What is God?

Many pilgrims explore the validity and meaning of God or Absolute when investigating spiritual life, existence, and the afterlife. It seems there is nothing scarier than to ponder an endless oblivion at the end of living, or while living, for that matter. 

As humans, feeling there is something more after death, and believing in an enduring personal soul or spirit in an afterlife seems to draw and sustain many to a higher power or God.  

applied a Christian framework onto God for more than 40 years. God seemed like a devoted loving parent, promising an afterlife in Heaven, if all the dogma and doctrines were practiced and obeyed.

A belief in existing as a personal soul that would unite with God upon physical death and spend eternity with God in an afterlife was at the core of these personal beliefs.

Upon reflection and inquiry, this concept of God implied God was changeable, flexible, and able to exist in a relative relationship  –  God and other – creator and created – bound together in a relationship (relativity) enduring through time and space.

The belief implied that God was divisible, not already everywhere and everything, and that some things were created in the image of God and somethings were not. This belief implied that God was not timeless and ever-present since God was not with those folks or things labeled as evil or assumed to be living in hell, whatever hell is, or those not believing in God.

Is there a clear line of who is accepted by God and who is not worthy of God…does it depend on a particular set of beliefs and an allegiance or commitment to these beliefs? All beliefs and dogma are concepts.  I even taught this dogma to children and adults in Sunday School classes for decades in the Baptist and Methodist Church.

My powerful urge for teaching about the love and divinity of God and for dwelling with God heaven fell away here during a long dark night of the soul, and later in 2011, in a shocking shift of perception and identity.

Now reality is perceived as impersonal awareness which appears spontaneously and uncaused as appearances arising upon relativity (subject and object). You and me. Up and down. Here and there. Now and later. Here and there. Good and bad. Birth and death.  Past and future. In relativity, all things may appear true and factual until they are not, meaning relativity is changeable and dynamic, illusory appearances only.

For instance, humans once believed the world was flat, but no longer.  Humans believed man could not fly, until in seven short seconds, Orville and Wilbur instantly changed that beliefs. And mankind would never walk on the moon, until Neil Armstrong did. And we’ll never make it to Mars…or Pluto. 

Science is now moving towards the paradoxical world of quantum physics, yet another concept…moving awareness beyond relativity and into empty particles, dark matter, and entanglement. This is the fascinating world of exploring the nature of invisible particles and matter just by changing what or how a particle is being observed.

But no matter how deeply we investigate what is appearing, what is will remain as a concept, an idea, an opinion or a collective belief, because it is appearing in an illusory relative world — the world where the brain/mind creates all concepts and beliefs…including the concept of Absolute and the study of potentiality, waves, and particles in quantum physics. 

I spent decades meditating (and still do) to reconcile the scientific facts with spiritual beliefs. I was deeply spiritual all my life and who was I if I was no longer spiritual in the way I was accustomed?  And who was this “I” in relation to what science calls dark energy, which comprises 95% of the cosmos?

And for a while, the mystical teaching of Christianity and the scientific information of quantum physics agreed with my relative and logical brain.  St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross wrote at length about the illusory nature of the separate or personal self. Their teachings lined up with the ancient teachings of Lao Tsu, the Buddha, Jesus the Christ, and Wu Hsin, all describing an unchanging, indivisible, omnipresent, and timeless God. An Absolute God resonated for years in the heart, down into the bones and marrow, until it didn’t…the shift in 2011 blew away all concepts…including the concept of God.

Yes, it makes logical and scientific sense to see and imagine God as Absolute and not relative.  It feels good to an imaginary personal self as it offers a belief, a hope, a concept that perpetuates and lasts beyond the relative realm…survives the concept of death and enjoys an afterlife.

This is a hard realization to comprehend by a relative brain/mind.

In short, all perceptions are illusory appearances of impersonal awareness perceiving itself. No separate self can awaken or be enlightened. At best, an illusory character can realize itself as an illusory character in a dreamy illusion of impersonal awareness and laugh out loud at the possibility of escaping or enduring beyond the moment.

The duality, the relative world, is the only platform, or place, if you will, where impersonal awareness knows itself as conceptual, as itself and as other, by spontaneously appearing as itself as separate, here now, in the timeless now.  

Such mystery!  And if you wanna call impersonal aware presence “God,” , then feel free…but most folks will picture a dualistic God created of their beliefs when you speak the word “God” as most humans crave an enduring existence beyond this moment and beyond death of the body.

anita

Sages?

Years ago, the words and concepts of Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Marharshi pointed this pretend pilgrim towards the illusory nature of self and reality. The conceptual framework of notions about who or what we are is often held in place by what others, especially teachers, sages, and spiritual authority figures…like Nisargadatta and Ramana, tell us about ourselves.

Humans are a collection of tightly held beliefs and concepts misperceived to be real and tangible. We are and always have been illusory and imaginary characters playing in an illusory dream of separation projected as impersonal consciousness. And it seems as though we must also question Nisargadatta and Ramana’s words, which are simply concepts too…projections appearing as impersonal consciousness dreaming a dream of itself.

So how do illusory characters notice and discern the nature of the personal self?  Realizing the illusory nature of a personal self cannot be accomplished by a separate or personal self.  If an illusory character realizes the illusory nature of itself and the dream, no one will know or see anything as humans are illusory.

If realization spontaneously appears,uncaused, there seems to be a knowing of impersonal consciousness turning and noticing itself playing a game…living as separate imaginary characters, living a dream of separation, as itself as impersonal awareness in a dream of itself.

Once the separate self and the world are seen to be illusory tightly-held beliefs and concepts, living simply appears…uncaused, spontaneously, flowing appearances and projections of awareness as choiceless characters, appearing human, reflecting an illusory and unspeakable silence and stillness which cannot be comprehended, dreaming a dream as itself.

anita

Misidentification – Part 4 of 4

Today’s essay addresses the universal ability to miss what is in plain sight. The vast majority of humans have misidentified awareness as personal and dwelling within the body.

Well-meaning parents, educators, religious leaders, and society have passed along their unexamined beliefs about awareness and consciousness and most children have accepted this opinion as being true…after all, it is proclaimed by the majority of scholarly adults.

Those few who actually deeply and directly explore the nature of awareness will fall to the floor in shock and awe upon seeing and discovering the simplicity of awareness and how it has remained so vastly misidentified.

And not because awareness is hard to see or understand, but because it is so freakishly near, simple, and obvious…just watch any small child who is fully present playing with an empty box or plastic container. Human beings value what is complicated, complex, intellectual, as though the delicate and simple flow of just being and breathing is not complex or miraculous enough to require our full attention.

The separate self is truly a fictional character created by the brain/mind. Investigate, go within using self inquiry, and explore the beliefs and concepts conjuring the specific person you believe yourself to be.

There is only uncaused, spontaneously appearing impersonal awareness, seamless, edgeless, indivisible, so it cannot be divided into seven billion individual units.

anita

What Lifts the Veil – Part 3 of 4

Who or what can bring about change, what can create, motivate, cause any action… when there is only uncaused, spontaneous appearances of what seems to be?

What lifts the veil to expose the illusory nature of what is seeking?  Seeking spontaneously appears, uncaused, and to no one in particular in the illusory dream of life.

We know words and thoughts are divisive, or create division, it’s just the nature of brain/minds to provide running commentary on all appearances.  Language is simply the relative and rational process of the brain/mind naming, claiming, and describing the seamless, edgeless, vastness of awareness into discreet objects and subjects to project an imaginary relativity.

How do we point towards what is not measurable; without any identity; not relational; indivisible; uncaused, edgeless, seamless, spontaneously appearing awareness?  We cannot.

Even words like Source, Brahman, Universe, Absolute, Allah, Tao, Consciousness, Yehweh, Grace, or God are concepts defined and imagined in the brain/mind. The word is not the thing.

Even the word Absolute is a concept created by the brain/mind.

From a different vantage point, we may be able with self inquiry to see how powerless the human brain/mind is to grasp the essence of it’s own (the brain/mind’s) illusory nature, but this seems to rarely appear.

anita

Relative Brain – Part 2 of 4

The personal self that is seeking freedom or awakening is the hinderance or roadblock to uncovering what is appearing now.

The brain/mind creates and fashions the illusory self by objectifying what seems to be appearing. Many scientists are of the opinion that the mind is an invisible relational-process-regulator of the neural flow of information in the brain and body. Do you accept what brain scientists report about this mysterious beast?

Being a relative beast (subject and object), the dualistic nature of the mind is the source of the division of words and thoughts into names, labels, categories, distinctions, and definitions.

This relative quality of brain/mind is the very foundation for our belief in separation, the belief in a separate being as a “me.”

  • If all our thoughts and words in the brain/mind are based on a global belief in separation or duality, then we will always view the world as discreet objects being viewed by discreet subjects.
  • The brain/mind that seeks can never find what it is seeking – the seeking brain/mind cannot believe the aware presence it intimately feels…is the same aware presence, though impersonal, it is seeking.  
  • Most all people create an elaborate life story and personal archive of traits and identity and then search for a primal or original identity which is always present and overlooked!  
  • But the character cannot see that what is seeking is seeking itself, and cannot locate itself because it is too simple and too close to be the final answer.  
  • Beliefs and concepts of being a doer, a separate being, must fall away in order to live simultaneously as aware presence as the observer, the observing, and the observed.

The sense of a separate self must be seen as the illusion it is. The separate self is merely a projected illusion the brain/mind constructs to maintain the identity of being a separate entity.

There has never been a separate entity, so there is nothing to seek towards…only something to realize now or uncover now – the personal self has never been anything but an illusory belief created and held in place by an objectifying brain/mind.

Many have compared aware presence to a movie script displaying scenes passing across a silver screen.  Both brain/mind and movie are projections.  The brain/mind is projecting a dualistic version of reality where none exists since the brain cannot ever contemplate infinite, edgeless, timeless awareness.

With the advancements in functional magnetic resonance imaging we now safely and non-invasively measure and map activity in the brain to gain a wider understanding of the relationship between the brain and the mind. But with all the science and technology at our fingertips, scientists still do not know how to engineer the flow of information into being-ness, but aware presence is not a flow as a flow would require a belief in time to sustain it. 

Here is the easy way to understand all this scientific stuff…simply observe small children and babies when they play as they demonstrate the ease and joy of accepting and noticing what simply is.

Every word, thought, or object the brain/mind describes, references, or points towards is simply the impersonal, uncaused, spontaneously arising, indivisible, seamless, emptiness of aware presence appearing as forms and formlessness in it’s own illusory dream of nothingness, and yet, not there is not even nothing.

Just ask the toddlers and little kids about time and gravity and they will simply look at you and hand you a toy and want to play.

anita

The Seeking Self – Part 1 of 4

The separate or personal self that is seeking is the hinderance or roadblock to uncovering what is already present. It’s a simple case of mistaken identity.

There simply is no separate self or personal identity, only appearances of impersonal awareness appearing as what is. The personal self is an illusion. There are no separate selves, no separate objects, only a seamless, edgeless, uncaused and spontaneously appearing aware presence as everythingness in an edgeless and illusory appearance.  But why do I feel separate, you might ask…

We’ve noticed the intimacy and sense of an immediate and unique presence since we were small children, and we’ve been taught that this presence is personal and specific to us because this is what most believe to be true.

Small children are always in touch with the impersonal awareness they already are.

As older children and adults, we’ve simply forgotten what we are, and/or we’ve never explored our identity and only accepted what others have told us.

The concept of “I” as a separate or personal being with a name is a learned concept taught to babies and small children by well-meaning parents, family, teachers, neighbors and society.

Most humans follow the leader and embrace the beliefs and customs passed down from authority figures through the ages.

Those who question the deeper nature of identity, beingness, awareness and consciousness, are usually few and far between, and for those few, it’s often a catastrophic event that launches the deep inner journey to examine reality and self through self inquiry

Most understand the state of unconsciousness found in dreamless sleep, while under anesthesia, or in a coma, as the state of being unaware and unable to process sensory inputs from the body. There is no sense of a personal or separate self to be experienced in dreamless sleep, coma, or unconsciousness.

On the other hand, during periods of dreaming while sleeping, the brain/ mind is active and the sense of being a watcher or observer is experienced. Occasionally, lucid dreaming occurs when the sense of beingness as a dreamer senses that dreaming is occurring. Upon waking each morning, ordinary awareness arises and we take this awareness or consciousness to originate within and belong to a specific person, “me.”

Considering we spend at least one third of life unconscious, it appears this routine period of unconsciousness each 24 hours is critical to health and wellbeing. Scientists and physicians validate this need for deep restorative sleep. Is the source of the unconscious state during dreamless sleeping the same source that experiences dreaming sleep and the conscious state in waking hours? Where is the personal “I” in dreamless sleep?  How does the personal “I” arise when waking from sleep?

If you explore these questions deeply you will eventually discover the personal self is an illusion, a concept or complex set of beliefs reinforced by the widely-held beliefs and concepts of time and location. When the beliefs in the passage of time (past/future) is dissolved, the beliefs holding together the personal self eventually dissolve as well.

Beliefs are mental constructions, shadows on the wall, the stories created and claimed by the mind. There is only aware presence appearing, but the brain/mind must objectify all appearances.  Seeking arises spontaneously, to no one in particular, as fleeting appearances in the vast, empty, uncaused and spontaneous appearances of what simply is.

anita

 

Awareness

The belief that creation unfolds at the feet of seven billion individuals, each with a personal awareness and consciousness, is the belief of the vast majority. I also believed this until 2011 when I witnessed the falling away of the personal identity I claimed as mine. I had been consumed for decades with spiritual introspection, and later self-inquiry, about the nature of existence, what happens after death, and the purpose of life.

I eventually realized, that the omnipresent awareness always seemed to be seeing from behind my eyes had never been personal or separate. I had mistakenly decided/believed/been told that I had a separate and personal awareness and I never questioned this belief since it was widely held by the vast majority of the world.

Jesus the Christ seemed to be pointing towards this mystery in the New Testament, but I did not have the ears to hear what he was pointing towards when he said he and the father are one.

There is only aware presence and it is indivisible. Whatever is seeming to appear in front of these eyes, and behind these eyes, is awareness as appearances. Awareness is the sum and substance of the appearance of creation or reality.

Yes, it may appear that seven billion individuals are here because we have all been taught to believe we are separate and exist in the concept of time and space. This is false.

Awareness appears as the momentary dreamscape called life. What’s looking through these eyes at this moment is this very same awareness observing and animating the energy of the momentary appearance of this human body as an ordinary person in a lovely dreamscape.

Today, from behind and in front of these eyes, it seems all human emotions and thoughts are still in play, and the dreamscape feels tangible….but this, what is, is simply fleeting appearances of aware presence.

There are no longer any beliefs and commentaries running about time, space, distance, becoming or improving. Nothing adds to or takes away from the raw seeing and perceiving of what simply is…what is appearing here, now, as this moment. 

anita

 

What Remains?

It’s “mind-blowing” to directly see the tricks and games the brain/mind plays to perpetuate itself as a separate and distinct entity where none exists.

Shockingly, there is no path to traverse…where would it lead? And for who? And for what?  This is…what is…an uncaused, spontaneously appearing impersonal consciousness playing and dreaming an illusory and relative dreamscape as itself. Paradoxically…seeking appeared and searching unfolded in the dreamscape of the anita character as she explored the longings in her heart for Truth, for what is.

There is nothing or no one to attain, to become, to achieve…these beliefs are illusory concepts of an illusory brain/mind struggling to claim and assert a separate self where none can possibly exist.

As the Anita character, what remains, if anything could remain, is the dreamscape appearing as life.  Anita no longer has internal reference points…just raw perceptions appearing as forms and formlessness across an uncaused and spontaneously appearing infinite ocean of impersonal consciousness.  The personality traits and preferences of the Anita character are mostly still in play, even heightened, and are now seen as impersonal consciousness playing as as its own dreamscape.

Emptiness is nowhere and everywhere and yet a profound intimacy and compassion embraces the character, the empty fullness, and unconditional love and compassion radiate as appearances. There is no ability to be inside nor outside of what is. No-thing-ness appears as the illusory every-thing-ness as a seamless, edgeless, undivided spontaneous and uncaused dreamscape.

Anita’s human emotions seem to appear, even super-heightened, as is apparent when she appears. Her quirky personality is projected as the illusory Anita character…no escape, no eternity, nothing remains. Remain and remaining are concepts of the split-mind that lives and plays in the imaginary land of time and space.

If you’re living in bliss and nirvana then by all means enjoy these states of the split-mind as they are simply a few of the thousands of expressions and states of mind in the split-mind’s bag of tricks…ultimately as projections of impersonal consciousness.  There has never, ever, been a personal or separate identity as a self, as the experiencer of these states. Nor has there been any distinct states of mind, only the labeling of phenomena and noumena by a misperceiving brain/mind believing itself to be a personal self.

Unfortunately, many seekers are caught up in the bliss and nirvana movement and are calling these exquisite feelings “enlightenment” or “realization.”  Of course, these appearances of “enlightened” folks are unfolding within impersonal consciousness too… but there is zero possibilities for realization or enlightenment for any individual — there are no individuals – only impersonal consciousness dreaming a dream as itself.

How does a separate person reach enlightenment or realization? It’s ridiculous to think an illusory self in an illusory world can become anything, much less become substantial, true, or otherwise solid…though many enjoy drinking the new age kool-aid, wearing robes, beads, and creating spiritual names while singing kumbayaa. And this too is appearing as the perfection of what simply is.

The few seeing the illusion of the illusion mostly laugh and cry, embracing the tenderness and ache of nothingness appearing as an empty everythingness as a dreamscape.  What can be added or taken from an illusion or a dream?

Stillness, aloneness, aliveness, and amazement…and a loving sorrow are felt textural expressions of impersonal consciousness, but these do not flow through substantive indiveric-frommidual humans. Emotions, sensory sensations, and the projected brain/mind also appear as impersonal consciousness creating the illusion of reality. There is no way out… what is is illusory, but isn’t it just amazing how real, and tangible what is appears to be?

The paradox of what is is overwhelming to pilgrims attempting to comprehend. No individual preferences. Who is there to prefer? What is preferring? Yet preferring spontaneously appears, to nothing or no one in particular as impersonal consciousness. The illusory character appears to have preferences but impersonal consciousness projects the illusion of all.

How else can an uncaused, edgeless, choiceless, centerless, spontaneously arising impersonal consciousness experience Itself as self and other unless it dreams 7 billion interesting characters in a dreamscape of separation?

What remains? What could possibly remain or not remain in an illusion? There is nothing to add, nor nothing to remove, how could there be? This is…what is...as edgeless, fullness, seamless, center-less, choice-less, uncaused emptiness… and yet it appears as embodied illusory beings through which impersonal consciousness dances as forms and formlessness.

anita

Consciousness is Perceiving

What’s looking through the eyes claimed as yours? Have you ever questioned the nature of what’s looking, of what you are, of what is appearing?

Here’s the back of the book answer…what’s appearing is impersonal consciousness spontaneously projecting/flowing through the eyes you call yours, as the appearances of forms and formlessness in a dream of itself. It’s not really a flow, but it feels like a flow as long as the beliefs in time and space are still operable.

Perceptions and sensations are impersonal consciousness and it’s not divisible into parts or pieces anymore than you can carve out a slice of the sky. This is why there is no time and space, no inner or outer consciousness….consciousness cannot be divided.

Language, being relative and conceptual, lacks the scope to point towards what is as what is is non-conceptual, indivisible, and uncaused.  But what are we and how do we know?

We’ve been programmed since babyhood to believe we are separate…that we have a separate and unique consciousness, a personal consciousness within us – as us. Not true. What is appearing is consciousness…and it’s impersonal.  But when 99% of all humans believe something to be true, they call it a truth, a fact, a conviction…and it’s usually written in stone, until it’s not.  The world is flat, man can’t fly, we’ll never go to the moon, never a computer small enough to fit in your pocket.

Consciousness is indivisible, timeless, formless, limitless, infinite, spontaneously appearing and disappearing, uncaused.  There is no inside or outside to consciousness, nor is there a before or after…it’s edgeless, centerless, indivisible, and immeasurable.

Consciousness is not a person, thing, or thing, not a object or a subject… yet it includes and contains all things simultaneously as this unspeakable, unnameable unknowable singularity. What is…is a virtual reality of opposites/duality/separation and yes, of you and me.

The consciousness we perceive as ours and the external reality we seem to experience are actually one in the same ineffable, indivisible, impersonal consciousness. We mistakenly take this conscious to be personal to us since it feels as though consciousness originates or is located within the center of the body/mind. The brain/mind will argue otherwise, since the brain/mind’s main job is to claim a personal ownership of every appearance.

There is only impersonal consciousness, and it appears, if it appears at all, as shining and reflecting through infinite prisms or perceptual lenses as a dream of itself.  I find this fascinating and amazing.

anita

 

Radical Love

Radical love, outrageous love, has no-boundaries, edges, corners, holes…it’s beyond description …it’s beyond comprehending by a relative, conditional, and objectifying human brain/mind.

Radical love sees no separation between evil and good, sorrow and joy, fear and courage, form and formless, pain and pleasure, birth and death. Love bows equally to everything imaginable and unimaginable, both horrific and holy.

Radical love is beyond measure, beyond anything quantifiable or knowable. Beyond beyond. Love cannot be contained in a mere word or language. It is so much bigger than big, huge, infinite, ineffable. Love is bigger and wider than Peace, Joy, Bliss, deeper than infinite, and more vacuous than void or infinite repeating oblivions.

Love is beyond illusory human comprehension yet closer and more intimate than the tiny hairs in our illusory noses. Only radical love seems to be appearing…uncaused, spontaneously flowing, reflecting, refracting, edgeless, seamless, limitless, nothingness appearing as everythingness, and not even that.

anita

Pathless Path

Isn’t walking a spiritual path based on wanting, desiring, or a sense of incompleteness?

As a spiritual pilgrim, i desired to be near God and dwell in Heaven when i died.  i desired to be cleansed of my sins.  i wanted to be a good Christian woman, wife, and mother. Desire and passion fueled my search for answers for decades until the mechanism creating desire dwindled during the dark nights of the soul.

Seeking appears to arise as a personal self aims to receive something, earn a designation, obtain a guarantee, or uncover something perceived or believed to be missing or wanting. i assure you seeking of any kind is utterly useless, yet seeking appears to occur. Completeness, peacefulness, stillness is here now. It is the silent, ineffable and omnipresent consciousness that is animating your body and all appearances of creation.

The peaceful, silent, aliveness you already are is covered and shrouded in layers of untruth created by the brain/mind. Inquiring into the mechanics and workings of the mind is a pathless path to uncovering what is already appearing.

Right now, feel the body moving effortlessly — the eyes reading the screen, hands typing or writing, without claiming the movements as “yours.” Once the light of inquiry pierces the thin membrane of the brain/mind, the fierce grip of separateness slowly unwinds and releases sweet relief from a coiled body.

Feel the spaciousness you are when the mind is silent, no longer claiming bodily movements and activities with ownership.

Impersonal spaciousness and vastness is all there is. Allow unwinding, unspooling, and uncoiling to melt the false beliefs and concepts blinding you to the truth of what you already are.

Close your eyes and see what you are now, and what you are not. Are you limitless..are you personal?  Are you caused or uncaused?  Spontaneous or planned?  How do you know?  What knows?  What is knowing?  Are the knowing, the knower and the known separate?

Peace simply is ….beyond separateness, distinctions, and fears created by brain/mind.

anita

Monkey Mind

Meditating often distracts from seeing what IS, unless there is awareness of what is meditating. And seeing what is meditating, desiring to feed the monkey mind with meditation slowly dissolves.

Nothing needs purifying…investigate what wants to purify the mind and then dissolve those beliefs and concepts. Even when observing a fairly quiet mind, as long as the belief in a personal mind and self is at play, it is still a game of reinforcing personal beliefs and concepts.

Give no focus to thoughts.  Be the stillness, emptiness, noticing what continually desires to separate, compare, and label thoughts.

anita