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TOPICS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU.
THE SPIRITUAL EGO
Human consciousness has reached a point of awareness which needs careful examination. People have followed many paths to reach a point of self awareness, inner peace and quietness. So it is not uncommon to meet individuals who have reached a state of consciousness where they can genuinely say that they are aware of a great sense of inner quietness. They can recognise when their minds are chattering and distracting them from the present moment. They can disassociate themselves from strong emotions and honestly recognise any inner reactions to external situations. They have reached a point of self-realisation about themselves. This gives them a sense of contentment and a greater acceptance of their life as it is. This openness allows them the ability to flow much more spontaneously from moment to moment freer of their past conditioning. But with this awareness comes a very subtle state that needs careful enquiry. Many spiritual teachers have created an opportunity for a person to come upon this state of inner quietness and silence; however, along with this potential comes the sticky ground of self delusion.
Do we ever enquire into this state we have labelled as inner silence and awareness? Or, do we ever look into our recognition of this state of being? If we want to use common language, this state is called the observer and the observed. Or the one who experiences and the experience itself. What is the entity that is aware of the state of its own existence? Intellectually 1 may know that it is simply the mind watching its own movements, but how can I come to actually see this within myself without consciously thinking about it?
My sense of awareness of being here and now, in my body, how I feel and what I am aware of is still attachment to the memory of myself. It is my sense of identity, and in a very subtle way, my ego. Spiritual concepts and teachers applaud and acknowledge this state of being aware, being present in the moment, of having self knowledge. Let's look at this state.
How can you be talking to someone, working, sitting silently or walking, and at the same time be aware of the fact that you are silent, with no thoughts going through your mind? In itself it reflects a dualistic state. The very fact that someone can say that they feel sad or happy or are aware of a quietness or silence reflects that they still have sense of identity. This state of being is attachment to our ego. What you see and what you recognise is your content memory. This sense of recognition is your identity, your ego. The you when you speak of "my" or "I".
This conscious state of self-awareness actually strengthens the observer: the “you” who is reading this page. You are not separate from the thoughts you see in your mind or the feelings you sense in your body. It is a subtle illusion to know that you are aware of something. What vour mind is doing is just thinking about what it is aware of. What it is aware of is not the point; only the fact of it doing so.
The thought frame "I am aware, I am watching my emotions, I feel quiet" or "I am aware of being peaceful" or "I am happy, I am flowing, 1 sense a block of energy", shows that 1 have become attached to the awareness of myself.
All the new age, spiritual and human consciousness movements strengthen this form of conscious awareness. In essence, all we have achieved by practising self realising techniques is to modify our behaviour. We are now just more open, sensitive and peacefully aware of our state of existence, instead of being unaware of our thoughts, emotions and feelings. We seem to disassociate feelings and emotions from mind and thought and the processes of thinking as if they are two separate things. For example, if I am not aware of any thoughts in my mind but feel a sense of quietness, joy and emptiness then I have achieved the desired state of being silent within. This state of silent self-awareness is reinforced by spiritual leaders, their books and their philosophies. The emotions and feelings are not different or separate from the mind and thinking. They are one and the same thing. How can you be aware of anything without the mind? Any state of being you can recognise is sensory or else you would not recognise it. So any recognition is based on memory, and therefore is within the realm of the mind and its movements called thought. There must be an experiencer to experience anything.
Recognising some sensation in myself and then expressing how 1 feel - expressing my awareness of the good or bad or quiet state of my being - can go on forever. In other words, observing the movements of your own mind. It is a subtle illusion to describe or label what you become aware of as Silence or Peacefulness or Stillness. You cannot be aware of silence. It is not conscious. you cannot touch it with the conscious mind. Silence is just there. Silence is silent. What you label as silence is merely the gap left when the mind is resting. Your mind can create a subtle state of watchful silence, quietness and a sense of being in the present moment. For example, how can you be aware of the present moment? To label it as so, you must be coming from a framework of knowing the past and the future. Each person is coming from what they themselves have learnt without realising that the mere expression of their point of view or idea of themselves or their concept of life, is the framework itself.
Thought can modify itself and investigate its own activities. You can change the feelings and emotions that you become aware of. For example you can just let thoughts come and go and not interfere with them. Just watch them ("like clouds in the sky" is the popular phrase). You can be a silent observer (thought stops itself and vou hear no noise). Is this what you label as being silent? Are vou playing the game of being aware, unknowingly?
There must be a point of self-reference to be able to explain any state of being.
In truth there is just watching. Not being aware that l am watching or knowing that 1 am watching myself, my feelings, my thoughts or what 1 see. Look carefully at this. What is the entity that can explain and express its own state? Don't just say "the mind" but see this now as it is happening. At what point do you recognise being silent, quiet or being present? Your attempts at awareness will just overlay your mental conditioning, and your actions - even though they may appear t6 have changed - are still based on your past sensory experiences. This state of being is your spiritual ego.
WATCHING THE FLOW OF THOUGHT
As the words of knowledge spin through your head, you must see that the words you hear in your mind are not the actual. The word tree is not the actual tree itself. Words convey an abstract image, an idea, but are never the real. When you think, have a thought in vour mind, including when you recognise the fact you are thinking (analysing, day-dreaming) there is a mechanical process in motion. The thinker and the watcher of the thoughts is thought itself.
It is only an abstracted idea of thought which wants to have a quiet mind. It is thought which is operating on itself when you say "I want to be still within", "I want enlightenment", "I must relax, or "There is something more beyond myself ', or "Something lies deep within me". With this consciousness you live your life.
It is the thoughts that desire to meditate or to be a meditator, as well as the thoughts that precede the actual method of meditation which will set the pattern of your results and ultimate goal. When we want to become something - quieter, silent, happier, more aware - we want something other than what we are. This is the movement of thought in action. Thinking creates division, self-centredness and conflict. Thought is dualistic.
When you talk to yourself - think aloud - you are coming from an expression of your thoughts. Your language reflects in its very expression the division that exists within you. For example to express a thought or a feeling, you live in the opposite ideas of what you say. Example: "I feel good" - "I must know what it is like to feel bad". "I like peacefulness" - "I must dislike noise”.
When you express your thoughts and sentiments you reveal at the same time your deeper dualism. It is revealed in the opposite of what you say. Let's make this clearer. If I have an opinion of what is bad then I must have an opinion of what is good. An expression of "I fell flexible in myself'shows that 1 come from a state of inflexibility.
It is the ideas that you base your actions on and therefore the direction in life that you take which is the most important point to understand. Even to say that
you lead a life with no direction and take life as it comes, shows that you have known and still retain the memory (consciously or not) of a directed and structured way of living.
There is no way of escaping this expression of your thoughts. Thought itself is dualistic. If you can see this happening in yourself and at the same time see how your thoughts govern your life, then the very observation of it happening as you live your daily life is the beginning of breaking this self-enclosing and illusionary human consciousness.
Dualistic thought is very easy to observe. If you have a heart and mind to listen carefully to everyone and expeciallv to yourself, you will see that this human consciousness is common to all. Everyone shares the same consciousness. It is not yours, you don't think separately your own individual thoughts. They belong to the human race as a whole. A collective consciousness. Everyone feels pain, loneliness, anger, and fear. Everyone the world over shares the same conditioned consciousness. If you see this in yourself, you will see it in others. To see the deepest implications of thinking is of the utmost importance. To break its movement in yourself requires a great energy which comes into you when you give absolute and total atention to what you are doing. Thought reveals itself when you give this quality of observation to everything you do and to thought itself when it moves through you. If you watch carefully, you will see that thought actually occurs outside of your self. It comes to vou. In truth there is no thinker of thought, it is just thoughts moving through you. Watch carefully and vou will see. Give some energy to this. You must look. There is nothing to figure out or understand. Only to observe and behold. True knowledge (not conclusions, opinions, judgements or recognition’s) is what is. What is has a benediction of its own. What is looked upon reveals itself before you.
Whatever thought that comes to you is not yours. It has nothing to do with you. Thought condensed is the you. The manipulator of the thoughts, feelings and emotions which arise within yourself is thought itself.
What occurs within you when you hear someone else say something? What happens within you when you read some words of your favourite guru or philosopher? What is happening when you think deeply about something? What actually takes place actually takes place? Is there a reaction? A stirring of sentiment? A sense of deep appreciation or a sense of absolute stillness. Do these arise in you in the reflection of what you have read or heard or seen happening around you? Can vou see these very subtle movements are in response to something? Even though we feel they happen within us and to us (the experiencer), it is thought (which is memory) that is reacting. These inner movements of feelings and emotions are based on an image (an illusion).
THINKING ABOUT YOURSELF
Why do we self-refer? It seems, if you watch yourself carefully, that every time you listen to anyone, look at something or are faced with some problem, this movement of the mind occurs. The "I" which is doing all of this referring is never still. It is constantly consumed with itself. My feelings, my unhappiness, mv needs, my thoughts etc. It is with this tool we try to learn and fix all of our inner problems. We become aware of an inner pain or problem. We stand back and look at whatever it is and analyse what we are aware of. That energy that stands back to be aware is thought. But you call this thought "Me" or "I". We then say, I am aware of this or that". Then the I, which is thought, try's to looks at and analyse what it is aware of. It tries to fix its problem with the tools of its own self knowledge. This inner process which we use is the cause of the division which everyone feels in themselves. The sense of me and the world out there. My sense of myself and what 1 am doing. My sense of me and you. Me and my ideas and you and yours.
This movement of the mind must be given careful observation. Otherwise you become a victim of its never-ending movement. The mere knowledge of this is of no use whatsoever. The I which is continually struggling to change itself, trying to be still, free of itself, can never come about by the mere knowing intellectually about the movement of thought. It is only when you actually look at yourself to see if this is what is happening to you, can this winging of thought come to an end. This watching is not thinking. It is a quality of observation which -~ the movement of self-referral happening as you talk, listen and act in your daily life. It is a seeing that is not interfering with anything, trying to change what it sees. It is a quality of looking at the fact of what you are doing. Neither acknowledging or deliberately looking at what you are aware of. With this seeing of what you are actually doing, something of immense beauty happens.
Put this question to yourself. Why do you self-refer? Why does this happen within yourself? Because to be able to look into the problems of life and at the way we are, we must be able to look without this movement of thinking about yourself. But this is meaningless unless you first see that you are constantly shifting back to yourself before you look at, speak about or even think about anything. You must watch carefully. Otherwise everything we say and do is a mere repetition of the past. You live a life which is conditioned. it is a series of repeated actions and situations. It is conditioned because we self-refer to thought. Is there a quality of being where there is action and relating which is not according to a preset pattern? Where self-referral does not occur? To see if this is possible we must first see if we do shift back to ourself and our own thoughts and feeling before we act.
We are continually trying to change this idea we have about ourself. Trving to make this thing called 'myself better, more aware, more silent, happier and peaceful. We are trying to change it with the tools of self-help - from books, words of someone else, courses and tapes. But the self remains no matter what shape we manage to change it into.
Why do you want to change yourself, your self image? Change from what? From being sad, lacking confidence, irritable, unaware and nasty, to being happier, calmer, more aware or kinder? If this is your approach then you will need tools to become these other ideas, which is away from what you are now. Maybe if you looked into your state of sadness or irritation, etc. - what you are - and see what the root cause is, then it will dissolve naturally. Calmess will come about through the observation of what you actually are. Calmess and peacefulness will flower out of your sorrow. Then the need to become something does not arise
THE QUALITY OF AWARENESS
I wonder if you have every thought about or pondered on the question of how you pay attention to something? Have you ever noticed how you hear something - the sound of someone's voice, the sound of the wind, the birds singing? How do you listen? Is it a casual listening, only giving energy to what you hear if it directly relates to you, to your self-interests? Or do you give your total attention, which is all your energy, mind and heart, your senses, to what you are listening to? I wonder if you have ever looked at this in yourself.
What is the quality of energy you bring to everything you do? As you read this line, are you looking and reading with all your energy, looking totally with your eyes at the page, looking into the words to sense their true meaning? Or are you aware of the sound of thinking in your head while you read. Which means you are not looking but are distracted by your own interpretation, your conditioning of what you think these words mean. Can you look at this page, or for that matter at anything - the tree, the clock, that bird, and your wife, son - without hearing a sound inside if yourself? Can you look at this page now without thought?
The depth of attentiveness which you bring to anything before you releases a quality of energy which has movement unique unto itself. When we are alert and attentive to every sound we hear, to everything we see, a great mutation occurs. A seeing and understanding of life that is totally new, fresh and unpolluted by our mind's past conditioned content.
You have to look at this absolutely by yourself. No one in any shape or form, no priest or guru, no book or philosophy, can show you how to be attentive. you must look for yourself. If you are at all interested in this then we can take a look at this together. No one is telling you how to do anything. But you put this question to yourself. Ask yourself, to see absolutely by yourself, how do you pay attention to everything you do?
If you are not interested there is no point in reading on. Because you must give energy, everything you have, to this question of how you are relating to everything.
Again, as you read this line are you looking at the words or listening to your own thinking? Have a look, watch carefully, if you are listening to your inner voice, give careful attention to the sound inside your head for this sound you hear is your thinking, your conditioning. Can you read this line without the sound of your own thinking? See how much energy you must give to this. you are doing this totally on your own. You don't need someone to train or teach you all about how to watch your own mind. just do it, now.
When you give this much attention to everything, there comes into you an immense energy from no direction. it has a quality of aliveness.
Most people are so obsessed with themselves, thinking about and analysing how thev feel and what they are thinking, that thev are unable to hear what is being said to them or see what is happening in front of them.
How do you listen to something? Do you listen to the sound of someone's words or are you listening to your own thinking (the voice in your head)? Don't answer! Just watch how you listen to someone. Do you always refer back to think about yourself, analysing every feeling, emotion and thought that comes to your awareness? Can you watch your thoughts and emotions without thinking? 1 wonder. Don't ask anyone about this, but give your energy to find out for yourself. If you do, is there a passion in you, some vitality to find out by yourself. Or is it easier to go to someone else to ask them about how to be still within to be free of all your pain, the past, the fear, the anger and all the rest of it? Ask yourself this question. Find out if you can. Watch yourself very carefully.
Become alight unto yourself. Begin to enquire into what is happening inside yourself. Enquiring is not thinking about what is happening, but looking. With passion and energy bring a quality of attention to what you find. If you find anger, look at it - bring all your energy to it so that it reveals itself to you so you can understand what anger means all by yourself.
Enquiring is listening and looking with all your senses. Why don't you listen or see what is happening to yourself? Are you too busy listening to your own mind and responding to this inner dialogue? How much time and energy do you give to listening to your own thoughts - analysing/ thinking about yourself, busy telling everyone about how you are, what you think and how you feel, always coming from your self-interest?
The quality of attentiveness which has its own intensity of awakefulness cannot be cultivated. It is not within consciousness. You cannot make yourself be attentive. If you (the mind) try to understand, practise and prepare yourself for silent attentiveness, you are playing a dead-end game. You either are attentive or you are not. If you are not, find out why you are not. Look at everything with this quality of attention until there is nothing left to see but what is happening before you. This silent passion and intense quality of attention is selfless action - Love in Action. The doer and the looker (the "I", "My", the "You" the sound of a voice inside your head) disappears. There is only the sound of silence.
Are you thinking about this now? Are you looking at your own thoughts, hearing a sound of words in your head? I wonder.
THE EYES HAVE IT
Have you ever looked into vour own eyes to see what is what? Go ahead, have a look.
Come up and look straight into and "through" your eyes. Come to the very centre as if looking into a pinhole. Do it very easily ... no effort, not staring or concentrating, just come to the point and look. Sit back, relax and look straight ahead into the centre.
There are shifts and changes which unfold from this point of observation:
A sense of being aware with no thought.
An inner peace and silence which stays with you throughout your daily activities, even during conversation.
The feeling or sensation of energy moving upward from the base of the spine.
A strong presence and awareness of energy around the eyes which stays with you from the moment you initially come into your eyes.
A sense of grounding, solidity, with an inner lightness and joyfulness. An immediate centring.
It is useless trying to understand this phenomenon by thinking or analysing it. The understanding comes in the doing.
It is from the eyes that our awareness can extend to the outside world of objectivity or to the inner world of subjectivity. To be at this point of departure enables one to see one's false attachment to either of these movements of the mind.
Intellectually, we know how to look and pay attention to everything we do, but how many of us look and observe in silence from a quiet centre without projecting judgement, comparison, analysis?
Have a look and find out!
THE CENTRE FOR THE UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS
This leaflet is to explain briefly the purpose of the small group sharings, private one-to-one sessions and talks on specific topics relating to human consciousness and the art of enquirv.
To explain something new you sometimes must show first what it is not. The work is not dealing with -
Any religion or belief system or creating these in another form.
It is not teaching any system of self-help, mental visualisation, meditation, metaphysical topics; neither confirming or denying their reality.
Developing mind power, positive self images, psychic abilities or developing the consciousness that you have any further.
Coming to any conclusions which make statements that confirm any view of relating to the world.
The small group gathering are not intended to have -
People sitting and intellectualising about metaphysical subjects.
Any individual pointing out his own point of reality and persuading everyone else that they are right or wrong.
Individuals debating abstracted theories or supporting each other's neuroses.
It is interesting in itself why, as human beings, we attach ourselves to someone else's words, or to a particular system of self-help. It is the consciousness that seeks to develop itself that must be looked at.
The beginning to dissolving this self-supporting and self-maintain consciousness which exists within each of us is within an environment which supports and nourishes the art of inner enquiry. The art of enquiry is looking at the movements of consciousness as they exist within ourselves. This is not introspective self-analysis or the analysis of theories or our belief systems, but a way of looking at these movements of the mind. Looking into, not at, a common movement which exists within each of us. For example, the urge to be more aware - looking into the movement of energy which moves the person towards something and most importantly, who is it that wants to be more aware, and on what basis are you going to choose a particular system or dogma to achieve this awareness?
These gatherings are only to provide a space where you can genuinely, by yourself or in reflection with others, break the flow of the conditioned human consciousness which exists within us all. No one is better qualified to enquire than anyone else. Because you have meditated for ten years, have psychic abilities, hold degrees in philosophy or have read all the metaphysical books, makes you no more consciously aware than someone who is busy just coping with daily life with all its pressures.
There is a common thread which binds us all together - 'thought'.