Reality, Understanding and Realization

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James
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Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by James » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:46 pm

Glycine since you mentioned that we changed the topic, I moved our last few posts to start a new topic.
You wrote:
Interesting! However, it appears to me that understanding is part of reality as well! Could it be possible?
The way I see it, understanding is always somewhat relative, although sometimes more clear than other times. Understanding takes place in the mind. If the mind is relatively unconditioned, then understanding is clearer. Realty on the other hand always is, whether we understand it or not. Reality does not change or become altered by our perception. The dream sense of reality may change with perception, but not reality itself.

The word realization works better for me than understanding. Realization seems to come from that place within that is reality, not from the little "i", so it is reality witnessing reality; which always seems more definite, and clear. Of course in the human experience, there is always the possibility of distortion and subjectivity muddying the waters. So there is usually a gradual movement, towards greater realization and clarity of seeing, through surrendering the little "i". In rare cases this realization happens all at once, but from what I have heard from others as well as my own experience, most will experience it gradually.
Glycine wrote:

James wrote:
"Of course in the human experience, there is always the possibility of distortion and subjectivity muddying the waters."

Glycine:
Many of our discussions and misunderstandings come from slight differences on how we perceive various words - for example "reality". Things become even more complicated when talk about concepts and theories. Turbidity keeps increasing....

To me, thinking and comprehension arise in the world of forms just as objects arise. We can look at them, feel them, but they continue to be fleeting expression
Yes even the word reality can be abstract or mean different things to people. I like to make the distinction between reality and facts. Facts the way I use the word, are all the things in the world of phenomena and form, anything that can be experienced with the five senses, and it is all subject to change; they are temporal and impermanent. The sun appears to rise, that is a fact. The flowers appear to bloom, that is a fact. There is an appearance of you and me communicating on the internet, and that is a fact; feelings come and go, thoughts come and go, and so on. We could say this is the dream sense of reality, or reality made manifest appearing as temporary forms.

Reality on the other hand, as I see it, is that which never changes, it always is, it can't be experienced with the five senses, or understood with the mind or thought, It is non negotiable. We don't get to decide what it is. But there is a part of us that is reality, (it is not really a part, it is us, but we have to use some word to describe it); and this reality in us can witness or realize the whole of reality, because it is all unified.

So what does that leave us with???? No-thingness and pure Awareness. We could add a few others such as intelligence, infinity, eternality, love, peace, freedom and joy, but that gets conceptual and open to interpretation and beliefs; so for the sake of discussion, we can just say no-thingness and pure awareness.
Maybe this is why silence is the best teacher!
Yes! As the saying goes, everything else is a bad translation; because what is silence or stillness but no-thingness, pure Awareness; the reality within us, or the reality that is us.

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

Glycine
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Glycine » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:32 pm

A separate topic is a good idea, James!
I remember that a few months ago you wrote that our only true choice is whether to awaken or not. All other choices are apparent only. We seem to be able to make choices and control "our life" but in fact we are always in the flow of one life.
If the above is true, then facts only appear to be outside reality.
If "we" don't change anything, but rather life changes things through us, it could be that everything "we" experience is part of reality, part of the driving force of Life!

James
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by James » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:33 am

Glycine wrote:
I remember that a few months ago you wrote that our only true choice is whether to awaken or not. All other choices are apparent only. We seem to be able to make choices and control "our life" but in fact we are always in the flow of one life.
Interesting questions. Yes what I meant was, in the absolute sense of reality, choosing to accept what we are is the only meaningful choice. That is pretty simple isn't it? Of course in the relative sense of life we have lots of apparent choices. But yes aren't we always in the flow of life, whether we are dreaming or not? Even the dream must have some semblance of reality or it would not exist at all. "So we come to nirvana through samsara". First we dream to know what awakening is.
If the above is true, then facts only appear to be outside reality.
I would not say facts are outside of reality, rather that they exist as an appearance within reality or awareness. The dream is happening in awareness, but the dream is not what always is, because it is transitory or temporary. But reality, life or awareness makes it possible to dream.
If "we" don't change anything, but rather life changes things through us, it could be that everything "we" experience is part of reality, part of the driving force of Life!
Yes it's all unified, the illusion is that it is not.

It seems what draws us to awakening is that we know on a deeper level what we are. Yet humanly there is also a fear of awakening or resistance, which keeps us feeling separate. And the basis may be that we will lose ourself in unity, lose our freedom or uniqueness. But we don't really lose anything that is real, only the dream sense; and actually we feel more free and alive, and able to express life fully in a unique way, when we are awake. So there is the paradox of no self, and the impersonal but unique expression of Self.

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

Glycine
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Glycine » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:56 pm

In light of the above discussion, it appears to me that the "dream state" or "ego-identified state" is as real as the awareness state.
Last edited by Glycine on Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Sighclone » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:19 pm

james, you say:
It seems what draws us to awakening is that we know on a deeper level what we are. Yet humanly there is also a fear of awakening or resistance, which keeps us feeling separate. And the basis may be that we will lose ourself in unity, lose our freedom or uniqueness. But we don't really lose anything that is real, only the dream sense; and actually we feel more free and alive, and able to express life fully in a unique way, when we are awake. So there is the paradox of no self, and the impersonal but unique expression of Self.
What a fine expression of the paradox. Our uniqueness as an expression of Source can only be fully vitalized after self-realization. Before that, it is egoic delusion..."little me" can actually be quite overstuffed - the more magnificent it becomes, the larger the delusion. It is the battered, weakened, desperate ego that is the most reluctant to let go. The hyperinflated ego (and that can be one in great misery) can just explode like Eckhart's did. It's the compromised, half-awake confused self that clings so desperately to its identity.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

James
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by James » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:11 pm

Andy wrote:
Our uniqueness as an expression of Source can only be fully vitalized after self-realization. Before that, it is egoic delusion..."little me"
Yes... Beautifully put.

Awakening is more of a subtraction than an addition. Removing that which un-enlightens us, which is the mind made sense of self, it is not removing thinking, or the mind, but removing our belief and identification with thought. Then mind and thought become a useful instrument and tool when needed. Awakening can and often does happen spontaneously, but for most of us to abide in awakening it is more gradual. So there may be many spontaneous glimpses, periods of clarity and freedom, until conditioned patterns of attachment, resistance and false identification take over again. It is helpful to know that abiding awakening tends to me gradual for most, so as not to have expectations of immediate, permanent realization; which just leads to frustration.

Kiki wrote an excellent post the other day, in another thread, that is worth repeating here, (copied below). An inquiry exercise to awaken, that is straight forward and effective. Kiki is a gifted teacher, as many here will attest. I highly recommend reading his older posts on this forum. What we need to awaken is all here, right now. It just takes consistency, earnestness, relaxing and letting go into it.

james

Kiki wrote:
Re: Finding Peace at Last...


by kiki » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:33 am

Question: How exactly does one do this? That is, investigate the seeming reality of ego?


We assume we are a real entity that is separate and distinct from everything else; it seems obvious because "there I am wherever I go". And the supporting proof of that entity is the story it keeps telling itself over and over in the mind in all its variations. But in reality that "me" only exists because of the stories being repeated - those stories are only tightly held beliefs that are identified with. What gets overlooked is this assumed reality of the story teller - the "me". So look for it.

Sit down, close your eyes, and ask yourself, "Who am I?". Honestly look for this "me", the one who keeps telling the "story of me"; try to pin it down and actually find it. See for yourself what happens when you try this ...

Have you found anything specific yet, something real and actual that is always present? Logically, it's obvious that "you" must always be present, right? So have you found the "me"?

If you have inquired in this way all you will find are memories of events and thoughts associated with those events, ideas about "me", sensations in the body, emotions and those stories associated with those emotions - all of this is in continual flux, always changing. But the "me" always seems to be just out of reach, somehow, doesn't it? This situation of never actually finding a "me" can lead to a feeling of frustration as you continually look for it "out there" in some mental image, in some thought form, as some "object", because every time you think you've may have found it, it will slip away again.

This is a very good point, this feeling of frustration, because it can lead to your looking in a different direction. So far attention has been in the direction of "things" - the ideas and thoughts, the sensations and emotions - as some kind of "object". So stop a moment and consider: what else is there that is always present? Take careful notice of what is always here, because whatever that is it must be "you" (remember, "you" must always be here - that's an obvious but critical point). Is there something else perhaps, something that isn't an object of attention, something that can't be grasped mentally because it has no defining qualities that make it "stand out"? Find out if there is by simply letting go of all efforts of finding a "thing" and notice what is always present (I'll give you a hint: it is silent and still, and does nothing to make it stand out).

That silence and stillness is the background awareness upon which everything else happens - it is the "canvas" upon which the paints are arranged. Without that background nothing else could appear. It is what gives "light" to all appearances of objects in the world, in the body, and in the mind. It is what everything else depends upon. When you look at a painting you get engrossed in the subject of the painting and rarely notice the canvas beneath the paints, but without that canvas there is no painting. It's the same with "you" - without the awareness (the actuality of what you are) nothing else is possible. That awareness is ever present, but because it is still and silent it gets overlooked in favor of the objects appearing within it. Now it's time for this to be discovered directly by letting awareness reveal its presence to ItSelf.

This is what has been called Self-Realization, this is what the word "awakening" refers to. It's actually quite simple, but it's easily overlooked because mind looks for something other than the simple everyday awareness that is the natural state of being. Because attention has been outwardly directly most of your life that awareness has been ignored. But when attention is allowed to "turn onto itself" by relaxing and letting go of all seeking it will reveal itself to itself. When this is seen clearly everything else that happens is just seen for what it is - passing phenomena within "You"/awareness.

So basic, raw, bare "knowing" arises as a function of awareness - that "knowing" IS awareness. It simply IS, and it is always present, always here right now. Nothing has to be done to get it, and nobody can give it to you or take it away because you already have it - You Are It. Let this be seen directly and clearly for yourself and then rest in/as this "knowingess" - this bright, alive, sense of existence that is always shining. It is intuitively obvious - you already "know" that am-ness that is always pulsating as the very core of you, but because the mind attaches things to the am-ness (I am male, I am a teacher, I am a father, I am angry, I am sad, and so on) it gets trapped into believing "you" are those things - but "you" aren't. You are the awareness in which all things appear.

So when you start to get overwhelmed by things "out there" use a reminder to turn awareness back onto itself. That reminder is the question, "What am I really?", and then rest in what is found to be real and true - awareness.
Original source: http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth ... 293#p40293
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

Glycine
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Glycine » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:33 pm

James wrote:Awakening is more of a subtraction than an addition. Removing that which un-enlightens us, which is the mind made sense of self, it is not removing thinking, or the mind, but removing our belief and identification with thought.
I'm wondering, would it be possible to awaken by accepting everything?

lucy
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by lucy » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:21 pm

Glycine wrote:I'm wondering, would it be possible to awaken by accepting everything?
Yes, because it puts the egoic mind out of a job.

Tony-S-Ma
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Tony-S-Ma » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:09 pm

Glycine wrote:In light of the above discussion, it appears to me that the "dream state" or "ego-identified state" is as real as the awareness state.
Insisting on that one is real and another is unreal is another way the ego asserts itself being separated from All That Is. A Teacher always directs the mind to where it contradicts itself. At that moment, it at least stops for a moment.

It is given our perceptions are diverse. Logically, we may asserts that each has a perceptively unique mind structure. In essence, all mind structure is the same: from the perspective of separation to promote the best interest of the separated self.

Each mind structure is a manifested reality. To functionally stop a manifested reality requires favourable conditions. When one is really tired, one falls in sleep. The mind structure stops functioning in the unconsciousness. Of course, we already have this type of mind stopping experience.

What we wish for is the experience that we are aware without the interference of the mind structure. We already have this also: upon waking up from sleep, one is only aware one exists. The identification with body, environment and etc. comes after. The problem is that most of us can not extend this awakening experience for long. And most of us do not even pay attention to such experience.

Many spiritual exercises, in essence, are designed to direct our attention to our daily awakening experiences. The problem is with the essence of mind. We all share (or is under the grasp of) this essence if our mind has not yet permanently stopped. The essence of mind is survival. It figures out ways to survive amongst those who do the exercises. In fact, the essence of mind is more alive than most of us -- our individual essences.

If an individual essence has not yet separated itself from survival, it can hardly experience anything mind stopping.

Getting out survival is simple, yet hard: be selfless. In current condition on Earth, without survival mode, an infant can not even survive to adulthood to learn about Awakening.

In essence, those who wish to stop their mind structures permanently need help from those who have experienced such. The trick is to grasp the essence of the Teaching, or to acquire true understanding. This is impossible by just reading books. Essence transmission requires the Presence of those who have higher essence.

Actually, essence exchange happens in our daily lives when we are in the presence of other people and we trust them. The sad fact is that not many with higher essence development wish to participate in worldly affairs; therefore, receiving greater help requires us to seek out such Teachers.

It is a catch 22. mind is unable to tell who actually has higher essence development. (Or logic and reason can not measure the essence of a person) Many searches may not be fruitful due to the fact the well known gurus may be less developed in essence than the seekers. Accumulated guru seeking experiences plus intuition eventually will help. It seems that intuition is the momentary fleshes of Pure Awareness.

Eckhart Tolle is a very blessed individual. He happened to have acquired enough karma merits that favourable conditions appeared in his life that his mind structure in this life seems to be permanently stopped. His essence permanently ditched survival. Or the essence of mind has no hold on him.

Tony-S-Ma
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Tony-S-Ma » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:26 pm

lucy wrote:
Glycine wrote:I'm wondering, would it be possible to awaken by accepting everything?
Yes, because it puts the egoic mind out of a job.
It appears that the essence of mind works harder when a mind structure tries to stop itself. That essence would not mind to kill an individual organism in order to express SURVIVAL. It can sense a part of its manifestation is out of order as far as survival is concerned. Eckhart Tolle experienced suicidal thoughts before his mind structure was permanently stopped.

Glycine
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Glycine » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:07 pm

Thank you for your answers, Tony and Lucy!
From a certain point of view, the mind is not much different from the digestive system - and yet it is the greatest obstacle to awakening!
As Kiki said in another thread, "mind/ego gets caught up in the world of forms and because it senses incompleteness!"

Glycine
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Glycine » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:49 pm

James has posted this in another thread:
James wrote:If you ask most people why they do what they do, they would likely answer "I don't know", or that "it just seems like the right thing to do".
I think it fits within the topic here.

I'm wondering, what would be the truth about "Why do we do what we do?"
That we are not doing anything? That it is all being done?

James
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by James » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:41 pm

Glycine wrote:
"Why do we do what we do?"
Why ask why, Dear Glycine? If you had an answer, what would your next why question be? :roll:

This reminds me of a beautiful song by John Astin, It seems he is trying to answer why too. :wink:

Love, Serve and Remember

(Lyrics by John Astin)

Why have you come to earth?
Do you remember?
Why have you taken birth?
Why have you come?

To love, serve, and remember.
To love, serve, and remember.

Why have you come to earth?
Do you remember?
Why have you taken birth?
Why have you come?

To love, serve, and remember.
To love, serve, and remember
.


Short video of song here:
http://www.wisdomteachers.com/metaphysi ... ember.html

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

Tony-S-Ma
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Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:07 pm

Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Tony-S-Ma » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:45 pm

Glycine wrote: That we are not doing anything? That it is all being done?
Perhaps it is enjoyable to experience doing in different degree as a self with the knowing that Self DOES All :D

Glycine
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Re: Reality, Understanding and Realization

Post by Glycine » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:36 pm

Thank you James and Tony. The song is beautiful!
Indeed, having "one" answer does not solve the question - probably because there are countless valid answers.
Nevertheless, I find that there is a lively natural tendency to keep asking "why" ...

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