While time and practice are needed, as a rule, to establish Self-realization, they add nothing to the experience. They habituate it, so that it’s no longer occasional or intermittent. Also they allow it to take effect in all the areas and levels of one’s life. The Self can’t be partially seen, much less mis-seen. Why? Because it’s the Self that sees the Self, and certainly not a human being as such that does so. (Look For Yourself
, Douglas Harding)
Just about anything can be an exercise. Like walking, the world moves through you, and you turn the earth with your feet. Like talking, where does the sound appear from? Where does it go? Like looking at a tree, is there anything here except the tree? The mysterious "no thing" Here, at that moment, does it have any face except the tree? If there is another person, are you face to face? Or face to Space? (C.M. Australia.)
I really think that I was born with insight into my True Nature. It became distorted and overlain with interpretations and was the cause of a lot of discomfort as I became an adult, but the awareness of the huge dissonance between the ‘sense’ I tried to make of myself (which was all change and contradictions) and my deep conviction that ‘I am perfect and complete’ drove me on. Things were terribly difficult for a while because there seemed no avenue of expression for that Inner Self. Attending a workshop of Douglas’ in 1974 was a watershed. I then spent a whole weekend sharing this looking in, which started an avalanche of intellectual activity, and, much more slowly, an opening of emotional activity; both are still going on. I cannot conceive just ‘looking in’ – it can’t be conceived. So this plain looking was unlooked for… As I go on, it seems that everything is grist to the mill as far as reactivating it goes. There are some pleasures (such as riding my motorcycle or driving a car) which seem regularly to elicit the necessary attention, and the whole of my ‘personal’ life (which is mostly ‘not OK’) works in the other direction in that I can’t afford not to see Whose ‘personal’ life it is. The reactivation is always available if I want it. (B.G. UK.)
(To Sri Nisargadatta.) Have you no problems?
I do have problems. I told you already. To be, to exist with a name and form is painful, yet I love it.
But you love everything!
In existence everything is contained. My very nature is to love; even the painful is lovable.
It does not make it less painful. Why not remain in the unlimited?
It is the instinct of exploration, the love of the unknown, that brings me into existence. It is in the nature of being to seek adventure in becoming, as it is in the very nature of becoming to seek peace in being. This alternation of being and becoming is inevitable; but my home is beyond.
Send your comments to Richard
I am intrigued by the comment by C.M.: "Just about anything can be an exercise... Like talking, where does the sound appear from? Where does it go?" Similarly, to me, the headlessness exercise can also apply to listening: you close your eyes, then listen to the sounds around you, from far away, at 6ft. from you, just in front of you, etc. Then at 0 inches from you, you listen to your own sound and there is Nothing. Even the chatter of the mind needs to have a reason to emerge, but there is no reason (what for?). What's left is Total, Absolute Silence! Thank you for listening! Philip.