A man saw a big cobra on the road and he rushed back to the village he came from, shouting “a cobra, a cobra, come we must kill it!”
Some people came along with sticks and spades to kill the cobra. When they came closer they where surprised to discover that the dangerous cobra was a burnt rope.
This picture is wonderful. You don’t have to take away anything to know the truth. You don’t need to kill the “ snake!” You have to look close and you will see that what we take to be real is just like a burned rope if you “touch” it, it disappears.
That which we truly are is always present whatever we think, feel or perceive. We may not be aware of this fundamental nature of ours, that is another matter. In that sense we are all Enlightened with the only difference that some of us know it and some of us don`t.
This fundamental nature has many names: God, awareness, Pure consciousness, Buddha Nature, Non-dual, That……
I will call the fundamental Nature “Pure Consciousness” from now on. Pure consciousness has no particular form and name because it fills every form and name. To give it a name is a limitation. Because all names are defined against what it is not. As Spinoza (Swiss Philosopher from the 18th century) remarks, “all discriminations are negations.” To say that “Pure consciousness” is light will imply that it is not darkness. But it is also darkness. To say that it is life will set it against death, which is not true.
Many things can be said to point at this fundamental nature but this will all be conceptual knowledge and not existential knowing. You can read books about it but it will not help you to know all the words for it. The mind knows only concepts, and concepts are not true knowing. Concepts can be discussed and argued about because they are relative. “That absolute knowledge” cannot be discussed because it cannot be framed in words.
Another way of saying it is that it is not an object in the mind. All so-called knowledge is experiential. It is arising as an object in the mind. “Pure Consciousness” is you! It is your being, something you are! To know it you become it. No body has known it in the traditional sense as an experience.
We could call it a “subjective intuition” just to point at this kind of knowing or “mystical knowledge.” This is why people who have come to know are called Mystics.
Something most important to know is that it is present before the mind arises. It is prior to experience! To know it you must surrender the mind for an instance.
Everything is pure consciousness. When it takes form of something experiences arises. Thoughts, feelings and perceptions are expressions of pure consciousness. So are chocolate, soap powder, vomit, cars, trees, people, shit, sky, sea and so on! Everything is it.
Waking up you “know” this and even if the whole world denies it, it will still be so.
It is like the famous case against Galileo. The Inquisition told him that they would sparehis life if he denied the statement that “the earth is moving around the sun.” “No problem” he said, “I will do it, but it will not change the fact that the earth is moving around the sun. What can I do about it?”
Since everything is consciousness there is no matter. Matter is just another appearance of consciousness. Seen from the awakened point of view your life is like a movie where the projector is hidden in the movie. Life is an imagination, the only fact is you! You are the “light” that makes it all appear. Experiences are subjective. You are objective.
You can understand this if you consider a real meeting.
Two minds (imaginations) cannot meet. You can talk and talk sharing your opinions but you and you partner will never feel that you meet. Most arguments and quarrels come from a desperate attempt to meet.
In fact there are not two…
The mind cannot get hold of it. That is the reason why many Mystics have called it “no-mind.”
The term “no-mind can easily be misunderstood. There are not two, a no-mind and a mind! What the mystic call no-mind is the pure consciousness, the formless and nameless awareness.
Consciousness and mind are two words for the same thing. The mind is all that can be experienced. To make it more easy we can talk about the big mind and the small mind.
The big mind is experience in Toto. The small mind is “my mind.” The private mind is essentially part of the big mind. It is just that as long as we are living in illusion we believe we have a private mind, “my mind!”
Consciousness is present in its purity before the mind arises. What is before a thought appears? To realise that is to realise a gap, a discontinuity and in that moment there is a shift in consciousness, which we call an awakening.
The shift is very radical. In the state of ignorance consciousness has identified itself with a fragment of itself; that fragment is what we call ego – the experience of being a separate entity, the world and me as two things. In the moment of awakening consciousness realizes that it is both the ego – the me, and the world. That is the experience of one-ness. In reality there is only one actor-consciousness. There is only consciousness playing all the roles, world and me. Awakening is to realize that I am consciousness whatever form and name it has.
The deluded consciousness is the state in which I believe that I am an individual in the world. The awakened state knows the whole world is in me. So there is no personal Enlightenment. There is not an individual that arrives to some fantastic state called Enlightenment. The individual dissolves as a separate entity and appears again as consciousness.
Now we have the basics for understanding why freedom is always here and now.
No mind no world. Time is mind. Time is imagination. To look for the truth in the mind is to look into past, future. It is to look for it in imagination and whatever you can manage with the mind will be mental and not only that it will be smaller than you since you made it.
You are present in your purity before the mind arises. As I said in the beginning, “to wake up you must surrender the mind for an instance.”
How to get there?
This can happen trough “Direct Surrender” or “Indirect Surrender.”
There are many ways to do that. Here are a few.
1.It can happen in a deep letting go, in total relaxation. When the mind is not busy processing perceptions and not fighting against it self.
Not processing perceptions! Whatever you do look, listen and sense rest totally without labeling anything of what you see and you will “se through.” When the mind is not fighting itself. The mind is fighting itself when you hold on to opinions. The fight is between what you experience and your opinions about what your experience. Don’t entertain opinions!
2. See every moment in your life for what it is, passing dreams. When for an instance there is no object (imagination) there is no me (imagination) in that moment consciousness is returning to it-self as the mother of all things, and you will know that you are that consciousness.
3.Inquire into the existence of this “me.” This approach was made famous by Ramana Maharshi (died 1950). In Sanskrit it is called “Atma Vichar” and it comes from a spiritual tradition called Advaita (non-duality.) When a thought arise ask “where is this thought coming from and why do I call it mine thought?”
When in an instance it is realized that there is no separate entity “me” you find your self to be consciousness.
Truth is to see things for what they are.
Most people spend years in therapy and growth work before they realize that it is impossible this way because “the me” is the problem. It is because of my identification with this individual I called me that it cannot happen!
This private me promise everything but the goods are never delivered. And since you don’t get anywhere with all this growth work, the “me” just blames you, “you are not doing enough or you are doing the wrong things.” The me” can never know the truth because “me” is part of the little mind and as such an imagination. Just like the dream character in a dream. Does the dream character know the dreamer? You (the dreamer) are a sleep. In the dream you are a dream character a famous daredevil flying over the Himalayas in your home- made plane. Does the dream character know the dreamer (the real you) during the flight? And when you wake up are you worried about the man you were in the dream, if he reached the other side of the mountains?
This is very much like this life, which is just another dream, dreamt with open eyes. We are dream- characters in Gods dream to make it a little poetic. That is why when we wake up spiritually we realize that we are one with God- Pure Consciousness.
Either you realize the non-existence of this “me” through direct surrender, through Indirect Surrender or by using both.
The indirect surrender is surrendering your self to the truth (God if you like).
This surrender has 4 steps and the process presupposes that you first of all have a deep love and feeling for the truth. It must come from the heart. Secondly you are ready to offer anything needed for this truth.
Step 1. "I just want to merge-become one with you". (realize my one-ness with the divine)
Step 2. "I don’t know how to do that". (admitting ignorance).
Step 3. "I give it all over to you". (surrender).
Step 4. "From this moment on I will see every moment in my life as your grace" (affirmation).
This surrender will bring the seeker into here and now every moment of life. And the truth can only be realized in the here and now.