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Thursday, January 17, 2008
The living experience of not being a separate "I" or "me" does not eliminate the person. If you are appearing as a person, then you are appearing as a person. And there is no problem at all with the arising of the structures that make up the person that you are.
There is a face...but it is not haunted from behind by a separate "me". There are arms and legs and a body moving and living...but these are not haunted by a separate "me". Not any more than a cloud passing in the sky is haunted by a separate "me". Not any more than a bird or a blade of grass or a speck of dirt is haunted by a separate "me".
Any person lives in a world with other people. Only, despite the obvious assumption, not one of these people is ever a separate "me".
Who asks "Who am I?"
Only a "me" that never is.
Posted by Nathan Spoon at 10:45 AM
Friday, January 4, 2008
Spiritual practice might get any person out of overt identification with ego.
By ego I mean when the assumption of "I am" is turned outward, as a matter of speaking, and a person is focused on external appearances.
To get out of ego is to get into being spiritual, inwardly focused--which has enormous value. A person with authentic spiritual focus is more likely to openly and actively wonder about the nature of things. Nonetheless, the spiritual "I" is still "I". And in the immediacy of this that is, there is never any problem with the arising of any sort of "I" as this "I" is only another appearance.
However, for any person to follow this assumption does have an effect. It is similar to believing that your pants are on fire, even though they are not. You will run and roll around like crazy all the time and always be jumping in water for no reason. Just imagine a world where people live like that... It would be crazy!!
In certain Tibetan teachings, there is description of what is called "mirror-like primordial awareness". Primordial awareness is, of course, being-awareness. So mirror-like primordial awareness is this being-awareness seeing so many people believing that their pants are on fire. Just like in the literal situation, if you recognize that there are no flames, you will naturally feel obliged to point out their absence.
Even though you are not doing anything by pointing out that something which doesn't exist, doesn't exist, you are in fact saving a person from the completely unnecessary behavior of attempting to put out the "fire" in their pants.
Posted by Nathan Spoon at 12:57 PM
Some teachers say that appearances are a problem. Is this true?
No. Appearances are appearances. The notion "I am"--which has no basis in reality--entangles itself with appearances and this makes them seem like a problem. But have a look. Where is the problem? It is with this notion "I am". Where am I? Who am I? Investigate this. Anyone can do this simple investigation. If I am, where am I? Who am I?
If I am my body, then how am I seeing that I am my body? Even an eye can not see itself. So how will a body see itself? If I am my thoughts, then how am I seeing that I am my thoughts? What "I" is all of this occurring too? What is seeing and what is being seen?
This notion of "I" is like a house of mirrors. Once it is taken up, it multiplies and divides inside of itself. Only, despite appearances, there never is anything that IS a separate "I". This notion of an independent "I" is just like a parasite hanging onto a host. The reason it stays "alive" is through the host, yes. Only in this case the parasite is a phantom, a mirage. And you can never find the basis for a mirage. A mirage is pure imagination, pure fiction. A mirage is seeing a serpent when all there is, is a rope.
Posted by Nathan Spoon at 11:51 AM