The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

I just love Adya and I think he deserves his own forum.
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The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by James » Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:59 pm

Thanks Erict for creating a separate channel for Adyashanti's message.

I have been inquiring much lately about this topic "I Don't Know" that Adyashanti and other teachers suggest. Adya discussed it on a recent radio program. This is the realization of "no-thingness", which is a gateway to the formless Self, or pure awareness; through disengaging from thought or mind. We talked about it recently on the Tolle forum. By asking the question: What do I really know for certain, absolutely, 100%. Not just 99.9999%?

I could elaborate on this subject of "I Don't Know", (I have made a few notes to myself), but how much could I actually say about nothingness, without veering into mind formations again? OK I'll try a few more words.

Basically the ego/mind structure cannot survive in a state of unknowing, its very make up is to know and have certainty. The human species depended on this certainty to navigate the natural world and flourish. It was a necessary tool, and not something to be loathed, in my view. Self preservation dictated a need for certainty, at least that is how it appears. But now there are over 6 billion of us individuals, and this ego/mind state of accumulating knowledge and everything else under the sun, seems to have worn out it's welcome. The collective dysfunction is actually threatening planet Earth's survival.

Does that matter if Earth and man are destroyed? Relatively speaking perhaps, absolutely speaking perhaps not. I don't know the answer. It seems all an individual can do is free oneself from mind/ego identity and realize the true Self, as formless awareness. Collectively this may benefit the whole of mankind, as we are actually one and of the same essence. This is not another belief or concept to know, to add to the pile, not another religion, but something to be realized individually, beyond words and thoughts, in the state of "No-Thingness."

So for now, I don't know what else to say, but would like to hear a little from others that may be using this type of inquiry, or had a similar experience using another approach. Or anyone that would like to add some inspirational words or contemplation on the subject of Nothingness.

Here is a quote from an Eckhart Tolle interview that is relevant to this topic (the entire article is available on this website, at the link below):
“It is a challenge to be seen by others as ‘special’, while I know that the truth is quiet the opposite,” he says. “The lessons come from a state of presence. And that state can only be, because the person has become so unimportant. It is precisely the absence of the person that makes that happen. If I forget that, I fall back into the egotistical illusion. This has happened to various teachers, after years of being bombarded with projections of ‘being special’. They started believing it themselves. The essence is that I continually remain aware that I am actually doing nothing. I realise I am no one.” He falls silent. And then, with a burst of laughter: “That’s not exactly something to be proud of, is it?” ~Eckhart Tolle~
http://www.inner-growth.info/power_of_n ... de_mag.htm
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The Adyashanti Radio program referenced above, is May 15, 2008. Description: Let Spirit Lead ~ It's a strange thing for the mind to suddenly be thrust into a different perspective. Some minds surrender and let spirit lead.

The recording can be purchased for $10, at his Cafe Dharma Store. Try this link: http://www.adyashanti.org/cafedharma/in ... c&stitle1=

James
Last edited by James on Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by Sighclone » Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:12 pm

"The mind is maya." - I think that was Maharaj. "Knowing" almost implies thought. That is why Ekchart refered to Enlightenment as the "natural state of felt oneness with Being." (PON p. 12) So "not knowing" is certainly part of the big picture!

Andy
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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by James » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:34 am

Thanks Andy, good point, all our conditioning in the mind boils down to what we think we know. We see through the glass darkly. This quote from HermitLoon, from the recent thread "On Being Right" it is beautiful and worth repeating here.
Beyond that field - beyond words and form - there is a still, silent "space" from which all consciousness arises.
"We" are always "there" - "knowing" nothing.
I also would like to kindly suggest that this thread be kept free of debating, parsing words, analysis or criticism, as much as possible. Since all truth spoken or written is merely a relative, limited perspective anyway, not absolute. What does anyone really know for sure? Let this be an inspirational, contemplative-inquiry, to uplift, bring depth of awareness and clarity, to those interested in reading or sharing.

Thanks

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."

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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by Onceler » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:47 am

To me, right now, nothingness means letting awareness use my body, my nervous system for its own uses--and then just watching through awareness as I grapple with letting go of "my body, my nervous system" in diminshing thought echoes or ripples of thought.

Nothingness has a sort of reptilian, unblinking quality that is somewhat disconcerting to my ego. I am not neccesarily peaceful with it, yet I am deeply drawn to it as I am somewhat repelled by it.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by the key master » Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:13 am

James,

Great post.
Basically the ego/mind structure cannot survive in a state of unknowing, its very make up is to know and have certainty. The human species depended on this certainty to navigate the natural world and flourish. It was a necessary tool, and not something to be loathed, in my view. Self preservation dictated a need for certainty, at least that is how it appears. But now there are over 6 billion of us individuals, and this ego/mind state of accumulating knowledge and everything else under the sun, seems to have worn out it's welcome. The collective dysfunction is actually threatening planet Earth's survival.
Awakening, coupled with disintegration of ego/mind structure, seems at least partially indicative of the evolution of consciousness that Tolle states no one could ever understand. Self preservation, it now seems, dictates the need for uncertainty.

"humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die...at the heart of the new consciousness lies the transcendence of thought." (ANE p. 21)

The human race is at a crossroad. Since the evolution of humankind allowed for consciousness to lose itself in form, and then become aware of how it lost itself (through ego), some divine purpose seems apparent. Humans collectively, in this sense, are "special". However, the individual must realize the individual is not special, but one with everything and no-thing, with form and formless. Only when I enter the state of nothingness do I know anything, and that is Oneness, which is absolute.

Granted, we think of consciousness as timeless, and thus evolution appears a misnomer. Through personal experience, and within the world of form, though, consciousness operates within timebound intervals, or more specifically, between periods of complete presence or No-thingness. Synchronicity and coincidence, in my experience, represent intangible relationships within the world of form. Such relationships compose part of the greater language, or I suppose communication system applies more appropriately, that can only be understood by the timeless essence that we all are. Synchronicity often seems only pertinent, or most pertinent, to the experiencer of this intangible relationship. Language fails in explaining to others how everything is clicking for you, as language fails in explaining the formless realm. During one perceived horrible event that occured during my life situation, well before full awakening, my neck and head seemed to come to life with vibration. I felt God was communicating with me, although coming from catholic faith, misunderstood the true nature of what was happening. I vividly remember thinking, "What are you trying to tell me? My life is getting more messed up by the day. I can't take this much longer." I bring up that situation only because during moments of synchronicity in my life I experience a similar sensation, although not as extreme. I realized tonight that without that "horrible event", Awakening would be the last thing on my mind. During this aha moment, I experienced the sensation again. These types of intangible relationships, which seemingly must be experienced first-hand to grasp the significance and true meaning, imply that the evolution of consciousness within the world of form is happening for some Divine purpose-and that the human race plays an integral role. What is that purpose? Only our egos would want to know. But I cannot help but feel that annihilation of humanity, while at least some humans remain unenlightened, seems contrary to that purpose. That said, if humanity achieved total enlightenment, outer purpose would have little meaning, as attachment to the world of form lay completely eviscerated. This point in time could represent the end of the universe, and the beginning of a new cosmic dance. All we need to know then is we come from No-thing, we are No-thing, and thus never left No-thing. See you there, right now and forever.

jason

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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by James » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:49 pm

Onceler said:
Nothingness has a sort of reptilian, unblinking quality that is somewhat disconcerting to my ego. I am not neccesarily peaceful with it, yet I am deeply drawn to it as I am somewhat repelled by it.
Good way of putting it, what comes to mind is the word surrender and a make believe story that goes something like this: A man is sitting on a wooden chair, at the edge of a high cliff. The chair is positioned backwards and he is rocking back onto two legs. Before the chair tips back all the way, he catches it and leans forward again. Eventually he topples over the edge and falls.

Surrender is like that, we don't know what will happen when we do surrender, but yet we are inexplicably drawn to do so. Trust is the word that comes to mind; trust wells up from within, through Presence. To trust the unknown, the unseen.

Jason (keymaster) I really appreciate your personal testimonial, I am sure many here can relate to it, including myself. I especially liked the last line of your post:
This point in time could represent the end of the universe, and the beginning of a new cosmic dance. All we need to know then is we come from No-thing, we are No-thing, and thus never left No-thing. See you there, right now and forever.
What comes to mind is the essence of Papaji's message, (the disciple of Ramana Maharshi), to paraphrase he is speaking in Satsang to a group:

Your nature is silence... You came from silence, you will return to silence... you are dancing for a little while, how long can one dance?.. And this dance is called arrogance; I am doing this, I am doing that.... When you know your nature is silence, you can dance, sing and do whatever you want to do, knowing that silence is doing it. I don't tell you what to do, or not to do, only to keep quiet within while you do it. You can play the game well, when you know it is really silence doing it. So keep quiet, that is what I say. When you speak, keep quiet, it is silence speaking through you.... Keep quiet.

To me this is the state of Unknowing, "I of my own self can do nothing."

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."

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Re: Inquiry: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by James » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:58 pm

The other day we did an inquiry exercise, some of you may want to give it a try today if it interests you, it goes like this:

We can try this little exercise for fun: Something Adyashanti talked about recently on his radio show. He says the one statement we can always come back to is "I Don't Know".
Ponder the question: What do I know for certain anyway? Not just 99.9999%, but actually know to be true 100%. Suppose we hold that idea of actually, "I don't really know," or "I don't know," and see where that takes us. See what becomes of the mind structure and conditioning. And to make it more fun, stay with that notion of "I don't know," contemplating it for a while; either in meditation with eyes closed (or open). Or you could just keep it in mind as you are working, or doing other things, and see how the mind responds to not knowing; a state of unknowing.

Inquiry can actually be done at any time during any activity, we needn't take time out. To inquire is to be aware, inquiry brings us back to awareness. When you look out at the world today, ask yourself: "Do I really know that?" or say no "I don't know" that. Keep it simple, keep it easy, keep it fresh and spontaneous. Put it in your own words if you like. Inquiry is not analysis, but rather an asking, and then waiting quietly for the answer to rise from within, from the silence or Presence.

Then come back and describe your experience here.

And as Adya always says: "enjoy your-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."

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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by Onceler » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:08 pm

James,

I am going to try the inquiry exercise. It reminds me of Byron Katie, "is that true", but perhaps with a twist. It is probably good to change up inquiries!

If you haven't seen it, check out a cinematic version of a full-blown, life-altering inquiry, "Into the Wild". The movie has stuck with me and nudged me to look at what I hold to be certain, if not true.

That's what came to mind when I read your metaphor (I hope it's metaphoric and not your living room arrangement) of the man on the chair, back to the cliff. Although I think the charachter in the movie, Alexander Supertramp, is facing the void and rocking forward.
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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by Sighclone » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:18 pm

Science has long been in the business of "knowing." Then they ran into Quantum Mechanics. And got very quiet. One of the foundations of QM is something with the revealing title : "Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle." Now there is a compelling discovery! This "non-locality" and "entanglement" stuff has ripped out the foundations of even the modern pioneers...no more "speed of light is the fastest anything can travel." Lots of pointers here to other ways of understanding and demonstrations of the limits of logical thinking as a tool to complete understanding.

Adya, Loch Kelly and ET are all talking about and working on "after enlightenment" activities, beyond just being good gurus. The introduction to 'Emptiness Dancing' asserts that Adya's next book will be on this subject.

Namaste, Andy
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Re: Inquiry: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by James » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:41 pm

Here is how a friend Peter approached this inquiry, he was actually the impetus behind my interest in this, (actually it is always Grace that creates the interest, without Grace nothing is possible). The Adyashanti Radio program referenced is May 15, 2008. Description: Let Spirit Lead ~ It's a strange thing for the mind to suddenly be thrust into a different perspective. Some minds surrender and let spirit lead.

The recording can be purchased for $10, at his Cafe Dharma Store. Try this link: http://www.adyashanti.org/cafedharma/in ... c&stitle1=

James

___________________________________________
From Peter (copied and pasted with his permission):
Its always good to hear from Adya as i did last night on the radio, the sword always comes down....NOTHING gets in...if you want the truth, Adya reminds us, then EVERYTHING you believe must be given up.

The invitation to always stick with your experience, was a great reminder. You can't go wrong if you do that. And sticking only with experience NOW, not a memory of an insight or previous experience for that is thought again which has no absolute inherent value....As Adya has said, the primary useful thought is the thought of "I don't know" through and through.

And in considering the Mooji quote as well that i posted yesterday, i have reminded myself of, a number of teachers, Adya, Gangaji, Tolle who encourage a particularly useful and practical self-inquiring:

What is it that i actually know for certain to be 100 percent true, not 99.9999 percent true, but 100 percent?

As i was driving today, i saw our State Capitol (in Madison, WI) which is visible for miles from most points of view.....and i thought, "ok, i'm going to use this question: I am aware that that is not really the Capitol."

But that didn't cut it, it was as if, i had a teacher inside telling me that the Capitol wasn't the Capitol but i hadn't realized it yet....then i kept going deeper in my inquiry, and kept asking "what is the Capitol if I can not attach the name The Capitol. "

Going further, i asked myself: "what is it if i can not attach even the named characteristices of the Capitol's form and structure....

At that moment, I realized i knew that i truly didn't know what the Capitol was other than the direct perceiving of it that had no name and hence no concept.

It was so obvious....the fact that nothing can be known with 100 percent certainty....what is perceived in the Now always has no concept....to link a concept to it, is to necessarily return to illusion, to time, to "me"....and, without naming anything, there can be only this, ever....and there is only this ever, even if our mind tells us differently....

and when there is something named, the belief in something particular as being true 100 percent (i.e. that IS the Capitol) arises, and with arising, seems to have an independent entity, and by this process, the concept of separation must occur.

To believe that that is the Capitol completely is to believe completely that not only is the Capitol an independent entity but that the "I",( in relation to the Capitol must be separate as well. (I.e. i am a person viewing the Capitol). And with that, time and space must arise, and then you have a story of "me" and "my world" .

A story is simply something that is not true...and there is nothing wrong with story, except when you believe in the story as true. And there is nothing wrong with that, unless something somewhere recognizes it is not true and there is a yearning to know truth above all else.

In that case, story and truth are seemingly incompatible. When story is seen through completely, then truth and story are again at peace, recognition that even story is not separate from truth.
"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."

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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by the key master » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:36 pm

I attempted this exercise about an hour ago and did not get very far. I don't know...I was drawing blank. Maybe the fact that I slept on the conclusion that I know nothing affected me. Moreover-my thinking mind wants nothing to do with this exercise. I'm going to continue trying throughout the day.

Sighclone-

I agree that attempts by science to explain or know all that is have fallen way short. As James pointed out earlier, humanity's previous need for certainty goes hand in hand with scientific progression, particularly through the modern era. I do still feel, however, that science has a lot to give.

Back in 2000, at the ripe age of 19, I had the privilege to attend classes of Dr. Martin Kleiber at Villanova. Kleiber was blind, although not his whole life. During a differential equations lecture, toward the end of the semester, we were discussing how matrices can be used to portray every equation I learned up to that point, including particle physics and all of calculus. After giving his explanation, Kleiber leaned back in his chair with a grin on his face, eyes closed as always, and stated "Only the hand of God could allow for such beauty." I agree that Heisenberg's Uncertaintly Principle represents the necessity of scientists to step out of the box. Eventually, a time may come where nothing else can be learned or achieved from conventional science. I think that time is still a ways away.

Numbers are beautiful. One thing I do "know" is that 2 + 2 = 4. Numbers are abstract, but they do provide a sense of knowing, which is why science relies so heavily on them. But my enfatuation with numbers, from a very early age, has nothing to do with "knowing". Rather, as Dr. Kleiber brought to light, the beauty and dynamic nature of numbers implies a Higher Presence than our minds could ever know. When science attempts to know this higher presence, rather that simply experiencing it through their own Being, the limitations of numbers becomes apparent. However, when these limitations arise, as in the instances you pointed out, other theories could be compiled to allow the mind a better understanding of consciousness. Basics theories like conservation of energy may prove quite useful once scientists are willing to step back and stop trying to numerically prove every event in the universe.

I only bring this to discussion because Now only small percentage of individuals are awakening. For the last week I've been back in my hometown, and Tolle's vision of a new flowering of consciousness ain't happening here. Perhaps the perceived influx of consciousness Tolle and others discuss is simply a result of technology, freedoms available today not around back in the day, and a rising population. The high number of Awakenings happening today are then not a result of evolution of the human species or human brain, but instead simply occurring due to change in circumstances. Since most humans remain blind or disinterested in discovering their true essence, only scientific advances in this field could serve as a catalyst for A New Earth. The collective disease of wanting to know everything may have to hit a precipice before humankind can accept they actually know No-thing. Unfortunately the more scienctists think they "know", the more able unenlightened folks will be to destroy the world.

What do you guys think?

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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by HermitLoon » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:57 pm

Truth is experience beyond language and education - which are both imposed knowledge. All thinking involves language - wordthoughts - aproximate and historical and imposed(learned) descriptions of experience (Try to think without a word forming in your mind). As such no words are Truth and what I think is not Truth and therefore I know nothing - and what I just wrote is not true. :wink: It's just a fictional story - communication.
I think it possible that infants and deaf mutes and a tree are more in tune with Truth than we are. :)

Peace and Joy
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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by James » Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:10 pm

I posted a link above for the Adya radio program that we are referring to, if anyone is interested in downloading it.

Jason said:
I attempted this exercise about an hour ago and did not get very far. I don't know...I was drawing blank. Maybe the fact that I slept on the conclusion that I know nothing affected me. Moreover-my thinking mind wants nothing to do with this exercise. I'm going to continue trying throughout the day.
It is good that you are interested in this inquiry, even that is a big hurdle for the mind. Of course the mind will resist this, because it is the end of its current existence. The mind says "what are you nuts, you can't live without knowledge?" Even the spiritual path for many of us, was an accumulation of knowledge. Eckhart humorously calls it collecting sign posts, or worshipping signposts "aren't these beautiful signposts? let's put them in the bookcase" he says. ;>) Truth is helpful when it points to the actual experience, then when we are experiencing it, we don't need the pointers anymore, we can leave them behind.

Go easy, and stop trying. Wait until you are grounded in the moment again, very relaxed, content. When you are in the moment, fully present with what IS, how much knowledge is in your head? It does not require any does it?, to be aware and accept what is.

At this point then you could resume a gentle inquiry if need be. Let the realization come on its own without effort or goal, as you remain quiet. Once your mind is still and free of conditioned knowledge, even if it is only for a little while, at that point you are just a seeing being, pure awareness. Then rest in that, appreciate it; but don't grasp it or try to hold onto it. Just go with the flow, be willing to be led by spirit. Of course you will need your mind again for tasks and planning and so forth; but in a sense the mind is more or less on stand by until it is really needed. And it will be more useful because it is quieter and more efficient. I am not implying that inquiry is once and done, it may be ongoing as needed, but if you enjoy it, then the inquiry itself is not a problem.

Obviously some knowledge and education is needed in the present state of existence, what we are stripping away is the unneeded knowledge or conditioning that prevents clear seeing, and harmonious living, being.

James
Last edited by James on Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by Sighclone » Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:33 pm

I've posted a response to the question of the popularity of nonduality (or lack of it) in another thread - here

http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth ... 269#p29034

Andy
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Re: The Wisdom Of "I Don't Know" And "No-Thingness"

Post by James » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:11 am

There is but one intelligence, one life; all the laws of the universe proceed from the same source. Mind is but an instrument of the creative principle, not the creator itself. An unconditioned mind, free of duality and a sense of separation, is mind in its rightful state; aligned and subservient to Grace, harmonious and free.

"Be of one mind"

James

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