Bhajana

Satsang and Soul

The Actuality

Sometimes people THINK that thought is all there is. But breathing (not the word or the idea but the actuality itself) is not a thought. The sound of traffic (the hearing itself) is not a thought. Seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling are all nonconceptual ways of knowing and being that are not intellectual or thought-based. There are many ways of knowing other than through thought and intellect. For example, we know that we are here without having to think about it. Any IDEA of WHAT we are is a thought. But this aware presence (not the word or the idea but the actuality itself) is undeniable. We don’t need a mirror or anyone else to confirm being here now. It is self-evident. Much of what we know instinctually or intuitively, we know at a level that operates well below or prior to conscious thought or even perception. Awareness is aware of thinking, but is not itself a thought-form or an intellectual process. Awareness is upstream from thought. The intellect has its usefulness, but it can only provide abstract maps of what is actually here.

Awareness or presence is as close as we can come to knowing the unknowable, which is what we are. What we are at the core remains even when everything perceivable and conceivable disappears, as in deep sleep or at the moment of death. This ultimate reality is too close and too all-inclusive to ever be seen, and yet there is nothing we can see or touch that is not it. We cannot know it in our usual ways of knowing, we can only BE it. And actually, we cannot NOT be it. It is the Ultimate Subject, what Here / Now truly IS. What appears here is already the past by the time it appears, and it is long gone by the time we think about it. The true present is timeless, spaceless, and unknowable. And yet, intuitively, in a manner that defies thinking or even perceiving and sensing, we know this Ultimate Reality. It is our home ground, “most intimate” as they say in Zen. But as soon as we try to see it, or grasp it, or think about it, or understand it, or have some experience of it, we are turning it into something “out there,” an object (this but not that, this experience but not that experience). And Ultimate Reality is not something; it is EVERYTHING, and if we look closely into any apparent thing, we find no-thing-ness, ever-changing groundlessness, emptiness. Every perceivable or conceivable "thing" (or experience) is empty of any enduring, inherent (observer-independent) reality outside consciousness Here / Now. To see this is to realize that nothing is bound or in need of liberation. There is nothing separate here to die or to be born.