Hi Walbart and sorry for the delayed response. Thanks for being patient with me. :)
There is the vantage point of experience, which IS limited to Carson's body & mind. But there is no "witnesser". There is just the objects and the space which contains them, which isn't "you". You are simply tagging a label onto everything and calling it "me".
You are right in that I am simply tagging a label onto everything and calling it "me." But what makes you think that this is a problem? Is there potentially a belief being held onto that suggests that in order to be "liberated" one can not tag labels onto Life (even if it is just for the reason of making communication simpler)? Does calling something (in this case the space that Life is playing out in) "me" always necessarily indicate that there a sense of identity lodged there or could it be possible that this is just used for the sake of convenience? How could you ever definitively know one way or the other?
Taking this one step further, is there a possibility that "the no-self state" is the beginning (and not the end) and that the "I am everything state" is a stage *past* the no-self state? Even just a possibility?
This part of our conversation reminds me of the following post by Jeff Foster (who, if you don't know him is one of the more famous living "Advaita gurus" out there right now);
“I am officially no longer an ‘Advaita teacher’ or ‘Nonduality teacher’ – if, indeed, I ever was one. Life cannot be put into words, and however beautiful the words of Advaita/Nonduality are, they must be discarded in the end. I could never claim to be any sort of authority on this stuff. I will continue to speak, to sing my song to those who are open to listening, but gone is the need to adhere to any tradition, to use ‘Advaita-speak’ to avoid real, authentic human engagement, to pretend that I am in any way more or less special than you, to kid you that I know more than you, to play the ‘teacher’ by refusing to meet you in the play, to stop listening to you because I see you as ‘still stuck in the dream’ or ‘still a person’. This message is about love, in the true sense of the word – otherwise it is simply nihilism masquerading as freedom. The ‘Advaita Police’ reply ‘Who cares?’ I say I do. I do.”
Taken from here: http://www.lifewithoutacentre.com/read/ ... teachings/
It is not limited to the perspective from my/this body
It is. You are a slab of meat that has the capacity to think and store experiences. This includes imagination which can be VAST. But that's all it is. We need to strip this back to your direct experience.
I'm sorry, but to try and disregard someone's experience because it doesn't align with yours or because you don't understand it or something is just ignorance (no offence meant). I have had direct experience with leaving my body and observing things that I couldn't possibly have seen and that have been verified by third (uninvolved) parties after the fact. I have actually lost friends over this because I have told them what I observed them doing (remotely) and they did not believe me and thought I was stalking or spying on them. This is simple "remote viewing" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_viewing
) and/or astral traveling and even the US government has used this as a mode of intelligence gathering. To say that this isn't possible and is simply "imagination" is incorrect. I hope you can read between the lines here and understand that I am not saying this because I am offended that you don't believe me (I could really care less), I just think it's important to stay open and not disregard someone else's experience simply because you have no understanding of or personal experience with it.
You still keep identifying with space or emptiness. There IS space and emptiness, but it ISN'T you. Why would it need to be you? Ignore slipperiness of language, which is fair enough, you say you are unbounded...
Again, just because I call
'the space' "me" does not necessarily mean I am identified with it. Where is the line between language and identification? What is the definition of identification? To me, to be "identified" with something you have to *believe* you are whatever you are identified with right? I don't believe I am the space. I believe that I am the space as much as I believe I am everything else. What is the difference between believing you are everything and believing you are nothing? Are they not exactly the same thing from different perspectives? Two sides of the same coin?
I agree that the awareness that it is all arising and dissolving within is not "mine," but from my perspective it *is* "me"... and "you" and all of "us." It is everything. It is all there is
How about there is unbounded, but it isn't you. There is LIFE and EVERYTHING yes, but every time you tell me it's you or your perspective this is wrong. There is no room for you. There is no this and that, you and it, your perspective, my perspective. And awareness isn't a thing in which everything arises. Awareness is an action, it's when a conscious brain/sense organ process is functioning.
To me it is both... it is all me and none of it is me. There is no difference other than in perspective. There is no "me" as all phenomenon is empty of permanence, but it is also "all me" as there is ultimately no separation between anything and it is all one "unified field" or however you want to describe the undescribable. From the "ultimate perspective" you could call it all "me," you could call it all "not-me," or you could just be silent (which is probably closest to the Truth anyway ;) ). Ultimately all these words are just poetry though, and none of it is "Truth."
Again, look at direct experience now. Where is the "you" in any of it? Just look, nothing else. Any thought is an object. Feel the emptiness behind it all. It's empty, as in "nothing". Not some mystical awareness/being/consciousness. Nothing. Not you. Not big true you self. Nothing. Sensations and experience come in through the door of the body, which is amazing. Any sense of witnessing or observer is just the body being alive and aware. There is nothing behind you.
Who is it that "feels the emptiness?" Well, I do. What is "I"? I don't know. Or at least I can't put words to it. Can I find this "I"? No, not with any of the senses. But is there something that "feels the emptiness?" Yes. There is something that feels the emptiness and whatever that is is also "the emptiness." Whatever this is, is what I am. But again, please understand that just because I *say* this, does not mean I *believe* this or that there is identity lodged there. I know that *saying* am the emptiness and feeling that emptiness is not Truth. Being that "emptiness" is Truth. But again, saying that "being emptiness is Truth" is not Truth. Hopefully you can read between the lines here as we are right at the border of the limitations of language. ;)
Carson, until you come out from behind this mask of I AM THAT, I AM EVERYTHING, we're not going to make much progress.
We also have to drop the mask of "I am nothing." There is no difference between the mask of "I am everything" and "I am no-thing." They are both masks and neither are Truth. But just as you saying "I am no-thing" does not mean that you believe/identify with no-thing, me saying "I am every-thing" does not mean I believe/identify with every-thing. This is all just words pointing to a wordless Truth.
Be it big you or small you, YOU are thoughts. Any idea you have about this is false. Any idea about being the ground of being, or background to life, or EVERYTHING, is false. You aren't anything, "you" are a concept.
ideas are false. Including the idea that you are nothing.
The body dies and this node of life stops experiencing and YOU will not outlive it.
I have no idea what happens after death, don't think you do either. ;)
Nothing of you will remain, and this includes any sense of "me" or awareness.
How could you possibly ever KNOW this? Have you died before and verified that nothing of "me" remains after death? Even the Buddha refused to comment on what happens after death as he said it was all speculation.
You are right, there IS life and everything happening, but there just isn't anything else, or anything it's happening to.
It could be said that Life is happening to itself. But, in essence, anything that is said is all poetry (as Benjamin Smyth would say ;) ) and none of it is Truth.
There is the feeling of beingness, and then the labelling of "me". It's a thought. Regardless of how big or grand a concept it may be.
I will be interested in hearing your answer to the "who is feeling the 'beingness?" question. :D
Ask yourself, what if there really is no me at all anywhere?
I have been asking myself this question all weekend and all that ever comes back is "well, then there is no me anywhere. *shrug* Guess I'll just continue on as is then." Not sure what I "should" be getting back or what should "change" once this is discovered/known. ;)
I guess I am here looking to deepen past the point of "discrimination" (I am not this, not this, not this... the whole "neti neti" thing) into the full experience of 24/7 unity.... where I am experientially everything and nothing simultaneously
This is one of your expectations that we spoke about earlier, thank you for being honest. Imagine for a second that what this forum and lots of other people talk about is true, that there is no you, no small self, no true/big/ultimate self. How does the idea that you could be "experientially everything and nothing" fit in with this?
Well, I have not read any of the other threads here on LU, so I don't know what others are saying here, but there is no "idea" that I am experientially both everything and nothing, this is just my way of verbalizing some of the experiences I have had. In the times when there has been complete ego dissolution here (absolutely no sense of "I") there has also been a sense of "it's all me" and this is the result of seeing through the veil of separation so-to-speak. When there is no "I-sense" there is no separation and everything is seen as the same (which could be termed as "me").... it's ALL "me." But again this doesn't mean that I believe that I am (or am identified with) the computer screen I am looking at, it's just a known fact that there is no separation. When speaking of this one could say that there is no "me" or that it is all "me." There is no difference. This, is the "experiencing of being both nothing and everything simultaneously."
Maybe when you're back we can talk more about this human v's divine nature. Sounds like more spiritual sci-fi to me.
What I meant when I said that I have to maintain balance between human and divine nature is that if I spend all my time working on seeing through the veil of separation (etc) that I become unbalanced. Forsaking my humanity for "spiritual evolution" causes me to "lose Presence".... For me, I can not "be here now" when there is not a balance between the amount of energy expended on "human stuff" (washing dishes, playing with my daughter, making food, shoveling my sidewalk, etc etc etc) as there is on "seeing through illusion." When that balance is off, my attention has a hard time being in the present moment. Perhaps that is "spiritual sci-fi" but for me it is essential to remain balanced and present.
Sorry for the dramatically long post... :D