Stronghold 29 May 2011
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what should we talk about? I have question Let's is it me to return to the source? Two three return to the source return to. Sorry. Well what do you think, What does it mean to you i should say? Well? I I thought it's come to mind several times since our conversation today. And I think Guy asked you, when you say well, we returned to the source. Right. So in thinking about that, I mean, thinking about we're sort. Then the boy, whatever all life was created out of my that would be considered source Yeah.
But it's feels awfully big. Yeah. They it it it kind of begs the question. What are we? I'm where did we count from? What is this all about? The the term section. Which I prefer the terms such to to us. Because Emptiness is really describing. Reality in terms of it's lack of pain what we think it is. It's where such is sort of just making that research Reality is what it is. Just is. Hi. The fact that it's empty is just a reflection of how our inability to grasp that. Because that is what happens.
Like, on the one hand time times we will help i'm sure you had... Everybody has At time regard the experience I realizing that you're part of what is or business and Jonathan Livingston and seek all the control is next. You're you're part of what is and have it's not an intellectual thing, but it's just a realization. And while you have it, And it it's just it's wonderful. And you realize that everything we see everything around you, everything is better center it's quite wonderful. And on on the one hand, it's so other simplistic.
It's kind of meaningless and so right. yeah. What is this what is. Course. I handle on part everybody. So that's about a. You know, we can't really we can't really think about it in a way that approaches totally unfathomable depth what I really represent. That's a matter fact the idea of god. Has people's thinking becomes more sophisticated than they moved away from the idea of God in a sort of a father figure. You know, becomes less and less. Thought of is some... The discrete kind of entity with a, you know, with a person he.
The direction that goes is well, God is everything everything he was gone. God created everything. Comes from going everybody returns everything returns to guy. So it it's saying exactly the same thing. What's happened of this they the the idea of God eventually evolves to the same same place service realization how the absolutely of the incredible not of what is? So why is there something rather than nothing? And It's just that there is. I I don't know. I far I gonna go? The that is that is the story.
I want a nice say return for the source. You know, what his. We got really left source fed. Are always we're always manufacture. Right his. It's when we see ourselves in a separate way we do an experience for ourselves with sac. Separate from the source. Such, buddha nature. God, what how you wanna think other? And that's where we live much of the time this is in this natural places saying ourselves as separate. So anytime anytime we can get out of that we returned to the source. Even know ultimately we ever left in anyway at this time.
We just said something that connects with another thing that spits for me. You said the you prefer such to emptiness that you can't describe something that isn't. And I have felt the same thing about no self And when you and I spoke the other day, you You described you a couple of ways. One in ways of forty this rather than what is missing saying. Just said it is... Did some people call it the real self. Mh. And then I mentioned that the work that I do we how we suggest to people that they we talk about keep coming connected with with their nature mh.
So this delight me to have those two ways of thinking that no self because it is you're thinking of the absence of something rather than or it's it's like such as an emptiness, I guess. So for my brain, that and my heart That really makes sense to have something that is present rather than describing it something that's happened. Yeah. Why do we talk about it so much in terms of no cell in terms of the megabit? And and I I suppose the reason that we do that and the reason that we have to do that is because we're so strongly attached to the illusion that the.
So... And that's what it... Yeah. I mean, no self is the fact of what has always been error anyway. Have the loss of self is only the loss of an revolution. When you lose yourself, you gain the universe. Basically. Which is a pretty good trade. Mean and the balance this pathetic little self but i have any exchange for everything a pretty good deal especially when nothing actually disappears except an idea my mind if it's been my way. Could you also say when you lose your yourself find yourself. Yes.
And you lose yourself. Addition to the address. The all of these things yeah I'll just point out something that... There. There is the are... Are these two fundamental levels of what happens. The first is is getting beyond the eco construct. And that the second is getting beyond that deeply embedded feeling like It's not an idea although it gets printed very much. Right. Idea transfer go are mind, but it's the feeling of being a separate song. And that's really the true experience of knows is. The loss of that feeling of separation, which is, you know, we talking about your being Frightening.
And the loss of the ego was frightening too both training in the same way in was sense it. That before it happens. You think something is real, that feels real. And you're looking at losing something. But once it happens, you lost nothing and so know, after to the fact that's that's quite wonderful. But there are these two different levels. And I think I think it's really true that most most of the time, transcending the ego he is mistaken. For losing cells. And then the person this is they they still experience themselves as that's a separate team.
Right. Be free of the ego such a wonderful improvement. Over being slave to ego and it's needs. As the whole relationship changes the ego becomes, you know, it's a functional worker. It's like a stomach, you know, does a job. And and that's all. It's not ruin here but So it's really wonderful we get beyond that. And once you do get me on that, yeah. You begin, you begin to have more and more appreciation that there is. Of the potential of losing the sense of separate as you find it that that separate is still source of sign.
Even though you're did no longer in sleep to the needs of your ego. You still find that there are many different things that produce it exit existential suffering. You know, I think when the... When the cell starts to fade of right, The fear of death goes with him. And some people have said you know, and Of course, it's literally true, but I sometimes wondered about the deeper implications of it. Everyone experiences the loss of self when they die. Everybody experiences no self. And of course that's obviously literally true, you know, and the body cease just to function then our warrants have their way or, you know, ashes are taken out of the on or or whatever i do there's.
No self at all. And I wonder I wonder if even those people who haven't been spiritually a client. Haven't moved a spiritual life Have to wonder yep. Associated with dying if there is is something of that wonderful experience. Being free. I don't I was gonna spell. I just I want for i how can ever tell us. Hold on. If you if you think about something of the accounts from your death. And it it doesn't... Could if it's not one hundred percent, but it's quite often that those experiences really transform pricing.
And right you know, in in a spiritual way. And gives them do understanding and often the language that is used to describe it. Alright. Is this the very same language but as seems to describe the spiritual attainment. And i'm brutal there any other tradition. That's one thing about it is that the the language is what's common to always these different traditions. That's a nice thought that that I guess Say I don't know if it's true. I find very. Interesting at attractive thought that perhaps everyone.
Achieves that in the end. I just have the literal sense. But and the experiential center. I know. What do you think? No comparing to what I heard that that tradition. It not only happens to humans every human and every creatures. Something that breaks opening in art and that then they have this some realization but that some people become so free about that that they them going to the bard so they have to they report know again. I don't know that's what I recall of that teaching. Maybe if the person that was blowing enough to train and as lost the fear of using the cell then you met back.
It's an interesting. It is an interesting The idea that everyone attain gonna see that no cell. And been. Reminds me certain ways the idea that everyone that the end of at the end of time, all sentient banks come right. I'll sentient banks. I mean, it's sorry. It's it's the big picture version of the same thing. Right? Mh. Well, it's kind of helpful you think that sometimes it if it does go. Yeah. It's it's hopeful to think that sometimes find jake place. Well, I I it'd be very helpful for someone who becomes attached to the idea and light night.
And the begins to develop the fear that they're not gonna to achieve it. And both of those ideas would be very helpful. The idea that well no matter what they achieve in their life, end of middle life, they'll be there or at the end of time. They'll be there. Probably be reassure. Mh. And maybe if you use that idea, I'm right right at how you overcome your attachment. So it wouldn't seem so important on the you let go retirement bit. Overcome the craving and signing down Oh. Good. It's. So good.
Just keep working away, but don't feel so great. Yeah. Well You know, the way I see it the desire for awakening is absolutely essential. It's really really a important. You have to have it. And part of the process is realizing suffering that is part life. And having the desire been get beyond that forget. So it's really really important part of that. Scratch. But it becomes an obstacle. It just becomes another attached. But i of course, you i No has ever been become the night. And writing that doesn't happen to a self.
Person. It happens or or at least the completed enlightenment whether power higher reboot that. So the person the self of the bed crave, stands in the way what it's being created. On okay happened. The earlier stage on the process, Getting past the ego the self capability of that. And the self. Actually service invalid. Chris, you know, when you become... When you reach us or point? Most of the suffering white has been overcome. And the silk, there is a self too. To live in that state. And, you know, that's the unit of state.
Still experience yourself with yourself, but you also experience yourself as as connected a party of everything time. The self does get its reward. That's not. That's back. It's not a paradox completely. Because in the stage of transferring the ego. The self that wishes to be free from suffering and itself. Wishes is to attain unity actually don't. Can you talk a little bit about the south is in asset? An in resolving the ego and more about the differences for between Yes. Because of the motivation.
The the ego the the natural process every human being naturally inherently interests of the way we are. Has that is naturally controlled by the ego. Punished by the suffers from their ego. So So this is how we arrived. Watch when we're born, you're bound end up sit you in you you're bound to end out as a person. With the personality living the life, experiencing suffering. Because you have a a ego because you believe that ego is yourself. And so the problem is to how to get beyond that. Well there's a self other than, other than, which can't come to appreciate they desire not not just the desire ability.
Just to desi ability. I'll be becoming free of this. But also the the the possibility of it. It's... And this is like true self. I think that's a good way to think of it. The person who has transcend their ego the self that's left. Although it's still an illusion is what sometimes call the true cell. But I treat nature because it is still the fundamental separate estimate. So it's still not It's not the completion of the process. But It is the underlying self that provides us with the energy and the will and the ability to transcend the cell.
Have then, it's that very self that will keep us on the path towards the dissolution cell. Does that makes sense to you? Yeah. Lot? And so in that regard, the ego, the self Cannon... Experience the process of letting go, but the go doesn't can't and let go. Ego can't let go, but the self. Yeah. That's right. The ego can't let go of itself. Because it's its nature is believe in itself. Yes. That's right. So. Think the loss of self inevitable after the loss go. Well, I guess when you die it is. That's where it goes back over.
Talking about earlier bit. Just what what a person dies, I matter or what about so. But whether or not you... Really the question is, if you if you've transcend the Ego, does that necessarily mean you're going to. Real long and enough to experience, they inherent sets cell. And hard are you has an entity going to exist in that say for period of time? That's the question. And to that, i I think it's obvious that that not necessarily. Never used. Said one time. We don't lose that. So That's right.
The ego becomes transformed and and and it loses the the destructive power. It has when we put all over energy of being, you know, into believing and the ego, that's spelled. But. The the same structure, I think the ego is we build up what the. Right? Can we all describe it define it. We can think about it together and get clear eye. The ego is a construct of the wine. Yep a huge part of it is the story of our life, the narrative about who we are. Another big part of that is our likes dislikes. And of course, a very important part of it is the ego is the main character in Narrative and has these likes and dislikes and other personality characteristics all of the things that you say about your yourself love, you know, I'm like this, and I don't like that, because this is the kind of person that I am.
This is all... This is all part of the ego. And it's that The ego is the light that Right constructs and enter image. What it thinks the being of belongs to here You'd have to have that. I mean, How buddha i has to have that structure, Like you heard me say before, and you have to have an ego as its only way can keep your laundry separate from somebody else, which is, you know, an attempt to be humorous. But but the thing is the function in the world. For this body in mind to function in the world, the mind has to have an internal structure an image an idea of what it is and what it's boundaries on and to be able to plan and move and and react and act on the basis of that.
In a way it's sort of white. I I know this is completely the accurate It just came up to my mind. He in a away it's like You can have a computer with an operating system, but it's useless utility to install program. And once there's a program, it can do things. It needs to have a program. In way he goes is for the program in our mind. For how to be a person in the world. And so built in the program is all all this stuff that we attached to and one way to have all these ideas of of who we are and what's important so forth.
Does that makes sense? You got also the motivator? The motivator is... At the level that we're talking about in the motivator, behind the ego is the self. The inherent sense of being a cell. But all that motivation is being channel through the ego. Which is why we go around doing the kind of things we do. And everything we do is you know, it's is what operating in response to these drives of desire and a version. I want to. And don't wanna do that, and then So it's all our all of the energy of our being is is being filtered through the ego.
It provides the energy and then the ego determines is whoever we're gonna say of what we're gonna do and and and also how we're gonna feel when this happens and how we're that happen and all this so stuff. You know what if somebody comes out and says something to you and i hurts you're feeling. It's your ego. But they they you know that. So it's there's nothing else. And little kids know that they say sticks and stones are lane that long but memory I, You know, they know that's true. But at the same time, just one old enough to be able to chant that nursery environment it's already starting see sync to be true.
Because he is now very vulnerable to ruin some that can. Would you say would mean the continent of ego is all learned. That what? The content of the ego is all Yes. It's all that's right. It's all with harder can shift and change in the. That's right. It it just process. Right? Yep. That's right. Which... Which is Obvious when we... If we examine myself, This is wonderful once you started practicing life examining or so. You're not observing other people. All of these things come so clear, but you examine yourself and you realize well.
I'm a different person with Nancy and I am with Darren I with you. I mean you know, it's the different personas and, you know, when I go down to stronghold bottle to get a tire replaced. It's different parts that may have far in other parts. So I've under the background. You know, and so even as even as we grow and change, and really dramatic irreversible changes paid face yep. Right where is it any interview. Alright. But even over moment at with within the course of the day or you know, we're slipping on and off all these different masks.
So it's learned. It's acquired it's constantly changing. And the motivations. Sometimes the persona it emerges in a particular situation is entirely self serving. Right But there's other times with the persona that is really for the benefit of something else. You behave differently with your son hunter, but it's not because at least not always, because of some self serving interest in conveying to hunter line this kind a person. I may there sometimes, but an awful all the time, the person or person your hands acting, but their persona you put on is one for their benefit.
It's not it's not self certainty is functional in terms of the relationship. So it's easy for lead to get in a habit of speaking of the negative side of the snake. But we should always remember that they're really only negative in terms of the the kinds of effects that they produce. And the in themselves Ego in itself. Is not a bad thing. But Eon can't produce very bad effects. You know, have the changing personas that we put on has a function in a ego. Sometimes therefore for not so good reasons.
But at the time therefore absolutely the best too reason. So I keep that at mind too. That seems to be the thing that's in the back of my mind and tonight. That's what I was telling you about self as well. Self is not inherently bad. The self is wonderful. The self is what gets you to the place of being what of everything. It's just that at some point, you don't need it any anywhere you can go other but. And the ego, you know, the idea that he would destroy your demolish your ego go but really it is really silly what you would do is have a very healthy ego that's fulfilling as function.
And you know, causing you to to suffer and to do things about. But that's the transformation that's. Strange. You see people tried to find words to to describe this. So in the buddhist literature, translating as as best we can into to English You never find I'm saying that street interest is somebody who has has overcome the ego or eliminated the ego. They say overcome attachment to personality view, which is saying that the relationship of myself to the ego is dramatically transformed. Here you go.
Could you talk to home about the self? I'm trying to give exactly which self and which part you go. Yep. Great. Okay. Well, the is this. It's it's more a sense that it is an idea. Yes that, you know, you can't think about it. You can look at yourself and you can say, yeah. That's my ego. But underneath all of the ideas and concepts. There is a a sense of feeling of being myself. That's... And so that's what we're talking about is it's it's a it's it's at a more fundamental level. All of the concepts and all the ideas.
Yep. If your ego disappears, which it does stop times. It will reform again. And even when the ego is gone. Except in very unusual circumstances. There's still this feeling that well I I am and I part of my am is, you know, it's it's separate. I. Am separate from everything else. You know. There are those there are those times when we don't have our sense of self that briefly will feel that we're part of everything. Well, there's two ways that can have... This could happen. We could have... We can feel like a self that's a part of a larger pull.
And there's still but my much diminished, but still all a sense what i selling part. But sometimes we have put that feeling. I was just we're part of the whole of no separation. Yeah that's that's when that inherent sense of cell. Does temporarily disappear. But it it's that it's that sense at a... A gut of. Right. I am. And I have I literally and and there's his only one of me. That's the other thing that when has the sets of self weekends? And this works both ways. As a sense of self weekends, you'd have much more of an experience of yourself.
As a collection processes, you know, has five aggregates. So... And it works the other way in the sense that if you practice recognizing the truth of about, recognizing that, well it feels like my mind is a single entity. But I look at it and I see it has all these different parts. Some of them are in conflict with each other and some appear how disappear and so forth. You know, and and doing the same point of meditations on the body meditating on the body is being made up of all the different...
There's the meditation on the thirty two parts to body and meditation of the body span of the five elements. You know, these different medications on the body are getting the same thing. Starting with the body and saying they're, well, this is really just an aggregate a process continue change it and apply the same client of of thinking through mindful awareness to your own mine. As you do today, it weakens the power of that sensor. And when the sensor cell house. Diminished. It becomes easier still to see to see the psycho physical entity that you put the label i on as being a collection of parts that are really not separate from interested reality.
Other. I've always felt for years that I had a small cell and an higher cell. And I still feel there is something besides there is something that I can ask questions to get responses. But seem wise. So I I don't know need some people but that not i yourself. Or some knowing. I don't I don't know what that is. But in my experience, it it feels like I have these was very selfish small art, child white child, in some ways or for restrictions that were came from childhood experience whatever. Fears and doubts and all those kind of things and then feel like there's another part that knows about at all.
Mh. And so I don't know, you know, other people what that is. It feels like definitely too different things. Or two different experiences. Yes. I I know what you mean. Everyone else know what me... Yeah. People think of it in different ways. You could think of it as your eye yourself, But someone else might think of it as god or spirit. You know, they think that not his scott, but there's me and contact with something that's wiser and higher so. So if you sort of look at the anatomy self. A lot of times when people speak to the lower self, mean the ego.
And the higher self not in the sense that you're saying, but just as compared the ego, and to fit into the rest of our discussion. Okay. There is a higher self which lies behind the ae and is capable of overcoming the ego and is endowed with a sort of moral sense an ethical sense, the desire for something higher. You know, it it is from that self that comes the motivation to overcome suffering not by going out and getting rich things like that. But but through some sort of inner development. And find happiness through development.
That that self seize itself in others, and that's the self which comes compassion and love and everything else. That's another aspect of the self, I didn't mention. But, you know, the ego is all a construct, and it's pretty dry. And you know, even if we think about love, we all have we experienced of well. Has something that can sometimes be very selfish very grasp very ego centric. But love can also be just the opposite and be very very gi, very open and very selfless. Have I don't know about you.
But when I examined those, I think, they are not two different things that are getting the same name to, but rather They're the same thing. But in one case it's being filtered through structure and with the other stop. So in that sense. This true self for talking of god. Has a lot of higher higher quality politics. Right? But now what you're talking about is something that. We can tap into an inner wisdom. This is not quite the same thing as having a deep moral sense. Having a source of flow with a compassion with things like that.
This is more... Sometimes it it's as though there is some some source that's wiser that we can cut into. I know exactly what you're talking about. And I do that all the time. The way that I experienced out is that you know, I can link claim to this body. But that's... I I know it's really it's constantly being exchanged. It's the the molecules and atoms of it. The parts that are constantly being exchanged, which the rest of the material world that i part of. And so although I get my mind lay to this body.
I know that it's not separate. It's not independent. Even between now and tomorrow morning, feel haven't to gone all kinds of exchanges with the rest of the room. And, of course, what this body does impacts the world outside of it. And what happens outside the world impacts this body, some air pollution, water pollution, all kinds of things, you know So there's are not all kinds of interaction taken, but it's easy to see and understand that. Although it's not at first, it's not intuitive. Most people just experience their body is being quite separate and private apart from the world.
That's only let They think about it good thing. That they can overcome that intuitive sam so being physically separated. Now the same thing happens with our mind, even to a greater than. We experience that mind as being separate. I feel like I know you have a line. And I know she has in mind and i know he has a mind. But our minds are separate. you know, and I can send these symbols out in the forms of form words. And you may or may not catch them and you may or may not interpret them. In the way I got them.
But our lines somehow stay separate. So from the way it appears there. Intellectually, we can see that the body isn't that separate.