The Natural State

‘The natural state’ is an expression borrowed from Joan Tollifson that refers to enlightenment. This is a beautiful way to look at what is often thought to be an extraordinary event. Rupert Spira says nothing less, when he defines it as ‘the absence of resistance to what is’, or simply: ‘this’.

 

Thought doesn’t know truth; it dissolves in it. 
Feeling doesn’t find love; it merges in it. 
Perception doesn’t see beauty; it dies in it
.”
~ Rupert Spira 

 

 

Enlightenment could be defined as the absence of resistance to what is, 
the total intimacy with whatever is taking place 
without any desire to reject or replace it; 

so intimate that there is no room for a self to separate itself out from the whole, 
to stand apart and look at the situation from the outside, 
to judge it as worthy or not worthy, good or bad, 
right or wrong, desirable or undesirable; 

so intimate that there is no room, nor any time, 
in which a separate self could take refuge inside the body 
and so finds itself without boundaries or borders 
pervading the whole field of experience; 

so intimate that there is no ‘me’ on the inside 
and no object or other on the outside,
but only seamless intimate experiencing; 

so intimate that there is no room for a ‘self’ and an ‘other’, 
a ‘me’ and a ‘you’, a ‘this’ and a ‘that’, a ‘now’ and a ‘then’. 

So utterly now and here that there is no time for time 
and no place for distance or space
.”

~ Rupert Spira

 

~~

 

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful relief to recognize that nothing could actually be any other way right now than exactly how it is, that THIS is how the universe IS, that everything belongs? And already, it has completely changed! Can you feel the freedom in knowing that there is no “you” who “should” be doing a better job? How wonderful to see that enlightenment is not a special attainment that only a special few can reach, but rather that enlightenment is the natural state, the groundlessness that is always already fully present. Rather than something we lack and need to attain, it is what we always already ARE.”
~ Joan Tollifson

 

~~

 

As this intimate oneness, it is known as love. 
In its untouchable-ness it is known as peace and 
in its fullness it is known as happiness. 
In its openness and willingness to give itself to any possible shape 
(including the apparent veiling of its own being), 
it is known as freedom and, 
as the substance of all things, 
it is known as beauty. 
However, more simply it is known just as ‘I’ or ‘this’
.”

~ Rupert Spira

 

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Picture by Alain Joly

Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘Nothing to Grasp’ – by Joan Tollifson – (Nonduality Press)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
– Joan Tollifson

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

 

Destroyer of Darkness

We continue our series of texts or essays on different subjects of spiritual interest. The subject here is about examining the figure of the spiritual teacher, or the guru…

 

Be a light unto yourself; 
betake yourselves to no external refuge. 
Hold fast to the Truth. 
Look not for refuge to anyone besides yourselves
.”
~ Buddha Shakyamuni

 

It knew better. This thing, so dense, so light, that took me into its lap, that invited me for a dance with eternity, with infinity, would not leave me alone, unattended. Not even two days after encountering this mystery, after dipping into this bath of love and beauty, I was being shown a way. I believe it is inevitable when there is an opening. In a burst of synchronicity, a friend materialised and handed me a copy of Newsweek magazine where there was an article about a spiritual teacher who had died a couple of weeks earlier. I was immediately drawn to him. It was the beginning of a ten year journey into his teaching. I wasn’t the easiest friend though, nor the most faithful. Just a couple of weeks before, among the temples of Khajuraho, I was explaining to a German lady guru who invited me to her meetings, how little I felt about spiritual authority, how important it was to find out by myself, not to be influenced in these matters. My new spiritual teacher wasn’t the friendliest towards the figure of the guru either, but nevertheless he was my first help and pointer, my first pathway towards understanding. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”, it is traditionally said.

An exploration into the function of the spiritual teacher (READ MORE…)

 

The Fleeting Entity

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. The ‘fleeting entity’ is an expression he used to describe the separate self. 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:

Keep on looking in what way almost all your thoughts, feelings, activities, are based upon the belief that you are going to die… See that underneath all of that is your fear of disappearing…

~~~

Further exploring on the subject:

This imaginary identification of our self with an object, the body, creates the apparently separate self. … This apparently separate self, being made out of an intermittent object, is, by definition, unstable, always threatened with change, decay and disappearance. Hence the fear of disappearance that resides at its heart and its natural corollary, seeking.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

Addiction of any sort, be it to inappropriate sexual behaviour, alcohol, drugs, smoking or any milder form of behaviour, almost always has its origin in the belief and, more importantly, the feeling of being a separate, limited, located self.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

Fear and seeking manifest in the most innocuous forms of behaviour, the most common of which is unnecessary thinking, the almost constant mental chatter or commentary that most of us are familiar with. This innocuous commentary is the simplest form of the ‘resistance to what is’. It is the repetitive background chatter that ensures that attention is almost always diverted away from the immediacy, intimacy and simplicity of ‘what is’. This is the primal addiction.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

Between living and death there is time. Time, that interval between what actually is and something which we call death, of which we are afraid. This interval between life and death is brought about by thought. Of course there is actual dying: the physical organism, through disease, accident, through usage, dies. But there is fear of death and the sorrow of death as a psychological ending. So there is not only the fear of physical dying, but also the fear of losing all the things that one has learnt, the memories, the experiences, the affections, the family, the hopes, the works, the character, all that one has developed, cultivated, nourished – fear of their coming to an end.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

~

We cling when we fear that without identifying with something or as something, “myself” will lack substance entirely, rendering ordinary life devoid of meaning. Even a glimmer of the possibility of emptiness and meaninglessness can feel terrifying—like glimpsing a bottomless void into which one might fall forever. And of course we fear death which, although many attempt to hold it at bay with religion and spirituality, will mean the end of the entire self-centered production called ‘my life’.”
~ Robert Saltzman

~

It all begins with ‘I, the body’,

That is the root of all suffering,

which our addictions seek to alleviate.”

~ Rupert Spira

 

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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)
– ‘The Ten Thousand Things’ – by Robert Saltzman – (Non-Duality Press)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Robert Saltzman

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

 

Every Time I Open my Eyes

This poem from Rupert Spira appears at the end of the film ‘The Unknowable Reality of Things’. Produced and directed by Zaya & Maurizio Benazzo, this film is a poem, a meditation made of a series of chapters, each introducing a question like ‘What do we mean by ‘I’”, or “The pure intimacy of experience”. For each of them, Rupert Spira, sitting or standing in a beautiful forest environment, brings a clear answer. It is delivered over a succession of elegant and soothing views of nature, like a dance with shapes, colours, and textures, highly conducive to going within…

~~

Every time I open my eyes,
I invite the world to take shape.
And every time the world takes shape,
I’m invited to open my eyes.

Every time I open my eyes,
I invite the world to take shape.
And every time the world takes shape,
I’m invited to open my eyes
And see the world raw and naked,
Holding out its hand,
Calling me into itself,
Where I am taken into the transparency of thing
And find myself transparent there.
Standing on the edge, looking down and in
To the dark, silent pool in which the world is cradled.
And I am cradled there, held with all things
And hold all things in myself.
Myself, not a thing in the world,
But This, Here, Seeing,
In which the world opens,
Inviting and offering itself.
And every time it is seen, it dies.
And in dying, holds out its hand again
Asking to be taken in.
And every time I take it in,
I, too, die.
And in dying, am known,
As This, Here, Seeing.
Every time I open my eyes.

~ Rupert Spira

 

~~~

This poem appears in the film ‘The Unknowable Reality of Things’

Painting from Claude Monet: ‘Cliff at Grainval’ (1887)

~~~

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Bibliography:
– ‘The Transparency of Things’ – by Rupert Spira – (New Harbinger Publications)
– DVD: ‘The Unknowable Reality of Things’ with Rupert Spira – (Neti Neti Media)

Websites:
– Rupert Spira
– Neti Neti Media

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

 

This Moment…

Here is a reminder from Joan Tollifson. 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:

What is happening in this bodymind right now? Reading words on a computer screen, hearing sounds, seeing shapes and colors, breathing. And what else is going on? Is there expectation, curiosity, excitement, boredom, restlessness? Can we take a moment to pause and be aware of how it is right now, without trying to modify or correct it in any way, but simply being awake to the bare actuality of this moment, just as it is?
~ Joan Tollifson

~~~

Further exploring on the subject:

It is extremely difficult to be aware of dullness, to be aware of greed, to be aware of ill-will, ambition, and so on. The very fact of being aware of ‘what is’ is truth. It is truth that liberates, not your striving to be free. Thus, reality is not far, but we place it far away because we try to use it as a means of self-continuity. It is here, now, in the immediate. The eternal or the timeless is now and the now cannot be understood by a man who is caught in the net of time.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

~

Happiness is the absence of resistance to what is.
It is the highest spiritual practice.
However, it is not a practice of the mind;
it is the ever-present nature of Myself, Awareness
.”
~ Rupert Spira

~

You must leave behind you the idea of improving. There is nothing to be found, nothing to achieve. Searching and wanting to achieve something are the fuel for the entity you believe yourself to be. Don’t project an idea of reality, of freedom. Be simply aware of the facts of your existence without wanting change. Seeing things in this way will bring you a state of deep relaxation both physical and psychological. Even this state becomes an object of perception and dissolves in your observation where there is no longer observer or state observed. …
The only way out is to simply observe
.”
~ Jean Klein

~

Traffic sounds, bird songs, an airplane flying over, wind rustling the leaves, a television in another room, children’s voices, a dog barking. Shapes, colors. The movement of breathing, the sensation of contact with the chair, a cool breeze gently touching the skin, a tingling in the feet, maybe an uneasiness in the belly or a tightness in the throat, perhaps a vague sense of anxiety or discontent, these words registering in the mind.

Does this present happening take effort, or is it all happening effortlessly by itself?

This moment is utterly simple and straightforward, totally obvious, completely unavoidable, effortlessly being just exactly the way it is, however that is. It may be painful or unpleasant, but there is nothing confusing about the present moment until we start thinking.”
~ Joan Tollifson

 

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Joan Tollifson’s reminders are from her essay: ‘How Simple Can This Be?

The picture is from: Sasin Tipchai / Pixabay

Bibliography:
– ‘Nothing to Grasp’ – by Joan Tollifson – (Nonduality Press)
– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Rider Publishing)
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The Book of Listening’ – by Jean Klein – (Non-Duality Press)

Websites:
– Joan Tollifson
J. Krishnamurti
Rupert Spira
Jean Klein

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

 

Blown Out

We continue our series of texts or essays on different subjects of spiritual interest. The question here is about ‘having a spiritual experience’, and delving into the nature of what is called ‘awakening’…

 

There is a safe place in view of all, but difficult of approach,
where there is no old age nor death, no pain nor disease.
It is what is called nirvāṇa, or freedom from pain, or perfection;
it is the safe, happy, and quiet place which the great sages reach.
That is the eternal place, in view of all, but difficult of approach.

~ Uttaradhyana Sutra, 81-4 (Buddhism)

 

Nothing much, really. Something just like peeking out of the window. But let’s not be overly disdainful, for this can bend the course of a life and change it in a profound way. To have a spiritual experience is a blessing, a call, maybe a rehearsal for the final dissolution. It leaves you puzzled, wanting to understand, and above all, searching to have it again in the future. It can be just a flavour suddenly lingering at the back of your mind, or a spectacular awakening, or anything in between. In all cases, you meet something new, that is outside any known experience, and yet has a familiar flame, like an old forgotten memory. Above all, peace, love, and happiness are attached to it. It is the DNA of any genuine experience, its vital core, and what makes it so desirable. After all, do we want anything in life but a lasting happiness? It can last for seconds, minutes, or days. It comes as a grace, unexpected, uninvited. One important characteristic is that it fades away, finally disappears. Otherwise we wouldn’t call it an ‘experience’. A spiritual experience is an awakening that failed.

An essay to delve into the nature of Awakening (READ MORE…)

 

Le carillon de Bénarès

I’m sharing here a new page for the people speaking French only. If you are bilingual, you can check it too, since a few articles have not been shared on the main blog in English…

Voici une nouvelle page de la section En Français, où textes, poésies, citations vous sont proposés comme autant de mises en abîme de l’Être. Voici l’une d’elles:

 

A Bénarès, il est une rue qui descend doucement en serpentant,
Une artère où se répète chaque jour un événement extraordinaire.
Le soir venu, à l’heure où la nuit se pose, où la lumière des échoppes
Fait briller bracelets, pans de soie, et ustensiles,
Les habitants de la cité rentrent chez eux, empruntant
Les nombreux rickshaws qui descendent le long de cette avenue.
Les vélo-rickshaws de Bénarès ont une particularité étonnante,
Une sonnette placée sur la roue qui, par l’effet des rayons venant la frapper,
Produit quand on l’active une sonnerie continue et harmonieuse.
Du flot incessant des conducteurs de rickshaws avertissant de leur présence
Se répandait alors un carillon qui inondait la nuit de sa pureté,
Et remplissait la rue d’une atmosphère sonore féerique à nulle autre pareille.
Là, dans cette rue tout près du Gange sacré,
Des hommes simples, parmi les plus pauvres,
Nous offraient par le simple fait de pédaler
Une nuée de sons, cascades et tintinnabulements,
Composant une symphonie
Dont la splendeur ravive encore aujourd’hui ma mémoire endormie.
La musique céleste des rickshaws-wallahs de Bénarès.

 

~~~

Texte et photo de Alain Joly

~~~

 

Les autres articles présentés :
– ‘Prompt comme l’oiseau’ (texte court)
– ‘La solitude de l’Être’ (citations)
– ‘Les passants de l’abîme’ (poésie)

Quatre mises en abîme de l’Être… (LIRE LA SUITE)