This is one for all the (500M +) Twitter users out there.
If you’ve ever tried to compose and send at least ten Tweets, then you know it’s sometimes hard to get some words to fit within the 140 character limit. And of course, it’s usually due to fancy words or longer jargon-specific terms that you fancy using. If you’ve ever pulled your hair out and or wished there was a better way to remedy without turning your Tweets into some indecipherable/cryptic mess; I bring you Thsrs…(short for Thesaurus – get it?).
What is it exactly?
- Thsrs is a simple tool to help you find shorter synonyms for words you’re trying to tweet
- With Thsrs, “regurgitate” becomes “disgorge,” and “spectacular” becomes “salient”
- It’s a great way to make your tweets more exciting, not to mention learn a few new words
- Thsrs is the idea of photographer David Friedman
I thought I would try it out and see if it works or at least have some fun with it.
→ pun intended.
You don’t have to work hard or suffer to be in paradise.
I am a lazy man. Laziness keeps me from believing that enlightenment demands effort, discipline, strict diet, non-smoking, and other evidences of virtue.
There is a paradise in and around you right now, and to be there you don’t even have to make a move. All potential experiences are within you already.
You can open up to them at any time!
Drummer Drumming only Silence is the drumstick,
only Nothing is
the skin of the drum,
only Emptiness is the infinite Song
Hark to the unstruck bells and drums!
It is the music of the meeting of soul with soul;
It is the music of the forgetting of sorrows;
It is the music that transcends all coming in and all going forth.
This consciousness I am is beating a drum; everyone is carried away by the noise of the drum.
Who looks for the drummer?
by Nancy Colier
The other day a friend of mine told me about a weekend conference taking place about women and technology. Since I am investigating technology and I am a woman, I thought I should check it out. I could not attend the conference in person so I streamed via the web. Unfortunately, the first video I viewed spooked me so deeply that I never made it back to see what else was happening at the site.
The presentation was by a mommy blogger/expert, who was sharing tools for women who were traveling (to the conference for example), and leaving their children with a caretaker. In the video, the blogger/expert, dressed in a lovely tan business suit with a patterned scarf, offered three tips for women traveling without their children.
1. Mommies should make sure to arrange ahead of time when they would call to speak with their children. The times chosen should be hours when the children would be available to speak.
2. The mommies should make sure to alert the caretakers to any times in the day that would be particularly stressful for their children, as in homework time.
3. Mommies should review any chores for which the children are responsible, with the caretakers AND children present, making sure that everyone is aware of the children’s tasks while the mommies are away. These were her tips for traveling mommies.
Now I may be old fashioned but these “tools” (even the word “tools” sends shivers up my spine), to me, sound like what used to be called living, relating, or the decisions that generally just fall into the category of being a human being. Maybe the technical language might be “common sense.” I wondered, do we really need a power point presentation from a mommy blogger/expert to tell us to call our children when they are free to come to the phone?
I was so perplexed by these expert suggestions that I had to call a friend to come over and watch the video again. She said that it reminded her of an infomercial/instructional video on how to slice a mango.
The internet boom is creating a technological language around what used to just be part of or integrated into basic human interaction. Will we soon need to be reminded to breathe too, before we pick up the phone to call? Or perhaps to go to the bathroom when we feel the urge? If we have a relationship with our children, and our caretaker (which presumably we would if we are leaving our children in their care) do we really need “tools” for how to function when we are home or away? We are developing a science and an industry around what already is, and spending a tremendous amount of time congratulating ourselves on the packaging of what just is. There is something eerily unnerving about a woman streaming into my home, appearing on my desk, and telling me that I should communicate and have a relationship with the person with whom I entrust my children.
My women-friends who have become deeply involved in the web remind me of Stepford wives whose souls have been snatched, leaving behind only their cupcake-frosted frames. Where have they gone, these women who are clapping and congratulating this mommy blogger on her earth-shattering “tools” for what used to be considered “being a mommy”?
What’s the big deal you might ask?
So what that we are repeating the obvious, as if it were something terrific and worth dialoguing about? The big deal or poisonous part of all this is that our focus is now on packaging life in place of living of it.
It reminds me of a friend who recently returned from a conference on film making. The entire dialogue was on how to use technology to sell the film, and the filmmaker. Absent was any discussion about the work itself, on creating story lines and characters that would move audiences or shed light on the human condition. Creating instructional videos on what we might have previously considered “living life” is co-opting life itself. We have turned life into an object, and worse, a product. Life has become a “something” that we relate to through a strategy or plan. Instead of experiencing life directly, from inside it, we are experiencing life through a middle-woman, a marketing expert, who is voicing over our own existence.
As a result, we are depriving ourselves of the staggering gift that we have been given: life itself, and accepting a hollow substitute in its place.
Of course it is important to spend time thinking about what our children need and what we need when we are away (and when we are home) and of course we must dialogue with all those in our life about how we can best take care of those we love, but can’t we do all this without turning any of it into a plan or strategy, without aiming a laser pointer at it?
In making life into an object, the mind is once again strengthening its position as the boss of us, of our true nature. In truth, we do not need instructional videos on how to be. We are human “beings” after all. The new science, strategy and language around what is really just plain living, being alive, is reinforcing the belief that being is something that we must be taught (usually for a fee), and worse, manufacture. And yet, our human being-ness is not and can not be a construction of the mind or any industry. Nothing—not even the mind— precedes or can create our being. But because the mind has successfully convinced us that we need it to teach us how to be human we are now relying on the mind and its resulting industries for what we already know—who we already are.
“Being human” is an item that we can safely remove from the current “to do” list.” ~Nancy C.
When we stop trying to figure out how to be human, we will again remember our inherent humanness. While it may put a dent in several new industries, and reduce the need for so much new information, in fact, “being human” is an item that we can safely remove from the current “to do” list. We do not need a roll-out strategy, strategic plan or search engine optimization expert to teach us how to be alive, how to make what already is exist. The only thing that we need to do is to throw out the manuals and all those who tell us that we need them in order to be who we are.
Thankfully, the majesty of our basic human being-ness, of life itself, is greater than anyone or any technology could ever create or control.
Nancy Colier is a psychotherapist, interfaith minister, writer and public speaker. She graduated from the University of Virginia, Columbia University School of Social Work, The Focusing Institute and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. A longtime student of Eastern spirituality, awareness practices form the ground of her work.
She is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in numerous publications — most recently on SparkPeople.com.
After having spent 25 years as a top-ranked equestrian on the national horse show circuit, Nancy serves as a performance consultant to competitive athletes and professional artists. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.
I feel moved to personally thank each and every one of you for your continued support and wish you all a joyous Holiday Season among family and friends and a New Year filled with much happiness.
It’s been a blessing and honor to share this journey with you this past year!
Blessings and Warm Wishes for 2012.
Since it seems that the general public is obsessed with lists these days, I thought it would be interesting to compile some “Top 3’s” or highlights from this years Science and Nonduality Conference (SAND). I sent out the short questionnaire to various folks in the spiritual community who either attended the event and or were a featured speaker.
Interestingly enough, some of the individuals couldn’t come up with three, and or decided to relay their “highlights” or observations in other ways—which is cool too. Thanks to all for sharing. N-Joy!
*all photos Emily Goodman
1. This years conference was so amazing, the love kept building, it never really waned. That blew me away. The LOVE.
2. The Premanator was an answer to my inner prayer. To be introduced with song. Took me back to the church. It was the choir that set the tone for the message, the pastor was going to deliver.
3. The highlight of course was to meet so many beautiful humans that came and supported the event, the gurus, scientists of walks of life, but at the end I was afforded the honor to introduce Gangaji the woman who came into prison and saved my life and other men’s lives. “I want to introduce, my sister, mother, friend, teacher, and everything, Gangaji.”
*I loved every minute of my time there!
1. Hanging out in the hallways on the floor playing with the baby meeting visionaries of the highest caliber while just chilling out
2. Seeing my friend Kenny [Johnson] rock the house.
3. Feeling Maurizio and Zaya‘s European pizzaz behind the often stoic and dryer nondual vibe!
1. A rare and delightful gathering in natural ease and enjoyment of Self.
2. As a first time presenter, I spoke to several “experienced” presenters earlier about my deep disinclination to prepare and otherwise organize for my presentation. They all confirmed my inner feeling about this need to remain open and (largely) unscripted…to embrace the reality of not knowing, of living in uncertainty, and to speak or not speak from there. One said: “Just get up there and die!”…another said: “you never get used to it…so get used to it!”
3. SAND provided an opportunity for many of us to speak simply from truth to truth, from love, to love. And to laugh a lot!
*I can’t really select the top three talks or events as I tend to appreciate each one
for what it is, so here are some observations.
1. The seeing that the Conference is Community.
2. The great abundance of quality offerings including talks and experiential
3. Numerous unpredictable encounters that bring joy, insights, humor, harsh
reality, new information, friends, and opportunities to serve each other.
Jeff Foster, Unmani, Scott Kiloby
1. Meeting with the many attendees and presenters
2. David Ellzey‘s unique way of presenting comedy and wisdom
3. Watching Maurizio and Zaya enjoy themselves a lot.
Even though it seems completely paradoxical and surreal to have a conference in the name of ‘non-duality’ (or in other words, absolutely nothing), my first experience of the Science and Nonduality Conference was wonderful. Such a mixture of unique flavors and expressions, spiritual teachers, spiritual seekers, scientists, authors, artists, musicians, bishops, rabbis, and so much more… all under one roof, with the intention to see beyond the usually assumed boundaries of separation. Wow!
We are all explorers of reality, no matter what we call ourselves.
1. Overall, just the underlying “atmosphere” of Oneness and love—despite the many different expressions and even sometimes, disagreement.
2. One particular incident for me “personally,” but this is something I’m sure all speakers/presenters have had happen to them, too:
I was waiting outside one of the meeting rooms, a few minutes before I was going to give my Sat. talk. A young rabbi named Olivier [Benhaim—ed] from Seattle walked up and introduced himself. He said that at last year’s SAND, he received a free DVD with his registration kit (along with all the other free stuff they give you). The DVD was a video interview I did with Chris Hebard a couple of years ago.
Olivier said he shows the DVD over and over to a group of friends and congregation members in Seattle who are interested in nonduality. Olivier said, “I can’t tell you how much that has meant to us,” etc. In the DVD there’s also an example of deconstructing an “apple” to show why there really is no such separate object apart from sensations/or “mind-stuff”—and thus, by extension, there really is no separate world, no separate others, no separate ANYTHING…and he said that really blew the lid off the whole illusion of separateness.
*Anyway, it’s very “satisfying” to hear that kind of feedback sometimes, and I’m sure all speakers have similar experiences. It’s what seems to make all the “work” worthwhile.
1. The memetic mantra of “The Sangha is the Buddha”
2. Leslie Combs connection of the ecological and cosmological via Thomas Berry
3. The epiphanized expressions of delight in the GeoDome
“A dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatisfied” ~ Irish Proverb
It’s a sad day for Mac fans (myself included). Thanks Steve, for the many years of innovation and dedication and for making my [creative] life possible. I’ve been a die-hard Mac user since the 80’s and will die one as well.
It’s the small things in life…
What makes YOU happy?
The sense of “personal” rider…
*Thanks to C. Surface for sending in the “winning” photo caption.
Don’t take life too seriously…
No one makes it out alive anyway.
TOPIC: Awakening Never Ends
The universe exists within awareness.
It’s not ‘an’ awareness, but awareness. There is only one, not belonging to anyone or anything. A body with a living nervous system allows awareness to…create(?) the I AM and consciousness. The latter two die with the body.
Awareness is — at least that’s my understanding of all I’ve read.
Not that I understand it, [but I] can honestly say I ‘believe’ it, that’s the idea… I think?
Dr. Robert Saltzman:
The “all,” if I can call it that, becomes translated or converted into “I AM” within a human nervous system. To see this from another angle (and, as I must point out again, words cannot do justice to these matters which exist prior to words—but we all love words, don’t we?), the human nervous system is evolved enough to allow questioning about “deeper” matters, including “who am I?”. My cat is here and alive as much as I am, but I doubt she wonders about any of this. Nevertheless, she exists as much as I do. Who can doubt that?
The point here is that human consciousness, while “real” enough, is not the standard or measure of anything. To think that it is some kind of standard or definition of anything is absurd, egocentric, and “speciesist.” There is a colony of mites living in your eyelashes at this very moment, and their existence is as “real” as yours.
The sense, I AM, is a human experience. But—obviously, at least I hope this is obvious—something exists prior to human experience. In other words, when “you” die, and your “I AMness” is no more, the universe will still be here. Only your version of it will have died, not the whole thing, which will continue being exactly what it is and always has been.
Try to understand this, including the first sentence. If you can, you may be able to see into this entire matter, and your question(s) so far may be seen to [not] have been rather empty after all.”
Dr. Robert Saltzman is a psychotherapist and [non-teacher] of non-duality who lives and works in Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico. In addition to his therapy practice, he takes questions about psychology, spirituality, and problems of living from questioners world-wide on the Dr. Robert Forum.
The site is the home of ask Dr. Robert, a unique question and answer forum open to everyone worldwide, gratis. The forum is fairly active and has many forum regulars — many of whom bring intelligence, experience, and wisdom to these online conversations.
Robert checks in on the forum regularly and contributes if and when necessary.
Do you know JACK?
Love em’ or hate em’ but I recently watched a HBO documentary on this cat that was really interesting. His individual take on the moment of D E A T H [or life] struck me. Your mileage may vary…
“You don’t know where you came from,
you don’t know where you are,
you don’t know where you are going when you die,
P E R I O D
Religion ain’t going to explain it…
Science ain’t going to explain it…
That’s all there is to it – and you have to accept that fact.
If you do, then DEATH looses its terror!
It’s part of
~Dr. Jack Kevorkian
*Jack Kevorkian was a physician, social activist, artist, author, amateur composer, and musician. He gained worldwide recognition for his actions as the pioneer for physician-assisted suicide.
Dr. Kevorkian was born in Pontiac, Michigan, on May 26, 1928, to Armenian immigrants. His father, a self-educated excavating contractor, and his mother were survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Tales of genocidal horrors inflicted on family members became part of the Kevorkian heritage, and Dr. Kevorkian was influenced by this dark legacy. He was the second of three children: his older sister, Margaret, is deceased; his younger sister, Flora, lives in Germany.
Dr. Kevorkian referred to his paintings as social, political, and medical commentaries that should provoke thought and discussion on aspects of life that may be disagreeable but are universal. “It is not art for art’s sake, so do not criticize me for the art,” says Dr. Kevorkian. “The paintings are often political commentaries. I use bright colors to get people’s attention and to try to make them think.” Several of his paintings represent the medical conditions of human suffering—fever, paralysis, and coma—that he has witnessed.
An amateur musician and composer, Dr. Kevorkian played the flute, organ, piano, and harpsichord. His personal idol has always been Johann Sebastian Bach, whose music Dr. Kevorkian considers the perfect expression of the divine possibilities within us. Dr. Kevorkian’s own musical compositions are strongly influenced by Bach, and his 1999 paintings are celebrations of Bach’s music.
A brilliant, complex, multi-talented figure in Armenian-American history, Dr. Jack Kevorkian is, in his own way, “The Renaissance Man.”
*excerpt from Fordham Law.
I’ll bet your like me as the last few days, the situation in Japan has affected all of us. It just seems so incredible and it also seems that every negative descriptive word — fits!
I want to share this email with you that I received that touched me. It just about says it all. It’s a letter that a friend of mine received from a person in Japan that sent it to the people here.
The thing that is really interesting about this is, as we look at the situations we deal with and as we look at the situations around the earthquakes and things that have affected us —sometimes it’s not peaceful. PEACEFUL is so far from what we think, that we cannot even imagine it. And yet this is exactly in some ways what has happened in Japan.
Have you watched or seen the news lately where they are talking about that there is no looting, no rioting, no unkindness toward one another…no hoarding — even though the store shelves are empty and yet if someone has water, they share it. It’s almost an ethereal experience. It’s almost hard to comprehend. When things that are of such magnitude here —it’s almost a totally difference experience!
Let’s see how this email/letter affects you ~ Barbara Salsbury
Hello My Lovely Family and Friends,
First I want to thank you so very much for your concern for me. I am very touched. I also wish to apologize for a generic message to you all. But it seems the best way at the moment to get my message to you.
Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend’s home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candle light, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.
During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.
Utterly amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.”
Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often. We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on.
But all of this is by area. Some people have these things; others do not. No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.
There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.
Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains of Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.
And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.
They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend’s husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.
Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don’t. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.
Thank you again for your care and Love of me,
With Love in return, to you all,
This has made the rounds on the net and blogosphere. It really touched me so I thought I would make a post about it and maybe it too will touch you. The letter above was from a survivor named Anne in Sendai, Japan where she has lived for the past decade teaching English.
*If this story moved you, then please share it by clicking the button below.
You are constantly imagining that you are experiencing objective things, but you are not. You do not actually see an object–that lamp over there, for instance. It is not the object you are seeing.
Isn’t it obvious to you that you are experiencing a phenomenon of the brain? You cannot see the lamp.You are not inside your head looking out at the lamp. A bizarre phenomenon of the brain produces the sensation that there is a lamp over there.
Where is it anyway?
A reflected image twists around in the eyeball, and nerve impulses and electrical currents flash around the meat-brain in order to construct an illusion, a sensation, an idea. What is objective about it?
It is just your own fascination. It is your own mind. It is your own Consciousness, modified by organs of experience. It is mind. It is harmless enough in itself, really, but you are so distracted by it that you have lost your humor. You have lost your true position. You do not have a right relationship to experience. The right relationship to all experience is to exist as the Transcendental Consciousness, the Radiant Reality Itself, in which phenomena arise without necessity, humorously.
The wrong relationship to experiential phenomena is to presume that you are a separate person, a separate consciousness, in the midst of a world that you know nothing about, that somehow encloses you, that is objective to you, that is separate from you. In that case, you see, experience is a very serious business. You have no option but to submit to it, to be distracted and tormented by it.
*Post re-blogged by permission from Martin Goulding
In this essay, Rupert Spira explores three of the most common topics raised by students of non-duality: deep sleep, death and reincarnation. As Rupert explains, thoughts, sensations and perceptions do not take place in a waking state, a dream state or an after-life state. The waking, dream and after-life states are only made of the always-now thoughts, images, sensations and perceptions which all appear in the same timeless, placeless, here-and-now of Presence.
On the subject of death, Rupert asks, What is Consciousness’ experience of death? It has none. How could Consciousness experience its own death or disappearance? It would have to remain present to ‘have’ such an experience. In order for Consciousness to disappear, its substance would have to disappear into something. What would Consciousness dissolve into? There is nothing present other than itself into which it could go. We, that is Consciousness, have never and could never experience our own disappearance. The death of what we are, Consciousness, is therefore simply an idea – never an experience.
We invite you to join Rupert Spira as he explores these topics in-depth and offers a glimpse into That which is dimensionless, present, luminous, alive and awake. -Jeff Keller
Deep Sleep, Death and Reincarnation
Q: On waking up after dreamless deep sleep, identification continues with the same set of bodily sensations. Does that mean identification still remains at a subtler level while in deep sleep? If so, does this tendency of identification continue even after the death of physical body? If so, this would imply that mind survives death?
Identification is always in the form of a thought. For instance, the primary identification is a thought that goes something like this: “I, Consciousness, am located in and as the sensation called ‘the body.’”
RUPERT SPIRA: The only substance to that identification is the thought that thinks it, although it is further substantiated by feelings in the body. Consciousness itself is not actually implicated by this thought any more than a screen is implicated by an image that appears on it.
Consciousness is always only ‘experiencing’ itself, in the sense of being itself, just as the screen is only ever being itself.
The identifying thought is known as a ‘thought’ only to thought itself. It is only thought that says it is a ‘thought.’ Consciousness only knows ‘it’ as itself.
The same is true of all sensations and perceptions. Only thought knows them as ‘sensations’ and ‘perceptions.’ Consciousness is too close to all experience, too intimately, utterly ‘one with’ all experience to know it as something other than itself.
Only thought seemingly steps back from experience and labels one part of it ‘thought’ or ‘mind,’ another part ‘sensation’ or ‘body’ and another part ‘perception’ or ‘world.’ Without this ‘stepping back’ of thought, there is only the utter intimacy, directness and immediacy of Consciousness being itself. Experiencing is another name for this.
However, thought can never really ‘step back’ or ‘out of’ experience itself. It seems to ‘step back’ or ‘out of’ from its own imaginary point of view.
Now, having seen that the identification of Consciousness with anything other than itself never really happens, that is, it is only imagined to happen, let us consider deep sleep. We can look at deep sleep from two points of view: 1) from the perspective of the waking state, that is, ‘on waking up,’ and 2) from the point of view of experience itself.
From the perspective of the waking state, deep sleep appears as a vague memory of a blank nothingness, which apparently lasts for an undetermined period of time. This memory, like all memories, comes in the form of a thought, which, like all thoughts, irrespective of whether they are about the past, present or future, take place ‘now.’
The ‘deep sleep,’ to which the ‘memorising-thought’ refers, is utterly non-existent at the time of the memorising thought. In other words, the only evidence, in the waking state, for the existence of an experience called ‘deep sleep’ comes in the form of a thought.
That thought refers to a period of deep sleep that is not present at the time of the thought about it and can therefore never be verified. Therefore, the memory of deep sleep in the morning does not prove deep sleep. It proves nothing but itself. In fact, it doesn’t even prove itself, because it (the thought to be proved) vanishes as soon as it appears. So truly, thought, be it in the form of memory or indeed any other form, indicates nothing but Consciousness.
Waking-state-thought imagines that time exists independently of its being thought about. As a result of this presumption thought imagines that deep sleep (which is conceived as an absence of mind) lasts for a period of time.
In other words, thought ‘forgets’ that time is a creation of its own imagination and imagines it to be present even when thought is not, that is, in deep sleep. As a result deep sleep is imagined, from the point of view of the waking state, to have lasted for a period of time.
However, the state of deep sleep that the waking mind imagines is never actually experienced as such. Nor could it even be imagined, for to imagine something, some apparently objective quality would have to be present. Therefore thought first imagines deep sleep and, in order to conceive of it in its own language of apparent objectivity, it superimposes onto it the qualities of blankness and duration.
From the point of view of experience itself, which is the only valid point of view, what is known as deep sleep, is simply the presence of Consciousness without the appearance of mind (taking mind here to include all thinking, imagining, sensing and perceiving).
Prior to the arising of mind there is only Consciousness knowingbeing its own self. However, there is no appearance of time or space ‘there’ let alone any of the objects that are imagined to populate time and space. And therefore, of course, there is no ‘prior to the arising of mind’ because without mind there is no time. In fact, even with mind, there is no time, but there is at least the illusion of time ‘then.’
Therefore, what is known as deep sleep is only ‘deep’ and only ‘sleep’ from the point of view of the mind. By ‘deep’ the mind means, deeper than its usual surface thinking and by ‘sleep’ the mind means ‘the absence of itself.’
In its ignorance the mind conceives this absence of itself as nothingness, because all it knows and values are apparent objects. It does not know and cannot know the presence of Consciousness and hence it conceives of deep sleep as a dark, blank nothingness.
But from the point of view of experience, which means from the point of view of Consciousness, there is no experience of a dark, blank nothingness. Rather, there is only the ‘experience’ of itself, which means only the presence or being of itself. This is neither deep, dark, blank or asleep. It dimensionless, present, luminous, alive and awake.
Consciousness is not the opposite of un-consciousness. For Consciousness there is no ‘off.’ It is always ‘on.’ It never ceases to know/be itself. However, to say ‘always’ or ‘never’ already brings in imaginary time in which Consciousness is imagined to reside. Consciousness does not reside in time. It resides in itself, as itself, alone.
What is considered to be deep sleep from the point of view of the waking mind is ‘wide-awakeness’ for Consciousness. There are three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping only from the imaginary point of view of thought. For Consciousness there are not three states. There is only the one ever-present reality of itself alone.
The three states could be likened to a film, a document and a screen-saver appearing on a computer screen. The differences are not for the screen, they are for the mind.
Consciousness ‘never’ ceases to be this ‘wide-awakeness.’ The term ‘deep sleep’ is a misinterpretation of the reality of experience from the ignorant point of view of thought, that is, from the point of view that ignores the reality of experience.
The ‘dream’ and ‘waking’ states are two other interpretations or names that the mind gives to the reality of Consciousness, when it (Consciousness or experience) is imagined through the limiting and distorting lens of thought.
When we watch television we say that we are seeing a ‘film,’ the ‘news’ or a ‘documentary.’ Each of these labels is only a different name for the same screen, just as the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states are different names that thought gives to the reality of Consciousness.
For the screen there is always only itself, just as for Consciousness there is only knowingbeing itself.
It takes something outside the screen, one who imagines they are not the screen, to see the ‘film,’ the ‘news’ and the ‘documentary,’ just as it takes an imaginary entity who has seemingly separated itself from the seamless totality of experience to apparently see something other than Consciousness.
For Consciousness, there is only its own ever-presence. The categories of ‘waking, dreaming and deep sleep’ or of ‘mind, body and world,’ that is, the apparent multiplicity and diversity of all seeming things, is for the mind, not for Consciousness.
We could say that in this ever-present wide-awakeness, which the mind calls ‘deep sleep,’ the dreaming and waking minds arise, project a world that is seemingly outside Consciousness and ‘then’ subside.
However, the adventure of the dreaming and waking mind is for thought alone. It is not for Consciousness. Consciousness is always ‘at home,’ resting in its own being. It never takes the journey!
At no time is there ever an entity that falls asleep, that dreams a dream, that rests unknowingly in deep sleep or that subsequently wakes up. Such an entity and the states in which it considered to operate are all made only of the current thought that thinks them.
Now, with that as background, we can look more closely at the question as to whether identification remains at a subtler level in deep sleep.
Identification is simply a thought and a thought does not last in time. Time ‘lasts,’ or rather, is imagined to last, only with the thought that imagines it.
It is only from the point of view of thought that identification is considered real at all, let alone that it lasts in time. In other words, it is thought alone that imagines identification to be real and then imagines a duration of time in which it is supposed to last.
Why then does identification re-appear on waking? It doesn’t. Nothing re-appears. Even if we concede provisionally that ‘something’ truly appears, then, when that ‘something’ disappears it disappears absolutely, never to appear again.
It is only a thought that claims that the current appearance is a reappearance of an old appearance. However, every appearance, including the thought that imagines re-appearance, is brand new.
Identification and re-identification are as substantial as the thought that think them and all thoughts are paper tigers.
If identification was real and if it had lasted for countless millennia through innumerable births, we would have a real problem on our hands. Fortunately that problem is only real for the imaginary one that imagines it. For Consciousness, there is no identification, no bondage, no liberation and no problem.
All that is ‘required’ is to stand knowing as That, which simply means to notice that That is what we eternally are. In due course the mind and body are gradually realigned with this ‘new perspective,’
Now, does the mind survive death?
Let us consider what is meant by ‘death.’ Death could refer to the body, the mind or Consciousness.
In the conventional model of experience, it is believed that the body is born into a ready-made world and contains the mind, which in turn contains Consciousness.
We have seen, however, that it is truer to say that Consciousness contains the mind and that the body, made only of sensing and perceiving, is ‘part’ of the mind.
That is, we have seen that there are, in experience, no physical bodies or objects. We have seen that the apparently perceived object, body, other or world is made only of sensing/perceiving. In other words, we have seen that all so-called physical objects are made out of mind.
Therefore, it no longer makes sense to speak of the death of the physical body. Any theory of death that takes, as its starting point, the reality of the physical body and, therefore, its subsequent death, is flawed from the outset.
A truer (but not completely true) statement would be to say that the body is simply the current sensation or perception ‘of the body’ and that that ‘body’ disappears or dies every time that sensation or perception disappears. We have seen that a body, or indeed any object, does not last in time and that the ‘lasting body’ is a concept, not an experience.
In other words, every time the current sensation or perception of the body disappears, the ‘body’ dies, so we have experienced countless ‘deaths’ of the body. In fact, the ‘body’ is being born and dying ‘all the time’ and each appearance of the body is a brand new body.
Does the mind survive these deaths? In this question the mind is conceived not only as a vast container of all thoughts, images, sensations and perceptions, but also as a vast generator of such. However, no such mind has ever been experienced. Such a container/generator is simply a concept. It is imagined with the thought that thinks it.
The mind, in the broadest sense of the term is simply the current thought, image, sensation or perception. Like the body, it is born with every new appearance and it dies with every disappearance. It neither survives or continues.
In other words, there is no mind, body or world, as such, so we cannot meaningfully speak of their possible survival. The mind, body and world are simply the names that thought gives to the current thought, sensation and perception, respectively, and there is no continuity of thoughts, sensations and perceptions.
At a deeper level the mind, body and world are the names that thought gives to Consciousness and consciousness does not continue. It is ever-present.
Either way, there is no survival or continuity. There is only the ever-presence of Consciousness.
* * *
However, this does not mean that when a sensation/perception (the body) disappears, it will not be ‘followed by’ a thought. In that sense there is nothing to suggest that the mind does not survive the death of the body. Thoughts keep coming after the ‘body’ has disappeared.
In fact, that is exactly what happens at night. When we ‘fall asleep’ the body, that is, the current sensation or perception vanishes, but dream thoughts and images appear. This is the experience of mind without a body. In fact, mind is always experienced without a body. The body is just one of the possible ‘shapes’ of the mind.
In a dream a new, seamless body/world-image appears. Dream-thinking subsequently identifies the ‘I’ of Consciousness with the dream body, thereby apparently separating the new dream-body/world-image into two ‘things’ – the ‘dream-I’ and the ‘dream-world’ – creating the illusion of duality in exactly the same way that waking-thinking does in the waking state.
Dream-thinking then wonders whether its thoughts will continue after the death of the dreamed entity, without realising that the dreamed entity, the dreamed body and its dreamed death are themselves simply thoughts.
What is also interesting to notice is that the thoughts and feelings of the waking state tend to become the environment of the dream state. In other words, what was on the ‘inside’ during the waking state becomes the ‘outside,’ in which the dream seems to take place. Hence the value of dream analysis in psychology.
There is nothing to suggest that this pattern will not continue after the ‘death’ of the waking body, which as we have already seen, is simply the disappearance of a bodily sensation, but not necessarily the cessation of mind. In other words, there is nothing to suggest that thoughts and feelings that ‘continue’ to arise after the death of the body will seem to derive their content from the previous thoughts and feelings of the now apparently deceased entity, just as dream images seem to derive their content from the waking state.
In the new ‘after-death’ dream, the imagined entity may again imagine that its thoughts and feelings are a continuation of a previous day or a previous life and hence the myth of the reincarnated entity will forever perpetuate itself in the dream of the imaginary entity.
Therefore, what for the imagined entity is life after life after life is, from the point of view of reality, dream within dream within dream all ‘taking place’ timelessly, placelessly.
However, even if we provisionally accept the above model (and it is only a half true model, truer than the conventional model but not completely true) it is important to remember that the mind, as it is normally conceived, is also only the current thought or image. Every time a thought or image ends, the mind dies.
So, having first seen that the body is, as it were, a subset of the mind and that the mind ‘continues’ to ‘produce’ thoughts, images sensations and perceptions, after the ‘death’ of the body, we can now see that the mind is equally fragile, that is, it never survives, as such. It is always vanishing. In other words, thoughts, images, sensations and perceptions do not take place in a waking state, a dream state or a after-life state. All thoughts, images, sensations and perceptions take place in the same timeless placeless here-and-now, and the waking, dream, deep sleep and after-life states are all simply made out of the thought that thinks them.
Now what about Consciousness?
Consciousness is all that is conscious or knowing and all that is truly present. What is Consciousness’ experience of death? It has none. How could Consciousness experience its own death or disappearance? It would have to remain present to ‘have’ such an experience.
In order for Consciousness to disappear its substance would have to disappear into something. What would Consciousness dissolve into? There is nothing present other than itself into which it could go. We, that is Consciousness, has never and could never experience its own disappearance.
Therefore death is never an experience. It is a concept. The entire dilemma about death originates with the thought that mistakenly identifies Consciousness with a limited body. In other words, the idea of death is only possible when Consciousness is seemingly ignored or forgotten.
Of course, Consciousness cannot ignore or forget itself. It can and does only ever know itself. It is only an arising thought, which imagines that Consciousness is not present, that seemingly obscures Consciousness’ knowingbeing itself and, as a result, posits as a reality, death and the attendant fear of disappearance, which is the hallmark of the apparently separate entity.
What has been said thus far is based upon the idea that thoughts, images, sensations and perceptions appear and disappear within Consciousness.
This idea is useful in that it overturns the conventional view that Consciousness is located inside a mind, which is located inside a body and which is, in turn, born into the world, and replaces it with a model that is closer to experience, where the mind, body and world are all seen as spontaneous arisings or appearances within Consciousness.
However, this new model should also be abandoned in due course because if we go deeply into experience itself, we find that it is not accurate.
In experience we do not find a succession of appearances. A succession of appearances can never be an actual experience because it is only possible to experience one appearance at a time. In other words, a multiplicity and therefore a diversity of appearances is never a current experience but rather only the current thought about ‘multiplicity and diversity,’ which refers to something that is never actually experienced.
In other words, multiplicity, diversity, appearance, disappearance, birth, death, time, space, causality are all paper tigers. They are made only of the thought that thinks them.
Our actual experience is that experience itself is ever-present. And the only substance present in all experience is Consciousness itself. Therefore we can say from our own intimate direct experience that all we know is Consciousness’ knowingbeing itself, that is, all Consciousness knows is itself.
Nothing ever appears or disappears. The same is true, relatively speaking, in a film. It seems as if people, objects, places, events and situations are appearing and disappearing but actually there is always only ever the screen. It doesn’t come or go. It does nothing. And because the screen is the only reality of the film, nothing can be said to truly come or go. What or where would anything come from or to where would such a thing go? It would have to come from outside the screen. But there is nowhere in the film outside the screen.
The same is true of experience. There is nothing outside Consciousness. There is nothing inside Consciousness. Consciousness is ever present and dimensionless, always knowing its own being. Nothing new comes into it. Nothing disappears out of it. There is nowhere from which or to which such a ‘thing’ could come and go and nothing out of which such a ‘thing’ could be made.
Consciousness is timelessly, placelessly, ever-present knowingbeing itself alone.
RUPERT SPIRA is an artist and Non-duality Teacher. Check out his website here, where he shares his views and experiences related to Non duality, Ceramics, Meditation, Advaita, Vedanta, Consciousness and Awareness.
*All ceramics above by Rupert.
So many people these days are claiming to be awakened (and there is definitely some truth to that) yet, many are very much locked in separation and conflict, even about awakening itself.
Why does there have to be a dark side to all of this?
Perhaps love is this light within us that breaks free of all of it…
Aren’t You that Light?
by Ernie Resendes
*this excellent blog post is from: OprahEckhart
“If you just listen to the tone in which he is speaking =
This week Americans will elect hundreds of legislators for both houses of their Congress. In the American press there has been much interest in whether President Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, will be stopped by the opposing party in Congress. And the media has further commented on the enormous amounts of money being spent on attack ads —which do not inform voters but simply slander the other candidate.
Some Americans have asked, “What does this have to do with me and my standard of living?” For those of us on a spiritual path, a more important question is, “What is this doing for my state of consciousness and what does this have to do with the Present Moment?”
In a word, the problem is the ego, for the ego always stands by its intractable position, “The Present Moment? I’m against it.” The real party of “no” in American life is not the Republicans, but the ego with its incessant rejection, criticism, self-absorption and non-cooperation. Doesn’t that describe the tone and intent of this campaign season?
What can we do to improve the quality of our consciousness when the news media is showing us people from opposite sides shouting at each other? It doesn’t matter if it’s Republicans and Democrats in America or protesters on the streets of Paris criticizing changes in the French retirement age. All of it comes from ego, who’s mantra is: “I’m against it. What ever it is, good, bad or otherwise,… I’m against it.”
If we are to build a better world representative of the Power of Now, we must realize that world is created moment-to-moment in the Now. The Now has no agenda, the Now has no opinions, the Now is direct access to Truth and the evolutionary impulse of the universe. If we want true representation in our governments, we must first embody those qualities which build consensus, cooperation and progress.
*As long as we’re “against this” or “against that”, we are doomed to the suffering of the ego as expressed in the pain body of attachment to the past and idealizing the future. Inside the infinity of the present moment lies infinite possibility. Let us all help each other from the inside out to create nation states of consciousness that resolve the dualism of opposing forces. Let us celebrate and seek repose in what is inside the power of silence that dwells in each conscious being. That still, quiet voice has all the answers, including how to govern.
We will change our nations, our governments and the world for the better by a slow but steady process. The agent of this change is consciousness itself. Your consciousness. Improving the quality of your consciousness, by living more and more in the present moment, is the most powerful act of social activism you can offer to your community, your country, to humanity.
On election day, and every day, be a beacon of Presence. It will make a difference, not only within you, but around you.
~ Eckhart Tolle
– did you hear it?
There seems to be lurking, within some spiritual teachers, a dark side. Let’s just call it the “guru principle.” It’s that energy where you can tell a spiritual teacher really believes what he or she is saying. All the texts say that nonduality is not based in belief. It is about dispelling beliefs that make up the “self.” Teachers are fine, in a relative sense, like calling an apple an “apple” —even though it isn’t really a separate thing. But if the teacher believes he really IS a teacher, then that Guru persona seems like another form of “self (i.e. ego).
[Of course] this isn’t the case with all spiritual teachers. Some carry the light of wisdom without that serious, “I have the truth” look in their face, and they just want to be helpful —without wanting you to buy into their specialness. But sometimes, when listening to certain teachers [especially the ones who really believe that people should follow them or that enlightenment can only be gained through transmission within the presence of the teacher] it is downright eerie —as if the teacher has just put on a new mask of ego. He or she has gone from “ego-seeker” to “ego-teacher.” It’s pretty clever, but it’s ego all the way.
For some, the teachings that are most attractive today are the ones that do not make the teacher into a glorious, “greater-than-you”, superhuman figure. Who needs that anyway when we have comic books!
Luckily, many authors or teachers are aware of the fact that language never speaks absolute truth. But unfortunately some do not get this and that is ultimately their baggage. You have to buy completely into concepts of the teacher or lineage, wholesale, without question. You have to buy into the teacher persona him/herself and that’s asking too much when most just want to be free OF separation.
Some traditions have devotion to the guru as a main aspect of the message, and I respect that. I guess I can only speak for myself. I’m tired of buying into the guru persona, wherever it shows up. Yet nondual teachings are still helpful to me, to point out of ego traps. I want the cake without the icing, the teaching without the teacher persona.
Who do you believe? What are you buying?
Maybe the best thing a Guru can do is show me that he isn’t a Guru at all. Then I might be interested in what he is “selling.”