Vector8 Journals

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Spiritual Paradox; To Be or Not To Be?

"To be, or not to be: that is the question." William Shakespeare
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better." Emile Coue
It's wonderful to feel oneness with all, knowing that there is only One having life. You experience synchronicities all over the place. But there is something I've observed, a paradox that is the crux of my experience of spirituality.

On the one hand, in order to experience life, we have to ascribe meanings and labels to forms. We identify ourselves as people with names and possessions, families, friends, occupations and interests. It is the very labelling that keeps one limited to forms.

On the other hand, spirituality for me is the practice of letting go of all labels and concepts, realising that I am no concept, label or thing. I like to see the spiritual path as the art of "getting better and better" at letting go of concepts and ideas, knowing that I am no-thing.

Now the challenge is the very act of experiencing life means you have to ascribe labels to things. For instance, here I am trying to transmute ideas from silence into words. Writing is an act of choosing various concepts to express an idea. The very act of choosing is limiting the unlimited. How to get round this problem of wanting to experience concepts and ideas on the one hand, and not wanting to experience concepts on the other?

To have or not to have? To be or not to be? Here lies the paradox.

One can experience life without judgment. While I practise non-judgment, there is the part of me that is constantly judging. For instance, early this morning my mother's voice woke me up. She was on the phone to the company that provides her satellite viewing. She's had problems with the reception and she wasn't a happy bunny. She sounded as if she was getting angry which felt to me like intense heat on one side of my head. While I was listening from the place of silence with no thoughts, I could still feel this "heat" on my temple. I was curious as to why I was being affected by my mother's conversation.

Reality for me is that there is only One having life, therefore, my mother is also me, though I may not always agree with her take on life. Since all is me, nothing can be against me. How come I had a a headache? Then I realised that it was because of the habit of labelling experiences as good/bad; hot/cold etc. It's the equivalent of looking out of the window, seeing that it appears to be gloomy and then expecting it to feel chilly outside. You dress up for the weather and when you go outside you feel cold. This is part of the human programming.

Now, while I don't feel emotions like anger or fear, I still appear to be affected by other people's emotions which manifest in my body in various ways. For example, disharmony registers as heat. Now imagine being at one with the many different thoughts and emotions people have. Some of these thought-forms might register as discomfort, pain even, in one's body, depending on how one interprets various emotions and thoughts. How to get out of this habit of labelling which occurs at the unconscious level? By going back to basics and judging no experiences as having forms or cause. In other words judge all experiences as being no-thing, i.e. without form or cause. Thus, you feel no thing i.e. neither hot/cold, pain/pleasure etc. Ditto all the senses.

So I start from the premise that all is no-thing which some call the "void," "formlessness" or the "silence." Thus all things, seen and unseen, are of the silence, formless and void. They are neither this nor that. Things are what they are without beginning or end.

How do I continue to let go of experiences? By knowing that I am no-thing and this no-thingness is beginningless and endless. Thus, the human experience is an opportunity to express this "no-thing-ness." Therefore,

I think no-thing i.e. I have no thoughts, the mind is still, empty, and therefore judges no experience which leads to me

Feeling no-thing
Seeing no-thing
Hearing no-thing
Smelling no-thing
Tasting no-thing
Experiencing no-thing.

Let us return to my mother's conversation earlier today. It was brought to awareness for me to let go of the way the human mind ascribes labels to various emotions. I/my mother was given me the opportunity to see the experience as a no-thing. There is therefore much work to be done in relinquishing experiences.

It would seem that what we call time is nothing other than an opportunity to practise letting go of ideas and concepts and being no-thing. To live as a spiritual being is to experience life with detachment; to be and not be at the same time.

Love and Light,