Monday, September 6, 2010

The "A-B-C's" of All That Is.....And the "Individuals" which Inhabit It

First, I have to apologize, as this turned out much longer than I had anticipated. However, it is one of the more comprehensive things that has been written, and if you can truly read it all AND seek to fully understand it, it has the potential to forever change your life!

Okay, I know that sounds like  a pretty highfalutin title, but it is, from our  direct experience, what all of this manifestation (and pre-manifestation), is.  I know I went through these ABC things before, but it is VERY important and the basis of understanding the whole principle of 'Waking Up' etc. So let's begin again.

First, for all of those dyed in the wool Advaitins (non-dualists) out there, yes, there IS only one thing happening, AND / BUT that one thing is also manifesting as MANY things. Just as on the planet earth, there is only the planet earth here, and EVERYTHING that is arising on, in, from Earth is just some manifestation of Earth - be it trees, dirt, shit, pizza, saintly bodies, sinner bodies, beauty, ugliness, land, water, etc. etc. etc. is only Earth!  But the thing from earth called you, is seeing/tasting/smelling... the thing coming up from the Earth as poop, beer, rainbows, etc.  All right, we good so far?

Now, everything is going to sound a little backwards, but try to stick with it.  On the level of Infinite All, we are going to start with "C."  In our little picture above, C is at the bottom. C is God, the Infinite, the Absolute, All That IS, Divine Isness, Being, whatever the heck you want to call it. 

The surface (only) of C. is A. A. is manifest creation - all of it! A. is all of the universes, your body, and mind, everything that arises as phenomena that YOU are AWARE OF.,  But A. is NOT who or what you truly are. What you are is B.  B. is an arising of C - a small drop or wave of C-ness, if you will.  In the diagram above, on the far right, you see B, begin to arise as a wave, then as we move to the left, it appears to sort of separate, and ultimately on the far left to become it's own little A+B bubble. 

So, what are the differences between A+B+C????

First, remember that they are all aspects of the same one thing - C-ness. So, in reality A+B+C=C or rather the all.  So C, is all of it, but once semi-removed, C remains as it is.

B is the part of C which is qualitatively NON-DIFFERENT than C, but quantitatively infinitesimal compared to infinite C.

A. is the "skin" if you will of C. or 'external energy' of C.

C is Infinite and Absolute Consciousness.
So is B.
A. is kind of like the scum on the ocean of Consciousness.  That sounds  a little more judgmental than I really want it to. Maybe think of it like hair. Your hair is you, but not. You feel free to cut it off, but as long as you have it, it expresses a lot about you. So A. is the expression of C. In order to experience the expression, in  billions and billions of ways, B arises.

All of what MOST (nearly all) people think they are is A.  In other words, A includes the body, the mind, the emotions, your memories, your likes and dislikes.  In the Vedic literature, all things manifest in the three modes of nature: Goodness (sattva), Passion (rajas), and Ignorance or Illusion (tamas). Most of what arises is fairly unmalleable or unchangable. In other words, for a fairly long duration, a rock is going to remain a rock, a tree a tree, etc. Some change more quickly. A flower will fairly quickly grow, bloom, decay, and return to the earth.  That which manifests as the person - you - will stay pretty much the same body-wise, though over a period of years it will grow, deteriorate and ultimately die. However, your thoughts and emotions will come and go very quickly, many thousands coming and going, over that same period of time. So, your 'life' may tend to be more sattva, rajas, and tamas, and very often there's not much you can do to change them in the short haul.

Now, the REAL YOU is B - an aspect of consciousness, which is AWARE OF the things you consider to be 'you' - your body, your mind, your emotions, your elation, your guilt, your fears, etc. You are NOT these things, YOU are aware of them.  This is the MOST important part to understand.

So, let's look at it as equations.

(A+B+C) = the All

(A+B)= An individualized 'piece' of Consciousness (B) IDENTIFYING with a 'Persona' (A). Like a piece of Consciousness arises and identifies as "Aja" (me).  Aja has a particular karma (perhaps genetics, memetics, whatever) that makes it a particular way. It won't change a whole lot from whatever it starts as. Sure, it will go through phases - youth, childhood, adulthood, and ultimately death - but it's not going to go from male to female, or from 5'10 to 7'4 overnight (probably).  Unfortunately, some of this is hard to talk about without getting into the whole question of fate versus free will which I'm trying to avoid for right now, and just explain the basics.

So, essentially everyone fits into one of the following categories.

Total Illusion: Nearly everybody is aware of themselves as A only, not even recognizing that they are B aware of A

A material person trying to have a spiritual experience:  They still think of themselves as A, but have some clue that B is. Comical, really, because they are B, identifying with A as having a B.

:  This is essentially the first phases of Self realization. They fully 'Know' that they are B - Consciousness - and that B is having some kind of experience as A. But they truly recognize that they are NOT A..... A is simply objects arising in Consciousness, while THEY are B, the Consciousness which is aware OF A.

An Awake Person:  Essentially this is B, aware of A, and also of C. Here, B, YOU as Consciousness are aware of A, but could really care less about it - it's simply happening in the background. And there is also C, the Absolute, which YOU recognize that YOU are non-different from, and which calls you, and to which YOU are drawn. Even to the point of often being unable to differentiate between yourself (B) and the Absolute (C), but never totally identifying with the phenomenal world (A) again.

The "God-Realized" Person:  This is similar to above, but they are totally immersed in C, in God, the Absolute, etc.  We might call them God Conscious, Krishna Conscious, a Perfect Buddha, or even crazy!

Take note, that while the Truly Greats of Spiritual literature have usually been in one of the last 2 classes, essentially telling us to "Lay not up thy treasures" in material stuff, or to Transcend the material world, the vast majority of so-called spiritual teachers are, in fact, in the lower levels, trying to 'fix' the material or phenomenal world.  The problem is NOT with the phenomenal world, the problem is the mis-identification with it.  If you watched a certain TV show all the time, and totally identified with the characters, we would not fix you by trying to fix the TV show, but rather, by getting you to recognize YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU ARE AWARE OF!  You are NOT the TV show. You are the SEER of the TV show, and as long as you try to change the TV show, make it different, make it better, you WILL suffer!  Yes, sometimes it will be very Sattvik and wonderful. Other times it will be Rajasik and a lot will get done. And other times, it will just plain suck.  This is karma (genetics, fate, memetics, habits, etc.)  The goal is NOT to make a nice A, a nice phenomenal world (which will ALWAYS be temporary), but to recognize the transient nature of A. - it's illusory nature, and that starts with the recognition that YOU are B, Consciousness, and meant to return to, experience, serve C.

Let's look at it another way.  Every cell of your body is simultaneously part of and not part of your body. When all the cells work in harmony with each other and the whole, everything works fine. When, however, they declare their independence, try to work for themselves, enjoy for themselves, they become cancer cells and destroy the host!  This is what is happening here.  We have billions of "A+B"s, trying to get more and more for themselves; a few "A+B"s trying to sort of work together to make A all nice for everybody, but still motivated by egoic nature, and then a VERY FEW "B"s who recognize the illusory nature of A, and trying to either remain as B (SELF), or go deeper into "C" - God, the Absolute.

All TRUE spiritual practice ultimately has nothing to do with A, except to recognize that it is our identification with A that occludes our recognition of ourselves as B and of God, the Absolute, as C.  And that the techniques are there to remove the obstacles to True Realization. The Self and God shine on their own, and need no fixing. It is only the removing of the scum, our identification with that which is not, that which is illusory and temporary, that maintains our suffering.  Look at it this way. If you are having a nightmare, you don't try to turn it into a happy dream. Rather you recognize you are dreaming and WAKE UP!

Or as one teacher said, "If you want to do 'Self Improvement', first find the Self, and then see if it needs any improvement."

Trust me, it doesn't.  Just as God doesn't need any improvement. We simply need to let go of things being a certain way, and surrender into what God is.

How do we get from identification with A to B, and ultimately C.  Well, first, if you've read this far, you're probably on your way. Secondly, through Self Inquiry - the constant inquiry into Who and What am I? What is this (B) Consciousness which is aware of everything? To Whom or to What is all of this arising?  This is the simplest thing and the hardest thing you will EVER do.  But it is absolutely the most important. In fact, it is THE purpose of it all. So do not stop. This is the only road to Freedom!  Making the prison cell nice and cozy will never free you from its bondage. .

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