Monday, July 25, 2011

Different Perspectives

i am curious how you might explain further the idea that knowing the name of my cat captures the essence of our different viewpoints.
Fierce Freedom

I thought I’d address my friends comment here, just to do it justice.
Let me begin by a story that supposedly Jeff Foster tells:
He was out walking with his mother when she said, “Oh, what a beautiful tree.” In reply he launched into a long explanation of “There is no tree!”
A year later, he realized his response had been somewhat ridiculous. Of course, there was a tree to be enjoyed while on a walk.

Having realized there is no-self, how long and how loudly do you want to keep beating that drum?
I think you and I differ on this point.
To me too much drum beating or “fierce freedom” risks inherent contradiction and outright fundamentalism just as surely as a right-to-lifer shooting a doctor does.

And how does my asking for the name of your cat address our different perspectives?
It too centers of the emphasis we place upon the experience of no-self.
I have no idea what logic initially led me to make that statement regarding the name of your cat. Memory is gone.
But, while struggling to recall my thinking, this image filled my mind:

Your viewpoint was represented by the line. Mine was somehow held by that little dot.
It was a curious situation to be asked for a stream of logic and only come up with an image. But, with time I realized that our perspectives lay rooted in the differences between the two.

Now, I can say this:
When I hear, “There were three cats: roach, spider, cricket,” I notice that my heart goes, Ahhh. I draw closer and pay attention. And when I discover, “Roach died,” again I feel my heart.
In knowing something as simple as a name a whole story springs up and with that story comes love.
I don’t want to miss that, even at the risk of being lost or hurt by what unfolds.

Now, I grant you “roach” has nothing whatsoever actually to do with ultimate truth.
And perhaps its only due to my conditioning it has an effect upon me. But, rather than jump, “Oh God, a story! Stories can’t be true.” I am happy to enjoy the wave of love.
Knowing that the tree is an illusion, why not go on and enjoy it?

You could say that this is my perspective. And it struck me that in all of our discussion of the profound experience you had surrounding the death of roach, you never named her (or him - I still don’t know that detail). And it struck me as very curious that you felt no need for naming.

It was always, “The cat died.”
It sounds almost like Joe Friday wanting “just the facts ma’am.” And Joe will get the job done.
He just proceeds from a different perspective – that of the intellect, that serially logical gray line.
The intellect inquires into the nature of the self and discovers there is no-self to be found.
It realizes the danger and allure inherent in a flowery story. It is only logical to reduce the risk of slipping back into a self, back into illusion - so shave the story back “to just the facts.”

But, “The cat died,” is just as much a story as “Roach died.”
In one case intellect, and likely ego, does a cutting back? In the second case heart, and likely ego, surrenders into love.

To me our perspectives appear either predominantly intellect or heart centered. The heart would like a name, simply for the warmth. The intellect feels no need or even prefers the nameless.

That said, I would also emphasize that it’s probably much more accurate to say, one steps forward from the left foot while the other begins with the right. You obviously are learning deeply about love. And I can use my head. Heart and mind do work together, just as surely as left and right foot do… but still, there seems to be a preference of footing.

So, to end this in the spirit of merging heart and intellect, I’d like to share this video.
I never knew that the idea of love was brought to the west by the Sufis. And I love the concluding line:
this is the shoreless sea;
here swimming ends
always in drowning


Fierce Freedom said...


After reading the Transparency post and this one, I am both deeply moved and deeply amused.

Something Ben Smythe said on his facebook page comes to the forefront: "Misinterpretation is the only option if I am going to open my mouth."

I don't quote this sentence to indicate any displeasure with these posts, Pat. I loved all three of them and I love sharing notes with you so everyone can read along, like this. But it's very clear to me that we are talking about the single unified Whole from the views through the little windows of our unique conditioning.

The Fierce Freedom blog is written from a particular view point; a fixed position of addressing the simple and direct sensing of no-separate-self. You do an amazing job of characterizing the feeling the posts are intended to create. There is no intention to point the reader toward anything other than the sound of the drum beating out 'Look, there's no you.' There are seekers who need to find this message in this form, just as I did, and that blog is written for them.

I am moved beyond the words in the Fierce Freedom blog on a daily basis by the amazing mystery of being that I behold here, on this side to the Gateless Gate. Here all viewpoints are equally dissolved into the unspeakable presence of Love. Here every moment is a unique unfolding that will never be as it is again. Here I can see the story of Becky, searching and struggling through the confusing descriptions of enlightenment by teacher after teacher, wondering why I could not see what they saw, and I now know what was missing. The truth of no separate self was the key to drowning this ocean of love. So with the Fierce Freedom blog I don't attempt to poetically distract from the truth the readers are looking for. I have a separate blog where I write of the beauty of simply being alive. Now I am wondering if I failed to share that blog with you. If I haven't given you the link before, here it is:

And Pat, this concluding line you've shared is perfectly in tune with the outcome of my experience with Roach. I should tell you her name was actually Miss Roach. She was full of demand for respect in her life, and would settle for nothing less. Her death was the biggest fear of my seeking path, and her gift to me was the complete destruction of any selfish little self-longing for anything other than this, what IS. I has been finished.


Pat Bralley said...

It makes me smile that you begin with Ben's quote. I was just thinking how Maharishi told us once, "I open my mouth to speak to you and the message is lost in the air." And it's just not a philosophical thing. Communication theory puts this impossibility into an equation and makes it a version of the laws of thermodynamics. ... what more could my little brain desire! Scientific proof! (I'm smiling, I know it's ridiculous.) Still, if listening is hard, how much more difficult when just writing!

Your comment, also makes me tear up. And of course I enjoy that more. I know the dissolution of Miss Roach went very, very deep. Just feeling that depth allows me to dip once more into the ocean.

And still, I am a bit leary. "we are talking about the Whole from the views through little windows of our conditioning" yes... and still, "I has been finished." Hummm. Perhaps and then maybe not.

I have also been contemplating these words from Joi Sharp:
Awareness itself can remain free of attachment, but so often the small self can become attached to an experience of pure awareness!
And this small self can subtly manipulate the pure perspective of awareness into something that is an experience, not a perspective…

Both the non-dual perspective and the dual perspective may be experienced…
The discovery of complete detachment is an ongoing one; we don’t just arrive there after awakening into our true nature...
To live from our true nature of no attachments will show us the most subtle attachments that may still exist within our body.

And now, I'm hitting publish before I get this lost... :)

Fierce Freedom said...

Let me just preface with:
This is how it seems here, now, from this experience. No one should believe me. Everyone has to find out what's true for themselves.

Life is always living from its true nature, no matter what human conceptualization calls it.

When I say 'I has been finished", I don't mean that the small self playing the role of Becky in the story of life doesn't go on. It will go on, until this body/mind dies, and even after that, those who have woven me into their own story will continue to remember me. When generations have passed, and no one remembers me, how will that be any different than things are now, and to whom could it seem different? The body will break down and if it's not buried in a lead-lined coffin inside a cement crypt, it might have a shot at returning to the earth. The components of physical life never go away, but they change and change and change again.

What I mean by saying 'I has been finished' is that no matter what comes up for the rest of the life of this body & mind, I am in full awareness that it's not me running the show. Even this attempt to assert these statements in this blog exchange is the will of the universe. Feelings of disagreement and resistance to what happens may still come up. That will be perfect, as it is. There is no ground of truth to stand on save what is present in this moment, and as the present moment is always changing, this, to me is the selfless state. There is simply no more problem with this. To be or not to be is not a question I'm seeking the answer to any longer.

There is no difference between the small self and the pure perspective of awareness. There is only an apparent confusion, when the small self is believed to be a real entity, capable of acting of its own volition.

There won't be a time when attachments don't happen. Attachments seen clearly, without self-confusion are simply the relationships between parts of the Universe, acting as they do and usually appearing as cause and effect to human perception.

Pat Bralley said...

Ah, this is a clear statement. And actually is a nice reply to questions I left on your blog - the 7/25 entry. I think a good deal of our confusion and misinterpretation lies in different definitions of terms. And I don't have the umph to sort that out.
BUT, I do check your other blog you mentioned (the more poetic)- HEY! There's death there too :) I tried to leave a comment and couldn't get it accepted.

Thanks for your care in all this.