Another foray into clarity… another request for assistance. Still exploring for truth… still called toward a light-hearted sanity-for-the-times and looking for like-minded people to partner in SANE (Society for Aliens oN Earth).
Here’s the pitch: If you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you. (Thank you!)
Here’s the blog, what I can say about the pure consciousness so needed now, beyond the perceptual illusion…
THE SPEECHLESS MIND
Awakening is not the goal… it is the starting point!
We experience the speechless mind and know that we are that. This is the beginning – the beginning of awakening and the beginning of what lies ahead. But just what is it that I am calling the speechless mind, a.k.a. Buddha mind, still mind, Christ or God consciousness, the void, Oneness or nonduality. It is just consciousness – consciousness without content, without an object, without intention, without identification, without boundaries; it is just consciousness without any thing to be conscious of – and thus, without anything to say.
The understanding, the experience, the realization of the speechless mind is the beginning of awakening, and is the starting point for all real spiritual transformation. But there is a tremendous amount of confusion about it in spiritual circles. The speechless mind is right there to be experienced and anyone can do it anytime. But first you must know precisely what to look for. What the speechless mind is – and what it is not!
What does this speechless mind feel like?
In itself, it feels like nothing. In itself, it has no emotional charge whatsoever. However, like hitting your head against the wall and then stopping, it does offer relief and relief does have a charge, one that feels like whatever stopping what you were doing feels like. So, if your consciousness is dwelling on something, and then you move it away, that is going to feel like something. If the contents of your consciousness are negative, rage, sadness, money or health worries, and you turn them away, you’re going to feel freedom and relief and you are going to want to pursue these emotions. On the other hand, if the contents of your consciousness are positive, like success, or pleasurable, like good food or good sex, turning away is going to feel like a loss and you are going to resist it. (This shines some light on why unhappy, unsuccessful people are more likely to turn to spiritual paths than happy, successful ones.)
Many spiritual seekers confused about this point and are looking for a certain kind of experience. They have heard about peak experiences, spontaneous satoris, states of oneness or enlightenment, where the associated feeling states are of vastness, unlimited freedom, immense power and all-pervasive love. Understandably, they want these experiences for themselves, so they set out in pursuit of them. Then, if they don’t get them, they think that what they have can’t be right, so they don’t value it and they go on searching…
Or perhaps they have had an experience of the speechless mind themselves, either spontaneously or in a spiritual workshop, and it felt great – suddenly they were in ecstasy, suddenly they loved everyone in the room, suddenly all of their problems seemed to melt into insignificance, suddenly they understood, suddenly everything seemed all right, perfect even, and there was nothing that needed doing. Suddenly, they experienced vastness, or bliss, or compassion – and they said to themselves, “Yes, this is what it feels like, this is what it is.”
But the feelings didn’t last; ordinary life swallowed them up. So, they set out in pursuit of a repeat performance. Perhaps they tried a longer meditation or a different kind of meditation. Perhaps they went to another workshop or consulted a “yet higher” spiritual teacher, or perhaps they changed from Vedanta to Buddhism, or vice versa. And maybe the experience was repeated and maybe it wasn’t. And maybe it was weaker or different, and maybe it was disappointing and maybe it was even better. But whatever it was, it too didn’t last.
And so, in pursuit of the original high or an even greater high, the seeker became the spiritual junkie, trying different drugs in higher and higher doses – not understanding that what they are searching for is in their hands; in fact, it is that which is doing the searching – but it feels like nothing. In fact, it is invisible.
So, absolute consciousness, the speechless mind, feels like nothing because it is nothing. It is just empty, and empty consciousness is literally no-thing. In itself, the speechless mind is a void. It is only when you stop doing what you were doing or feeling what you’re feeling, that, in the release, another feeling state presents itself. So, when you turn your attention away from contraction and towards the void, the speechless mind feels vast. Likewise, when you turn your attention away from separation, it seems all-encompassing; when you turn away from your emotions, it seems free; when you turn away from conditionality and againstness, it seems compassionate; and when you turn it away from the limits of beliefs and the confinement of body, it seems – well – unlimited. Absence feels like relief, relief from whatever you have been putting your mind on. It is like stopping banging your head against a wall.
What does experiencing from the speechless mind feel like?
There is yet another source of confusion about the nature of the speechless mind, and that comes from the feeling of experiencing from the speechless mind rather than experiencing it directly. After you become awake, after you withdraw attention from all that you are doing, intending, feeling, thinking, believing and even sensing, and relax into the speechless mind, after you do this, you start experiencing what is – de-void of what you are bringing to it. And this what is, whatever it may be, is very different from the way it seemed before you awakened.
The qualities you experience from the speechless mind, once you are there, are the qualities of reality as it is. But there is more, there is a great feeling of clarity, of effortlessness, of seeing, of comprehending. If you focus your attention on something, you seem to know all about it. If you ask yourself a question, the answer seems to come. And depending on where you focus your attention, or even just if you focus your attention, the world seems transformed. People seem to take on an energy, and that energy is strangely understandable. They may exude light or they may seem lifeless. Even the space around you changes. It may seem full of potential, or it may seem stagnant, dark even foreboding. Suddenly, you are living in a world that appears meaningful even without thinking about it.
When you withdraw attention from the contents of your own consciousness, you may become psychically open to other people’s consciousness, or even to collective consciousness, and this, too, can become a source of confusion. Thoughts and feelings, both welcome and unwelcome, come to you unbidden. It becomes difficult to distinguish your own material from what you are getting from others. This opening makes you susceptible to all sorts of outside presences, friendly and not so friendly. Other people’s thoughts and feelings, attachments and aversions start coming through you, and if you are not fully aware, you can easily mistake them for your own. Not only that, if you’re not familiar with your weaknesses and needs, you can be unconsciously inviting these alien presences in.
Awakening is serious stuff. It is not to be trifled with. Once you are on the path, you have to go all the way, or you become lost. So, when outside presences start coming in, it is time to set boundaries into place; it is time to practice discrimination and decide what – if anything – you are going to let through. My rule of thumb is not to let through anything that does not come from the level of Christ or Buddha consciousness – that is, not to entertain any thoughts and feelings that have not come from a presence that in itself is fully awake.
But there is even a problem with this, which is that even being fully awake is not enough. It is what you do with this awakeness that counts. Not only do you have to go to the speechless mind, you have to use it as a platform from which to let go further. Only full enlightenment, Level II Enlightenment, the alignment of the ego with the Self, is enough – and there have been few people, in any age, that have even understood that – let alone attained it.