My basic experience of life seems to differ from that implicit in the typical nondual understanding of things - Francis Answers - 62

Francis Lucille

My basic experience of life seems to differ from that implicit in the typical nondual understanding of things. I’m seeking any clarifying comments you might have. Here’s my take: The core of the experience of separation seems to exist as a deeply embodied state for me. A kind of reaction to, or objectification of, a state of panic. It seems utterly physical. A likely neurological explanation is that one region of the brain gets overstimulated to such an extent that it’s output begins to compromise the stability of the whole organ, it becomes detatched from the wholistic modeling of the brain and becomes a static tape loop kind of thrumming of energy. I wonder even if it has something to do with limiting seizures. Anyway, the isolation of this ‘too hot’ region is only partial. The now static output from this organ of percieving becomes itself an object percieved by the rest of the body/mind (the output of the brain). The objectification of this energetic state pushes it to the background, or better said creates a background of it. This background seems to be the (typically) unexamined ‘self’. There is plenty of experimental evidence that supports the notion that the minds function is to unquestioningly model a gestalt of reality with whatever material is present to it. As such, a separate self (this background) gets written in to this interpretive framework of ongoing experience. This explanation of the prevalance of the experience of separation, alienation etc. seems a bette fit than the usual notion that we all have this state inculcated in us by social conditioning. So it seems to me that self inquiry, if it’s anything at all, has to be the being present to this primal panic: The reintegration of these regions of fear. I’ve found this energetic stasis in very rare moments to dissipate when i’ve been somehow open to the background that is typically roped off in an existential taboo (there be dragons). What I’m momentarily left with could be described as a state wherein my mind and bodily experience seem as much external to me as… this table is. It’s indescribable vitality! But it occurs in relatively short flashes… Anyway, I can not understand ‘self enquiry’ as anything other than being open to the background thrum of ‘static’ energy that is taken to be the separate and objectified self. I’ve tried to describe my take. What would you add? What would you toss? What would you modify? Many thanks. Love, Dave

Dear Dave,

We will never be able to explain the subject in terms of objects, no matter how sophisticated they are, or to explain consciousness through the mind. It is also a waste of time and energy to try to explain ignorance using a body-mind based model, because there is at the core of ignorance an element of freedom which cannot be reduced to a body-mind mechanism. Ignorance is a choice of consciousness.

If we understand self-inquiry as “being open to the background thrum of ‘static’ energy that is taken to be the separate and objectified self”, we are likely to be stuck in this contemplation up until our death by boredom. A lively interest, a joyful eagerness should be the engine driving our investigation into the true nature of awareness. Make no mistake about it, ignorance is not the person of interest in this investigation, but rather awareness itself. Meditation is a mix of benevolent indifference with regard to the objects and of passionate interest for the presence in which they appear and out of which they are made. This indifference and this interest are like two sides of a same coin. The greater the latter, the greater the former. Whatever is done out of this interest is true meditation. That may include thinking about the truth, investigating the body experience, or sitting quietly without any goal in mind.

Warmest regards,