Freedom Within

1.

Is it possible that this very consciousness that is perceiving in this moment is completely free? Free from the feelings – pleasant or unpleasant – of a body, its up and downs, pains and enjoyments, moods and emotions, even the raw sensations that pulse along throughout the states. Free from the thoughts – the buzz of the mind, the projected self-image, the internal dialogue, even thoughts about the truth. And free from the world – not limited to these five human senses but ‘sensing’ itself in a dimension not quite known to man but rather, man being known through it. Is it possible that we are simply playing this game of being people – and yet we have made these bodies out of our own substance and the world they play in too, while all along we watch happily as the person lives it out, set within. Is it possible that the substance of our being is completely intimate with all seeming things, that nothing arises that is not chosen by It? This Being, this Consciousness, has not for one moment parted itself from its home. It has always been, resting in itself, contemplating itself, loving itself, being itself. This knowing, with which you know yourself and out of which all appearances are made is Freedom…

As the reality of that which perceives ceases to veil itself from itself, there is a gradual relaxation of the body and mind and they are touched by a deeper source within. That source begins to stream itself through and through, not just as the place we hang out when we sleep, or where we go in meditation, but this peace funnels itself through the filtration system of a human mind and cascades out into the world as bubbles of contentedness.

Consciousness, as itself, is free from superimposition. Yet, in this freedom it is able to pretend to superimpose something onto itself, that being the belief that it has parted from itself and it concurrently forgets that it has done so. It’s a transparent charade. At some point, there is the recognition that this consciousness, this very consciousness that has always perceived, has always been here, closer than close as the Self, has no limitations. Your nature is infinite, eternal, peace itself, pure being, pure sensitivity, and so on. There is only the Absolute knowing itself in its freedom at every instant.

So there is nothing to do, as doing belongs to the mind. It belongs to the path of being a limited individual torn between desires and fears, pushing towards a projected goal. It is the path of ambition, ultimately, although, if you give the progressive path the benefit of the doubt there are good things done and helpful teachers and maybe codes and morals and rules are of benefit until you realize the genuine freedom of what you are. How could the Absolute act in disharmony? It’s only ignorance. Our problem is that we look for the Absolute in the relative plane through the figure of teachers, but they’re just people too. The use of a teacher is that they can help you see yourself. The use of a teacher in fact, is that they can help you not need a teacher. There is no teacher, really, there is no student. Freedom belongs to the dimension we share, our source. It’s behind in a sense, although no real sense, but don’t confuse the relative level of the apparent diversity of teachers with what really matters.

There’s nothing to do, but if suffering is present then that means that consciousness is still choosing ignorance by identifying with certain thought forms, certain feelings and that has to be seen. It’s just a clear seeing: I am not the body, not the mind, not the world, I am that which perceives all these elements, which happens to be infinite and this infinity includes everything that appears. Thus, I am nothing, I am everything. It’s the ‘nothingness’ that severs the final link of attachment and dependency, before we go back and see that ‘everythingness’ is included in this infinite nothingness, somehow touching all the arising objects in the spaceless space of benevolent, detached intimacy.

It’s Pure because it’s completely unstained by a presence other than itself. In its totality, there is only its Being and its Being is its Knowing. In other words, consciousness knows itself by itself. There is no need for a human person, really, there is no need for bodies or minds or worlds. Consciousness does not need a human mind to know itself, but it has chosen this game, and a concession to the limited mind might be ‘it chooses so out of Love and Freedom’, which is relative. There’s no reason. What’s important is to see that a human mind can’t know consciousness! Human beings aren’t aware, consciousness is aware. To free yourself from the belief that your awareness is tied to the vicissitudes of your body and mind is to unlock the key to realizing the eternal, right in this moment.

~

Eternity is a concept that seems to imply a very long time, so long in fact that we can’t even imagine it, so the mind gives up. There’s some use for that concept because it’s true that whatever is real will continue for ‘ever’, ‘ever’ being as long as there is manifestation, but that’s not a limitation it’s just a preliminary fact, a concession to the existence of time. In fact, what is real is beyond time itself, the real lives in the realm of timelessness. Time is like a circle within infinite Being drawn in water; it has no bearing on the limitless sea of what we are. In fact, time makes no sense from the absolute dimension. There’s only Being, there’s no duration, there’s of course no past or future, there’s no time, there’s only the Self Loving Eternity Into Life as the play of this, the only moment.

We could even say that there is no movement because movement implies change, change implies a multiplicity and there is only one reality. Reality doesn’t change, appearances change.

One hiccup is to try to overcome the subject/object duality with the mind. That’s a superimposition, a superfluous effort. Subject/Object duality is resolved only with Reality’s recognition of Reality. It has nothing to do with the human mind. It is the realization of the infinity of the implied subject. This does not mean that a human mind is infinite, a human mind is simply a window through which the infinite gazes at the manifest world, it’s a point of view, seen by God. Ultimately, Mind (and any single mind) is just an arbitrary collection of perceived objects. Consciousness is the subject of all objects, it’s the subject that manages to manifest all seemingly distinct points of view on its own Self-made Creation.

Consciousness’ creation, this moving, dancing, vibrating wave of Life, is an appearance of motion made of pure Stillness. In fact, all we know of manifestation is refracted through the prism of the human mind: the window that we see through is limited, even if the viewer is not. It’s the seeming of limitation that allows us to see these objects, but the objects available to human minds as a whole, or certainly, to one limited human mind, don’t really tell us much about anything all, including what ‘else’ could be manifest. The rules are made by the One Reality and the rule maker is free. 

The realization that humans are not needed but are enjoyed for the purposes of the game and that the human experience tells us only about the human experience, nothing about the consciousness that perceives can birth in us the humility of finally seeing, in whatever way the mind can, man’s true place in the cosmos. It might be the end of ‘humanism’, the belief that humans have some privileged vantage point on the workings of Life – not just over animals and plants and all else but somehow over the domain of God; that our minds, with their very limited intelligence, given to us by the Grace of true Intelligence – our little streams running out into the open, unthinkable ocean – hold fort over the rest of creation, and consciousness itself. That is, if consciousness is even given the credence of any importance at all, which in the eyes of our culture is rare. In fact it’s the devaluing of the consciousness we are that leads to persecution, violence and disharmony, because when we realize that this is a completely equanimous shared reality, it’s the birth of empathy and true compassion, the seeing that we’re the same. When we believe, however, that we are separate from God, from consciousness, a little distinct reality in an unfriendly universe, the consequence can be anything from bickering to man’s unbelievable inhumanity to man. Not to mention man’s saddening treatment of animals that we see the world over. What is really needed is the humility to see that the universe doesn’t depend on us humans, humans depend on the universe, specifically the aspect of the universe that is conscious, which is to say, real. When we walk through the doorway of perception through to the infinite self within, we stop taking the events of this human life as wins or losses, we finally gain some perspective. We can enjoy, with freedom, finally, and also give respect where respect is due: not to our limited selves, or to the images we have of our bodies, but to the Reality that is our Mother, in a sense.

This window of experience can be walked through forwards or backwards. Sometimes it is thought of as the ‘I am’. We can go through the ‘I’ by walking backwards, towards whatever perceives, that which is completely free and independent. Or, we can go through the ‘Am’ by walking forwards – ‘Am’ as in ‘Being’ as in ‘Reality’ – through the doorway towards that which is perceived. In or out, we find the same thing, eventually realizing that what we call ‘consciousness’ and what we call ‘reality’ are the same. In ignorance, we believe that these two are distinguishable, consciousness being a factor of mind and reality being a factor of the physical world. It first takes some gumption to detach from that cultural conditioning. In fact, the word reality comes from the Latin realis which means ‘all the things’. Consciousness itself is not a thing, but if we include this thing-less thing in this collection of ‘things’, recognizing its reality, then what we’re left with is a totality that is conscious. A reality that is conscious. Reality and consciousness are synonyms, they are not two. ‘I’ – consciousness, ‘Am’ – reality.

~

Words are simply tools, pointers that lead us to some meaning, inevitably some abstraction of our direct experience. That being said, they can point to the ultimate if they are informed by it. Like any object, thoughts and words can be cast out on an endless search for happiness in the objective realm or they can be expressions of that happiness from its origin. The difference is in the perfume that they carry. It’s important that the mind recognizes, in its humility, that it cannot know its source, that no matter what it does it is impotent in the face of Consciousness. When that happens, eventually any and all objects sing of their homeground and the play of action of a limited being becomes infused with the fragrance of Being. It’s not something for the mind to chew on, it has nothing to do with the mind.

2.

Spiritual maturity is a term for what arises when we recognize where it is that we will find the happiness we have been searching for. The process of growing up involves a change in the objects we identify as us and ours, and they may become more subtle as life progresses: where once we were interested in the accumulation of baseball cards, we may now be interested in the accumulation of knowledge gained through books, or, if we are on a spiritual path, through more and more refined states of mind. Nevertheless, the mechanism of ignorance is to ignore the causeless and identify with an object arisen, and any object will do. So spiritual maturity is not born through samadhis, it is born when we recognize the transience of all objects, and become interested and invested in that which is truly permanent. It can either happen through intelligence or through learning the hard way. Whether it is intelligent discrimination that allows us to become more interested in the aware presence than its appearances, or whether it is simply that life has taken from us the things that separate us from Her, eventually we turn back to that which cannot come or go…

The birth of this knowing happens without any necessary rhyme or reason. Sometimes it comes out of the blue, with no previous interest in anything out of the ordinary or in what might be called spiritual –  but it might come out of a long investigation as well, a period of refinement through various practices and systems until we’ve exhausted the options of the mundane and the so-called spiritual paths, and finally collapse the search into the hands that have held us all along. It’s all grace. Instead of simply sitting around praying for it, praying for the experience of consciousness, we can investigate what is here. The trick is to investigate out of the innocence of our own hearts – not in order to get something, not even in order to end suffering, although of course the desire to end suffering is what initially might motivate us and that can be included, but eventually it is the motivation of what we could call pure-hearted curiosity that brings the response from the Absolute. Love responds to Love, not to the demands of an alleged separate self. Simply because we are interested in ‘What is here?’ ‘What is Life?’ ‘What’s really going on?’ or ‘How is it with me?’, with the openness of a child. The touchstone to know if the inquiry is coming from this loving interest is the experience of our own enthusiasm. If it is driven by lack, it won’t work. If it is driven by love it will. The love of the truth is what guarantees success, because the love of the truth carries with it the seed that will grow into the tree of embodiment of that truth. It is what will overcome the seeming obstacles in the way of itself. So in this inquiry you can ask yourself ‘Is this what I most want to do right now?’ and if the answer is yes, that out of all options present you want to inquire then that’s a very promising beginning. Over the course of our lives, the enthusiasm for the truth purifies itself out of the objective realm. The love of the truth grows, even after the realization of consciousness’ universality, even after relative establishment in Peace, there is always a deepening that continues, as all material things fade into the singular Presence that embraces them. Inquiry is the vehicle that delivers us from Ignorance, and the engine that drives it is Love of the truth which is Grace’s touch on the plane of human beings and truth seekers.

That which perceives the whole game of inquiry into our Self is always here, and in fact, it is only on the relative plane of objects and events that it seems like consciousness remembers itself. It has never forgotten itself in the first place. How could it forget itself if its seeming veiling is made only of itself? There is nothing to experience but experience, and experience is indivisible from the experiencing Presence. So it’s more effective to take whatever understanding we have and live it, so to speak, in whatever way that appears to us, in other words, to allow it to inform our actions immediately, rather than sit around hoping for a transformative glimpse. Nothing transforms, there may be a seeming transformation but in order for transformation to happen, consciousness needs to stop pretending to be involved in that transformation. In other words, it is our detachment from transformation that allows change to freely happen. The sooner we get out of a storyline involving awakening the better, because if there are awakened beings there are unawakened beings and there’s some kind of imagined enlightenment hierarchy which does nothing for us but help us pretend that others are separate, and that we have somewhere to go or do, denying us the Peace of true rest wherever we are, and feeding the sense of lack which is the true testament of ignorance.

~

Harmony is the natural result of life’s unfoldment, it is the sound of silence, of consciousness’ self-created dance when there is nothing obscuring its will; that is to say, when there is no assumption of a limited will apart from it. It does not consist of getting one’s own way as opposed to rest of life or of asserting one’s individuality upon an alien universe; it consists of realizing that there is only one will, that there is only one reality, that that reality has its way and, by extension, that the one reality which creates the events of life, our reality, is our freedom. There are not two wills just as there are not two beings and there are not two realities. There is only this one Will which acts through its mode of graceful unfoldment. It is ignorance to say that ignorance is a problem, and we could even say that to see ignorance at all is too much of a concession to the belief in limited selves. Consciousness, through its Divine Will chooses to seem to veil itself at times and chooses to seem to stop veiling itself at others, any time a glimpse of love or happiness breaks through the shell of belief. No act of personal will is going to result in the seeing of the Self because the belief in a personal will is exactly the problem that gets in the way! Consciousness acts in freedom and when we take our hands off our experience, the unfoldment is one of greater happiness and peace, of perfection; and from a greater point of view even the appearance of disharmony is harmonious because it is life teaching us to disappear into her, to allow her to do the work. She wouldn’t be satisfied with our pretence to be a limited doer. It’s perfection with the caveat that ignorance is disharmonious: there can be a seeing of both of these facts simultaneously.

The affectations and sensibilities of a body/mind, when informed by the reality in which it lives blossom into a creative outpouring of love. It is as if on the level of appearances we are ‘hit’ with a constant explosion of happiness that radiates from our source, but not that this elapses in time. That happiness, or peace, with which we live, becomes our constant companion, our guiding light that moves us through this waking and dreaming life knowing itself always as the creator in chief, and able to fully enjoy the game of being manifest. It is the creative contrast between knowing ourselves as the transcendent nothingness where we truly Are, the unborn matrix of infinity, and the immanence of light known as life and the world and the body which births into existence the dynamic unfoldment and movement of peaceful celebration. Life becomes artistic in a sense because we learn to unleash the natural sensibilities of our body/minds, our gifts, they become informed by the light of the absolute, freed from the bonds of assumed limitation.

All that needs to happen if there is the appearance of disharmony is the recognition that there is only God. That being said, we cannot pretend that no longer believe we are separate when we do. True non-duality is an experience of life lived without

imposing a personal agenda, without limiting our experience with our beliefs, not simply an intellectual exercise which is gained and subsumed overtop of our actual experience. There is only God, but we have to be careful to see what it is that we actually experience. If there is personal misery, if there is psychology suffering, if there is a sense of lack or an absence of peace then we can be very sure that the root of our alleged psychological problem is the belief to be separate. With the clear seeing that we are not separate comes the positive recognition of consciousness’ infinity, which allows us to become free from our sorrows. The evidence we have to know whether we are taking ourselves to be limited or not is Peace – if we experience in our depth a lack of resistance, the unmistakeable presence of love in fact, then the inquiry has accomplished what it needed to, which is to remove the singular block from our nature disposition of happiness. It’s true that searching for happiness, searching for what we are in desperation, is a search doomed for failure if it is rooted in the objects of our experience –  but not if it’s an inquiry into what we really are, what never comes and never goes, the subject of our experience, in that sense we will feel the perfume of truth even if it seems impenetrable at first, the fragrance will come to us as the feeling that we are on the right track, following our heart. It’s important not to throw out the baby with the bathwater: you cannot find yourself as an object, but you can Be what you are, and if you are truly interested in what you are, your investigation will lead to the experiential revelation of the infinite self. This, however, is all a concession to a preliminary belief in separation, and, again, if we experience that in the form of our suffering, we have to inquire into it, but from the perspective of what we’ve always been, there is no fall and no awakening, there is only consciousness consciousness-ing so to speak, never for a moment knowing any entity other than itself. With a true glimpse, the realization comes that consciousness has only ever known itself, that the belief in separation was simply a fictitious belief, that nothing has ultimately changed, although on the relative level a massive weight feels like it has been lifted, and we spend our days not dogged by an impending sense of doom, but that the sense of lack has been replaced with inner peace. What we want, after all, is relief from psychological tension and release into a deeper realm of Peace. To feel at home in our own skin, eternally comfortable, bathed in the waters of Love.

Like sweet music or a divine artwork, the infinite can bridge itself into our world in the form of Beauty. Beauty is the bridge between eternity and now, which we walk along when we are touched by the source of an object, when we trace a line from an objective appearance to the home ground which is shared, ultimately the home ground of all objects, consciousness. In fact, any object is beautiful when seen for the light it is – its substance is the light of consciousness – but some objects on a relative scale are more transparent to that light and refract it into our perceived world with greater clarity. The realm of the absolute – where truth and beauty come from – should never be confused, although it is universal, with the objects and actions which are born from the forgetting of that truth, ignorance. Ultimately there is only truth, but we must be honest and see clearly what the forgetting of truth looks like, so that we can bring the entirety of our experience into the light of day.

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