Saturday, July 31, 2010

How to Be a Nobody

There is a basic dichotomy in spiritual circles that a lot of people just don't get. It may not be totally conscious. In fact, it is probably for the most part unconscious. But it looks something like this. No matter what spiritual path you're on, and particularly if it is somehow related to non-dualistic tendencies, i.e. Advaita Vedanta, most aspects of Buddhism, etc. the principle is that the 'individual' CAN'T get it. Why? Because the individualized person is an illusion, or at the very least, a temporary manifestation. Enlightenment, Awakening, Self Realization, God Consciousness, etc. are about either destroying, bypassing, avoiding, transcending, obliterating, or recognizing the illusion of that ego-self.



BUT, what is it that WANTS enlightenment? The Ego self! That part which is already always awake has no need of 'wanting' anything. For various reasons, depending on the philosophy, consciousness arises as, and/or, identifies with an individual egoic persona. That persona is an object of Awareness or Consciousness and can not (NEVER) be enlightened. And yet, a large percentage of people seeking 'enlightenment' DON'T get that. They want to BE the one who becomes enlightened. You know, the checklist model.... Graduate from college, get the mate, good job, get ENLIGHTENED, nice house, Ikea stuff, buff yoga body, etc. This is why they say the price for enlightenment is EVERYTHING!!!!!!

Or as Ashtavakra Samhita says it - "When there is an "I", there is BONDAGE; When there is NO "I", there is MOKSHA (Liberation)." So the prerequisite for Enlightenment is where there IS NO "I".

How I see this translated is something like a whole series of 'new age' or 'spiritual' books on the shelves of Border, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and of course on Oprah, with titles like:


How To Successfully Be A Nobody!
Nobodiness for Dummies!
Achieve Supreme Nobodiness NOW!
Everybody's Guide to becoming the Best Nobody Possible!
Being a Nobody for Fun and Profit!
The Perfect Guide To Being A Perfect Nobody!
The Better Guide To Being A Perfect Nobody!
The Best Guide To Being A Perfect Nobody!
Be a Better Nobody Than All Those Nobody Wannabes!
Be the Most Abundant, Cool, Prosperous, Good-Looking Nobody in the WORLD!
Screw All Those Other Nobody Posers - Be the REAL Nobody.

Of course, this would also open things up for innumerable satsangs, intensives, vacation retreats on how to become a Nobody, and how easy it is to be a Nobody, so you too can put out your Nobody shingle and be the world's most famous Nobody - more prosperous, beautiful, saintly, healing, loving, compassionate, etc. than all the other Nobodys (which of course translates into being able to charge a helluva lot more than the other Nobodys).

All right, I think we have MORE than driven the point home. So what is it REALLY to be a nobody? How is this 'achieved'? That is the quandary, isn't it?!

First, the simple part. What is it that stops you from actually being a nobody? It is the 'idea', the feeling, the experience that you ARE in fact a somebody. No matter what else is going on in your life, it appears to be predicated upon a sense of a 'YOU'. It all revolves around that. "I" am here. "I" experience this person here. "I" experience the world. "I" AM what is present. Even removing everything else, that basic feeling of "I AM" continues. But is that real? Who or what is 'aware' of the sense of "I AM"?

This is where "Self Inquiry" comes in. The 'process' is simple, but the undertaking of it is not necessarily. Depending on what 'process' you follow, it generally looks like one of these, or some variation of them:

1. Neti Neti, (not this, not that). Keep looking at whatever arises and separate it from the Awareness which is aware of it. "I am not the world because I am aware OF the world. I am not my thoughts or body or emotions because I am aware OF those things." And so on and so on until you're left with simply...
2. Abiding as the "I". This can also be called 'watching the watcher', or 'Being Aware OF Awareness'. Resting or abiding as the "I AM".
3. Resting in the 'Knowingness' that there IS ONLY ONE THING here, which includes both the Seer and the Seen and there is no REAL boundary between those apparent 'two'.
4. Contemplating that there is NOTHING BUT GOD, anywhere, ever, including that apparent something which is apparently contemplating it.

And so on...

The real key, however, is not so much which you do, but that you do it CONSISTENTLY AND CONTINUOUSLY. It is not a practice of 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night. It should be done as much as possible 24 HOURS A DAY. Even then, it will generally be a few years of constant practice before YOU get it!!! :-D Ha Ha, get it? YOU get it?!! Oh, never mind!

Wait, that's IT...... "NEVER MIND!" NO MIND!!!

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(So, How's that Clever thing working there for ya, Aja?

"OH SHIT!" )

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