I've been going through more openings within and with it have come great realizations, relieving the mind of its self-made burden. It's like rising up from the ground slowly towards space and seeing the bigger picture, realizing how to a greater degree as one rises how impersonal everything really is, how the mind makes it personal, wanting ownership, wanting to validate its viewpoint, but from the perspective of the Divine, which is what we truly are at our core, everything is perfect just as it is. The mind cannot tolerate, comprehend this because it cannot know the divine, and only apply concepts/beliefs to what it THINKS it is.
And therein lays the rub. It's taken me over a decade to get away from understanding to realizing, and making that jump into awareness rather than knowing has been very challenging, and this is what all the awakened ones have taught extensively about; all of them are teaching about the same thing, only the blind spot is our cultural conditioning; and everyone has blind spots, and those blind spots have to do with thinking. It is only through letting go of the need to know, the need to have things the way we THINK they should be, to finally enter into the direct experience of Divine life as it unfolds moment to moment.
Again the mind can't comprehend this and its knee jerk reactions to what is are rooted in our early years of seeking to make sense of the dysfunction all of us were born into. In essence, this coping mechanism, incredibly sophisticated and immense in its dys-functioning, created a buffer zone for us to continue on as if everything was FINE (acronym for fucked-up, insecure, neurotic, egotistical), only it wasn't fine. There is an immense infinite void within us that is that barrier, and it needs to be experienced to realize the actual level of one's pain and suffering. Our only job is to just experience it without listening to or reacting to the minds babbling, which is why this void occurs in the first place.
At some point, and it's different for each person, the purging completes itself, and this occurs in stages as one is ready to deal with this. Ironically it is not the mind the decides this, but our inner being that is always aware and awake to what is needed AND it guides us to people places and situations that the mind likes and doesn't like for this process to unfold. In many cases, this never happens, and one can see this in the world, and all the teachers have spoken eloquently about this state of grace. Of course the mind THINKS otherwise, as it was designed to do; this is not to say that the mind is worthless, because that perspective would imply the Divine made an error and there is no possibility whatsoever in that occurring ever.
Of this I am sure, not from thinking, but from my experiences of the Divine presenting itself in ways that shatter the carefully constructed facades if we let it. The only way I could describe it would be to say it is something akin to having a split personality, yet there is only One. The mind cannot wrap its concepts around this because one cannot KNOW the Divine through concepts. It is only through letting go of the concepts that one begins to allow the ongoing living experience of Divine presence in all things for AWARENESS to shed its light on the mind's blindness. There are many ways to do this of which continually astound me to how simple it can be and effortlessly to implement, yet the resistance and identification to the minds content, the consolidation of memories as reality, rather than the Divine living presence of all life that would orient our own awareness, (which is also Divine awareness) sufficiently into the unfolding present now.
Key to this process occurring is recognizing the mind as it reacts and judges to everything that doesn't support its beliefs or its programs or its conditioning or its comfort zones. The irony of this statement from mindís perspective is its IDEAS that the Divine is in accordance with its conceptual conditioning, programming, and comfort zones (wants/desires). The problem with this is the mind psychologically overlaying its IDEAS of truth over Divine truth, which is why mental pain and suffering exists; physical pain and suffering would considerably lessen if the mind were to surrender to what is, rather than resisting, reacting, and judging what it doesn't want or like.
Something Adyashanti said in his books was how the mind argues with what is, wanting it to be different than what it is. He didn't mean one should not just put up with it per say, but to stop resisting what is, understanding there are many situations we have absolutely no control over, yet one will continue to complain about, judge it, resist it, seeking to avoid the fullness of the implications. In 1997, I was riding my bike home after work through the south end of the main Seattle city area near the piers where all the ocean freighters arrive, and looking out at all the blandness, dirt, and noise (my mind's judgments while riding). I rode past this one building and then there was a gap of an empty lot before another building when this inner voice of immense gentleness, love, and compassion simply said, "everything is perfect just as it is".
And you know, I felt that it was, and it was an immense feeling that it was, and the mind was completely dumbfounded because the experience didn't match its ideology! A peace settled over me that was quite profound and of course it lasted only a short while until the mind took over again with its judgments of the world at large as I rode home. But, it would take me over a decade to gradually disentangle my identification with my mind. It has been challenging, yet the more I do the work, the more I realize through awareness how that divine statement in 1997 was so absolutely true.
My move to Seattle in 2009 began a distillation process of shredding my ideas, letting go of thinking, and settling into listening to being or intuition for lack of a better word; again words themselves are always limiting, but are useful for communicating and they can lead one to awareness, yet are not awareness itself. I do apologize in advance for the length of this post, but you see, the mind likes things short and simple to avoid full awareness. A. H. Almaas said that most of the enlightened teachers of the past ages would not take on younger students because they were incapable of being disciplined to do the work necessary to wake up out of the grasps of the mind; and I am beginning to realize how true this is. Yet, the more each of us wakes up, the more possible it is for this awakening process to occur in younger years. It is not to say that it is completely impossible, but that one cannot comprehend the work without a level of accumulated experiences to fall back on. An example would be never having fallen off a bicycle and crashing; how could one possibly know what that is like?
The mind is like the Wizard of OZ if you will. These days, my reactions are short lived and being is present most of the time for long stretches and it is so obvious how thinking is completely over rated and unnecessary as truth itself is what we are and is our guiding light. The obvious way to realize if you are present in this flow is the absence of all judgments, resistance, and pain and suffering. Even amidst the worst of the worst or the best of the best, it is all perfect. Why? Because Being is not affected by any of the delusions the mind creates. What the many are identifying with through their judgments and conditioning is not the whole truth whatsoever; itís basically just a virtual reality of the minds making. Oneís Being is still seeing the world and being in the world, but the mind is telling another story that overlays and filters, thus distorting and bending the actual reality to a different interpretation of what is; a judgmental story if you will.
See if you can notice the judgments, notice how they pull your awareness into the story/judgments, notice the minds reactions to what is, realize your awareness is not your mind and never was, that you are beyond the body, yet the body is also essential for being present. The negative feelings/emotions are the outcome of the story being presented by the mind. The more one disengages from the mindís attempts to hook your awareness into the story, the greater will be your freedom to experience what is with love and compassion. Realize compassion is not about relieving anotherís pain and suffering, it is about revealing the whole truth about your being. I realize this is not going to make sense and it canít, it can only be realized through awareness. Another suggestion is to spend more time on freeing yourself from your mindís stories, rather than focusing on changing the external worldís problems. Those problems were created from the collective minds and the only way to truly change the world is to embrace the inner world of Being. Being is a noun, a verb, an adjective, is subjective, objective and nothing at all.
Jesus said, ďuntil you become like children, you will not enter the kingdom,Ē and this is what he was getting at, that children are not encumbered/burdened by concepts and are truly in that Divine domain; until they are taught to conceptualize and think. Our whole idea of reality is based on what we think we know. And to be in the kingdom requires one to surrender what they know in order to realize the whole truth; not the conceptual truth. This does not invalidate conceptual knowing, because it is essential to incarnating and for communicating with others, but it is not the basis for the whole truth. Concepts are merely a tool to work in the service with the whole truth. The whole truth will set you free and the limited truth will imprison you and you know it. One will always know they are imprisoned by the presence of pain, suffering, resistance, and judgment.
Another thing Almaas mentioned is there really very few mature adults in the world; not the age idea of maturity, but the spiritual maturity of full awareness. Something to contemplate upon as one does the work.
I came across this video of a new take on the song "The Little Drummer Boy," by Justin Bieber & Busta Phymes, "Drummer Boy." While listening to it, I realized how many Christians would react to this as disrespectful or blasphemous. With that said, if you really listen to the words, rather than your past ideas of how they should be sung, watching your mind reacting with judgments, and just focus on the actual words, one will realize the only thing that's changed is how it is sung; the tempo and beats which move you with joy rather than somberness. People are so hung up on beliefs that they have no awareness of how miserable they are, so caught up are they on following the rules of how things are supposed to be based on the past 2,000 years without question for the most part. If you look at history, you will see it was pretty insane, just about like it is now, only with different props and lines.
And isn't that the whole point of spirituality, to be moved by spirit, to BE aware? Your reactions to the rap is just another judgment as well, because if you listen to the rap, the content of what is being said is right on about the true meaning of Christmas or any other holy day for that matter. And if you really want the whole truth, every moment is holy, every person, place, and thing are a miraculous expression of divine providence. The only problem I see is people getting hung up on their ideology (ideas/beliefs) of what holy is. Let go of your conditioning and awareness washes over you like a tsunami, washing away all of those limited beliefs that straight jacket your awareness.
Let go of your cultural biases and see the light that moves you to be more authentic rather than judgmental; that's the only gift worth being and giving. And by cultural biases, I don't just mean racism or prejudice, as they include all those filters of beliefs of the various programming that outlines and polices one's behaviors and awareness. If you pay attention, you will see that each culture BELIEVES itself to be right and the other wrong. Funny really, to realize everyone THINKS their right and they go to great lengths to enforce their ideas/ideologies onto others.
As a pre-teen, my family would go to the Free Methodist church in our town and one of their beliefs (judgments) was that dancing was sinful. Being able to dance and move about freely is one of the gifts of the Divine. If you watch children, they love to dance and move around; and if you want to get technical about it, Jesus himself said, "Until you become like children, you will not enter the kingdom." The Kingdom is not living your life like you are attending a funeral or sitting somberly in church like the many do, or walking around uptight like an obedient soldier. It's not about winding yourself up in a knot judging right and wrong, or worrying (past/future trip) or being righteous (unawareness). The problem with judgments is they remove your awareness from the present into a fantasy trip into the past or future, which is the straight jacket of the mind, meant to subdue you into being obedient to the beliefs/rules.
I received an Eckhart Tolle email with a link to this short video about thinking and what enlightenment really is. My own experiences with this is right on, so it was a joy to hear someone else discussing this! I was doing some exercises while listening to what he was saying, and when he came to the part of enlightenment being "not thinking," I laughed out loud and couldn't stop laughing, realizing how for so long I was so identified with my own conditioned thinking as being the truth for years. I'd been aware of this incredible peace with the mind in neutral the last year, becoming more and more lengthily in duration. And, I'd realized this was really important, but because I'd not heard anyone else make this statement as being enlightenment, it was the joy of Being that burst out, bringing my awareness front and center to the whole truth.
We are all taught different ideologies of what enlightenment is and we have only ideas to live by, because the truth is not in ideas, it is not in the mind, it is front and center in the hear and now, unfolding in a never ending flow of creation. There is only one truth and it is in Being and it is not in conflict with itself like humans are who live in their heads.
Enlightenment is not particular thoughts or ideas or thinking or believing or correcting others to our way of thinking. Awareness is not concerned with right and wrong and defending it, because the whole truth has no interest in defending anything, because if this were so, then the Divine would be judgmental in its love and that is so limiting an idea to be completely erroneous, evident of humans overlaying their own ignorance onto the Divine.
Enlightenment is not wearing particular clothes, acting a particular way, speaking in a particular manner, feeling a certain way, performing particular rituals, reading particular books exclusively, being identified with a particular religion, and especially thinking a certain way or worse yet judging in a particular way. There is nothing to do but be present. If you think this is absurd, be willing to look at what you assume is the truth. We all have had moments when we thought we knew something only to find out we were incorrect. Since this occurs more than we are willing to realize, it behooves everyone to not make assumptions and be willing to open to the possibility of there being more to reality than they THINK.
Seriously, consider that you came into the world complete and whole, and what you didn't have that limited your awareness, was the concepts and beliefs that all adults were imprisoned with. It's not that the mind has no value, it's just that it isn't the living truth; it is the accumulated thoughts and beliefs that are programmed into it; just like a computer hard drive. It's easy to disagree with others who don't agree like you do. The problem with beliefs is they create a closed system that stifles complete awareness, creating instead a distorted limiting reality, where we imagine being RIGHT and the other WRONG. In the case of thinking and believing, the whole construct of both are delusional. Why? The problem is rooted in living from the mind of collected beliefs, conditioned beliefs, enforced beliefs, that defend your limitations. The thinking process creates a smoke screen if you will, blinding one through a focusing of ATTENTION on the programmed beliefs rather than experiencing the present now non-judgmentally.
One is fear, the other is love. Thinking without awareness is living in fear. Living in love, one is non-judgmental and able to experience the fullness of what is going on externally in the world and realizing the greater truth through their Being rather than their mind. Don't accept what I am telling you, find out for yourself, and be aware of the trickery of the mind to convince you to ignore truths that threaten its false reality.
The world is nothing more than a reflection of the outcomes of the collective thinking that has been going on for thousands of years. The blind leading the blind in an attempt to avoid the truth. The world that we KNOW, worships materialism. They say they don't, but actions never lie. Pain and suffering is not necessarily poverty and sickness, because there are many rich and powerful people and the many in between who are just as impoverished from living in their heads with ideas of grandiosity, self-importance, fear, anger, hatred, violence, greed, wanting things, desiring the other and it is all indicative of thinking in the head.
How I feel today with living mostly in silence and stillness within is quite peaceful, joyful, and pleasant, and this state of grace is there all the time. It's not something the mind created, its the presence of your being and it is the absence of thinking in judgment mode. With awareness, I am present with what I am doing and am able to notice immediately when I get caught up in identifying with the mind. The mind isn't going to go away. What goes away is getting caught up with and identifying with its content and judgments.
If you would like to find out more about this subject, I highly recommend the works of Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti and his wife Mukti, A. H. Almaas, and Byron Katie, all of whom have websites and videos on line. Also, Adyashanti has a monthly radio broadcast that is excellent. One is not going to find an end to pain and suffering in a world that was created from pain and suffering; now that is something to contemplate about!