pure state between existence and non-existence

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“when mind is void matter is alright”

Han Shan

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My Comment:

This statement: “the eternal Self, the light of lights which lies between the two ideas of existence and non-existence”, asks us to focus on that very subtle sense of the substratum of all existence AND, it states further, the substratum also of non-existence. For most of us to have a felt-sense of ‘non-existence’ is very unusual, to say the least, and sounds to our mind like a strong paradox. How am I to have a felt-sense of anything ‘outside of’ that which is part of that WHICH IS, which we call ‘existence’?

Indeed we are called to open our consciousness to a realm of ‘perception’ that normally does not fit into our concept of perception. It is a realm in which there is no object of perception separate from the perceiver. Both are two sides of one state of BEING. Even to speak of ‘two sides’ is misleading. Ramana states “there is no seer there to see anything” and also “seeing is being”.

All words are of course within the realm of subject-object perception. How can we dissolve that dichotomy? There is really no ‘how’. If there were it would be so simple for everyone to follow the simple direction and gain that Supreme State.

We therefore come back to Han Shan’s simple maxim: 

“when mind is void matter is alright”.

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The following text from Hindu scriptures dates back to the 1st millennium:

Yoga Vasishta – CHAPTER TEN

NIRVANA

1. Supreme Bliss cannot be experienced through contact of the senses with their objects. The supreme state is that in which the mind is annihilated through one-pointed enquiry.

2. The bliss arising from the contact of the senses with their objects is inferior. Contact with the sense-objects is bondage; freedom from it is liberation.

3. Attain the pure state between existence and non-existence and hold on to it; do not accept or reject the inner or the outer world.

4. Depend always on that true reality between the sentient and the inert which is the infinite space-like heart.

5. The belief in a knower and the known is called bondage. The knower is bound by the
known; he is liberated when there is nothing to knew.

6. Abandoning the ideas of seer, seen and sight along with latent desires (vasanas) of the past we meditate on that Self which is the primal light that is the basis of sight.

7. We meditate on the eternal Self, the light of lights which lies between the two ideas of existence and non-existence.

source: PDF Yoga Vashishta Sara, Ch. 10, Nirvana

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