Most of us have these insights; they come and go, just like peaceful days and less pleasant ones. So I don’t want to make too much of it. I had a couple of “revelations” this past week. They were the result of listening to the Swami Sarvapriyananda lecture “Two Steps to Not Two” twice. I hope they will stay with me.
Much of the neti-neti “process” occurred to me “by accident” during the first Rupert Spira retreat I attended. I know more must fall away; I still find myself identifying with past memories and concepts. But most of that has melted away. But the “second stage” has been more of a struggle, or more elusive. (I’m using quotation marks to indicate that I understand, at the deepest level, there are no processes or stages in the Direct Path, but as Rupert says, we have to make concessions to where we are and to language). After that often arduous neti-neti effort of understanding we’re neither this nor that, the “second stage,” sometimes referred to as "the collapse,” is a reversal, when we recognize that we are everything.
The last couple of years, from studying non-duality, I’ve been expecting that what I see in the world, what I perceive, should be different: There should be something that indicates or reveals that it’s not real, that it’s an illusion, a mirage.
There was a shift, just in the last week, and I must give credit to that video I mentioned: It finally became inculcated, or visceral, that what I perceive, what I experience, is all consciousness. It doesn’t really matter how it looks, what form it takes; it’s consciousness – how could it be any different? There’s nothing “wrong” with the world, and it doesn’t matter how it appears.
This took on an expanded understanding: There is no subject or object: It’s all consciousness, including what I perceive, my thoughts, and my body. But I often lament that I can’t seem to experience “shared being” with other people. I asked myself how this new understanding applied. And it was very clear: All “other people” are consciousness. There are apparent others who might either be open and transparent, or who might be making an attempt to trap a bit of consciousness in a container, maintain and protect it, make it permanent – an impossible task.
We were trying to get rid of a nest in our entryway, a few days ago, and a wasp stung Mimi. It seemed like such an angry little creature trying to protect its territory. It’s not much different from people who are ready to shoot anyone who comes onto their property. It helps to understand that each apparent being is only consciousness; there’s no “sharing” because we’re all one. We can’t give it or take it away. If I view every being, including myself, as consciousness, there may be mystery (as in, “what does that apparent container believe that it is holding?”) but it’s only consciousness appearing as it does. The surface and the content are both consciousness. This relieves me of the mind-game that “I should perceive people differently,” or have a different understanding of them. It’s all consciousness appearing to consciousness. No need to judge my perceptions or the appearances.