Vector8 Journals

Monday, January 17, 2005

Nothing But Leaves

It seems to me that we have two selves: the real Self versus the false self. The real Self is the ever-existing, uncaused, formless Self of all. When you are identifying yourself as this Self, life is harmonious. You feel love for all and life is effortless. It’s as if you can move mountains.

The false self has a beginning and an end. This false self gives you the impression that it cares about you, and that it wants the best for you. Yet, you are locked in conflicts. With the false self, you have difficulties acknowledging the other as being part of the one Self. As far as the false self is concerned, you have your own self and the other person has his.

In truth, the false self doesn't exist but only seems to exist because one is hypnotised into believing it is real. The false self is rather like a stage hypnotist convincing his audience that they are experiencing whatever he has suggested. Through hypnotic suggestions, you experience pain and suffering as real. While you're busy having these experiences you are distracted from your true self. A stage hypnotist wakes up his audience from the delusion. When you're having a nightmare you can wake up and realise the events are not real. To wake up and stay awake to the truth that there is no other self than the real self is what the spiritual path is about.

Yesterday I took a trip down memory lane. I fancied going for a bus ride just because. I ended up in a part of London I lived in for five years. I had visions of myself in different parts of the town. At first I felt sadness then I dismissed it. There's nothing to be sad about. Why have regrets over senseless actions that made a lot of sense at the time? They are nothing. Regrets are like dead leaves falling off a tree. Love is the only thing that is meaningful. Love is the only real.

I'm reminded of when Carlos Castaneda wakes up to the totality of Self. He jumps into an abyss and finds himself still alive back in his apartment. He reflects upon his life:

"I was a warrior-traveler. Only energetic facts were meaningful for me. All the rest were trimmings that had no importance at all. (The Active Side of Infinity, by Carlos Castaneda, p. 269)
I can so relate to Castaneda's perspective. Only that which pertains to the Real has any meaning or reality. That which is of the false self is not only meaningless but has no reality. The false self is nothing as it doesn't actually exist.

But things seem to persist. The false self seems to be all around in the many appearances and behaviours. How can something be unreal when it seems so real and in your face? How can the unreal be so painful? In order for the false self to cease to have existence one needs to stop identifying with it. If someone told you that nothing was chasing you, would you run? Why be afraid of nothing? Identify only with the real Self that is uncaused, unborn-undying, infinite and eternal. The real Self transforms into nothing anything that is unlike Itself.

The following story about Jesus comes from the King James version of the bible.

"And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mark 11: 13-14; 20-25)
There is another version of this story as told in Matthew thus:

"And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21: 19: 22)
I've heard these stories used as demonstrations of the power of words and intent. I've also interpreted it in a similar way. There is something about the words "he found nothing but leaves" I find intriguing. If the time wasn't ready for the fruits, why not leave the tree alone? Why make it a point to wither the tree unless the writer is trying to point out a hidden message.

I want to focus on the leaves. A tree with no fruits when someone needs them is useless. Could it be that the state of "nothing but leaves" is a description of the false self? The false self is passing itself of as something when it is nothing. The false self hypnotises one to believe false sensations and appearances are real. The false self is "nothing but leaves." One can therefore dismiss it as the nothing that it is and let the nothing wither away, as the tree does in the above stories, into nothing; let the condition become a nothing in the human sense. Prayer now takes on a new meaning. Prayer is the acknowledgement of the real Self as the only real. When one has unwavering faith in one's true identity, the power of the uncaused, formless Self withers away that which is unlike Itself into nothing. Jesus was speaking as this formless Self.

There is only One Self, the formless, uncaused, ever-existing Self. Anything passing itself off as the Self is nothing but leaves.

I am Self,