Non-Duality: What The Direct Path is Not

It’s not about a mental state or states (achieving or experiencing), it’s about clarity concerning what the situation is.

It’s not about psychology, it’s a subject having psychology.

It’s not about experiences (having special ones, or improving them), it’s about The Experiencer.

It’s not about being spiritual, it’s naturally seeing what is, discovering it accepting and open.

It’s not about understanding something (from the past, knowledge), it’s about Understanding happening now.

It’s not about you (becoming enlightened, improved, revealed, evolved, a new you), it’s about the illusion of charades.

It’s not about gaining anything, it’s about undoing the learning that isn’t useful and got stuck: straightening out the eddy currents in the ocean stream.

It isn’t a serious undertaking so much as an undermining of seriousness persons by serious and unserious means.

It isn’t about love (finding or feeling or having) so much as seeing what you are: infinite and ungraspable Love.

It isn’t about changing anything, it’s about finding what’s changeless.

It’s not about peeling away layers to uncover a true self, it’s about realizing the layers and the self are not what you thought they were.

It’s not about living a better movie, it’s finding that the screen and the projector were you all along.

It’s not about the importance of anything (experienced or unexperienced) it’s about the non-importance of anything you can think about.

It’s not about finding a balance, it’s about losing balance on your perch and finding your wings flying free.

It’s not about togetherness or community, it’s standing alone in the family of the Unknown.

It’s not *about* anything, it’s no-thing writing this and reading this now.

It’s not about aboutness.

Surrender the Leaf to the Stream

Are Happiness and Enlightenment the same thing? 

Why is there purported to be an equation between consciousness and the ground of reality, where the objects of consciousness are in fact merely appearances, no matter how consistent and lawful, and like images on a screen being underneath mere screen, derived from and existing only as Consciousness? Thinking about it can only be via a metaphor, and image or sound in the very same consciousness, thus forming a conundrum: aboutness is not the thing in itself. 

The mind is trying to grasp the ungraspable and do the undoable, since the grasping and the doing are already It, nor can it un-grasp or un-do, by any thought or effort, that which it is, being not an object, but the background of a subject-object play.

Thus the clever and pragmatic equation by a favorite nondual teacher, Francis Lucille, of enlightenment as happiness, and happiness as enlightenment. Though it’s circular, it at least gives one a handrail to grab onto via an experiential guide, a GPS, a directional beacon.

So relax.

However this is not to confuse living in the moment with living *for* the moment. In living for the moment one will find that one is swept along like a leaf on the surface of a stream, one moment enjoying the open and exhilarating ride swiftly moving downstream, under the beautiful sunlight, and the next heading over a cliff in waterfall, a fantastic fun free-fall – feeling like free will – bouncing off the water at the bottom… But then drifting into an eddy current, caught in a stagnant whirlpool in the shadows under the cliff rocks, unable to extract oneself, or wondering what’s going on…

One may discover that strangely enough, you were not the leaf, or the eddy current, or the waterfall, or the swiftly moving stream, or the steady slow stream, you were all of it, the whole stream and the whole ocean the stream is moving towards, and emptying into. Because in being concerned with the welfare of this poor leaf, or enjoying it’s travels, the audience of all this got caught up in the movie and the fate of lovely leaf and t’s dramas, joys and triumphs, victories and defeats, joys and despairs… Happinesses and sadnesses, loves and hates, truths and confusions, beauties and uglinesses… What a fantastic story.

But sometimes the story can end, because the time is ripe and one wakes from the trance and says, oh my, the movie is over, time to get up and exit the theatre, go out into the sunlight and take a deep breath. The air was getting a little stale in there anyway, and one needs real sustenance, not just popcorn. Because time itself – the time in the movie, the space of moving leaves – and here, outside, in the open, there is just a calm ever-present Life. Here is an incomparable stillness, only known by itself, as it is the natural one, shared and trusted by all beings: the bird singing on the tree, and the tree, and the soil it stands in, and the rock and the sun and the water in the ground and the planet and the space of the universe they appear to move in, beauty itself. Effortless, sinless, sustaining itself; love itself, knowledge unknown by minds. Called Grace by mortals, the leaves moved by time.

Spiritual Reflections on The Three Principles

I would like to offer a set of reflections on The Three Principles, a spiritual psychology teaching that originated in the mid-70s and has spread globally, and with which I’ve been involved for about 19 years. This view is from, and as, a spiritual perspective. I don’t really like the word “spiritual” since it always bring to mind images and ideas, all of which are not “it”. But it’s a starting point.

When we read or listen to something about the The Three Principles understanding (or anything else) there can be a tendency to hear from an agree/disagree filter – in other words, from a point of view.
But in presence there is no point of view, as it is within what all points of view appear, and disappear.
What we are has no borders, no manifest containers or boundaries. In a borderless, effortless space, things appear, such as our lives. A sense of self, of motion, of love for ten thousand things, the objects of consciousness, awareness.
In this space, any image of what this space is, is only an image, passing and vulnerable to revision. Another word for that is “illusion”.

True intelligence begins and ends with knowledge of one’s nature. The three principles offer a shortcut, a stepladder to the formless.
It’s a form that says there’s no form: a pointer. It’s a tool. Why is it important to see it as as tool? Because there is a tendency to take a tool too seriously, to focus on that which has already been formed, on memory. These tools were formulated (by psychologists such as George Pransky and Roger Mills, with Sydney Banks as a guide) in order to be able to communicate, teach, to convey a teaching, to repeat an outcome in time.

True understanding happens outside of time, in an instant the mind cannot create, since the mind is a machine that creates nothing, only repeats what was input, like a computer.
The gift of understanding comes unbidden, like a long lost relative showing up at the door, happiness on both sides, which is One happiness.

The word spiritual can also seem to imply there’s something that is not spiritual. Or something to do to be spiritual. Or someone to be, some kind of person, a spiritual person. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You can’t help but be spiritual. In fact the more you do, the less you are, even though you are anyway – a paradox, because there’s no way the mind can get this.

So treat the The Three Principles lightly, like a good friend, and not like they are your master. In fact that goes for any spiritual teaching.

We have tendency to get lost in psychology. And this is especially true with a teaching that is used to address psychological issues, or social issues, and focuses on the idea of thought and thinking in order to transcend thought and thinking. Many “get it” right away and free themselves from the tyranny of the small mind (“mind” is just a word or concept for a collection of thoughts, images and sensations – all thought-like), but others are fascinated, or frightened, or puzzled and full of questions, or in some way paying attention to and focusing on thinking. It’s our biggest hobby. We play with it all day long, and into the night, pick it up first thing in the morning. But …
Who are you?

Once you kick the ladder out, or let it fall away, the question has a different meaning. You’re all things, in a sense, and no things. The unknowable knower… words fail. And the mind falls quiet. You might laugh, or smile. It doesn’t matter – there’s no real mattering going on. There is this un-graspable simplicity. Quiet.
So Mind, Thought and Consciousness mean the totality of what is, and that’s the way Sydney Banks meant it, or Lao Tsu, or any other sage you want to name. Let’s not get hung up on names, but have fun along the way, playing with them, as they come and go, friends. Be happy, be free.