Friday, December 08, 2006

Something different

What is man’s place in the universe?
Any answer to such a question is most likely to be heavily biased and relative.
Without going into religious beliefs or stale old concepts, what evidence is there to make such a judgment?
From 'where' is such a judgment made and based on what data? - Second hand information is not good enough. - Surely I can delve into it and ponder it myself.
Am I biased? - What do I see when I gaze into the night sky? - What words could adequately describe it?
Can a description contain no bias whatsoever? - What is my reference point?
Just like the question of your own existence, there is no absolute objective answer.
Is it all too obvious? - Insight into the true nature of things is rare for most of us.
We are far too busy to contemplate such things.
When an insight does open up, it often seems obvious and we may wonder how we did not see it before.
Is it so strange that we miss what is clear and obvious?
With the mind filled with a constant parade of concepts and reference points, what is obvious is just so often not noticed or it is dismissed as not being anything of significance.
The identified states of mind, seemingly cover the pure awareness, which makes all experiences possible. - THAT is unexplorable - it is not separate from the essence of any exploration.
- Ever fresh in each apparently separate moment. - Where is my 'place' in that, if I do not realize that I am THAT?

Man’s place in the universe?
What scale do we use? - Our own scale and view of 'above and below' is inescapable in the normal considerations in our normal reasoning and organic condition.
Is this planet just a hurtling rock traveling through space?
- Is it merely a 'dumb' rock covered by a thin layer of living substances, organic life forms?
In 1969 my brother was working on the Moon landing project.
- He posted to me, a copy of the first ever photo of the Earth rising above the Moon’s horizon. - Magnificent!
- Like millions of others who saw that photo, it made an instant deep impression on me, something far more spiritual than attending a church service.
- It is an impression that touches the core of our collective, mysterious, situation.
Even though the image is a second hand image, a mere photo taken by an astronaut, not direct experience for most of us, it still reaches into our deepest interior regions – our inner space, each time one sees that photo.
So, this planet along with the whole solar system is moving through space at some extraordinary speed, at least that is what we are told. - On a cloudless day, the stillness of a clear blue sky, we can be forgiven for imagining that nothing is moving at all.
Where is this planet going? - Is there a five year plan? - Is there a definite destination?
How does yesterday or a million years ago, bear upon this moment and this motion through space?
- Evolution is a relative concept and what difference could there be in a distant view of this planet, between now and ten million years ago or twenty million years in the future?
For us, we so-called humans, we are indoctrinated by information which is highly biased and subjective. - The weight of the past is thrust upon us, at least conceptually, and the mystery of the future is reduced to theoretical postulations, for the most part.
Like our infamous journalists, are we just too far entrenched in ‘things’ and ‘events’, that we are almost never touched by our apparent 'collective mysterious journey' through space?
Are we truly not much more than crawling things on a living rock, roaming about like ants?

In 1966 or 67, my brother and I, built a telescope based on a design using a 12 inch reflective mirror. - We hand ground glass on glass, ( two thick discs) using a series of abrasive compounds, to achieve the curvature required. - It took weeks to do and then we had it silvered. - We posted the single, inch thick, glass item away, to a specialized company for the silvering process. - The waiting for its return was a tad tedious, as I remember it.
- Constructing the telescope was a careful task and everything had to be arranged correctly and properly. - My brother was meticulous in everything he did and the telescope was a resounding success. - I was a few years younger and as I remember it, a little less patient. - It was all worth the effort.
I doubt I will ever forget my first view of the Moon through this instrument.
The Moon filled the eye piece with amazing details. - A short time later, Saturn with its rings sent a thrill through my organism and to such a degree that only such mysterious impressions directly perceived can do.
- I was no longer looking at a photo or a graphic representation of Saturn. - This was directly perceived with only empty space between the telescope and Saturn. - Having to adjust the telescope every now and then, due to the Earth’s rotation was just part of the whole wonderous experience.
If we look the other way, down into matter, we find equally arresting and wonderful impressions of life.
I remember looking at a common drop of water, from the kitchen tap, through a brand new microscope. - Watching the hundreds of living creatures, life forms, actively moving about is something not easily dismissed as being trivial. - Even a highly trained biologist must often be struck by those vivid impressions of life - in that microscopic world.
The wonder of it all.
On another scale, Sunrise and Sunset often catch our attention and transpose our mundane thought patterns into a sense of the miraculous.
- The sense of natural beauty instantly brings immediacy to our own presence as a living being.
For a lot of us, from what I see in this busy city, what comes between sunrise and sunset, which we always seem to miss seeing, is often all too hazy or too dull to even contemplate.
- Home for a meal and a bit of TV and then to bed.
When our inquisitive mind is turned towards the heavens, the night sky, or towards the micro world, our sense of scale is informed by direct impressions of a living presence far greater than anything we can imagine.
Where is your ‘place’ in all of this?
To paraphrase Nisargadatta: "You take yourself to be in a world. - Because you identify with being a body in time and space – you do not recognize that the world appears in what you are."

Energy, matter, galaxies, stars and planets etc, all appear in empty space.
- We can easily calculate that there must be, almost infinitely, more space than there is matter.
That is easily observed when you look into a clear night sky.
- Even the apparent size and proximity of the Moon is dwarfed by the space that surrounds it.

All the sensations of the body, the thoughts and states of mind appear in spaciousness, a spaciousness that is totally available to be explored in every detail.
- That fact should or could indicate something profound, something about our true nature and the nature of awareness itself. - Words can't convey it though. - It must be a direct experiencing.
All of your knowledge and all of your experiences and memories are appearances in what can be called a 'non conceptual space of pure awareness' which is unchangingly present right now.
We notice the changing and miss that which does not change.
The identified consciousness, the apparent ‘entity’ can never jump from its ‘position’ ( as an object) into that emptiness of pure knowing ( No thing) .
Therefore all seekers never find and all practices and all methods are useless for that apparent entity in its pursuit of the unattainable.
When all the efforts are exhausted, the organism may well collapse into a relaxed state.
- At that moment, (which is always now) what is always obvious may well make itself known, not as an object but as the ever knowing presence that it is (and that it always has been).

When the mind is turned towards the heavens, the night sky, or towards the microscopic world, our sense of scale is altered in the face of direct evidence - in direct, present experiencing.

Well, there you have it. - Something different?
Different to what? - Non Duality is simple - but somehow all the talk about it is just a foggy mist floating about in the minds of men.