A course in Consciousness



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Chapter 25. Love finding Itself


As a dualistic concept, love is the polar opposite of hate. However, we have already seen in Chapter 16 that pure Love is nondual, not dual. Therefore, Love (capitalized) is equivalent to Reality. Being nondual, it has no dual opposite.

 

On p. 269 of “I Am That” (1984), Nisargadatta says,


"I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love; you may give it any name you like. Love says, "I am everything". Wisdom says, "I am nothing". Between the two, my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both."
We saw in Section 23.5 that by inquiring into the true nature of the manifestation we could see that it consists of nothing but pure Presence. Now we see that the manifestation is also an expression of Love. (Stated differently, it is a reflection of Love, and We are its Source.) Because Love is nondual, its expression is also nondual. However, until we become sensitive to nondualistic expression, it may be difficult to see it since it is not a thought or feeling, and cannot be perceived by the senses.
The following practice helps to sensitize ourselves to the Background (see Sections 14.3, 23.4, 23.5), whether our eyes are open or closed:


Exercise: Close your eyes, go inward and downward, and sense the Background of pure Presence.
Now open your eyes. Can you still sense the Background?

Being nondual, Love will be seen as immanent in every thing, no matter how it appears dualistically. If we are able to see this, then everything without exception (even suffering!) will be seen as a blessing, and nothing will be seen as a curse.


The above quote by Nisargadatta shows that love practices (such as the practices of Chapter 16, Section 24.2) help us to see that we are everything, while wisdom practices (such as the practices of Chapters 20, 23) help us to see that we are nothing. Heart and intellect must work together. If we understand intellectually but not heartfully, there is no completeness or fulfillment for us. If we understand heartfully but not intellectually, the same applies.

Chapter 26. Very short summary


The following concepts, like all concepts, cannot describe Reality, but, unlike most concepts, they point to Reality.

1. The premise: Consciousness is all there is. Another word for Consciousness is the impersonal, yet intimate, I.

2. The conclusions:

I am not an object or entity.


Objects and entities as such are never real.
Whatever happens happens. Whatever doesn't doesn't.
There is no doer, so there is no choice.
The entire manifestation is an expression of Love.

3. The practice: Don’t believe this—look and see it for yourself!


Appendix. My resources and teachers


The following resources are the ones that I have found most valuable on my spiritual journey. They are only a few out of the thousands that are available. The comments about them are my own and are purely subjective.

1. By far, the two teachers who have influenced me most are the jnanis, Ramesh Balsekar and Wei Wu Wei. Ramesh's latest books, A Personal Religion of Your Own (2006), [which I think is one of his best], The Relationship Between 'I' and 'Me" (2006), Let Life Flow (2006), Seeking Enlightenment, Why? (2005), Nuggets of Wisdom (2005), The one in the Mirror (2004),The Seeking (2004), Peace and Harmony in Daily Living (2003), The Ultimate Understanding (2002), Sin and Guilt--Monstrosity of Mind (2000), and Who Cares? (1999), are good, readable summaries of his current teaching. Another one, A Net of Jewels (1996), consists of meditations from his earlier books, two for each day of a year. Of the earlier books, I highly recommend two: 1) a metaphysical one, The Final Truth (1989); and 2) a translation of, and commentary on, the Ashtavakra Gita entitled A Duet of One (1989). (Another highly regarded translation, without commentary, of the Ashtavakra Gita called The Heart of Awareness (1990), by John Richards, is available at http://www.realization.org/page/doc0/doc0004.htm.) Ramesh's books and tapes, and information about his satsangs, are available from Wayne Liquorman’s website, http://advaita.org. Wayne was one of Ramesh’s first students to awaken, and was later instructed by Ramesh to teach also.

An excellent website devoted to Wei Wu Wei and run by Matthew Errey can be found at www.weiwuwei.8k.com. Many of Wei Wu Wei’s books are newly in print and available from www.sentientpublications.com. Eight of them are offered there for the bundled price of $89 (a fantastic bargain!). All of these books are excellent—but my favorite is Posthumous Pieces.

2. The teacher next most influential to me has been Francis Lucille, whose schedule can be found at www.francislucille.com. Francis cannot easily be categorized as either bhakta or jnani. I consider him to be an excellent teacher because of his powerful intellect and the clarity of his answers to questions. He has written three clear and lucid books, Eternity Now (1996), The Perfume of Silence, and Truth Love Beauty (2006), which are available from his website.

3. In his books, As It Is (2000), All There Is (2003), and Invitation to Awakening (2004), Tony Parsons gives a clear and profound description of what life after awakening is like. His website is at www.theopensecret.com, which also contains instructions for obtaining his books.

4. Even though I warn in Section 17.1 against the dangers of misinterpreting the scriptures, I highly recommend the works of Ramana Maharshi, who is considered by many to be the greatest Indian saint of the twentieth century. His Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi is a modern scriptural classic (first published in 1955, it has been reprinted ten times and is still in print). A website at http://www.ramana-maharshi.org is devoted to his works, most of which can be downloaded for free. Particularly helpful is Ramesh Balsekar's book, Pointers From Ramana Maharshi (2008) because it is consists of a few selected talks with Ramesh's interpretations, the teaching of a saint as brought to us by a sage. Also, a nicely organized condensation of the talks themselves is given by David Godman in Be As You Are (1985).


5. The best known book containing the dialogues of Ramesh's guru, Nisargadatta Maharaj, is I Am That (1984), which can be freely downloaded from http://www.celextel.org/home.html. Another book, Pointers From Nisargadatta (1982), written by Ramesh, combines the enlightened teaching of Nisargdatta with the enlightened writing of Ramesh in a concise, readable book of short chapters.
6. An excellent summary of the basic teaching of the Buddha in its purest form, without the sometimes spurious additions and erroneous embellishments of later commentators, can be found in What the Buddha Taught (1974) by Walpola Rahula. Another excellent book, Dancing With Life (2008) by well-known Buddhist meditation teacher Phillip Moffitt (website http://www.dancingwithlife.org/index.html) is a handbook for experiencing the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha.
7. B. Alan Wallace is a renowned Western Tibetan Buddhism teacher. His book, Genuine Happiness (2005) is an excellent introduction to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. His website is located at http://www.alanwallace.org/.
8. Ajahn Sumedho, senior monk at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hertfordshire, England is the author of the insightful and practical free downloadable book "Intuitive Awareness" (2001), which can be found at http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/intuitive-awareness.pdf. He is the only spiritual teacher I know of who advocates simply trusting Awareness as the basis of all spiritual practice.
9. Candice O'Denver is a modern sage of nonduality who teaches Awareness/Presence on her website at http://www.greatfreedom.org/ and in her book "The Basic State" at http://www.greatfreedom.org/The_Basic_State.pdf.
10. Rupert Spira (http://www.rupertspira.com/), a student of Francis Lucille, excels in the nondual expression of the heart. His book, The Transparency of Things (2008) is a masterpiece in its investigation of the nature of experience.
11. Greg Goode (http://www.heartofnow.com/) is unexcelled in philosophical understanding among nondual teachers. He is the author of Standing in Awareness (2009), a short, exceptionally clear book of pointers and exercises in nondual understanding; and Nondualism in Western Philosophy (2007), a series of pointers to how Western nondualism can assist with one's self-inquiry. Both are available from http://heartofnow.com/files/links.html .


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