Friday, October 15, 2010

Clearly Apparent Yet Not Existent

The creek flows through the marsh and out into the ocean, surrounded and suffused by space.  There are many examples here of what is clearly apparent yet not existent.  We can call these examples metaphors and symbols for the nature of things.  We objectify our existence, separating ourselves from other objects and beings and declare us and them.  Objects and subjects are like a creek in its bed, wind in space, waves on water, reflections in mirrors, clouds in sky, and dreams in sleep.  Objects and subjects are illusory as they have no independent, lasting self-nature and are interdependent in a web of cause and effect.  This very dependence is the appearance that we call object and make philosophy and science with.  Since we are not omniscient, we are not able to see all of these causes and conditions.  We believe strongly in the independence of objects, as if they were separate and distinguishable, and say that they have self-nature.  We especially have a strong sense of ego; that we are independent, with self-will. 
The ego is like the emperor in the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.  Two (duality) tailors (illusion) weave clothes (objects) for the emperor (ego) that are so light and fine (desirable) as to appear invisible (no cause and effect), especially to anyone too stupid or incompetent (shame) to appreciate their quality.  A child (original nature) eventually saw the emperor in his new clothes and recognized that he was naked.  But the emperor could not acknowledge this nakedness (awareness) and continued on, walking through the streets (the world) with the illusion of his new clothes.        
How deluded we are.  By maintaining this separation of subjective self and objective other, we fail to see what is.  We grasp on to solidity of self and objects as if they did not constantly change and depend on each other.  Even if we recognize change, we do not believe that it applies to our precious self and others.  We are afraid when objects change, as this represents loss and gain of something desirable or abhorrent.  We fail to see that birth, life, and death are a continuum, with the magical properties of spontaneous appearance and disappearance of consciousness that are dependent upon subject and objects.  This cycle rests upon unchanging awareness, which we sense but cannot see.  We are this awareness, which gives rise to the display of subjects and objects; just like waves forming and dissolving into water, reflections arising and disappearing in mirrors, clouds forming and dissolving into sky, and dreams appearing and disappearing in sleep.  The water, mirrors, sky, and sleep are metaphors for awareness and are not changed by this display.  Recognizing the illusory nature of display, we can return to our nature and be complete. 

When we are not attached to our conclusions, concepts, and training about existence, then we are free to experience our nature in the vast ocean of space which is mind.  We easily move through the causes and conditions that surround us.  Then we become what we are, omniscient awareness in the unending web of interdependence.  Everything is as it should be in the unending dance of change.  Relax and enjoy every emotion, thought, and perception as the illusions that they are, without the anxiety of grasping and fixation.

Posted by michael


dcp said...

Great video

Louise said...

I've enjoyed reading your thoughts and looking at your photographs.