Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Staying True to Your Own Experience: One Step

Carousel Monet by Seeking Tao
Carousel Monet, a photo by Seeking Tao on Flickr.
The psychological ‘I-concept’ has no nature of its own, is no ‘thing’, and could not possibly create genuine ‘bondage’. There cannot be any such thing as bondage at all, but only the idea of such. There is no liberation, for there is no thing from which to be freed. If the whole conceptual structure is seen as what it is, it must necessarily collapse, and the bondage-enlightenment nonsense with it. That is called Awakening, awakening to the natural state which is that of every sentient being.
Wei Wu Wei

I have been spinning round and round for some time now trying to answer the question, “Am I awake?” And I haven’t been able to decide.
This seems ridiculous to me, as I had assumed it must be very self evident.
But, for months and months now there’s been this internal debate running in a circle.
Just when I think, “ Yes. I’m awake.” … doubt creeps in…. “No. Look at that.”

However, there has been this kind of slow slide, until at some point a couple weeks ago I had the thought, “I have the suspicion that this is Cosmic Consciousness and God Consciousness.” (see definitions below if needed)

It was a strange thought to me.
First, it seemed rather disappointing. “This is it!?” Not what I’d expected!
Secondly, it seemed strange that I could now have a strong suspicion, and yet still really resist making any claim. Declaring anything just felt/feels all wrong., not ture.

Still, over time it seemed at least the suspicion has a solidity that seems genuine. It has an integrity that isn’t going to slip away.
So, I was going over all this in my head to a friend with whom I argue over expressions of awakening. My friend is clear: She is awake and she is liberated, "free".
Then, in my head there was the thought, “I have a suspicion that this may be CC or GC. But still, I cannot say that I am free.”

I cannot say that I am free.
I heard those words and came to a full stop. I thought them very strange.

I cannot say that I am free.
It was utterly nonsensical to me. Why?

What does it mean to be free?
I had no idea!
I realized that desiring to “be free” wouldn’t even cross my mind if my friend hadn’t dropped the phrase in there. That was part of the strangeness. What was that desire about?

What is there to be free from?
I had no idea! Absolutely clueless…
I looked around my backyard, at the trees, the sky, the dancing of the leaves. I looked inside myself… I looked outside my body…

I could not find anything to be free from…
And that was when I realized why I would never say, “I’m free.”
There’s nothing to be free from.
There is only One. There is not Two.
It all rests within myself. Inside, Outside: there is only One.
And Momma, there is no “free from.”
The issue cannot even come up. And that's why is made no sense.

Oh! Well, that sounds rather familiar, doesn’t it.
But, I never saw it coming.
I was stunned by my own innocence. (I've heard all the phrases ad nauseum)

But, all I saw was what I couldn’t say.
And I had to laugh. It all felt a bit back-asswards.
But, how else would a Bralley do it? I am a bull and not a ballerina.

Doctrines, scriptures, sutras, essays, are not to be regarded as systems to be followed. They merely contribute to understanding. They should be for us a source of stimulation, and nothing more... Adopted [as a belief], rather than used as a stimulus, they are a hindrance.
Wei Wu Wei

I'd like to post this here by way of a thank you to the friends who take the time to talk.  We may not agree.  But, if we use the words of wisdom as a stimulus, the results can be a spontaneous and innocent inquiry.
And a moment’s realization... still not making any claims.  And I am sure my friend understands, completely.
End Note.  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi described three levels of enlightenment or knowledge of the Self:
Cosmic consciousness so named because it is all inclusive—it simultaneously includes transcendental consciousness along with waking, dreaming, and sleeping. Adyashanti has described this as “radical duality” as the witness so strongly sees the world as illusion and the Self as Reality.

God consciousness is cosmic consciousness coexisting with the development of refined sensory perception such that perception and feelings reach their most sublime level. On a practical level, people feel an incredible expansion of the heart. In practice, the heart is crying “No!” to the duality described above.

Unity consciousness occurs as one experiences Being, the substance of transcendental consciousness, or pure awareness, as the basis of and permeating all aspects of life: everything is perceived as nothing but expressions of Being. Even though the diversity of life is still appreciated, what dominates is the experience that all aspects of life, are nothing but the self-interacting dynamics of pure consciousness.


rjh said...

This quote came to mind, as I read this post:

Fathomed at last!
Ocean's dried. Void burst.
Without an obstacle in sight,
It's everywhere!

-Joho, 12th Century

Anonymous said...

I look at the doubts of being awake as a function of the mind quantifying and qualifying experience. It is trying to explain what is impossible to put into words and therefore can only be known and never understood intellectually. Knowing and not understanding is the innocence and openness of being awake.
Your blog is wonderfully innocent.

Pat Bralley said...

Thank you, Joel, so much for taking the time to write. It's been over a month since I posted this entry and in the interim I have only grown more speechless. I find any words directed at self reflection completely... like water slipping through my fingers - such inadequacy seems to be insisting that the mind stop efforts at labeling... and I have to go with that. ... in this context, your kind words make my heart burst and tears fill my eyes.
Thank you, thank you!!