Friday, February 25, 2011

Tom’s Diner

A friend and I have been discussing this teaching:
The World is an illusion
Brahman alone is real.
The World is Brahman.

Well, maybe we’ve been arguing.
I’ve done a couple drafts in an effort to state my position with more clarity.
How silly. What does it matter?
I’m not sure either of us listens very well, even when we try.
I also realize the absurdity of someone not living in enlightened Unity arguing as to what it’s really like!
Good Lord! Silly girl, be still.

Anyway, here is how my friend would restate the teaching:
Living is all there is.
Separation from living is an illusion.
There is nothing to find.

Or to restate the situation as she sees it in yet another iteration, she might go along with:
There is a totality of Life which is always present, in the endless forms in which it appears.
Within this totality of Life, there is never a self.
There is no me and there is no you.

Well, I have been chewing on this for days.
Finally, I have focused in on something I do have experience with and the exact point where I apparently disagree.
I am uncomfortable with:
Living is all there is.

I say this because I have experienced an emptiness, a silence, something beyond all words that seems to be beyond all Life (by this we mean the whole Shebang) and yet gives rise to all Creation.

My friend dislikes the old texts, but I think this passage makes the point:
That supreme Brahman is infinite, and this conditioned Brahman is infinite.
The infinite proceeds from infinite.
If you subtract the infinite from the infinite, the infinite remains alone.
Mundaka Upanishad

Life is not all there is. Because when it drops off, the Infinite remains.

Nisargadatta points to these two infinities by saying:
When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that’s wisdom.
When I look outside and see that I am everything, that’s love.
Between these two my life turns.

Or to illustrate with song, there is the Suzanne Vega acapella bombshell calledTom’s Diner.
Acapella: “something missing,” and that emptiness, silence (analogous to supreme Brahman) makes all the difference in the world to the Song (analogous to Life = conditioned Brahman).

The space (i.e., the emptiness) feels more like what I am. And the “things” that come and go “within” that space never feel like they are separate from that space.
This is why saying that things happen “within” space or “within” consciousness don't feel accurate. No concept feels accurate.
All concepts appear to come and go in whatever I am.
And what I am is more like simple being itself…
It’s just this, this great space, this silent being, and things coming and going in that, inseparably.
Scott Kiloby, A Day in the Life.
(If you’d like to read a nice description of a typical day from a much clearer consciousness than mine.)

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