Stop seeking Truth, instead recognize the Ego

I can only tell you the ways you cannot arrive at the Truth, and when you have found all the ways by which you cannot arrive at the Truth, you will find the Truth: then it will be yours, and not another’s which is but an imitation.
– Beyond the Himalayas

There is no necessity to seek the Truth, what is necessary is to seek what blocks you from the Truth. (ed)
Your Immortal Reality

My wise meditation teacher loves to hear about problems a meditator faced rather than what the meditator wanted to share to impressed him. To him, it is by understanding defilements can wisdom arise. Wisdom is hidden away due to defilements. That brought me succinctly to question why when a master finally arrive at his/her own enlightenment, he shares the Truth with the world.  Why the word “Truth”? Why not something else like Nature, Universe or what not? It came to my realization that the Truth is the opposite of False. There is a high possibility that what they thought they knew before came as a realization that they are all false, lies and fabrications and thus their need to share what is truly understood by them as Truth. Quantum physics call it optical illusion.

When we start to question the purpose of life at some point in time, we tend to incline ourselves to a specific faith or religion, to seek the Truth. Here lies the irony. When we seek the Truth by imitating what we should and should not do, we moved ourselves further away from understanding the nature of existence, from Truth, so to speak. We imitate what great masters have shared instead of learning to understand what they are trying to convey. So instead of moving closer to Truth, we are in fact moving further from Truth.

It is not the cause of the religionist, neither is it the fault of the seeker. What is more true is the nature of ego is to blind. Remember the quote mentioned by Yeshua? I stood in the world and found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. They came into the world empty, and they seek to leave the world empty. But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, they will open their eyes.

And there are those, while still seeking, goes spiritual shopping. Chogyam Truangpa labels it as spiritual materialism. You can never win the ego! except to recognize them when it arise. That reminds me of what Yeshua has to said:

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.

If you don’t fully comprehend the verse, let me share with you a parable by the wise Rumi, adapted by Osho, another wise soul:

One day Jalaluddin Rumi took all his students, disciples and devotees  to a field. That was his way to teach them things of the beyond, through the examples of the world. He was not a theoretician, he was a very practical man. The disciples were thinking, “What could be the message, going to that faraway field… and why can’t he say it here?”

But when they reached the field, they understood that they were wrong and he was right. The farmer seemed to be almost an insane man. He was digging a well in the field – and he had already dug eight incomplete wells.

He would go a few feet and then he would find that there was no water. Then he would start digging another well… and the same story was continued. He had destroyed the whole field and he had not yet found water.

The master, Jalaluddin Rumi, told his disciples, “Can you understand something? If this man had been total and had put his whole energy into only one well, he would have reached to the deepest sources of water long ago.

But the way he is going he will destroy the whole field and he will never be able to make a single well. With so much effort he is simply destroying his own land, and getting more and more frustrated, disappointed: what kind of a desert has he purchased? It is not a desert, but one has to go deep to find the sources of water.”

He turned to his disciples and asked them, “Are you going to follow this insane farmer? Sometimes on one path, sometimes on another path, sometimes listening to one, sometimes listening to another… you will collect much knowledge, but all that knowledge is simply junk, because it is not going to give you the enlightenment you were looking for. It is not going to lead you to the waters of eternal life.”

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

Respond and React

I used to get pretty confused by these two definitions, seeing them as similar and yet been reminded repeatedly they are totally different. The answers I got did not fulfill my needs, and so the mind is consistently on the alert trying to understand the two.

Inquisitiveness is one of the characteristic of wisdom and thus when a question is posed to the mind, it will naturally incline to a solution, without me needing to give it an answer. By giving it an answer I am only resolving the question at the same level where it comes from, making the question seems meaningless.

And it only dawn upon me recent in the retreat that both respond and reaction are indeed different. But before I come into defining them I would suggest to see every experience as either a cause or an effect (result). We can’t do anything to the effect as it has already arisen. Neither can we do anything to the cause of that effect. But what we can do is to set a new cause for the effect to take place. Thus to undo a similar situation in the future, it is imperative that we learn to recognize what are the causes to the effect that took place, making us wiser not to repeat it again. On the other hand it is also imperative to recognize what are the cause(s) that brought about joyful effect so that we are able to create or condition them to occur.

Observe that everything which we experience within our sense doors are all effects. They are results of the immediate past for experience to take place. You can also say that the effect is also the cause for another experience to take place in the immediate future. In other words, experience is effect from the past and cause for the future.

Another way of seeing cause and effect is on the subject and object level. If I am the subject, all experiences outside are objects for me to experience. When I am angry, my object is at someone outside there (if I am been triggered by him/her). If my target is on the outside, which is the object, I am reacting to the situation. If my attention is on the inside, which is the subject, I am responding to the situation. Reaction, which we normally referred as irrational, is truly irrational in the sense that it target on the effect – a unworthy action that is pointless. It is like barking on the wrong tree.

On the other hand when I give attention to my anger, I am responding to the cause of the effect, which is truly what I am experiencing, what I am feeling. I can only experience anger but I can’t experience  someone making me angry – the former is a feeling, the latter a thought in the form of a story. When I am responding to the anger, I am no longer in the story or thought, but instead on what is true to me at this moment – I take full responsibility to what is occurring in my space instead of getting someone to be responsible of my anger.

From this observation and understanding which I realized from my recent retreat, I am confident to say that response comes from wisdom, whereas reaction comes from the ego. I finally come to peace with these two words. :)

Have you discovered the beginning, then, so that you are seeking the end? For where the beginning is, the end will be. Fortunate is the one who stands at the beginning: That one will know the end and will not taste death.

Yeshua

Entering the Forest of Roses

I can either be perturbed by thorns or I can fully appreciate the beauty of the roses. Welcome to the Forest of Roses.

My teacher once told me a story about a meditator reporting to him about the failure of his sitting – how he endured every minute of discomfort throughout the sitting without seeing any light out of it. He recognizes that there is no way he could avoid the discomfort except to be pulled to it again and again. Yet he managed to sit through the session.

To the meditator he sees failure and to my teacher he sees success. To the meditator his target is on the discomfort and to the teacher is grateful is on the awareness. You can only be with the discomfort when you are aware of it but because the target is on the discomfort, expecting a result other than what is already here, the meditator looses the sight of the roses, so to speak. If he were to stay with his awareness in the midst of the discomfort, he will find his entire journey fulfilling. He would have understood that the discomfort is not him.

Life is the same too. Life is a Forest of Roses. Every moment I am been presented the opportunity to be with the Ego or the Holy Spirit – it is all entirely my choice. But even then it is not true, as my choice is determined by moment of unawareness or awareness. Do I have a choice on these? Yes, only and only when I remember to be present. Do I have a choice in remembering? Yes, when I give priority to it. What is my prerequisite to priority? When I have interest in it. And what is my prerequisite to interest. When I have faith to what I felt is right for me to do. And how does faith arise? When I fully understand that this is it!

Every moment is a call to come home, irrelevant whether the experience is painful or joyful, pleasant or unpleasant. Experiences does not bring you home. Neither is the experiencing. The rose or the thorn is not your target – the journey out of the forest is where you are moving to. But while in the midst of the forest, you choose either to be at peace or to be upset by what is. It is not about what is right and what is wrong. Neither is it about what is good and what is bad. Rather it is about what is essential and what is inessential.

If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you will kill you.
Yeshua

Drunk in Illusions

I stood in the world and found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. They came into the world empty, and they seek to leave the world empty. But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, they will open their eyes.
– Yeshua

In my day to day living, or more precisely, moment to moment relationship, I observed a particular distinct pattern the mind has that I am inclined to – almost predictable. Things that I like, and things that I don’t like. Things that I consistently do to attract attention, and things that I do to avoid discomfort. Things that I dare to pursue and things that I have yet to overcome. Things that I deceive others, and things that I try impressing others. Things that I yearn and things that I abhor. I lived like a predictable magnet, attract and distract from the poles of experiences. So predictable are the experiences that I become master of it, so I thought. Or have the experiences mastered itself so much so that I am simply led by it? Like the simile of the owner and his dog –  who is leading who? Where I am coming from makes a difference.

All these are happening in my mind – like a shadow following me – so familiar and trapped! Many a times I caught clear glimpses of deception, betrayal and conspiracy going on – not on someone “out there”, sad to say (no pun intended) – but over and over again, towards myself. When I am not aware of these stuff, the end result is always about someone “outside” there who caused me all the pain, discomfort and upsets. This is insanity of the highest order – expecting someone to take responsibility of my own madness which I am oblivious to. This reminded me back of the statement made by the same spirit – you are not upset for the reason you think it is.

It is a mystery to recognize that these are the things I have been living with, moment after moment, day after day, year after year, and probably life after life, if it does mean anything. Until I bear witness to all this experiences I am like a drunkard, living a life of mediocre, or can I truly call that life? I lived, led astray by these conditioning, never having the thirst to inquire deeper its meaning.

Who am I? What am I? How did I landed myself in these patterns? Why? These are the probing questions that invoke each and everyone of us towards the discovery to the mystery of oneself. And yet, this journey can be forest of roses, or, thorns.  It can be another journey of drunkardness, if what I seek comes from blind beliefs rather than wise inquiries.

When they shake off their wine, they will open their eyes.

Knowing and Understanding

Have you heard of the statement Truth sets you free? I will rephrase it to two sentences.

Understanding sets you free.
Freedom arises from understanding this Truth.

Understanding is the hidden bridge between Freedom and Truth. Understanding has the effects of liberation, letting go and wisdom. It is from understanding a situation that makes you let go of the grip – it has the effect of freedom. It is also from understanding that you become wiser. Try observing your anger whenever it arise. You can be sure it is because you don’t truly understand what is happening and thus jump into conclusion of attack or defense. Both have anger in it. If you are observant of someone’s anger, you may realized that he or she has not come to realized the true understanding of a situation. There is a quote from Yeshua: You are never upset for the reason you think it is. If you truly see the reason of your anger, which is at the deep abyss of your mind – something that is very ancient and familiar to you – your anger will dissolve right from your sight. Thus the importance of understanding.

Does knowing has that ability? You know you are angry but do you not understand why you are angry. Well, your normal understanding is that someone is making hurtful remarks about you or someone is against you – but that is not understanding, that is a conclusion your egoic mind makes.

Knowing is a conclusion whereas understanding is a result of recognizing the causal relationship that brings about your experience.  We can say that knowing focuses on the experience whereas understanding give attention to the full processes that resulted in the experience. Understanding is on the journey, knowing is on the destination. Scientist give much attention to the process that finally make them come to an understanding of their observation.

In today’s hectic life, where we are fed with the impression of catching up with the Jones, we give ourselves no room for observation. Having said that, it is because of our attention other than the now, which is either in the past or future, that disallow us to observe, and hence the lack of understanding of each other, including with ourselves. We seldom understand ourselves, save in keeping doing and having more and more.

Do you observe that whenever you put knowing at the forefront you tend to react to situations, whereas if understanding is your forefront, foregoing your experiences (it never leaves you anyway), you will respond rather than react. Reaction targets on the effect, whereas respond gives attention to the cause. Seeing the cause you see the effect but not viceversa. Allow me to quote a statement from the Gospel of Thomas:

The followers said to Yeshua, “Tell us how our end will be.” He said, “Have you discovered the beginning, then, so that you are seeking the end? For where the beginning is, the end will be. Fortunate is the one who stands at the beginning: That one will know the end and will not taste death.

Only by understanding the matrix of the mind could I discover the ending of the ego, of existence. That is true freedom.

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….