no yesterday and there is no tomorrow come from?

I do understand living in the moment if that's maybe what you mean but that does not negate the truth about the physical world. There is time and to say that there is not would be hearsay to most people.

(Edited 12 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, I understand. You are fully and totally committed to the version of so-called "reality," which has been spoon-fed to you from the moment of the birth of the body you think is "you." You have accepted this so unquestioningly, that any other view seems either ridiculous, foolish, or impossible. As you put it:

> This all can be proven and is true.

That's fine. I am not trying to talk you out of it. Since you have no doubts, and if that is working for you, why would you ever question it? My words in this thread are not for you, Jennifer, but for people who want to question it.

And, by the way, you certainly do not understand "living in the moment." You may understand the words, but you do not understand the thing itself at all.

Now I am done. No more discussion about this. Anyone can keep typing objections in the form of questions. It is up to you to do plenty of research into the scientific understanding of time and space, and whether matter is different from energy, etc. before you ask me anything more. If you actually make that real effort, your ideas about what is "true" or not might have to deepen considerably.

(Edited 13 minutes later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 24 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well, thanks Doc. That cleared the whole thing up for me completely. Thanks for taking the time to consider my objection and answer in a way that would further my understanding instead of just saying, "You're wrong."

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 7 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Last shot: It is not my job to further your understanding. That is your job, and you are making a mess of it. I just told you the next step. If you really are interested in this, you will take that step. If you are too lazy to undertake a serious inquiry, that's not my problem.

You talk about "the truth about the physical world," which you imagine that you know and can explain to me (the earth rotates!) but you have no idea at all what the physical world is, or even that serious investigators are not at all in agreement on that question. How could you? You take your own point of view and call it "truth," as if that were simply self-evident. You are lost in concepts, not "truths": "People gave these things names." Give me a break.

I will reply to no further posts from you on this thread, Jennifer, and I will delete anything further from you, unless and until you are able to show me a much more informed point of view. This does not mean that you agree with me, but that you have the basic background, which at this point you do not. If you need to write further, open a new thread.

(Edited 9 minutes later.)

James replied with this 6.3 years ago, 17 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I don't know what I'm doing. I look for the space between thoughts, can't find it. I say 'I am, I exist' and it's just another thought. I try to find the continuous, never stopping sense of existence, which apparently is here right now, to abide in it, and 'I' can't

awareness is always there, always available, and nothing changes upon awakening (nothing is gained, no new enlightened states are reached).

So I already have experience of awareness (more correctly, there is awareness, so 'I' believe in a thing called 'experience'), and nothing new happens when I drop the ego. So what exactly is the qualitative change upon awakening? There must be some, it's not just the case that an ego continually negates itself through conscious effort, a never ending mindfulness meditation session (imagine! A formal meditation session that never ended! What hell. I think this is the getting tired with 'spiritual practice' the doctor talks about in that new quote on the homepage)

Because as long as there is the idea of a qualitative change, of another state being possible where 'I' am not, which none the less contains nothing that is not already here, right now....the idea is a desire in me and I want it and I'm seeking again.

At the moment I'm struggling with my ego 'wanting' the peace of not having an ego by not being there, and all the while I'm shoring 'myself' up, still operating on the level of desire and an individual self.

Because the sad fact is, without the desire, there simply is no interest, no source of energy arising in life to say 'I am', to focus on awareness and abide in it. It may be the simplest thing, but it feels like work.

Just being quiet internally, not engaging with thoughts but letting them be, looking for the space between thoughts and sounds, doesn't come naturally. It takes effort. It may be the case the this only takes effort because of the immense energy my ego employs in defence mechanisms and supporting itself, but that is all just an idea in my head, not how it feels as these things happen.

The doctor in his essay seemed to only come to drop the ego through a long process of, for want of a better term, getting tired of the ego. His teacher said it wasn't this, wasn't that and showed him the destructive and wasteful nature of the self. This is what I'm lacking right now. It's all theoretical to me, and tired though I am of myself, I don't know anything else and I'm not that tired.

Oh I am just tying myself in knots with language. I am working away with bad internet and haven't listened to the two interviews yet, apologise if this has been covered in them. It's all the repetition of the same question anyway, and I can't phrase the question.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, James--

The two interviews have not been released yet. One is in written Q&A form, and the other is audio. I will let you know.

Awareness is what is reading these words right now.

Yes, I worked with trying to awaken, and needed the help of my teacher finally to "get it." And, in truth, my teacher did not show me what an awakened place is like, or "how" to get thereno one can teach thatbut only helped to remove the attachments, and some of the fear (as I said, fear of falling forever, and fear of not being at all) which are the impediments to seeing things as they are.

When it first happened that I felt "awake," the change between that and my old "normal" way of seeing was both profound and also nothing special at all. This is what is hard to put into words. There is what you are thinking of as "the qualitative change upon awakening," but that qualitative change was really there all the time, but just unnoticed due to the veil of mis-identification of the self which seems so self-evident and obvious, but which is really a kind of delusion. Yes, it is a widely shared delusion, but that does not make it true, only widely shared.

For a space between thoughts, try to recall a time when some physical emergency required immediate attention. For example, a car swerves into your lane, and you have to take evasive action. The action is not considered, planned, or debated, but just happens. Later, you begin to analyze: "I could have been killed, etc." Well, James, that which acted to avert the accident is also "you," but you do not think of it as "you." To you, your body externally (Internally, it is a total mystery to you. Are you now doing any conscious digestion or creation of cells?), your thoughtsincluding your autobiography which is not factual, but conceived in thoughtand your habitual point of view is you. I simply ask you to find, in this very moment--that which is aware of all that, and everything else. This should be easy as pie. It is reading these words while "you" think about them.

Be well.

David replied with this 6.3 years ago, 22 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert, point taken that it is futile to seek something which is not even there. It's all empty, yet everything mysteriously appears out of that emptiness. The seeking process is almost automatic the way the mind has been conditioned, kind of like the Energizer bunny - keeps going and going. Obviously that is not helpful. To look deeply, we need persistence, and isn't that an effort?

I realize that the present moment is all there is; all the rest are mind-made constructs. Although, I think there is much to be learned about the human condition and it is certainly not energy wasted. Your crawling ant analogy is a very visual illustration of the space-time continuum. As we crawl around we have been taught to believe there is before and after and so we cannot see many other crumbs. As you said, everything already exists and what we see is limited by our point of view. We play games to fill the void and put on faces that stare at us in the mirror. The fun of it wears off and is a pretense to begin with.

Regarding synchronicity and intuition, I view these as coded messages sent from the Unknown at the point when we are ready to receive them. On rare occasions when I actually noticed something that might be considered one of these events, an insight could be gained along with an increased ability to step back a question what I see and how I think. It's all part of the mystery I suppose.

You wrote in an earlier post: Walter passed something to me, often wordlessly, to which others who approached Walter were blind, or with whom Walter chose not to share that understanding. This is not the first time I came across this notion of something being transmitted non-verbally in connection with awakening - perhaps similar to a dharma transmission (although I have no insight into this). I imagine it as an energy of a certain frequency that activates a dormant pathway in the brain's right hemisphere, a pathway that used to be active in childhood. Please note that this is just my way of visualizing it, not based on any experience whatsoever. According to what I have read and heard, spontaneous awakening or the ability to see clearly is still rare. In your view, is the personal teacher-student contact necessary?

BTW, after browsing through more of your site, I have to say how wonderful it is of you to reach out to those in need of help. Great photos too!

(Edited 5 hours later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 49 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks, David.

On your question about the teacher-student relationship, I will quote a bit from an interview with Non Duality Magazine which will be available online within days I think. I will post a link when I have it.


NDM: How would your students know if they awaken to their inner guru or to their inner ego? How would they know what is the voice of the inner guru, as opposed to the voice of the inner ego? Can you tell me what is the difference?

Robert: I can try to tell you. Ego is thought. Ego is words. Inner guru is silence. Inner guru is space. Part of my work with seekers is to help them to discern that space, to appreciate that silence, and then, finally, to abide in it.

When inner guru “speaks,” it is heard as a silent knowing, not as thought at all. Thought—ego—may jump in quickly to interpret, debate with, or claim the messages of inner guru, but there will always be a space, a moment of knowing, before thought can begin its work. Listening to inner guru, and honoring inner guru means savoring the knowing while ignoring the thoughts which inevitably arise. This is called separating the wheat from the chaff.

By the way, I know it is becoming fashionable to say that there is no student and no teacher, or that you only need a teacher if you are dreaming that you need a teacher, and this is sometimes called “nonduality,” but I don’t buy it. For one thing, it feels a bit like a word game. If someone writes a book expousing a no student/no teacher philosophy, and telling you that a teacher is not needed because you already are awakened, how is that not teaching? If someone buys the book and begins trying on that point of view, how is that not being a student?

However, on a certain level this no student/no teacher business is true. So on that level it is not a word game, but even on that level, most of us—I was one of these—need, at one time or another, a teacher, or a “mentor,” if that word works better. Teacher and mentor are both just words. Time with a teacher is a very good insurance policy against converting a couple of exciting breakthroughs, triggered perhaps by reading something or attending a satsang or two, into a dive off the deep end, and imagining oneself “enlightened.” I am so grateful to have had Walter there to tell me, “No, Robert. That’s not it. No, Robert. That’s not it.”

This is very sensitive ground. Apparently, in a certain way at a certain time one simply must surrender to a wiser hand. Speaking personally, arriving at that time feels like what I can only call grace. This aspect, grace, makes the relationship between teacher and student a sacred matter. I can recall times sitting alone with Walter and asking him questions that went as deep into my doubts and fears as I thought I could go, and then, by Walter’s words and Walter’s behaviors, being made to go even further. In other words, I can recall being totally vulnerable with him. Trusting him. And my trust was well placed. His answers were not just bright philosophical beacons—that’s already wonderful, but you can get that from a book, if it’s the right book—but were beacons especially lit to shine upon my precise, personally expressed, deepest inquiries. That is something you can’t get from any book.

Method, if there is to be any, must not be received from any book, because what is written is fixed, and does not relate directly to the seeker, who, although called “a seeker,” is really not part of any certain class, but a unique manifestation, a “once upon a once.” Method, if it is to be living, must arise in response to the exact condition of the student or seeker, and that can be seen only in real time, within a sacred relationship, never through scripture“holy” or notor guide books.

David replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thank you for the advanced post, doctor. Undoubtedly, facing oneself is the greatest challenge, and the fear you mention is the greatest obstacle.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 18 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

The first interview has been published in Non Duality Magazine.

o_0 joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 day later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thank you Dr. Robert.

By they way i found these sayings about the ego. It proposes some ideas of how it is created and why is it such a big problem to be identified by it.

http://deoxy.org/egofalse.htm

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 3 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You are welcome. The link did not work for me.

David replied with this 6.3 years ago, 13 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert, fascinating interview. Thank you for posting the link.

As I was reading it, something occurred to me that I would like to mention. It has to do with the compulsion to look for something better, a way out, a greener pasture somewhere else, etc. Throughout human history, there were periods of intense suffering and difficulties to meet life's challenges but people always found a way to cope. They have often turned to religious authority to provide the answers, a shelter, or perhaps an escape. Suggesting to someone to embrace life as it is, including all of its aspects, is usually met with resistance on some level. There is a constantly reinforced tendency to sleepwalk through life, fill it with content, and get out of it as much as we can before the expiry date. This is all obvious. What most of us forget to do in the daily rush is to remember to stop and look, really look mindfully, how amazing the manifested world is. We take for granted that it is just there, every morning somehow appears as a playground for our activities. But what a work of art it is! The patterns, textures, creatures, experiences, and sufferings, all happen in the stream of consciousness, a river of boundless energy, mysteriously coming out of the no-thingness. Isn't this by far the best "movie" ever? ...and we have the best seats in the theater to use the analogy. Funny thing is that screens today have replaced reality and are separating us from it.

There is also an issue I have with terminology. Specifically, the term ego as used by many popular gurus in some spiritual traditions, like Advaita, who paint it as the compulsive thought machine and root of all problems that must be removed to reach a spiritual attainment. The use of this term is very different from Freud's definition of the ego concept - the rational aspect of the mind - that people in the West are perhaps more accustomed to. You mentioned somewhere, if I am correct, that we need the ego and without it would be in a coma. Is it synonymous with the sense of separate self, the subject-object duality? Can we exist and evolve without thought? Perception of self, individuality, is a function of the self-preservation instinct and as such exists not only in humans but all other species. Of course, humans have brought individuality very far.

Anonymous U joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 6 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> There is also an issue I have with terminology. Specifically, the term ego as used by many popular gurus in some spiritual traditions, like Advaita, who paint it as the compulsive thought machine and root of all problems that must be removed to reach a spiritual attainment. The use of this term is very different from Freud's definition of the ego concept - the rational aspect of the mind - that people in the West are perhaps more accustomed to.
I was thinking exactly the same.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

David—

Thank you.

> The patterns, textures, creatures, experiences, and sufferings, all happen in the stream of consciousness, a river of boundless energy, mysteriously coming out of the no-thingness. Isn't this by far the best "movie" ever?

Yes. This is what Walter Chappell, my teacher, was able to convey to me. Not the idea of it, but the experience, moment-by-moment, of it.

As for the ego question, it is not a matter of the “sense of separate self, the subject-object duality.” Clearly that exists, is a part of experience, and does not require nullification. I understand that often the spiritual seeking kind of person imagines that part of awakening involves the disappearance of that sense of a separate self. That is not really what I am pointing to when I point to an—for want of better lingo—“awakened perspective,” but rather the understanding—not a state of mind which can change suddenly and often (how quickly will an insult or a perceived threat change yours?) but the actual deep understanding--that in this moment, things are as they are, and cannot be any different.

It is against the backdrop of that paradox, not by imagining something better and “cleaner,” that “awakening” has to arise.

Grace joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 days later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert, I read some of your interview and here is my take on non duality. It appears that there is a constant struggle between the mind and the inner self. The mind represents the ego which is always trying to squash the inner self, so awakening is hard to achieve. Moments of awakening occur when you listen to your inner self and you let it take over. I understand what you mean when you said that your students only felt an awakened sense when they were in your presence. They could not feel it when they were not around you. I think only certain people can bring out the awakened sense and form a true connection with each other. It is a great feeling.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

So, what? Dr. Robert has super powers now? Is he the light in a dark world? I'm sorry, but REALLY? Whatever Dr. Robert has anyone can have if it's truth. Maybe some of us need a guide, sure, but don't sell yourself short, Grace.

(Edited 1 hour later.)

James replied with this 6.3 years ago, 45 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks for the reply Dr. I am trying with this, and am enjoying the interviews now.

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I agree with you Jennifer, that's just nonsense. I wish people would get that there is no magic involved, no mystical energies or connections. It's all you and no one else, no metaphysical.

David joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 36 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert, further on the topic of ego. As I understand it, the term is used to describe identification with form, hence your term "mis-identification". The ego avoids/negates the present moment because it cannot conceive of the formless so it is doomed to keep searching for some illusory idea, which it cannot find, therefore it is never satisfied. It continually tries to find a fixed point in the river of being because it fears for its existence.

The confusing part, aside from the Freudian usage, is how this narrow definition of ego relates to one's personality and rational thoughti.e. our public identity. I can choose to (have to really) use the mind as a tool for rational thought to be able to function in the world. In an unawaked state ("sleep mode"), 'I' am lost in thought and unaware of the present moment. Once I become conscious of thought, a separation begins that becomes a stepping stone and I start to notice the selfing game as it is played out moment by moment, shifting focus from what is experienced to who is experiencing. This can apparently go on for a long time without any qualitative change, unless some further understanding (as you point out) or practice takes it to the next level. To be awake, I must remain present for what is happening in an open way without judgment and attachments and, as you mention, to allow what is to BE. I have to release everything so that it is all freed from memy clinging, judging, etc. The release part is the trigger and it just happens somehow (the 'AAAH' moment), removing the filter of delusion. I become aware of awarenessmy private identitywhile the ego, not able to withstand the light of consciousness, becomes hidden away. The question is what happens to it and do I really care?

The following is an excerpt from Douglas Harding's article "On Being Aware":
"Yes, you’ve got it! You see with total clarity Who and what you’ve always been, namely this Disappearance in favour of others, this Emptiness which is aware of itself as no-thing and therefore all things. How could we not see this most obvious of all sights, once our attention is drawn to it?

Congratulations! You’re enlightened! You always were.

But now comes the hard bit. Seeing what you really are is just about the easiest thing in the world to do, and just about the most difficult to keep doing - at first. Normally, it takes months and years and decades of coming back home, to the spot one occupies (or rather, doesn’t occupy - the world does that) before one learns the knack of remaining centred, of staying indoors, of living from one’s space instead of from one’s face."

Grace joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

David, I actually think you get it. You understand what Dr. Robert is saying. This awakening concept is difficult to put into words. The mind (ego) is always trying to control the inner guru. External forces are like noise and put the mind in overdrive. When you quiet your mind and let go of the ego, awakening can happen. I don't really like the word awakening. To me, it is more of a silent knowing, a peaceful feeling. I believe you exchange energy with people. I'm not talking in a magical, metaphysical sense. I think it happens when people are at the same level of awareness. I'm sure Hexi thinks Dr.Robert's nonverbal communication, his intuition, with Walter was just a figment of Dr. Robert's imagination? Maybe it just hasn't happened to him.

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You are. I am. We are. Everything is. Beyond that, we give meaning to everything because we can know so we must know. That is the greatest delusion.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 8 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

David,

Well, whether I am using the word "ego" to mean "identification with form" or not depends on what you mean by "form." I generally use the word "ego" to point to a version of "myself" which is comprised of those aspects of the body over which we seem to have conscious control, plus the body's autobiography, the latter being the story I tell myself about who and what I am and what my place is in the apparent world and its apparent organization. This is not quite the standard usage, but what we are discussing here has little or no place in standard ego psychology either.

No, I do not believe that you can choose to use the mind as a tool for rational thought. Rational thought happens when it happens in response to whatever triggers it. Ego then falsely takes credit for "directing" the mind to think rationally, but this is what ego always tries to do—take credit for whatever "doing" occurs. And ego, by the way, is usually far from "rational." For example, ego habitually locates itself in the center of reality, which is not at all rational.

All of this is very complex and difficult to discuss, David, because what would make sense to one person, in one condition, will make no sense at all to someone else in a different condition. This is why the bulk of my teaching takes place one-to-one. For example, when I say no one is to blame for anything, some people grasp that immediately—notwithstanding how truly foreign that idea is to the normal way of understanding what a "person" is—while others cannot get to first base with that idea. Since I do not know where you, personally, are with all this, I will try to address your question, but this is only a shot in the dark really. If you were sitting here with me, we could feel our way into this, but in print it is not at all the same. Also, to sit with someone who is in an awakened state can be "catching," at least for the moment, and words on a page are not at all like that. That said, David, here goes:

Awakening just happens. You do not have to do anything. You do not have to release anything. And the ego does not become hidden away. Everything is just as it always was, except that the "myself" which seemed so obviously factual, so indisputably here at the center of "my" experience, and the doer, creator, and liver of "my" life, is seen to be a ghost in the machine. Life just happens. No one is doing it. No one ever did. From another angle, awakening is the simple recognition that in this moment everything is as it is and cannot be any different. In other words, no one is making anything be this way, and there is no explanation, no rhyme nor reason to any of it. THIS, including myself, is what the entire universe is doing, and there is no one with the power to stand apart from that doing anything different. All of THIS, being life itself, simply arises as it must, and I am that.

I don't know anything about Douglas Harding, and I am not moved by the quote to google him. This "Guess what? You are already enlightened" stuff is flowing quite freely nowadays, but I cannot really buy it. That is more of a word game than anything else. Yes, it is true on a certain level, but that level is not one which can inform someone who is seeking awakening in the way that you are. I prefer not to use the word "enlightened" at all. Awakening is the understanding that the very idea of a "myself" which can become anything is pure reification—making a solid "thing" that is, out of a conceptual point of view. The concept of becoming is ego, and exists only as a story I tell myself. In other words, an "enlightened person" does not refer to anything real. It is simply another facet of the daydream called "myself," which now becomes a fantasized "enlightened myself." When that daydream is seen to be based upon an empty concept (what a mathematician would call "an empty set"), one is awake. Ego will still be there, and will even notice the "awakeness," but then immediately will try to take credit for it, or dispute it, or deny it. This is called "drinking knockout drops."

I like your use of the word "knack." I remember trying as a boy to get my Duncan Yo-Yo to "sleep." I saw other kids doing it, but could not catch on to the knack. Then, suddenly, I got it! It was as easy as pie. Nothing to it. In fact, it was hard to make it not sleep. That is what residing in silence and emptiness is like. I really cannot not do it, even if I wanted to. Oh, I can distract myself with some activity or whatever, but the substratum of all of that never really disappears, and I certainly never have to make any effort to notice it or "reconstitute" it.

If you remember that you cannot acquire that knack through any effort whatsoever, you will be just about as close to the crux of this matter as words can go.

Beyond that, the best that anyone can do is to try to prepare the ground for the knack. The best approach to that, in my experience, is remembering as often as possible that prior to thought, prior to feeling, "I AM." In other words, I am that to which or in which thoughts, feelings, emotions, and objects—including "my own" body—become apparent moment by moment. In different words, I am the emptiness into which all these phenomena appear. If you will do that—a simple question of remembrance, nothing more—sooner or later, without conscious effort on "your" part, a shift will simply occur, and you will be awake, perhaps only for a brief moment, perhaps longer. No problem. That experience is one observation, one "dot." Later, another mini-shift into—for want of a better term—"impersonal awareness," yields another observation, another "dot." Once that begins to happen, David, it is just a matter of connecting the dots.

Does that help?

(Edited 17 hours later.)

David joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 6 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Grace, I dont't know if/what I get or 'who' is supposed to get it. Usually I am just struggling to form sentences that on second reading may still sound kind of fuzzy. As you say, this subject is difficult to discuss with all these sometimes confusing esoteric concepts and without a point of reference ('I', 'me', 'you'). Dr. Robert certainly gets it and it must be easier for him to write this stuff down. What he writes seems to resonate with me (not sure why) and it seems to resonate with you too. It helps me to put it in words what I experience or think I understand and see if others can share that. 'Awakening', 'enlightment', 'ego' or 'whatever' are just words that more often than not are misleading without a generally accepted definition. Yes, silent knowing is something I can relate to and so is energy exchange between people. I think the doc is definitely onto something; he's not imagining things.

Dr. Robert, thanks again for clarification and trying to generalize the complexity for the folks out here. There are new insights in every attempt to do so. By form I mean any physical or mental object that 'ego' can latch onto, including the stories. Who is the chooser of thoughts that seem to appear out of nowhere? Ok, ego is definitely irrational and wants to take credit, but there is something directing a thought to make it rational (or isn't there?). Not sure where I am with this but I feel your insights are helpful in some way and I appreciate it. A shot in the dark may go a long way, one never knows. My background is in science, I do not follow gurus, read some books, and try to stay away from believing in doctrinal teachings. It is an intriguing journey with surprises around every corner. Releasing everything from my clinging means stopping judging and attachments to forms. Life simply happens without a doer, but how can anyone make such a claim? Can something come out of nothing? How did our gene sequence come about? A blind chance? I don't mean to suggest any metaphysical influence, but how about the little green men ;P

When you write: "That is what residing in silence and emptiness is like for me now. I really cannot not do it, even if I wanted to.", that is inspiring. No effort, I get it.

The word 'knack' actually came from Harding. I enjoy his writing; he has a creative way about him that strikes a cord with me because it is plain and to the point, a bit like yours is. Preparing the ground for the knack is where I'm at... remember the feeling 'I AM'. A series of mini-shifts is perhaps what I call insights. No big bang.

Yes, it certainly helps a lot, every 'dot' has a potential.

Please excuse this dog's breakfast of a response.

BTW, my computer decided (its own free will entirely) to take a vacation and took the browser cookies with it.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

David—
After consideration, I did some rewriting of my last reply, so you will want to take another look. Finding words for these experiences is always a challenge, and never fully accuratea finger pointing at the moon at best. I imagine that any words I do manage put together have resonance for you because they are coming from my actual experience—not from some traditional source or instruction book. When I write or speak about these matters, it is almost as if I am simply looking at a familiar landscape and just describing it. I also have no use for doctrine, and have always taken a more or less scientific attitude towards discovery. Occam's razor, etc. So perhaps that also resonates. In other words, I base my words about this aspect of human life on what I personally can verify with at least a lot of skepticism about any beliefs of my own that may dirty up the process. Of course, that is not evidence for you—not scientific evidence anyway—but I have no intention of proving anything (and nothing can be proven about thisyou either get it or you don't) but merely pointing.

Now you ask, "How can anyone claim that life simply happens without a doer? Can something come out of nothing? How did our gene sequence come about? A blind chance?" On the gene sequence question, I would suggest taking a look at Richard Dawkin's book, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design. He will do much better for you on this matter than I ever could, and reading this may produce some of those "dot" happenings. One never knows, but having preconceived notions shaken "couldn't hurt."

On your other question: Can something come out of nothing? In a way, yes. We call the seeming emptiness in which everything arises "empty" or "nothing," not because it really is "nothing," but because it is beyond the level of something/nothing which is materialistic and dualistic. It is, in other words, non-dualistic, and beyond all conception. It is not really nothing, but more accurately (although no real accuracy is possible in attempting to describe or even evoke the indescribable) it is not nothing and also not something. These are just words. The fact is that no one"enlightened" or notcan imagine that, any more than a fish can imagine the universe--less even.

The first moment of the big bang is also inconceivable, even mathematically, so that is also, "something from nothing," but in science speak. After all, how does hanging a name on something explain anything? The math begins some tiny increment of time after the big bang because that initial moment cannot be understood or imagined. I mention the big bang because it once helped me to imagine that all of THIS began with that bang—just before it, actually--and all of THIS, including oneself, is simply flying "outward" from that initial explosion—no doer there, is there?

I would not equate insight with mini-shift. Insight is usually still on the level of thought. What I mean by mini-shift is a brief cessation of thought during which what I am prior to thought glimmers for a moment, if I can put it that way, in silence.

(Edited 14 hours later.)

Grace joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 7 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert, Why is it that some people cannot understand awakening? Is it because they never experienced it? Also, do you think awakening is triggered by something such as a connection with another person or an event?

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 12 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

No one can understand awakening, and no one can explain it. It happens when it happens.

(Edited 3 hours later.)

David joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert, thank you for the response. Yes, the simplest possible explanation of natural phenomena resonates with 'me'. Not sure if I would be looking for an empirical evidence of awakening, although I'm sure some have tried. Funny you should mention Dawkins because the other day someone coincidentally brought up his name. I've read the Blind Watchmaker in university and it is thought provoking and often discussed, although a quite extreme extension of natural selection. For me Darwin is still the man and his theory has help up to scrutiny. This is probably off-topic so please feel free to remove it.

There is one question regarding what you said in the previous post: "what would make sense to one person, in one condition, will make no sense at all to someone else in a different condition". Perhaps it is just my misinterpretation, but do you actually view "seeking" as a condition in your line of work? I guess it would depend on the goal or object of that seeking but I could see why you may be inclined to do so. Still, isn't the desire to know the truth a sane pursuit and part of the human condition?

I have no reason to think there is no intelligent life out there, whether it is intelligent in a way that we can comprehend, and we don't need to attach any labels to it. Astronomers are saying the Universe is expanding; perhaps this has to do with an expanding consciousness. Who knows, but it is fascinating nevertheless.

Maybe it is just the ego again, but something that just 'happens' still indicates some doing somewhere, even if it is an energy signature. Don't get me wrong, I am quite content with the mystery of life being just that--a total mystery. Knowing all must be very dry. Why the need to have an explanation for everything? We can enjoy the beauty of nature just as it is without dissecting and studying it under a microscope.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 27 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You are welcome, David.

I mentioned Dawkins because whatever you think of his conclusions, he certainly illustrates how and why evolution has little or nothing to do with blind chance.

I was not using the word "condition" to indicate anything pathological, although I do see a kind of rough parallel between my work in psychotherapy and my work as afor want of a better term"spiritual teacher." By condition I simply mean where ones thoughts normally reside--what part of the ballpark, that is.

The desire to know the truth is a rare condition in my experience. Most people I have known do not want any truth at all, but to hold on to whatever beliefs give them what they imagine is "comfort," allow them to keep exploiting others, etc.

If you personally desire to see things as they really are, that may very well happen. Without that desire, we really are talking about blind chance. The first step is to completely drop all opinions and views. I mean all. Stop naming, stop judging, just stop. Now how many people do you suppose really care to take even that step?

Let me know how it is going for you, and be well,
RS

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 26 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

People learn different things at different times. There is no "right path" to the truth. Just my opinion.

o_0 replied with this 6.3 years ago, 7 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> If you personally desire to see things as they really are, that may very well happen. Without that desire, we really are talking about blind chance. The first step is to completely drop all opinions and views. I mean all. Stop naming, stop judging, just stop.

I had an experience of no labeling and pure awareness a few hours ago by smoking loads f ganja.

As soon as the high began i noticed that the illusion of free will was beginning to diminish, my body seemed to be moving by itself all the time, and ego thoughts rarely arisen if ever.

Towards the end of the trip the illusion of free will was so thin i started experiencing bare awareness by just letting go a bit...

During this there was no time, no naming of things no judging, labeling,recognizing, no nothing, not an I either...it was just being, with no interpretation or questions about it...no need to...just peace and being. Silence was peaceful too..

The peace also seemed familiar, a bit like the times you loose yourself driving or doing nothing, but also something deeper, perhaps as if as a child there where times of being like this or something.

Of course this only lasted a second or 2, as soon as blinking was needed or any other reference to the mind identification happened i would be instantly 'unawakened'.

Even the thought of dead would seem peaceful on that state, the...innocence/nature of some sort of nothing but a screen with everything was not afraid of it. There is no fear there.

But i really did enjoy doing this as many times as i could before the high went down.

I think it was a very educative experience, there was a state of low or no mind all the time...

Still I doubt smoking pot all the time is the way.

I've been trying to bring awareness to the present time (as well as moving it around the body), it helps to not allow the ego to operate or to 'talk' but there is still resistance of letting go fully of 'I am the doer'

Does this sound like a viable way of reaching the goal Dr Robert? (at least to take steps forward)

(Edited 7 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes, Jennifer. I totally agree.

Yes, o_O--

Your account sounds a lot like it. Let's call that a "dot." Drugs have helped many people to explore spaces different from their normal, everyday consciousness. And this is nothing new. Ganja was part of an entire branch of Hindu spiritual practice--the Shaivites.

Perhaps getting stoned sometimes and using that space to try to let go of fixed points of view can open a few doors, but smoking ganja all the time is definitely not the way. The value of a plant experience like ganja or psilocybin mushrooms is a kind of psychic shockan abrupt change in point of viewwhich can open doors. But when using substances becomes routine, the shock value disappears. Experiences, such as the one you had can help to show that there is more than one floor in the hotel, but awakening is part of normal, un-stoned life, and really needs to be found to occur on that level, because that is the level on which we actually live.

The resistance to letting go of "I am the doer" is the crux of this seemingly paradoxical dilemma, because, if there is no doer, who would be "doing" the letting go? Everything else in life, we imagine we do. I see, I talk, I think, I make my fingernails grow (Oh, wait a minute, I guess I don't really make my fingernails grow. Hmm, maybe I am not really "doing" those other things either.)

Breathing seems to be the borderline actionit can be either consciously controlled, or can happen without conscious attentionwhich is why bare, non-controlling, non-judgmental awareness of breath is so often suggested as a meditation practice, and, as those things go, it ain't a bad one. In fact, the practice itself is lovely, or can be anyway. But any idea of arriving someplace "else"impossible for anyoneor achieving something as a "result" of "doing" the practice brings "I the doer" into existence gainsaying the loveliness just as it is manifesting.

Well, once there is an effect, then there must be a cause of it, and "I" am that. That is the logic.

The awakened view sees things differently. Everything in life like breathing: There is no trying to do anything. As long as this body lives, there will be action, willy-nilly, and it will be "the best I can do." This is just a metaphorcomparing breathing to living, I meanand it is not exact. Nevertheless, breathing and living are interdependent, so if breathing works best when "I" stay out of it, perhaps living does too.

(Edited 10 hours later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 27 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hey Doc, I liked the part you wrote up there about the "person" not being there when they are in the right place or whatever it was you said. It was simple and straightforward. Why did you edit it out?

Sifter joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 34 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

>
> The awakened one experiences everything in life like breathing: "I don't have to try to do anything. It just happens by itself. This is just a metaphor, and it is not exact.

Ok, but while practicing this, how do you *not* let the ego take over this point of view for the ego's own nefarious purposes? Like, I just did something really dumb, and then I read your post, and went 'well, ok, so it was just something that happened, not something that *I did*. Don't worry about it.' And I can see how that perspective could get quite *convenient*...

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 10 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I took it out because I began to think it would be misunderstood. If you got it, great.

dr-robert double-posted this 6.3 years ago, 2 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes, Sifter, but that sarcastic idea of "convenient" is from the point of view of ego which continues to imagine gain and loss, or praise and blame. All of that is what disappears when awake.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 9 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

actor vs reactor? I don't know how to be the actor anymore because I am to busy reacting. Is this anywhere close to the same thing or is it still to elementary?

(Edited 1 minute later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 24 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Your question is not too elementary. It is a good question.

No, it is not the same thing. The awakened view sees the actor and the reactor both as illusions which arise due to mis-identification of "myself" as the body and its autobiography. The real "myself" is neither an actor nor a reactor, and it has no autobiography--no "story I tell myself." It is pure awareness prior to story, thought, gain and loss, good and bad, etc.

That bare awareness, prior to "my story," is always there. When you notice it, you are awake. Usually ego will rush right in and claim it, dispute it, or begin to tell some story about it, but in the brief space before that happensin the silence before the commentaryyou are awake. Look for that moment, and throw away the story, Jennifer. This is called separating the wheat from the chaff.

(Edited 8 hours later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 10 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

If I don't exist then what does? That sounds more like non-awareness. That last part you added.. wouldn't that be the actor without the reactor. The actor doesn't have to think... but I guess they do actually have to have a place in the story... To be honest it doesn't matter. That got me a step closer to where I used to be and I'll leave good enough alone.

(Edited 49 minutes later.)

Sifter replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Yes, Sifter, but that sarcastic idea of "convenient" is from the point of view of ego which continues to imagine gain and loss, or praise and blame. All of that is what disappears when awake.

I felt like crying on reading that. And then I thought - doesn't that mean everything disappears? And there's nothing to connect with, to love with, and so on.

How can love be real if none of the other illusions are real? Do you see *tiers* of experience or something?

Sorry, this is probably sending you round a track you've been round a thousand times. :( It's very difficult in this medium.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 4 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

This is love. Love is the only thing that is real. All the rest is not. And love has nothing to do with need, pleasure, jealousy, sex, gain or loss, win or lose, good or bad, etc. All that ego-trip stuff has nothing to do with love, but just steals the name--takes it in vain, I mean.

When we awaken from that dreamthe dream of becoming and doingthen, for the very first time in our lives, we see what love really is. Then, we are free to love.

No problem about going around the track again. What else do I have to do? (and, someone did it for me).

(Edited 55 minutes later.)

dr-robert double-posted this 6.3 years ago, 46 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Sifter--

I recall that you once sent a poem, here is one for you:

he who can hear love
can hear silence
he who can hear silence
can hear love

all the words of the world bow
and pay homage to silence's song
it is a strange song
hearing it and speaking it
are the same song

~ Kabir

dr-robert triple-posted this 6.3 years ago, 5 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Jennifer-- I just edited the post to which you replied, so give it another look, and tell me what you see in it.

R.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 19 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I don't see any change.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 13 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

OK. It wasn't a big change, but I wanted to check. Anyway, what is your question?

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 4 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Oh, I don't have another one for over here yet. I think we are basically saying the same thing. If not then I have no clue.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 20 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I did some rewriting on my reply to you, so here is the new version:

Yes, o_O--

Your account sounds a lot like it. Let's call that a "dot." Drugs have helped many people to explore spaces different from their normal, everyday consciousness. And this is nothing new. Ganja was part of an entire branch of Hindu spiritual practice--the Shaivites.

Perhaps getting stoned sometimes and using that space to try to let go of fixed points of view can open a few doors, but smoking ganja all the time is definitely not the way. The value of a plant experience like ganja or psilocybin mushrooms is a kind of psychic shockan abrupt change in point of viewwhich can open doors. But when using substances becomes routine, the shock value disappears. Experiences, such as the one you had can help to show that there is more than one floor in the hotel, but awakening is part of normal, un-stoned life, and really needs to be found to occur on that level, because that is the level on which we actually live.

The resistance to letting go of "I am the doer" is the crux of this seemingly paradoxical dilemma, because, if there is no doer, who would be "doing" the letting go? So, trying to let go is not the way. Everything else in life, we imagine we do. I see, I talk, I think, I make my fingernails grow (Oh, wait a minute, I guess I don't really make my fingernails grow. Hmm, if I am "making" thinking, or "doing" thinking, I ought to be able to stop doing it when I want to, and I ought to be able to think about whatever "I" want to think about. Wow! Perhaps "I" am not really thinking at all, but thoughts just arise. Hmm, if "I, the doer" am not really thinking, maybe "I" am not really "doing" all those other things either.)

Breathing seems to be the borderline actionit can be either consciously controlled, or can happen without conscious attentionwhich is why simple, non-striving, non-judgmental awareness of breathjust let it beis so often suggested as a meditation practice, and, as those things go, it ain't a bad one. In fact, the practice itself is lovely, or can be anyway. But any idea of arriving someplace "else"Impossible for anyone. There is no someplace elseor achieving something as a "result" of "doing" the practice brings "I the doer" into existence, immediately gainsaying the loveliness just as it manifests.

Well, once there is an effect, then there must be a cause of it, and "I" am that. That is the backwards logic.

The awakened view sees things differently. Everything in life like breathing: There is no trying to do anything. As long as this body lives, there will be action, willy-nilly, and it will be "the best I can do." This is just a metaphorcomparing breathing to living, I meanand it is not exact. Nevertheless, breathing and living are interdependent, so if breathing works best when "I" stay out of it, perhaps living does too.

(Edited 54 minutes later.)

o_0 replied with this 6.3 years ago, 3 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Thank you Dr Robert this exactly what I needed...

Up to this point I've been trying to analyze and understand all this awakening thingy...as soon as i started reading it on this forum I found it to be very interesting and it just sounded true, I myself have experienced no free will illusion and other things like the ganja one i described, as well as an anorexia episode that are even more supporting to the theory...who is typing this?

But as 'I' went on understanding things and trying to make them part of my life i didn't notice the basic denial problem...there is no 'I' and no one has been doing any of this. I can understand it but to grasp it is an endless paradox, it's not possible and even tho my emotions are blunted i do sense a bit of fear and sadness over this...sadness because i can't awaken, and fear of non existence...

Now i understand the point of term awakening...the whole thing is an illusion...

My mind throws out stupid solutions like 'Let's try to think that i don't exist'

It's like a computer virus, a piece of code designed to think it exists and does things but not only it does nothing, it's not even aware of itself.

I guess the only thing that can be done is letting go of attempting to let go. No matter what happens, there is understanding to some point of how things work and how they don't. Abiding the fact that there is no way to awaken because there is no doer, and the desire to do so somewhat hardens the does illusion of a doer is the only option left. However the desire itself cannot be denied so it must be accepted too right?

Maybe i can still meditate at times (seems to help with the blunted emotions as well as keeping no-mind state), i can apply the live on the now thing as well as read a thing or two, but there is no trying because it all happens by itself.

Surrender to it, accept it. It might one day just happen?

I find the fact that 'i' am denying the whole point sad-funny.

Maybe reading and reviewing everything again with this new awareness of denial will somewhat help? Or like you said attempting to remove all concepts, opinions, views and all that...would that loosen the grip of the ego or would that turn my ego into an ego that 'thinks and tries to think' that it has no grip over the other me?

This is weird lol

Btw as Sifter said, thanks for the patience with this all, hopefully one day more people will awaken and we'll be able to do something big for the planet...

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

o_0 double-posted this 6.3 years ago, 23 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

What happens if 'you' just 'try' to surrender to anything? Positions, beliefs, positions, old resentments with people?

What happens to the ego? It starts to define itself as a forgiver or is it actually possible for it to loose strength with things that happen? Or is this jus tthe same paradox o_O?

EDIT-I feel...trolled...it's awesome to see how it's all a bit obvious, the awakening 'I' a it's an illusion within an 'I' illusion. And yet it there is no way of an illusion to realize it's an illusion even tho part of the illusion consist in that.
It's as if awakened people where trying to put in words something that is painfully obvious to them lol
It's all hilarious this guy (Eckhart Tolle)cannot stop hold the laughter at how ridiculous the entire thing is, even tho he tries to understand us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdgO4UDrwm8

In conclusion it's a search to be someone done by no one, who can't be anything. I feel like crying but my body won't stop laughing about it o_O

lol

It has to happen by itself pretty much |: Like the way some guy Osho said, it's pretty much an accident or something o_0

(Edited 6 hours later.)

Sifter replied with this 6.3 years ago, 12 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

Thank you, Dr Robert. Thank you doesn't really say it, but for now, there it is.

When I first read the poem I thought I got it, except the last couple of lines, and maybe the last couple of lines weren't too important. Then I spent a bit more time with them and got a glimpse of how important they are.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

The apparent paradox is not really a paradox, but only seems to be one from the point of view of the ego which cannot imagine not striving, seeking, avoiding, etc.

Ego exists within the illusion of timeyesterday, today, tomorrowand progress, so, for ego, awakening seems to be just another "thing" or "state" to be sought, studied, or accomplished in the imagined future. But awakening is always only in the present and nowhere else. This is because awakening is not really a name for "doing" something, but rather for stopping something--the mis-identification of "myself" as a body and the body's autobiography. As soon as that mis-identification is seen to be illusion, one is awake.

Since one already is "awakened," but, caught up in the mis-identification, simply fails to notice it, there can be no "how" to awaken. After all, how can you go from here to here? Nevertheless, if you do not try at all, there is no difference between you and a rock. Therefore, I suggest two practices to be carried out in a spirit of "non-trying trying":

1. As often as possible say to yourself, "I Am," meaning I exist prior to any fixed identity. I am what I always have been--not thought, not body, not history, but pure awareness. It was here when I was a child, and it is still here, unchanged.

2. Just allow yourself to be quiet internally. You don't have to sit in an ashram. You can be quiet in the middle of Grand Central Station. Stop clinging to habitual viewpoints, opinions, judgments, desires, likes and dislikes, hopes and fears. Just let all of that noise recede into the distance, and then see how empty and formless "me" is. When you actually see that, you are awake.

James replied with this 6.3 years ago, 17 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I've been down the last few days. Reading and listening to the interviews, go back to Nisargadatta, trying the catch the I AM sense. The trying without trying, the nothing and everything staying the same, the way not applying effort is just another seeking strategy I've learnt and thus more effort, a change of strategy in the same trap of seeking (The other Dr. Robert talked about this in the interview I think).

I find myself questioning the value of awakening. I have to remind myself what, exactly, it is that I would like to let go of, and question my sincerity. Am I really that fascinated in myself, is this just another fad I'll go through, another form of my good old friend escapism?

Then last night, watching 'A Single Man' with a friend and a few beers, I get this closing narration (which doesn't spoil anything if you haven't seen it)

"A few times in my life I've had moments of absolute clarity, when for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be"

Beautiful. This forum has even infected my movie collection. Exactly what I needed to hear, when I needed it.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 10 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

"Now, housebuilder, I have found you out. You will not build me a house again. All your rafters are broken, your ridge-pole shattered. My mind is free from active thought, and has made an end of craving."

Buddha (563 - 483 BC)

o_0 replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> "Now, housebuilder, I have found you out. You will not build me a house again. All your rafters are broken, your ridge-pole shattered. My mind is free from active thought, and has made an end of craving."

Exactly...
Like James said, all my life I've been obsessed with something new to become. At times this goal was amazingly stupid, like telekinetic powers or chiseled abs. I even believed conspiracy theories a bit, i guess an invasion of CIA Antichrist aliens would change my life somewhat.

This fads come and go, and they never do anything but waste or nearly kill me (the abs one ended in anorexia lol).

I was thinking about this tonight and this would be the difference...the whole point of awakening would be realizing that I am what I am and there would be no more ridiculous needs to turn into something else.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

Thanks Dr Robert!

Yeah I've been noticing things like this. When you allow you mind to go on making up stories or to be talking all the time the ego pretty much takes over. But if you just become silent and aware the illusion seems even poorly designed, since movements and thoughts happen before the ego claims them, or they are not claimed until 'you' notice them. When it's something like moving your fingers randomly the illusion really gets busted, the ego is not even aware of the entire aspect of the movement.

Also when i loose myself on video games, as soon as i loose focus (not sure if i loose focus or if my ego tries to remind 'me' of 'my' existence, but theres a loss of focus claimed by the ego) there is an egotistic thought or message from some other situation in which my ego is involved (an crush in this case).

So the realization of the existence of the illusion is still coming by itself, but yet doesn't seem to go above knowledge. But simply by identifying with pure awareness and by acknowledging the current sense of self to be an illusion, the unawakened state should stop randomly (at any time)?

But how to be certain that the ideas can move on and that there are no more key points to revise? Or how to be sure that awakening can carry on by itself with he non=trying trying and there is nothing missing?
Since the awakened state cannot be fully understood or described, must the realizations (and information to make them)simply come by chance since we don't know exactly what to expect?

This kinda breaks the 'I am what i already am' thing tho -_-

(Edited 57 minutes later.)

Dragontongue replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Advaita Vedanta makes my head hurt, but I think I get the idea. Just because this world is not real in the truest sense doesn't mean it isn't real at all. Kind of confusing, but okay. The answer to my itching question would seem to be that yes, awareness existed before the body I call mine was born. I still don't really get why 'my' awareness is only aware of things connected with this body. I gather that apparent lack of full awareness is an illusion of some kind? But I still don't see why there aren't more psychics out there if all you have to do is surpass the illusion that awareness is limited to one area.

David joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 15 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Emptiness finally calculated? Grigori Perelman, a brilliant but seclusive Russian mathematician, has finally solved the Poincare conjecture, and refused the prize money! (see http://english.pravda.ru/science/tech/28-04-2011/117727-Grigori_Perelman-0/)

Here's the quote of interest:

"I've learned to compute hollowness. Me and my colleagues are studying the mechanisms that fill social and economic hollowness. Hollowness is everywhere, it can be computed, and this opens large opportunities. I know how to control the Universe. Why would I run after a million, tell me?"

The implications are immense.

David double-posted this 6.3 years ago, 28 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> I find myself questioning the value of awakening. I have to remind myself what, exactly, it is that I would like to let go of, and question my sincerity. Am I really that fascinated in myself, is this just another fad I'll go through, another form of my good old friend escapism?

There are probably many who feel that way because of the confusion created by often misleading concepts and the fact that direct experience is elusive, unless the presence of an 'awakened' person is maintained for some time. In that case, all this content becomes just additional 'food for thought', and potentially obsessive.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 52 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> I still don't really get why 'my' awareness is only aware of things connected with this body.

All this is difficult ground, DT. And words never quite get there, but I will give it a shot.

The sense of I AM begins soon after birth. That sense needs a brain as its basis. In other words, I AM is a feeling which accompanies physical existence, and when the body dies, so does I AM. So your feeling that I AMness is connected with the body, and feels centered on it, is not wrong.

I think some of the headache here comes from confusing what I am calling "awareness" with consciousness, which is a different matter. Sometimes those two words are used interchangeably, but I am not using them that way.

The objects of this world, including your own body, thoughts, material objects, other people, etc., cannot be known directly, but only by means of consciousness, which is a property of the brain and the rest of the nervous system. A living being with a different nervous system lives in a different world. In other words, there is no "the world," but only countless interpretations of "reality" which arise within the nervous systems of countless beings. By means of habit and consensus, human beings have come to some general agreement about "the world," but that is mostly on the level of concepts, not "reality," which can never be known directly, but only as I say as an interpretation of sense input.

What I am calling "awareness" is not consciousness, but the "field" or "emptiness" or "source"words fail completely at this levelin which all of this arises body, nervous system, consciousness, photons, you name it. And that field exists prior to consciousness.

Awakening, in the sense that I use that word, is the experience of intuiting that field of awareness. One begins with the feeling I AM, which is obvious and cannot be denied. Then the I AMness intuits the field in which it arises, and understands that that field is always there no matter what "I" think or do.

Does this help the headache?

(Edited 2 hours later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> The sense of I AM begins soon after birth. That sense needs a brain as its basis. In other words, I AM is a feeling which accompanies physical existence, and when the body dies, so does I AM. So your feeling that I AMness is connected with the body, and feels centered on it, is not wrong.

"I AM" being ego right? Thats the part telling the story. If so then what that would imply is just freaky. I've never thought about it that way before. Then again, knowing me, you could be saying something completely different.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 9 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

No I AM is not ego, but the overall sense of existence which is always there prior to any self-definition, any experience, any mood, any thought, any story. Whatever story is being told will be arising within that I AMness. So the I AMness is not the story, but that which is aware of the story and everything else, including ego. That sense is there whether it is noticed or not. Noticing it is the stepping stone towards finding out what I really am, which is certainly not ego.

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 15 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well, then that's not quite so freaky. When ya die everything dies with you. I think I liked freaky better...

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 10 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, when the body dies, there is no more I AM. Then all that remains is what I really am.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 13 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

What would that be? I guess that would be..

"What I am calling "awareness" is not consciousness, but the "field" or "emptiness" or "source"—words fail completely at this level—in which all of this arises body, nervous system, consciousness, photons, you name it. And that field exists prior to consciousness."?

So it's not the "I AM" you are trying to stay with, operate from, etc? But this ^ ? I'm probably confusing the crap out of all this. I don't see that ^ as being a part of me but something outside of me. Maybe that's why you call it field... But you say it is also a part of you?

(Edited 35 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 35 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes. This cannot be understood by the intellect.

James replied with this 6.3 years ago, 12 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Damn right, just more to think about, when thought has taken you about as far as it's going to. But it's hard to kick the habit, or the idea that you can use thought to dissect thought (you can, but only so deep).

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 6 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

So, it's basically "This is what I am", "I am", and "Be"?

(Edited 4 minutes later.)

o_0 replied with this 6.3 years ago, 32 seconds later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Like an awareness but without any input of any form that is just part of the universe?

James replied with this 6.3 years ago, 14 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

The universe exists within awareness. It's not 'an' awareness, but awareness. There is only one, not belonging to anyone or anything, or so the Dr. has written. A body with a living nervous system allows awareness to...create? the I AM and consciousness. The latter two die with the body. Awareness is.

At least that's my understanding of all I've read here. Not that I understand it, can honestly say I 'believe' it, but that's the idea I think

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, James.

The "all," if I can call it that, becomes translated or converted into "I AM" within a human nervous system. To see this from another angle (and, as I must point out again, words cannot do justice to these matters which exist prior to words--but we all love words, don't we?), the human nervous system is evolved enough to allow questioning about "deeper" matters, including "who am I?". My cat is here and alive as much as I am, but I doubt she wonders about any of this. Nevertheless, she exists as much as I do. Who can doubt that?

The point here is that human consciousness, while "real" enough, is not the standard or measure of anything. To think that it is some kind of standard or definition of anything is absurd, egocentric, and "speciesist." There is a colony of mites living in your eyelashes at this very moment, and their existence is as "real" as yours.

The sense, I AM, is a human experience. Butobviously, at least I hope this is obvioussomething exists prior to human experience. In other words, when "you" die, and your "I AMness" is no more, the universe will still be here. Only your version of it will have died, not the whole thing, which will continue being exactly what it is and always has been.

Try to understand this, including the first sentence. If you can, you may be able to see into this entire matter, and your questions so far may be seen to have been rather empty after all.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Jan Barger joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Do you believe in some kind of unaware or rather like an extetension to personal life in possible afterlive? ( http://www.nderf.org/NDERF_NDEs.htm ) Do you believe to existence of another dimmensions? ( http://teamikaria.com/hddb/classic/ ). Thanks for answers and your time.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 4 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Why do you ask?

Jan Barger replied with this 6.3 years ago, 42 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Because i dont have time to check all this forum for right answer. In your nonduality interview i found note to Gurdief. And he was near Ouspensky somewere when i studied dimensionality. I just want to know if this is also one of your interest, nothing more.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 24 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I have no interest in "later," and I know nothing about other dimensions except as a mathematical supposition.

James replied with this 6.3 years ago, 25 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

As always, I'm grateful for the reply.

Not trying to be dense, but the first sentence of your post, the first sentence of the the last paragraph of your post, or somewhere else?

Jan Barger joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 25 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Sorry it this concept bother you, but i found that in a lot of people stories from NDE are evident signs of higher dimensions experience ( one example 360 degree vision - http://www.google.com/#hl=sk&biw=1006&bih=872&q=360++site:nderf.org&aq=f&aqi=&aql=f&oq=&fp=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&cad=b )

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
The "all," if I can call it that, becomes translated or converted into "I AM" within a human nervous system.

This is a key to the entire matter.

dr-robert double-posted this 6.3 years ago, 1 minute later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes, people report all kinds of things. I neither believe nor doubt. I simply have no interest.

David joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Only as a sidenote since this was brought up, perhaps the relevant part here is that the hypothetical fourth dimension can only be intuited by beings in three-dimensional space. Human eye can only see two dimensions and use projection (perspective) for the third, while a hypothetical four-dimensional being would see all sides of a box and a solid object inside the box--not bad at all (superpowers?!).

People have historically reported and studied various altered states of consciousness (ASC)-- perceptory, physical, psychological and cognitive changes that can happen as a result of some kind of deprivation (oxygen, sleep, sensory, etc.), an infection, use of hallucinogens (plants, mushrooms, psychedelics like LSD), or even extended meditation and yoga practice. There has been a posting here regarding an experience with Ganja, and Dr. Robert has mentioned it as well. NDE may perhaps belong to this category. I don't know if there can be any relationship between ASC and 'awakening', although some have probably mistaken one for the other.

Jan Barger replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Proces of awakening is something related to enlightement. And if you enlight scratchogram, you will always get what is writen to it ... if patterns on it are writen according to some higher principles, you will get higher dimensional pictures. The same technique work for human knowledge, awarenes and all kind of information storage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUy8lELWhJg

David replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> The "all," if I can call it that, becomes translated or converted into "I AM" within a human nervous system. To see this from another angle (and, as I must point out again, words cannot do justice to these matters which exist prior to words--but we all love words, don't we?), the human nervous system is evolved enough to allow questioning about "deeper" matters, including "who am I?". My cat is here and alive as much as I am, but I doubt she wonders about any of this. Nevertheless, she exists as much as I do. Who can doubt that?

Dr. Robert, this is a good way of putting it, though someone may perhaps still not quite see the distinction between "I AM" and the 'I'-thought of the ego. If the feeling "I AM" (I exist) is viewed as part of objective reality (independent of the mind), then the 'I' of the ego ('my' body, sense perceptions, life story, etc.) could be viewed as part of one's subjective reality--existing to the extent that it is perceived. In the same way, one could view awareness vs. human consciousness. The question is how to bridge the subjectivity/objectivity divide, realizing the apparent dualism, if perception is limited to the former. You have mentioned intuition and that the human nervous system is evolved enough to question "who am I?". One definition of intuition is: "thoughts and preferences that come to mind quickly and without much reflection, beyond logical reasoning, and appear as flashes of illumination", often implied in artistic inspiration, for example. Carl Jung's definition: "Intuition (is) perception via the unconscious". One could, therefore, intuit the stillness out of which everything arises.

Someone has said that we are life (Universe) experiencing itself--we are the dance, life is the dancer. Also, animals exist below thought, while humans are lost in thought with the potential to evolve above thought. I agree that any living being's existence is as "real" as ours, and suggesting otherwise would be arrogant, and so would be a belief that once we expire ("I AM" no more), all else will end.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hello, David--

I appreciate your interest in this, and your questions are good ones.

> If the feeling "I AM" (I exist) is viewed as part of objective reality (independent of the mind), then the 'I' of the ego ('my' body, sense perceptions, life story, etc.) could be viewed as part of one's subjective reality—existing to the extent that it is perceived.

This is not quite what I have been trying to indicate. The feeling "I AM" exists prior to thought, but not independent of mind. Mind (or consciousness) reflects the unknown substratum of "all of this," producing the sensation we feel as "I AM." In other words, I AM results from the conjunction of the field of emptiness or awareness (words fail) with a human nervous system. So without my body, my I AM is not there either. This paradox is one reason why ordinary egoic thought struggles unsuccessfully to grasp this situation: I AM is not ego, but since ego imagines that it "owns" the body, it cannot understand how I AM, being dependent upon body, can arise prior to ego. To put it bluntly, ego is an ass.

I often suggest focusing on "I AM" as a practice because that practice can move attention beyond egoic concerns and onto the stepping stone position from which one may be able to intuit the greater reality which I am calling "emptiness" or "awareness." Those are just words, but I use them to indicate the "field" in which everything we know and everything we don't know arises. And that field, being the substratum of mind, cannot be known by mind. This is why I use the word "intuit." I am trying to suggest that rational thought will never grasp any of this. (By the way, I do not think Jung, as brilliant as he was, really grasped any of this.).

I strongly recommend that you begin to practice this remembrance of I AM, and put less stress on trying to use reason, logic, and naming to figure this stuff out. It cannot ever be figured out, but you could spend a lifetime trying. If you use the same energy on remembrance of what is obvious, undeniable, and independent of thought (I AM, I exist, that cannot be denied), a breakthrough could happen at any moment. In fact, that's the way it does happen. A student of mine is writing about the breakthrough she experienced via this practice, and I will try to share that account with you when she has it done.

I cannot agree with you that "animals exist below thought." Higher animals other than human beings are believed to be able to think and probably to reason. (“The more we learn about elephants, the fainter the line we have drawn between man and other animals will become.”—Poole, 1997). This was unknown for a long time primarily due to foolish religious doctrine. Nowadays, however, some level of abstract mental ability in animals other than humans is generally accepted among scientists, if not yet among indoctrinated and egocentric lay people who continue to imagine "man" as the center of "God's plan," and the measure of all thingswhat nonsense. In fact, that species-centric view is deeply embedded as a general part of the human ego, which is why seeing it for what it ispure ignorance--is so important to this entire discussion. As an experienced animal trainer, I have no doubt that many kinds animals think, and perhaps even logically. Whether or not animals other than humans question their own existence in the way that humans sometimes do is problematical, of course, and not easily ascertained. I used eyelash mites as an example just to avoid that very problem.

I suggest an immediate move away from any style of thought which pictures human beings as occupying any kind of favorable position in a hierarchy.

(Edited 3 hours later.)

Anonymous Z-9 joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 27 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

'Awakening Never Ends'. Neither does this thread. I think there's a lesson in there somewhere.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 52 minutes later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, I have been thinking the same thing, and it seems right somehow.

Jan Barger replied with this 6.3 years ago, 4 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
"Someone has said that we are life (Universe) experiencing itself" - go and look for film SECRET from Rhonda Byrne http://www.facebook.com/thesecret

David joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 13 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert, thank you for the clarification and your endless patience. If anything else, this discussion has certainly been helpful for me in better noticing, or getting a different view of, the processes called the ‘ego’, and that in itself is valuable. Even though this topic of awakening is difficult to discuss directly using words, and I don’t know what the general expectations of this thread would be, there are many useful pointers and tips (and ‘between the lines’ insights). People have been bending their minds on this for a long while and will likely not stop until they actually wake up. Not sure who the quote about animals and thoughts came from, and I agree that we know very little about their life experience to judge it in any way.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 6 hours later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You are most welcome. No expectations. Everything happens in due time as it happens. Whatever "I" do is simply part of all that, and no one ever really does anything.

My point about animals is this: I have specific experience with them, so I am quite certain that the generalized picture of them is absurdly skewed in the species-centrist direction. Psychologists call this "compensation."

asdfsdasdfsda joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Lately my thought processes have been generally more abstract and i question them more and i realize why i think certain things and why i do certain things and i've been realizing a lot about life in general. I think i remembered when i was being born the other day too. Not physically born but when I started to develop me/my ego like I remember looking around at my old house and my dad saying hi to me but maybe it was just my abstract imagination. I'm startin to get the whole "free will doesn't exist" concept and shit and infinity and the present moment and all that shit. Idk with all this techonology around today there's more interesting sources of information that can be found all around and stuff and in my Jr English class my teacher always talks about abstract stuff that used to fly over my head but i'm starting to get it you know? iu'm starting to look at the big picture, find myself. it's kinda like my mind is blank a lot of the time and i'm just kind of an observer, learning about the world. i like this whole awakening thing. I think in a few years from now maybe i'll be mature enough to actually put some effort into college and figure out what i want to do and stuff. Life is sailing smoothly for me, and i thought i'd share all this because you guys are discussing awakening and i think i'm starting to "awaken" myself. best of wishes to all

Cassandra joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 4 weeks later, 3 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I'm reading a book called My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor. While experiencing a stroke the left hemisphere of Taylor's brain shut down and "my perception was released from its attachment to categorization and detail...my consciousness could embody the tranquility of my right mind. Swathed in an enfolding sense of liberation and transformation, the essence of my consciousness shifted into a state thar felt amazingly similar to my experience in Thetaville."

David replied with this 6.2 years ago, 1 week later, 4 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

There was a news piece on Ms. Taylor, a neuro-scientist from Harvard who studied her own stroke as it was happening and wrote about experiencing 'nirvana' as her left hemisphere went 'offline'. She completely lost the sense of who she was and had to re-learn how to speak, walk, read and write, etc. Her account of being at large, body without boundaries, disconnected from mind chatter, euphoria, and unusual visual sensations. Even as she watched the separate self with its story disappear, she knew she was still very much alive as the 'life force power of the Universe', living out of the consciousness in the right hemisphere.

It would seem she realized what she really was and also had some interesting experiences.

Dale joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 1 month later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi Dr Robert
VERY RECENTLY I've come to realize who "I am" or what "I am" and what Im experiencing. I'm almost certain I'm experiencing "Awakening" and Ive been waiting to just suddenly disappear or gain some sort of otherworldy powers such as teleportation to another realm or dimension. But my hopes seem dim and distant as if they can never come to fruition.

See when I discovered "awakening" for myself I WASN'T reading about it on the internet or seeing it in the movies, It kind of just happened whilst I was smoking the Ganja watching a movie, It was as if my whole perspective on reality changed and a huge weight drop from my shoulders and gave me the sensation as if I were about to float away(It was bliss I tell ya). Normally whilst "high" I let my mind run free and think as much as possible, but in an abstract way and completely outside the box to an extent which normal human minds would criticise me for thinking so abstract, so freely, so for myself, not as the robots following the 1 long line known as society. Just as they have been programmed to do so. I guess that could be a reason as to why I hate people, they are quick to criticise and judge and follow what society has programmed them to believe before seeing the universe through another perspective then deciding for themselves what really matters and what doesn't, and if they should ask questions about what is actually happening or what has happened. Take Adam and Eve for example(Remember, this is just an example and Im not trying to impose this Example on anyone to influence your thoughts, Think for yourselves people), Adam and Eve were the "first humans". Does that mean we are all related? But there was a snake and an apple. Yeah but are we all related some how? But the was an apple! If Adam and Eve were the first humans doesn't that make us all related? But there was a tree with "forbidden" apples growing from it and adam ate a forbidden apple. Yeah but are we all related some how? You see where Im going with this? We have been programmed not to ask questions, and even deeper, Not to ask questions how the universe works because it cant be put into words. But now I find myself asking, Do I really care? Do I even exist?

On another topic, but not unrelated, Whilst I read this thread, or even before I started reading it. It spoke to me as if I was talking to myself in the future(myself being you). Before I read this thread I typed into google what is awakening? As I was curious about it since I just discovered it. and for some reason I clicked on the link that took me to this page, which started off as "Hello Dr Robert", Robert is my first name, Thats where it got weird, but interesting. As a few days ago I asked to be contacted by myself in the future. As I read this thread last night my Ipod Doc started playing Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance, a song that stood out to me as I was listening to it for the first time in a few months yesterday. There was no Ipod plugged into the doc nor was it plugged into the wall, and it wasn't tuned into the radio either, which was another creepy thing that happened whilst reading this thread and no matter how hard I tried this morning I couldn't get the Ipod doc to play any music. As I continued reading it started describing me now, but also me in the future, as if i had stayed on the path Im on now with my beliefs and my studies 40-50 years later(Im not sure of your age since this is the only thing I know about you so far), But it Seems as if Nothing changed, I am still the same guy I am now in 40-50 years.

Jennifer replied with this 6 years ago, 21 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

So wait.. Dr Robert is supposed to be you in the future? How high are you right now? My image of you in 40-50 years is way different then yours I bet.
Read Genesis again. If you are going to take it literally at least get the facts straight. There are two stories of the creation. One that says humans were created and another that says Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden. After their son Cain killed his brother Abel Cain went out and found a wife from the other humans created elsewhere. So, no, we would not all be related from there. (Some people believe Cain is the serpents son) If you want to go into how we all might be related try Noah.

(Edited 16 minutes later.)

Dale replied with this 6 years ago, 19 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well i was pretty high when i thought of it. I did say the Adam and Eve thing was just an Example Just to show how Society is controlled. Also I havent read anything on Genesis. I probably should.

dr-robert replied with this 6 years ago, 12 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dale--

Your marijuana high has nothing at all to do with awakening to true nature. And the story of Adam and Eve is a fairy tale, not a history of the evolution of human beings. If you are at all interested in discovering true nature, I advise you to leave the pot alone, forget the Bible and all other books of fables, and learn to become aware of the silence and emptiness in which "myself" and all other thoughts and perceptions are arising and passing away again, over and over and over.

For those who have been following this thread with intelligence and seriousnessI mean those who read the interview with me, and took something useful away from itI invite you to check out the facebook group called Conversations With Avant-Garde Sages which has become a venue for discussions about these matters, and where I was invited to be an administrator.

Be well,
RS

Jennifer replied with this 6 years ago, 8 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Does that mean you're gonna be shutting this place down? By the way how do you forget something that was drilled into your head over and over and over? I know you were talking to Dale but I wanna know.

(Edited 9 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6 years ago, 29 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

No, Jen, I won't be shutting the Forum down. The facebook group is just that, a group. The Forum is where I can reply to direct questions about psychology, psychotherapy, consciousness, and awakening to true nature.

You can't forget anything, but you can see it for what it is, a form of programming which you did not choose and which does not serve your needs.

Be well.

Theresa joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 36 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

It's easy said than done, I don't agree being 'aware' of this makes it easier to release those ideals. In-fact having any personal beliefs outside of the pack of the lost. May lead some to isolation, isolation from the original teachers, family etc from others/the majority, we still have to function among the rest. There can be comfort in knowing it exist and being able to understand both without provoking indifference. I personally see your point but at the same time, I'm not sure of it's benefits to be influence any further by Teachers. I wish only to observe. If ego is self destructive and disruptive especially to others, it might be an emergency to switch over or switch back. If it's not, then you have a platform to help others in the language they understand. I don't know, I just don't see that there's enough time to care about this, when life is so short and has so many opportunities to feed the hungry, help the needy...Not just for yourself but even for the lost children/people who cannot understand this and some will never..I don't want to abandon them just because I know more. If there was a story and the moral was to jump in the helicopter and save only yourself and leave others to die. I would stay and help them even if I saw death coming my way also. Unfortunately I must be a worst case of clinging to identity because I see your way as another form of being superior to those who have less ability to understand any form of enlightenment.

Jennifer replied with this 6 years ago, 28 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You're a better person than me. My ass would be in the helicopter hoping they would be ok.

Theresa replied with this 6 years ago, 34 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well Jen, I grew up as a scapegoat child in a dominant Narcissist family, favoritism was excellent and I wasn't one of the golden children. I was too needy, soft and compassionate and to top it off I was expensive I developed a heart condition at age 7. So since I was so selfish to be so needy, my family nominated me honorable servant. It stuck with me, I guess!

Theresa double-posted this 6 years ago, 25 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I was poking fun at my childhood conditioning just so you know. Long story short, I lived in books, art, humor and took any chance they would allow me to do something good. Being ill a lot I got to spend time with sick people, I read to the elderly, won local awards for my art fighting injustice, and in high school I was a peer leader teaching kids about drugs, violence, sex etc. I'm still the black sheep, reject so I rely on my own judgement. I'm not arrogant but considering my background and the "who" I created. Unfortunately it feels like I earned it, I'm proud of my abilities/this self. This feels better, it feels better to me to accept limitations in myself and others. And yes I know this is incorrect thinking but it gives me more purpose than indulging into the unknown leaving others behind.

Shadesofgray joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 8 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

in my family there are several sayings were taught to always remember and live by. the 4 most important of them are listed below
1: Always have an anchor. this applies not only to seacraft but to our minds as well, we were encouraged to simply sit and watch and listen to the world around us and to retreat into our own minds when we wanted but that we should always be mindful to have something that would inevitably bring us back to the here and now. when i watch thunderstorms i smoke a cigarette and when that cigarette is done i stop. I know that if i didn't i would watch for hours regardless of the consequences. the cigarette is my anchor
2:Our place is last. we were taught to always put the well being of others before ourselves (within reason) because without the others we would have no reason to continue, no one to protect, and no drive to succeed.
3:The Mirror is Lying. Never take ANYTHING for face value, always take the time and make the effort to verify for yourself because if you don't the consequences could be far more dire than you realize
4:Are you swimming or are you watching?. Always be aware of whether your role is that of an active participant or an observer, If you cannot affect the outcome of a situation than there is no purpose in fighting the current and the thing to be done is not to flow downriver, but to exit and observe from the bank. If you can affect the outcome than what is your reason for not doing so and is it the Logical one.
I'm aware that some of these seem strange or downright silly when placed in this particular thread but stick with me for just a little while longer. the older members of my family have often spoken of "the moment" or the "eye" (as in eye of the storm) in reference to non-duality and believe that it is for others not of our bloodline to seek this gift as a way of life and to all of you striving for this i offer my greatest blessings but in my family were taught how to find this by our grandfather (always the grandfather) so that we can know what we are protecting for others and to also know that we CANNOT do so if we take that path ourselves. My family is military all the way back to the beginning of the bloodline (and its a long one) and it is the greatest honor in my family to watch from the ramparts and protect those that seek life in the Eye.
That being said, from what i understand i must pose a question: Is it REALLY what you want? To cast aside everything you were, are, and ever will be as simply a part of the much larger storm that is existence. above is posed a question by the good doctor: "Who am I?" and the answer in my family is this: "I am the Storm" what this means is 'i am the universe and everything in it for if i come to understand that i am simply a piece of a much larger whole, and that the piece and the whole are one, than I am the whole.'
I'm not entirely sure why i felt compelled to share this but i can say that i fight the current at every turn for the reason that it is my honor to try and affect the outcome of any situation for the better of all involved and although this reason is dualistic at its core its one that im proud to live my life by and whatever pain it causes me is an acceptable price.
So, is non-duality what you really want? because if it is something your actively seeking than your chances of finding it just dropped almost to zero. you've all experienced it, albeit briefly at one time or another. you just didn't recognize it for what it was and if i told you, you wouldn't believe me, you would call me a charlatan, a deceiver, or worse. i agree with Dr. Robert, it cannot be put into words, but odds are that at one point in your life, if only for a moment, you caught a glimpse. and odds are that someone has already tried to teach you, but you didn't recognize that either. so i urge you to try something so painfully simple that i find it odd that i may be instructing adults in a childs exercise. Relax your Eyes. stop looking for something specific and simply look. don't focus on the tree or the forest just look. Don't ignore your surroundings and try and focus on yourself or your thoughts or maintaining inner quiet, just stand there and BE. Don't try, just do.

Sermon and Wall'O'Text finished

(Edited 27 minutes later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6 years ago, 1 hour later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Does anyone have a choice whether they "be" or not? Everyone is "being". There's just a lot more to the story then just being. Who, what, when, where, why, and how.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Theresa replied with this 6 years ago, 1 hour later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I do have a weakness for the underdog or for what seem unfair to me. I'm allowing others to have their say, because I know how it feels when people try to rob that from you. I'm accepting them for whatever they want to project, it doesn't mean I identify with them or agree on their thoughts or belief system. However I like to listen, debate, compare ideas but I make my own assessment. I do everything that interest my creativity. I live among the rest but they don't define me. I spent my childhood in a tree somewhere reading books, observing nature, plotting adventures and writing stories, drawing, painting even making my family into cartoon characters in stories. LOL I lived in a tree with just Theresa, a pencil, a few pieces of paper and my imagination.

(Edited 1 hour later.)

Theresa double-posted this 6 years ago, 7 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks for listening

(Edited 1 hour later.)

David replied with this 6 years ago, 1 day later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr Robert, in your experience with awakening, have you encountered a situation where a diagnosis of depersonalization disorder (DPD) would be made. There is an interesting case study that you may be familiar with: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzanne_Segal

This is an excerpt from the wiki page:

"Segal's state of mind terrified her, and she sought advice from California's Buddhist community. Buddhism intentionally cultivates loss of ego and a sense of emptiness and oneness, and spiritual teachers tried to help Segal see her condition positively. Several even congratulated her: "This is a wonderful experience. It has to stay eternally with you. This is perfect freedom. You have become (moksha) of the realized sages," read one letter she received.

Twelve years after her initial break, Segal dramatically entered another phase of her experience, centered around a sense of unity of perception between her self and the world:

"In the midst of a particularly eventful week, I was driving north to meet some friends when I suddenly became aware that I was driving through myself. For years there had been no self at all, yet here on this road everything was myself, and I was driving through me to arrive where I already was. In essence, I was going nowhere because I was everywhere already. The infinite emptiness I knew myself to be was no apparent as the infinite substance of everything I saw."[4]

This sense of cognitive and spiritual oneness remained with Segal for two years, up through the publishing of Collisions in 1996."


How would a therapist who knows nothing about awakening approach such a case?

Anonymous Z-16 joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 21 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Interesting read, David.
Things like psychosis and depersonalization could explain quite a few religions and how their leaders or founders "realized" God or the right path or astral world or enlightenment or whatever else.
But then again, I'm religious myself.

(Edited 10 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6 years ago, 9 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks for this. All of this is difficult ground. There is depersonalization in the sense of psychosis, and then there is awakening to oneness, and they are not at all the same. A therapist who knew nothing about awakening to true nature probably would not do well at all with such a person as Segal, and might end up doing a lot of harm, including dosing her with drugs.

David, I would like to invite you, and anyone else with a serious interest in this kind of thing to join our new facebook group.

Be well,
RS

Anonymous Z-16 replied with this 6 years ago, 1 minute later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Interesting read, David.
> Things like psychosis and depersonalization could explain quite a few religions and how their leaders or founders "realized" God or the right path or astral world or enlightenment or whatever else.
> But then again, I'm religious myself.

Personally I've had an experience where I "realized" that everything's a joke. This was the peak of one of my extremely depressive phases when I found out that one of my only relatives who cared about me was dying and I got kicked out of my house the same day. I just smiled the whole day and laughed at pretty much everything. I didn't feel sad at all, it felt more like I was extremely dumb for having worried about stuff like that when our whole reality could have been a few baboons dancing around and making rules about which dance moves are okay and which are not and everyone was working so hard to do the right dancing moves. Hard to explain, right now I can't really even comprehend what I was thinking even though it seemed to make perfect sense then. I just remember thinking about baboons dancing.
Usually the first sign of things like that is when people have a hard time explaining their views to others clearly and articulately and they have to resort to vague descriptions and hints in hopes of the other person comprehending what they're talking about. I also had a friend like that, he started telling me to "heal" him by doing some stuff and listening to some music (mind you, I didn't even know this person in real life). When I asked him to explain what he's talking about there was always some vague description like "well it's like imagining a candle burning your hand but not really burning it". (Not what he said but it was always something similar). He just said he had some illness and he never really explained anything specific about what his problem was. He's currently on meds and is diagnosed with acute psychosis.

(Edited 17 minutes later.)

David replied with this 6 years ago, 15 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Personally I've had an experience where I "realized" that everything's a joke.

Anon Z-16, that's pretty close because everything really is a 'dream' of beginning and ending, a limited existence. Nisargadatta said that what is real never dies and what is unreal never lived. This is a profound pointer.

Dr Robert, thanks for the invite. I've been avoiding facebook and will have to consider whether to sign up.

Jennifer replied with this 6 years ago, 14 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

For people who claim not to follow masters and to avoid books you guys sure name drop a lot.

Anonymous Z-16 replied with this 6 years ago, 1 minute later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dream? Reality is not a dream, it is reality. And I refuse to agree that my insane state of mind had even a hint of truth in it. I was completely losing it. Sure, we could have been born into a world of dancing monkeys and think it's normal. But that's exactly it, we haven't been born into a world of dancing monkeys so it makes no sense to compare the reality to that. If the point you're making is that we should be open-minded then I completely agree we should, but not to the point that our brains drop out.

"Nisargadatta said that what is real never dies and what is unreal never lived. This is a profound pointer."
I don't think like that so I have a hard time comprehending what this means, which is why I find it a little frustrating to hear people trying to make the simplest of things sound mysterious in order to increase the value of their message. It's really a one-sided deal when it comes to criticism. Only the like-minded individuals will understand the message, and the ones who don't can't criticize what they can't understand.

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6 years ago, 44 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

David, and others--

You don't have to join facebook to read the posts, only need to join the group in order to post.

Conversations with Avant-garde Sages

David replied with this 6 years ago, 2 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Dream? Reality is not a dream, it is reality. And I refuse to agree that my insane state of mind had even a hint of truth in it.

'Dream' is only used as an analogy. Some have used other metaphors, for example 'cosmic joke'. To clarify, everything that appearsrelative realityis the belief in a separate existence; reality in absolute sense simply IS.

Jennifer, some books are definitely worth reading without becoming a 'follower' of an author. The pointers can be helpful for contemplation, but may not 'speak' to everyone the same way, depending on one's perspective on this.

Anonymous Z-17 joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 17 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> > Dream? Reality is not a dream, it is reality. And I refuse to agree that my insane state of mind had even a hint of truth in it.
>
> 'Dream' is only used as an analogy. Some have used other metaphors, for example 'cosmic joke'. To clarify, everything that appearsrelative realityis the belief in a separate existence; reality in absolute sense simply IS.
>
> Jennifer, some books are definitely worth reading without becoming a 'follower' of an author. The pointers can be helpful for contemplation, but may not 'speak' to everyone the same way, depending on one's perspective on this.

Simply is? To me that doesn't ring any bell, not even a distant one. Can you clarify further? I have seriously no idea.
That sounds like depersonalization to me. Why use those vague analogies instead of just clearly explaining what you want to say?
Do you want to say that reality is where we live and the "relative reality", as you call it, is what the society and norms and everything else is? For instance if we raised a child in a different environment and used different norms his reality would be different and so that's why it's relative? Yeah, and if you lose touch with the society and the reality it has created then chances are you're going insane. That's not to say you can't be critic about your society of course.

But going dakadaka shooting people isn't really bad because for all we know we could all be the result of a pumpkin's imagination is just insane.

Heck even Dr. Robert said that a therapist would diagnose something like that with depersonalization disorder and ---give the person the help he/she needs---. Usually people with psychosis aren't fully aware of their own condition.

(Edited 1 hour later.)

David joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 6 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

There's no easy or clear explanation for what is being discussed here. If you are interested in this topic, I can only suggest to read the earlier postings in this thread as well as Dr Robert's writings on his website. What Dr Robert said about depersonalization is that a therapist not familiar with awakening or nonduality would likely mis-diagnose a condition such as Ms. Segal's.

David double-posted this 6 years ago, 1 hour later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Thanks for this. All of this is difficult ground. There is depersonalization in the sense of psychosis, and then there is awakening to oneness, and they are not at all the same. A therapist who knew nothing about awakening to true nature probably would not do well at all with such a person as Segal, and might end up doing a lot of harm, including dosing her with drugs.

Dr Robert, realizing that this is probably a complex subject to discuss, a concern that I have regarding this partly has to do with the so called 'neo-advaita' teachings that you have alluded to several times in your interviews. There are views that teachings imparting a notion that nothing is really happening, noone is doing anything, awakening happens to noone, etc., may lead in some cases to a nihilistic zombification and potentially down the slippery slope of depersonalization. I can see how a teaching that is either poorly delivered or misinterpreted can have adverse psychological consequences. In fact, I've met seekers who could be described as detached or aloof, lacking empathy, and generally non-responsive, whether intentionally trying to 'become noone' through some self-brainwashing technique or being strongly affected by some teachings. In any case, there is a very real possibility for mis-understanding of what is being pointed out to them. There are numerous accounts on the Internet of therapists who treat just such cases and you may have also come across some. Obviously, there is all kinds of questionable quality material on the net and other media as well for people to absorb, but I think this is a legitimate concern that some seekers perhaps may not be 'aware' of.

dr-robert replied with this 6 years ago, 1 hour later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, this is quite true, and I am not an advocate of neo-advaita, but actually quite the opposite. I often criticize it as simplistic and lacking in rigor. When I speak of these matters, I am not cleaving to any particular theory or teaching, but only speaking from my own personal experience.

(Edited 42 seconds later.)

Anonymous Z-19 joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 20 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> How would a therapist who knows nothing about awakening approach such a case?
I don't want to sound offensive but the rhetoric question I would like to ask here is:
How would a non-religious therapist approach a case of a person hearing God's voice that tells him to crucify himself?

dr-robert replied with this 6 years ago, 2 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

In my view, people who hear the voice of "God" are probably delusional. I do not accord with the conventional idea of a "creator." I believe that human beings evolved from other life forms, and there is much evidence for that view, and none against it (scripture is not evidence since anyone can say anything). Therefore, as I see it, "God" is a creation of the human mind, not visa versa. Since that is my viewand as I say, one based upon a great deal of evidenceI would treat this situation with suspicion of psychosis. If you are a religious believer, you have a perfect right to your point of view, but please do not try to dispute this with me. I will not enter into a conversation with someone who has no intention of listening.

Hexi replied with this 6 years ago, 5 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

If religious people were rational, they wouldn't be religious. :)

dr-robert replied with this 6 years ago, 3 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, Hexi, I largely agree. But not everyone who is irrational or illogical is delusional. There is a wide gulf there.

Hexi replied with this 6 years ago, 10 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Of course not. People aren't inherently delusional, unless a severe mental condition is present. It's about information received and processed, or lack thereof. If something is repeated enough to a person, they tend to believe it even if they don't realize it. For example, I've been told over and over again since the first grade that I'm a genius by teachers and academics alike and not only until rather recently did i reject that notion.

David joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 1 minute later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

"Auditory hallucinations (also known as Paracusia), are the perception of sound without outside stimulus. Auditory hallucinations can be divided into two categories: elementary and complex."

"Complex hallucinations are those of voices, music, or other sounds which may or may not be clear, may be familiar or completely unfamiliar, and friendly or aggressive, among other possibilities. Hallucinations of one or more talking voices, are particularly associated with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, and hold special significance in diagnosing these conditions."

[Wikipedia: Hallucination]

dr-robert replied with this 6 years ago, 4 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well, Hexi, you are obviously very bright with a good mind, but genius is as genius does. In other words, genius is more than just an IQ number, and it is wrong to tell a child that he or she is "a genius."

Yes, David, that is correct. The problem arises because, as Hexi pointed out, if someone is sold the idea of a "personal god," then such hallucinations will be interpreted as messages instead of what they really are: illness.

David replied with this 6 years ago, 4 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Agreed. Illness is most likely an underlying factor. Mental gymnastics resulting in a 'brainwash', for lack of a better expression, or a fixation on the object of a belief, may also be contributing factors. Certain psychological predispositions may make some individuals more susceptible to subscribing to repeated suggestions or appeals from people they consider as authorities. The pressures to conform and comply can be substantial, and for a developing mind very difficult to deal with.

(Edited 2 hours later.)

Anonymous Z-21 joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 18 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> In my view, people who hear the voice of "God" are probably delusional. I do not accord with the conventional idea of a "creator." I believe that human beings evolved from other life forms, and there is much evidence for that view, and none against it (scripture is not evidence since anyone can say anything). Therefore, as I see it, "God" is a creation of the human mind, not visa versa. Since that is my viewand as I say, one based upon a great deal of evidenceI would treat this situation with suspicion of psychosis. If you are a religious believer, you have a perfect right to your point of view, but please do not try to dispute this with me. I will not enter into a conversation with someone who has no intention of listening.
But you are saying that a condition that is very similar to depersonalization/psychosis is not depersonalization/psychosis because awakening is real and it is different. Yet a condition that is very similar to psychosis is psychosis because Christianity is not real and it is the same thing.
Of course I used a very extreme example here, but it was just to get the point through. I never said or implied I had no intention of listening. Does that mean you will enter the conversation or are you not going to listen? Would it make a difference if I said I am not religious? Don't you think it's possible that you're avoiding the conversation because of a defense?
I am not here to say that people who hear the voice of "God" aren't mentally ill. In fact it's very likely they are suffering from psychosis. I'm only saying that you are using the same logic as a fanatic Christian who studied psychology would use. If a therapist who knows nothing about awakening diagnoses people who've experienced "awakening" with psychosis, it would be no different from a therapist who knows nothing about religions diagnosing people who've experienced "God" with psychosis.

dr-robert replied with this 6 years ago, 3 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi--
No, I am not saying any such thing. An awakening to true nature has nothing at all do do with depersonalization, and could never be confused with it. I understand that someone who did not remember such a state of openness to everything, and connection to everything (such as we all experience in early childhood) might logically conflate the two, but they are not at all the same.

Christianity (or any doctrinal system for that matter) is something completely different. That is based on so called "faith," which is actually another worda better sounding onefor credulity, which means believing in something because some authority or imagined authoritative source (New Testament, for example) says it. But anyone can say anything, so belief in words alone is an empty and foolish exercise.

I do not ask you or anyone else to believe a word I say here. I speak of my own experience. If someone is interested, and wishes to try to verify within his or her own life the territory to which I refer, fine. I think that might be worthwhile, but I am selling nothing here.

No, I am not defended against any of this in any way at all. I have, obviously, listened to you and responded. I simply meant that I will not waste my efforts discussing such matters with someone who has "faith" in doctrinal authority, custom, or imagined "sacred" sources because such a person is not prepared to open-mindedly listen. As Bobby Hinkle, one of the contributors to the facebook page called Conversations With Avant-garde Sages, where I am one of four admins, put this earlier today: "We fall prey to dogma because we are living in fear and seeking security, seeking to be "right" and "correct"; but the most we accomplish with dogma is to keep our minds buzzing with ideas and confirmations, constantly guarding what we've learned, constantly defending positions, fearful of what we hear, of what we see. Thus, dogma is simply a religious path formed of ego, it's footing established through fear of eternal punishment and desire for eternal security."

You seem intelligent, and write well. Be careful of false equivalences such as the one you have presented here. That kind of thing can seem logical, but is really a mistake in logic called a "category error."

Be well,
RS

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

David joined in and replied with this 6 years ago, 5 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

On one hand, you acknowledge that someone hearing God's voice is likely mentally ill, and on the other hand you apparently have some preconceived idea why a therapist who is not indoctrinated would diagnose such a person as suffering from a psychosis. Any person who hears voices should seek professional help.

The case of Ms. Segal that I mentioned was a complicated one and there was no intention to suggest that depersonalization had anything to do with awakening, only to point out that a misdiagnosis is likely to occur unless there is a clear understanding of awakening to true nature.

David replied with this 5.9 years ago, 1 month later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Here's a funny short intro to nonduality, delivered in a conceptually simple way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX5MnIpx-Lg&feature=player_embedded

Wish that was part of the curriculum in my school instead of all the useless junk content we were fed. Enjoy!

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 5.9 years ago, 1 week later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Every now and then I pop over to Conversations with Avant-garde Sages just to see what crazy stuff people are talking about and I gotta say I like that John Troy guy. It's like he reminds me of something. (Not sure what it is. Maybe once I figure out what's wrong with me I will try to figure that out.) Plus, he looks like he's got some crazy stories to tell. Is that the same "Wizard" from the radio show? He looks like Moses or something or like he laughs a lot. lol

(Edited 1 hour later.)

Sifter replied with this 5.9 years ago, 9 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I pop over there occasionally too. I dunno, none of it sticks on me. I just see people squabbling over phrasing and for the life of me I can't see that their words refer to anything at all. I'm not dissing it, just saying what I see. I guess I like to watch squabbles sometimes, the way people conduct themselves. And I guess I am wholly a dualist. My life involves the stuff I can see hear and touch and feel, and when I imagine things I imagine stuff I can see and hear and touch and feel, variations on that. That's what my problems are composed of, my joys too. I don't know what the other stuff is except mental tricks that seem to involve a lot of effort and right language.

dr-robert replied with this 5.9 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Here are some worthwhile words posted on the sages page by my friend, Dhanya:


Some people settle for not recognizing things as they really are. Most people do this in fact. Most people in the world are not even interested in making an investigation into the truth of the entire dual world of experience. Many people adopt the attitude 'What can't be cured, must be endured.' That is a type of acceptance, or some people take to alcohol or drugs or shopping or belief in an eternal heaven where they will go after death. There are all types of coping mechanisms.

What is freedom? Freedom is the recognition that who you really are is already free. Accepting that you haven't recognized that isn't freedom, it's honesty. But settling for it is settling for sorrow.

Some people claim that everyone is awake already. I find that ludicrous. It clearly isn't true. I actually don't usually use the word 'awake' anyway. I find it a bit confusing and imprecise. I prefer the phrase 'the recognition of the truth.'

Some people have recognized the truth, i.e. that their being is already free and some people haven't recognized this as yet, but would like to.

Are there in reality no individuals? A good way to answer that is to look at a dream. A night you have a dream. In the dream perhaps there are rocks and mountains, and there are birds, animals, and human beings. It's an entire world, and in this world, which is in fact made of one material alone, there are animate and inanimate objects.

Now say some of those animate objects are people. And these people have minds, and they talk together, and they discuss the meaning of life and reality, and they all have different opinions. Now, let's say one of these dream characters by some stroke of luck or grace or because of encountering a dream teacher, recognizes, "Oh, in reality, I am the stuff of the dream. What I took to be my individual self is actually the self of this whole dream world that I'm wandering around in and experiencing.”

So that dream character would have recognized the truth of the whole thing. And he or she could then go around and try and tell other dream characters about it (more or less successfully).

Now, having recognized that there is only one material of the dream, and the entire dream world is composed of that material, does this mean that the dream character does not exist as an individual?

Well, I'd say yes and no. It depends upon how one is viewing it. As a character in the dream that character will still exist. He or she will have a body and a mind, and aches and pains, and happy and unhappy thoughts, but that character has recognized the truth of the entire thing is just one alone and that one I am.

From the standpoint of the material of the dream, what is there? Only the material of the dream. There are no characters, there is no recognition of the truth. There is only the material. That’s all there is.

A better illustration of that is if you have thousands of objects, and they are all made out of clay, and they are different sizes and shapes, and they have different functions. On the one hand we can say there are cups, plates, bowls, pots, etc. We have got lots of different things. But what is really there is only clay.

So are there many things, or is there only clay? It depends upon how you see it, or how you count.

For a person who has recognized 'I am the clay of the pot,' or 'I am the material of the dream,' the dream will still continue.

And here, this waking world of experience will still continue, but now you know the truth of the whole thing. Does that mean that there is only the material of the dream and no individuals at all, or are there individuals within the dream who have recognized the truth of the whole thing?

In reality both are true. It depends upon the standpoint from which one is viewing the question. On the one hand there is only the material, which everyone already is, and there are in fact no individuals to 'wake up' and recognize that. And on the other hand within the dream there are some individuals who have recognized that and some who haven't.

Sifter replied with this 5.9 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
For me freedom would be feeling alert and connected to what I'm doing, connected to the pleasure and the purpose of it while I'm doing it - most of the time. It makes perfect, fine sense to me that all is one on some level or another, it just doesn't get me any closer to my idea of freedom.

Anonymous Z-24 joined in and replied with this 5.9 years ago, 49 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

as above so below

David replied with this 5.9 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

"What's the point of re-cognizing 'oneness'? How is that going to make me free? What's in it for me?" Many people ask questions along this line. The short answer is: there's no point in relative terms, and it is not going to do anything at all for the individual. Therefore, what is the point of such questions? None, because they are still self-referential. Nothing will make one free if freedom is already the reality of being. Who needs 'awakening'? Nobody, but how come are we still discussing this? Perhaps it is just semantics.

When the assertion is made that this world is only an illusion appearing in this cognizing emptiness, the individualthe mind, to be more specificcannot possibly accept that because that would negate its separate existence. But the mind also doesn't like unknowns so it either rejects it right away or, in some cases, it will say ok to 'oneness' ('wholeness' is perhaps a better term--one without a second) with a condition, which is the creation of a belief structure around wholeness: "all being one sounds cool, I like the idea of it all kinda melting together in this cosmic soup, but I still can't put my finger on it and, in any case, what is it gonna do for 'ME'?" As one visitor to an art gallery said while viewing an artwork: "I like it... but not very much".

The trap is set, the fish is caught, and I'm going to ask wholeness to get me another cup of coffee ;)

(Edited 21 hours later.)

Sifter replied with this 5.9 years ago, 7 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yup.
(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
To me, David, all that just seems smug.

David replied with this 5.9 years ago, 14 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> To me, David, all that just seems smug.

Nothing gained and nothing achieved here. Not trying to rub anything in or offend anyone. This response wasn't pointed at you. I'm just goofing around, Sifter, that's all. Just poking fun at the poor little 'me', and pointing to its incessant need to be at the center of the drama. It's always about 'me', isn't it? What the 'me' cannot stand is being looked at, questioned, or ridiculed.

Nothing personal or serious in this, only thoughts passing through, some ignored, some shared. Since you are the OP, I will tone it down in here, after this little 'me' rant:
"I like this but not that; I need this AND that, and I want it; this is not good enough, I can find something better; does my hair look good?; no, you suck; I'm special; I need to always win; you cannot stop me; love me, never hate me; don't dare to leave me or I will be very upset; I need more me; I love me... because I'm good enough, smart enough, and dog on it, people like me" says the 'me' to itself. Look at it directly, Sifter. It is so simple.

(Note to self: cut down on caffeine, stop goofing around, and get back to work, dude.)

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 5.9 years ago, 6 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

That made me laugh

Sifter replied with this 5.9 years ago, 4 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
It's okay, it's not my thread in that sense, and it doesn't need protection. I think you're right on this post, and I like the reminder. Just... that kind of thing as the centre of a reflective practice, or a spirituality... I watch to see what that looks like and it looks bland. This endless two-step:
"x isn't non-duality/awakening/enlightenment, y is!"
"no no, x + y! and it's all an illusion!"

To me there is more vitality in Pabaisa's fantasy of fucking his ex-girlfriend's corpse. I LIKE me-ness. I hate it. I don't want to transcend, neutralise, sterilize. No one claims this as their goal or state, but I just watch the language.

Sarah joined in and replied with this 5.9 years ago, 9 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I honestly don't know what you guys are on about. This whole thread makes me amused. And I don't think I'm missing out on much. Life is in the living not the reflecting on living. Things don't 'happen' that way. Being human is about happening, and talking about it in it's ridiculous minutiae is aimless. Plus we learn the basics from a couple of falls, doesn't take more than that to become 'enlightened'. I just don't get it. Lol. But I guess, that's down to me or something.

dr-robert replied with this 5.9 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

This is really a simple matter, and all the foolish debate about it misses the essence of it. There is nothing to debate. If you are happy with the way things are now, just forget the entire subject. You don't need it. If you are already happy as you are, there is no reason at all to think about "Who am I really? What is my true nature?

But if you are not happy with the way things are now, I wonder why you cling so firmly to the idea you have of "me, and what I am." You are clinging to the very thing which is making you miserable, while blaming other people or "the world" for your pain, but you would prefer to defend your beliefs about that misery than to look into them, and perhaps to discover that the real problem is not "life," or other people, but the beliefs to which you cling so desperately. That doesn't seem very bright.

In my work as a psychotherapist, I deal often with what could be called "psychological pain." Not physical pain, such as a toothache, but pain which is felt as emotional suffering, thoughts out of control, desires for things which one cannot attain, relationships which don't work, fear of what might happen in the future, fear of death--stuff along those lines.

Most of what is expressed in this Forum has to do with psychological pain. "I feel inferior." "I am tortured by unwanted thoughts." "I cannot forget the harm done to me when I was a child." "Why can't I find someone to love who will love me?" "I am filled with unsatisfied desires." "I hate myself." "I hate people." All of this is psychological pain.

Now I am saying something very simple. If it holds no interest for youif you "like me-ness," as Sifter claimedfine by me. I am not selling anything here, obviously. However, folks, here it is: if and when you realize true naturein other words, if and when you come to see what you really areall psychological pain will disappear completely.

You can believe me, or you can reject this out of hand. I don't care. It is true whether you believe it or not. Some things are a matter of opinion, but this is not one of them. Some will believe it, and will begin to investigate. Others will imagine that I am self-deluded, or lying, and will cling to their present idea of a little "me" lost among the billions of other "little me's" on the planet, and will continue to use faulty logic or commitment to preexisting beliefs to reject what I say.

That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

David replied with this 5.9 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> To me there is more vitality in Pabaisa's fantasy of fucking his ex-girlfriend's corpse. I LIKE me-ness. I hate it. I don't want to transcend, neutralise, sterilize. No one claims this as their goal or state, but I just watch the language.

Fantasy is all it isimaginationalthough from the few posts I've seen, Paba may have actually done that (lol but no disrespect). But how much life is there in a fantasy beyond the humor? If you LIKE (I guess that means 'really' like) "me-ness" then you are stuck in a Lala-landesque dreamworld that constantly reinforces it. That's the trap I was talking about.

There is nothing to transcend, only the mind may believe there is. Non-duality is just a concept like any other blurb we utter; it only points to something realwhat you areand that's hardly insignificant. It's like the little wheels we attach to a kid's bike to help them learn to ride. We can spend a lifetime discussing concepts without getting a taste of reality. That's all this chatter ismind noise. If one can make a discussion engaging or funny, then it can be interesting to dive in, otherwise what's the point? Problem is with people taking things, themselves including, too seriously and not seeing pointers for what they arenot the moon. Pointers serve one important purpose and that is to expose the process of self-delusion and bullshit belief. However, people tend to take these messages literally, or misinterpret them, and turn them into beliefs. Then they are actually getting even further away from reality. As Dr Robert points out, if you are happy with the make-belief about 'your life' and don't suffer, which can hardly be sustained for too long, then you have no need to engage in this discussion. But I can tell you this, little 'me' should not be underestimated because it can quickly turn into a mean little bastard that will keep stabbing you with a screw driver unless faced directly. You can sort it out for yourself.

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 5.9 years ago, 12 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> But if you are not happy with the way things are now, I wonder why you cling so firmly to the idea you have of "me, and what I am." You are clinging to the very thing >which is making you miserable, while blaming other people or "the world" for your pain, but you would prefer to defend your beliefs about that misery than to look >into them, and perhaps to discover that the real problem is not "life," or other people, but the beliefs to which you cling so desperately. That doesn't seem very bright.

I don't see how in every case it is just a matter of how a person sees themself. If it were that simple we would all be cured right away from our problems. There has to be more to the story. Right now I see myself one way. In an hour I might see myself in a completely different way. How I see myself has changed but not the problems. Telling myself I have no problems doesn't make them go away. People would just say I'm in denial or guarded or something. Maybe there is a "true nature" of a person that has gotten confused but the confusion cannot just be willed away as simply as you make is sound, Dr. Robert.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

Sifter replied with this 5.9 years ago, 2 days later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Robert and David, I didn't claim not to suffer, that's clear. And for the record I'm genuine in pondering this from my actual perspective right now - to engage with it, not to dismiss it. But I'm not at all sure that I'm looking for an end to suffering. Because I'm certainly not looking for an end to imagination or fantasy. What good is a dream if you have to keep waking yourself up? What good is life without story? What good is a story if every paragraph ends with 'but it doesn't matter, because it's just a story'?

dr-robert replied with this 5.9 years ago, 1 hour later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Jennifer What you are calling "myself" is the movie. What I am calling "myself" or "true self" is the screen. The movie, as you rightfully said, is always changing, but the screen (by which I mean awareness, or the emptiness in which knowing or seeing what is happening in the movie from moment to moment takes place) never changes, no matter what the movie is doing. It takes no effort to know the movieyou just know. Some people can hear this, and understand it right away. Others would like to understand it, but cannot. Others don't care at all. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 5.9 years ago, 11 hours later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Any chance for a backdoor to understanding this stuff?

(Edited 6 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 5.9 years ago, 6 hours later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

It really cannot be understood as much as felt, experienced, or intuited. If I give you a glass of water, and you take a sip, you know immediately if it is warm or cold. You don't ask yourself if it is warm or cold. You don't try to understand if it is warm or cold, right? Well that knowing without trying IS you, Jennifer. Everything else is a story you tell yourself about what you already know. If you practice ignoring the story, you may begin to notice the pure knowing which is there prior to any judgments, naming, labeling, etc. That pure knowing is what you really are. Mostly people fail to see this because it is too simple, and the mind does not like simplicity.

Sifter joined in and replied with this 5.9 years ago, 7 minutes later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Dr Robert, why doesn't the mind like simplicity?

dr-robert replied with this 5.9 years ago, 46 minutes later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, Sifter--

The complexity is what is added to simple, direct knowing. In simple direct knowing, there is no "myself," but just the knowing. Knower and known (duality) vanish, leaving only one thing: knowing. In other words, the subject and the object disappear, and only the verb remains. Suddenly there is no one doing anything, but just what is. What really is IS simplicity. What is added to what iscomments, labels and names, judgements, memories, fears, etc.are the complexity.

For example, suppose you turn your gaze into the night sky and for a moment are amazed by the vastness of it. At that moment, there is no "you," but only the vastness. Now, ego is afraid of not-being-at-all (death), and so immediately begins to comment. "Oh, that's the Milky Way. I recognize that. I remember when I was a child. My father first showed it to me. I wonder if the sky will be this beautiful tomorrow. Maybe, but we could get clouds, and then I won't be able to see the sky like this, etc., etc., etc."

Do you see how filled with "I" and "me" and past and future that comment is? That is complexity. Get it?

Jennifer replied with this 5.8 years ago, 2 hours later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

....

(Edited 18 hours later.)

Elayne joined in and replied with this 5.7 years ago, 2 months later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hmmm... I looked through the different awareness threads, and if this has already been discussed, I apologize for being repetitive. Because of events with my daughter, I found this site a few weeks ago using some search term related to "conscience". I posted about bafflement related to an understanding of love and got some helpful replies. Since then, the experience of being deceived has continued to trigger wondering about what truth and love really are, and in what way we humans are connected to each other, and last night I had a dream. I dreamed I was a single cell on the skin of a body I could see the other cells but could not leave my location. And while still asleep, I knew it was true, metaphorically. I think previously I had imagined us as being at the intersections of a huge web, where we had some freedom of movement but were still connected so that our movements all affected each other. But that isn't really it-- we are completely integrated in the same whole. Freedom isn't an attribute of our individual experience at all, even though in daily life it seems to be.
I understand how this could bring "me" to believe the only thing left to me is pure awareness. But I still think the ability to be aware is generated by physical existence, not the other way around so it seems more like even the awareness and knowingness is not "mine." I don't know if the Whole experiences more comprehensive awareness or if awareness can only arise in the production of complexity the "cells" of the body of reality. In that case, why cling to the notion of awareness any more than to a physical "me"? It is all the same thing! Doesn't seem like a problem. Some of the cells of reality possibly don't experience awareness (who knows?), but that doesn't make them less present. If there is any property that is part of the reality of every cell, it is connection. Connection is the single thing that can't be done away with, no matter what, whether it is experienced consciously or not. When we die, the physical structures and energy will be recycled and some elements will participate in awareness(es?), but all of it physical particles, energy, awareness will remain connected to the whole. Some of us respond to that realization with love, some don't (a response out of our "personal" ability to control)-- but the response doesn't change the reality of the connection. It makes no sense to reject any cell of reality we encounter or to judge it as less part of the body.
That all sounds way more complicated than how "I" am experiencing it. The feelings that are arising this morning, after the dream, are very accepting and peaceful. My daughter cannot be cast out of reality, because of her duplicity, and remains connected to the whole-- a comforting idea.

dr-robert replied with this 5.7 years ago, 23 hours later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> But I still think the ability to be aware is generated by physical existence, not the other way around— so it seems more like even the awareness and knowingness is not "mine."

In my view, it is not important to know if there is awareness without a brain. One cannot even imagine such a situation, but that does not mean it is impossible, but only that all we know is known by modifications in the nervous system, and so that is all that a human being can know. Whether there is or is not some other kind of "knowing" is a mystery.

The point of interest here, as I see it, it that awareness and knowing are not "yours." They are "YOU." If you say, "no, awareness is not 'me,' the body is 'me,'" you will next be asked WHO knows that, etc.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 5.7 years ago, 9 minutes later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Just thinking... you cannot ask who when referencing yourself unless you don't mind labeling yourself. The question Who? requires a label or an action. What does who define anyway except the two? You can ask what though and that question is by far more important. "Who am I?" is a pointless question.

(Edited 6 minutes later.)

Jennifer double-posted this 5.7 years ago, 55 minutes later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Until you know what you are (which you can't, the possibilities are to endless for our limited mind) you cannot know who you are.

(Edited 47 seconds later.)

Jennifer triple-posted this 5.7 years ago, 36 minutes later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Ok, so that is what Dr. Robert claims is the mind or knowing? The ego? I can go with that.

David joined in and replied with this 5.7 years ago, 1 hour later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

About asking the Who? questions: This is a matter of identity. We simply do not know, and cannot know, who/what we really are (the eye cannot see itself) but the mind cannot exist, it would seem, without a reference point. So we say, we are some-thing (body/mind, awareness, oneness, etc.) and take comfort in that knowing because not knowing is too frightening. The mystery remains mystery (we have no say in that) but we have put a label on it and keep debating who's label is better or closer to 'da truth'. But it's all on the same level--mindscape. That's all we know and can know. We are alive, can think, and do all kinds of cool things (and dumb ones too) and that's the beauty of the flow...
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