I arrived in India in 1990 for my first encounter with the world of mediation and seeking. I was “fresh off the boat”. My life until then had been an exercise in ticking the boxes I had been told would make one happy and fulfilled. Guess what? I had checked all of the boxes and was still domiciled in the misery ghetto. My search to that time had never taken me to a foreign country for such an off the path experience. But fear not, I seemed to know what to do. I had come to understand that there was this thing called “Enlightenment” or “Awakening” that seemed to be the goal of seekers. Now you might think that I would have spent a lot of time attempting to understand how such a thing could be accomplished. But no. Like most seekers I simply dusted off my already amazing grasp of life and applied it to my new desire. I never thought once about how my approach had worked so far and why I might be internally miserable most of the time. I even came to the conclusion that if I could assemble or construct in my intellect a comprehensive “Theory of Everything”, that enlightenment would have no choice but to follow. Every night I would go to satsang where I would hear Osho give a discourse. After listening carefully I would return to my flat and weave in everything I had understood into my ever-developing theory. I did this with all of my readings as well. How hard could it be when all I had to do was onboard new content as I obviously already knew how to do the seeking part? How often do we as humans do exactly the same thing? And how’s that working so far? If you want to be a seeker then guess what? You will have to do something different than what you have done so far.
We all live in an assumptive state. Our life is a function of ‘As If’. That is to say we live as if we understand how consciousness actually operates. But who instructed us that this understanding is even part of what we are designed to do? This pointer is an invitation to unburden yourself with the assumption that you have the intellect to hold something called the theory of everything. It is an invitation to stand in every moment and see the nature of ‘As If’ such that the deeper expression of consciousness can be recognized as whom you really are.
As a result of living in an assumptive state, which includes a daily life in which each body and mind are considered an independent autonomous entity, we have conveniently assembled a societal system to incessantly imprint on ourselves that this is the case. We assume that you and I are different things. Therefore it must be necessary, that when there are two things, that communication between the two must be carried on. As a result language is needed for these obviously separate entities to speak to one another. The interesting thing about language is that it lives in the emotional field nested in consciousness itself. That is to say that expressed language holds a tangibility in the conscious field within which we live. Because we live in duality that allows our intellect to identify contrast, we can assumptively hold individuation as an object in the field of our conscious experience. Of course, our language and every other format and conscious constellation are rendered into a similar subject-object formulation. I am the subject and all else is the object or objects. Because of the tangibility of lived experience, which includes language itself, we are in a process of constantly confirming, to the so-called one another, that we are indeed separate entities. And in our infinite wisdom we have additionally decided that each of these entities has volition in and of themselves. These stories that are carried by the tangibility of our language are in a continual process of hammering the assumptive point of separation into our similarly assumed separate selves. This process is called conditioning. Human body-minds live in an ever-present alive platform of contrast and separation. The ego itself is nothing more than a concept, the principal concept, of this exercise. Every time I address you as “you” or you address me as “me” we are energetically confirming our assumption that we are indeed separate things. Because this address is tangible and in the emotional field it delivers a felt experience that this is the case. This is an evangelism of individual exceptionalism all in the service of fending off that deep intuition that, if available, plagues us with the seeker’s curse. “There is something wrong here”
Some weeks back I was involved in a discussion with a fairly well known biological scientist. As you might expect he was very clear about the fact that phenomena that could be tested scientifically was clearly true in a way that other concepts were not. My response was that if life were a game and we had indeed created both the board and all the pieces that moved on the board, that the game would result in exactly the way we had a designed it. So if we agreed that we were indeed separate beings even though no definition of a separate being could ever be crystallized, then of course we could test the phenomenon that accompanied that assumption. But ultimately science itself was a part of the game and was testing the assumptions that comprise the game itself. As we move through this discussion this brilliant man made the following comment. “Alan, I see exactly what you’re pointing at. And if we simply hold that our assumptions are an empty set awaiting a possibility of consciousness to point to its larger story, then there really isn’t anything to talk about.” My response. “Exactly”.
Consciousness reveals itself to itself in duality. When one assumes that each body mind is a particular and separate entity then the story that is cognized is often referred to as the small story or dream. That is to say that the intellect has the capability to organize a story for each separate body mind including all the objects and particulars required for a complete story. However, when consciousness is cognized an arising within all that is, this is referred to as the big story. Awakening is a happening within phenomenality. All happenings are held in memory as stories. Awakening is simply the larger version in which contrast is not rendered into meaning that creates conflict and a lack of peace. It is a place of non-separation. The place of permanent peace is located phenomenally in the larger and deeper story of consciousness itself. Because this is the case, the recognition is necessary that the ego is continually subject to a meaning making process called conditioning. This process cements into place a story that cannot lead to awakening. This process must be relocated in a larger story called awareness.
All pointers are a doorway to a stance within “ the awareness of all that arises within the consciousness of duality”. Often the question that is asked is “Who’s aware of the story?” This question is a tangible and energetic call, formed linguistically in the emotional field of consciousness, which points to this new story that is commonly referred to as awakening. This pointer is the noticing of the ongoing ego imprinting of conditioning. And so the obvious question is “who is aware of this ongoing imprinting?” You intuitively know that there is a vantage point from which all that occurs within the so-called happening of our individual stories can be seen. It is that awareness that you ultimately are. And the question is designed to hold the tangibility that will point you to a standing within phenomenality in which you will recognize yourself.
So as you go through your daily routine notice how individuals spend the majority of the time establishing exactly who they are as separate entities. Even in relationships that have lasted for decades, the participants spend endless conversations in describing to their significant other who they really are. One would think that after living with someone for years that such an explanation would not be necessary. And in fact, it’s not. This conversation is the self-talk in which the ego must participate in order to continuously assure itself that it is indeed separate autonomous decision-maker. For it intuitively knows that some deep level, within the larger story it really is, that this is not the case. But the ego, being the ego, is dead set on making this a reality no matter the invitation to the contrary. And as a result you and I live in a world where we actually believe that there is a ‘you’ and ‘I’ in more than an empty set. But if we know that that is the case, and all pointers are an invitation to that knowing, who is aware that this is so?
When I write in the terms I have used thus far, a lot of folks typically complain that I am hard to read. This always reminds me of an David Allan Coe country song. At first it is believed to be perfect country song. But not so fast. It turns out that a final verse needs to be added to include such things as Momma, a train, getting drunk and prison. And with these final hick additions the perfect country song is born.
So here’s the hick version of knowing it all. Either we know stuff or we don’t. Turns out that we aren’t satisfied with that. There is so much stuff we don’t know that we make shit up. Then to feel good inside we pretend it’s real. That is called belief. So imagine you walk into a barn and there you see a snake. You pull out the rake and beat it to a pulp. And when you are done you notice that it’s not a snake at all but a piece of rope. Before you figgered that out you were acting ‘as if’ or believing it was a snake. Well in our story we have made an entire life up much like that snake. And we spend all our time beating the hell out of it like it was a snake. We have wars, arrest folks and do downright mean crap cause we think we know. But we don’t. That’s all I am saying here. To get started getting rid of that feeling that “something is wrong here” you just have to see that you don’t know as much as you think. In fact you don’t know much at all. Bottom line is that if we are naturally meant to feel at home by being some other way we got to let the current version go. Make sense? If you want to park a car in the garage you might need to take the one that’s in there now out. The rest of the stuff about duality and consciousness are just a fancy ass way of talking about what we see and what is the juice that makes us alive. So the assumptive state is just the shit an entire humanity has agreed on and given to you. And we all act ‘as if’ that were true. Nothing too exciting here!