Satsang and Soul


Truth (nonduality, Ultimate Reality, supreme enlightenment) is utterly simple. It is right here. You are it. This is it. It is all there is. It is this seeing-hearing-breathing-sensi ng-awaring-thinking-being, just as it is—one vast energy, uncontained, authorless, ownerless, seamless, boundless, timeless, placeless, without beginning or end, with no inside or outside. This vastness is showing up as trees and birds and cars and airplanes and clouds and cluster bombs and dogs and cats and zebras and rocks and planets and galaxies and also as the absolute emptiness of deep sleep. It is everything and everything is nothing other than it, and yet it is no-thing in particular that can be separated out and grasped as an object. It is never not here, and it is always already fully realized. 

So-called awakening or enlightenment is not about going somewhere new and exotic, crossing some imaginary finish-line, or attaining something that isn’t fully present Here / Now. It is simply recognizing that the problem that seems to be binding us is imaginary, like worrying about what will happen to us if we fall off the edge of the flat earth. And above all, seeing through the root problem, the one at the center of the story who seems to be bound or free, the mirage-like separate self who seems to be unenlightened and seeking liberation. This self seems very real until we look closely and discover that it cannot actually be found, that it is nothing more than ever-changing thoughts, mental images, sensations, feelings, memories and stories creating a kind of mirage that we have learned to think of as “me,” the one who is supposedly inside my body, presumably authoring my thoughts, making my decisions, and steering “me” through life. 

Because of the way consciousness gets hypnotized by thoughts and by the mental tendency to divide and reify and grasp, we think that this self is real, that something is missing, that we are apart from the enlightenment that we seek, that this is not it, that we must find something we don’t have, that we must figure all this out and have some experience we’re not presently having and become different from how we are. We must get somewhere. This whole virtual reality created by thought and imagination and sensation has been compared to dreaming while in the waking state. And part of the dream-story is that we are a separate somebody who is trapped in a dream, trying to wake up, or perhaps somebody who is sometimes awake and then sometimes lost in the dream-world again, somebody who is trying to be permanently awake. But this search to wake up from the dream is itself part of the dream.