Question: Greetings, Rodney. I live in the U.K., and I truly enjoy your blog.
Rodney: I'm delighted to hear it. Thank you.
Question: I would really appreciate your help with a persistent conviction that I have. You recently said: "What is it from which you never move? It can't be your body, because--among other things--your body is clearly animated by something other than itself."
Rodney: Yes, that's correct.
Question: I can see that the body is animated or lived by ... something.... call it life, spirit, or whatever.
Rodney: Right, the name or label isn't ultimately important. What is vital, however, is that the term point to that "whatever" in a direct and clarifying way. Such expressions as Self, presence, awareness, supreme awareness, the Absolute, nonconceptual reality, and supreme intelligence all obviously work. God and Brahman are also okay. But the religious connotations that come with those two expressions often get in the way of a seeker's seeing what is clearly in front of him or her. As for "consciousness," it, like thoughts, is an appearance in awareness. So it's obviously not the core of your existence.
Question: I can't get away from the fact that what I am is always tied up with the body. Yes, the body changes over time, but life, to me at any rate, is totally lived within this vehicle that is termed a body. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
Rodney: Your always being "tied up" with your body is only an apparent fact. With a little clear seeing and understanding, you would quickly and decisively perceive that you aren't your body at all. Pause right now and notice that there is something present in addition to your thoughts and sensations. The common thinking is that it is consciousness. And while consciousness (which is mainly your sense of sentience, that you know that you exist) is there, it is not continually so. Also, to know that consciousness is present, there absolutely has to be something there that is prior to consciousness, something that is even registering it! Some teachers will have seekers to calmly follow their thoughts and sensations; whereupon the seekers, decades hence, will hopefully "achieve" some state beyond consciousness, e.g., Enlightenment. But watching your thoughts and sensations--with whatever level of dispassion--is merely following your distractions. It isn't leading you anywhere. Better to go straight to awareness itself. And to do that, you simply perceive what is already present.
Question: Hmm, very good. Suddenly--do I dare say amazingly?--there is a little less conviction that I am inextricably tied up with and contained within this body/mind!
Rodney: You are seeing that your conviction--which is only a concept, anyway--is not based upon fact. What remains to be understood is that there is a magnificent and irrefutable presence that is prior to all thoughts and thinking. Your body is being lived by it and is the essence from which it is formed. Nonconceptual awareness is subtle, yet fully evident. But it is not an object. Rather, it is what you truly are, which is Existence itself.
Question: As I believed you mentioned in your blog, it's not the who, but the what.
Rodney: Exactly. It's that which leaves you without a single doubt or question as to your unalloyed identity. Again, you can't possibly be your body and mind because you are aware of your body and your mind.
Question: Yes, there was a deep pause from that last statement...Unfortunately, it's that "what" that I am still not seeing.
Rodney: Don't be overly concerned. The seeds has been planted. Continue to allow things to unfold, and you will see that the pause is the What. Also, keep coming back to the pointers (on this blog or others) until your seeing is clear. Laudable pointers do just that: They point the way with unerring accuracy. Not that the pointers here necessarily harbor that quality. But they certainly arise from the source of all things, which is bare and unconditioned awareness. So let them guide you, if you like. And please know that this isn't something that you have to work at or struggle with. Your ordinary, everyday awareness is what you are. It just needs to be seen in all its fullness and glory. And that recognition is is one of the simplest--and yet most profound--things you can ever do.
Question: Thank you so much, Rodney. I shall keep to the pointers and come back to what is aware, to what it is that knows.
Rodney: Precisely, "to what it is that knows." That is the master key that opens you to yourself.