Rodney: You're certainly welcome.
Question: I have a question about one of your recent blog posting. You mention to the person who contacted you that there is no person to perform the practice of "resting as awareness." I understand what you are saying here. However, you also say "Responsibly address all concerns."
Rodney: Yes, there needn't be conflict--in the idea or actuality--of being a compassionate and conscientious citizen and being self-realized. Nisargadatta Maharaj certainly was an excellent example of that.
Question: Oh, yes. I whole-heartedly agree. And yet--
Rodney: Right, saying that there is no person and to responsibly address all concerns appears to be a contradiction. But that contradiction is only from the mind, which struggles to reconcile the two views and can't. Why? Because the bare truth of this cannot be seen conceptually. For the mind's notions about itself include, among other things, that there is a individual thinker present, that thoughts are derived from the mind itself, and that ideas and mathematical formulae are the "highest" that man can go, philosophically speaking.
Question: It's interesting that you mentioned mathematics. I'm a scientist at a major university.
Rodney: The contributions in those fields of science and mathematics have been enormous. But the ultimate truth, which we are concerned with here, is the presence of awareness, which is our natural state. That's one of the great good things about nonduality: You already are that which you are seeking. Recognizing your natural state can essentially be done in two ways: Apperceiving this presence within you or coming to a mental and intellectual Full Stop (as Sailor Bob Adamson so winningly pulls it) in the presence of a potent pointer, which could be statement, a work of art, a smiling child, some natural setting, a strand of music, some breath-taking constellation, or the sound of a lone temple bell.
Question: So instead of focusing on some ever-looping mental issue, I should just center on what is happening at the moment?
Rodney: Not quite. The attention should be on the simple presence of presence, not on any events or occurences that may be going on at the time. And with this comes the realization that, among other things, you are being lived, that there is no longer a "you" living a separate and autonomous life. And with this understanding, you naturally and easily continue to live as responsibly as possible, as a citizen in whatever country you choose to live.
Question: I have heard certain teachers advocate "Resting as Awareness." In each case, they clearly point out that at the beginning it will appear that there is an entity resting as awareness, but they explain that this is a fiction. They have found that this is an effective way to get people to quiet the mind and its obsession on phenomena. I know there is legitimate disagreement on whether this is the best approach. It seems you advocate a direct seeing - as opposed to a process that matures over time.
Rodney: Yes, I point to direct-seeing. I'm not really an advocate of anything, nor am I in opposition to any specific teacher. But I see what you are saying. My pointing and teaching is certainly not in sync with most present-day teachers. But that just happens to be the case. I'm not attempting to be oppositional. I'm merely speaking from the nondual lineage of Nisargadatta Maharaj, Sailor Bob Adamson, and John Wheeler, among others. And these teachers are unassailable. Also, I'm writing from what I have come to know, which is that you are awareness proper, and that you need no time or "maturing" to realize that fact.
Question: I really appreciate your detailed response. It was very helpful. For I really want to get to the bottom of this, so to speak.
Rodney: To ask who or what you truly are is the most vital question you could ever ask yourself. So I applaud your wanting to discover the immediacy of all this. At "bottom" and in plain view is this magnificent ground of Beingness. That's the open secret that is being pointed to here, as well as at other credible Web sites and blogs.
Question: Thanks again. Your sincerity and love are certainly shining through in your blog.
Rodney: All the best, and feel free to keep in touch, if the spirit moves.