Who Takes Their Stand As Awareness?If we don't chose our thoughts, then we don't chose our actions, so who effects change or takes a stand as Awareness?
Thanks for your response. I’m away from home, and also want to make sure I’ve understood your points to the best of my ability before continuing. I did want to clarify my idea of grace. Grace is the totality. Grace is the fact I just took another breath, or that I may not. Every moment is awareness awakening to itself, so I am clear that any event and experience is an opportunity for awakening. Or not.
So while I do have preferences, I am not dismissing events outside my beliefs as “mere entertainment and trivia”. I consider the whole enchilada entertainment and trivia, but there is nothing “mere” about it. My favorite description of life is that it is Art and Toys.
So every sad and frustrating self centered, mind on fire with self deprecating thoughts experience is no different than any other grand ‘awakened’ experience. Is it? Other than, the nature of such experience is “personal” and consequently filled with pain. But in fact, it isn’t personal because there is really no such thing. So whether we suffer or not could only be a function of grace. Would you agree?
The main gist of my question is that if we don’t chose our thoughts, then we don’t chose our actions, so who effects change or takes a stand as Awareness. And if it is that which is reading these words, how does that happen? How does the totality, the one event step outside itself to have a relationship? So it would have have to be possible that some of us may be as if awakened but still suffer, if for no other reason than ‘entertainment’ for the divine? I’ll stop here for now.
I do not wish to dismiss any of what has taken place in this group as something less that perfect. I find myself challenged to drop my fears and to take this opportunity and lay it on the line in order to facilitate the deep desire in my heart.
Thank you Rupert for your time and attention,
Chuckee: Grace is the totality. Grace is the fact I just took another breath, or that I may not.
Rupert: From the absolute level that is true. Ultimately everything is an expression of and made out of Grace, Knowing Presence. It is only because Knowing Presence has, as it were, given its entire substance to every appearance of the mind, body or world, that objects have seeming existence. Their seeming existence is made out of the substance of Presence. That is, there is only one substance out of which all apparent things are made. Experience is one seamless totality.
However, once the mind (which is itself the shape that Presence takes ‘from time to time’) has arisen and seemingly divided this oneness of experience into two, that is, into an experiencing subject and an experienced object, the true nature of experience seems, as a result, to become veiled.
The result of this apparent veiling is what is called ‘ignorance,’ that is, the ignoring of the true nature of reality.
Grace is the name we give to Presence when it takes the shape of the unveiling of this ignorance.
In other words the very concept of Grace presupposes ignorance. The idea of grace does not arise if ignorance is not first presumed to be present.
Once this apparent ignorance has taken birth it is, by definition, inevitable that experience will seem to be made out of something other than Presence. That is, Grace will seem to be absent. The name we give to this something other is ‘matter.’ The name we give to the apparent absence of Grace, is suffering.
In other words, if we think and more importantly feel that we are a separate entity, a person, located in or as the body and that objects, others and the world are outside, separate from and made out of something other than our Self, we are in effect saying that everything is NOT made out of Presence, that experience is not a seamless totality. That is, we are saying that some things (the body) are made out of myself and other things (the world, objects and others) are made of something else. In short, we are saying that Grace is not the totality. In other words the apparent person cannot legitimately claim that Grace is the totality. The apparent person is the denial or veiling of that understanding.
To think and feel that I am a person, located here as this body with all the inescapable suffering that attends such a position and, at the same time to claim that my suffering is just as much an expression of Presence as everything else, is disingenuous. These two positions are mutually exclusive. This is pseudo advaita. It comes from the belief in non-duality, not the experience of non-duality.
Such a position is a contradiction of terms - not the legitimate kind of contradiction that we sometimes find in expressions of truth that come from different levels of apparent reality, but rather one that comes from a lack of clarity and honesty. There is a big difference.
So, and this is the point I am leading to, from the point of view of a person, grace is not the totality. It is that part of our experience that leads the apparent person out of ignorance. Or, more accurately, it is the unveiling of ignorance.
Grace is a power or a force in relation to apparent ignorance. In the absence of ignorance, this power is relieved of its dynamic, effective quality and stands revealed simply as the ever-presence of Knowing/Being shining in and as itself.
So, whilst I agree in theory, from the absolute point of view, that Grace is the totality, in reality I find this point of view somewhat theoretical.
Chuckee: Every moment is awareness awakening to itself, so I am clear that any event and experience is an opportunity for awakening.
Rupert: If ‘every moment is awareness awakening to itself,’ in other words, if awakening is already inherent within and knowing itself as every experience where would be the need of an opportunity for awakening? Again, I find a lack of clarity in this line of thinking. It would appear to come from belief, not from experience.
Chuckee: So every sad and frustrating self centred, mind on fire with self deprecating thoughts experience is no different than any other grand ‘awakened’ experience. Is it?
Rupert: Again in theory, from the absolute level, this is correct. However, in actual experience suffering is the rejection of the current situation. How can one truly be suffering, that is, rejecting the current situation, and at the same time, honestly say that this suffering is completely accepted? How can one reject and accept the same situation at the same time? One cannot. What has actually happened in this case is that a superficial belief in non-duality has been veneered over our much deeper belief and feeling in duality, that is, over our suffering. In fact such a belief is simply a conventional avoidance of suffering under a spiritual guise.
Chuckee: Other than, the nature of such experience is “personal” and consequently filled with pain. But in fact, it isn’t personal because there is really no such thing. So whether we suffer or not could only be a function of grace. Would you agree?
Rupert: Again, ‘Yes’ from the absolute point of view but ‘No’ in practise, that is, ‘no’ in our felt experience.
In those moments that we think and feel we are a person, then the suffering that inevitably attends this view will seem to be very real. In the moment we really know from our own experience that there is no person then, right there, in that moment of knowing, the apparent person and its attendant suffering ceases, because the person (and its offspring, suffering) cannot stand being clearly seen.
Chuckee: The main gist of my question is that if we don’t chose our thoughts, then we don’t chose our actions, so who effects change or takes a stand as awareness. And if it is that which is reading these words, how does that happen?
Rupert: The one who ‘effects change’ or ‘takes their stand as Awareness’ is the one who thinks that change is needed (ie. that the current situation needs to be changed in order to secure happiness) and who likewise feels that they are not already standing as Awareness.
Yes, who is that one? If we feel that psychological change is needed or that we are anything other than unlimited Awareness, then by definition, we believe and feel that we are a limited ‘I.’ That limited ‘I’ IS the apparent one who thinks that chooses thoughts and actions etc. If we feel that we are such a one, then searching for happiness, ‘becoming,’ choosing etc. is inevitable. In the absence of such a belief and feeling we know ourselves as Awareness itself and there is no need to take our stand there. We are there already. We are that.
In other words, the suggestion to take one’s stand as Awareness is given to one who believes and feels him or herself to be something other than Awareness, that is, a person. As this apparent one makes the effort to stand as Awareness, it finds of course that it is impossible to do so. Or, rather, it is seen that this apparent one is non-existent. Presence finds that it is already standing as itself.
At that moment, we realise that there was never a separate ‘I’ who did or chose or thought or felt anything. It is seen that Awareness was always the sole reality of the separate ‘I.’
What seemed to be an injunction for a person to take their stand as Awareness, turns out simply to be a call of love from Presence to itself, saying, “Be knowingly what you always already are.”
Chuckee: How does the totality, the one event step outside itself to have a relationship?
Rupert: By taking the shape of a thought which identifies itself (the totality) with a fragment. In this way, it creates an inside in which it takes up residence (the body) and an outside (the world, objects and others) with which to have a relationship.
However, love is not a relationship. It is the dissolution of all relationship.
Chuckee: So it would have to be possible that some of us may be as if awakened but still suffer, if for no other reason than ‘entertainment ’ for the divine?
Rupert: I don’t see much difference between ‘some of us who may be as if awakened and still suffer’ and those of us that are not awakened and still suffer. Both are suffering. In such a case, what would qualify those that were awakened and those that were not? Not a lot!
Suffering is dependent on the belief and feeling that we are a separate entity. And the belief and feeling that we are a separate entity is not possible if we deeply understand that we are aware Presence. These are mutually exclusive positions.
There may still be residues of ignorance that continue to appear for some time at the level of the mind and the body, after this experiential understanding has taken place, but they are not really experienced as suffering. They are empty.
Please do not think, Chuckee, that in responding in this way I am suggesting that your interest in or understanding of truth is in any way superficial - I certainly do not. On the contrary, it is precisely your sincerity that draws out this lengthy and detailed response. However, I detect some mismatch between the understanding you express here and ‘the deep desire in your heart.’ That deep desire is already this awakened Presence in you, loving itself. It is that which I see, love and respond to. Please know that.