Sunday, July 28, 2013

Seeing the perfection of persona through Buddha's eyes

"This that we are honors the persona equally with the eternal."  
Pamela Wilson.

There are a lot of helpers in the world.  Most of those helpers have some wisdom; some have a lot.  But there is something about the roles of helper/ helpee that has always bothered me: the assumption that someone needs "help."  

From one point of view, of course, we all need help at different times.  Some of us seem to need more than others.  But from the point of view of the eternal, no one needs any help:  we are all perfect as we are.  And somehow, when we meet someone who knows that, we are radically changed, even if the person says nothing at all about it. 

Many years ago, I saw a Kurosawa movie called, DO DES'KA DEN.  It was a commercial flop and not very many people saw it, but I've seen it three or four times.  I kept trying to figure out what it held for me, because when I saw it, it appeared that a transcendent wisdom was being transmitted, although I wasn't sure if it was in the film, or if I had just projected it.  In this film, a ragtag group of society's dregs lives in a rubbish pile on the edge of Tokyo Bay.  Their quirkiness is all in the service of survival.  And it was something about Life's pushing through, Life's just keeping on making it happen that moved me to tears.  Pamela today called it the "resilience of consciousness," and suddenly I saw why I had watched this movie so many times.

I saw for the first time how every form, everyone, not in spite of how they are but in the very being of who and what they are, is manifesting divine perfection.  Adyashanti used to call it "the Eternal in drag."  It just shines if you have eyes to see it.  And today, I have eyes to see it.

Of course, this doesn't negate that there will be people who push my buttons, people whom I don't like or who don't like me for a myriad of reasons.  All that psychological stuff is still there, but it doesn't obscure what is underneath anymore.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Is it all in your head?

I'm reading a little book by Frank A Smitha called Your Philosophy and Mine: Choices for the Twenty-First Century. Smitha is a rationalist and makes his points in support of his position cogently.  But I'm going to play with his position a bit here.

In one chapter, Smitha discusses the religious scholar Huston Smith.  He states, "[Huston] Smith assumes that the spiritual oceanic sense within him is a real universal force existing outside his head."

My response to this is that Frank A Smitha assumes that the tables and chairs and people he sees really exist outside his head.

And you might say, implicitly agreeing with Smitha -- of course they do.  Because, you see, all of us are innately rationalists, although we may have some sort of intuition of something else which we begin, at some point, to pay attention to.  But our implicit and unconscious assumption is that the things we see are "out there."

And yet, we don't know that they are out there, do we?  We only know that things appear to be outside of us.  And "appear" is the operative word here.

My argument here is not a solipsistic one (solipsism being the position that nothing can be known outside one's own mind), although I know I found this point confusing for a long time.  My teacher kept saying, "It's not solipsism," but I couldn't understand why, if we can't know whether anything is really outside ourselves, it isn't.

And then the wall between "inside" and "outside" started to break down.  I felt myself to be the table, or whatever I was touching, and then other people, and finally everything.  So then, who or what is the "I" to which we usually refer when we say, "I see that table over there"?

In the nondual community where I hang out, "What am I?" is not meant to be answered but to be the beginning of an inquiry into one's true nature.  But just for fun, I'm going to answer it here -- because it is also the answer to the question of solipsism.

"I" is nothing other than the thought-wall that separates the physical body from the things outside the physical body.  It is not the body itself -- although this is the unconscious assumption -- but an assumption of thought. What happens during the awakening process is that the identity between the body and thought begins to break down, so that one can see the distinction.

(Please note:  I received a comment for approval which contained a link.  When I clicked on the link, my virus software told me malware had been detected.  I'm sorry but I can't expose readers to this risk, so I deleted the comment.  If the writer would like to resubmit without the link, it will probably work.)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Eternal Present and Accomplishment

Today I read a comment about Zen.  The writer was saying that being in the present wouldn't work because, if we didn't anticipate the future, we wouldn't have any reason to get up in the morning.  I've often heard this objection.  But let's examine the assumptions behind it for a moment.

Do we really get up in the morning only because we anticipate the future?  What if we had nothing in particular happening that day or in the foreseeable future?  Wouldn't we still get up?  The body sleeps for seven or eight hours and it is rested.  It wants to move.  That is why we get up.  Only people who are very depressed or sick do not want to get up in the morning.

So why is this idea such a common one?  Because the mind wants to imagine that it controls the life.  And part of the way it maintains control is by telling this story.  The mind wants us to believe that its projects are the only thing that makes life worth living. 

Has anyone who has ever woken up to the Eternal Present found that he or she no longer wanted to get up in the morning?  The truth is that one wants to get up all the more -- because now life can be experienced first-hand, not just through ideas about it -- now life is more, not less, than the mind imagined before -- infinitely more! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Direct Path and Healing Psychological Wounds

I've been re-reading parts of a book by Alice Miller, the Swiss psychoalanalyst, which made a big impression on me when I discovered it in the 1980s.  She talks about how the true (psychological) self never develops in a child whose life depends on being pleasing to the primary caregiver. 

In the Direct Path, which has been the one that worked for me, all of the psychological conflict one has lived with simply gets by-passed and one finds that ultimate oneness and peace beyond understanding.  Rumi said, "I'll meet you there" in the field beyond right and wrong.  That's nice, but the important thing is to meet oneself there.  But then what?  Because that psychological conflict doesn't just magically melt away -- at least not for most people.

In his earlier years of teaching, sometimes someone newly awakened would ask Adyashanti why, since s/he had just realized ultimate truth, s/he was now in such psychological conflict and suffering, maybe only a couple of weeks after awakening. And Adya would say, "You came back for it."  Sometimes he'd add, "You wouldn't want to leave that behind, would you?"  By "you," he meant the Compassion one has now come to embody, which sees the suffering soul with its history of neglect or abuse or whatever, and knows that that is already part of the Whole, that it doesn't need to be excluded or denied, that everything is embraced.

And as I read Alice Miller now, that compassion in me for the small child is there and alive, and knows the truth of this.