Pure Wisdom


I’m about half-way through the book, Stillness Speaks, by Eckhart Tolle and I came across this truly beautiful piece of wisdom that I felt I just had to share with you. I hope it inspires you in the same way that it inspired me:

“Just as water can be solid, liquid or gaseous, consciousness can be seen to be “frozen” as physical matter, “liquid” as mind and thought, or formless as pure consciousness.”

“Pure consciousness is Life before it comes into manifestation, and that Life looks at the world of form through “your” eyes because consciousness is who you are.”

Eckhart Tolle

Just as a matter of interest, and following on from my previous post, Everything Serves A Purpose, I thought it would amuse you to know that it’s happened again. After me explaining that my out-of-body experiences had dried up, and sharing with you what happened the last time I made a similar statement, during the early hours of 16/11/20 I had… yes, you guessed correctly… an out-of-body experience…

You couldn’t make it up!

Everything Serves A Purpose

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For the benefit of those who have not been following my blog for very long, I will just recap on something that I once wrote about on a fairly regular basis, before I get to the point of this particular post.

There was a time when I seemed to have a lot of out-of-body experiences. I estimated, that over the years; starting in approximately 1999, I had somewhere in between 200 to 300 astral adventures. Some were spectacular and some were not worth writing about. A couple of years back I wrote about how they had become very few and far between, but no sooner had I made that statement, they started again with a flurry. In 2020 I have had only five; the last being back in May. They now seem to have dried up completely. Every now and then I asked myself the question, “why, what’s the point?” I came to the conclusion that it was so I would be able to share my experiences (where appropriate), and reassure people that, “this isn’t all there is.”

OK, so that was a condensed version of my astral travelling experiences…

It occured to me very recently, that my initial assumption, although true, was not the complete picture. I have now realised that my experiences, some of which, that as time went by became quite tedious, brought me confirmation of a very profound truth and that it has taken me all this time to realise it. What I mean is this: I had the sensation of leaving my body; I also had the sensation of returning to my body. Then there was the bit in between where I had the actual astral experience, whatever form that took. But, the important thing here is that I was conscious of all aspects of the experience. Meaning, that my body is most certainly not who I am. When I was out of my body, consciousness was very much “alive” and alert. So, my body is not essential to my being, but consciousness is who and what I am. Indeed, my body is completely inanimate unless consciousness is present.

It is all very, very simple and I can’t believe that it took so long for the penny to drop. If it’s the case for me, then it must be so for everybody else. Of course, if you want to be pedantic about it and split hairs, you could argue that I know it is my truth because I had the direct experience, and possibly it would be different for others. You could add that individuals will only come to the same conclusion as me if they have the same experience. But, all said and done, I think it’s a pretty good indicator that we are consciousness and not the body.

The Joy Of Being


I am currently reading the book, A New Earth – awakening to your life’s purpose, by the wonderful Eckhart Tolle. This is the third time I will have read it; it is just a truly amazing book. The following passage really resonated with me, so I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy it.

“The joy of Being, which is the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person or event – through anything that happens. That joy cannot come to you – ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and thus is one with who you are.”

Eckhart Tolle

Hey You! Yes You; Nameless One!


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Nameless one indeed, for is it not true that labels and names only serve to impose limitations?  In our day to day lives, of course names are important for practical purposes, but the reality is that who I am has no name; and the same applies to the nameless one reading this post.  My parents may have decided to call my body “Richard” when I was born, but that is not who I am.  I am that which is unlimited experience; and so are you.  All of us nameless ones here in the world acting out our drama in the play of life can be categorised in one of three ways (see, there I go imposing limitations again).

There are those who are completely oblivious to their true nature and who who are firmly immersed in all the pain and suffering that the play of life can bring.  Then there are those who are “spiritual seekers” or “truth seekers” (see, names again!), who have become aware of their spirituality and are seeking to know more.  However, truth will continue to evade you as long as you continue to seek it.  The very seeking of it ensures that you cannot find it.  Why?  Because you are looking for a “thing” and truth as a “thing” doesn’t exist.

The third category (those bloody names!!!) are those who understand that truth simply exists as it is and will reveal itself to you when the conditions are right.  When we allow ourselves to just be in the flow with that unlimited wilderness of abundance, or consciousness if you like, it will pander to our every need.

Maybe…


There was once a simple farmer who kept a horse in his field.  One day the horse got loose and ran away.  A neighbour heard this news, and on crossing paths with the farmer said, “such bad news about your horse.”  “Maybe”, said the farmer.  A few days passed and the horse returned, bringing with it two more wild horses.  Again the neighbour heard this news and on meeting the farmer in town said, “fantastic news about the horses.”  “Maybe”, said the farmer.

One day a few weeks later, the farmer’s son was breaking in one of the new horses and it threw him, fracturing his leg in the process.  The neighbour came to visit and on hearing what had happened said, “such bad luck with your son’s broken leg.”  “Maybe”, said the farmer.  Soon after this incident some officials from the military came calling.  They were drafting young men into the army to go and fight in a war.  On seeing the son’s condition they didn’t bother with him and went away.  Again the neighbour heard and on seeing the farmer exclaimed, “such great luck that your son does not have to go to war.”  “Maybe”, said the farmer.

This lovely little parable aptly illustrates several things that can be the cause of pain and suffering if we remain unaware of our true nature (consciousness).  The farmer was obviously accepting of “what is.”  He also understood that good and bad are simply personal judgements, and that the nature of the phenomenal world is cyclic.

He did not judge each situation as it occurred.  He simply accepted each scenario in the understanding that the natural flow of nature would soon carry it on its way.  Had he not accepted the seemingly unfortunate events exactly as they were, and instead formed a judgement that they were “bad”, the story playing out in his mind would have caused him to suffer.  Equally, had he allowed the seemingly good fortune of events to carry him off on the crest of a wave, the judgement made by the egoic mind when the fortunes were reversed would have also caused him to suffer.  In consciousness there is no relativity, no phenomena, nothing to judge.  Instead of becoming embroiled, the farmer remained “the witness” to the dramas playing out before him on the stage we call life.

 

 

The Other Side


My plan for my next book was to put 20 mainly Zen-based parables together as a sort of “pocket companion”.  I set about putting my document together and realised that I’d miscounted; I’d only written 19.  So, here is number 20!

A monk was taking the long journey home to visit his family and inadvertently took a wrong path.  He came to the point where he faced a wide river that was fast-flowing.  He looked up and down and could see no way across.  He puzzled over his predicament for several hours.  As he was about to give up and turn back, he saw an old mendicant passing by on the opposite bank.  He cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted across, “Sir, Sir, can you tell me how to get to the other side?”  The old man stopped and looked across.  He paused for a moment and then shouted back, “my child, you are already on the other side”.

How apt to end my project with another little reminder that we are already where we need to be.  The journey itself is the destination.  Consciousness is eternal and constantly evolving, so even when we make a plan, set a goal or take a journey, it is only one of an infinite number of experiences that we encounter in our own individual evolution.  The torrentially flowing river is the mind (ego) that puts imaginary obstacles in our way.  When the veil of delusion is removed there is the realisation that there is only the One timeless Self; there never was an ego, but the false belief that there was (“I am the body” identification) enabled us to take a journey within time and space that was ultimately the means by which we realised the truth of our being.

In the end we will all come to know that the path was actually pathless, that the road travelled was a road to nowhere, to the eternal bliss of nothingness that we all are.

Without Blinking An Eye


A long, long time ago in Japan, it was quite normal for marauding armies to ransack villages, with the villagers having to flee or be killed.  In one such village an old Zen master sat peacefully in his very humble abode as chaos reigned outside.  All of a sudden, a fearsome soldier kicked the master’s door open and stood menacingly in the doorway; the master was unmoved.  The soldier sneered and said, “what are you still doing here, are you not afraid?  All of the villagers are either dead or have fled, yet you remain here.”  The master replied, “what have I to fear, and besides, where would I go?”  The soldier became angry, and drawing his sword raged, “don’t you know that I am a man who can run you through without blinking an eye?”  The old master looked at him and said, “don’t YOU know that I am a man who can be run through without blinking an eye?”

With a body or without a body; it is all the same to one who has realised.  Live or die; the master knows there is no death and therefore remains unmoved.  There is also the paradox here between the polar opposites of “doing” and “being”.  The soldier wants to “do” (kill) the master, but that in itself is a fruitless task, as the most he can achieve is to be the cause of the master’s body evolving (effect) into a different form.  You cannot kill anything in reality as all is consciousness and is in a constant state of flux.  What would happen to the body?  If buried it would eventually decompose and merge with the earth.  If cremated, the cremation process would cause the flesh to evolve into heat energy and be absorbed back into the total energy mass.

The master remained in a state of pure knowing, enlightenment, awakening, bliss or whatever description you wish to use; all are just terms for “Being”.  The master remains blissful regardless of which action the soldier chooses to take.  He says, “besides, where would I go?”  Indeed, where would the master go?  There is only here and now; it is all we have.

 

The Flag


Two friends were watching on as a flag flapped around in the wind.  “It’s the flag that’s moving”, said one of them.  “No, it’s the wind that’s moving”, said the other.  They could not decide amongst themselves who was right, so they decided to consult a Zen master who lived in their region.  They went to the master and explained the story, saying, “please tell us, is it the flag or the wind that moves”?  “It is neither the wind nor the flag that moves”, said the master, “it is the mind.”

Ramana Maharshi refers to the mind (ego) as a “phantom” that rises up from the Self during waking state, and disappears back into the Self during deep, dreamless sleep.  It is also that which is completely obliterated on the attainment of Self-realisation.  In consciousness (Self) there is no form; just pure being.  All objectification is a product of mind, and all movement takes place in mind, which is a projection of the Self.  Consciousness is constantly in motion, therefore objects rise up and fall away again.  Like the millions of waves that take form and then become immersed once again in the oceans.  When you gaze upon the beauty of a landscape, all you are actually looking at is consciousness (energy) existing at various levels of vibration.  It is the mind that  interprets and objectifies these vibrations, and projects the form perceived as landscape, which is seen by the eyes.

 

The Mustard Seed


The disciples said to the master, “tell us what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.”  He said to them, “it is like a mustard seed; smaller than all seeds, but when it falls on the tilled earth, it produces a large tree and becomes shelter for all the birds of Heaven.

This parable demonstrates a great paradox.  The tiny mustard seed contains the mustard tree, which can grow up to about 25′ high.  The shell of the seed represents the line between the unmanifest (consciousness) and the manifest (the world or universe).  If the seed falls onto a concrete path it will simply die away, but in the correct (tilled) ground it will develop and grow into a magnificent tree.  This aptly describes the human journey.  We all start off as seeds in the womb, and as we go through all the stages of life we seek the relevant tilled earth (guru, mentor, teacher etc.) in order that we may grow.

The mother is the first nurturer of the seed; the first bigger tree in which we take shelter.  At this stage the seed disappears and dies and is reborn as a sprouting plant.  Then there are various stages, where as the plant steadily grows, teachers come and go.  These teachers can be in the form of school teachers, peers, partners, friends and even enemies.  Then in the same way that the seed must die in order to know itself as the tree, we ourselves have to die (eradicate the ego) in order to be reborn in all our glory (realise the Self)

At some stage the growing plant might decide that it wants to delve deeper and gain greater meaning to its existence, and it will seek shelter in the form of a guru; a Buddha tree, a Jesus tree, a Lao Tzu tree or a Krishna tree.  The master, in the form of whichever tree the seeker has chosen to take shelter in, will then nurture the growing plant until it becomes a magnificent tree in its own right.

At this point the newly emerged magnificent tree realises that all along it was itself the very Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu or Krishna tree in which it sought shelter, that all the time the tiny mustard seed and the magnificent, fully grown tree were One and the same.

This is the great paradox that is the parable of the mustard seed.

Left Or Right? Does It Matter?


Those of you who followed my story of personal evolution, will know that I come from a working-class background; and indeed, you may have deduced that I am proud of my roots and would not swap my life for anything.  My politics have always been very left; simply because I have always detested bigotry and prejudice of any kind.  In the UK (I can’t speak for any other country) we still have a ridiculous class-system that should have been confined to the rubbish bin centuries ago.  Indeed, the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” seems to be growing wider by the second.  Also, unless you have been living in your own bubble this last few weeks, you will be aware that the UK had a visit from a certain POTUS recently, that caused a stir, to say the least.

These days I try very hard to look at things from the bigger spiritual perspective, although I must admit, that if I see something on social media that appeals greatly to the old me, I can’t resist the odd retweet or repost here and there.  So, what is the bigger spiritual perspective when it comes to the murky world of politics?

Well, I’m sure it may mean different things to different people, but what it means to me is this.  Everything in this illusory world only exists in relationship to its relative opposite; in fact, if it ain’t got a relative opposite it don’t exist!  To take that a step further, you can only experience or express something in this world if it has a relative opposite.  Without grief there would be no joy, without the bitter there would be no sweet; the list is endless.  So, the implications are that when you express something, a political view for example, you are actually helping to endorse its polar opposite.  The left can only exist because of the right, and vice-versa.

We must also remember that old chestnut, “as without, so within”.  So, when the circus comes to town, as it recently did in the UK, what we are seeing, and in our case what the majority of people ridiculed, was only a reflection of what is going on within ourselves at some level of our being.  Making that statement doesn’t mean that I agree with the person in question’s views.  But, what I am saying is that right and wrong are only relative in relationship to each other, and are concepts constructed by the mind about a certain thing.  It is also worth bearing in mind that nothing can happen unless the collective consciousness of our species wills it so.

So, what’s the answer?  Once again, this is just my personal point of view.  First of all, scroll up and read my opening paragraph again.  Did it seem quite negative in parts?  My use of the word “detest”, for example?  Even though I only wrote that paragraph from the perspective of my actual experiences in my own country, there was a hint of aggression in there; and the left are supposed to be the good guys! (There I go again).  I honestly believe that the answer to this conundrum is in my good friend, Zen.  Zen is a state of Being; or pure Consciousness.

There is no relativity in Consciousness, and Consciousness is our true nature; therefore there is ultimately no left or right, no right and wrong etc. So, whoever you are and wherever you find yourself at any given time, simply act from the perspective of Consciousness, to the best of your ability, and be an example; a shining light, to others.  That is all any of us can do really.  Once we understand that the world and all its shenanigans are simply the crazy construction of our own minds, we can go about helping to reduce its craziness.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I want to finish by using an old Zen saying that I’ve used many times before.  “Be as a hollow bamboo”.  In other words, don’t “do”, don’t be left or right, right or wrong; just be as a hollow bamboo and allow the higher power to work through you.  Allow magic to work through you; indeed, allow yourself and the example you set to those around you to be magical.