Sunday, 10 January 2010

Open Essay I

The world as we think of it is only a web of concepts and associations which exist as mental translations of sensation and raw experience. In this sense we could say that there are two worlds, the one which exists in our heads and which we imagine to be real, and the one which exists simply as it is without need of concept or translation.

Without the habitual translation of experience into thoughts, memories, comparisons etc, there is no 'World' and without a world there is no 'Me' and no 'You'. There is just what is. It has not changed, but it is not weighed down and buried beneath a life-time of labels and attachments. Without belief in labels, things come to life as life itself.

The borders, boundaries and limitations such as 'out there is the world' or 'this is a bad feeling' or 'this is a chair' or 'I am inside this body' all fall away when the inadequacy of labels are seen through. The imagined separation between ourselves and the universe then ceases to be, and the mind-altering revelation occurs that up until now we have been experiencing life through the narrow and energy sapping lens of mental concepts. Most of our experience is channelled into thought and the energy of these thoughts have distracted us from the raw simplicity of life which - if we look at it directly - we find as spontaneous, free, formless, intangible and boundless.

Indeed once this is seen, the world in which we live seems dream-like, incredibly fragile and transient, yet heart-wrenchingly beautiful and profound. We may still refer to ourselves as an individual, but the belief in these concepts as realities falls away. Language and concepts are for our convenience only, not for leading us to reality. All language is therefore poetry and poetry cannot tell us the truth, but only, beautifully, point towards it.

Thinking continues but its authority has been exposed and it's hypnotic power is weakened. We may use it to read a map or talk about our day, but we will not use it existentially to search for reality, God or Truth. Even if we do it will be with a clearly marked caveat: Life itself does not require a name.

Ultimately, even the thinking mind and belief in concepts and labels are but facets of the intelligence of life. They are not to be forcibly removed or denied or even surrendered to, because when seen clearly we find that the some-one who would repress, silence or deny the mind is itself just another thought. We do not have to get rid of a 'Me' or stop our thoughts. We just need to look directly at our experience to see that there never was a 'Me' and never will be.

The 'Me' is the ultimate label, the Queen of concepts, and yet it has no root, no core, no connection to reality. The 'Me' is but a dream, a thought which comes and goes. Once this keystone concept is seen as essentially invalid all thoughts pertaining to this imagined entity weaken, for we do not hold conversations with ghosts and we do not continue to wait up for Santa Claus after we discover him to be unreal.

All that remains is this. But even this has a variety of concepts and labels associated with it such as flow, being, suchness, life, consciousness or awareness. These may give a flavour of reality, but are really only more refined pointers. This cannot be named and never has been, it is the slayer of words, the destroyer of unreality. Our entire lives we have been one-ness, yet our thoughts convinced us that we were separate. See these thoughts as the dreams they are, look at what is happening right now and try to see if there is any separation between you and the world, between your thoughts and the awareness of them.

There are no gaps in reality and these very words - although but a collection of dreams - are in fact none other than yourself; One-ness staring back at one-ness.

No comments: