Quote: the mind says you’ll be lost without the mind

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Dare to question, and more…

Here are some recent quotes from my Facebook page:

 


It should be obvious that something is not necessarily true just because it is written in a sacred text or spoken by some great authority/teacher.

History and experience shows us that even highly intelligent people capable of great logical thinking can often have bizarre irrational beliefs


There is never a feeling of doership. What is called the feeling/sense of doership is just a cluster of sensations that is interpreted by the mind/thought as indicative of doership.


The concept of non-doership roots out the concept of doership. Then both concepts are let go of and neither concept exclusively operates in the mind.


Most seekers I work with are consciously or unconsciously seeking a subtle object and think lasting fulfillment will come through that. ie. They are seeking enlightenment as an experience. Much of my teaching is simply dispelling that notion in such a way that the seeker clearly sees.


Another way of putting it is that the feeling of doership can continue but that doesn’t mean you are a doer.


Oneness is also a story…a nice story, but a story nonetheless


What is, is. Accept it and move on. This doesn’t mean that you just passively accept things such as injustice…

Do you get what I’m saying?

There is no doer here, there never was one 😮


I don’t buy the whole ‘there is no time’ thing. When you look at it, time is just a way of describing movement.


The key is to see through the separate doer.

(Can you find a separate doer-entity? Where is this autonomous entity that supposedly authors thoughts and actions?)

When that is seen, what more can be done?

This is the whole purpose of atma vichara (self-inquiry)


The whole world is your guru, each and every experience, constantly emanating pure-teaching-essence beyond words.

Just be open and listen


Yes, that’s one of the reasons a genuine living teacher can be so useful – to indicate the total normality of this. Ramana himself said this many times…
Q: How can I attain Self-realisation?
Ramana Maharshi: Realisation is nothing to be gained afresh; it is already there. All that is necessary is to get rid of the thought ‘I have not realised’.

Silence of the mind (relative silence) allows us to notice the Silence that is ever-present, the Silence that is beyond both noise and (relative) silence.

It is the Silence of our very being, the Silence of where we are looking from.


There seem to be a lot of people on Facebook saying silence is the best way and that silence is the highest form of teaching


Ramana’s lineage? Ramana had no lineage. Ramana never gave authority for other’s to teach in his name, not even his closest disciples. Many teachers have been deeply affected by his teachings, myself included, but this is quite different to saying you are in Ramana’s lineage.

Debate, critical thinking and constructive criticism are important parts of spirituality and are to be encouraged. Who’s with me on this?


To say there is no one here is like saying there are no waves on the ocean. There is no separate self, just as there are no separate waves, but I am here, just as (I assume) you are.


The concept of a wave is a fiction, but also points to something true: the phenomenon of a wave.


Q: It’s all about ONENESS
Tom: For me that’s another belief. It can be a useful teaching, until it’s not.

Freedom, beyond all concepts and all stories, embracing all concepts and all stories.


How can we know something has no limitations?


Being ‘okay with that’ is freedom

If you think you are definitely not the body or that the world is definitely an illusion, you have probably stumbled into the world of beliefs.


This much I know: it happened the way it happened. All else is speculation (not that there is anything wrong with speculation).

The desire to improve can be very healthy


We think we chose to read or hear the teachings and apply them. When we understand the teachings more fully, we realised that the teachings came to us, they were a gift to us, that they chose us, and they work their magic on us.


Most do not go far enough and remain caught up in words, beliefs, teachings and spiritual-sounding slogans


Inquiry is only needed to remove ignorance (belief in the doer). When ignorance is seen to be non-existent, where is the need of inquiry?

Know your limits. Be honest. Be humble. Do not cling to beliefs. Admit and know what you don’t know.


Perhaps freedom itself is not conditional, but the realisation of the unconditional freedom is conditional.


What in ignorance is taken to be the subject,
in Understanding is seen to be an object.

 


No need to surrender.
Just ‘what is’.



The mind, no doer and action

no-thinker

The key way the teaching works is upon the mind by removing the belief in the notion of doership. This belief is the key source of suffering, and when this belief is seen through then the suffering which is dependent on it dissolves away.

Often there is a process by which the habitual tendencies that cause suffering gradually fall away over time as the understanding of ‘no-doer’ infiltrates and has its effect on the mind’s conditioning.

Note that the notion of a doer is a false belief – there is no evidence for a doer being present, just as there is no evidence for a volcano god that erupts volcanos or a sea god that ravages the seas. The lack of belief in a doer does not mean there is no action, just as lack of belief in the above mentioned gods does not render the volcano or seas impotent.

Action and movement continues as they have always done. They happen seemingly by themselves, spontaneously you could say. Live goes on, and it feels much the same, the whole range of feelings and emotions continue, just without the suffering.

 

The subject (the Witness/ Awareness/ Pure Consciousness) is an inference

All we know are objects. The existence of a subject (eg. the witness or consciousness/awareness) is an inference, a belief.

Some versed in advaita-speak then counter by asking ‘Who/what is it that knows this?’. The problem is that the very question ‘who knows’ is based on the belief that there must be a subject, a knower.

It’s similar to an argument for the existence of God in which people say look at all this marvelous creation, who is the creator? Of course, the assumption is there must be a creator, a subject who creates, and this is a false assumption (ie. it is based on false logic).

Inference does not always work as a way of understanding and knowing things, as it is only as good as the logic that underpins it. We could go on with other examples of this faulty logic in which the notions of a subject is unnecessarily believed in: Who blows the wind? Who quakes the earth? Who grows the trees?

Now strictly speaking, we are not saying there is no subject, just as we are not saying there is no God. We are just saying there is no evidence for either of these, and therefore no need to believe one way or the other in a subject.

What we are left with is ‘what is’ or ‘life’ or ‘experience’. It all just happens. It’s already happening. Everything is a part of IT.

So simple, direct, and already fully known (seen), but in essence it is mysterious and uncapturable by words.

There is a great freedom in seeing this.

Buddha: How to approach the teachings

buddha

Going back to the Pali suttas, the Buddha also repeatedly warned against being attached to any particular teaching or teaching tradition:

‘Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of texts, by logic, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think, ‘This ascetic is our teacher.’
AN 3.65 Kesaputti [Kālāma] Sutta

This really is quite a stark warning, and we could see this as a very ‘modern’ and scientific way of approaching this search for freedom from suffering.

The above text is an except taken from a larger article: Buddhism: How enlightenment happens

 

Krishnamurti: Redefining religion, finding God

krishnamurti

The following is an excerpt from a talk of Jiddu Krishnamurti that took place in Hamburg, Germany on 5th September 1956

“Religion is not to be found in a set of dogmas, beliefs, rituals; I think it is something much greater and far beyond all that. Therefore it is imperative to understand why the mind clings to any particular religion or belief, to any particular dogma. It is only when we understand and free the mind from these beliefs, dogmas, and fears, that there is a possibility of finding out if there is a reality, if there is God. But merely to believe, to follow, seems to me an utter folly…
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Spirituality is not physics

church door

Spirituality is not physics. Lots of people who are interested and immersed in spirituality get confused about this. Just because something feels/ is perceived/ is intuited a certain way, does not mean that it is actually like that. It’s obvious really. Spirituality deals with subjective experience. Science deals with learning how to predict what will occur in various different situations. Some examples:

eg. I have a feeling/perception that all is one and everything is interconnected. Therefore everything in the universe is actually one and interconnected.

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Spirituality and science have common aims

music violin

It just so happens that in the so-called ‘West’ there has been a rapid development of science in the last few centuries. If we want to understand how things work, if we want to develop technologies and medicine, we turn to ‘Western’ science.

Also, it just so happens that when it comes to introspection and exploration of subjective inner states of consciousness, the so-called ‘East’ has had the historical monopoly. There have been a few thousand years of rigorous exploration of consciousness through meditative, contemplative, tantric and various other practices. This has allowed humans to discover and access mental states in which truths about our minds and subjective experience can be discovered and experienced first-hand without the need for belief. Continue reading

Non-duality has nothing to do with non-duality

face illusion
There is no person here

There is no non-duality in non-duality. What do I mean by that? Non-duality is non-conceptual. This means there is also no sense of non-duality in it. If you think this is all about oneness, then that’s not non-duality. That’s a concept of oneness. Same with non-duality. If you think this is all about non-duality or ‘x’ ‘y’ or ‘z’ other concepts, then that’s also wrong. There are no concepts in non-duality, yet all concepts operate within it. Continue reading