Wednesday 23 September 2015

We ourself are what we are looking for

A friend wrote to me recently:
I am still struggling with understanding the concept of ‘Who am I’. Am I looking for that which existed before my body and mind came into this existence, i.e. emptiness/fullness etc.? Do I explore the personal ‘I’ and from where it arose? I understand that I am that source from which the body came into the dream but when I explore it there is nothing there and I cannot feel the love that is supposed to be the real me. Also why is the dream of life so unpleasant when it has come from a source of love? What is the point of the dream? I find it frightening and I worry so much about the animals/the environment and I feel such pain. Why would the self create such a dream?
In reply I wrote:

Yes, we are looking for that which existed before our body and mind came into existence, but that exists not only then but also now and always, because it is what we actually are, so since we cannot go back in time we must find it here and now.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Self-knowledge is not a void (śūnya)

In a comment on one of my recent articles, The term nirviśēṣa or ‘featureless’ denotes an absolute experience but can be comprehended conceptually only in a relative sense, a friend called Bob asked several questions concerning the idea of a void, blank or nothingness and expressed his fear of such an idea. He started by asking why all we can now remember about what we experienced in deep sleep is a blank, or rather why we cannot remember anything at all except that we existed, and he suggested, ‘Is this because the illusory dualistic knowing consciousness [our mind or ego] cannot conceive the real non-dual being consciousness[?]’. He then went on to say, ‘I would be lying to you if I said that surrendering myself […] isn’t scary. It is very scary as I am scared of dissolving into the unknown. It is like letting go of the cliff and falling into nothingness, the complete unknown … the cold empty void’, but then asked, ‘is it more accurate to say that myself as I really am, the infinite non dual being consciousness that experiences everything as itself, is not a mere blank void or cold nothingness but is just a reality completely beyond the conceptualisation of my limited dualistic egoic mind[?]’, and added, ‘This seems to make letting go less scary as I am not falling into a cold empty void at all’.

To clarify what he was trying to express he also asked several other questions such as ‘is it right to say the non-dual infinite being consciousness is not a blank void of nothingness, it is just a reality beyond what the limited mind can understand so it appears a blank when tried to be recollected from the illusory dualistic waking state[?]’ and ‘is it right to say when I experience myself as I really am with perfect clarity of self-awareness this previous seeming blank empty nothingness / void I once linked to deep sleep will now be the one true reality as waking & dream would have dissolved into it and the deep sleep state will now be all there ever was / has been[?] The veil of lack of clarity would have been lifted for ever’, before finally expressing his hope that ‘this once seeming cold empty blank void perception of the deep sleep state will not be so but in contrast it will be a reality of pure bliss ... pure happiness of being where I experience everything as myself .. it won’t be cold empty void at all’.

This article is therefore an attempt to reassure Bob that the experience of true self-knowledge is not as scary as it may seem, and that it is something way beyond any idea that our finite mind may have of it.