Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Florian Schlosser: The Subtlest Identification

Fall petals
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao
In that realization that nothing is real, all reference points disappear.
Yet, the Nothingness itself becomes a new reference point.
And this is the subtle identification.
I see it in other teachers. I see it in people going to satsang… If they speak with you… “It’s not real.”
But this is a concept, a reference point.
Florian Schlosser

Something has been bothering me about some of the teachers in the new crop of non-dual (Neo-Advaita) teachers. Something about their teaching doesn’t always ring quite true…at least not to me.

It got me thinking about a story Maharishi once told us. His point was that there was historical precedence for groups of people to practice together and become enlightened together. He told an ancient story of a group of sages who did many austerities and became so pure they ascended to heaven. There they joined in the banquet that the gods were enjoying, until one god stopped everything cold declaring, “I smell a human.”

The other gods alerted, then sniffed and the three sages were summarily tossed back to earth, betrayed by the stink of the last vestiges of their human impurity. So, they rededicated themselves to purification and in the end once more ascended, this time for good.

So, see, Maharaishi said, we can meditate in groups and together rise to heaven. Well, to me, the story also speaks to this feeling I have of “something fishy” about these newly realized teachers. And I’ve begun to think that perhaps I am simply noticing that last little trace, “a whiff” of ego. When I first realized this, I had to laugh. Of course!
“Takes one to call one,” we used to retort as kids. And wouldn’t that be just the way of egos- to be very sensitive to and ready to bust another ego.

Well, Florian Schlosser has made very good sense of all this for me. And then, I realized Adya also has spoken of this trap that awaits many after an awakening.
After realization of Nothingness, the ego then identifies with Nothing.
Florian Schlosser:

That realization is the absence of, the complete vanishing of the sense of me, together with the world. Nothing remains. All that is there is consciousness. Yet, as long as the body is alive unavoidably there remains a last sense of indestructible identification (…that would be the end of the body.)
I still was able when someone called my name to turn around and recognize them. So, that is indestructible. As long as the body survives we are literally bound to a certain limited degree of identification. [Otherwise] we wouldn’t be able to function. I was hardly functioning anymore. Yet, what I saw is that that subtle sense was (and I saw this about half a year later) [it] started to pick up that Nothingness, and the sense of me sneaked in through the backdoor and now identified itself with the Nothingness.

So now, it was, “I am Nothingness.”
It was not Nothingness. It became a subtle identification with the Nothingness…

I’ve written before about my own mini-version of this locking onto a realization and how my Taoist teacher broke me of it. Even a moment’s insight can be grabbed up by the ego. So, I’m very grateful to be clear on the mechanics.
So, let’s go on with Florian:

When the residue of the sense of me identifies with Nothing it experiences everything as Nothing, and it also responds as if it it’d be Nothing.
So, you don’t hear anymore. You don’t listen.
Everything that people say, it’s just nothing, because that’s your nature. You’ve become nothing. And the seeing from Nothing means there’s no way to relate…
it was the ultimate way to protect my heart from meeting other people…
It was bliss inside, but it didn’t have relation to anything because everything was unreal.
So, why should I relate with something? Not even my partner…

And guess what? His partner fell in love with someone else and left him.

It was like someone taking the Zen stick and hitting me. And I fell from that Bliss bubble. It was a dropping from paradise… Even that ultimate realization of Nothingness is another way [of] protecting yourself from being visible, from what you really are…

Florian goes on to speak about embodiment- consciousness coming down into the tissues. He slaps his leg as he says this, but also waves his hands around his belly.
I hope to speak more about the belly… but that will have to be another day.
Meanwhile, I hope you can find the time to listen to all of Florian’s interview. I love what the Iain and Renata McNay are doing with Conscious TV.

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