Sunday, July 20, 2008

With Apologies to Dick and Jane

Blue feather
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao
See things for what they are… thoughts for thoughts and feelings for feelings and sensations for sensations.
Suzanne Segal, The Awakening West.

As soon as I posted my last entry regarding Dick and Jane, I regretted that someone might take it as a criticism of reading. That was not my intention.
I was simply trying to share what seemed to me a new way of approaching the whole idea of accepting Life as it is.

While perhaps that wasn’t very apparent, I hadn’t intended any further explanation or apology. But, then I came across a marvelous interview with Suzanne Segal that originally appeared in The Awakening West.

Suzanne addresses the points I was dancing around in a much more direct fashion – and you’re getting it from the Infinite's mouth, which certainly beats my twisted-sister brain.
So, I thought I’d exerpt a portion here.

JLW refers to John Lumiere-Wins, the co-author of The Awakening West. He began by asking Suzanne how she saw herself? He asked, “Who are you?”

SUZANNE: …There is only one answer that I can give you. I am the Infinite--no personal reference point--the substance of everything; I am the Vastness that is everyone and everything. And, I must add here, never for a moment does the awareness of that Infinite substance that is everything ever move out of the foreground of awareness whether there is waking, dreaming or sleeping states of consciousness occurring in the circuitry [of the mind-body].

…I have tended not to call this enlightenment and to call it only the "naturally occurring human state," because this is who everyone is. The most obvious thing to this view of the Vastness is that it is who everyone is. And so to call IT something like "enlightenment" or "awakening" - Swell, maybe.

The Infinite does become something that is forefront in the awareness, so I guess you could call it a "waking up" to That. But it is not like you become something else once you see That. It is who you are. It is always who you have been. So, it is the seeing of what you have always been.

JLW: …What can one do in order to have this experience?

SUZANNE: These "doing" questions are the ones that I have wanted to address the most, particularly in this Western culture which is so strongly based on doing in order to accomplish something.

From the point of view of the Vastness, doing something is slightly absurd. First of all, who would be doing the doing? And secondly, That which is doing has always been doing, and will spontaneously continue to do.

The only answer the Vastness has been able to come up with in terms of anything resembling an answer to this question would be to see things for what they are.
... It sees thoughts for thoughts and feelings for feelings and sensations for sensations. There is never a desire or request that anything be anything but what it is. The Vastness knows that everything is there just as it is, so the desire for something to go away, or be something different doesn't occur.

Let me get real specific in terms of what we were talking about.
A few minutes before we started taping, we spoke about the "I" construct that passes itself off as who you are, as your reference point. From the view of the Infinite, of the Vastness, that construct is seen for what it is--a construct, an idea. And an idea can only be what it is; it can only be an idea.

When an idea is seen for what it is, there is a way that it empties itself of what it appeared to be full of--some defining determinant of who you are.
And when the perception is emptied and seen as what it is--just a concept, a construct, an idea--it ceases to act as any sort of compelling screening of this Infinite Presence which you actually are...

JLW: There is a shift in identity though, or a dropping of this "I" construct. …Something happened for you.

SUZANNE: Something happens. It seems like most of this occurs within the mind. In the Western culture, which I am most familiar with, the mind is trained to adopt a personal construct as the reference point.
It just believes that there is a personal doer.
It's made to believe that you have to "make something of yourself."

The Western mind believes that you have to be a certain way and you have to figure out how your life is going to go in order for it to be successful, in order for it to happen the way you want it to. Everything that you hear in the culture, in Western psychology in particular, is all based on the assumption that there is a personal doer that has to be the best one it could possibly be. So there is all this work that is brought to bear on it...

JLW: And instead of trying to change the mind, your recommendation is to just notice, "Oh, it's the mind." Something like this?

SUZANNE: That is what the mind says, "Oh, it's the mind."

The view of the eyes of the Vastness is hard to describe as it is brought to bear on anything because it isn't perceived through the mind.

And it isn't perceived through the perceptual apparatus of the circuitry.
The view of the Vastness, the eyes of the Vastness, exist within the Vastness Itself.
It has its own sense organ that permeates it and exists at every point in it that is always seeing things for being what they are and seeing Itself for what it is.

And yet, it does seem that what happened when I was standing at that bus stop included the mind, and its circuitry became a participating portion of that sense organ of the Vastness.
It's like the mind and circuitry joined into the sphere of the Vastness.

I’ve never heard it put exactly like this. The interview is well worth reading.

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