God's Signature In UsMy experience is that I have absolutely no say over such events. No matter what I read, or hear, or do or not do, such a happening or non happening happens spontaneously.
Do not worry about me taking offense over anything you have said. In fact, I myself believe all my interests and understanding in regards to Advaita, from the point of view of an individual to be superficial and can never be resolved. All these questions are from “individuals” as far as I can tell. For
me, it’s when the “individual” stops that all is known, and seeking stops. And all the expressions of ‘welcoming’ ‘standing as…’, and other “aids” are found to be the natural expressions of such. This individual Chuckee runs as he does based on all the kinds of influences, events, inputs, and tendencies. Also prone to a certain type of question and mind set that can never resolve to satisfaction anything. I can only assume we are all pretty much the same in this regard. When the personal ramps up, of it’s own accord, everything becomes small and needs to be understood, then when, of it’s own accord as well, the personal recedes, everything is whole and known. And all is well, and my God! it’s so obvious! me….. it’s myself pure isness…... clarity profound intuitive knowing….. everything says it and nothing comes close. Nothing needed, the fulfillment of all desire is known…....And then it’s gone, and all these explanations or needs of clarification come back….....
My experience is that I have absolutely no say over such events. No matter what I read, or hear, or do or not do, such a happening or non happening happens spontaneously. And when it does, it usually comes out of nowhere and is filled with everything I need to know, as I need it, in a way that can only be described as multidimensional and whole. I will say, that sometimes I can induce, if you will, a shift of attention that can fall into itself, but that is also determined by a larger element than some ‘me’ in the form of moods, desire, clarity, humor, etc. And then it just goes…...... (even though it is more ‘right’ and natural, makes more sense, and is filled with simple joy and love…..) goes back to black and white if you will. Then the questions that can never be answered return.
I go from such Knowing, and back to places where these words just make me sad, because they seem so hollow in and of themselves. In and out for 40 years. It is from this perspective that I disagreed with an answer you gave Claudia. Just because an “Awakening” occurred it doesn’t mean that now it’s just a simple matter of old habits running down or anything in particular, and we need to adopt a prescribed attitude and understanding. I don’t believe we do have a choice in any regard Rupert. Not in some sad, “What’s the use!?” kinda a way. But in the ‘we are not personal’ kinda way. In the ‘we are the ultimate reality of all things’ kinda way. We all going to continue with what ever we do. We will make decisions and choices as we always do whether we understand the truth of our existence and act from there or not. Some of us will hit the mark, others will be broad sided by a train. I can’t help but think it’s only from a human point of view that any of this matters. As an event, a big piece of on going art, even the most mundane and sad insignificant life that never quite arrives is of value as itself.
I can only speak for myself and from my own experience, but after a life that has been filled mostly with doubt and despair in spite of my best intentions and deeply moving and profound experiences, I have little or no faith in my ability to effect any change what so ever. This is not a sad or tragic thing. It’s simply a life such as it is. Yet another of the infinite ways Awareness experiences itself. All I can do is trust that this is true and continue as I have in being open to the possibility that Awareness will awaken to itself, or continue to awaken as the case may be. In fact I am happy to write in this open exposed way to such a group. It is only with in the last year that I have been so humbled and shaken in what I thought I knew, that I can bare myself to you all. That comes directly from a wearing down of the firmly held belief that I am somebody who knows something and needs to defend myself in my silence. Inquiry for me never stops. It was due to such that I found your site and consequently this group. I would never recommend it is all for nothing and we are wasting our time. As Francis told me, my questions and yearning for truth is grace, besides it’s fun, and it’s what I do.
Dear Rupert, you will not need to respond to this reply unless it can be of value. It is written from the point of view of an individual, an individual very adept at picking things apart to suit his own agenda. As long as I come from this position, there can be no lasting resolution capable of satisfying mind. Or can there? It all seems so intellectual for the sake of the intellect.
I often feel as if I am hovering between the personal, where all this needs to be explained and understood, and the impersonal, where all is well and nothing needs be or can be explained, and all is simply known eternally with out question. Flip flop flip flop.
I thank you for your time and efforts. I particularly enjoy the way you call us back to our own direct experience and ask us to observe and go from there.
All the best and thank you.
Thank you again for your email. I certainly take no offence at anything you have said about my responses. On the contrary, I enjoy your openness, straightforwardness and honesty.
Various thoughts come to mind as I read your email, some of which are shared below.
Chuckee: I myself believe all my interests and understanding in regards to Advaita, from the point of view of an individual to be superficial and can never be resolved. All these questions are from “individuals” as far as I can tell.
Rupert: An ‘individual’ or ‘separate entity’ can never be interested in non-duality. Insofar as a non-existent entity can be interested in anything, such an entity, being itself an object, can only be interested in an object, that is (in this case) an idea.
The ‘separate entity’ could be defined as the ‘apparent veiling of Consciousness.’ Unhappiness, seeking or the longing to be unveiled are inherent in this position.
This seeking is, as it were, the light of Presence shining in the mind that believes itself to be a separate entity. It is only the mind that misinterprets this seeking as belonging to a separate entity.
So yes, just as Francis said to you, this longing in our heart does not originate from a person. It is God’s signature in us.
It is true that it is, as it were, Presence itself that has dressed up as the apparent entity. And, just as when, in normal life, one who dresses up can still be recognised by his or her face, so, even in the apparent person that we take ourselves to be, our original face is still recognisable. This original face is the taste of happiness that lies at the heart of all unhappiness.
So, yes, it is not the person that goes, turns or moves towards Presence. It is Presence that gathers that apparent one into itself. After all Presence projected it out of itself to begin with.
Chuckee: For me, it’s when the “individual” stops that all is known, and seeking stops.
Rupert: This is the story of the Prodigal Son. The Prodigal Son reaches a place where he can no longer proceed. He is spent. There are no more possibilities within the realm of objects. His search collapses. That is, he spontaneously turns round. This is not a doing. It is the cessation of a doing. It is the cessation of the previous search for happiness in the realm of objects that sometimes spontaneously and effortlessly occurs as a result of despair or understanding.
Everything with which the Prodigal Son previously defined himself came to an end in that moment and he found himself facing the Father. However, it was the Father that came towards him and embraced him, not the other way round. That is, it is Consciousness that withdraws its projection of an apparent entity, not the apparent entity that moves towards or becomes Consciousness.
Chuckee: And all the expressions of ‘welcoming’ ‘standing as…’, and other “aids” are found to be the natural expressions of such.
Rupert: Yes, exactly. To begin with, when we feel ourselves to be a person, meditation, self-enquiry etc. are considered to be something that we, as a person, do. However, in time, we realise that meditation, contemplation or abiding as we are (which is the essence of self-enquiry) is in fact what we are, and the ‘person’ is simply an activity of thinking and feeling that ‘we do,’ that is, that appears in us.
The suggestion to meditate, investigate or explore the nature of the self or experience, is given to one who considers him or herself to be a person. Doing, for such a one, is not optional. It is, by definition, unavoidable.
The highest form of such an apparent doing is to enquire into the one who seems to be the doer. This is why Ramana Maharshi offered this way only to those who were not able to be, without doing, in silence.
If we find ourselves thinking and feeling that we are a person and at the same time advocate the idea that there is nothing to do, we have, as I have said before, simply not noticed that we are in fact already doing something.
It is very easy to detect the difference between the true understanding that there is nothing to do and and the belief of such that an apparent person holds: The former is accompanied by an unmistakable ease and peace whilst the latter is permeated with an air of despondency and resignation. This is the difference between surrender and despair. The confusion between the two is a common misunderstanding on the contemporary advaita scene.
In the case of the former, the question of whether there is something to do or not does not arise. In the case of the latter, we would be better off simply admitting the impulse to do something about our unhappiness and pursuing whatever means our love and intelligence dictate, in order to relieve or understand it.
Chuckee: My experience is that I have absolutely no say over such events. No matter what I read, or hear, or do or not do, such a happening or non happening happens spontaneously.
Rupert: Yes, as an apparent entity, we do and choose nothing. How could a non-existent entity do or chose anything? All apparent actions and choices come straight out of the heart of Presence, as it were, their real cause or origin, unmediated by an apparent person.
From the point of view of the apparent person all choices or actions that are taken towards happiness seem to be undertaken by itself, the entity. But from the point of view of reality (if such can be said to have a point of view) all such apparent choices or actions are in fact proceeding in the opposite direction: they are Presence gathering the person back into itself, withdrawing its own projection. If (from the point of view of the person) meditation or self-enquiry are the apparent shape of this gathering, so be it. Why resist? Who resists?
This resistance is in fact itself a subtle doing, a rejection on the part of the apparent person. Meditation or self-enquiry are in fact simply Presence itself, disguised as an activity, welcoming itself back to itself.
Chuckee: Just because an “Awakening” occurred it doesn’t mean that now it’s just a simple matter of old habits running down or anything in particular, and we need to adopt a prescribed attitude and understanding.
Rupert: It depends what is meant by an ‘Awakening.’ If it has been clearly and truly seen, in experience not just intellectually, that there is no separate entity and therefore no separate object, other or world, then the reality of that apparent entity is profoundly shaken. It may return, in fact in almost all cases it does, but it does not return with the same degree of apparent reality and voracity as it used to.
When we first see a tiger on the screen we are afraid of it in just the same way that we would be afraid if a real tiger burst into our room. Once we have discovered that the tiger in the film is made only of the screen we are no longer afraid of it in the way we were when we first saw it. We may still be afraid of it when it reappears on the screen but our fear, in this case, is not as profound as it would be if the tiger was to enter our room.
Each time we rediscover that the tiger is only made of screen, our fear of it diminishes, until a point when we can happily drink our tea, smiling and chatting, while the menacing tiger prowls around the screen.
Likewise, each time we check out our experience and find that there is no personal entity at the centre of it, the unhappiness that revolved around the belief in this apparent entity, diminishes.
I am puzzled by your comment about needing ‘to adopt a prescribed attitude and understanding.’ I have certainly not recommended or prescribed any attitude or understanding, let alone suggested that anyone adopt it.
Chuckee: I don’t believe we do have a choice in any regard…...
Rupert: At the risk of being repetitive….if it is clear that there is no separate entity, choices still appear, but they appear like the weather. They do not originate from a particular entity, nor do they appear to a particular entity. They simply appear and that appearance, along with everything else, is known and felt to be made out of our own knowing presence.
However, if we think and feel that we are a separate entity, then that very entity is made out of the ‘I-thought-it,’ I-chose-it,’ ‘I-felt-it,’ ‘I-love-it,’ thought. In other words, the separate entity is, by definition, the apparent thinker, chooser, feeler, lover etc. If we say ‘I think that I am a separate entity and yet I know there is no choice,’ we are in effect saying, ‘I think I am a separate entity and at the same time I know I am not a separate entity.’
This is a common position and results from having explored the belief in separation and coming, as a result, to the intellectual understanding that there is no such entity but, however, not having fully explored the feeling of being separate. This dichotomy lies at the heart of much of the insidious sense of dissatisfaction that sometimes lingers in us in spite of decades of non-duality teachings.
Chuckee: In fact I am happy to write in this open exposed way to such a group. It is only within the last year that I have been so humbled and shaken in what I thought I knew, that I can bare myself to you all. That comes directly from a wearing down of the firmly held belief that I am somebody who knows something and needs to defend myself in my
Rupert: Yes, I feel and am touched by your openness and honesty. If we think or feel that we are an entity, we already know something, we know one thing too much. It is this last trace of belief, which is the difference between resignation and surrender, which I keep trying to gently bring into focus. That is all….just to bring it to the light of Awareness, to lay it at the feet of Awareness and to say, ‘Here, this is my gift for You. It is all I have, but it is for You.’
Chuckee: ...you will not need to respond to this reply unless it can be of value. It is written from the point of view of an individual….
Rupert: I do not feel that your email comes from an individual. I feel it comes from openness, intelligence, love, honesty. And it is that to which my response is directed. Not ‘that’ in you or in anyone else, but simply ‘that.’ It is there for the taking…to be ignored if irrelevant, to be pondered if not.