The ancients said, “Clear in the essence, eating and drinking are all for the benefit and health of one’s being; ignorant in the mind, even Zen discourses and utterances are nothing than just meaningless manipulations of consciousness.”
Duality is a conflict of interest derived from our experience as ourselves (soul) and our experience of ourselves through our perception into physicality via the body and mind (ego). We can perceive ourselves in physicality because we have bodies. When we see us, we are then inclined to start defining who we are compared to everyone and everything else. This gives the ego an identity that we use to define ourselves and all of our brothers and sisters. If we chose not to do this, but instead looked outside of ourselves and put our attention on the experience of our interactions without noticing how we respond to the interaction because we are so immersed in the experience, then we would not be limited by definitions.
This is a concept which is outside the context of our life experience in bodies because we are currently not remembering life without them. If we had no body with which to interact with, we could not perceive ourselves and define ourselves. For instance, if we were crying, we would not know it because we can’t perceive tears, but we would know we were not enjoying the interaction. We would not be able to see the expression of ourselves, but we could still feel ourselves. This difference between feeling ourselves and seeing ourselves creates the dichotomy of ego and soul. The feeling ourselves applies to the sense of ourselves irregardless of what the body is feeling.
The body is a suit worn to interact with the physical and interprets energy from you and the environment. You can feel what the body feels, but you would need to train yourself to understand whether you are feeling feedback of yourself or feedback from the environment. Another point to distinguish is the fact that people interact despite their bodies – our consciousness (energy) effects eachother with or without bodies. This can apply to the energy of all things, all of which are made up of the energy of consciousness, and we can interact with that directly if we train ourselves. Otherwise, we are only interacting with the physical portion, ie body to body, thing to thing, body to thing.
For the reasons stated above, life in physicality is ruled by duality for those that are unaware of how things are. A simple synopsis of how things are follows.
We exist outside of physicality. We can connect with this portion of ourselves if we put attention on ourselves by listening to the thoughts that pass through our minds, maintaining awareness of our feeling sense and the interaction causing it (via thought or something else). In a peacefully aware state, we should be able to enjoy our environment without any thought, just experience. Thoughts are the building blocks of physicality. Our minds are used to create via thought so we can have an experience. For this reason, we are not our minds, we just use them as we would use our hands to pick something up.
We are currently experiencing a physical universe defined by patterns of thought which manifest the physical – everything in it. On earth, humans manifest with their thought. Outside earth, all things are manifested via a mind and thought patterns. Our bodies enable us to interact with physicality. Our minds enable us to create in physicality, ourselves, souls, experience physicality.
Physicality has become like a game. We came here to experience and got lost in the experience, which has become like a dream. If we become Lucile in the dream, we reconnect with ourselves and once again control our experience. The game is to regain awareness of ourselves.
There are many consciousnesses in this reality, all at differing levels of awareness. What does awareness mean? Our level of awareness is determined by how much of this reality we are aware of. We can expand our awareness, becoming aware of the conscious energy behind all things, becoming aware of ourselves as we exist outside of physicality, seeing ourselves as beings creating an experience for ourselves. If we look at physicality as a vast holographic projection of conscious energy, then expanded awareness can include perceiving any part of and all of physicality. Because any small part of a hologram contains information of the entire hologram. That is why you should be able to contemplate any object and perceive any part of physicality.
So ther are consciousnesses that have achieved this advanced state of awareness, which technically is where we all began. When immersed in an experience, (in the zone) you can become unaware of what is happening around you, and somehow people get lost and forget. You can remember, increase awareness and get lost again. But thankfully, people look out for people and are always there, In an advanced aware state to help us remember. This can be seen all over Earth right now, with the tremendous dump of information on understanding how we create our own reality right now. Also throughout history with Jesus, Buddha, etc. coming down here with the challenge of regaining awareness in order to leave an instruction booklet behind.
Consciousness comes in all different kinds of personalities which is where the game part comes in. Information is given showing us The Way Out and ther are plenty of people with a great desire to ‘awaken’. These people probably came here to help create a momentum of regaining awareness and are on a path to remember. Ther are opponents in this game. Consciousnesses that like to watch and see if people can regain awareness while they are fed misleading information to go with the instruction booklets. Our challenge is to become aware of ourselves and the fact that there are others both benevolent and not so. The not so like having unaware people around.
To the not so benevolent, unaware people provide them with a means of experiencing through us whatever they can get us to do or feel. As currently unaware beings, other consciousnesses can perceive through our consciousness into our experience. They can manipulate how we feel, put their thoughts into our awareness, if we think our thoughts define us, then they can define us. If we think our feelings i our bodies show us who we are, then they can define who we are. We are interacting with conscious energy at all times. We can be tweaked to their amusement if we do not take responsibility for our awareness. Thankfully, many exists to knock us out of our stupor, but you have to want it. Because you can be made to feel sexually excited when another consciousness wants to have sex through you – and that cange a pleasurable experience, but it is much more pleasurable when you are aware of it and consciously agree to it. Otherwise you end up in relationships that weren’t right for you. This is just one example.
But if you ever see conflicted people working against their own interest and being miserable because of it, they are letting themselves be swept up in energies that are not necessarily reflective of themselves. Everything is still a belief, but we are supposed to consciously create beliefs for our own story, not someone else’s. Otherwise we are being used to live out other consciousness’ fantasies. Their thoughts ca argue with us in our minds, their feelings, energy can effect how we feel and we can’t see them unless we expand our awareness to include the subtle energies around us.
This dynamic is also played out in the physical Earth by humans, but at least we can perceive them and they maybe influenced. The negative side of life on Earth goes against human nature and appears to be insane. Let’s become aware of the reason for the insanity and have compassion for our fellow beings struggling in unawareness while people who want to help vie for our attention and people who want to use us hide.
This game of experience in physicality is a chess game. If you are unaware, you are a pawn. If you are aware, then you are free. Some may even find out they like playing with pawns.
Not die to the lifeless self,
then the immortal nature cannot come alive;
Not quite alive to the immortal,
then one has not quite died to the lifeless;
To live with what is alive and to die to what is dead is only half correct,
To die to the living so the dead come to life,
then the world will be at peace.
Move image, image moving,
image after image arising,
Water waves, waves on water,
ripple after ripple born,
Empty the mind,
the mind of emptiness,
Emptiness just is,
I am aware, aware of “I,”
“I” after “I” follows on.
Grievance must have a culprit, debt its creditor,
Name-calling is quite unnecessary,
The green hills already have many corpses,
Beholding grudge in the Light, then came the Dust.
– Shih, Miao Tsan
Who is seeing, who is listening, who is talking,
Spring flower, spring breeze, the Spirit’s beauty;
Not blind, not deaf, nor speechless,
No eye, no ears, yet wondrous in many ways.
Restless and hurried man pursues in suffering,
cold and warm the seasons passed one by one;
from morning to evening the householder makes a living,
deluded and disoriented the hair turned white;
right and wrong, what day will it all end?
Worried and perplexed, when can it cease?
Clearly and obviously there is a path to cultivate;
no matter what, regardless, people are unwilling to practice.
An excerpt from, A Course in Miracles
What if you really understood you made [the world] it up? What if you realized that those who seem to walk about in it, to sin and die, attack and murder and destroy themselves, are wholly unreal? Could you have faith in what you see, if you accepted this? And would you see it?
One thing is sure; hallucinations serve a purpose, and when that purpose is no longer held they disappear.
Only two purposes are possible. And one is sin [belief in lack], the other holiness [positivity, faith]. Nothing is in between, and which you choose determines what you see. For what you see is merely how you elect to meet your goal. Hallucinations serve to meet the goal of madness. They are the means by which the outside world, projected from within, adjusts to sin and seems to witness to its reality. It still is true that nothing is without. Yet upon nothing are all projections made. For it is the projection that gives the “nothing” all the meaning that it holds.
Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result and not a cause. And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless.
The blind become accustomed to their world by their adjustments to it. They think they know their way about in it. They learned it, not through joyous lessons, but through the stern necessity of limits they believed they could not overcome. And still believing this, they hold those lessons dear, and cling to them because they cannot see. They do not understand the lessons keep them blind. This they do not believe.
Thus they define their life and where they live, adjusting to it as they think they must, afraid to lose the little that they have. And so it is with all who see the body as all they have and all their brothers have. They try to reach each other, and they fail, and fail again. And they adjust to loneliness, believing that to keep the body is to save the little that they have.
This is the only thing that you need do for vision, happiness, release from pain and the complete escape from sin, all to be given you. Say only this, but mean it with no reservations, for here the power of salvation lies:
I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.
It is impossible the Son of God [all humans] be merely driven by events outside of him. It is impossible that happenings that come to him were not his choice. His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident.
The world you see is but the idle witness that you were right. This witness is insane. You trained it in its testimony, and as it gave it back to you, you listened and convinced yourself that what it [the body] saw was true. You did this to yourself. See only this, and you will also see how circular the reasoning on which your “seeing” rests. This was not given you. This was your gift to you and to your brother. Be willing, then, to have it taken from him and be replaced with truth.
All that the ego is, is an idea that it is possible that things could happen to the Son of God [humans] without his will [the human’s control]; and thus without the Will of his Creator, Whose Will cannot be separate from his own [source, God always matches]. This is the Son of God’s replacement for his will, a mad revolt against what must forever be. This is the statement that he has the power to make God powerless [and feel helpless] and so to take it for himself, and leave himself without what God has willed for him [the ability to create his own experience]. This is the mad idea you have enshrined upon your altars, and which you worship. And anything that threatens this seems to attack your faith, for here is it invested. Think not that you are faithless, for your belief and trust in this is strong indeed.
This other “will,” which seems to tell you what must happen, you give reality. And what would show you otherwise must therefore seem unreal. All that is asked of you is to make room for truth. You are not asked to make or do what lies beyond your understanding. All you are asked to do is let it in; only to stop your interference with what will happen of itself; simply to recognize again the presence of what you thought you gave away.
Be willing, for an instant, to leave your altars free of what you placed upon them, and what is really there you cannot fail to see. The holy instant is not an instant of creation, but of recognition. For recognition comes of vision and suspended judgment. Then only it is possible to look within and see what must be there, plainly in sight, and wholly independent of inference and judgment. Undoing is not your task, but it is up to you to welcome it or not. Faith and desire go hand in hand, for everyone believes in what he wants.
Wishful thinking is how the ego deals with what it wants, to make it so. There is no better demonstration of the power of wanting, and therefore of faith, to make its goals seem real and possible. Faith in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make it fit the goal of madness. The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose. What you desire, you will see. And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so.
It is as needful that you recognize you made the world you see, as that you recognize that you did not create yourself. They are the same mistake. Nothing created not by your Creator has any influence over you. And if you think what you have made [including the body] can tell you what you see and feel, and place your faith in its ability to do so, you are denying your Creator and believing that you made yourself. For if you think the world you made has power to make you what it wills, you are confusing Son and Father; effect and Source.
Yet the truth is you and your brother were both created by a loving Father, Who created you together and as one. See what “proves” otherwise, and you deny your whole reality. But grant that everything that seems to stand between you and your brother, keeping you from each other and separate from your Father, you made in secret, and the instant of release has come to you. All its effects are gone, because its source has been uncovered. It is its seeming independence of its source that keeps you prisoner. This is the same mistake as thinking you are independent of the Source by which you were created, and have never left.
Functions of Attention
– How to Understand the Mind
by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Attention has four functions:
(1) to focus the mind on a particular object,
(2) to fix the mind on that object,
(3) to prevent the mind from moving from the object, and
(4) to serve as a basis for mindfulness and concentration.
Without the mind being focused and fixed on an object through the power of attention there is no possibility of developing mindfulness and concentration. Every mind has a certain degree of attention, though some minds, such as non-ascertaining perceivers, have very weak attention, whereas others, such as those that occur when we are in an agitated state, have unstable attention that flits from one object to another. To develop concentration we need both strong and stable attention.
DIVISIONS OF ATTENTION
There are two types of attention:
1. Correct attention
2. Incorrect attention
Correct attention is an attention whose engaged object exists, and incorrect attention is an attention whose engaged object does not exist. All wrong awarenesses have incorrect attention.
There is another twofold division of attention:
1. Appropriate attention
2. Inappropriate attention
The former is the same as correct attention and the latter is the same as incorrect attention.
Doubts will exist as long as we live in the world.
Yet, pursuing with joy the road of virtue,
Like the man who observes the rugged path along the precipice, we ought
Gladly and profitably to follow it.
The Essence of Buddhism, Sir Edwin Arnold
“There is no such person as Buddha. Buddha is simply a Sanskrit word meaning “initiate.” The Absolute is immanent in every man’s heart. This “treasure of the heart” is the only Buddha that exists. It is no use seeking Buddha outside your own nature. Prayer, scripture-reading, fasting, the observance of monastic rules—all are useless. Those who seek Buddha do not find him. You may know by heart all the Sūtras of the twelve divisions, and yet be unable to escape from the Wheel of Life and Death. One thing alone avails—to discover the unreality of the World by contemplating the Absolute which is at the root of one’s own nature.
There is no Buddha but your own thoughts. Buddha is the Way. The Way is Zen. This word Zen cannot be understood even of the wise. Zen means ‘for a man to behold his fundamental nature.
The highest truths cannot be written down or taught by speech. A man who cannot write a word, can yet contemplate his own heart and become wise. Knowledge of 1,000 Sūtras and 10,000 Shāstras cannot help him to realise the Absolute within him.”
– Zen Buddhism and its Relation to Art by Arthur Waley
Buddhism recognizes four different kinds of attachments:
1). Sensual attachments to “sounds, odours, tastes, tactile objects, or mental images, objects past, present, or future that arise in the mind, and either correspond to material objects in the world outside or within the body, or are just imaginings”. This is the primary form of attachment because of the appeal of sensual pleasure the world provides.
2). Attachment to opinions which are mainly derived from customs, traditions, ceremonies and religious doctrines. We hang onto opinions that are desirable and worth clinging to. We should always be open to modifying our beliefs, or to not holding onto any beliefs.
3). Attachment to rites and rituals which are meaningless practices that people hold sacred. They have been passed down through generations and are performed without undestanding of their meaning. They are thoughtless attachments to traditional practices. Examples are rituals before going to sleep or eating and beliefs in spirits, celestial beings (including angelic) and magical objects. Understanding why you are doing anything you do is part of understanding your mind.
4). Attachment to the idea of selfhood is the root cause of all suffering. The idea of ‘self’ embodies the ego. This idea encompasses the defintion of self, defining who you are, such as, ‘I am a person who does this, is like this, identifies with this…’ Comparing yourself to others, concerning yourself with how your image appears to others, competing with others fall into this category.
From The Light of Consciousness Magazine
True humility doesn’t grow from a
Wrinkled seed of
Low self worth, nor under a
Darkened sky of self-repression,
Feeling you deserve to be trampled or displaced,
Or intentionally withering to avoid
Scrutiny and conflict.
Real humility blossoms from the
Fertile soil of
Flowering blamelessly in
Only the brave can behold
The Truth about themselves
Fearlessly occupying their place
In the garden, fluff of dandelion
Or ancient oak,
Humility isn’t being bent or
Shadowed, un nourished,
It is a willing
With rain and sun
Wind and night
Humility is an expression of
From creation to
Love of existence and experience,
Drunkenly weaving in the perfumed air and
Dancing unabashed under a twinkling chasm
Exhilarated to be one color in a carpet of countless others
This was a lesson in how colors enhanced each other when placed strategically, like the yellow just over the building. The painting was done in watercolor. I like to study paintings to understand what I like about them. For me, it is the harmony of the color and contrast. These are colors I picked as some of my favorites for blending together for a peaceful tone.