Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Nondual Diary: Dropping out of BOPs and into Oneness.

A DEAR FRIEND AND REGULAR AC READER, had a wonderful, truly authentic experience of Oneness this week.  That is Big Joy!  She wrote me about it, and you can’t write the way she wrote until you’ve seen what you really are.  You can write the same words and delude yourself if you want to, but you’ll never fool anyone who’s seen both apparent sides of the Real McCoy.  She had already seen what she was not about a year ago.   It’s good to see the emptiness of all things; it’s wonderful; it’s a huge movement.  But that emptiness attains a certain beauty and sweetness, shall we say, once the fullness has been seen to go along with it. 

I SAY “ONENESS” HERE, because of the inherent verbness in hers or anyone else’s authentic experience of Living Truth.  You may call it by any name you wish—IT doesn’t care, I assure you—but whether you term it God, the Absolute, Tao, Nature, or whatever, it has a verb-like quality to it, because the show, the dream, is in constant movement through all things at all times.  An experience of Oneness occurs when Tao presents itself openly to more or less a passive witness, which we can talk about at another time.  As Adyashanti says, "It's showing you something."  And it's doing it just for the doing of it.  There's no fundamental causality in the universe.

THE TAKE-HOME POINT IS that the movement of Oneness can only be seen and heard if there is first a background of silence and stillness.  Paint a white wall with white paint, and you won’t notice any change.  Color is required for change to be noticed in stillness, and shape is required if we wish to weave a story out of it.  Open and close your mouth in a dark, silent room, and no apparent change will occur.  Sound is required for change to be noticeable within silence, and a pattern of sound is required if we are to weave a story about what we're hearing.  This is why the mystics use these words, stillness and silence, so often.  They are Reality itself, or as clear as it can be said. They don’t really tell the tale, but it’s close enough for us to get a whiff of truth.  The final clearing has to come from the “other side”, so to speak.

MANY OF YOU WILL RECALL Ramana Maharshi telling us back in the early to mid-1900s, when Hollywood movies were the latest wonder in technology, that life was like a picture show.  Everyone focuses on the moving images, and no one notices the screen they’re appearing on.  In truth, there’s nothing happening up there on the stage where we’re all looking, though it can certainly be said to be appearing.  That appearance is undeniable, even though it is completely empty of truth, meaning it cannot stand on its own.  There is actually just a still white light, through which a representation of life—action, drama, comedy; color and shape, sound and pattern, and the all important sense of duration, which is expressed by a series of frozen frames.  All of this is magnetically held on a film strip that is being pulled through a lifeless projector. For two hours we trade our relative reality for the relative reality of the film.  If it's successful in pulling us out of ourselves, we call it a "good" movie.  If it doesn't, we call it a "bad" one.

EACH OF US IS THE PROJECTOR OF OUR WORLD.  We are not the formulators of our world.  All that is done for us.  We can sometimes feel that it’s being done to us instead of for us, but that BOP is only taken when we are operating from a basis of mistaken identity.  It is, in fact, done through us, like electricity running through an insentient lamp.  We are ever the lamp claiming to be electricity.  In fact, we are literally as choiceless as the lamp (this statement is both true and untrue, but for today’s teaching it’s true enough).  Nonetheless, spontaneously arising decisions will appear to be made.  No one is denying that there is a sense of choice.  Yet if I am on a trip and a certain restaurant gives me a warm sense of home, I am clearly not home other than in my head.  It pays us to remind ourselves that fullness and emptiness are still two sides of No-thing.  They are the ultimate experiences within duality. 

IN THE HEART SUTRA WE ARE TOLD that emptiness is form, and form is emptiness.  That’s not saying there are two sides to our story of Oneness.  That’s saying that there is just Oneness, which encompasses both fullness and emptiness AND the witness that reports it sees two sides.  No-thing is No-thing.  Where are the sides?  

WE HAVE HIT THE NO-MORE-WORDS-WILL-SERVE-USE point, so I leave you to dwell on what's already been said--if you’ve a mind to, or to skip right on over it, if you don’t.

I HAD AN EXPERIENCE OF ONENESS this week, too; any number of them, in fact.  They were not the intoxicating, vibrant type that my friendy experienced.  Certainly I know the difference.  There is nothing so pleasurable as having Oneness present itself as your very own identity. But both hers and mine are present experiences of the infinite, eternal Living Truth.  I’ll tell you about the experience I had this week that sparked this article. 

OUR LITTLE PEANUT-BELLIED TABBY CAT, pictured elsewhere on AC, The Right Annoying Sir Henry Hackett, came to greet me as I woke up, just as he does every morning.  It’s a sweet ritual, all softness and purring and innocent love on both sides.  That’s what was happening until it wasn’t.  “Wasn’t” came about the second all assumptions (chiefly in the form of memory) were consciously and deliberately dropped: all labels, all stories; when all of what I have to term BOPs, for beliefs, opinions, and positions.  Note that memory is really a position, out of which arise beliefs and opinions. What's left is is what Dzogchen practitioners refer to as nonconceptual awareness.

“HENRY”, CAT, BED, ROOM, BLANKET, MORNING, FREDNESS, and a zillion other conceptual labels and stories dropped away just from allowing them to; just from relaxing out of the "me" story and into the truth of I AM.  Fredness is handy for eating and communicating and tying shoes, but it’s quite overrated.  In an instant I went from having 'Henry, the little tabby cat, in bed with me, the star of this projected movie about what’s happening' into Being the Living Truth that IS happening.  This—THIS—is completely new in every apparent moment.  Thus I had no idea what was going on.  None. What was going on abounded in color and light, sound and pattern, but when I dropped the sense of self, the illusion of duration immediately passed.  There is no time in Oneness.  A sense of volume remained, so everything was more or less (less) 3-D, but without a story and a star, with no central point of reference, 3-D is not processed in the same way.  Without a little me, there’s no one to know or guess how many dimensions there might be within I AM.   


WE CAN DO THIS WITH ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.  My teacher, Scott Kiloby, gave me tools through inquiry that are capable of shattering any myth.  And amazingly enough, without a story, there is no contrary story.  Without a resistant story that runs contrary to what’s going on, there’s just What’s Going On!  It is beheld as being wild and gentle, merciless and merciful.  It takes on all comers and accepts them completely.  It is “perfect”, but perfect is a layering on, as if Oneness needed our approval.  It doesn’t.  But if we offer our acceptance of What Already Is, suffering will drop away.  If we can reach down in a fit of honesty and find approval, then joy will arise from that Love.  That Love is what you are.


Housekeeping Notes:
An unholy alliance of taking an inventory of thousands of books, purging some dead ones, and providing reports to our accountant has left me with precious little time for AC this week.  It will likely be the same for the remainder of this week.  Then, with luck and pluck, I’ll be able to spend more time on writing for this website.  I appreciate your understanding.  And the good news is that I’m off the road for the foreseeable future, and Hut World remains intact.

For the curious, the photo illustrating this post is of a stone sculpture of Lao Tzu, author of the Tao Te Ching (pronounced Dao Day Jing), located north of Quanzhou at the foot of Mount Qingyuan .

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