Sunday, August 31, 2008

THE REAL VS. THE PERCEIVED, Part Six, The Conclusion

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An Advaita Vedanta philosophy site, focusing on Realization, enlightenment, nisarga yoga, non-duality / nonduality, your original nature, dwelling as your natural state, and the teachings of Maharaj.

FROM A SITE VISITOR: If the glass I drink from is not real, then how is it that I’m able to drink water from the glass? Michael

F.: To review, it has been seen that to call a space or a form “an ice cube” is to block the understanding of the fact that it is really H20. The cube can melt and is no more, as far as the form is concerned; however, the H20 remains. The same applies to the form called “a glass.” The same applies to the AM-ness and to You.

The “real-ness” of a glass or an ice cube is not the issue addressed by the teaching. It is the mis-perceiving by persons and the perceptions they have about the roles which they are playing that account for the misery and suffering on the planet.

Similarly, a man in a robe can pronounce, “You are now a husband” or "You are now a wife." As with the mislabeled “ice cube,” the status of “wife or husband” can melt away when a different man in a robe rules that a man once labeled “husband” is no longer “husband” and a woman once labeled “wife” is no longer wife.

The label goes, the space remains temporarily, and only that which is Real and shall be forever is THAT which is temporarily manifested as a space called “a woman” or “a man.” To live out a relative existence without knowing what a glass or a cube is, at its core, will not generate the misery that happens when You do not not know Who/What You Are.

To live out a relative existence without knowing What You Are, and what you are not, will guarantee fluctuations between happiness and unhappiness “at best” or extended periods of misery and suffering “at worst.”

So rather than debate the Real vs. the perceived, the more relevant pointer is in regards to the mis-perceiving itself. What You Are cannot be changed by age (“I was a ‘girl’ but now I am a ‘woman’”); cannot change by income (“I once was a ‘failure’ but now I’m a great ‘success’");

and it cannot be changed by men in robes saying it’s so (“You once were ‘lost’ but now you’re ‘saved’” or “You once were ‘single’ but now you’re a spouse and ‘part of a couple’” or “You once were a ‘spouse and ‘part of a couple,’ but now you are not a spouse and not a ‘part of a couple’.”)

I tell you that What You Are does not change and cannot change; therefore, knowing what does change and What does not change—and abiding as THAT which does not—will free You. From what?

From the slings and arrows of the outrageous fortunes and agonizing misfortunes of the relative existence with all of its “you are this” labeling, all of its “you are that” labeling, and all of the effort required to try to sustain assigned labels and roles.

Abiding as Your natural state also frees you from the paralyzing fears and the frustrated desires that accompany all ego-state assumption. Does that mean that—for the remainder of your relative existence—you must become an ascetic, an isolationist or hermit, a deprived spiritualist, a forest-dweller, and an avoider of physical pleasures? Of course not.

Does it mean that you must never pursue employment or use funds to purchase food, clothing, and housing? Does it mean you must practice celibacy and fasting? Does it means that religious or spiritual practices must become a part of your daily existence? Does it mean that family and relative “relationships” must be abandoned? Of course not.

Yet it does not mean you must constantly seek company and search for the presence of “others.” It does not mean that you will be obsessed with the seeking of physical pleasures. Nor does it mean that you must accumulate “food fit for a king,” designer clothing, or multiple homes.

It does not mean you will abandon fasting only to gorge instead. It does not mean that you must seek out partners or mates to feel whole or to allay fears or to attain desired possessions, nor does it mean that family and relative “relationships” must be abandoned.

Knowing the THAT does not result in an immediate abandonment of the I AM. It does allow for the understanding of, for the differentiation of, the Real vs. the perceived.

That understanding then allows for the enjoyment of the relative “possibilities” of the AM-ness as well as an ability to witness accurately the relative “predicaments” of the IS-ness.

Employment can happen. Housing can happen. “Husbanding” or “wifing” can happen. But all of that happens without the acceptance of limiting roles as identities, without allowing “bonds” to become bondage, and without allowing the culture’s externals—such as role assignment and role removal—to control the internal…the way you feel and perceive.

Anything subjected to arbitrary and fluctuating claims about what is and what is not cannot be Real; further, mis-perceiving cannot be compartmentalized, so when the consciousness is blocked and cannot see the Real in one regard, it will be blocked from seeing the Real in any regard.

Blindness is blindness, and a person who cannot see that she/he is not any of the identities that others might arbitrarily assign is destined to be jerked around throughout the relative existence by being labeled and then expected or required or coerced to meet the expectations of each label.

As long as assigned or assumed roles are mis-perceived as the Real, then what will follow is a willingness, or even a drive, to think the way your culture believes that each role should think, to talk the way your culture believes that each role should talk, and to behave in the way that your culture believes that each role should behave.

Further, the culture will attempt to enforce punitive actions and punishments for those not playing the roles the way that the culture expects those roles to be played. As long as you are on the stage, you will be subjected to the whims of all those you allow to direct you.

Only by leaving the stage in “The Theater of the Lie” and abiding as Your original, natural state can you be free of the burdens that accompany assigned labels and roles and free of expectations, coercion, and angst as well. Please enter the silence of contemplation.

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