There Is No “I” in I-Am.
July 17, 2017

There Is No I In I-Am. michael sean symonds

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Intimations On Eternity; Bk & Wh Trade Cover michael sean symonds

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“Water” ~ the video.
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You Think You Are.
July 7, 2017

You Think You Are. michael sean symonds

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Intimations On Eternity; Bk & Wh Trade Cover michael sean symonds

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“Water” ~ the video.
Twitter
Facebook
Bliss Blog [michael sean symonds unplugged]
“S o m e t h i n g I s T h e r e . . .”   [Video]
S o m e t h i n g . . . “   [Book]
Visit my bookstore…
Cards, Posters & More…
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If you have enjoyed these posts and you would like to make a donation to support my work, your contribution would be gratefully appreciated…
(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

What Is My True Nature?
September 28, 2010

… an Animation by Mike Ashe

 

 

 

 

 

 

more about mike 

After Thought #30
May 26, 2010

 

 

…A few years ago I asked a teacher a question about soul. “I” had been doing some reading outside my usual posse of authors and was beginning to expose myself to some “pure” Buddhist teachings that were being used by another teacher of mine in the context of Advaita or non-duality. 

When “I” asked this teacher he kind of shrugged “me” off with some statement that implied the question was not so important; he implied by what he said “I” assume, that it was not really something to worry about.

One can never understand why a teacher might respond the way they respond to any question especially when it comes to the level of awareness.  “I” could make an assumption that since the teachings of his organization were primarily based on a more “Hindu” philosophical approach to spirituality i.e. the belief in the existence of a soul that reincarnates from life time to lifetime, that he might not want or feel that it was important to go too deep into the question or validity of such two opposing and confrontational perspectives: i.e. soul, no soul.  The risk in asking the question, the risk in exploring and exposing the question deeply, can open a Pandora’s Box with regards to the fundamental principles and techniques being used and sold by the organization he represented and by many spiritual philosophies and teachings that are available out there.

To create a little more context for this post; the main philosophical difference between what we call most “Hindu teachings” and Buddhism for example; can be really reduced down to the one defining question of soul; no soul.  Though it may not be discussed by many, Siddhartha Gautama, later to be known as Gautama Buddha, was actually a Hindu; prior to “his” realization.  Then again, Jesus of Nazareth was also a Jew; prior to his realization and “becoming” the Christ! 

They are unfortunate facts that often go unnoticed in both camps and especially by outsiders to those systems of thought, which are greatly influenced by those systems.  Those facts go unnoticed and they go mostly unspoken, as do the ramifications and implications of those very simple, obvious and important facts.  If you are on the “path” of finding out Who You Are; when it comes down to understanding the philosophical differences they are relevant.

Siddhartha Gautama’s realization under the Boddhi Tree some 2500 years ago was essentially based on the realization that there is no soul that reincarnates from lifetime to lifetime.  It is arguably the understated foundation of what was to become the Buddhist paradigm from which all teachings arose, which “I” now: 

 Form is emptiness; emptiness is form.  Form is none other than emptiness; emptiness is none other than form.

Plainly said, there is no soul. 

Better said, there is no soul; even if there appears to be a soul. 

Most accurately said; there is ONLY soul or, everything is soul/not soul.

Said another way: the soul exists and the soul does not exist simultaneously and there is no individual in it all.  Everything is the “One” substance that appears to be many substances.

Back then, when “I” asked the question “soul, no soul?”; when “I” was shrugged off by the reply of this teacher, “I” felt uncomfortable.  “I” felt incomplete with his response.  “I” felt like something unspoken, needed to be spoken.  “I” felt at the time, that what was not being said, was more important than what was being said and “I” needed to find out why what was not being said, seemed so important to “me”.

Naturally, as every naughty little aspirant does, “I” continued to pursue “my personal” agenda of finding out more of what was not being spoken and it lead “me” in directions that “I” could never have imagined.  There was a question in side “me” that was screaming investigation; it was begging enquiry.  There was no damn way “I” was going to shrug this question off as unimportant.  After all this was “my” spirituality we were talking about!  If my trip was to find out Who “I” AM, it felt damn important to answer a question that was obviously the source and foundation of so many spiritual beliefs, philosophies, and so called spiritual truths or paths.

I’m glad “I” did, and “I’m” glad “I” listened to that voice inside “me”. 

I’m glad that “I” did not accept his response so casually ~ so unconsciously as is so easy to do with so many teachers and their accepted teachings that are passed down and regurgitated over, and over and over again, to the masses.  After all, conventional religion has been feeding us nonsense teachings for thousands of years, what makes contemporary, alternative spirituality any different?

***

The perception of a soul, a body, creation, the mind or our world, comes from an “I” that imagines it is separate from the “one” substance and declares: “there is a soul”; “there is a body”; “there is a mind”; “there is a world”.

Only an “I” can perceive something, and in doing so forgets everything. 

In our search for something we give up everything.  To an “I” that stands on the outside looking in there is separation, distance, time, past, present and future.  To an “I” living in the foreground of life, there is a process, an evolution, and devolution.  There is a cause and effect; there is an up and a down; there is a right way and a wrong way.  There is a source and not source.  With separation, there is a path to unification. 

With separation, there is also a reason for everything.  And if there is a reason for everything, then that something that is out there, can be controlled, changed, fixed or transformed.  That something can be purified to become everything ~ potentially.

Only an “I” could come up with such thinking, such distinction, such delusion.  Only an “I” could be caught up in the web of its own confusion and delusion, trying to explain a story and separation and distinction; a soul trying to find its way home.

As the “I” conceives and perceives the story of its imagined distinction and then identifies itself to those fictitious stories of separation, it loses touch with its knowing.  Instead of knowing “the not I” as the “one substance”, it grasps, clings and holds onto the explanation and story of the “I” itself, and all its delusions.  Distinction leads to separation and struggle and are symptoms of the absence of love; love is the absence of distinction, separation and struggle…

After Thought #25
April 7, 2010

 

 

We deceive ourselves by imagining and then projecting that the self we were and will be, is the Self that we are.  Our authentic Self cannot be understood or unmasked by any psychological model or conceptual understanding. 

If you think you are; your not!

Finding out Who You Are is not the study or expression of personality, past or preference; it’s also not the healing of wounds or the finding of joy, although those ideas may serve as progressive, stepping stones to realization.  You are not your psychology; nor are you any thought, idea, label or understanding, that arises or does not arise out that perceived psychology. 

You are also not your body; nor are you any action that arises or subsides out of that body.  Although that body may do great or terrible things, you are not contained within the limits of its flesh or bones.

Our true Self is not the self or body/mind we imagine our self to be.  Our true Self is not the self we take out daily into the world of form and phenomena; good or bad.  Our true Being is not the self of ideas and notions, memories and experiences and it’s not our feelings although those occurrences may presently and temporarily, taint and colour the vision of who you imagine yourself to be. 

We appear to be shackled in ghetto consciousness.  We appear to be trapped by erroneous, self engendered ideas of this and that; ideas that we have gathered and blended neatly, indiscriminately, with a host of many other ideas that we were given; that we chose to give.  Caught in the web of misunderstanding we suffer; we suffer beyond measure.  In a web of ideas woven of distinction; the mind swims and the mind suffers in its own delusion.

Radical spirituality is based on the wisdom of awareness; awareness that who we are lies beyond what we say, think, have or do.  Radical Spirituality is breaking down the shackles of our own understanding; knowledge that at once, appears to bound the unbound.  In that pure state of awareness between the rise and fall of this and that, the ever present, still, silent, field of awareness beckons: come play in me, come rest as me.

In the alert, complete, calm and caring field of awareness, the timeless wisdom of eternity is awakened; where nothing is gained and nothing is lost.  In this no state, state, the “I” that we imagine ourselves to be, places its attention both inward and outward, equally and in balance.  Equally and in balance, the background of Being and the foreground of awareness, merge to become One. 

In this no state, state, the “I” that we imagine ourselves to be fades, unmasked, stripped of its cognitive encumbrances; it becomes a shadow of its former self.  It is finally seen for what it is; it is exposed for what it is.  In its unreality, there is a revelation of perfection; in that perceived now, an alert appreciation of what was, is, and what will be, is revealed…

After Thought #24
April 3, 2010

 

What is not here is just as important as what is here.  Life is a dance between what appears to be here and what appears to not be here.

You Are Here.

Without you, there would be nothing.   When nothing becomes something, there is the possibility for anything.  Even though you are here, there is a good chance that you have forgotten what is not here.  There is a good chance that you have forgotten the immeasurable potential of what is not here, and what could be here.

In that forgetfulness, the potential of nothing to become something appears to bound what is actually unbound.  What is here becomes more important, more valuable, and more sacred than what is not here.

When what is here becomes more important and more sacred than what is not here, there appears to be separation and struggle.  There is no separation between what appears to be not here and what appears to be here; emptiness becomes form, form becomes emptiness.  If emptiness is becoming form and form is becoming emptiness, then there is neither form nor emptiness.  Nothing and everything just are.

You are here and you are not here, simultaneously.

If you spent a little more time valuing what appears to be not here; becoming aware of what appears to be not here, your appreciation of what appears to be and what appears not to be would be elevated in gentle, unspoken ways.  What appears to be bound would also appear to become unbound.  You might glimpse for the first time, that what is here is also not here.

We appear to get stuck when we confuse and amplify, label and judge with distinction, what is here with what is not here; barriers appear to be created where there are none.  We try to explain with understanding and reasoning what appears to be here and what appears to not to be here.  We begin to imagine something is here when it is not; we begin to imagine something is not here when in fact it is.

There will always be an impulse of what is not here; to become what was, what is, and what will potentially be here. 

There will always be an impulse to Be.

We spend most of our life using time and attention to focus on what is here: we want more of what is already here, and we want what is already here, to remain here forever.

If we were to lend some of that attention to what appears to be not here, we would bridge the gap of our own misunderstanding, confusion and delusion.  We might reconcile the paradox of what appears to be here with what appears to not be here.  We might finally realize what appears to be here, is actually not here, and what appears to not be here, actually is here.  We might finally realize there is no here, not here.

What is not here is just as important as what is here.  Life is the dance between the two that are actually One.

You Are Here;

better said, you think you are here when you’re actually not.

You’re neither here, nor not here!

: )

After Thought #23
March 30, 2010

Tired of being me; The role of identity.

There appear to be times in life when we bump head on into self engendered thinking; definitions of self and world that no longer serve the goal of Being Who We Are.  The judgments, the comparisons, the assumptions and beliefs; the measurements of understanding that were and are, consciously and unconsciously engrained and adopted; used as prescription to guide and inform and more often or not, determine us in the understanding of who we imagine our self to be.

The wisdom of awareness is the process of waking up from outdated ways, the common thinking with which we define and limit Self and others.  The labels, the beliefs and the assumptions; the imagined clarity and delusion of “preference” that shapes and influences who we think we are as an “I” that lives and breathes in the world of form an phenomena.

Radical Spirituality requires a radical awakening; an awakening of awareness that undermines our present cognitive process.  It’s the intentionally or unintentional breaking down of accumulated ideas and beliefs of self that we have: that we gave ourselves, that we were given, and that we will inevitable give.  The same ideas that so often easily diminish Self and others, in a hundred, thousand, different ways.

This is the heart and inherent success of any “authentic” Spiritual Path; a “path” that demands its own investigation, enquiry and validity.  Where we challenge and thwart the very integrity of an idea we imagined and believed to be true. To reveal a process, a potential demise of the very ‘path” we have trodden.

We are not speaking of accumulation here; this is not the true path of transformation.  We are not looking to add more understanding, new ideas, or more innuendo to a perception of reality that is already overwhelmed and deluded; burdened by a life of seduction into endless knowledge and the pursuit of achievement; the avoidance of loss; the clarity or confusion; the merit of doing.  We are not talking of tenure or so called mastery of this or that.

Most of us spend our lives in the pursuit of defining ourselves.  We could say that it is hardwired into our nervous system as a way to learn to survive in more and more sophisticated ways.  It’s a biologically driven mandate: “I’ve got to define myself”; “I’ve got to define myself”. “The more “I” can define myself, the more “I” can survive in better, more successful ways”. “If “I” try to define myself as a man or woman, brother or sister, student or teacher; as a seeker or “finder”, then, “I” will survive in better ways.  Then, “I” will survive in more successful ways.  Then, “I” will survive in more powerful, safer, attractive ways.  Then and only then, “I” will be happier!”

The purpose of life appears to be the journey of defining one self in more and more sophisticated and meaningful ways; but what if it is not?  What if we did not place such a high importance on defining ourselves: as a boy or girl, gay or straight, black or white, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Jew?

What if our definition of Self lay not so much in the foundation of our conditioning, our family or our community?

What if we did not define ourselves by what we did or do?

What if we did not define ourselves with regard to our political systems, culture or country?  What if we did not define or think of ourselves so much in terms of the content of our past and future, our fears or dreams, our joys or sadness; all those ideas that arise from our sanitized, narrowly defined meaning of success and failure?

What if we deliberately and intentionally decided to NOT define our selves any more?

What if we decided to un-define the defined?

What if we decided to examine and question the validity of all our past and present defining?

Where would it take us?

How would it affect us?

How would it shape and influence the way we think, feel, see and “do” life?

It’s not going to feel comfortable you know!  It’s going to slam you head first into the grain of your modus operandi in life; the ways in which you live your life in order to survive.  It’s going to slap you in the face with some of your most hard core defining, and the “you” that you imagined yourself to be.

“This is how “I” defined myself”, “This is how “I” am defining myself”.  “This is how “I” will define myself…”

Most of us think of ourselves as separate individual entities; distinctly removed from nature, each other, and everything.   But what if it’s not true?  What if we’re not so separate?

What if the distinction that appears to occur is a side effect of our defining; a ramification of our thinking and the very language that it’s anchored to?

What if the ideas, notions, perceptions, associations, memories and feelings that we have used to define ourselves in more concrete ways, have actually removed us from the truth of who we were, Who We Are and who we can Be?

What if it has isolated us from the roots of our humanity and the humanity of others?

What if, as a result of our obsessive, compulsive defining, we have instead created barriers in the use of language and thinking; in our philosophies of doing and being that temporarily prevent us from experiencing the inherent truth of Who We Are, and the potential freedom we could actually have, living from that level of Being?

What if we no longer defined our self through the hurt, the pain and the rejection we all experience?   What if we no longer defined our self according to the conditions that exist within our mind, body and world?

How would this impact “you”?

How would it change “you”?

How would it transform the way “you” think, feel and “do” life?

How exactly do we define ourselves then?

Simple answer: we don’t!

We stop defining ourselves and we begin to examine, question and investigate the impact of that defining and the meaning we give our experience.  We begin to notice; we become aware of how all struggle, confusion and suffering: both personal and universal, is based on ones attempt to define oneself; to protect oneself in that imagined definition, meaning, and story we give to all life experience.

Every time we define ourselves, we limit ourselves.  Every time we define ourselves, we create a distinction where there is none.  Every time we define ourselves we bound the unbound.  We trap ourselves in a box of words and ideas, notions and philosophies that can only, inevitably, limit the true expression of Who We Are.

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