Thursday, December 3, 2009

Enlightenment is Bullshit

We’ve read books and heard stories about a grand “enlightenment.” This is the ultimate spiritual trophy. A goliath and golden 8 ft. tall symbol of achievement. It is the ultimate war story to show off and brag to friends.

The stories of monks meditating in the Himalayas for twenty years letting out a thunderous laughter imply that this “spiritual” seeking must be an arduous and painful journey. That seems to match what we’ve read about the Hindu yogis that starve themselves and chant endlessly, hoping to one day figure all of this out. And because the seeking of enlightenment was such a difficult path for those special few, enlightenment must be a flowery, holy and permanently blissful state of happiness and permanent high.

This is a huge and heaping pile of bullshit.

Recognize that any experience that pops up is just another transient experience-- just another event that comes and goes. It is rather obvious that what comes/goes. Any experience, no matter how ‘grand’, ‘profound’ or ‘spiritual’ is just another experience that will inevitably pass.

As this ‘mystical’ experience passes, recognize the psychological suffering that arises:

“I want to achieve that state that I worked so hard to get”.

Notice that every single time (without exception) that there is psychological suffering it is referring to an individual, separate ‘I’. It is this ‘I’ that wants more, needs more, needs to become something, needs to be protected against something, is quietly waiting for something to happen and most of all, needs to become enlightened.

What if this fundamental assumption, “I” is completely false—a fiction

What if a ‘person’ is NOT always here?

So we question…

To whom does this thought “I” appear to?

It cannot be “I”? Isn’t this just another thought?

Where is this witness? Where is the seer of thoughts?

What are we really pointing to when we refer to this “I”?

If this “I” is merely a concept that is coming and going…just another transient image, then I am not thoughts. What I am never changes….but this “I” thought is ephemeral.

Thoughts are just appearing/disappearing…..

If I am not the thought “I” then clearly, the opposite of “I” (as an individual) not-“I”, (we can call this “the world”) must also be false. Boundaries (only conceptualizations) fall apart because both are false. Where can you find limitations? Where are there beginnings and endings? Isn’t it only in concepts? Concepts are merely fleeting labels with no substance.

So if there isn’t a person there….who has the problem? Who would be there to suffer psychologically? Who would be troubled by thoughts? Who would be there to make choices?

Whatever your name (or persona, which is Latin for “mask”) is a fictional character perpetuated by conversation, much like our favorite superheroes. We can talk at great lengths about how Lex Luthor is going to expose Superman to kryptonite and jeopardize his ability to save the world—but does Superman really suffer from kryptonite? It’s all fantasy, just stories supported by other stories. This is why we say “nothing is happening.” Whatever you dreamt last night, did it really happen? Did you really show up to class absolutely naked? Did you really get chased by monsters? Is the dream state any different than the waking state?

But to say that “Nothing is happening” falls short in its description. If there is no “I” here that can suffer psychologically, how in the hell is this all happening if there is no ‘doer’ of actions?

We can also say that Life is functioning. Life is expressing itself, spontaneously and miraculously.

No one is driving the bus. And with no one to suffer, all we can say (which still falls short) is THIS.

Without conceptualizing what can be said?

But the fiction keeps on rolling….

As Bob says, ONE essence expressing itself as the many.

ONE (without a second)

How could there be something lacking in ONENESS?

Or, what could be added or attained in ONE (without a second)?

THIS wakefulness loves itself and loves to exist.

We can call it the Infinite because it is unborn; beyond time and space.

The closest we can come to an accurate description in words is “I AM”

You are not the words “I AM”, what are these words pointing to?

This HERE-ness, this CERTAINTY that you EXIST is an undeniable FACT!

A wordless, silent confirmation of existence…

No one walks around and questions their existence, or says “I am not.”

It is not a hypothesis that you are present. It is not something that you theorize and will present at an upcoming conference and reveal your findings to other scholars in the field.

The FACT of BEING is not a concept, yet a 100% certainty.

This is why the Buddhists call what you ARE: “non-conceptual Awareness.”

It does not require a concept to know that you are awake.

How is this known?

Is this KNOWING ALWAYS radiantly shining?

How is this known?

This Aliveness…..

How is this known?

This wakefulness is ALREADY happening effortlessly.

What effort does it take for the ocean to become water?

Are ‘you’ present?

Without conceptualizing, how is this known?

6 comments:

Hitch said...

Dear Jason,

It is nice to read your writings about one’s true nature. Somehow I miss the structure and the context of these important ancestors to which you refer in the link section.
I never can tell neither can confirm if something is true except as concept in my world of thoughts and feelings.
Seeking is happening and is because one deeply knows the existence of Love. So we started all as seekers and the seeker will never become aware of anything.
To say that enlightenment is bullshit is not skillful (there will not be any I left to be enlightened so in a certain way that is enlightenment)

I read your lines about the watcher en the re-cognizer;

“Watch the disappearance of thoughts...and re-cognize that this AWARE-ing is ALWAYS happening”

For me this is a survival attempt of the false I, the I that has seen through itself;
the I that is claiming ownership of re-cognizing. The knower of I AM is a reflection in the wakening state, trying to shoot it’s own shadow, both the watcher and re-cognizer are subtle seducing forms of false I’s.

This You that claims the watching of disappearance, this You that re-cognize this Awar-ing is false I. Because You cannot say it is Consciousness. Who says so? The mind cannot. You cannot say it exists; because then it and existence must be different. You cannot say it is existence; because then you must have perceived it. Therefore you cannot say anything about Reality because Who says so? In the absence of I there is no one left to speak or say.

To dismantle each I idea and feeling step by step. To be what we are already but only can be seen if there is not any I idea or I feeling left. In the seeker’s role this takes time because one has build up during a lifespan all these false I believes and stories and feelings,. Despite AHA moment’s or some kind of implosions or Woohaa events, these are as a thin layer of ice and a re-cognition as
part of a process. For many years to see through all concepts in daily live and experience. Because in the story timeline it cost many years to create that belief of separation it can take long time to lose all belief in each aspect and in each feeling that we were used to experience as I. The dismantling of all of my false I’s as result of interrogation, by attention and our desire for truth. The ice cube in search for water. However to discover, one needs the mind and it’s structure in unfolding uncovering the obvious as pointer to fire up stick by stick. Depending on obstinacy and courage towards a full stop.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I bet in that moment (when you first remembered wakefulness and saw the truth), that you thought to yourself "man this is so incredibly simple and in your face its gonna be a piece of cake pointing it out to everyone!" Followed by an immediate realization of the paradox of explaining such simplcity. Well that was one of my initial reactions anyway!xD (and what a thorn it was for a long time)

I guess thats all I wanted to say really. I don't try to describe what I see anymore, but when I did, I wrote it in the same terms as you do, which just struck me as cool.

Jason Swanson said...

Hitch,

Thank you for writing.

"So we started all as seekers and the seeker will never become aware of anything."

There never was a seeker, a seeker is merely a concept. Only references to "me" or "I" happen in imagination. You are not a person, and have never been a person. As we start to examine this, we tread upon very shaky ground. We've taken on assumptions about "persons". What is a "person"? Isn't it this entanglement of the body-mind? As we start to peel away the layers of the onion, we notice that there are assumptions referring to assumptions.

But, if start from the FACT, the ONLY FACT that you are absolutely certain of, the FACT of BEING. This isn't up for questioning. Even to question this presupposes that EXISTENCE IS. This existence doesn't need any effort to appear so it ALWAYS IS. It never comes/goes. So if there is a bluntness or lack of "artfullness" to it so be it. Perhaps the "problem" of this is is that it is so glaringly OBVIOUS.

"You cannot say it exists; because then it and existence must be different. You cannot say it is existence; because then you must have perceived it. Therefore you cannot say anything about Reality because Who says so? In the absence of I there is no one left to speak or say."

What is being pointed to over and over again is the activity of Knowing. It is Self-Knowing, Self-Shining Presence-Awareness. It cannot be known as a "thing" (as this is object), because it is no-thing.

What stands apart from BEING? Even the concept of "non-existence" would be registering in the activity of Knowing? Where is the boundary line between experience and experiencing? Can you find one?
In direct experience right now, look!!! The computer fan is humming....where is the boundary line between Awareness and the humming of the computer fan?

"To be what we are already but only can be seen if there is not any I idea or I feeling left. In the seeker’s role this takes time because one has build up during a lifespan all these false I believes and stories and feelings,. Despite AHA moment’s or some kind of implosions or Woohaa events, these are as a thin layer of ice and a re-cognition as
part of a process."

Any "I" idea left, or feelings of "I" is to be what you already are? This is some goal that you have conceived of achieving that is completely false. Succinctly, the false is seen as false.

Nothing happens. Nothing changes.

The belief in being a separate person naturally falls away. Thoughts are just thoughts. You are not thoughts. Thoughts appear and disappear (including the thought "I").

"For many years to see through all concepts in daily live and experience. Because in the story timeline it cost many years to create that belief of separation it can take long time to lose all belief in each aspect and in each feeling....."

What is being implied here is that there is a maturation process, which is entirely false. In the appearance of things, it may seem that way, but an oasis also appears to have water. It is simply not true. There is absolutely no effort to BE what YOU ARE. The moment that there is a search or practice to "find something" or "achieve something" it immediately fails. STOP. JUST STOP and simply notice what IS.

"The ice cube in search for water."

You were never separate. Not even for an instant. This is another false belief. You have only and ever been (BEING) the Ocean.

"Depending on obstinacy and courage towards a full stop."

Courage for a FULL STOP? Pause thoughts RIGHT NOW!!!

Notice the disappearance of thoughts....

In that open space, did you disappear? Did you fall apart?

The "I" thought was not, yet YOU ARE. Do not overlook this....

love to you brother,
jason

Jason Swanson said...

Anonymous,

Every word is bullshit. That is not an attempt to put on a show of being humble, modest or coy. Words are inherently dualistic. How to write or speak about Nonduality?

Hahahahaha! Who knows how this is all happening.....

Anonymous said...

The Dalai lama (Buddhism) says that behind an aggregate (ego) there is 'nothing'. This makes no sense.

I would agree that there seems to be a lot of bullshit behind Buddhism. How can something be driven with nothing i.e. no source, no energy?
The explanations given, which includes Buddhist rhetoric, verbal mumbo jumbo, provides very little.

There is another spiritual teaching that looks behind the various 'Bodies' i.e. astral, mental, consciousness etc, which gives a better key regarding what is behind all of this, inclusive of the aggregates and or ego i.e. the 'reflection' of the 'inner Christ' (fragment of divinity?); this would give one a greater encouragement to verify via practice. The Buddhist teaching of nothing behind the aggregates is left sorely wanting.

Perhaps the Dalai Lama’s inability to see what is behind the aggregate comes about due to his denial of God i.e. self induced blindness, inclusive of God giving one over to a ‘reprobate mind’ i.e. further blindness. The strange thing that I’ve notice in listening to the Dalai Lama is that of denying Monotheism, while at the same time acknowledging a multitude of other deities, better said ‘little gods’. Is it any wonder Buddhism has also so many factions and now the Dalai Lama is subservient to the Pope via the inclusion of the (Roman Vatican Jesuit) ecumenical movement, of which the Pope is the head and of which this all will spell a one world religion.

Buddhism definitely has its problems.

Jason Swanson said...

Here's the bottom line:

One (without a second). Nothing can be added or taken away from One. Oneness discovers that there was never separation.

However, we read books in various traditions and take on the assumption that a person has an experience and becomes free - this is false.

As long as you believe there is a person who is present, there is the assumption that there is not-person, the world. Let's take a closer look at the world.

How do we know the world? Through the senses.

Tasting, touching, smelling, seeing, and hearing are happening. How do you know the senses are happening?

There is a knowing that the senses are happening.

Look more closely, is it a knowing OF the senses that are happening, or is it just an activity of knowing? This point is critical.

Awareness cannot be separated out of the senses. For example, the hearing is not functioning in and of itself separate from knowing. It is two sides of ONE coin. So we're just left with the activity of knowing, but even using that concept is taking one step too far.

We can't describe what THIS is. It is the dimensionless light of knowing. It is not a singular experience that dawns on you - it is the timeless, ever present existence.