Super-duper Copy Cat

The world is not the only place where imitation stuff is available openly. The mind too has its own share of imitation, if not more. Since the body is in the mind, the statement what is within, so is without is an eternal truth.

The ego is constantly imitating the spirit. Whenever there are aha‘s moment, inspired by the spirit, the ego instantly took up its position, imitating the experience as a new thought and feeling. Excitement and eagerness is its expression. There are times the ego fail in its pursuit of imitation but that does not stop the ego from executing its contingency plan: creating a conspiracy by dissuading me to distrust the inspiration.It can even ultimately go as far as killing the inspiration, if everything fails. The nature of ego is destructive. The nature of wisdom is constructive. Both are moving on the opposite direction.

The destructive nature of ego may not be seen directly in its true form but there are tell-tale signs of ego. There are in fact a huge retinue of relatives, each pairing the experience of spirit. Even wisdom is not spared –  ego has its pirated version too! The clear distinction of wisdom is understanding or realization. The clear distinction of ego is answers. That makes knowledge and realization different. Truth has no answers except realization. Awareness, an important criteria to wisdom, has also been pirated!

Guilt is one big time imitator. I have come across many seekers, renunciates not excluded, that buy into the idea of guilt – that it is the pathway to goodness. Guilt too has fooled me many a times until vigilant comes to my rescue. And ego never stops at guilt. It creates a duo out of it- shame in the past and fear in the future. There are the trio that is found in the mentality of victim, rescuer and persecutor. How wonderful a creation ego has.

So it was said that when one is not on the pathway of enlightenment, the ego is not on its alert as wisdom is entirely unheard off in the system. You can imagine what it is like when wisdom grows. Many a times truth seekers are faced with constant reminder of the egoic pattern, as if their own ego is increasing instead of decreasing. That is the nature of the pathway as to come closer to truth you have to faced what is not true. And what you have to face has to come into existence. So, if you find yourself terrible, remember it is not you – just remember that ego is showing its nature.Yet there is another kind of seekers, whom are not vigilant, are consumed by the ego. I coined this pathway spiritual ego. Glorifying the ego without one knowing – that is when I am unaware!

Another way to recognize ego or spirit is by their status – cause or effect. For instant, forgiveness. Are you aware you can’t do forgiveness – you can’t simply forgive someone because your faith tells you so, or someone forces you to.  Forgiveness is born out from understanding. Forgiveness is effect. You can’t do effect except to work on the causes such that when understanding arise, forgiveness naturally unfold. Whenever I am angry I can’t forgive someone who makes me angry, at least during the duration of my anger. If I were to truly understand the situation of that moment, by exploring my cause of anger and at times inviting myself to understand the underlying situation of my so-called victim, I may come to an insight that immediately ceases my anger, unfolding forgiveness. Forgiveness do me rather than I do forgiveness.

The more I understand myself the more I see the ego closer and clearer. That reminds me of the exclamation made by the Buddha upon his enlightenment:

Through the round of many births I roamed without reward, without rest, seeking the house-builder. Painful is birth again & again.

House-builder, you’re seen! You will not build a house again. All your rafters broken, the ridge pole dismantled, immersed in dismantling, the mind has attained to the end of craving.

Dhammapada (153-154)

Can you recognize ego? Patience and endurance, acceptance and tolerance, compassion and pity, forgiveness and forget? Which is which? Try practising the former of each and one ends himself in Ego!

The World, an Illusion – Unveiling the Truth

In this very one-fathom-long body, along with its perceptions and thoughts, do I proclaim the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world.
– Buddha (Rohitassa Sutta)

Whoever has come to know the world has discovered the body, and whomever has discovered the body, of that one the world is not worthy.
– Yeshua

It is interesting to observe similarity with what the Buddha said and Christ (to bring both to the title status). When both names are mentioned, I am not speaking about religion, or personnel, but about how each and everyone of us has the potential of seeing what the masters are seeing. Neither is it about blind beliefs or gimmicks.

A question was posed by one of the Ascended Masters in the book Your Immortal Reality about whether the body is in the mind or the mind in the body. It kept me questioning. Let me share a strange happening I experienced, probably a year ago, when I went for a haircut at a saloon. While waiting for my turn, I was flipping through one of those fashion magazine and came across a fascinating photo of three artisites which I rarely see coming together – Rowena Cortes, Francis Yip and Anita Sarawak. I did not questioned why the mind was fascinated by the shot.

Imagine what happened that night. I was in a function together with them having a conversation! What a creation the mind can achieve. And of course in that situation, everything is as real as you are reading this. That makes me ponder – if the dream is real and I am not aware that it is a dream, what about I am here? Is it too a dream?

If you were to give yourself a little natural awareness in observing thought just immediately upon waking up and at the same time the mind wanting to goes back to sleep again – you will be shock to recognize that whatever thought you have at that moment of time prior to your going back to sleep, becomes a reality when you fall back to sleep again. When I say a reality, I mean that the whole thought is played out as a drama, so real that it is no longer a picture but a video instead with you in it! Should I call it is a real-time movie?

Welcome to the world – a real-time movie with you as a director, producer, cast, actors, actresses, audiences – everything is YOU! If Francis Yip, Rowena Cortes or Anita Sarawak, for that matter, could be conjured by the mind, what more in this real-time movie I called the “world” is conjured entirely by the mind? Is the world, a mind creation? You betcha! Quantum physic is already proving that.

It is bizarre to recognize that when I come to a clear realization of what I truly experience is a dream, whenever I am angry, I will remember that I am not angry with anyone else except myself. Whenever I felt betrayed, I am self-betraying yourself. Whenever I are unable to forgive “somebody outside” there, in truth I am not forgiving myself. I am just fooling myself all the time! More than that – there is no one for me to be attached to except my own illusion as thoughts and perceptions.

The world is me and I am the world. More correctly, when “I” exist, the “world” came into existence, with all its thoughts and perceptions. “I” need to be resolved and in that space peace is regained.

What that is looking for is what that looks. – St Francis of Asisi

Path to Deathlessness

PRACTICE MANTRA: Begin again and again from non-knowing, in a state of total being, fully awake and bearing witness to what is already presented here.

I begin from non-knowing, in a state of total being, fully awake and bearing witness to what is already presented in the Now. Again I begin from non-knowing, in a state of total being, fully awake and bearing witness to what is already presented in the Now. And again and again I remember to begin from non-knowing, in a state of total being, fully awake and bearing witness to what is already in the Now. The cycle begins again, and again, and again. I do not leg go of the past, instead the past let go of me when I begin again to this non-knowing, in a state of total being, fully awake and bearing witness to what is here for me. This is what practice is all about.

What is presented to me in each moment is different, each Now is always New, and each New is a total fresh experience. In this consistent newness, I keep remembering to begin from non-knowing, in a state of total being, fully awake and bearing witness to what is here for me.

Understanding takes place between the space of the practice and the Now. This is where transformation arise, where wisdom culminates. Fire is not hidden in the match-stick or the box. Fire is conditioned by the meeting. Understanding too is the same. Understanding is not me or you. It is impersonal, a condition arising from the meeting of the practice and the Now.

When the practice mantra is not put forth, the mind habitually goes back to knowing, in a state of doing instead, totally unaware and unawake to the newness of the Now and thus unable to bear witness to what is here for me. The unawake state is blind to the freshness of the Now and what it sees are presumptions, judgments, conclusions from all habitual ideas and patterns of the past. What it sees now are color glass of perceptions. How could there be Truth?

Heedfulness is the path to the Deathless.
Heedlessness is the path to death.
The heedful die not.
The heedless are as if dead already.

– Buddha

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
Rumi

The Dead are not Alive, and the Living will not Die

You may observed that I have been, of late, quoting the Buddha and Yeshua in my blog, and if you find it offensive, I invite you to recognize that all resistances arise from non-understanding. Where there is understanding, resistance fades away. My teacher frequently reminds me to observe experiences through the perspective of understanding the causal relationships of phenomenon and doing so, allows me to move from being personal to nature – seeing experiences as a natural unfolding of nature rather than “I”.

The title is riddled with deep meaning, taken from the Gospel of Thomas. Coincidentally the Gospel starts with the statement made by Yeshua: Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not touch death.

We both knew that the dead are not alive and isn’t it something so obvious that needs no interpretation? That’s the beauty of riddle – behind the form lies the essence. Form and essence are always in contradiction, like for instance, words. Words are merely words if we do not understand the meaning behind those words. So the statement in the title is merely another statement if we do not probe deeper what Yeshua is trying to convey.

Remember the analogy of Darkness and Light in my previous blog? The former is, the latter exist. Anything that exist has to die, for if there is no birth where is death? So all existences are transient by nature, and if they are transient, it is with certainty that there is no absoluteness in it accept its conditioning.

That reminds me of a statement found in the beginning of A Course in Miracle:

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of GOD.

Anything that can be threatened cannot be real brings me to understand that anything that changes has no substantiality, no realness in it. How can I say I exist when existence itself is beyond my control? How can “I” – what I thought is permanent existing on a body that is entirely breaking apart each moment and to be arise again the next moment? And what about the mind? How can I say the mind is me when I would not even know when and what it is going to happen in the next moment? I can only know how it works by observing the causal relationship of the conditionings but I can’t change or fix it. I can only pop in a new cause or a few causes and allow the effect(s) to take its natural course.

So if the body and mind is devoid of “I” how can it be called “alive”?
When I identified with my body and mind I am never, never alive, though I may seems to live and die in the end.
When I finally go beyond the body and mind, beyond the conditioning of all things, in that “space” there is no death. That is when the “living” will not die.

To quote a sentence from the Dhammapada:

Heedfulness is the path to the deathless. Heedlessness is the path to death.
The heedful do not die. The heedless are as if dead already.

Beyond the illusion of Ego lies deathlessness….

Ideas, Views & Beliefs

I have been observing the mind for quite awhile now and recognized that what I know is all I know. I can’t know what I have yet to know except to know that I don’t know. So I can only knows what I know and don’t know. I can’t know beyond these two. Will there be any possibility that there is an area call I don’t know that I don’t know? If I know such area I am still in one of the space of knowing what I don’t know and not really experiencing I don’t know that I don’t know. You have to digest a slowly to understand the tongue twisting lines of what I have just shared. It is not possible to don’t know entirely as it is already preceded by knowing you don’t know. I am not talking of knowing in the context of object but the subject itself.

So what is it that I know? Know is something that already existed in mind. If it has not existed in mind, the mind would not understand what it is been shown except as an entire new experience totally. Upon experiencing it, it becomes a knowing, sometimes comes with understanding. Bear in mind that knowing and understanding is not related at all. So knowing is a second hand knowledge of what has been experienced. Yeshua calls it the second symbol. Just a symbol, nothing great about it.

In truth what we knows are merely a bundle of ideas, concepts, thoughts, views or mere beliefs. They are devoid of substance. And yet, at the same time, they can be useful tools directing us to the Truth. It can also direct us away from the Truth!

There are ideas that set you free and there are ideas that imprison you. The Buddha mentioned Right Views and Wrong Views to mean pathways that lead to freedom or imprisonment. Quoting Yeshua again:

A wise fisherman cast his net into the sea. When he drew it up it was full of little fish. Among them, he discovered a large, fine fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and he chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears should listen.

In my system, or rather the personality of who I am, are merely a bundle of two kinds of ideas – Right Ideas and Wrong Ideas ( I am using idea the same as views, beliefs, concepts etc). Other than that I can’t exist. So it is true to say existence comes from the appearance of ideas.

If you wish to be free and peaceful, keep questioning your ideas, particularly manifesting in your thoughts. Most of them are not real and true. Only when you are present to your thoughts are you able to meet it with understanding. That is what I meant when I say knowing and understanding is entirely different. It is the same as saying knowledge and wisdom is far apart.

Conditioned and Unconditioned

I used to get a little uptight whenever I come across the word “conditioned” in Buddhism and felt so “lofty” when the meaning “unconditioned” came to mind – though at those times I don’t really get what it means except whatever limiting ideas I put upon it, thus seeing conditioned as wrong and unconditioned as right. What an ignorant judgment!

And throughout those years I was so attracted to the word “unconditional love” – trying so hard to be one but failing most of the time :(

The wiser part of me (or Holy Spirit, if you come from a different faith) came up with the following illustration to let me see that there is no right or wrong to both words except its definition. And there is no better way of illustrating it other than Darkness and Light.

Darkness Is, Light Exist.

Darkness is unconditional as it always Is. Darkness needed nothing to make it exist, for in reality, it does not “exist” except is. Are you following me? It will be easy to see this truth when we come to Light. Now for Light to come into existence, it must have something for it to arise, for example, the Sun or even the collision of meteor etc. In other words Light is been conditioned by something. Once it is been conditioned, it has the nature of ending for the word “conditioning” already implies a situation that can only come into existence due to a certain nature. For instance, fire can only exist when a matchstick and a source of friction comes into contact. Fire is not hidden somewhere awaiting for contact. It just arise due to conditioning, and thus temporal by nature.

In the modern new agy stuff we are been encouraged to view Darkness as evil and Light as purity – I am not disputing what are been shared but we missed the point of Reality when we see something as good and bad. Everything has its essence of Truth – only when we give opportunity for enquiry. I wish to share with you here a teaching on Tao about Darkness:

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.

– Tao Te Ching (A New English Version) by Stephen Mitchell

Coming back to the topic of Conditioned and Unconditioned, it is logical to say that all existence are conditional by nature and thus not lasting, devoid of self and unsatisfactory.  All existence are unreal, so to speak, for it only exist due to conditioning. What is it beyond existence, you may ask? Unconditioned, my friend, as spoken by great sages like the Buddha or Yeshua (he uses the word eternity).

I invited you to consider the following which may invoke repulsion, defense or disillusion but allow yourself to enquire, deeply – Your existence is unreal. Beyond your existence lies the Unconditioned.

Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed, they will marvel, and they will reign over all.
– Yeshua

May you see this Truth. Peace be unto all.