Saturday, April 6, 2013


There are so many ways to go about breaking down the illusion of duality, but they're all primarily about deeply investigating experience. It's crucial that we be willing to let go of any deeply-held beliefs -- indeed, beliefs (often expressed unknowingly through ingrained habits) are all that's stopping us from seeing the truth clearly.

This also means that any teaching which helps us see things clearly can safely be discarded once things are seen clearly. The words never contained the truth. It is the seeing that matters.

With that in mind, here's one path someone could follow:

1) Change your perspective of the world. Instead of the world being made of things existing out there, see it as experiences happening in here.

If you're astute, you will have noticed three changes happening at once:

Things => Experiences
Existing => Happening
Out there => In here

If you're honest with yourself, you'll admit that you can never be sure that you've seen a thing. You've had the visual experience of a thing, for sure, but such experiences take place in dreams, too. Nothing about the visual (or tactile, or combined) experience of a thing can give you certainty about the supposed thing's existence. All you can be sure of is that the experience of that thing seems to be happening. And where do all experiences happen? In the mind, of course, not "out there" in the world.

Now keep in mind this doesn't mean that you should completely change your behavior in relationship to seeming things. The experience of kicking the visual experience of a rock will almost certainly result in the experience of pain! Such is often the case in nighttime dreams, too.

In fact, one way to think of this step is by treating the world as a dream. After all, you don't know that it's not a dream. And dreams can have rules, too.

2) Notice that there is no "in here."

What? We just got done seeing that all things are happening "in here"! Everything happens in the mind; in experience.

Well, if everything (that is, all experience) is happening "in here," then what's happening "out there"? There's nothing left to happen out there! In fact, where is this "out there" of which you speak? If you think you've found an experience happening "out there," check and see if what really just happened was that you experienced the thought of something happening out there. Is the thought of something the same thing as that thing? Of course not.

If that paragraph was confusing, go back and re-read it with the recognition you have from step 1: "thing" and "experience" are completely interchangeable. If no experience is happening "out there," then nothing is happening "out there." The experience of something happening "out there" is itself happening inside experience -- that is, "in here."

But if there's no outside to a thing, then what sense does it make for there to be an inside? To draw a parallel: if the universe contains everything, then it doesn't make sense to conceive of an "outside" to the universe. The entire notion of inside and outside doesn't make sense. So it is with experience. If it's all happening "in here," then the idea "in here" is extraneous.

3) See that "an experience" exists only as long as it is being experienced.

Pick a sound. That is, the experience of a sound. Did it happen to somebody? What was that experience-of-a-sound doing before anyone came along and experienced it? Was it sitting somewhere, waiting to be experienced? Or did it simply not exist in any meaningful sense before it was experienced? I think you'll agree that an experience is a non-entity until it is experienced. If not, go find an experience that isn't being experienced and tell me in what sense it is an experience.

4) Try to find who or what it is that is doing the experiencing.

Pick a sound again. Is there someone doing the experiencing of a sound? By the time it can be properly called an experience, we saw that it was already being experienced. Once this is so, does anyone need to come along and do anything? No.

You might argue that by this point, something is already doing the experiencing. Okay, what is this thing? Can you draw me a picture of it? What color is it? Or is there just this vague sense that there must be something there, doing the experiencing, even if we can't see it? Doesn't this sound an awful lot like the argument that there must be a God, since there "must be" something that created all this?

If you say it is the brain doing the experiencing, investigate that some more. Is it your experience that there's a brain over here, an experience over there, and the first is somehow doing the second? Or is that just another thought? If you had a long dream where our heads were filled with jelly beans, and in it, neuroscientists "proved" that jelly beans cause experience, wouldn't you be just as convinced of that fact? Did anyone ever really witness jelly beans having experiences? What about brains?

(Filling out the details for the rest could take a while, but I'll do it if anyone is interested.)

5) If nobody is doing experiencing, is anyone doing actions? Or are actions just experiences (of something being done, and a thought saying "I'm doing this")?

6) Where are experiences happening?

7) What are experiences made of?

After doing all this, what are you left with? The world is made up of experiences, which themselves are located nowhere and made of nothing. They're not happening to anyone, nor are they caused by anyone. Any thoughts denying any of the above are just more experiences, and any objection to that is itself an experience, ...

The more clearly this is seen, the less struggling there is against it. And the less struggling there is, the less suffering there is. What is suffering, after all, than struggling?

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