EMPTINESS IS THE INNOCENCE TO BE.
“Appearances, sounds, and objects are one’s own mind; There’s nothing except mind.” Niguma, Mahamudra
“The pure mind sees things as they are – bubbles in consciousness. These bubbles are appearing, disappearing and reappearing – without having real being. Each bubble is a body and all these bodies are mine.” Nisargadatta, Consciousness and the Absolute
My comment: It is said that first there is the Absolute, which has no qualities, no attributes, and thus cannot be known as I know an object of perception. It is the non-experiential state.
It is said that second there is the “I Am”, which is the very subtle sense of beingness, but it also has no further attributes, such as “I am this” or “I am that”. It is also known as consciousness and is the most subtle state that can be experienced.
It is said that third there is space, which allows for further manifestation and thus for infinite attributes to be experienced.
From here it is pointed out that the so-called five elements arise, and on that foundation of manifestation, the three gunas; a dynamic that brings about the world as I know it.
When I direct my attention toward the source of my beingness, I find it useful to progress from one of the above concepts to the next, like steps up to a summit or to the spring of the flow of existence, where my world has its source. I begin wherever my present attention is held, which is generally in the field of object consciousness. This is the field of the interaction of the five elements and the three gunas.
The Inner Body exercise which Eckhart Tolle suggests is very good for this purpose. My version of it goes something like this: First, I turn my attention inward toward the inside of my body, feeling the space within my body. I feel down into my feet, my legs, up to my waist and then I feel my hands and my arms up to my shoulders. I always feel my body and the space inside of my body. I continue, moving from my waist up into my torso, feeling my spinal column up my back and into my neck. I sense the inside of the back of my neck, the back of my head, the top of my head up to the crown of my head. I do all of this with closed eyes. Then I sense my forehead – the space between my eyebrows, I relax my face muscles with a slight smile and then feel my throat and down into the area of my heart. Then I feel my lungs and down into the area around my navel. Finally I breathe into my navel for a couple of breaths, feeling the entire space inside my body: my Inner Body.
Following my intention of moving upstream toward the source of my beingness, I then bring my attention to the field of space consciousness. I do this simply by sensing space itself which is all around me. It is that very subtle experience of that quality of space within which the objects move and have their existence.
Putting my attention on space consciousness balances the object consciousness. In this state, the attachment to various objects, including my own body-mind, shows up much more clearly. I find space consciousness to be a more tranquil state, relatively free of the pull and repulsion of the object-world. This is not a state that I can remain in for unlimited time as the main object in my field of perception –my body– makes its needs known. I then answer that call because I am presently committed to staying in my body. Shifting my awareness to space consciousness has the advantage of loosening any tension that attachment may have built up in my system. I then continue toward the Truth of who or what I am, which is what I am when nothing extraneous clouds my vision of my Self. The next phase is as follows:
When I am able to deepen my awareness of space I am then able to feel myself AS space. I then perceive all objects as moving within me, rather than me, as an object, moving within space. This space-like identity then allows me to sense the pure quality of “I Am”. This feels very, very subtle, like pure awareness of BEING, but free of any attributes, such as being “this” or “that”. At this point I have shifted my awareness phase by phase from object, to space, to the sense of “I Am”. This “I Am” identity is a space-like identity, much subtler than space consciousness. It is a sense of being just this side of “no-beingness” and is the borderline between manifestation and the source of all manifestation.
There is the creator principle from which all creation flows that is distinct from the source of the creator principle itself (which is also known as first principle or Prime Creator). When I ask: “Where do all creations come from?” my inquiry is referencing, or focusing on, the Creator. When I ask: “Where does the Creator come from?” I am referencing that which cannot be experienced, but which is the ground of all manifestation including the creator principle. That is termed the Absolute, or in Sanskrit: Parabrahman. The Absolute is said to be my actual True Nature.
What relevance does all of this have for me? When asked if I want to retreat from the world and live in a cave in solitude to contemplate the Absolute, my answer at present is: I don’t know. That is an option that I don’t rule out, but I also don’t rule out any other option. What drives me to continue pursuing this exploration of consciousness and the Ultimate? I am obsessed (from the Latin root: to beset, occupy) with the need to ground myself in my True Nature beyond all conditioning of this psycho-somatic organism. Wherever that leads me is where I choose to be. I like the analogy that is often used: There is no path to truth – you must go for it like a dog following the scent of its master. The dog doesn’t care where the scent goes, whether through mud or through thorns – it just goes for it.
My personal process of grounding myself more deeply in my True Nature involves continually placing my attention on that which grounds me more deeply in my True Nature. What is it that grounds me more deeply in my True Nature? I have no simple answer to that. I can say, however, that it is something different every day, every minute. Sometimes it is letting go of all focus and “just being”. At other times contemplating statements such as I have chosen for this article leads me along that mysterious scent toward my own True Nature, which is of course not ‘somewhere else’ – but always the “closest of the close” within me.
In any case, the more I am able to embody that sense of the Absolute, the more I find my actions in the world are defined by the heart qualities and I move as “love in action”. Moving with this quality of consciousness I contribute to a more harmonious, loving and peaceful world and at the same time, I delve more and more deeply into the inner knowingness of my True Nature.
The following are further supportive statements by the modern sage Nisargadatta:
“There are no conditions to fulfill. There is nothing to be done, nothing to be given up. Just look and remember, whatever you perceive is not you, nor yours. It is there in the field of consciousness, but you are not the field and its content, not even the knower of the field.” Nisargadatta, idem
It is your idea that you have to do things that entangle you in the results of your efforts – the motive, the desire, the failure to achieve, the sense of frustration – all this holds you back. Simply look at whatever happens and know that you are beyond it.” Nisargadatta, idem
“When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then the supreme state will come to you uninvited and unexpected. Nisargadatta, idem
“This is to be realized by one’s self; it is not to be passed on by word of mouth. Who is obtaining the Self-knowledge directly? When did I happen to be? I must know about myself first-hand, not from others.
You are, you know you are – this is the great Lord, the sudden, explosive effulgence. Surrender to it , and you will know all. It is without form or name. It is to be abided in by firm conviction.
You could not see and judge the quality of light if you were not light yourself. You are that subtle knowledge, and if that is there, then only everything else is possible.” Nisargadatta, idem
- KOANS (angelfire.com)
- MINDFLOW and YOU (newearthpulse.wordpress.com)
- The Mystical is Most Practical – Nisargadatta (newearthpulse.wordpress.com)
- Living Love: Day Six – Eternal Energy Essence of Love (newearthpulse.wordpress.com)
- Creative Consciousness (angelajschulzhenke.wordpress.com)
- Nisargadatta Maharaj (sourcereflections.wordpress.com)