Being Alone

He who is always alone,
he is worthy of God
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~ Meister Eckhart

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The meaning of the word ‘alone’ in the Oxford Dictionary is stated as such: “having no one else present”. This sounds like a perfect definition of the Advaitic understanding, and an essential feature of the nature of consciousness, of our deepest sense of being. God is alone because he is all encompassing, and doesn’t have another reality by its side. He is alone in the sense that he is all one. This wisdom is fully apparent in the English word ‘alone’ which comes from Middle English ‘all one’. In the French word ‘seul’ though, this is very different. ‘Seul’ comes from Latin ‘solus’, as in ‘solitude’ or ’isolated’. The emphasis is on being one amidst others, not in being all one. So the sense of being alone can bring in both the feelings of loneliness, isolation, separation, insecurity, protection, but also the sense of being one, whole, self-sufficient, contained in oneself, and ultimately at peace. 

So which aloneness are we feeling to be? The one that will express our sense of lack, or incompleteness, or that other one which is the expression of our fullness, of our happiness?

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Continue reading these few thoughts on being alone… (READ MORE…)

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A Vehicle for God

‘Thanjavur Ganesha’ – Unknown author, 1820 – Wikimedia

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Regarding all things spiritual, I have always trusted the vision of India’s perennial understanding. And there is one thought that bothered me recently, which is simply: why do Hindu gods need a vehicle, a mount? Why do they all have an animal by their side, or to ride on? For god is God. All powerful and reaching far and wide. Self-sufficient and contained in Itself. So why would Shiva need a bull as his vehicle, why would Saraswati have a swan by her side, or Kartikeya a peacock, Lakshmi an owl, Indra an elephant, or Durga a tiger? Why such partnership? And for what purpose?

So I pushed further my enquiry. I discovered that these vehicles, these animals, symbolise some of the qualities inherent to the god they are attached to. For example, the swan represents the beauty, wisdom and grace in Saraswati. Or the peacock the splendour and majesty contained in the Hindu god of war. Many qualities like strength, swiftness, sharpness, fierceness, speed, effortlessness, and so many others, are attributes of god which are reflected in, or represented by, their own vehicles. So I looked at myself, as I am too, deep down, this radiating presence of consciousness, of god’s being. Could it be that, in the same way the dreamer becomes conscious of a dreamt world through the agency of a subject of experience in the dream, consciousness is experiencing a world through its being refracted by a mind? So the mind is the vehicle that consciousness needs to experience a world. Doesn’t that make me, in some way, the vehicle of the Self? And do I radiate the qualities of this presence as should a vehicle of god?

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A playful text asking why god needs a vehicle… (READ MORE…)

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Love Remains

‘Harlequin’ (part) – by Paul Cezanne, 1890 – WikiArt

O my self, why do you stand in the way? For the living of these many experiences, you are not necessary. The pure consciousness that is present in all of us here and now is perfectly equipped. So don’t worry and please move away. This pure being has held effortlessly the millions of billions of beings and experiences generated so far, and has allowed for ever more choices and decisions to be made, so it need not being chaperoned by you. I thank you for your good will, but your work has been too laborious. Come again if you really want to, but your presence here is not welcome anymore. 

Haven’t you noticed, by now, how your participation has been an unnecessary feature in the unfolding of experience, in the many activities of our human company? Haven’t you seen how all your unnecessary thoughts and feelings have been a perturbing element among the team work that is generated here? And has cost us dear in our expenses and plannings? We understand that you want to participate, that all this is important to you, is dear to your heart, and we have accommodated you so far the best we could. But now we gently ask you to revise your presence here. […]

A humorous divagation where the self is being confronted… (READ MORE…)

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One Rock-like Reality

‘Mont Sainte Victoire’ – Paul Cezanne, 1902-1906 – WikiArt

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If we think we are just a little body in a world, that very thought will put us in a position of extreme fragility. No wonder we are depressed, insecure, frightful, for ever claiming, hoping, dreaming, desiring, expecting. No wonder we feel we have to do something to sustain ourself, to make us viable, to give us consistency. I mean, what a depressing view to see ourself lodged in a little corner of a vast world. What poor little thing that makes us. And we go along with it. We bump our heads against that made up reality of ours, that was passed on to us like a poisoned gift. Have we only looked at it thoroughly? I mean outside any believed cultural or spiritual constraints. Have we only looked at it seriously, intently, to actually find the truth of it? There must be a truth hiding here. Maybe it is even in full view. That we only have to look wholeheartedly at what we are. If we look at anything with that kind of intensity, the false is bound to crack up, recede, and break down into a puny heap of sand. For truth is standing like a rock. It won’t budge whatever we do. It cannot be harmed. But the untruth is fragile, precarious, forever modifying itself. What a poor thing to rely on. So for once I looked. For once I didn’t let my eyes drift nonchalantly in another thought invented direction. For once I let my eyes stare at the matter as if it was a question of life and death. And suddenly it jumped onto my face. I mean this reality. This immensity that is staring me in the face. And that I pretended was so hidden that it needed, to be uncovered, a task Herculean, an appetite gargantuan, and a time in infinite amount. No. God, oh no! It is waiting for a sign from you like an enamoured lover is. She is waiting for your letting go, your total abandon. Your resisting will put her off. Your postponing will make him turn his back on you. But the back is of your own making. It is made out of all that is acquired and fleeting in you, of all that is believed and resisting, all that doesn’t wish to open itself, that is shy and hesitant, untrustful, and therefore untrustworthy of your own majestic self and presence. So don’t pursue it through time or space. Don’t expect your understanding to dawn in some future day, some future place. That will prevent it. Why should you feel that this moment is not ripe, not quite the time for it to be revealed? That it should be postponed, waited for, prayed about. That it can’t be now. It can’t be here. I’m not ready, give me some more time. This now is not the now that I need. I’d rather drop it for now, and catch up with it at some future, more suitable occasion. Don’t do that. For you yourself are the very occasion that you need. You yourself are the very moment you need. You yourself are the only one thing there is, and ever will be. Don’t run away. Abandon yourself. You-are-now-here-it. And see how our own little frightened self has suddenly grown to infinite proportions. Rest in this Self. Don’t move. Any movement will make you separate from it. Will make you miss her rock-like vulnerability. So give up moving too. Be the very love you were seeking to acquire. For what is expected is already here. Made only of you. And now just see what happened. Becoming has receded into Being. Amen.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)

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Website:
Paul Cezanne (Wikipedia)

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The Navel of the World

How come if we feel to be a little body amongst billions of other bodies, how come if we are a little thing lost, moving in a vast world, that we feel to be so important, like the centre of the world. My thoughts may tell me that I am a small, separate being. But in reality I feel that I am bigger than that. I feel that my little person happens to be most of the time a very big one, that takes literally the whole space. And whose world has become the one and only reality there truly is. Why is that so? 

My thoughts tell me that I am a small, separate being, and yet my felt reality is different. So I want to repair that injustice, to make me bigger, more important than I am, and of course I only expand that part of myself which is only a thought. And this leads me to act in selfish, unkind, or distorted ways. But the intuition was correct. I am wide, everlasting, important, precious, because the self that I am is not just a bundle of thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

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A short reverie about where lies the true centre… (READ MORE…)

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A History of Veiling

Your life 
between so-called birth 
and death 
does not exist
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~ Robert Adams

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Why was I never told? To all appearances, there is no world out there. The world is empty. With no real substance. Well a substance is at work. One with the most beautiful, exquisite shine. That explains the beauty. But look for solidity around you and you won’t find it. Look for something that exists on its own accord and you will grasp nothing but thin ether. So don’t believe what the mind tells you. Or you will send a bigger reality at bay, in the hidden. 

Yet nothing ever passes unseen. Not a thing. A thought, a feeling, a sound, a vision. They’re all being witnessed, and known. They’ve all been soaked with light — their presence revealed. They have only been hidden from me, whatever ‘me’ is. A sound in the distance is left unnoticed for I was lost in thoughts, not present. I chose to be identified with only a small part of my total experience. I was busy, had an agenda with some words running in my head and oups!… There is that bird’s exquisite song that disappeared in the nimbus of my confused mind. 

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A short divagation on the question of veiling… (READ MORE…)

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The Waiting Room

‘The Dining Room in the Country’ – Pierre Bonnard, 1913 – WikiArt

There is a subtle waiting lingering inside us. Do you feel it? I do. Let’s have a look at it. It’s an expectation, a yearning, a feeling that says that the now, what is happening for me right now, is not quite enough. In whatever way I may look at it, that’s very clear. This is definitely not enough. Period. And off I go, keeping on living as if one day, maybe, if I’m lucky enough, if all the good stars align at last, that might descend upon me. I might get it, that feeling that I’m now complete. Cooked. Finished. Over with it. But that’s really just a fancy idea. Wishful thinking. In the meantime, did I ever look at it carefully? This subtle feeling, this buzz underlying each and every second of my existence, that something is missing? I concede that there are exceptions, fleeting moments when I suddenly find myself whole, silenced, at peace. But this is not satisfactory. So there is comfort in waiting, in not quite engaging. Staying put. Waiting on the platform of life for the next train of thought. The next occurrence. What is this waiting made of? Is it a real feeling? Or maybe just a ghost-feeling? What is here that I don’t see? Why am I waiting? […]

Continue exploring this subtle waiting lingering within… (READ MORE…)