Question: Hi, Rodney. I love your latest batch of pointers. I can instinctively feel the "rightness" of the following one -- "What is it that is present, but is not your body, your thoughts, your sensations, or even your state of consciousness? Reflect upon this with ease and gentleness. Come back to it at some later time, if necessary, when your seeing may be clearer."
Rodney: The part about "coming back" to a pointer at some later time is a worthwhile consi-deration. I know someone who happened to have been reading a sentence or two from the blog that deeply moved him. He didn't come to a sudden understanding of at that point. That came later, when he was reflecting upon the pointer while washing a spoon in the kitchen. "The washing slowed," he wrote, "not because I was trying to do it, but because I was, like, seeing/ feeling this spaciousness around the spoon! And that this spaciousness was the genuine me!"
Q: What a beautiful story!
Rodney: Yes, very quiet, very ordinary. Yet, monumental in the sense that this former-seeker ended up discovering the deep peace and radi-ance of his ever-present Reality. He just hap-pened to go to the kitchen sink for a moment, half-reflecting on what he had previously perused and been moved by. The pause was significant enough that the gentleman was able to apperceive awareness in all of its richness and glory.
Q: And ultimately, there is no spoon, of course! (Laughing).
Rodney: Excellent! Right, as The Matrix correctly (on this issue) points out: There is no spoon. There is awareness manifesting as a spoon. But it's all presence.
Q: I'm continuing to focus on that. For a while there, I was confusing the by-product of awakening --the bliss and fireworks that came and went--with awakening itself. Nothing could be further from the truth. The bliss and fireworks were obviously experiences that were happening inside of Big I. But this was ultimately confusing because there was the thinking that the experiences were happening to Little I. Ridiculous. Nothing happens to Little I. Little I is a happening itself. Little I is another rising and falling event within the stillness of This That Sees.
Rodney: Correct. The "Little I" can't possibly grasp or recognize the Ultimate I. For the very moment you attempt to utilize a self-image (whether it be a thought, a feeling, a personality, or an assumed body or person), you are implicitly declaring that you are not already what you are seeking. And that, most definitely, is not the case. Truly, you lack for nothing. At this very second, you are awareness proper. See that there is this some-thing that remains absolutely still, no matter what thoughts, emotions, or perceptions may arise.
Q: Well, I'm continuing to do very little to try to wake up.
Rodney: Even a little is too much. There can be no half-measures here.
Q: You mean, essentially I'm helpless.
Rodney: That which you perceive as "you" is helpless, yes. For your sense of separation is only that: An apparency that doesn't bare up to close inspection.
Q: I'm starting to fell ragged. I think I'm going to just take a little break all this.
Rodney: Sounds good!
Q: But I already know that after a couple of days, the non-search (or whatever you may call it) will all begin again. It never lasts for very long. The compulsion (what else can you call it?) will be on me again shortly, but I intend to appreciate the rest.
Rodney: That which you call a "compulsion" is just a your deep faith that you are already awareness itself. So, the less stressful you make all of this, the better. Otherwise, you are likely to continue to do what you are doing: Overlooking the obvious. But don't feel put-upon. For this is the heart of the issue for nearly all seekers. Yet, coming to this understanding need not be time-consuming or burdensome. The seeing is akin to being told by some knowing and compassionate soul that there is a smiling face within this picture of apparently disconnected dots. So, you naturally relax--even smile--to yourself, as you earnestly look for what you know is already before you.
Q: Yes, I see what you mean. But right now, it seems like there is this mind that insists upon pinning down God or It or Reality, if you will. It wants to place It--meaning attach some central focal point onto Spaciousness--either behind the body-mind, or in front of it. Everything, of course, is in relation to the human unit, which the mind views as the Hub of All Things. But God, Spaciousness, or whatever word one wishes to use entirely encompasses and permeates the body-mind--and everything else.
Rodney: What arises in the mind is neither here nor there, particularly any thought or concept saying that it (the mind) is the "Hub of it all." Move from this conceptual focusing to seeing what the concepts are pointing to. It is easy to get lost--and ragged!--in nondual conceptualization. So go ahead: Take some time away from all this. Then return to it, if you so choose, with ease and gentleness. Don't work at it. For it works on you--or rather, the assumed "you"!
Q: So the awareness is there, but it's not there.
Rodney: No, no. Not only is it thoroughly present, but it is precisely what you are. The "it's not there" is merely a thought coming up. So let your focus be on the immediate and luxuriant nature of awareness, and not on some idea that is appearing in awareness.
Q: Yes, conceptually, I see the great Truth of it. But it just stops there...I am worn out, I really am. I'm not deeply despondent, but I am absolutely worn out. About all I can stand doing in the spiritual vein right now is writing you, reading your blog, and maybe reading a little of Rumi.
Rodney: Better Rumi than your attempting to force something.
Q: Exactly! It's like I've been forever trying to open a can of beans with my fingernails!
Rodney: Again, nonduality works on you. Not you on it. The seeing comes from the direction of presence, not from this apparent individual that you take yourself be. If you remain mindful of that, you should be fine. For as we mentioned earlier, there is no spoon--or "you." Both are appearances in awareness. And you are That.
Q: Bravo!...Thank you, my friend. Everything is a bit fresher.