background to thoughts
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This is not suggesting that you deny your feelings or try to change or control your thinking. It is not about changing attitudes or beliefs nor is it about altering behaviour - although that may be a side effect; it is simply watching these manifestations and recognising and becoming aware that the vast majority of your thoughts are negative, unhelpful and untrue and that you are the ground of being beneath them.
Once you have taken a step back from your thoughts by not attaching to them, they become like clouds passing across a clear sky. You will notice the interesting patterns and shapes they form as they float by – coming from nothing and returning to nothing, but they cannot touch the background perfection of the azure blue stillness - the Absolute that holds all.
How can the unknowable be approached, how can it be written or talked about? How can the infinite be expressed by the finite, how can the eternal and the formless be comprehended in a world of impermanence and forms? This unknowable stillness at the core of your being can only be pointed to indirectly and therefore should be approached delicately and from various angles
By trying to shape life and control your destiny, you are mistakenly attempting to take ownership of life, which is analogous to the waterwheel trying to change the essence of the river. Attempting to harness life’s force to your own advantage is as futile as the wheel attempting to alter the river’s flow.
In your life, you will have been encouraged to embrace the Self through sayings such as believe in yourself and anything’s possible, which is usually offered as a panacea to self-doubt and lack of confidence. However, such seemingly encouraging statements are part of the reason you find yourself on life’s treadmill, desiring all manner of things and finding fulfilment in none.
Away from the popular illusion of Enlightenment, and the complex self-delusional games played by those attempting to achieve it, are rare individuals for whom the process of becoming ‘unenlightened’ as they grew never quite worked, in other words by a bizarre quirk of fate, their conditioning failed to create a believable Self. For them, the veil of illusion is threadbare, and glimpses of the Absolute regularly confirm their true nature – though not in ways their intellect can capture or express.
The goal in spiritual circles is often to drop the ego, thereby attaining the so-called egoless state. However, the ego is not simply one aspect of the Self that gives rise to negative emotions when we are feeling threatened or demeaned, it resides just as much in the happy and exciting moments as it does in assertive or defensive ones.
The happiness, peace and contentment we experience when our thoughts are stress free is fleeting and is not freedom from suffering. It is a superficial and temporary relief from our deeper worries and concerns, in the same way that those who turn to alcohol and other drugs find only temporary respite – when the effects wear off they are faced with the same problems.
The truth of this message does not require validation from a higher authority; do not look outside – validation lies within you. The stillness in which both clarity and confusion arise remains in a state of perfection ‒ untouched by your desire to know it, however, at a deeper level the illusionary Self may sense its own emptiness and be open to this message.
I invite you to taste an underlying truth. All that is required is an open mind and a willingness to enquire within. The illusion of the Self is the belief that you are your thoughts – in other words, the personal identification with the voice in your head, when in reality you are the awareness beneath that constant mind chatter.
Noticing the thoughts rather than attaching to them may seem a subtle change in perspective, but in fact, it is a huge paradigm shift. Once you have taken a step back from your thoughts by not attaching to them, they become like clouds passing across a clear sky. You will notice the interesting patterns and shapes they form as they float by – coming from nothing and returning to nothing, but they cannot touch the background perfection of the azure blue stillness - the Absolute that holds all.
Recognition, at a non-conceptual level, that you are the Absolute giving rise to all things frees you from the constricted individual Self and sets you free - this intuitive recognition is Enlightenment. Liberation is when there's no one left to recognise they're Enlightened; there's simply an unknowing knowing, an empty fullness - and then words can only point, they can never describe.
An exploration into the world of apparent forms including ourselves.
If I asked ‘who are you?’ you might say ‘I am . . . .’ and give your name, your age, your relationships to others, your profession and perhaps your likes and dislikes.
All these descriptions are the ‘I am’ – they are who you believe you are not what you are. In truth, you are the impersonal ‘I’ before naming.
The ‘I am’ is the illusionary Self, the conditioned mind – who you believe you are. Virtually all your suffering is born from misidentification with this illusionary Self.
Who you are suffers - what you are does not.
And so I want us to go deep within; some may call it self-enquiry, or meditation - whatever labels we use the important thing is that we begin the search for that deeper 'I'.