A conversation with a friend: Is the understanding ‘there is no one’ enough?
Friend: Being a teacher is not easy.
Magdi: When you love music and have the talent to play and perform, you do not tire of playing music. When you are doing what you love.
Friend: even if there is not a separate self and everything just appears in consciousness as consciousness, still the help to make the illusion dissapear need skillful means. As you say some pianist may teach jazz but not classical music.
M: Yes, there are many awakened folks that are not ‘formally’ teaching
Friend: awakening does not mean a teacher
M: Yes, awakening does not mean you have the teaching skills or the interest to teach formally
Friend: right. Some may be teaching at another level, maybe without words. In the case of tony as I have watched some videos he seems to be very clear ad some people have benefitted from his talks. how awakened he is I do not know. how can I know?
M: What matters is how a teaching is helpful to you. If it leads you to causeless clarity, peace and happiness, then that is a good thing.
Friend: some people resonate and are helped by that. Maybe there is a totally realized one and few or no one is benefiting.
M: A teacher can take you as far as he/she has gone. Rarely can he/she take you beyond their own understanding
Friend: so here do you see tony as a half baked one?
M: I see the message ‘there is no one’ and ‘I am no one’ to be an interim message. I do not see such a message as complete since it does not take you to causeless and unshakable peace and happiness. It remains conceptual and incomplete.
Friend: OK. Could it be that this message is enough? I mean that with that message whatever comes after is not directed by a me?
M: Many students arrive to that understanding and they get stuck there. It feels like nihilism. No, this message is not enough for the full revelation. You have to be willing to go all the way.
Friend: But after the ‘not me’ realization, the process can continue but it does not need a teacher
M: Yes, the process can continue after the initial realization. It can continue with or without a teacher. It is much easier with a teacher since you will benefit from the teacher’s short cuts.
The realization ‘there is no separate self’, is important but it not the entire realization liberation. It is not the establishment in causeless freedom, peace and happiness.
Friend: That is what I mean: Tony may see that talk about what is the strongest illusion
M: If a teacher sees the full teaching and chooses to teach a partial teaching… that does not make sense to me…
Friend: After awakening to the realization of ‘not me’ who can go further? Is it not any feeling of incompleteness the feeling of a separate self?
M: Beware of nihilism. To be satisfied with ‘there is no one to awaken’ is neo advaita and does not reveal the peace and happiness of your true nature.
Once you realize you are not a separate self, what remains is the realization of the universality of consciousness as the one and only reality. This understanding must be at the feeling level as well as at the mental level. Assuming that realization require a ‘me’ is the old program of duality.
What matters is to realize peace and happiness and not to realize there is ‘no separate self’ while you continue to suffer.
When you are established in peace and happiness, life is a celebration and contemplation completely free from angst. It is the end of suffering and ignorance.
Then, who cares about philosophical arguments?
Friend: That is what happens in awakening to the unreality of the separate self. That’s what I am saying. There is ‘no one’ to go further
M: Although there is no reality to the separate dream character, the journey does not end with this understanding alone.
Friend: But the journey continues always. I mean why tell people you need to be established? As if there is someone who could get established!
Life never ends and the journey is endless but it does not need a me or a teacher to continue to unfold.
The conditioning is there and remains but they do not belong to a me. So, there is no problem
M: The journey continues until you are causelessly happy and in peace. Happiness that comes and goes is not happiness. To teach that the realization of ‘no self’ is enough is to miss the boat. It is teaching a belief and not happiness.
To state that conditioning is there but does not belong to me is a trick of the mind. It is avoidance and a sort of nihilism.
Friend: So it will continue by itself
M: No one can walk your path for you. But a good guide can help you by giving you some shortcuts.
Friend: But what about telling people you are not there yet. What for?
M: When asked, the teacher responds. If the teacher perceives the student to be still in ignorance, the teacher responds and provides some guidance and clarification. The student must be willing to contemplate the teaching. It is up to the student to step up.
If someone is happy, what need is there to tell them anything? If someone is holding on to their beliefs and is not willing to listen, what use is there to tell them anything since they are not willing to listen?
Friend: And if someone has realized there is no separate self that might be enough no?
M: It is enough when you are established in causeless peace and happiness.
If a lesser message speaks to you, then that is your path for now.
Not everyone can comprehend the message immediately and many have to journey across many territories. The separate self is tricky.
Friend: Right. As the people who go to Tony and have the awakening of ‘no self’.
That is good for them … no more suffering.
no self no suffering
M: If people go to a teacher, then that is the message they are looking for and if they are satisfied, then it is good for now. But this satisfaction will not last as long as you are not established in causeless peace and happiness. That is the end game.
Friend: Yes and life continues but not from a center, and deliverance continues maybe for the rest of their lives, but no problem. The relaxation already happened
M: The initial insight (relaxation) is important but this does not mean you have arrived to your destination.
In many cases, folks are not fully happy and they say :’ Unhappiness is part of it’
That is neo advaita.
Some folks say: There is nowhere to arrive, there is no destination. It is here and now’. Such talk is empty and mimics the sounds but lacks the realization of peace and happiness.
Friend: Whatever happens after that it is ok. Well that might be a rationalization
but if there is a separate self there might be suffering and also happiness.
M: Happiness plus suffering is the roller coaster ride. Happiness/unhappiness/happiness/unhappiness…
To say that the final destination includes suffering is ignorance.
Friend: Right, but the peace people look for in this world only comes from the realization that whatever happens in life is not personal
M: True Peace is the end of the roller coaster ride and does not come and go. It is causeless.
Friend: Right, peace under all circumstances
M: Transient peace is not true peace. True peace does not require any belief and is not a conceptual understanding. It is an experiential understanding. Your direct experience and not a belief system.
Friend: but the peace we talk about here is the peace that comes with the realization that life has not a center, no where. It is life living itself. Many names can be given like consciousness, the absolute, the beyond.
M: The peace I am talking about is not an experience in time/space. It is not the result of anything. It is causeless. It is not an intellectual understanding.
It is the peace of consciousness . The realization comes with the complete dissolution of ignorance and the revelation that I am the SELF eternal… not as a belief. Consciousness knowing itself in the presence or absence of form.
Friend: It does not matter. The fact is that life lives by itself and there is no one living it. Life does not need any one to live
M: You are objectifying life. To objectify life and to say there is no one to live it is a belief and a conceptual stand. Life is beyond conceptualization.
Indeed, there is no separate one and yet there is a reality to our experience. The reality of consciousness. We cannot deny this experience. We suffer because we experience a separate me-identification. Once that is seen through, it is the beginning of the journey.
What remains is the realization of the reality and universality of consciousness as the one and only reality. As everyone and everything. Not merely a conceptual understanding.
Friend: Feelings of disconfort arising, look. Sensations of being hurt, watch.
M: It is important to be genuine with oneself and not to delude oneself with mental justifications. Emotions, me-feelings, anger, envy, etc. refer to the old me-paradigm. They refer to the remaining belief and the remaining sense of ignorance (I am a mortal body mind).
Friend: If nothing of that happens, well then there is no one… to feel nothing of that
M: As long as we do not use the ‘there is no one’ denial trick… and we continue to explore… in time our love for truth will dissolve ignorance. Then, the openness of being is uninterrupted by clouds of unhappiness.
Friend: What about when a friend dies or when there is sickness? what is there?
Just a feeling appearing?
M: When we lose a loved one, there is a sweet sadness …. Love remains… eternal and sweet.
When there is sickness, there is attending to the body, but there is no suffering. It is the identification with the body that is suffering.
Friend: There is no hook to cling
M: no me-stories…
Simply sweet sadness…
yes, no hook
Friend: When there is suffering there is a me story going on
Friend: That is why Buddha was so clear describing enlightenment in negative terms. Awakening as the end of suffering. No big words, just simple.
A conversation with a friend: Is the understanding ‘there is no one’ enough? Neo advaita.
A conversation with a friend: Is the understanding ‘there is no one’ enough?