Happiness appears as desire when it is veiled; desire is revealed as happiness when it is fulfilled.

The Self Never Disappears

I realize that my body is an object in consciousness, but if the body is always part of my experience, it seems reasonable to say its a part of me?

Rupert,

I finished reading your book recently and enjoyed it. However, my questions originally arose from seeing the Transparency of Things videos on StillnessSpeaks.com a while back, and they still persist. I have two questions that I would like your help with. Thanks, Jim
 
(1) You say we take our body/cluster of sensations as ourselves, and conversely the fan or chair as not ourselves, due to habit/cultural learning. However, the key difference I think is that, at least in the waking state, my body is always connected with me, while the other objects are not. Wherever I am, whether at home, work, or the grocery store, my body is always present in my experience. The other objects come in and out of my experience, so it only makes sense that I draw the conclusion that my body is somehow a part of me, attached to me. I realize that my body is an object in consciousness, but if the body is always part of my experience, it seems reasonable to say its a part of me. The body seems a special case of objects in Consciousness. Agree?

(2) The recognition of consciousness as myself seems to have limited value. I do admit that seeing this fact significantly helps experience life in a more impersonal way, limiting suffering. However, even if I can continuously watch from this position of consciousness as witness, it seems a passive position, and a potential source of frustration from being stuck on this single channel (analogy to tv). If I prefer to experience something different, I seemingly have no ability to carry out actions towards this preference, as I’m simply a watcher. I must be misunderstanding something. [as I re-read what I have written, before hitting the ‘send’ button, I realize that I have set-up a new separate entity—the witness—“behind” my experience, if that makes sense. I acknowledge this, but that’s where I seem to be stuck.

James

 

Dear James,

James: You say we take our body/cluster of sensations as ourselves, and conversely the fan or chair as not ourselves, due to habit/cultural learning. However, the key difference I think is that, at least in the waking state, my body is always connected with me, while the other objects are not. Wherever I am, whether at home, work, or the grocery store, my body is always present in my experience.

Rupert: That your body is always with you is a belief not an experience. The body consists solely of sensations and perceptions. These sensations and perceptions appear and disappear in Knowing Presence.

It is simply a thought which imagines the sum total of all these sensations and perceptions to be a permanently existing object called the body. No such entity has ever been experienced.

If we look simply, closely and honestly at our experience we will find many occasions when the sensations and perceptions that the mind labels ‘the body’ are not present. During such times there may be thoughts, images or perceptions of the so-called world, appearing in Knowing Presence, or there may be no thoughts, sensations or perceptions at all.

In either case do you, Knowing Presence, disappear? No!

In other words, we often have the experience of the disappearance of the body but we never have the experience of the disappearance of our Self.

James: The other objects come in and out of my experience, so it only makes sense that I draw the conclusion that my body is somehow a part of me, attached to me.

Rupert: If you use the experience that “objects come in and out of my experience” to ascertain whether or not those objects are a part of you (and that is a very good place to start) then it should be easy for you to see that intermittent bodily sensations are no more a part of you than intermittent perceptions, thoughts or images.

In other words simply apply your own understanding to your actual experience and the nature of experience will become clear.

James: I realize that my body is an object in consciousness, but if the body is always part of my experience, it seems reasonable to say its a part of me. The body seems a special case of objects in Consciousness. Agree?

Rupert: The thought that says “The body seems a special case of objects in Consciousness” is the thought with which the separate entity seems to be created.

However, I hope by now it is obvious that the body is not always a part of your experience. Again use your own line of reasoning to ascertain the truth about yourself. You quite rightly write that it seems reasonable to say that whatever is always a part of your experience is a part of your self. Simply apply that criteria to your actual experience.

Ask yourself what is always present in your experience and know that whatever you find is your Self.

Knowing is always present because ‘something’ is known in every experience. Even if what is known is an illusion, the illusion is known.

Being is present in every experience, simply by virtue of the fact that experience is.

Therefore you know for certain that you are Knowing and Being or Knowing Presence. These two elements (apparently two) are obvious in all experience.

This Knowing Presence is in fact not two things. When the dualising mind rises up and seems to separate this oneness of Knowingbeing into two apparent things (an entity residing in the body and an outside, separate world of objects and others) this Knowing of our own Being seems to be lost.

This Knowing of our own Being is simply the familiar experience of peace or love. In other words peace or love is also inherent in our self but seems to be veiled by the apparent separation of experience into two things.

So Knowing, Being and Loving are inherent in what we are - that is our simple moment by moment experience. Just live this understanding in your everyday life in relation to people, animals, objects, situations and events, and everything will fall into place.


With love,

Rupert