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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Who are you? Re-blogged from Graham Ellis's blog at

August 18, 2014
HOMEward Bound

Here’s the dude Joe Kenny – currently chilling in a wooden beach house in Japan with a bottle of fine wine – with HOMEward Bound. As always, enjoy . . .

    Dear Reader,

    So, we have Rene Descartes to thank for the notion – apparently accepted wholesale among the population of planet earth – that an I must exist to be the thinker of thoughts. “I think, therefore I am.” Tosh!

    Clearly, old Rene decided where he wanted to end up – defending and maintaining his ego-centric view of the world – and then described at great length how he arrived there. Little did he know, his famous adage does not resonate with the actuality of the “awakened” state.

    One who considers herself to be an individual is reinforced in that belief by adopting the assumption that nothing but the individual could possibly be the thinker of thoughts. According to this reasoning, it must follow that the individual is doing the thinking; generating thoughts and making observations and decisions mentally. The one who makes this assumption and accepts this conclusion as valid  is what I call the assumed individual.

    So, dear non-seekers,  your most fundamental notions of who you are condemn you to the basic error of identifying yourself with the assumed individual. Based on this apparently reasonable but fatally flawed conclusion about yourself, your every perception and experience is personalized as “your” thoughts; your perception; your experience; your fame and fortune; your this and your that.

    As such, the individual is the epicentre of her own cosmos and the mistaken identification with the assumed individual deepens constantly and ever distracts you from suspecting the reality of what you are. Accustomed to this world view, it appears to be madness to question its validity. After all, you might say, is it not self-evident?

    To which one might answer: yes, it certainly seems to be so. Doesn’t everyone accept this? Surely, it is a given in every human’s life?

    Well, not quite everyone. Those who have apperceived the holographic nature of the assumed individual, those who have come to rest in their identification with the Absolute, know the ego-centric view of the world to be false. These abide in their non-individuality and know themselves to be none other than ALL THAT IS. In other words, those who have found themselves at HOME know with extreme clarity that the assumed individual is a fiction.

    Many know from experience that it can be frustrating to reach a mental understanding of the falsity of the assumed individual, only to find that the fictional individual can never awake because what it really is has never been asleep. So, what’s all this talk about awakening? This is merely word play. Words intended to point to the reality – let us not speak of “truth” – can be misinterpreted when taken more literally than was intended. Therefore, be like a child attending a pantomime; suspend your disbelief and just go along with the notion for a while. Your worries and your life will be waiting for you when you return.

    Yes, of course there is – or seems to be – a human living in the world. We may say that person is real enough, relatively speaking, as we know too well its suffering the pains and enjoyments of life as we know it. However, it is the one that you think you are that is no more real than a pool of water in a mirage. No amount of thinking will enable you to see this and no amount of effort will enable the assumed individual to see that it is not in actuality the water in the mirage that it has always believed itself to be.

    Some non-seekers – such as once I supposed myself to be – feel helpless and cheated to be led to the threshold of the pathless path only to find that there is nothing they can do to travel the path to the destination on the far side of the gateless gate: HOME. They are told repeatedly that any striving, any action and any practices would merely reinforce the falisty of the assumed individual which would be futile, at best, if not counter-productive. In short, there is now way to get themselves HOME.

    But is this necessarily the case? It most emphatically is not the case! Take heart.

    You may have read on this blog and in the potent mini-books of Graham Ellis, that there is something that anyone can do to reveal that the assumed individual is not who and what they really are. That is: to deepen one’s awareness of being to the point where one’s apparent point of perception slips back, as it were, to a state in which there is a silent knowing of beingness and of what it is in reality.

    There is a seeing that the assumed individual is observed and hence one cannot be that. Thoughts are merely observed and hence one can neither be the thoughts nor the mind. It is only when the habit of claiming thoughts as “your” thoughts is discarded that one opens to experiencing that one is not the thinker; one is not in reality the originator of thoughts. Thoughts merely arise.

    The apperception of the Reality seems to be facilitated by stepping back through this shift of awareness from involvement in everything that is happening inside yourself to a state of  beingness which is devoid of personality. At some point, the awareness seems to step behind the mind (agh, words!) and in an instant there is only knowing.

    As this state is not experienced by or with the mind, it cannot be reached by thoughts and cannot be comprehended in relative terms. Equally, as this state exposes the assumed individual as merely the water in the mirage, this knowing cannot be known by the assumed individual in its ego-centric centre of perception. For this reason, you are told in various texts that the you that you think you are can never be “enlightened”. The dreamer cannot be awake whilst lost in a dream, so to speak.

    The old cliche may serve our understanding once more: when the light appears the darkness is dispelled. Darkness is merely the absence of light just as the assumed individual is merely the absence of the certain knowing that one is not the fictitious person one had always assumed oneself to be. There is no water on the road ahead; it is merely the appearance of water where there is none. The illusion of the mirage stands exposed for what it is; the notion that one was the assumed individual fractures and falls away.

    If, metaphorically speaking, what you are in reality is like a lamp that shines with extraordinary clarity and brightness, then one’s accustomed – ego-centric – perspective of perception is misled by the darkness prevailing as a result of the concealment of the lamp by an impenetrable covering.

    The lamp, as it were, is not something to attain. It is what you have always been in reality. Metaphorically speaking, all that needs to happen is for the impenetrable covering of the lamp to be chipped away until it becomes more transparent and fractures. Openness to the concept that one is not the thinker and therefore not the assumed individual seems to set in motion a mechanism that brings about the catastrophic failure of the lamp covering. This is not “your” doing, though “you” may facilitate the process by switching your awareness in the manner described above (and elsewhere on this website).

    Thoughts arise and you may allow them to pass by without taking delivery of them. The more often you do this, the easier it seems to get. Knowing this, switch your awareness away from the thoughts to your fundamental beingness and abide in the space between thoughts. It is not easy at first as it is an exercise to which you are not accustomed. Persevere until you get the hang of it and don’t beat yourself up if you are distracted time and time again. At some point, you may find that it is obvious that you are not the assumed individual; thus begins the process of dis-identification.

    Experiencing dis-identification with the assumed individual may be an unsettling process. Suddenly, the familiar context of being who you think you are is displaced – as if you have stepped into a vacuum. You might feel like an astronaut cut loose from the space ship whilst on a space walk; tumbling through space. Your habitual frame of reference disappears and in the word-free silence that ensues your awareness may come to rest on breaths not thoughts; not memories; not hopes or fears. None of that head noise!

    Do not be troubled; when this happens you are HOMEward bound. Settle into the peace and enjoy the ride. Bon voyage!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Hands off the tiller

Over the past two years or so this blog has completely changed.  It's because my whole way of life has changed.  I am letting my life steer itself.

This started  when I began to realise that the notion of free will that almost everyone believes they have is a mistake.  Give that idea up and your life will run more smoothly.  Plus, you won't be regretting choices or wondering what to choose, or debating with yourself over the correct course of action.  Just do what appears to be appropriate to do, it may seem like I am making choices but I am not worried about whether they are good choices or not, which I certainly often used to do.

The Nature of Reality II

1. It's hard to imagine what the world would look like if we weren't there to experience it, simply because the act of imagining it involves our presence.  Would there necessarily be any world if we were not there to experience it?  It would be simply a matter of assertion, about which there could be no direct evidence.
2. Since we cannot demonstrate the existence  of the world when we are not experiencing it, we have to doubt it.
3. We cannot even demonstrate the existence of the world when we are apparently experiencing it.  I have already said in the previous post that we perceive only images.  Even if we were to concede the existence of eyes and a brain, what we are perceiving must be created by us somehow, there's no way of establishing that those images represent some reality external to us.

There is a big mental problem here.  For someone like me who has been interested in the scientific view of the universe for a lifetime, it's a very big change to start questioning the very existence of that universe.  It's an exciting feeling but how can I actually start to believe in what logical enquiry is telling me? For eight decades I have been believing stuff that now, upon careful enquiry, starts to look like mere assumptions, mental constructions - for there can be no doubt that that is what our "knowledge" of the universe amounts to.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Philosophical thoughts about the nature of reality

For a while I am going to use this blog to clarify my philosophy regarding the nature of the world by writing it down as clearly as possible.

1.      Contact with objects in the world is through our senses.  I only know the perceptions of those objects coming to me through my senses, I do not know the objects directly, since I have no direct contact with them.
2.      I seem to have direct contact with my senses, though.  You might even say I am my perceptions. They are at least a part of me, if not all of me.  I don’t really  have a perception, since without someone to perceive it there can be no perception.
3.      For a perception to exist, there must be something perceived, real or imaginary.  Now I come to think about this, there does not seem to be any way to tell the difference between a real object of perception and an imaginary one.  That at least suggests that all percepts could be imaginary and we would never know it.
4.      So a perception needs a perceiver and something to be perceived, otherwise there is no perception.
5.      Without any perceptions, I am just potentially aware.  I can hardly say I am aware if there is nothing to be aware of.
6.      But perhaps I can be deep asleep, not dreaming.  Am I aware then?  I don’t know.  My senses are ready to work, I can be woken by a sound or a touch, or even a smell. So there must be some awareness, even though there isn’t anything to be aware of.
7.      Since perceiver-perception-perceived cannot be dismembered without disappearing, all I know about the world is a part of me by virtue of its being perceived by me.
8.      But the world does not feel to be a part of me.  For over eighty years I have been  used to regarding it as separate from me, and arguing that it isn’t, as I have just been doing, isn’t enough to convince me.  I am a creature of habit.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Radical teaching

I ask you only to stop imagining that you were born, have parents, are a body, will die and so on. Just try, make a beginning — it is not as hard as you think.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

McKenna, Jed (2010-02-28). Spiritual Warfare (The Enlightenment Trilogy) (p. 119). Wisefool Press.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our little fish pond

Rose likes to keep fish and breed them.  One female Swordtail has recently given birth to more than 80 babies. I am amazed at the number she manages to keep in her body, she is about two inches long and the babies are about 1/6 inch long.  How are the babies fed in her womb, I wonder?

The fish normally live in our pond which is a little less than two metres square, but when a female looks pregnant and might be about to deliver, She is put in a tank, then when she has finished delivering her fry, she is returned to the pond and not kept with the fry because parents sometimes like to eat their children.  The fry will be transferred to the pond when they are big enough not to be eaten - perhaps 3/4 inch long.

Th pond itself is one foot deep at one side, sloping to two feet at the other.  There are three water lily plants (they multiply) and a large quantity of Acharis, a fast-growing plant that can choke up the whole pond and has to be severely pruned from time to time to give the fish room to swim and us the possibility of observing them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I have re-blogged this from Goran Backlund's excellent blog

Free Will: How Would It Actually Work?

Free WillThe notion of free will simply doesn’t make sense. Having realized the fictitious nature of objective reality, the question is a non-starter—there’s simply no entity to possess it—but even if, for the sake of discussion, we grant the existence of a material universe, there’s still no way in which “free will” could ever be an intelligible notion. That is, if we ask ourselves what we actually mean by the word “free,” we can’t seem to come up with an answer.
Commonly, the notion of “free will” means something like: To be able to have chosen otherwise. In other words, “I did this, but I could have done that instead.”
But what does it mean that ‘I could have done differently?’
Let’s say that I chose vanilla ice cream. But I firmly believe that I could have chosen chocolate instead. I believe that the choice to take the vanilla flavour came from myself, that the choice was mine. Sure, I may have been influenced by external forces, but I alone ultimately decided whether I wanted vanilla or chocolate ice cream today. Right?
But if the choice to take the vanilla was caused by me, what then caused me to cause that choice? There has to have been a prior cause; some force making me decide what to eat—whether internal or external—otherwise that choice to take the vanilla ice cream is simply indistinguishable from a random one. In other words, unless I decide to decide, or something decides for me, the choice is simply random.
So, do I decide to decide? Of course not. Then we would have to admit another decision, one that decided that we were going to decide to decide, and so on ad infinitum.
The only possibilities left are either that choices are random, or they’re caused—their causes themselves being caused, and so on, “all the way back,” so to speak—but neither of these alternatives fit what we mean by the word “free.” So, what do we mean?
Well, there’s the problem. When we truly  try to comprehend the concept of “free will,” we realize that we don’t even know what we mean.  The notion is literally inconceivable.
Either choices depend on something, in which case they’re not “free,” or they don’t, in which case they’re indistinguishable from random ones. There’s no third alternative here.
Even if we grant the existence of some kind of “soul” that exists outside of the chain of causation, yet with the ability to inject decisions into it, we would still be unable to come up with an idea of how ‘free will’ would actually work. If we as the source of a decision exist outside of the chain of causation, how’s that decision any different from a merely random one? And do we really mean to say that our souls are uncaused? We usually think that some force put us here; but if anything, whatever is responsible for putting us here would then also be the ultimate cause for any decisions that we come up with.
Does all of this mean that there’s no possibility of choice? That there aren’t a multitude of possible outcomes? That everything is “on rails,” so to speak? Yes it does.
The idea that anything could be different than it is, is simply delusion. The idea that there were multiple possible outcomes to an event is nothing but a way of thinking. We call events “random” when we couldn’t predict what was going to happen, mentally creating a plethora of “possible outcomes” – but all of that is just in thought. It’s just a way of thinking. None of that exists in reality.
The way things are, is simply the only way they could be.
When you realize this—that nothing could be different than it is—the habit of incessantly worrying about past and future decisions can finally come to an end. Thoughts surrounding the notions of selection and choice need not to occupy our consciousness anymore; instead, their absence signifies a newfound freedom: anything but constant perfection is starting to become unthinkable. In the absence of these thoughts surrounding the notion of “free will,” we can at last rest assured that everything is always unfolding exactly as it should.
by Göran Backlund

I strongly recommend Goran's book "Refuting the External World" , the clearest exposition of what reality is that I have yet read.


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