On The Road To Enlightenment

To the end of exposing the self-centredness bundled into the notion of 'personal enlightenment,' the quest can be imagined as hiking up a fairly steep, winding road to get to a mountaintop. It's a tortuous way up, but it'll be well worth it, one imagines, to get an amazing view over everything, a sense of immensity, a feeling of being on top of the world—ah! the pinnacle of spiritual endeavour.  Persevering in spite of any and all difficulties, including much tedium, one eventually reaches the last turn in the road and—surprise! there on the summit is a huge car park and an enormous coach is slowly disgorging a lot of people in wheelchairs. Privately one feels a strange sense of disappointment because that view was for oneself alone. One desired the exhilaration of looking out from the top of the mountain, with the overview and the sheer aloneness that should have been there. Still, it was a bit churlish on the part of a spiritual seeker such as oneself to mutter a complaint. They're in wheelchairs, dammit! So it's a good thing that they get to enjoy the view. One turns to go, thoughtfully.

Another time maybe. Anyway, it's only a dream. In the meantime, it may be useful to bear in mind that 'Spirit' is already and always all the 'enlightenment' there could be, so that the seeker is an irrelevance. Oh, and 'Just find out how to put a stop to conceptual thinking.'*


*(Huang Po)

Respect - an analysis of the break-down of relationship

We frequently hear complaints from those who feel they are not getting the respect that they feel is their due. People often demand respect for themselves and their 'views'. The fact is, though that irritability, contempt and general bad behaviour is more likely what can be expected from another. As the world population swells, respect is lost.

But that's no good, because when respect is lost, everything starts to go wrong!

Just look what happens in relationship: First things get casual, causing people to cut off from each other just a little bit. In other words, they don't give each other the proper respect. Then quite a lot of misunderstandings occur; people don't mesh properly and they end up hurting each other through ignorance, because they are not paying attention. They hurt each other, in small ways, but it builds up until they get heartily sick of each other and feel angry and annoyed. Well, yes—ignorance is very annoying, and it easily becomes a question of, "One of us has got to go—will it be you, or me?"

So it's very important not to lose respect! Surely it's not so difficult? However, it's respect for the whole environment, not just for people

Real respect is observing things and people just as they are. It doesn't imply a special kind of deference. Respect is in fact a deference to the whole of reality.

Mind Clear. Hopefully.

This letter sent today from IRI to some close colleagues is exceptionally comprehensive, and accessible:-

'This is just a brief note to acknowledge your message of appreciation. When we investigate these vital matters, we have to struggle through a dense fog of human hopelessness. This is because the sense of deadendedness permeates a society that no longer possesses faith to provide hope of eventual salvation, release and remission of sins. It is thought better and even right for everyone simply to indulge themselves in every sensation, overriding any promptings of morality, but the result—plain for all to see—is deep depression, exhaustion, despair and sickness. And then, what hope is there for those past, well past, the mating age? Of course this state of affairs has been building up as history for a long time now and stress is such that men are breaking down in tears and crying that they want to be women. Women get all the attention and even though they increasingly take over men's roles the womb remains the cradle of all meaning for humans. And if death is increasingly seen as the sole and only release, how could life not be felt as overwhelmingly depressing?

'The weather today, being drizzly, overcast, cold and sufficiently foggy, gives us the perfect opportunity to study all this, doesn't it?

'To be able to see and acknowledge this sense of hopelessness at once gives us a little distance, enables us to probe more effectively into what on earth consciousness is up to!

'You write that 'the study, in fact, is preparation for release.' The trouble with such a statement is that it presents us with a victim or victims who are being harassed by life and who hope to be released at some time which is not now. There's that idea of 'hope' again! Hope allows for postponement, so that we can continue to be hapless members of a disintegrating society, but hopefully—who knows?—we might get some sort of relief eventually—especially if we study hard. 

'Whatever meaning can be ascribed to the ideas of 'release' or 'relief' or any other term indicating a total cessation of suffering, that meaning must be present here and now and forever, so to speak. It's just that we're addicted to the pleasures and pains of humanhood, which require us to continue as entities, that is, as (imagined) objects.

'What can I do but try to state it all as clearly as possible? 

'Surrounding us, at all times, is the absolute clarity of 'mind,' and we are right in the middle, as it were, seeking and finding objections! 

'"Sorry, but it's what we do!!" 

'And this is where the joker bops the sufferer on the head and the audience laughs.'

Should consciousness be studied in the first-person, the second-person, or the third-person-plural?

Neither 1st, 2nd nor 3rd, nor any other number!

The basic point is that awareness is not personal, contrary to what we are taught. Awareness is bodiless, and doesn't know dimension at all: it's undimensional. And 'it' is not something else, something other. It's what we are, and it's what we are now, not some other time — in the past, in the future, or in the present.

Not in the present!?!

No, because the present is only part of the same imaginary time-sequence. Why does Awareness need to bother with terms like 'past,' 'present' and 'future?' It's only people who engage in mind-games like that!

Religion

is when one tries to objectify the first principle.

Atheism happens when one imagines that principle is oneself.

God—Beyond Belief*

Whether you say, 'I believe,' or, 'I don't believe in God' (the atheists), doesn't it come to the same thing? Because WHAT IS IT that is either believed or not? That's when everyone gets rather VAGUE.  What is the point of bringing in belief at all? The whole argument is so stupid! Just human shenanigans, entirely missing the really interesting points, as USUAL.

*('Good God! I don't  b e l i e v e it!')

Striving for the Good

'Good' just means pleasure, even though we don't like to admit it.  The one seeking to be happy is in a false position right from the start - it's just an actor on the stage.

Out Of Time

Not, 'Liberation in this very life,' but 'Liberation while still seemingly engaged in this experience.'

To say, 'In this very life,' is misleading, because it seems to indicate that it could happen at any time.

Likewise, when we state that this study is a whole life, that doesn't mean that it is spread out over time. The 'whole life' means more like, 'acquainting yourself instantly with the basic understanding' (of the obvious).

'Understanding' normally means fitting something into one's own frame of reference, and as such is useless. But there can be this basic understanding, without which one is just too full of oneself to be interested in anything but oneself. (N.B.: This is a technical observation rather than a moral judgement.)

'On the instant' sounds like a moment in time, but it is actually not in time. That is the truth of the matter—that there is no time.

But isn't it possible to waste time?

No, not real-ly, because time doesn't exist. There is only presence.


In Quotes

Short comments, jokes and aphorisms from IRI:-


  • "Hello, Mankind, this is God speaking. I know you think you are wicked. Well, I can't argue with that!"
  • Personal insights are a theft, or rather, an attempted theft, of the absolute.
  • Thought is always after the fact.
  • Is consciousness clever?
  • "I used to say that human beings were not very intelligent. But I won't say that anymore. No—no more Mr Nice Guy."
  • The forgetfulness that often comes with old age tends not to forget the worries that are held dear.
  • The brain is soft-wired. (For what? Oh, just to mess around and impress itself. It's longing to get it's own autograph.)
  • Assumption is the root of dullness. (E.g., the assumption that everything is so.)
  • "I'm sure people don't realize that it actually makes sense to say, 'to infinity and beyond.' They think that's a joke—but really, 'infinity' is a word."
  • The fringes of knowledge fade into areas described as 'not well understood,' i.e., unknown.
  • Remember that worry puts more people in hospital than hot dinners.
  • "I think that these days it is too much hard work for people to consider anything other than themselves."
  • Sheer ease of reading is just for layabouts.
  • "You know, I think everyone really misses the past."
  • Humans are the only creatures that know that they are 'meming.'
  • Never trust a human.
  • A man walks into a bar and says, "Ow!" because he hurt his leg on it.
  • Life is transitory. So, behave well while you can.

So you think the spiritual is weak, do you?

Take away appearance, and take away all sound, and what you are left with is pure spirit.