Question: Hi, Rodney. Just wanted to touch base with you again. Heard your Urban Guru Cafe interview a couple of weeks ago--just loved it.
Rodney: Great to hear from you. And many thanks.
Question: Got a question or two. I understand that there is only THIS....presence awareness... and I AM THAT.
Rodney: Correct on all counts.
Question: Hmm, maybe I had better quit while I'm ahead!
Rodney: Refreshingly, there is no "ahead" in this part of the universe. You're pretty much either spot-on or you're misunderstanding the basics of who and what you are. And really, the basics are all that matter. After that, everything else pretty much falls into place.
Q: Happy to hear it...In combination to my above statement, I also gather that in presence, objects are manifested within this 'ether' of awareness/ light that straddles time and space (sort of speak.)
Rodney: Well, that's only partly true. Objects do emerge from presence and are nothing but presence. Apt analogies are bracelets made from gold and pots being made from clay. Each of these is one substance, despite the innumerable shapes, colors, and sizes in which they can appear. But there is no "ether" of awareness. There is simply awareness itself. And it doesn't "straddle" anything, particularly time and space, which are merely concepts--important and convenient concepts, but notions nonetheless.
Q: Okay, thanks for clearing that it.
Rodney: No problem.
Q: Still, my emotions, thoughts, objects, passions block me from seeing the above CLEARLY. Charlie Hayes, Randall Friend, etc. all say that we must look deeply into who we are, until we see clearly that we are 'no thing'. There is then nothing left and the mind falls away, the first death. Would you expand on how it is that we are to LOOK DEEPLY into WHO AM I?
Rodney: It only appears that feelings are "blocking" you from your true and essential stillness. Awareness can't be blocked by anything! It can be ignored, overlooked, and misunder-stood, but never blocked. But having emotions are a natural part of a body/mind being lived. Just remember that they are experiences in aware-ness, in what you truly and already are. You aren't the experiences, however strong or beautiful they may be. Further, that such feelings should somehow be "mastered," controlled, inhibited, or even constantly watched is one of the many myths from dualistic teachers and teachings. When normal emotions rise, it is generally better to let them have their temporary appearance in awareness (provided neither you nor anyone gets hurt!) than to label them or to berate yourself.
Q: But how do I LOOK DEEPLY?
Rodney: To "look deeply" into what you are entails no one doing it. It is simply a sudden seeing or understanding that presence is in full evidence, and that you are it. Many seekers think that "looking deeply" means engaging in some type of prolonged concentration or watchfulness. But that certainly isn't the case. Indeed, a long history of nondual sages--from Gaudapada and U. G. Krishnamurti to Nisargadatta Maharaj and "Sailor" Bob Adamson--point to the immediacy of what you are, to your own innate depth and clarity. And there is absolutely nothing difficult or effortful about it. And once it is perceived, it is immediately perceived (though never fully plumbed, for it is without beginning or end).
Q: So I should just let my thoughts go?
Rodney: See that there is nothing to be done about them, that when a thought or feeling appears, it is already there. It is the ego that comes in after a particular thought or emotion and condemns it, praises it, or attempts to control it. You are the awareness within which all of this is occurs. You are not the thoughts and feelings. Thus, there is no one to let your thoughts go. You're the spaciousness. You are that which is directly in front of you: Felt-Beingness from which thoughts, feelings, and even worlds arise. Give your alertness and attention to this, and you will marvel at how you have missed it for all of this time.
Q: And upon seeing that, the mind then falls away?
R: That's one of those spiritually-belabored expressions that has no meaning. The mind does not "fall away" because there is no mind. Be careful not to become enraptured by concepts, especially the spiritual and nondual ones. Just see that there is an immeasurable richness and peace in the spaciousness directly before you. Upon recognizing this, you automatically understand that there is no one to look deeply into anything.
Q: Lots of great stuff to ponder. Thank you, sir!