As the witnessing presence of Awareness, we stand in the background of experience; as the light of pure Knowing, we stand at its heart. 

Unveiling The Knowing Of Our Being

What advice do you give for those "who "backslide," as all do, and have you found your experience to also be subject to "backsliding"?

Dear Rupert,
 
First of all I wish to thank you for your response to the several questions that I posed.  You addressed my most significant topics with great adroitness, diligence and care for detail… greatly appreciated!
 
As we have come to see a greater common ground in many non-dual approaches it is also important to be able to discuss these topics through a languaging that offers a nomenclature that will communicate to the broadest audience possible, I am sure you would agree… yes?
 
So let’s see how you would translate some key experiential descriptions that I use and many others as well, if that would be alright with you?
 
The way I express what is occuring in each every moment:  The Absolute is manifesting Itself as the relative, and that manifestation, in whatever form it appears to take… whether as thoughts, feelings, sensory perceptions, apparent objects or beings,  is at perfect oneness with the Absolute at all times.  The relative self is also not in anyway separate from the Absolute at any time.  Whatever is experienced is the Absolute appearing as that in all cases.
 
In the gnostic moment of mystical experience, this Absolute is known to be utterly perfect in every way… and equally It’s display is also a seamless embroidery of that same perfection.  It is also revealed in that moment that all form is emptiness and likewise emptiness is not at all empty, but is Itself form. Neither form nor emptiness step outside of their essentail non-dual nature at any time.  Yet it is a magical trick of mind that causes that apparent duality to appear, but that too is the Absolute in play or as some say, as sport.  This is all fully revealed in that flash of Knowing. Do you also experience It that way?

This means that the relative self has no accountability nor responsiblity as the relative self is purely an effect, as the immediate and direct expression of the Cause or the Absolute. Whatever “we” do, it is always the Absolute’s doing.  And therefore everything that arises in experience is always perfect just as it appears.  Do you see/feel this Perfection as inclusive of all experience as well?
 
In this way, “we” can all relax as everything is always within this Great Perfection and at no time is there any need for additional meddling or efforts at correcting our experience, as all experience is perfect in being free from the least trace of possible benefit or harm.  Everything is the embrace of that Unconditional Love, that knows no “other”.  And so, this becomes known directly as the seeker drops away,the apparent limited identity dissolving into Being, just as a piece of ice melts into the sea seamlessly.  That being so, many ask how to come to this Knowing… bridging the apparent gap from relative to Absolute.  And I believe you are suggesting that a method that has worked for you is the process of exploring the nature of one’s personal experience through a series of contemplative exercises that reveal the actual nature of what only appeared to be… correct?

That approach can open the door to this Self-Knowing as an initial insight…but more often than not, a “backsliding” will always occur, as appears to be the case with all approaches or methods.

So a question for you Rupert is: what advice do you give for those “who “backslide,” as all do, and have you found your experience to also be subject to “backsliding”?

Or is this a trick question of sorts, because the experience of “backsliding” is also perfect just as it is, as it is just the current display of the Absolute in its tide-like cycles of Sef-revelation within the greater game of hide and seek?  But when this is seen clearly, does the term “backsliding” really have meaning?
 
I am truly enjoying your sharing with us all that you do so gratiously… I hope you are as well!  The insights you have offered to all here have been truly profound and enlightening!
 
Love,
 
Jax

 

Dear Jax,

Thank you again for your email. I certainly agree with what you say about language and communication. And yes I am very happy to comment on your descriptions.

Jax: The Absolute is manifesting Itself as the relative, and that manifestation, in whatever form it appears to take… whether as thoughts, feelings, sensory perceptions, apparent objects or beings,  is at perfect oneness with the Absolute at all times.  The relative self is also not in anyway separate from the Absolute at any time.  Whatever is experienced is the Absolute appearing as that in all cases.

Rupert: Yes.

Jax: In the gnostic moment of mystical experience, this Absolute is known to be utterly perfect in every way… and equally It’s display is also a seamless embroidery of that same perfection….. it is a magical trick of mind that causes that apparent duality to appear, but that too is the Absolute in play or as some say, as sport. This is all fully revealed in that flash of Knowing. Do you also experience It that way?

Rupert: Yes, but it may not come to everyone as a ‘flash’ of knowing. Sometimes it will simply dawn on one slowly, in just the same way that, if one lies awake in bed in the early hours, he or she notices at some stage that it is light without knowing exactly when, let alone how, it became light.

For others, as you imply, it will be more like one’s six year old child coming into his or her bedroom in the middle of the night and turning on the light. Then it is more like a flash!

Jax: This means that the relative self has no accountability nor responsibility as the relative self is purely an effect, as the immediate and direct expression of the Cause or the Absolute. Whatever “we” do, it is always the Absolute’s doing. And therefore everything that arises in experience is always perfect just as it appears. Do you see/feel this Perfection as inclusive of all experience as well?

Rupert: Yes, exactly, there is never a personal entity that does, chooses, thinks, feels or decides anything.

However, if we think and feel that we are a person, an entity, then inherent in that belief and feeling is the conviction that we do, choose, think, feel etc. So, whilst it is true at the absolute level that even this apparent belief and feeling of being a separate entity is itself an impersonal expression of the Absolute, it is disingenuous to claim, as that apparent person, that this is so.

The belief and feeling of being a separate entity is unavoidably the belief and feeling that ‘I’ very much do, choose, think feel etc. In other words we cannot legitimately claim to understand that everything is an impersonal expression of the Absolute and at the same time think and feel on behalf of a separate entity.

To make such a claim (and of course I am not suggesting that you are) is to reduce advaita from experiential understanding to belief. It is to intellectually superimpose the belief that ‘there is no one’ on top of one’s deep feeling of being a ‘personal entity.’

*****

Jax: In this way, “we” can all relax as everything is always within this Great Perfection and at no time is there any need for additional meddling or efforts at correcting our experience, as all experience is perfect in being free from the least trace of possible benefit or harm.

Everything is the embrace of that Unconditional Love, that knows no “other”. And so, this becomes known directly as the seeker drops away, the apparent limited identity dissolving into Being, just as a piece of ice melts into the sea seamlessly.

That being so, many ask how to come to this Knowing… bridging the apparent gap from relative to Absolute. And I believe you are suggesting that a method that has worked for you is the process of exploring the nature of one’s personal experience through a series of contemplative exercises that reveal the actual nature of what only appeared to be… correct?

Rupert: Yes. The apparent person is brought about by a thought which seems to contract Consciousness into a limited, separate entity. In other words, the ‘person’ is a contraction of our original Being. This ‘person’ cannot, by definition, relax. Relaxation is not an activity that the person does. It is the natural state of Being out of which that apparent person arises and into which it dissolves. In other words, relaxation and the ‘person’ are mutually excusive. Or another way of saying this would be to say that a contraction cannot relax. Rather, it is relaxation that dissolves the contraction.

We may then think that the situation for the apparent person is hopeless as some expressions of contemporary advaita suggest. Whilst I understand why this is said, there is more that can be said about it.

As long as our attention is directed exclusively towards objects we overlook our own Being. However ‘I’ (in this case the apparently personal ‘I’) is one of the objects which habitually occupy our thoughts. This ‘I’ thought is the one door that is still open to such a apparent person, because in exploring this direction it is, unknowingly at first, relieving itself of its own accumulated beliefs and feelings. In other words, the ‘I’ thought which seems to bind Consciousness is same thought through which it seems to be liberated.

The chain that binds us is the chain that liberates us and for this reason it could be said that ‘I’ is both the deepest ignorance and the highest truth.

So, the contemplative exercises that you refer to are simply facets of this investigation and exploration of ‘I,’ both at the level of beliefs and feelings.

It will seem to begin with that this is a practise undertaken by a person. This is inevitable because the reason we have come to this exploration in the first place is because we feel ourselves to be a limited, suffering, separate entity and we have to start honestly where we find ourselves.

However, it will soon be discovered that there is no such person present or doing anything. We realise that it was Consciousness all along who projected within itself the thought that identified itself exclusively with a body, thereby seeming to obscure its own Being, and that it was this same Consciousness that then relieved itself of this veiling thought.

Likewise it is true in theory that ‘at no time is there any need for additional meddling or efforts at correcting our experience, as all experience is perfect.’ However, the apparent person is defined by the idea and feeling, “I don’t like this” or “I want that,” in other words by resistance and desire. Such a one is, by definition, trying to change the current experience. The person is the resistance to what is.

So again, I would recommend that if the apparent person is present, we start honestly from there and explore this apparent one who is suffering and around whom our life revolves, rather than superimposing upon ourselves the belief that everything is perfect. The ‘separate person’ is the denial of that perfection.

*****

Jax: That approach can open the door to this Self-Knowing as an initial insight… but more often than not, a “backsliding” will always occur, as appears to be the case with all approaches or methods.

So a question for you Rupert is: what advice do you give for those “who “backslide”... as all do, and have you found your experience to also be subject to “backsliding”?

Rupert: It is quite natural for some time that there will be a transitional period of back and forth. There will be moments of understanding when one part of the forest of ignorance will be cleared only to be replaced by another facet of ignorance colouring the screen again.

As time goes on we explore more and more deeply all the subtle hiding places of ignorance, that is, all the possible residences of ‘I’ in the mind and body. To begin with the task will seem complex and endless. There will be a mixture of dense undergrowth followed by pools of light. However, as we proceed to the heart of the forest, things get simpler and clearer. There are less and less places where ignorance can hide undetected. Its days are numbered.

In India this stage is likened to a rope that is mistaken for a snake. What is it that reveals the apparent snake to be only a rope? Clear seeing. We turn on the light, as it were. That is what we are doing here - looking clearly. Allowing the reality of what is to be revealed. To whom? To itself. We are unveiling the knowing of our own Being.

As we proceed with this exploration, ignorance begins to loose its sway over us. Thoughts, feelings and perceptions which once seemed to overwhelm us and, as it were, cover the screen of our Being, now instead turn round, as it were, and co-operate with us. They all point towards Being, “There she is, there she is!” is what everything calls out to us. Or rather “Here I am, here I am!”

As time goes on the periods of forgetting last for less and less time and appear less and less frequently. There is more and more abidance. At some point, and usually we do not notice when, let alone how this moment comes, we find ourselves established in this experiential understanding. There is no more coming and going.

At this time it doesn’t mean that all appearances of ignorance will cease for ever. There will still be habits of ignorance which, due to their momentum, will continue to arise. These are the residues of the old beliefs and feelings of separation. Once they have been fully explored and found to be completely empty or hollow, they are just left to do their thing and peter out. In time they show up less and less and slowly die of neglect.

In india this stage is likened to a rope which has been completely burnt. Only the semblance of the rope remains but it is touched, it just vanishes. There is nothing there, just a gossamer thin semblance of its previous solidity.
 
Jax: Or is this a trick question of sorts, because the experience of “backsliding” is also perfect just as it is, as it is just the current display of the Absolute in its tide-like cycles of Sef-revelation within the greater game of hide and seek? But when this is seen clearly, does the term “backsliding” really have meaning?

Rupert: Again you are right in theory but in practise this kind of attitude can be simply clever intellectual manoeuvring on the part of the apparent person (again, I am not suggesting this is your position). Ignorance (that is, the person) is posing as understanding. It is one of the many ways that ‘ego’ or ‘ignorance’ appropriates the teaching in order to perpetuate itself. If the apparent person is present, then it is by definition resisting the current situation, rather than understanding it as pure perfection.

Jax: I am truly enjoying your sharing with us all that you do so graciously… I hope you are as well! The insights you have offered to all here have been truly profound and enlightening!

Rupert: Thank you, I share your gratitude for all that is taking place on this forum.


With love,

Rupert