The Gentle Manner

“Let the Awareness function.
Then the mind becomes quiet. 
Motives disappear; 
tranquility pervades the whole being. 
In that state alone does the perception of Truth come. 
And it comes naturally. 
It is there. 
It is revealed in a gentle manner.”

~ J. Krishnamurti 

 

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Quote by J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

Photo by Alain Joly

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Bibliography :
– ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Krishnamurti Publications of America, US)

Website:
J. Krishnamurti

 

The Cave

As the innermost Self of all, 
he dwells within the cavern of the heart
.”
~ Mundaka Upanishad, Hymn II.1.9

 

I had this thought landing in my mind some time ago, that “now I might as well retire, take refuge into the cave of awareness”. This made me think of the retiring into caves, as monks and anchorites do in some spiritual traditions. Retiring from the world, falling into solitude can be useful to withdraw from the entanglement with the ten thousand things of experience. It allows a space in which we can be watchful, and have the leisure to deepen our understanding. In the Hindu concept of Ashrama, which represents the four different stages of life, two are dedicated to some form of withdrawal from the the world: Vanaprastha, which in Sanskrit literally means ‘retiring to the forest’, and Sannyasa, which means ‘to put down everything’. The western word ‘anchorite’ has a Greek origin which means ‘to withdraw’, and ‘monk’ comes from ‘monachos’, which means ‘solitary’.

But what does this withdrawal from the world mean, in deep analysis? All the religious concepts of renunciation, solitude, poverty must point to something deeper than just a physical attitude. Because no matter how thick the walls of renunciation may be, a strong sense of being a ‘person caught in the entanglements of its own re-created world’ can and certainly does survive any physical retirement, be it in a forest, a monastery, or a desert. So this retiring has to be a metaphor. In reality, the true retiring resides inside, where we for a time take our stand as the witness, the presence behind all objective experience. The Indian word ‘sādhu’, which also refers to a person living a form of renunciation, has more ambivalence. Its rich meaning goes from ‘not entangled’ to ‘leading straight to a goal, hitting the mark, unerring’, to simply ‘peaceful, excellent, virtuous’. There is much more here than just withdrawing.

 

The Lord is the supreme Reality.
Rejoice in him through renunciation
.”
~ Isha Upanishad, Hymn 1

 

So the cave, metaphorically speaking, is awareness, the peaceful presence at the core of our experience. This place need not be a remote one, except in the first stages of our understanding, when we need to disentangle our true self from the parasites of a busy and confused mind, or indeed an equally busy and confused world. But, in a way that is truly paradoxical, when you reach the deep, unfathomable cave of consciousness, the inside suddenly turns out to be the outside. The true cave turns out to be no cave at all. It turns out to be the world, the entirety of our experience. As Rupert Spira says: “This empty ‘nothing’ turns out to be the fullness of everything.”

The walls of the cave are made out of our daily experience. The world is the cave and it is placed at an infinite distance. Be careful here, ’infinite’ doesn’t mean ‘far away’, it means ‘at no distance at all’. The world is ourselves. The cave of consciousness where we have retired is ourselves. Not the little self for whom retiring was a separate action with an aim at hand, but rather a new self englobing everything, the whole world. And this world is not a cave of separation, it is the totality playing with itself. And believe me, the infinite possibilities for celebration, the number of possible games to be enjoyed are here if we are only willing to play. Not entering any caves, but giving ourselves – literally – to the non conceivable, the non fathomable, and to the ten thousand things of experience.

 

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Joseph Wright (1734 – 1797)

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Painting: A Cavern, Evening. 1774 – Joseph Wright – [Public Domain] WikiArt

Websites:
Rupert Spira
Joseph Wright (Wikipedia)

 

The Deepest Acceptance

It is truth that liberates, 
not your effort to be free
.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

The question of ‘surrender’ is one that is often misunderstood. Surrender implies, in everyday language, something that the mind does, even remotely, in order to give itself to a reality that seems inescapable. It often comes down to a form of resignation, a giving up, something passive at its core, which brings more delusion and suffering. So what is true ‘surrender’, in a non-dual context? I have gathered here many quotes and pointers on this subject, from various spiritual teachers and poets of the eternal and the infinite. I hope that this will bring some clarity into that which Jeff Foster calls the deepest acceptance…

 

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People often think that surrender means to renounce wealth, sexuality, or objects. Such a renunciation might be useful but it could also be a hindrance. Real surrender takes place when we cease to take ourself for a separate entity, an object. This renunciation seems, at first sight, limited in scope and too simple, but it is, in fact, the ultimate surrender. Such a giving up has no purpose, it comes from the deep understanding that our true nature, consciousness, is free from all limitations. From this perspective, surrender means to see the limitations for what they are: mere concepts superimposed onto our real being, which is limitless.”
~ Francis Lucille (‘Eternity Now’)

~

You may discover that when there is no resistance to totally being in hell, that heaven opens up and samsara reveals its true nature as nirvana. But the catch is, if you are embracing hell as a strategy to get you to heaven, that doesn’t work. Only the complete absence of wanting what is to be different in any way pops the imaginary bubble of separation. No one can do this. It is like dying or falling asleep. It is the absence of any doing, the absence of control, the absence of effort, the absence of any concern about what happens. It is a letting go, a dissolving, a relaxing. This letting go begins with letting go even of the need to let go, for the need to fall asleep keeps us awake, just as the imperative to surrender is a form of holding on and seeking control. True surrender is the absence of resistance even to holding on if that is how life is showing up in this moment. Surrender is the absence of trying to surrender.”
~ Joan Tollifson

Continue the exploration on the question of ‘surrender’ (READ MORE…)

 

The Serene Background

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. It is necessary and terribly efficient to look into these matters for ourselves. This is why I like to share here the parts of a spiritual teaching that sounds like ‘something to do’, something to experiment and verify for ourselves:

Just try to feel or sense this same inherent, serene, peaceful background in all your daily agitated experiences, be it thoughts, bodily activities, or external circumstances like noise… In any circumstances, at any moment, see that you can ask yourself the question: “Is awareness present? Is my knowing of my own being, its knowing of itself, veiled in any way whatsoever by the current appearance of the mind, the body, or the world?…’

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Further exploring on the subject:

We always feel essentially the same whole, indivisible, consistently present person, only we mistake the essential nature of that person. Although innumerable thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions are added to us and subsequently removed from us during the course of our lives, the person or self that we essentially are remains always the same. That is, pure knowing, the essence of mind, ‘I’, always remains in the same pristine condition.”
~ Rupert Spira

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When the Sufis say ‘La ilaha illa la’ – ‘There is no God but God’ – they do not mean that their God, Allah, is the only true God as opposed to all the other religions’ Gods, as is commonly supposed. Rather, they mean that no mind, person, self, object or world ever actually comes into existence. No thing is a thing unto itself. No thing has its own being. The apparent existence of all objects and selves is borrowed from God’s infinite, self-aware being, infinite awareness, our very own intimate, impersonal self, from whose point of view there is nothing other than itself. That being shines in the mind as the knowledge ‘I am’ and in the world as the experience ‘it is’. The amness of the self is the isness of things.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

The personality is nothing other than a projection, a habit created by memory and nourished by desire. Ask yourself the question ‘Who am I?’ and lucidly observe that the questioner, thinker, doer, sufferer are all forms that appear and disappear within the consciousness of ‘I am,’ the ever-living background. They have no reality in themselves. What we call the person is due to a mistake. Thoughts, feelings and actions appear and disappear indefinitely, creating an illusion of continuity. The idea of being a person, an ego, is nothing other than an image held together by memory.”
~ Jean Klein

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The self must cease through awareness of its own limitation, the falseness of its own existence. However deep, wide, and extensive it may become, the self is always limited, and until it is abandoned, the mind can never be free. The mere perception of that fact is the ending of the self, and only then is it possible for that which is the real to come into being.”
~ J. Krishnamurti 

 

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– Artwork by Daniel B. Holeman

Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Rider Publishing)
– ‘Who Am I‘ – by Jean Klein – (Non-Duality Press)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Jean Klein (Wikipedia)

Suggestion:
Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog)

 

The Flower of Awareness

Awareness is like a flower
Always fresh and present and vibrant
In the morning mist of mind

It awakens to us every moment
Bending its fragrance and petals
To what we think is blurred for a time

Its fragility is an illusory one
For it is the only sharp thing we have
The indestructible ground of living

And in front of such shining beauty
What was once a so familiar scenery
Dissolves and fades like dust in the wind

 

 

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)