I had previously written about some inner inquiry work I did to let go of what I presumed to be my strongest remaining identifications,…. being male,….being intelligent. I wrote “this involved stepping off a cliff”. I did not elaborate at the time, so it would seem appropriate to do so now. Basically, I undertook to imagine &/or visualize not being intelligent and not being of any gender. I stayed with these contemplations until I felt a falling. I started in a meditative posture, and I ended up asleep. I do not know at what time I fell asleep. I can only recall that my last awareness was of a sensation of falling. I woke up 3 hours after I sat down. It was late and I went to bed. That was the first night of 5 in a row, where I was “tested” in my dreams by being exposed to my deepest fears; being attacked, being mortifyingly exposed and ridiculed, suffocating to death, drowning, and being crushed to death. All of these dreams were lucid and very vivid. In every instance and occasion I had no fear. The dream death experiences became vehicles for entering a realm of awareness without appearance – the void. I awoke from the void shortly before my morning alarm was to go off. I had no sense of how long I had been of the void. Upon awakening I was surprisingly cool, but also quietly and deeply grateful for the experience. These experiences are what brought me to a place of unambiguously accepting the reality of non-separation.What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I have (I believe I mentioned this before as well) a history of receiving teachings in my dreams. My question; How does one know what one does not know, has long been a life destiny paradigm, and being 64 I haven’t lived this long without receiving an answer to this question. The answer is by grace, and grace is often expressed in a mystical experience or a dream. I believe any permanent shift, change, or newly “known” knowing is always preceded by a temporary experience. So, this accounting is of that temporary experience.
Since these occurences, extended occasions of the NOW, a tested absence of any ability to locate anything other than a whimsically fantasied self, and a growing utilization of “doing” without a doer has confirmed that --- that which was at first temporary, did indeed plant a seed that found fertile soil.
“How does a duck know what direction south is?Describe decision, intention, free will, choice, and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
And how to tell his wife from all the other ducks?...
How come all my body parts so nicely fit together?
All my organs doing their jobs, no help from me?
From “How Does a Duck Know” by the Crash Test Dummies
The short answer, my answer of choice, is the quote above. To avoid being cryptic, those lines are descriptions of bewilderment and unknowing. Questions with no satisfactory answer (gosh what if the drake mistook his hen??). THE answer can only come from experience. I have had some experiences, but not THE experience that quiets the bewildering query.
My wife looking at my every day, sees the same Ran now she has always seen. I get up in the morning, get ready for and go to work, and come home and eat, take quiet time, exercise, shower, and spend time with her before cuddling up in bed, often watching movies or shows before going to sleep and waking up and doing the same thing the next day.Describe decision, intention, free will, choice, and control.
Those actions ostensibly involve the query points, and did some time ago ----but actually …… now ……they do not! That is a rather assertive declaration, that is actually quite difficult to show out, but the key is ---TIME!
Ran could wake up, curse the day, dread going to work, believe something awful (or wonderful) is about to occur @ work (or afterwards), could be holding onto a story from within an unaware self – waiting to erupt in unconsidered words, and end up sleeping in the doghouse.
This latter paragraph is of a Ran that does not live in the NOW. That is a Ran that forecast the future and holds onto the past. So, free will, choice, control, decisions, and intention are to me all of the past and future. In the now, in the place of “doing” with no doer there is only what is. It is the duck flying South!
Things happen from the place of bewilderment, from unknowing. For sure, the duck doesn’t ask directions to find South, and I doubt he questions how he knows South. I just wonder if he waddles up to the wrong hen, if he gets an earful of unbidden answer to an unasked question? And while we are at, may I express my great glee that my organs don’t ask how or when to work and fit with one another!!!! So, I am not responsible for that! Funny, could there possibly be a more complex operational system than the body that carries our livingness? So, why would a sentiency presume it must assert itself to go to work?What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
The academic, book answer is that all manifests from the Mind of Brahman/God, which is ALL that is.
Experientially I have sensed being in the stream, the flow, the NOW, the moment. This happens more every day. It is decidedly pleasant, and involves doing without a doer. I have mentioned this as being absorbed by doing the dishes, and/or folding clothes, in both instances there is only that – the doing.
I have also been caught out of flow. (By what? By what am I caught – we ask? – exactly!) I told my wife to make the decisions, but realized, too late that was a decision. I was doing her bidding when my mind went blank for awhile,… enough so that she came up to me and said “What, are you OK?” I said, “I said no, I won’t do that.” Essentially it involved doing something that time showed would have been a waste of time to do. I do not presume that that means what came to pass was what was supposed to happen or in some way better, ……. who knows --- what captured my attention was how I experienced a blankness of mind as a prelude to a change of course.
It happened again several days later in the course of a conversation while visiting my near reclusive, aging, TV watching mother. She asked me how I was dealing with Trump (as president-elect). I proceeded to espouse great and grand wisdoms for 15 minutes or so, until I said, “but the worst of Trump was the same thing I heard expressed by Stephen Colbert in his Face the Nation interview on Sunday.” Then I went totally blank. My Mom patiently waited, and I eventually apologized for going blank. Then she told me my last words, but it didn’t help. So, she used her remote to ask for Face the Nation and we just both sat back and shared her favorite activity---watching TV ---(again, a change in course from my lecturing, that I am sure my mother welcomed. Especially, for the return to the TV watching) . Eventually, Colbert related what I couldn’t get back to; …….. that quite aside from his coinage (and recognition for it) of the word “truthiness”, he had recently been recognized (by some newspaper) for a new word of the year (once again) this year,…. “post-fact”. He said Trump has made facts meaningless,… a mere choice, and that the acceptance of this would forbode a descent into CHAOS!!! (truthiness is a cheapened truth whereas post-fact holds no coinage).
Now, if I may,….. I see a stunning (like a whoop upside the head stunning) about both silences. They were both teachings. With my wife, I thought I didn’t have a dog in the hunt about anything, but not having a dog in the hunt was having a dog in that hunt (Whaaaa?). With my Mom, Colbert’s accusation about Trump’s deployed use of post-fact is actually and most surprisingly an accurate reflection of ultimate reality!
So how are these recountings of my experiences related to the original question? They are just stories of what happened when this drake cozied up to the wrong hen!
YESAnything to add?
I am not (so much) unsettled by the sense of no-self anymore. Instead, I am excited. I feel like a newborn, a baby, and babies grow up. I was so happy to cease “seeking”. I dropped out of my Mystic Mind Training online school. I have put away the “spiritual” books. I have sighed, deeply at all the effort and blind alleyways I have pursued in the past, while still holding gratitude, knowing all was always exactly as it had to be. Where I see myself going forward, I cannot characterize as a seeking. Neither is it an attempt to understand. I am excited to let go and let the tractor beam pull me home. This journey is not done, because I have a new paradigmatic question! Who, what sees?