Life has got complicated, hasn’t it? I was noticing it just this week; computers were supposed to make life quicker, and make our jobs easier but what happened? We just made everything much more complex and detailed to compensate and so we really haven’t made any progress. Layer upon layer of bureaucracy and not much to show for it.
Perhaps we have this tendency in life. When there’s a gap we rush to fill it. Whether it’s an awkward silence, nothing to worry about, some free time – somehow we find a way to fill it up. What is it about space that we unconsciously avoid?
Of course the sense of self can’t exist in a void. It’s really nothing more than the tendency of awareness to ricochet around thoughts of the future and the past, our viewpoints and imaginings, like a pinball in a pinball machine. A game with no player, just an assumed one we can never find when we go looking.
Realising there is no separate self is that point at which the habit breaks. We still have thoughts. We can see and feel our body. Our preference for tea over coffee is still intact. But our perspective has changed. Now awareness sits outside the confines of all these, as if the pinball has become a football or perhaps a balloon.
The two dimensional game of self-identified thought can no longer contain it. Now it can float free, part of the space in which all separation, all identification, all limitation can still be seen but don’t confine, define or limit. The groundless ground of all becomes reality; is realised as the only reality there ever has been. The unchanging source, without conditions, movement or in any way manifest is realised.
It’s not known in thought, it’s directly experienced. As an example, take gravity. You don’t believe in gravity. You don’t have it as a concept you adhere to in thought. It’s your 24/7 reality. It defines and shapes your form, all forms and the physical relationship between all the forms you perceive. That’s not a belief, it’s a moment by moment living reality – you don’t have to believe in it, it’s axiomatic to existence.
In abiding non-dual awareness (for want of a better term) the fundamental experience of life is the unconditioned. That which arises in the moment, in our senses, our thoughts, our perceptions is seen as that which comes and goes – ever changing. It’s not that it’s not ‘real’; it’s not denied in any way, it’s just no longer taken as fundamental. It’s seen as that which arises, whilst reality is that which gives rise to it – the unconditioned.
When this is seen, really opened to, the feeling is one of – well the only word that seems anywhere near the right end of the spectrum is love. Not love identified with this or that, just love. Perhaps there’s a better word than love, I just haven’t found it. And I guess at this point you can tell that words are starting to run out.
Words are just sounds, they can’t capture or define this experience of the unconditioned, this non-duality. Perhaps if I were a poet I might do better, I don’t know. But as I sit, in an office, finishing off a week’s work, I thought I’d share this: it’s easy to get caught up in the complexity of life, to fill every moment with doing, with worry and thought, and never enough time.
But we can see beyond this. We can realise truth. If we look, investigate, accept, examine, embrace, and above all persevere, we will see. Don’t chase it like a goal, just try to see clearly the way it is. Just to see. Separation is ultimately an illusion and no illusion can withstand constant scrutiny. So don’t think about when and how and if… Just keep looking.
Good post! You expressed it well without being life-denying. I sometimes find Buddhist writings a bit of a downer, but not this.