Question: Does ‘awareness’ or ‘consciousness’ have a source, eg. is the actual brain organ the source of all manifestations and sensations? Or is consciousness primary and the ground of existence?
Tom: I don’t know the answer to that question. I only know about ending suffering. When suffering ends, one could say that all there is is consciousness, as this is the undivided experience, but this is only an experiential truth, not a scientific one, and so your actual question remains unanswered.
I wrote an article on this topic while back, feel free to take a look: Is everything really consciousness?
Question: The human mind has been conditioned and brainwashed for thousands of years. Is it possible to free the mind of all psychological fear, and what is the brain’s primary function besides keeping the body alive?
Tom: We could say that there is always an aspect of the mind/ consciousness/ awareness/ ourselves that is untouched by conditioning. This awareness can at times see this conditioning you speak of in action, and then immediately it is already beyond it, and action from ‘this place’ is no longer egoically conditioned, although other types of conditioning such as biological conditioning and language skills remain.
This awareness-wisdom can grow and eventually efface the egoic conditioning completely, which is when we enter into the depths of Silence that is Timeless and Non-dual.
Even though all of this is already ‘That’, it is not fully ‘realised’ and suffering continues until the egoic conditioning is no longer active.
We had a wonderful satsang on Thursday here in the UK. Thank you for those who attended. The teachings I share are not scripted, and I do not really have any fixed teachings of my own, so it is always interesting to me what teachings arise from ‘Tom’s mouth’ through the interaction of seeking energy with non-seeking energy.
Here are some points we discussed and some reflections that I hope you don’t mind if I share with you:
1. Most of the popular spirituality that is on the scene is that which benefits the ‘me’ – ie. it makes the ‘me’ happier and makes the me’s life easier. This is also known as self-improvement, self here referring to the limited identity as body-mind. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this – in fact it is actually quite good – this type of spirituality is limited in that it does not ultimately liberate.
Most of us in the group noted that we all spent a period of time in self-help type activities and we indeed found them helpful, and sometimes still do, but there was a point beyond which self-help was no longer helpful in easing our suffering. So, we left that paradigm behind and eventually stumbled onto non-duality and non-dual teachings/presentations which tackle the cause of suffering at its very root.
2. Teachings that are formulaic are for the ego, at least initially, and these are the ones that are easiest to comprehend and spread ‘en mass’, eg. we can create workshops and write books and teach others easily using formulaic methods. Again, without a genuine insight, these teachings alone do not ultimately liberate.
3. All teachings are eventually to be cast aside, otherwise we are bound to the teaching we carry around with us, and this itself becomes a subtle burden and perpetuates the ‘me’ or ignorance and the resultant suffering continues.
4. Are we not all seeking a deep sense of peace? Or a deep sense of fulfilment in which we are no longer burdened with the travails of life?
5. Do we not, each and every night, find this deep lasting peace in deep dreamless sleep, albeit unconsciously?
6. What does this teach us about the nature of peace and suffering?
7. When the egoic mind is no longer active, peace is all there is.
8. Teachings about awareness and consciousness can be very useful and liberating – but only to a point – these too are dualistic concepts that must be cast aside for liberation to be complete.
9. The mind, which is egoic thought, convinces us that the mind is required for our survival. But is this true?
10. It can be seen directly at some point that this ‘me’ which feels and thinks it is needed to survive is actually an addition that is not required at all. It is fear-based and causes suffering.
11. When the ‘me’ is no longer here, then all division and duality ceases. There is only Oneness. Even this concept of Oneness can be a hurdle – even the concept of Oneness is too complex – it also needs to be let go of when the time is right.
12. Trying to get this is more ‘me’, a subtle form of greed and fear which is trying to make life better for the ‘me’, just like point (1)
13. What is there to say? Can this and need this be put into words at all?
This is simply about the energy of the ‘me’ totally disappearing or collapsing.
And of course it doesn’t matter if that happens or not!
Liberation simply and always already IS as EVERYTHING and NO-THING
When it is said ‘all is full’ or ‘all is whole’,
All that is really meant is nothing is required for liberation.
When it is said ‘nothing is real’,
All that is really meant is nothing is required for liberation.
When it is said ‘nothing is required for liberation’,
What is meant is that there is no separate ‘me’ that could require anything.
Too simple for words!
The appears to be a path, a process…
A path appears to be needed…
Many teachings and practices appear to be helpful…
Nothing is needed!
Nothing is needed!
Never underestimate the importance of surrender or letting go of the ‘me’. It is the same as meditation or being still. It is something that is the natural result of insight into non-duality/no separation and is not something you have to necessarily do, although it may start off that way. It takes us to Love, total and ordinary Love. ❤
We could say that if you are doing surrender in order to become enlightened then that is more ‘me’ or egotism. It is totally fine to do this btw. However surrender naturally results when this ‘me’ and the control me neurotically tries to exert is seen/felt/realised to be totally unnecessary and therefore the ‘me’ is non-conceptually/non-verbally realised to be a waste of energy.
Many staunch non-dualists do not advocate surrender, as who or what is there to do the surrendering? I totally agree!
And yet never underestimate the value of surrender!
When the heart is open, even slightly, it is easy to sense those teachers whose hearts are not fully open, whose hearts remain resistant to the naturally purifying effect of love, whose minds cling on to the ‘me’, and in whom the me energy (ie. egoic vasanas) continues despite their words saying otherwise.
If you have found a spiritual or non-dual teaching that makes sense for you, or if you think you have ‘almost got it now’, know that it is way off the mark! This doesn’t make sense! 😂 Non-duality or advaita doesn’t make sense! Liberation or enlightenment doesn’t make sense! It cannot be understood!
What’s more – no learning is required. It just is! It is everything. It is ‘what is’. And ‘what is’ works all by itself without need for a ‘me’ or ‘you’. Simply THIS in its totality, beyond all concepts and including all concepts.
But words, even the most precise and wonderfully erudite words, may only give a flavour, an indication of what they are pointing to.
You CAN get quite a good conceptual understanding of liberation- eg. just THIS, as it is, empty of belief in separation/me/subject-object, empty of the personal stories, but allowing everything/all without exclusion (you can substitute in your own personal understanding of non-duality or liberation here if you like).
But the words and concepts are not it – they are never it. They are (initially at least) for the illusory ‘me’ that believes it lives in time and space and has free will. The ‘me’ now thinks it understands, and this conceptual understanding allows the perpetuation of this illusory ‘me’ as well as the concomitant suffering.
…yes, where the ‘me’ is, suffering follows…
There may, however, and apparently, be a ‘transmission’ beyond the words…’one Guru enlightening another Guru’ (not that there are really two)…and the ‘me’ may totally and completely collapse…it is Mystery…it is Grace in Action…what is left cannot be understood at all! It is Self-Celebrating and it doesn’t need to be understood.
…but, paradoxically, there is also no need for any transmission, no need for any collapse, no need for a ‘moment’ – for THIS cannot go anywhere or be lost – it is already whole and unfractured – it is already complete and not lacking a single thing – it has never been lost, and always IS whatever IS.
(How can you lose ‘whatever is’?)
Q. We are all connected, like buds on a rosebush are all connected. And when a rosebud blooms, we do not state “there is no rosebud, there is no bloom.” And yet, you seem intent on denying the flowering of your own local focal point of consciousness. You are an individual viewpoint for the Cosmic Consciousness (aka Brahma). Like a rosebud, you have bloomed.
I understand that awakening is unlike an academic or professional accomplishment. It’s not something that you have printed out on a sheepskin and get framed and hang on your wall. It’s not something to brag about. Its not something to check off on your spiritual “bucket list.” But to deny that the mind/body combination known as Tom Das has had his awakening to oneness makes as much sense as denying that a rosebud has opened and is in full bloom. Those Satsangs that you share with the world as part of your Sadhana are you sharing the fragrance of truth. What purpose does denying your awakening have?
Tom: I know it may appear that Tom Das has awakened, etc, but actually Tom Das is just an appearance, nothing. There is no-one here that knows anything, although it may appear that way within the waking dream. The ‘me’ identifies itself & believes itself to be a body-mind entity and projects that identity onto others, and so believes that Tom Das or whoever has ‘woken up’. But this is all part of the apparent dream. I agree there is no point denying the appearance (I do appear to be Tom Das), but it is empty and non-significant with respect to liberation/non-duality. The scriptures have tried to explain this in many ways, I will try to find you a few quotes…Namaste
Here are the quotes I later put together: Ramana Maharshi Quotes: Nobody here/ the jnani is not a person