Hi, Rodney. I'm just sitting, watching the flow of thoughts, after reading and enjoying one of your books.
Rodney: Thanks. But you don't have to watch your thoughts, unless you find it enjoyable or relaxing. Observing your thoughts doesn't lead to self-understanding. On the other hand, there is nothing really wrong with it either, I suppose!
Q: A few years ago I read a book called Radical Honesty. Basically, it is a very useful work that encourages people to be "real," to speak directly and openly to reveal previous lies, misunderstandings, etc.
Rodney: I don't know the book. But from your description of it, I can tell that I would have some issues with it. But that is neither here nor there. Maybe the book will be of help to someone at his or her particular stage of spiritual seeking.
Q: Well, you see, that's the thing. The difficulty now, for this [name here] character is that all thoughts and feelings are so much hot air. There doesn't seem to be any motivation whatsoever to "get real" with others in order to create true intimacy and trust.
Rodney: Good man. For how is being truthful with others (however radical or benevolent), going to help with self-realization? Your focus is on relationship with other people, rather than your own self-knowing. You are getting caught up in the blather of life rather than seeing its essence. With that said, why can't we just be naturally honest and gracious with others? No specific plan or agenda is required for that.
Q: Yes, I'm starting to see that clearly now. In fact, I don't believe any of my thoughts, even the apparently authentic, "true," and honest-sounding ones!
Rodney: Some thoughts give a fairly accurate assessment of a situation. And some do not. The key point to keep in mind that you are not your thoughts. You simply are not those mental appearances that come and go all throughout the day and evening. They certainly have their place, and we couldn't function without them. But we are also totally beyond them. We are that that knows that they are present. There is a presence that knows that they are appearing. You have to to keep coming back to that fact to see how all of this comes about.
Q: Right. And it can certainly confound things in relationships, can't it?
Q: If my relationship with a woman is based on showing my thoughts and feelings in order to arrive at intimacy, then it kind of sinks the ship to recognise any thoughts and feelings that come up are so much like soap bubbles. Why give them any attention or even vocalise them? It seems like listening to your partner's stories and offering up some yarns of your own are "oxygen" for relationships. Supposedly, anyway. But if you do nothing, these thoughts and feelings ebb away on their own.
Rodney: Exactly. But just to be clear: Relationships are not a gauge of who and what you are, however beautiful, moving and intriguing the other person maybe. You are not a relationship; you are a oneness that is without limit or form. Savor the enormity of that fact. Though it is impossible to conceptualize, it is actuality, right here and now. There is no working your way towards it or making yourself "worthy" to obtain it. Indeed, you can't obtain it! You are already that. You are already that oneness without limit or form. There is nothing to do but to see it for yourself. Once this is understood, then everything else pretty much falls into place, including, of course, relationships.
Q: I would like to set up time for a phone consultation if that's okay—just to go over some of the things we talked about here?
Rodney: No problem...But just to wrap things up a bit: Stay with the fact that thoughts come and go; they are appearances and approximations, at best. They basically help us to communicate with others and to live safely and productively while in this temporary human form. Thoughts, bodies, and functions all change. But you are that which is aware of those appearances and changes. Zero in on just what that presence of awareness is. It is right there, right now. And that is the ultimate truth.
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