Rodney: And how, pray, is everything in Nottingham (UK)?
Questioner: Here, at last, we are getting a bit of sun. It's great to feel that tinge of warmth on the skin, even it is still cold. Right now, I'm looking out onto a beautiful blue sky, and marveling at life and the world.
Rodney: While sipping your red bush tea?
Q: Orange juice, actually. I wish you were here to join me.
Rodney: That would be lovely! Thank you.
Q: I'm continuing read John Wheeler's Awakening to the Natural State, which I'm over half way through. What fine writing it is. I've been paused several times so far. What precisely hits home is the message that this awareness is what I am. As you said, that it's about seeing Self as yourself. There is something so powerful about that, tears come up even just writing it.
Rodney: Which is perfectly fine. We've touched on this before, but I want to reiterate that the tears are of no concern (provided you have no related medical issues). It is simply your body's response to an intuitive understanding of who and what you genuinely are. While that recognition is not yet pristine, there is a physical response nonetheless. Not everyone will experience tears, of course. Everyone is completely different.
Q: Yes, now I see that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Actually, when that kind of pause or emotional release happens these days, there is often a sense of "a coming through" into something vast and loving. I've put different labels on it, sometimes calling it Beauty, and sometimes God.
Rodney: The actual seeing or understanding has no sense of "coming through" at all. But I understand what you're getting at. However, you are completely on-target in sensing that awareness is a spaciousness that is, at once, attributeless and loving. And yes, the labels don't matter in the least. Whether you call it God, Beauty, Shiva, Brahman, Buddha-nature, Divine Spirit, etc, awareness just keeps on keeping on: Being both nothing and everything. All I would suggest is that whatever term you use, know that it is only pointer to your luminant and inexpressible Self.
Q: Your recent blog posting was beautiful. I was particularly touched by the "ocean" paragraph -- that we are both unique waves and utterly a part of the ocean too.
Rodney: I'm happy that it resonated with you.
Q: Another favourite was, "Your opinions, learning and apparent sanctity mean absolutely nothing to Presence" truly made me laugh. I've certainly fallen into the trap of sanctifying my emotions and feelings in the past, no doubt helped along by various self-help notions and therapies.
Rodney: And sanctifying emotions tend to lead to sanctifying deeds. Thus, you have seekers fasting, meditating, punishing themselves, and tossing away their worldly belongings. None of those things is going to help them. Further, and as we have already made clear, presence doesn't care. It absolutely Does Not Care. It is only witnesses thoughts, emotions, and actions, very much like a mirror, with total impartially. And why are the seekers' deeds foolish? They are foolish because neither overt actions nor ideas can't be used to reach enlightenment. And there are--at the very least--three reasons why that it is case: Awareness cannot be reached (you are already that); spiritually-type actions don't lead to understanding; and there is simply no enlightenment (a term which suggests that there is a separate, individual person who can become enlightened).
Q: Over the past few weeks, as the looking continues, it feels as if I'm buying into my thoughts and feelings less and less. It's clear that there is nothing to be gotten and nowhere to go in thought. I've realised (at least on some innate level) that it is not this "me" that will do the seeing -- that seeing happens, that awareness and aliveness are here, whatever I'm doing about it or not.
Rodney: Yes, much of what you say there is excellent. You are clearly having some solid and perceptive insights into all this. Just be careful not to think that this is something that you can work toward or progress to. It doesn't happen that way. It's not a matter of getting down to X-number of self-identified thoughts and feelings, and suddenly "it" happens. Rather, it's a matter--in this case--of recognizing how self-identification habitually and readily occurs in our day-to-day living.
Q: On one level, there is this feeling of utter frustration. Whilst on another level, I feel non-duality in my bones. But there is this paragraph in John's book that really struck a chord with me -- "If you are responding to this, then you are ripe and ready, so just follow your heart and your own deeper wisdom and everything will unfold as it is meant to do for you."
Rodney: Any thoughts that you might be having related to frustration and not-seeing are just thoughts and notions that aren't necessarily true. You are looking at and through awareness at this very moment. You just aren't perceiving it fully, that's all. For this knowing, translucent sheerness is immediately before you and within you. It's largely a matter of naturally pausing your thinking or activities in such a way that the seeing and understanding occurs. It can be recognized in the blink an eye. It is Beauty without bounds, Sweetness eternal. And you, my dear Ms. Nottingham, are precisely That.
Q: That is so lovely. Thank you, my wonderful friend.