Is Advaita* philosophy fatalistic? Escapist? Depressing? Negative?
Perhaps, if you’re asking from the perspective of an assumed independent entity, one who claims personal responsibility and purpose and is driven by either the carrot dangling from the stick in front, or the pressure of the ‘thou shalts’ from the rear. Perhaps, if you believe in goodness and evil, right and wrong, and that it’s ‘you’ that exercises the power to choose between them.
Perhaps not, if you’ve looked deeply and discovered that the independent person you took yourself to be is (gulp) a construction built up from thoughtstuff. Perhaps not, if, having profoundly understood this, you see that beliefs aren’t something you have but what the imaginary person is.
In the world of appearances, it always depends on where you’re looking from.
Looking from the absolute impossibility of independent person-hood, to whom could it matter? Looking from the relative reality of a daily life however – the one we apparently inhabit – it matters all right. Damn right it matters.
But there’s something about the weird knowing (weird in that there’s no knower) that ‘I’ is the ball of thoughts bouncing back and forth in an infinite rally creating the illusion of separation, as well as their very source, that bestows the freedom to be fully and fantastically human.
This is life’s ultimate brain-numbing and head-shaking paradox.
*Advaita = not two. Actually, not even one. Indivisible thusness.
The great Shining suddenly breaks through a gap in the branches and belts me between the eyes.
When they close reflexively against the glare, a dozen Shinings appear against velvet blackness.
They fade very slowly, leaving the screen blank again, ready for the next projection when perception’s movie projector cranks up:
liquidly shimmering spider webs
diamante dewdrops sparkling on long tangled grass
long deep shadows thrown by still-sleepy shrubbery
currawong calling up the day
delicious saturation of greens under cerulean
cool fresh lightning-charged air
billowing lace drapes . . .
Wideawakeness is mindful of the ever-present invitation to join the dance of yesterday and tomorrow, of better and worse, of regret and resolve, and declines. Resting on the sidelines, silently smiling in this sweet suchness, it’s a contented wallflower.
Dull sky draped over grey and textured sea.
A couple of early fishing boats buzzing about stalking their prey.
Palm fronds quiet, enjoying a rare rest on this storm-pregnant dawn.
Do you favor the ‘neti-neti’ (not-this, not-this) path or are you inclined towards the ‘yes-yes’ (yes to everything) approach to Truth?
I found out that it makes no difference what path one ‘signs up’ for or what one practices. Once the source of all your utterances is given space, silent unknowable knowingness is laid bare.
And IT couldn’t care less what path you take, or how diligent your practice might be; IT is utterly unaffected.
Rest. Relax. Release.
Returning to suchness is peace.
In the half-lit dawn
a dozen lorikeets are busy breakfasting on spiky red bottlebrush blooms.
How they manage to swallow anything is a mystery
for they never cease chattering to each other.
An incredible tongue, keetish, full of subtle gurgles,
murmurs, squeaks, squawks, whistles, craws…
There is hearing happening here
but no listener can be found.
Methinks the lorikeets are likewise
yet their conversations are clearly a dialogue
and often a duet.
I love the way they stop for a snog,
whispering their sweet-nothings awhile
then heading back to the tucker-task.
a mosquito has breakfasted on my unwitting ankle; fingers reach to scratch
a truck roars past, penetrating the last sigh of night’s silence; the toilet upstairs flushes and fills, birds are squabbling at the birdbath
crystals are rainbow-dancing over the slowly emerging outlines of the sanctuary wall; candlelight is flickering, the rising sun is painting primrose lozenges of soft light
in my celadon teapot green tea is steeping; a wisp of vapor makes the invisible visible
at home on this zafu, breathing is rising and releasing without effort or control; brain is fasting
wideawakeness and suchness are inseparably embedded: now! this! here!
this morning: a flood, a broken water pipe, a plumber, a back-hoe digger, much noise, no running water in the neighborhood
everything appearing, happening
(including the observer
and her supposed self)
is Creation expressing IT-self
the rhythm of Creation never misses a beat
as IT serenades ITself through a thousand disguises
existence is ITs unfolding score
a tardy arrival on the cushion today
the sun is already painting luminous shadow-patterns on the grass
and highlighting the fullness and busyness of space:
eyes feast on the vastness of ‘I’