A CONTEMPLATION FROM THE SAGES
Pure Consciousness can be known by experience only.
The best method is the inquiry, Who am I? To whom does all this appear?
Pure Awareness results solely from the clarity of a person's understanding.
Nothing whatsoever is born or dies anywhere at any time.
It is Supreme Consciousness appearing in the form of the world.
This Self is more extensive than space. It is pure, subtle, imperishable bliss.
As such, how could it be born and how can it die?
All this is the tranquil One without beginning, middle or end,
which cannot be said to be non-existent.
Know this and be happy.
This creation, which is a mere play of consciousness, rises up like the delusion of a snake in a rope when there is ignorance, and comes to an end when there is right knowledge.
Even though bondage does not really exist, it becomes strong through desire for worldly enjoyments.
When this desire subsides bondage becomes weak.
That which is not seen, though within us, is called the eternal and indestructible Self.
Like waves raising up from the ocean, the limited mind rises out of the vast expanse of the Supreme Self.
It is that limited mind which always, of its own accord, imagines everything through the five processes of creation, sustenance, destruction, concealment, and grace, which projects this magical show in the waking state.
One who has no idea of gold sees only the bracelet. He does not at all have the idea that it is merely gold.
Like clouds which suddenly appear in a clear sky and as suddenly dissolve, the entire universe appears in the Self and dissolves in it.
The snake appears when one does not recognize the rope. It disappears when one recognizes the rope.
Even so, this world appears as separate when the invisible Self is not recognized.
The knowledge of the Self is the fire that burns up the dry grass of ignorance. One who realizes that the whole universe is really nothing but consciousness, remains calm and happy.
To one who is established in infinite, pure consciousness, bliss and unqualified non-duality, where is the question of bondage or liberation?
The mind has by its own activity bound itself. When it is calm, it is free.
Consciousness, which is undivided, imagines to itself desirable objects and runs after them. It is then known as the mind.
From this omnipresent and omnipotent Supreme Consciousness arises, like ripples in water, the power of imagining separate objects.
'I am this. That is mine.' Such ideas constitute the mind. It disappears when one ponders over these false ideas.
It is the nature of the mind to accept certain things and to reject others. This is bondage, nothing else.
Understand the Mind
The mind is not something you can catch hold of. The mind is nothing but a throb of Consciousness.
The mind is actually a modification of the universal Consciousness - Sat Chit Ananda - Existence, Consciousness, Bliss.
When that universal Consciousness which is performing the five processes - creation, sustenance, destruction, concealment and grace - in total freedom, contracts from the state of pure consciousness and assumes limitations, it becomes the mind.
It is not that Truth is now absent. Truth is always already the case.
That Consciousness which created the universe in all its diversity assumes limitations and begins to create endless mental universes inside.
And now the mind begins to perform the five processes in a limited way. Creation, sustenance, destruction, concealment and grace are continually going on, both on the cosmic level and on the individual level.
We perceive an object at a certain instant of time, a certain point in space, and in a certain form. In the moment of perception we create the object.
An object exists as long as we perceive it without any break. It may be a moment or longer - we have sustained it for that amount of time.
Thus, whatever throbs in our mind comes into existence. When an object in the mind is replaced by another object, the space, time, substance, and form all change. That is the object’s destruction in the mind.
When the objects that are undifferentiated within Consciousness appear as different entities, that is the concealment of the true nature of Consciousness.
When, after hearing and seeing many different objects, we suddenly become aware of their identity with consciousness, we accomplish the fifth task, grace.
Grace is nothing but seeing objects as one with self-luminous Consciousness, even though they may appear to be separate.
We remain aware with unwavering faith of the continual flow of thoughts and the five processes within our minds. The mind’s enormous power keeps creating thoughts and images.
But to Consciousness, they are not different from Consciousness.
On every level where the contraction occurs (concealing), the recognition (revealing) can also take place.
Love is always already our condition.
Because of self-contraction, it is forgotten, resisted, denied, not lived. We stop living the love that is our very nature.
Through meditation it is re-cognized.
What we perceive as the universe is nothing but a Play of Consciousness.
I live in a large open loft. In one corner is a smaller room I use for sleeping. In one corner of that room I have a computer and office. Next to my chair is a large window overlooking the gardens. In one tiny corner of the window a spider has built his web. He could live in the entire loft, wander around freely, but instead he lives his life in that tiny web.
Our current practice is something like that. Our life is spent being obsessed with our separateness, even though this separateness is not the Truth. And when we are centered in the limited mind, in the contracted state, we create our unhappiness.
We create our own worlds by our own thoughts. We make our own heaven and our own hell.
The mind becomes unhappy not only when it doesn’t have anything, but even when it has everything.
In meditation we center in the source of ourselves. Then the whole structure of the separate self is undermined. Only when we meditate on our source does the mind assume its natural state of understanding. That is to stand under the Truth.
All that arises is an appearance to Consciousness, a modification of the conscious power that is already the case.
To still the mind, we meditate.
To still the mind, we repeat the mantra.
Not to attain the Self.
This pure consciousness is always vibrating within us.
When the mind becomes still, we experience joy within ourselves.
When the mind become still, the light of the Self radiates from us.
In the West we still the mind by satisfying desires of the mind. Every time we satisfy a desire, the mind is still for a moment and the joy inherent in Consciousness, ananda, rises up. It never comes from outside.
So why do we keep seeking it out there?
Truth is to all of this what the waking state is to the dream state. When you come into the waking state, the dream is no longer of any consequence.
One can see that the thought-free Consciousness, which is beyond all thought, has become all thoughts.
The witness of the mind remains the same, whether there are thoughts or no thoughts in the mind.
Be the Witness Only
In meditation the mind is replaced by the presence of the witness consciousness, and the mind is seen as something that is arising in Consciousness Itself.
Every thought requires a thought-free background, every movement requires a motionless background, every sound requires a silent background.
Meditation is not seeking, step by step, through experience, but penetrating, cutting through, prior to any movement at all, to the present condition.
This inquiry into the Self of the nature of 'Who am I?' is the fire which burns up the seeds of the latent impressions, which is the mind.
The knowers of truth declare that inquiry into the truth of the Self is knowledge. What is to be known is contained in it, like sweetness in milk.
By the abandonment of latent impressions, mind ceases to be mind. Just as in a mirage the idea of water does not occur to one who knows that it is a mirage, even so latent impressions do not arise in one whose ignorance has been destroyed by realizing that everything is Supreme Consciousness.
Space-I and Point-I
If one realizes the unity of things everywhere, one always remains tranquil and inwardly blissful, like a Space-I, rather than agitated, like a point-I.
As Franklin Merrell-Wolff says:
Approached from the usual standpoint of relative consciousness, the ‘I’ seems to be something like a point. This ‘point’ in one person is different from the ‘I’ in another person. One ‘I’ can have interests that are incompatible with the interests of another ‘I’, and the result is conflict.
Further, the purpose of life seems to center around the attainment of enjoyment by the particular I-point, which a given individual seems to be.
It is true that in one sense the ‘I’ is a point, and the first objective of the discriminative practice is the isolation of this point from all the material filling of relative consciousness, and then restricting self-identity to this point.
For my own part, I finally applied this technique with success. But, almost immediately at the moment of success, a very significant change in the meaning of the ‘I’ began to develop. A sort of process of ‘spreading out’ began that culminated in a kind of spatial self-identity.
I found that the ‘I’ had come to mean Space instead of a point. It was a Space that extended everywhere that my consciousness might happen to move.
I found nowhere anything beyond Me, save that at the highest stage both ‘I’ and Divinity blended in Being. All of this process involved an intensifying and broadening of Consciousness.
The important fact is that the Space-I does not have to strive in anything like a competitive sense to achieve any value. In a potential sense, the Space-I is all values at once.
The Space-I is a state of infinite completeness, as compared with the consciousness of any point-I.
Such a state is one of bliss, immeasurably transcending anything possible for any point-I.
Consciousness Is. That I Am.