The Body; Real Or Unreal?


It’s amazing how our views and perspectives change as we evolve through this life. If somebody asked me the question, “the body; real or unreal?” even 20 years ago, I’d have thought they’d been on the funny stuff. I remember when I was completely immersed in the darkness of ego, there was no question whatsoever that the body was real. After all, is it not who I am? Then as I found my spiritual pathway and I started leaning towards the Eastern school of thought, I adopted the view, “the body is unreal, an illusion.”

The only trouble with that is, that I was also leaning towards the view that the body is irrelevant, that it didn’t matter. Of course, this is not true, The body is essential to our experience in the physical because it is the only vehicle available to us. I have now gone full circle, and my statement to you today is, “yes, the body is real,” However, this doesn’t mean that I have regressed back to the darkness of complete unconsciousness. What it means is that my perspective has changed, therefore that statement is made in a different context.

The body is real in that it is made of the same stuff as my eternal reality. Infinite Consciousness has precipitated, or intensified itself billions of times over into tiny pockets of physical energy that we call human beings; and one of them is me! So, the body is real in that it is made of Infinite Consciousness that has temporarily veiled itself in ignorance. What is unreal is the form the body takes, although to the logical mind it is as real as falling off a log. Consciousness veiled in ignorance as an individual soul, perceives the bodily form, the finite mind and the world to be the reality.

To use an analogy, imagine a play being acted out in a theatre. Imagine all the colourful costumes and scenery, and all the lines uttered by the actors and their mannerisms as they act out each scenario. All of that only happens because they are all bringing the script to life. On its own, the script is inanimate; just words on pieces of paper, just still, doing nothing. But, it is the underlying reality of what is going on during the time the play is being acted out.

We are all acting out the script of Infinite Consciousness, the world is our theatre and the body our costume. Consciousness in its normal state just exists as it is, in eternal bliss. But when it veils itself in ignorance on this dreamland stage that we call the world, it dances out its story; it gets to know itself in its own experience as opposed to the eternal emptiness that just contains possibilities; albeit, an infinite amount.

So, to sum up. Yes, the body is real, but not the form. Rather, the underlying reality, which is Consciousness. Consciousness, as the body and the world vibrates at varying degrees of frequency. What we see as the body and the world is simply the image created by our minds as the interpretation of that frequency. Therefore, the one and only reality is Consciousness itself.

Original Knowledge


I came across these words by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. He is someone that I don’t really know anything about, however, these words really resonate with where I am today, so I thought I would share them. Hope you find them inspiring.

“There are many spiritual seekers whose aim is to acquire sufficient merit to reach a certain place, such as Heaven or Vaikuntha. I have had no aims except to find out. I was not aware of my awareness, and suddenly I became conscious that I Am. Where and how did this consciousness arise in me? That was my enquiry, going back to that state when the presence of phenomena was not there. That is, original knowledge of the original Self”.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Who Is It That Suffers?


I have mentioned in previous posts that I have chosen not to comment on the current situation regarding the pandemic, which has affected so many people around the world. I’ve always felt that there are enough armchair experts out there, without me chipping in as well.

But, with the amount of suffering that is going on, I feel inspired to write this post, not necessarily just about the current world-wide situation, but about suffering in general.

Like many, I have learned that going through difficult experiences has a habit of forcing us to look within ourselves for strength and inspiration, as opposed to looking to the external world; which quite often is the source of our troubles. It is also true to say that as a species, we evolve via our experiences, and being as our true nature is consciousness, this is only natural as consciousness is in a constant state of flux and evolution. I personally, feel very positive about what is happening in the world; I feel that the end product will be something quite amazing. Let us not forget that we have this wonderful thing called relativity and that the world moves in cycles. After every fall there is a rise and every painful experience ultimately leads to a pleasurable one, and vice versa.

Once again, I’m going to refer to the teachings of Ramana Maharshi to demonstrate the whole point of this article, as I feel his simple philosophy holds the key to whether we as humans live a life of peace or pain. The Maharshi would always address questions from devotees and visitors to his ashram in accordance with their ability to understand, so from this respect, it would be impossible to say that the following is the exact answer that would have been given to everyone who asked the question. But quite often, if anyone asked him why they suffer so much or why there is so much suffering in the world, he would say, “who is it that suffers?”

He would tell them to ask the question, “who am I?” The only answer being, “the One eternal Self.” He would remind them of this; their true nature, and say something like, “if you are and always have been the Self, which exists as it is with no knowledge of suffering, who then is it that suffers?” The answer to that question is that it is only the ego that suffers because of our habit of falsely identifying with the body as the reality.

No one is saying that it’s an easy ride; far from it. But having the understanding that we are ultimately just “the witness” to what is happening and not a participant helps a great deal. Finally, I refer you to my previous blog post “Be Still.” I find that simply being still is a very effective way of getting through each day. There is most definitely something happening, but we need to look within ourselves to find out what that is. I find that it is only during moments of stillness that the Self reveals its secrets.

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


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!


Photo by Barcelos_fotos from Pexels

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.