After Thought #37
August 21, 2010


A lot of people think that spirituality is about MORE: having more, getting more, doing more, knowing more, understanding more, seeing and experiencing more, even loving more.  Nothing could be farther than the truth.

Spirituality has nothing to do with having more or getting more.  A good example of this confusion is a teaching like the “law of attraction”.  This particular [i]dea about spirituality which resurfaced over the last decade with a shiny new coat of painting has become very popular in spite of the flaw of its inherent, narcissistic root based on infantile fantasy and projection. 

Based on an earlier conceptual [i]dea of, “we create our reality” or what is also popularly called “co-creation”, most fail to recognize that all “Laws” are created by the mind and not some universal power [out there]. 

More obvious yet, if [we] are to accept our greatest teachers insight; those who have [reached] some [degree] or [level] of [awakening ~ realization], it is very clear, if only at a cognitive level of understanding, that there is no separation, there is only perceived separation. 

It is very clear that there is no separate, individual, distinct entity that exists separate from every other entity.  There is only a perceived separate, individual that appears to see and feel its own distinction. 

In “its” imagined state of separation, the “I” appears to live its life, with its own independent existence; in search of something else; something more: be it more happiness, more success, more Love or more freedom.  There lies an unrecognized, underlying [pathology] of separation that leads to a viewpoint that thinking more, being more, having more and doing more will somehow provide some sort of liberation; a perception based on and driven by a concept of duality.  Driven by an imagined wound of separation, which “I” would not want to have more, get more, experience more or love more? 

Bound by the limits of its own [personal] thinking and feeling, which “I” would not be lead to imagine that by gaining more understanding, more knowledge or more love, one could conceivable, if only for a moment, replace an imagined lack with some substitution; creating a higher, greater, or more perfect degree of fulfillment, meaning and satisfaction within ones life?   

Only it doesn’t!

The feeling of a [personal] absence of love cannot be filled with any substitution for that perceived absence, including love itself.  The feeling or the belief in the absence of success, knowledge, understanding, power, creativity or any listed gain that exists within the language game, cannot be replaced by more of the same.  

The “I” doesn’t, and never will create a replacement for something that never existed in the first place.  Satisfaction and fulfillment will never fill a pursuit of more which is driven by a perceived void of less.  This approach at most is only a temporary reprieve, a momentary pause in quelling a perceived hunger that lives inside.   

In the quiet of the night, in a moment of complete and brutal honesty, it can be seen that whatever substitute might be used, a [personal] more of anything, does not provide the [personal] something we have been looking for.  While more money, more sex, more drugs, more alcohol and even more meditation or spirituality may ease and mask the perceived pain and suffering that exists within; attracting or getting more of what [you] want in life will never lead to finding out Who You Are.

Don’t get me wrong. 

Life will always contain pleasure and pain, its dichotomy is inherently woven into the garment of existence.  It can be appreciated for what it is, while recognizing Who We Are.

Radical Spirituality recognizes the seductions of these teachings for what they are: conceptual ideas of spirituality that are based on a mind that perceives reality as duality.  “I” based thinking and spirituality will only, ever, bound the unbound. 

However seductive, the root of any spirituality based on ideas of the mind, the dogmas and philosophies, the ideas and the “laws” (including the words contained within this post) that come from a mind, will only lead to further struggle and suffering if used as a substitute for what was, is, and will always be.

 Prior to the idea of Spirituality lies an unspoken truth. 

Stay there.

Prior to the idea of having more or less; stay there.

Prior to the idea of getting and doing more; stay there.

Prior to the idea of knowing and understanding more; stay there.

Prior to the idea of seeing more or experiencing more; stay there

Prior to the idea of more or less…

stay there!

After Thought #29
May 13, 2010



 What’s happening?

Things are happening or not happening all the time.  The problem is the way things happen or do not happen is very different than the way we imagine things happen or do not happen. 

Things happen in a way we don’t understand; they happen in different ways than we think or imagine.  They happen in ways that we can never comprehend.

Human beings think they are so smart because they come up with ideas about how things happen or do not happen all the time.  And when they can’t find a good enough reason to explain why something happened or did not happen they create speculative stories to fill in the gaps of the “why”.  We love to create and indulge in our explanations, reasons and justifications as to why something happened or did not happen and we will go to extreme lengths to convince ourselves and others of those explanations.

Everything that is going to happen will happen and anything that is not going to happen will not happen; we cannot do anything about what’s happening or not going to happen.  We cannot prevent what is going to happen, and we cannot create what is not going to happen either.

There is no “you” that can play a role in making something happen or not happen.  Things happen or they don’t happen; period.

The you that you imagine yourself to be, arrives long after what’s happening, has occurred.  You are constantly arriving late to your so called present moment; the moment that appears to be happening.  What happens or does not happen in the present moment occurs before you arrive; you’re not really ever present for the moment or for what is happening or not happening, even though you might think that you are, or have been told so.  When you do finally arrive, the you that you imagine yourself to be spins a story of why, in a desperate attempt to organize what is un-organizable; to control what is uncontrollable.

Even though we constantly make up stories [philosophies, teachings and religions] to explain why something happens or does not happen, they are at best, sanitized speculations; they are at best words only, which exist in language only.  The explanation lives in language only.  At worst, they are conspiracies of denial.  They are personal editorializations; filtered versions of a selective viewpoint and understanding of reality, based on ideas about how things happen or do not happen. 

They may be our subjective experience of reality, but they are not reality itself.

If we really understood the depth of what’s happening or not happening, we could finally let go of pretending that we have any control over anything.  We could finally let go of imagining that we have some ability to affect what is happening or not happening.  We could dive deeply in the chaos of the Universe, prior to the appearance of creation.  Prior to the “I” that imagines it knows.

The more we can drop the narcissistic delusion of the “I”, especially the “I” that shows up in “I” spirituality, the more we could recognize that life happens or it does not happen independently of what we think, say or believe.  The more we would see that things happen or don’t happen in much grander ways than we could ever, possibly imagine. 

With awareness, we could focus more on letting go of our ideas about what we imagine needs to happen and let what’s going to happen, happen, while also ignoring what we imagine or fear might happen that will actually not happen; we could sit back and let things happen or not. 

We could let life Be.

Now, before your “I” mind runs away on some tangent about being reckless or irresponsible, or thinks that I’m encouraging us all to become radical victims of anarchy; I want to let you in on a very big secret.  It’s not some imaginary or delusionary secret about how to create or co-create your reality or get more money; to be more, do more or have more. It’s not about some short cut to enlightenment.  It’s certainly not some nonsense teaching based on mind made ideas of some “law of attraction” that will lead you to the perfect little life, that every “I” in us all, wants, needs and desires.  “I” won’t delude you.  “I” won’t lead you down that dead end path of your perceived psychology.  This is a simple secret that may or may not change how you see your life forever: 

What’s going to happen will happen.  What’s not going to happen will not happen.   How things happen or do not happen, have nothing to do with “you”.  They have nothing to do with the “I” that you think you are, because the “I” perceiver does not show up until after the event or action takes place.

The “I” has no power. 

There is no “I” that can claim doership; that has separate will or volition.  It is the one substance alone that is contracting or expanding that “produces” the appearance of an event, circumstance or situation that arises or does not arise in your so called life. 

Radical Spirituality is the realization that there is no “I” in the world that can take authorship or ownership, to what happens or does not happen in life.  Radical Spirituality is the realization that there is no world and there is no “I”. 

If something happens or does not happen, it’s because it was going to happen or it was not going to happen; regardless of what you might think or believe to be true. 

Radical Spirituality does not seek to understand mind made ideas of cause or effect to justify reality or outcome; to control perceived reality or outcome for its own means. 

Radical Spirituality does not seek reason or even understanding in a story of what is, was or will be that is spun by a delusional “I” mind; wrapped up as some pseudo, spiritual philosophy called Karma.

What is, is; or it’s not.  Radical Spirituality recognizes no relationships, other than the “One” substance that constantly arises and subsides.

What happens or does not happen, can only be perceived by an “I” that imagines it is separate from the One substance.  In the awareness of separation, in awareness of self consciousness, there will be an appearance of choice, will, volition, cause, effect or reason. 

When you slip into the gap there is no “I” and there is no happening or not happening.  Prior to happening or not happening, there is no “I”; stay there.  Prior to the explanation, justification or reason; just stay their.  To stay there, forget this attempt at explaining why something happens or does not happen; because it’s just another story and explanation. 

Prior to the “I”, and prior to the story, just stay there…


… inpspired by the work of Stephen H Wolinsky


the teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #73
March 12, 2010

There is only perfection. 

 Life will become effortless to the degree you are aware of your own inner perfection.  As you learn to cultivate this inner perfection by becoming aware of it, you will open the doorway to see an outer perfection that has always been present.


Extended commentary:

Perfection cannot be found by the mind.  By its nature the mind can only see duality; the mind thrives in the field of polarity.  In the binary of up and down, in and out, right and wrong, good and bad, happy and not happy, the mind can only ever fixate its perception of reality through the filters of patterns, judgments, assumptions, associations and memories; perceptions of reality that might appear to be true to at the level of the filter and a mind that is bound by its self engendered thinking.

A mind that is bound by its own content can never be free from its content.  A mind that thinks from its own conceptual level cannot escape from its conceptual level.  As long as “you” are standing only at the level of the mind there will be no perfection.  If you stand only in the mind, chances are you will think and identify yourself only as the mind. Likewise, if you are standing only in your emotions, chances are you will think and identify yourself only as your emotions.  You are not your mind and you are not your emotions, and you are certainly not the thoughts that appear “in” what you call the mind, which appear to create various states of the mind and emotions.

This confusion is clearly illustrated in many contemporary spiritual belief and psychological systems that spiritualize or demonize the thinking level.  All the “YOU CREATE YOUR REALITY TEACHINGS” are based on a number of erroneous precepts or assumptions, systems of thinking that try to create perfection at the level of the mind where there can be none.

You might think or have been told that thoughts create your reality, when in fact if you take the time to notice deeply the process of thinking you will begin to realize that first, something happens, and then the thought arises, first you appear, and then the thought arises.

The extreme delusion of this can be seen in the fixation and obsession that now occurs in the attempt to “BE POSATIVE”; because being “positive” is presumably better or more perfect than being negative.  This construct then spirals into the erroneous idea that if you’re positive you will create positive experiences or perfection in your life, as opposed to, if you’re negative, you will create negative experiences or imperfection in your life.

All of this is false.  Any interpretation of reality by the mind can only be an illusion, a story created to control the chaos that exists prior to creation.  Let me say it again; being positive or having positive or negative thoughts, has nothing to do with spirituality or finding out Who You Are.  And it certainly has no causal effect on the nature of reality as it expresses itself in the external worldly, dimension. 

At best, we could get away with saying that “being posative” or having a posative attitude may have a small influence on your inner subjective experience, which then appears to shape the perception and experience you have of your perceived, outer world.

If we look closely enough though, “we” will see that it is only because our attention is fixated on the foreground of life that all of these things appear to be true; when we withdraw our attention prior to the expression of this foreground, there is no foreground. 

Prior to the labeling of a thought, there is only an impulse that will eventually be labeled a thought.  Prior to the thought, there is no thought.  When there is an absence of thought and thinking, attention will reveal that even the thinker itself is an illusion.  If there is no thinker, how can a thought have any legitimate power?  How can an imagined thinker have any control over something that arises and something that will subside?

There is no causal relationship between thinking, having, being and doing, because thoughts are not things, they exist in language only, which appears to exists at the level of a so called mind.

The validity of your divinity has nothing to do with the kind of thoughts you have which occur at the level of the mind.  Any thought, good or bad, arises from the same place that ALL reality appears to “emerge” from.  At the level of the mind and later in the external world, there may be a labeling and judgment of whether a thought is good or bad; however, at the level of consciousness, they are equal. 

There is only “one” substance. 

Prior to the label or judgment of a thought as good or bad, it is just a thought or impulse, and prior to the thought or impulse, or after the thought or impulse subsides; you are.  So ignore the thought; your thoughts are irrelevant.  Place your attention not on the thought, but the thinker of that thought itself.  Notice the thinker. 

Don’t get lost in thought.  You cannot be “free” from thought if you do not notice the thinker that lies before, during, and after the thought.  Don’t try to change, fix or transform your thoughts; they have nothing to do with anything, especially Who You Are.  Prior to the idea of imperfection or even perfection, you are.  Stay there.    

Can you find the perfection in your life?

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(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.


Who Creates?
November 21, 2008


It is a fact, there appears to be creation.  It appears there is nothing, and in that nothing, something appears.  In the end though that something will eventually dissolve back into the nothingness from whence it came.  What of it?


Only the “I” that imagines itself to be, see’s creation.  That you are a creator, the creation and the created is a surety; but it is not the you that you imagine yourself to be.  There can be no doer-ship or creation at the level of the “I” mind.  While the “I’ perceives and imagines itself as a creator; swinging in it’s contradictions, allegiance and ownership, from blame to praise, for all that happens; the “I” can only ever have a subjective experience of creation which has no baring on objective reality.


The seduction of “I create my reality” is an attempt of the “I” to organize its discomfort around the emptiness/space/chaos that appears as the Universe.  In that nothing it craves something.  The allegiance and need of the “I” for its creative principle, is an attempt of the primitive mind to imagine that it can survive in ever more sophisticated ways.  To entertain or face the Truth that there can be no personal will, volition or choice; an authorship of perceived reality; is to invite fear and potential crisis into that very reality.  The “I” will at once lose control over reality.


The “I” wants to be.  The “I” wants to live on forever.  The “I” wants to live out its agenda of being something, doing something, having something and creating something.  By attaching meaning and purpose, the “I” enhances and elevates its percieved existence as a separate, individual being with a past, a future, a vision, a mission, purpose and nature. 


The belief in co-creation provides a temporary solace to the “I” and its ongoing suffering; a false sense of security to its very illusion and demise.  This self engendered philosophy will never provide a permanent solution, safety or security to its ongoing ails and underlying need; a need to know the true nature of the “One Self”. 

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