Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Q&A: No Way Out

Question: Oh, man--I just checked out your blog. It is sooo cool!

Rodney: Thank you.

Q: I heard you on Urban Guru Cafe first, where I was really moved (and stilled!) by your words and voice. I guess that's what they mean by "resonating" with the teacher.

Rodney: It is. Other things may come up too, such as joy, tears, tranquility, and objectless love. In general, you feel a heart-to-heart connection with the writer or speaker. I hesitate to use such terminology as "heart-to-heart" because it sounds so New-agey and emotive, when actually such a "connection" is beyond the person and the body from which it appears to be emanating.

Q: Well, that's the connection, all right!

Rodney: I'm happy that it worked out. There really is no predicting who will resonate with who. The important thing is the resonating itself, which usually leads to deep stillness or at least a slowing-down of any conceptual maneuvering. This, in turn, leads away from the personal and the teacher to presence itself, which you discover as your fundamental state.

Q: So you sort of move past the "guru-worship" phase.

Rodney: Right. Teacher-worship primarily occurs because the teacher is not effectively pointing beyond his or herself. And their pointing isn't effective because they don't have a clue about who and what they truly are. But they pretend otherwise and have you doing everything from meditating and chanting to mindfulness and breathing exercises. They give you all of these activities because it's vital that the ruse be kept up, and what better way of doing that than by filling your days--even lifetime!--with "divine" diversions that will not help you, in the least, with self-knowing. The "guru," however, will claim that that isn't so, because it's a matter of livelihood and--this is more often the case--his or her spiritual ego is being gratified.

Q: Well, I think I can safely say that there's been no teacher-worship here. But, oh man, I've probably tried just about every kind of meditation and practice that I've read about, including TM. And from the get-go, there was this definite idea of "doing" something, of there being some kind of process, you know what I mean? Well, of course you do. :)

Rodney: Wise man. And yes, the "doing" is right there from the start. And it leads to nothing, rather than to Nothingness! But let's be careful about our terms. I'm not saying that there is nothing to be done; I'm saying that it is more of a matter of seeing or understanding, than doing. You are already That to which the ancient zen and Indian scriptures are pointing. And Jesus himself beautifully said, "Behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (That "Behold" is often overlooked, but it's central to the statement because Jesus is saying, in effect, to bring your full attention to this existing fact, and not to some heaven-ward ideal or presumption.)

Q: So there is still hope for me?

Rodney: Yes and no.

Q: I'm was hoping for something more clear-cut!? (Laughing)

Rodney: There is no hope in the sense that there is no defined you. There is only awareness--in which the idea of "hope" and a "you" arise. Hope is a thought, and then a possible direction away from what you are seeking, from what is already at hand. Presence is your fundamental reality. See the bare beauty and logic of that. Don't just take my word for it. You have to see it for yourself for it to have any impact and meaning in your life.

Q: And what will I see?

Rodney: That everything is secondary to awareness, which is subtle, beginningless, ordinary, and magnificent. And that it was yours for the seeing and understanding all the while you were seeking it.

Q: Thanks, man--I really appreciate this. If I keep all this in mind, there should be no chance of even me missing it!

Rodney: Don't be overly concerned. For as U.G. Krishnamurti once declared, there is actually "no way out" of what you truly are.


News & Info

John Wheeler's Web site is no longer up. But earnest and serious seekers (and that's the only kind we have here at "Radiance") can reach him at: johnwheeler111@yahoo.com


RECENTLY IN: "Just wanted to tell you that A Vastness All Around is, hands down, one of the best books on nonduality. Thank you for all of your writing." --Alex Taylor


Here's a review of the Kindle Edition of A Vastness All Around on Amazon.


Nonduality Magazine has published a discussion with Rodney about his work and book. The extensive and wide-ranging interview was done by John LeKay, the magazine's editor.


"Loved the book, Rodney. Enjoyed it as much as John Wheeler's first book, Awakening to the Natural State. My favourite quote of yours was "you are no more your personal history than you are your toothbrush." I like the fact that you included little tidbits of your life and surrounds. It felt more like reading a book on travel or history than some of the other textbook style books on nonduality. I think for anyone serious about a direct approach, your book and John Wheeler's are the two to have." -- Ian


A Vastness All Around: Awakening to Your Natural State is Rodney's first collection of essays, discussions, interviews, and powerful pointers. It can be ordered directly from the publisher at Lulu Press.


Vastness is now available for the Amazon Kindle! Order Here.


And for the book's Press Release, click Here.


If you would like to meet Rodney, have him to discuss nonduality, sign books, or read, you can email him at: writerguy@fastmail.fm Such events are self-organized, so funding is key, with groups and universities that can cover travel expenses getting priority. And much appreciation!


This blog is generally updated every Sunday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time.


Rodney Stevens said...

Hi Ian,

Thanks for your email about your book idea that you sent to the "Comments" page. How about resending it to me at: writerguy (at) fastmail (dot) fm

I'll be able to respond to it better that way. :)


Finoh said...

Rodney my message came back undelivered.
"The address "<"Rodney Stevens" " in the "To" field was not recognized. Please make sure that all addresses are properly formed."

Have you got another email address.



Rodney Stevens said...

Ian, be sure to try it this way:


I used the "at" and the "dot" in the first email to cut down on spam. :)