original

Photographer Credit: Jena Vignola

Way before I began delving into Advaita Vedanta and nondual teachings of all sorts, I often had a thought – an idea – a feeling,

What if I AM really infinity? Holy shit, how horrifying.

It’s a scary thought … to imagine that you’ll exist forever.

Who wants to live forever? (Not here anyway)

On the other hand, there’s the human fear of death.

Holy shit, I’m going to die. I won’t exist anymore.

Which is more terrifying:

living forever or not existing at all?

Over a decade of existential introspection and contemplation, I’ve never found a concrete answer.

In fact, I don’t think that the purpose of IS-NESS is to find an answer to anything.

This HUMAN BEING is the only ‘thing’ we’ve got.

It appears as a hard cold fact. Skin and bones. But, for sure, this solid ‘thing’ ain’t anything close to IS-NESS. This concrete form is like a Xerox duplicator for the Mind. You think, you imagine, and Voila, it shows itself! The mind is the duplicator, the body is the copy.

Which Mind is the Original?

The closest I’ve come to feeling intimate with knowing the “Original” was when I briefly experienced a merging of Subject and Object during meditation. And everything in time stopped. And the meaning of One Mind became clear. (still not an answer, only an intuitive feeling)

The other time was when I was like 10 years old walking home from school and suddenly observed myself as the observer –  I turned my attention back on attention Itself. I was only 10 so I didn’t really comprehend the depth of that experience, but I never lost the perfume it left on my consciousness.

At the present time, I’ve got this cancer thing going on. And, naturally, I’ve contemplated the reality of not living in this body anymore. I’ve wasted a little time wondering why this thing called cancer exists, and what it really is. But the inquiry usually leads me nowhere.

Thinking, thinking

Subject – Object

A vicious cycle. For a non-existent answer.

So now, let’s contemplate this … the photo that inspired this contemplation. (thanks to talented photographer, Jena Vignola)

There’s a background, an All-ness, the neutral-colored wall in the photo above.

There’s a pink sink and pink mirror frame. Let’s imagine Original Creation is the neutral-colored background Wall. The pink sink and mirror frame are the Objects floating in a sea of it’s Creator’s all-encompassing neutrality. But there’s a mirror. There’s an opportunity for even the Creator’s copy to look into the mirror to see it’s object self and contemplate, What am I?.

The Object and the Subject have never really become separate from one another. That’s the illusion.

Why? Why would Creation play such a ridiculous game?

Does it want to keep BEING itself and SEEING itself and FEELING itself again and again and again? …….

Is it’s devotion to ITSELF an INFINITE, never-ending and unfathomable experience to the lowly OBJECT it has created?

Why?

Again, no answer. Just an intuitive imaginative image:

The OBJECT is only a thought in the MIND of GOD. But even those words are insufficient.

Maybe just the photo suffices … a splash of color showing itself on the background of neutrality.

It only wants to experience ITSELF… and look back to see what it looks like.

You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is great than I am’. John 14:28

vow

a solemn promise made to God to perform some act, make some offering or gift, enter some service, or abstain from certain things not unlawful in themselves. It carried the force of an oath.

New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

I awoke from sleep with the words “double helix” in my memory.

I’ve been contemplating ..

Why are these words being downloaded into my consciousness?

I have very minimal knowledge about DNA, and have no clear understanding of its nature.

I sense that I’m being guided to look deeper. Somewhere in my genetic makeup there is a Vow.  A promise to remember the Source of Life … to place all my attention on it … to have knowledge of it.

PROVERBS 5:1-5

My son, pay attention to my wisdom.

Listen carefully (incline your ear) to my discernment,

So that you may guard your thinking abilities and safeguard knowledge with your lips

For the lips of a wayward (strange) woman drip like a honey-comb(b), and her mouth is smoother than oil

But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood

And as sharp as a two-edged sword

Her feet descend into death. Her steps lead straight to the Grave (Or “Sheol”, that is, the common grave of mankind.)

Look deeper. What is the meaning here?

This wayward woman is the Not Real, the False, the Illusory World.

This Illusory World’s temptations, desires and earthly temporary pIeasures will never fulfill our longing for Truth.

The Illusory World (Maya) has hands that are like prison chains. It pulls us in and we believe that we can’t get out (unless physical death occurs).

When we betray our True connection to God/Reality and place our belief and trust in the world of illusions, we commit adultery, which results in deception of one’s True Self (a forgetting of our true and natural identity as One with God).

***

A sage named Patanjali described an eight-fold path of yoga, otherwise known as “Ashtanga Yoga” (“ashta” meaning “eight”, “anga” meaning “limb” in Sanskrit).

these are the last 4 limbs of the path to Realization:

  • pratyahara- withdrawal of the 5 senses from external objects
  • dharana―Single pointed focus on an external object (the Seer observes the Seen).
  • dhyana―meditation, a concentrated awareness of the relationship between the subject and the object (The Seer and the Seen are aware of each other)
  • samadhi―The subject and object join as One, realization of non-separation, higher consciousness. (Seer and Seen are the same).

What is the significance in all of this?

The number 8 symbolizes infinity … The double helix is an infinite spiral … and something in me remembers that the world of illusions is infinitely unfolding in One Mind (God).

Living Non-Duality

A surge of anger, discontent, pain, disappointment, misunderstanding, judgement, has seemingly overtaken me. Who me? I ask myself in disbelief. Yes, me. I answer myself irrefutably.

What’s wrong with me? (This is not my typical emotional behavior).

Not so long ago I reached what felt like a pivotal moment in time – seeing through the illusions of separation, seeing myself in the dirt beneath my feet and the bark of the tree. I was able to perceive the unconditional Loving Presence, in it all, regardless of the circumstance. I was actively practicing in each moment, How can I BE this love?

How did I forget the wisdom of my heart?

  • The state of the world, politics, the insanity of the collective consciousness seems to have won in pulling me down with it.
  • The discord in my own family/intimate relations has won in rearing my judgemental expectations.
  • Cancer’s aggressive reappearance has suceeded in making me fear a painful death.

Today, an angel seemingly landed gently on my shoulder. She said, No, you will not forget the foundation of your inner stability. What has sustained your understanding for all these years is ever-present. You’ve just fallen away from remembering.

Among shelves and shelves of books, my eyes landed on just one. I pulled it off the shelf, and opened a random page. My inner knowing was gloriously reignited.

Glory, glory hallelujah, the Truth is marching on …..

“Here in our Western culture, where we are accustomed to attempt to exert maximal control, it is difficult for us to bear in mind that things are always unfolding in the way that they are bound to do.

As could be expected in a culture which so emphasizes the value of human life (as, for example, over the value of other species’), this tendency is particularly evident in our reaction to the manifestation of chronic or terminal illness – in us, or another person.

If the condition of health changes for the “better”, we can accept that. If it changes for the “worse”, we can’t accept that. The only unfolding of life events that we meet with equanimity are the positive ones. The implication in our attitude toward negative changes is that they must be met with resistance.

Sooner or later, every fact in life must be accepted.

Each of us will do whatever it is that we do, when the time comes. And nature will do whatever it is that it does, regardless of whatever it is that we do.

Yet notice the implication in the reaction to a change in health: if you are ill, you shouldn’t be: if you are not anxious about your condition, you should be.

‘The dark threads are as needful, in the Weaver’s skillful hand, as the threads of gold and silver in the pattern that shall stand,’ if I recall an old poem.

Can we relate to what is, as it is-for ourselves and others-even at the most pivotal junction?” (Living Nonduality, by Robert Wolfe)

And then I read on and remember… This clarity feels most true to my heart – It’s all unfolding as the Self experiencing it’s self:

“The creator (the formless) and created (the forms) – as well as the creating- are the same thing, an indivisible (no “parts”) whole.

Because the created, creator and creating are all One immediate actuality, there is no ‘creation’ in the sense that a plan or design has been culminated. There is no ‘intelligence’ APART from all these manifestations that has (prior to manifesting) desired or decided that what is ‘will be as it is’.

All of the ‘creating’ is going on at this very moment, moment by moment, without having to be accounted for (as a ‘purpose’) to anyone or anything. The formless, being WITHOUT a separate ‘self’, need not even justify what is unfolding to its own ‘self’. No matter WHAT happens-without an ‘intent’ – nothing can go wrong, as far as the formless actuality could be concerned. The formless IS the unfolding, in these forms.” Robert Wolfe.

Photo Credit: Annette Adams

Peace

The only moments that I feel truly at ease, peaceful, maybe even blissful (Ananda) is when I remember (re-know) the Truth (Sat) about the illusive quality of perception in the “world”.

What you believe, so shall you perceive. That’s about as close as one can get to a spiritual truth.

All the anxiety, indecision, depression, angst, fear …. yes, it’s real because I can FEEL it.

But when I crack open my knowing heart, and remember the Truth of I AM, or GOD IS, or disbelieve the separation (duality), a soft wave of peacefulness returns to the center of the chest.

“When a teacher of God first learns that he or she is the dreamer of the dream they are still attached to the dream and are tempted to use their growing awareness of Reality to change the dream to suit their individual dream figure desires instead of to awaken. This is an attempt at a compromise where the dreamer tries to have the power of the dreamer while still being a figure in the dream, but in the end this will fail because a dream is not real; it will always leave the dreamer feeling empty, and seeking for wholeness. Only awakening from the dream will make the dreamer feel whole again. Through awakening the dreamer’s experience of the dream does improve, but only because the dreamer realizes that it is a dream.

The Holy Instant, in Which the teacher of God steps out of time for a moment to be with God, is the greatest tool that he or she has to undo the dream of time. In that Instant time is over; there is no dream. The more a teacher of God practices the Holy Instant, and lives in the present with the Presence of the Holy Spirit, the less time means to him or her. The dream recedes in value and importance, and the experience of the Holy Instant becomes more compelling to the teacher of God than anything in time.

In essence, time is the dreamer living the one instant of not-God/undoing not-God over and over again, but in the midst of time this takes so many forms it is almost impossible to see. The teacher of God, however, begins to see it the more he or she experiences the Holy Instant. They begin to see the nothingness of the dream, and how silly it is to give it weight and to take it seriously. All that has happened is a thought that can never be reality. There is really nothing to forgive because nothing real has happened. God is.” A Course in Miracles