Friday, April 24, 2009

Wholeness Excludes Nothing

I don't know what to make of this word integration. I only know what to make of the word wholeness. Wholeness is wholeness. It excludes nothing. It is augmented by nothing. It is completed by nothing. It is whole and entire. Nothing is left out. Everything has a place. It all belongs. It belongs, and yet parts feel displaced. They feel judged. This is the tension. This is the conflict. There has been no forgiveness for the self by the self. There is no possibility of loving others as you love yourself, because there is no love of self, only rejection.

So long as anything is rejected, there cannot be reconciliation of these apparent contradictions. Fear and love, light and dark, sin and grace remain polarized. Startled, even overwhelmed by the movement of energy, we innocently separate from what we have judged as "other," as not me. Opposition begins from this moment on. From judgment comes separation, from separation comes opposition, from opposition comes conflict, and from conflict comes violence. Understanding how this gets created allows the possibility for working in reverse. It allows the possibility to undo the damage.

If we set up anything as our enemy, If we begin with the belief that we have a foe, as an inner reality, we perpetuate opposition. No reconciliation is possible. No lion lying down with the lamb is possible. We have judged, separated and opposed what could have been received. We have excluded what, by nature, is included. Interior conflict is the result of our continual rejection of what belongs to the whole. The willingness to reexamine beliefs and welcome what has been rejected, the willingness to turn enemies into friends and others into oneself is the the path of wholeness. So long as we persist with the belief that there is an enemy, we postpone the return of all to wholeness.

Die Before You Die

Truly birth and death are happening every moment. Each moment a thought arises is a birth, and each moment a thought subsides is a death. then the next thought comes, and so on. What we call the life story, or the life of the individual is just one thought connecting with the next and the next, and so on. Out of these thoughts, an identity is formed. It is an identity that is "time bound", because time and mind appear and disappear together. Without mind, there is no time. In between the thoughts is the I AM. The I AM is linking thoughts together. It is always, always there.

The I AM is the Source of each thought. This has to be noticed. Freedom is basing your identity, not on the thought, which appears and disappears, like time, but on the I AM. "Thou art That!" is the pointer. The stream of thought is not continuous, though some may believe so. Thoughts are linked together by the I AM. They appear, then disappear. The I AM alone remains, always. The I AM is the space between each thought as well as the consciousness that gives rise and makes up each thought. In this way we are present at creation. We are present at the birth and death of every thought. Thus, we are present at our own birth and death. This is the meaning of "Die before you die" It is an invitation to take back your identity based on events, on thoughts, feelings, sensations etc., phenomenon which come and go, and place this label "I" on something more permanent, something more substantial, something eternal. We are invited to investigate, to find out the truth, to recover our identity, from the fate of events, from the shifting sand and place it on the rock, or I AM, which always is.

There Is No Becoming

You are That. There is no becoming That, and yet there is the continuous process of re-inclusion. There is realization and re-inclusion. The movement is toward re-inclusion. Whatever arises, pretending to be "unrealized," is meant to come home, so that there is peace throughout the system. "This is That" is the Truth, which underlies this process of everything returning to Oneness. Everything is Oneness, not knowing it. This is the final understanding.

What isn't re-included and redeemed by Oneness is still fallen." The mind, the content of the mind, actions, which flow from "fallen nature" are distorted and far from what is possible. The vocation of the individual is to wake up, realize who he or she is and re-include what has fallen from grace by allowing what arises to come home.

You Already Have An Identity

I'm not a doctor, a counselor, or a psychiatrist. I am just one who has discovered a secret. It's not a secret, really. It's just something that many have not taken the time to notice, but if you spend the time, this secret becomes obvious. The secret has to do with your identity, in particular, how your identity gets created. One day, it became obvious just how that happens, and I am now sharing it with you and whoever will listen.

The secret is that the mind builds an identity out of events. If there are no events, there is no identity. This is significant, but few realize just how significant. The mind-made identity, which almost everyone takes to be real, which changes moment to moment, is not the Truth. The sense of I AM is your true identity. It does not depend on events and so does not change. To see that the mind builds an identity out of events, and to see what this process obscures is liberation.

To see that you don't need two identities, that you have the identity of God is the truth that ends suffering. Nevertheless, the mind builds additional identities out of events, and says "this other is the truth!" "I am depressed." "I am lost" "I am anxious" "I am hurt." "I am separate" and so on. But none of these identities endure. They are not true. Depression, feelings of being lost or confused, anxious or hurt, are events, not identities. A feeling, a thought, a sensation is an event. It is a happening, not an identity. An identity, you already have. This awareness of how a "time-bound" identity gets built up can help anyone to be free. This can help even in the worst case scenario.

So, very simply, what I am saying is that the mind, desirous to know who or what it is, takes events or happenings and turns them into an identity. True, these events happened, but an identity, you already have. "You are That!", the same as everything. Why complicate matters? Having one self and many identities is self-fragmentation, not Self-realization.

When we let the mind build an identity out of events, the identity is always changing, because events are always changing. Consequently, who you are is obscured. When this task of securing an identity is left to the unenlightened mind, the mind not knowing its true nature, it comes up with countless momentary or "fleeting" identities. None of them tell you who you are. To have many events is fine, but to have many identities is crazy. Having a single identity that does not depend on events, whether it is the arising of a thought, a feeling, or even the happening of your birth is Oneness. It is also Freedom. Enlightenment, Salvation, and so on.

Such "attainments" are not beyond you, because you are That already. Your identity doesn't become That, when you have meditated enough or when you have become worthy. Your identity is That. "You are That!" Therefore, That is your identity and not these others, which the mind builds out of events, which you inevitably outlast.

Why There Is No Separation

Separation is perceiving from the point of view that God is limited. How absurd. Of course God, or Self, includes all, otherwise, God is limited. The truth is neither that God is limited nor that you are. You are one and the same Reality. How could it not be so? There cannot be two realities when one is infinite. Wholeness is, in truth, inescapable.

The counsel, "Don't become anything" is simply a warning not to confuse a limited personal expression with limited being or a limited identity. By not doing so, nothing is set apart and everything remains undifferentiated Wholeness.

When we superimpose an identity that obscures the truth of Wholeness, we mentally set ourselves apart from Wholeness and we operate under the delusion that we are finite. The counsel, "Don't become anything," and the reminder, "You are That" is to safeguard us from these tendencies the ego has to objectify itself.

If we ourselves are objects to be studied, judged and improved, then everything else will be objects to be studied, judged and improved. If we can awaken to this truth that we and everything else are unlimited, well, that's another story, or maybe, it is the death of the old story. Truly, we are bound only by who we think we are. Without thought, that person who needs to do this that and the other, in order to be whole or free, doesn't exist.

Wholeness is Perfection. Perfection is God, and You are Wholeness. Truly, there is nothing but God. The confusion comes because the concept God is often associated with ideas of moral perfection, but Reality is something else entirely. In his/her present state the person has forgotten the Source, and has lost connection with Truth. It is imagining yourself to be apart from the Whole and imagining others to be apart from you, which is the cause of needless suffering in the world.

The Problem With Methods

Whether awakening is sudden or whether it comes in stages, whether it is partial or whether it is full, depends on the method. For the good of all, I have chosen four primary methods. If we go into them, perhaps we can deepen our understanding of what they are and where they fall short. The first is meditation. The second is witnessing, the third is self-inquiry, and the fourth I call beginning from wholeness.

The goal of meditation being a thoughtless state, the concern is diminishing thought. Here, some are more successful than others. Regardless of one's success or failure, when the practice is through, although there is a glimpse, there remains a separate someone who has meditated, be it poorly or successfully. Here, one may suffer under the delusion that they are a separate somebody trying to get to where they already are.

The second is witnessing. In witnessing the concern is diminishing identification. Netti netti, "not this not that," is part of the method. The objective is to achieve or experience a kind of aloneness, a kind of pure space that is not identified with any of its arising forms. It is a type of discrimination. However, even if witnessing is successful, one is left not only with the thought or the belief, "I am the Witness," but he or she is left with the mistaken understanding that one is solely the Witness. Due to the diminishment of identification, what arises has nothing to do with what Witnesses. This method often results in an experience that is transcendent, divisive, disassociative or dualistic.

The third is self-inquiry. Self-inquiry is the invitation to investigate the basic assumption of who or what you are. It is subtle and often misunderstood. If confirmed by one who has realized, it is the most direct path. It is so direct that it has been called the pathless path. The discovery that comes out of self inquiry is not what you are but what you are not, mainly: you are nothing perceivable or conceivable. Not being able to perceive a mind, a separate entity or individual is the immediate result of the method. It takes but a glance, and its significance, if understood, is irreversible and total. If it is not, self inquiry becomes just another practice and it's greater purpose is missed. (In order to prevent this, the teacher waits for the right time, when the mind is silent, and truth can go in without ego defenses.)

When something becomes a practice, there is the goal of practicing and improving. The belief is that one is becoming better at meditating, witnessing, or inquiring. With this understanding, the drive to better oneself continues indefinitely. There is a striving to achieve some exalted state. There is a projected future where there will be less thoughts, less identification, or a truer seeing. There is a projection of some event when, for the "individual," things will be more peaceful. If meditation, witnessing, and inquiry were not turned into a practice, there might be the realization that there is no separate someone divorced from Being. Then meditation, witnessing or inquiring could be enjoyed for themselves without a goal. This would put an end to the individual's search.

If self-inquiry were understood correctly, if the full shock of realization were felt, neither meditation, witnessing, nor inquiry could become a practice. They could not become a practice whereby an individual hoped to gain something that is not here now, whether it be a thoughtless state, a break in identification, or a grasp of who or what you are. If self inquiry were understood correctly, the seeker's search would end. However, even self-inquiry falls short. Even if it fulfills its purpose, the importance of the body or personality are often denied, undervalued or left out.

Because these methods come out of a tradition which challenges assumptions: mainly that you are only the body, that you are only the mind, that you are solely the person or individual, they begin from the perspective of overturning a prejudice. Since nothing can be said of what is discovered, what is seen upon inquiry, the focus is turned to what is not seen. Mainly, there is no perceivable I or individual controller, and yet, there is the experience of I, the experience of ego, the experience of control and the experience of choice. I arises, I individuates and expresses as personal; This is the human experience.

Truth is all encompassing. It includes the human and the divine. There is not only the One, but the many. We can attach any number of stories or theories to this, but for whatever reason, it is the way Consciousness is expressing. It is personal, impersonal and neither. It is individual, alone and neither. It does not exclude. It diversifies. It does not separate; it includes. We may say, "not this not that," but the truth is: there is only That and That is all there is. Consciousness encompasses all that is. It is fully the One and the many. We may experience it as "not two." We may experience it as many. We may experience is either, neither or both. That is the paradox.

Those who have woken up, as a device, have often underemphasized what was overemphasized, and overemphasized what was underemphasized. They skillfully tried to point to what was not being seen. If the majority were looking at the finger, that would say, "look at the moon." If the majority were looking at the moon, they would say, "don't forget about the finger. They were unpredictable. They could speak of freedom as freedom from, be it freedom from mind, self, ego, individuality, or illusion, and in the next breath they could speak of freedom as nothing to choose between, as choicelessness, that Truth has no preferences and no need to be free. Those who have truly woken up, close the gap between the one and the many. They do not dichotomize. They are all encompassing and truly non-dual. For them, realizing that you are not the body, is realizing that you are all bodies, realizing that you are not the person is realizing that you are all persons, all places, all things.

Because the seeker begins with the idea that he or she is separate or cut off from the One, he or she commences the return to wholeness. The seeker doesn't see that he or she is part of wholeness, that seeking arises in wholeness and in an expression of wholeness. The whole is not considered. Only parts are considered, the seeker and the sought, and the dilemma arises how to make the two one. The truth is they are already one. If we start from wholeness, there is no need to deconstruct. Will we deconstruct only to reassemble what can never be separate? Will we try to heal the gap between two realities that can never be separate? The reality of the part and the whole cannot be separate nor can they really be two. That there is nothing to choose between is the realization of oneness, that there is no chooser, but just the appearance of choice, is self-realization.

There are, however, methods for realizing the big picture that don't begin with exclusion or disassociation, they don't suggest rejection death or turning away. They are in no way divisive or exclusionary. They leave everything in tact. The don't consider the mind and the body as obstacles. They don't see thought as something to be gotten rid of. They don't see the need to throw anything out, even initially. They are not deconstuctionist in nature. They simply point to what is subtle, what has been overlooked. Rather then clearing away the false to get to the true, they start from wholeness and look deeply into the total organic expression of consciousness each moment.There is only That

All this talk of getting out of one's own way is just an invitation to die to the idea of "me" by looking to the one Reality that is causing everything. The invitation to surrender is an invitation to realize that there is only That. Statements, which deny the reality of the body, the world, the ego, the mind, the self, the person, free will, choice or "the other," are not denying the appearances of these phenomenon. They are simply pointing to one and the same truth -THERE IS ONLY THAT. Awakening brings two significant understandings. As That, you are 100% free, and you are 100% That.

"There is only That" is a pointer, which is all encompassing. It points to the fact that no matter what experience you may be having or not having, already, you are 100% That. The same is true for everything and everyone. What is implied by using the all encompassing pointer: "There is only that." is that the body, the mind and the world are also That. There are not two or three or four or many. There is That, and That is all there is.


What is your experience of yourself when there is no thought? What survives, if anything at all? Is That not present always, whether thought is or not? Is That not eternal, unchaging and discontinuous with time, mind or any concept?

To clarify, allow me to share with you a dream. I dreamed that I was at satsang. The question arose, "What is the difference between being Being, between being Presence and being one who is present? just then, mind jumped to another question: that of whether or not one could become better at being Being. As soon as I asked it, the absurdity of what I was asking was noticed. The slightest bit of effort, and you become one who is present. This is conceptual. To be Presence itself, no effort is needed. You are not required.

From the perspective of Presence, to become better at being, or any involvement with personal evolution is a mental game, an intellectual exercise. first you imagine yourself as you believe you are then as you would like to be. The whole process begins and ends with imagination. It is a kind of dream.

Timelessness means, that the starting point is always Being. One doesn't evolve, develop, or process. One simply begins at the finish line. Any race is unnecessary. In fact, it is the block.

What the realized have realized is that the starting point has always been that of undifferentiated Wholeness. It is mind that makes the divisions. Without mind, without mentation, these are non-existent. Divisions are simply not there. These so called divisions go hand in hand with your considerations. Consider for a moment how much of the ocean is wave and how much is stillness, how much is shallow or deep? See how consideration divides what is whole.

If you project this understanding onto self, you can see the ridiculousness of this approach to reality. You might proceed in this way. Four fourths make a whole, therefore, I am 25% body, 25% mind, 25% emotions and 25% spirit. This obviously is absurd, and yet it is how a majority approach the idea of self. Maybe not exactly in that way, but one is still split in two, one is 50/50: body and soul, flesh and spirit, shadow and light. This understanding reflects a lack of understanding, even no understanding of undifferentiated wholeness.

It is mind that differentiates. It is mind that includes and excludes, and it is mind that refers qualities which become ego. This is why all of experience, except an experience of timelessness, or choicelesness has been talked about as a dream.