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17. True Presence is Relative Absence
Remember always the perfect identity of this that I am and that that I appear to be. Never forget for a moment that non-manifestation and manifestation, the noumenon and the phenomenon, the Absolute and the relative are not different. No object can exist for even a moment apart from its subject. There is an inseparable identity between this that I am, the noumenon, and that that I appear to be, its phenomenon. Noumenally I am I, and never cease to be That, whereas phenomenally, I neither am nor am not, because all the phenomenal objects are merely appearances, images in a mirror, and have no separate existence.
When, with the thought 'I am', manifestation arises, the mind starts the process of objectifying. It does so through the concept of duality, a notional separation into subject and object and the interrelated contrasts like pleasure and pain. During this process, the purely subjective 'I', the noumenon remains unsplit and whole, as ever. In order to be cognizable, the phenomenal appearances have to be given the two notions of time and space, without which they would not be sensorially perceptible. This space-time element, which is the basis of the notion of Karma and cause and effect, is essentially only a contrivance to make sensorial perception of the phenomena possible.
The world is not illusory, because it is the expression of the unmanifested Absolute, which is your own true reality; what is illusory is your mistaken identity with the limited phenomenon, falsely thinking of yourself as the shadow instead of your real Self. Who is it that is thinking in terms of transformation and self-improvement, changing from one state to another? Surely, it is nothing other than a character in a movie, a dream personality, a pseudo-entity considering itself subject to the law of Karma. How could such a character dreamed in a dream perfect itself into anything other than an 'improved' or 'evolved' dream character? How could a shadow perfect itself and be transformed into its substance? The idea is ludicrous, isn't it?
But, as long as you are still deluded into thinking that you have a free will, then you must give up this active volitional 'I' of the separate entity, and accept the passive role of perceiving and functioning and being a process, rather than an entity...a verb rather than a noun. The least willful effort prevents what otherwise happens naturally and spontaneously. But, deliberately not doing anything also prevents the natural course of events from happening. There must be a total absence of the 'doer' and all volitional actions. This is true surrender.
Intellect is essential for assimilating and evaluating worldly knowledge, and it is also useful, up to a point for spiritual knowledge. But to perceive spiritual truths, what is needed is an innate intuitive capacity. Reasoning involves the process of comparing objects with opposing qualities or characteristics; the process works only on the basis of the subject-object duality. But how can this reasoning apply to the purely subjective? The subject can never conceive of itself as an object. How can it ever find what it already is? Addicted by the drug called intellect, you analyze everything, you cogitate, contemplate and make simple things complicated. You have to get rid of this addiction and surrender yourself to the intuitive process of pure receptivity... this is an openness to consciousness without the intrusion of the personal views of an imaginary individual. In this, the usual kind of perceiving - the seer seeing something - is totally inadequate. What's needed is a very special kind of seeing... intuitive seeing, in-seeing... in which there is no seer and there is nothing to be seen... only the seeing itself is there... only the pure functioning of consciousness, seeing, feeling, talking, listening, thinking, acting, happening... of itself, by itself, for itself. Every action and thought is but a movement in consciousness, observed by consciousness. In this the individual has no place at all; he is nothing but an appearance manifested in consciousness.
There are two kinds of thoughts; one kind is the type of thought which forms the stuff of day-dreams or of remembrances of events in the past or anticipations of events of the future. This type is the indirect, mediated thought of the dualistic mind, associated with the concept of an individual entity thinking itself to be the doer and enjoyer and sufferer. This type of thought should be ignored and avoided. Different from this is the other kind of thought which springs up spontaneously, instantaneously, intuitively from the depths of one's psyche; it comes without the element of duration or 'thinking' which is characteristic of the phenomenalistic mind. Such direct thought is really the process by which the unmanifested Absolute manifests itself. It is immediate and non-conceptual... it just happens. It can neither be ignored nor avoided. This kind of instantaneous pure thought results in pure action without any tinge of bondage, because no entity is involved.
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