Enlightenment occurs when we discover and recognize something that is more important. When you awaken to something that has infinitely greater spiritual, moral, and philosophical value than your personal problems, when you discover a higher perspective that is inherently more meaningful than the woes of your wounded self, those problems and woes won’t necessarily disappear, but they suddenly appear to be dramatically less important. Now, in a deep and profound and significant way, you are just not as interested in that personal world any more. And that’s how you find liberation. It’s not because you work through your psychological problems; it’s because you begin to lose interest in them. The discovery of that which is higher is the secret to becoming a dignified, self-respecting, caring, and spiritually liberated human being, right now.
“Are you ready to lose your world?” Because true awakening will not fit into the world as you imagine it or the self you imagine yourself to be. Reality is not something that you integrate into your personal view of things. Reality is life without your distorting stories, ideas, and beliefs. It is perfect unity free of all reference points, with nowhere to stand and nothing to grab hold of. It has never been spoken, never been written, never been imagined. It is not hidden, but in plain view. Cease to cherish opinions and it stands before your very eyes.
~ Adyashanti, 2007
Adyashanti: "While the world is trying to solve its problems and everyone around you is engaged in the same, you're not. While everybody around you is trying to figure it out, trying to arrive, trying to get there, trying to be worthy, you're not. While everyone thinks that awakening is a grand, noble, halo-enshrouded thing, for you it's not. While everybody is running from this life right now, in this moment, to try to get there, you're not. Where everybody has an argument with somebody else, mostly everybody else, starting with themselves, you don't. Where everybody is so sure that happiness will come when something is different than it is now, you know that it won't. When everybody else is looking to achieve the perfect state and hold on to it, you're not. When everybody around you has a whole host of ideas and beliefs about a whole variety of things, you don't....When you're living what you are in an awakened way, being simply what you've always been, you're actually very simple. You basically sit around wondering what all the fuss is about...
The swan is an important motif in Advaita. It symbolises two things: first, the swan is called hamsah in Sanskrit (which becomes hamso if the first letter in the next word is /h/). Upon repeating this hamso indefinitely, it becomes so-aham, meaning, "I am That". Second, just as a swan lives in water but its feathers are not soiled by water, similarly a liberated Advaitin lives in this world full of maya but is untouched by its illusion.
A reoccuring dream I have is that I am living in a city called Abilene. I had parents when I was very small that told me my name is Diane. I lived in a lot of other places, did so many amazing things, and I think that my memory of it all is real. In this dream it is the present, and I am 57 years old, a female, and I am married to a wonderful man. We share our lives with three dogs and two cats. I have three grown daughters. It seems and feels so real. Within this dream, at night I lie down in a comfortable bed and I dream other dreams about other faraway places, doing amazing things like flying, ice skating, and playing with childhood friends, all while my physical body lies still on the bed. The night dreams feel just as real as the daytime dreams.
Then I awake within this dream and I think that I am in a physical body. I believe I am awake, while actually I am living in another dream. Tthe illusion that most of us have, though, is that THIS dream is what is REAL.
Most people never understand this. They keep creating an illusion of having a life, sometimes one full of problems, suffering, and sometimes fleeting happiness that comes and goes. Think of this: how can you have a life when you are Life?
"Wherever it leads you, it will be a dream. The very idea of going beyond the dream is illusory. Why go anywhere? Just realize that you are dreaming a dream you call the world, and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of the dream and not another. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs be done."
This is it. Here is what I am asking you to do, and that is to question the belief that you are a separate entity who has destiny and free will, that you began at some time in the past, that you were born and that you will die at some future time. What I am suggesting is that there is no time at all, and that beginning and ending are only mental concepts and that what you are is the timeless - you in essence are timeless and space less! You never had any beginning and you will never have any ending, you were never born nor will you as THAT non dual Absolute, pure awareness or consciousness ever die.
Don't stop now. Do this: go into it, go deeper, question it, find out the truth for yourself. See THIS for yourself and actually realize the unquestioned assumptions and limitations that you have placed upon yourself with the help of society, culture, and religious beliefs and conditioning's. Question all this and see the prison of all these concepts and beliefs vanish before your very eyes. You are not what you have taken yourself to be - a limited, enclosed, sentient, human being, but the unlimited all knowing potential itself, what we call THAT in the great word or statement of Advaita Vedanta - I am THAT!
"That which is seeking is the sought." ~ Budddic Scripture
When the Zen master Satcho was asked where the demarcation line lies between this vale of tears and the earthly paradise of fulfillment and peace, he answered:
"The eye is the demarcation line."
Paradise ... is accessible now and here, for it is our everyday world, but perceived by the awakened eye.
The field of vision is something open, but its openness is not due to our looking.
I am, as it were, an eye that the cosmos uses to look at itself.
The Mind is not mine alone; the Mind is everywhere.
Rudy Rucker, The Fourth Dimension
Real vision is eyeless.
It is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Jesus of Nazareth
Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball. I am nothing. I see all. The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me - I am part or parcel of God.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jesus said to them: When you make the two one… then you will go into the Kingdom.
Gospel of Thomas
By what means do this body or mind perceive? Can they perceive with the eyes, ears…?
No. Your own Nature, being essentially pure and utterly still, is capable of perception.
There is no seer but Him, no one to hear but him, no one thinking, no one aware but Him. He is the Self, the Ruler within, the One Immortal.
Seeing truly is not merely a change in the direction of seeing, but a change in its very center, in which the seer himself disappears.
Ramesh S Balsekar
Of inconceivable power am I; without eyes I see; without ears I hear.
Several years ago, I went on a journey to find "me". I didn't exactly know it at the time that I was attempting to do that, but that's what happened.
I traveled to northern Maine, quite a distance from where I have been living for the past forty-five years in the deep south. I wanted to see where I had once lived, there at Loring Air Force Base once again.
A significant part of my childhood was spent there on the air base that has long been closed down. It had once been bustling with hundreds of families, activity all around everywhere, and jet airplanes coming and going throughout the day and night. Seeing it now, however, was quite different. Most of the housing areas were gone. The school I once attended for five years was gone. Only an empty slab of concrete remained. Where my family's housing unit once stood, only a barren field existed.
Had I expected to find the small "me", the child I once was, still running and playing, riding bikes with my friends, racing into the house and finding my mother and father and sister waiting for me inside? Where were they? Where was I? Who was this "me" that was doing the observing and experiencing of that which seemed to be an illusion?
I was thrown into a quest to find the answers. I began reading books of famous philosophers thinking someone would surely know the Truth that I was seeking. No one, nobody could tell me who I was, and what Life was about. Years of searching, reading everything I could find only led to more frustration until finally I came back full circle to the beginning.
One day it just simply happened. I again wondered who I was. "I" heard "me" asking this to "myself" and it was absurd. I just laughed out loud and that was it. So simple, so uncomplicated, so pure is the TRUTH.
LIFE discovered it is LIFE and that's all there is. The illusions arise out of that which is.
Adyashanti says he likes to ask people, “Are you ready to lose your world?” Because true awakening will not fit into the world as you imagine it or the self you imagine yourself to be. Reality is not something that you integrate into your personal view of things. Reality is life without your distorting stories, ideas, and beliefs. It is perfect unity free of all reference points, with nowhere to stand and nothing to grab hold of. It has never been spoken, never been written, never been imagined. It is not hidden, but in plain view. Cease to cherish opinions and it stands before your very eyes.