After thought # 18
February 19, 2010

 Radical Spirituality demands a radical honesty; to have an authentic relationship with Self requires the absence of distraction.  No other “idols” can be worshiped, consciously or unconsciously.  Ideas can be just as dangerous as physical or imaginary idols.  Concepts can more dangerous than idols, when it comes down to knowing Self.

You might consider the worship of physical or imaginary deities to be primitive, but it is no less primitive to lose yourself in the conscious and unconscious worshiping of the ideas, notions and concepts you entertain and engage on a daily basis about who and what you are.  Seduction, temptation and suffering, lie in the plethora of philosophies, offerings and beliefs that innocently and erroneously market themselves as so called spirituality. 

In The Way of The Human Volume 3 ; Stephen Wolinsky writes a profoundly transparent dedication to his teacher Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj:

 “… To the memory of my teacher, Guru and Guiding Light, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, the grandfather of Quantum Psychology, the ultimate deprogrammer, and the most confrontive teacher I have ever encountered. 

 To the memory of that confrontation which forced me to look at what I had not looked at, confront what I did not know I needed to confront,

question what I did not know I needed to question,

and let go of that which I did not know I was holding on to.

with love and gratitude for facing-off with me, infecting me with the virus of enquiry which destroys everything in its path including the enquirer. 

For showing the ultimate irreverence for identities and concepts which I thought were me and mine, and the ultimate reverence for THAT ONE SUBSTANCE and BEYOND…

The mother of all concepts, the one concept that spawns one hundred thousand and more, is the concept “I”.  With the appearance of the concept “I”, a hundred thousand other concepts arise including the concept of so called spirituality.  Prior to the concept of Spirituality and prior to the “I”, you are.

When successful, meditation can be a radical practice; a prepatory step in becoming aware of the witness or observer within.  As those thoughts arise and subside; as those feelings arise and subside; as those beliefs and philosophies arise and subside, a space can be created. 

If enough space is created, we might glimpse or notice with attention, the one who is there, the one who is witness to those thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions and associations as they arise and subside. 

In awareness we might notice that there is always a presence back of those thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions and associations.  In awareness we might realize the presence “back there” is the presence that always was, is, and will be. 

In the prepatory experience of meditation, we might become aware of the one who is meditating, and in that awareness, we might ask the mother of all questions:

Who is there? 

Who is meditating? 

Who is feeling? 

Who is thinking? 

Who is vulnerable… hurt… happy or sad?

If we were to anchor awareness to itself, we might glimpse, if only for a moment, the irrelevance of it all; the irrelevance of those thoughts and feelings as they come and go.  The irrelevance of those beliefs and philosophies as they come and go.  The irrelevance of those perceptions, associations and memories as they come and go; but most of all we might realize the irrelevance of Spirituality as related to the finding out of Who You Are; and more importantly, the irrelevance of “I”and all that you imagine it to be …

For more information of the work of Stephen Wolinsky please visit:

 http://www.netinetifilms.com/index.shtml 

After thought #5
November 3, 2009

How do you define yourself?

I think this has to be one of the most powerful questions we could ask ourselves to find out where you are “standing” in the moment.  How you defined yourself when you were ten years old is very different than how you may define yourself in this present moment now; likewise, it will likely be very different ten years from now.  In each and every moment we can in fact, vacillate dramatically, in who we imagine we are, by the way in which we define ourselves in that moment.

The “problem” with humanity is that we are constantly trying to define ourselves.  We are conditioned from birth to define ourselves and we spend our lives in the constant pursuit of more and more refined definitions that are shaped by the choices, decisions, beliefs and experiences that occur. 

Consciously and unconsciously we are taught and told who we are by others: our society, our peers, our culture or another’s, religion and even politics can mold the paradigm in which you see, experience and express the concept of self, or “I”. 

As if that wasn’t enough, some of the most dangerous definitions of self, were, and are, self engendered.  We observe, we absorb, and we masturbate those ideas, thoughts, notions, perceptions, associations, feelings and memories, like some sick variation of a Pavlovian experiment.  In our innocent naïveté, we actually believe we truly know and understand who we are in the sense of how we see our self, the world, and how others see us.

The moment you define yourself is the moment you limit yourself.  Those ideas, thoughts, notions, perceptions, associations, feelings and memories that we have wedded ourselves to ultimately serve as a filter and lens that limit the limitless.  As long as we continue to identify ourselves as and by our body/mind only, we will continue to limit the unbounded nature that we are, we will prevent our ability to stabilize awareness in our essential core.  As long as our awareness continues to be scattered into this and that, we will continue to suffer under the erroneous, neurosis of our very own personalized, narrative, which defines and determines who we imagine ourselves to be.

Are you really Black or White, Canadian or American, gay or straight, man or woman, poor or rich? 

Do you really think that Who You Are is defined by what you do or don’t do, have, or feel?  That Who You Are is based on the level of your I.Q., how much money you make, where you work, or whether you have positive or negative thoughts?  Perhaps your trip is locked in the shrine of who you thought you were in the past, or who you think you are now; and what about the future “you” that you continually invest in? 

Have you lost the value of your essential nature in the projection of that imagined future definition?

Do you think the vastness of Who You Are can be corralled by the level of your education, religion, sexual preference, or ethnicity?  

Does your personal suffering presently overwhelm and determine, shape and thwart, what is, what was, and what will always be?

Can we let go of the need to define a sense of self that is based only on the dogma of conventional thinking and understanding, or are we able and willing to quietly begin the dismantling process, finally breaking the chains that have bound the unbound? 

Through the enquiry of unconventional thinking ~ through “expansion” of awareness, is it possible to unlock the vast, untapped potential of what is, what was, and what will always be?  

How do you define yourself?

How do “I” define myself?

After writing this, preferably not thank you.

“I” think it’s time to erase my bio/profile…

 

***

Please enjoy a short video commentary by an amazing teacher, author and guide; Stephen Wolinsky, on the role of identification.

 To learn more about Stephen Wolinsky and his work please visit:

http://www.netinetifilms.com

The Art of Renunciation…
October 9, 2008

“ Attachment destroys courage. The giver is always ready to give. The taker is absent. Freedom means letting go. People just do not care to let go of everything. They do not know that the finite is the price of the infinite, as death is the price of immortality. Spiritual maturity lies in the readiness to let go everything. The giving up is the first step. But the real giving up is in realizing that there is nothing to give up, for nothing is your own. It is like deep sleep – you do not give up your bed when you fall asleep – you just forget it..”.

 

Sri Nisargaddata Maharaj: from  (“I AM THAT” Page 363/364)

 

Renunciation, for the most part is a very misunderstood subject.  It’s wrapped up in philosophies and practices, ideas and understandings that at best distort and distract from any sort freedom, let alone realization.  Instead, most seekers are lead to simply more confusion and frustration as a result of the interpretations and misinterpretations of ideas that are added onto, an already complex concept.  

  (more…)

Living in the “IF” of the “I”…
April 28, 2008

 

From birth we are conditioned to look “out there” in life.  The “developmental shift” or distraction of our attention, perception and awareness into our perceived “becoming a person”, between the ages of 5 to 12 months will leave most with narcissistic scar so deep, we will spend our lives dancing around the scar, the “I”, and the “ifs”, in a band aid attempt to repair something that never existed in the first place…   

(more…)

“I” vs “Ego” ~ “self” vs “Self”…
April 23, 2008

The following blog entry is a commentary/response to a blog comment left on this site.  The comment innocently reflects a valid observation on the human condition of suffering and offers one strategy that has been developed and used to try and deal with the suffering that occurs to the “I”.

 

 

 

“ The unfortunate side of “self” is the inability for many people to dismantle their constant doubt. Affirmations are tools that help people rid themselves of the self defeating doubt that lurks within…”

 

  (more…)

13 Steps to Synchronicity… I = #11
April 20, 2008

#11 Investigate the validity of the “I” mind…

As long as we continue to imagine ourselves as separate, individual, entities living in a segregated universe we will suffer. The spoken and unspoken purpose of all spiritual paths is to discover Who We Are. We must be willing to pursue our inquiry with vigilance, to question everything we know about ourselves, to question everything we have been told about our lives and the world we live in.


 

Some have suggested that we abandon the Self by losing ourselves in the details and noise of life; still others provide iconic stories with reasons based on karma and past lives that whittle away the purity of our existence.


The Self remains the Self irrespective of whether we know it or not. It is only the mind that temporarily distracts us with a myriad of stories dismissing our inherent divinity.

 

We perpetuate this loss by reinforcing the existence of an “I”. Whether it be power and sex, fame and fortune, love and so-called spirituality, we look outside ourselves for ways to strengthen and enhance the security and safety of an “I” that is inherently false, that does not exist. We dutifully edit and script our lives according to tradition, according to the conditioning we were given, and we live our lives as best as we can, with the hope that we will somehow, eventually, experience some level of fulfillment and happiness, purpose and joy, that makes it all worthwhile.

 

Something is missing though as our suffering continues, our confusion darkens. A story unfolds that somehow, always leaves us feeling unfulfilled. Questions go unanswered, our suffering goes on.

 

The belief in the existence of a subject “I” temporarily negates what in itself, needs to be negated. To have faith in the “I”, to believe in the “I”, to spend ones life reinforcing the existence of the subject “I” will always lead to greater levels of suffering and the pleasure-pain cycle of our existence.

 

Painted faces…
March 23, 2008

In the mirror I look,

I see. 

The mask so perfect

It’s only me.

On the street

into the day 

painted faces

make their way.

Each their own 

a smile,

the lack. 

Mask of burden 

don’t break their back.

Young one’s learn,  

each day they play. 

To mask their lives,  

to form,

to pay. 

  A dance in the night,  

a new mask tonight. 

How unique,  

how proud,  

the gift of the shroud.

Transition I see 

the mask a new

taken and molded,  

by one,

by few.

   Mask of falsehood,  

mask of disdain 

lost it’s purity,  

playing the game. 

  A task of challenge,  

the joy of life, 

choosing the face,  

to mask the strife.

   A collection so versatile, 

so large and complete. 

For one so young,

to love, 

to hate,  

to conquer,  

to cheat. 

  In the mirror,

I look,

I see. 

The mask,  

a jail; 

I have to be free! 

michael sean symonds 

%d bloggers like this: