Originally published in The Enlightenment of the Whole Body
The Last Words – The Mood of Enlightenment
Be Relieved of Your Seriousness
While you are alive, everything seems important. Even despair is important, an acknowledgment that something important to you has not happened. Thus, life, while you live it, is full of importances.
Life is completely absurd. To attain freedom from something that is unnecessary to begin with is completly crazy. Why bother with it to begin with?
Enlightenment is to Awaken from the seriousness of experience. It is not about forgetting all about it or to assume some superfical understanding the real process. Many people come up with one liners that last for their whole life. It’s like that one joke you keep in your back pocket that will always get you a laugh when you need one.
Despair, Self-indulgence, stressful effort, discipline, real interest, knowledge, death, sex, food, everything is completely serious. This movement or tendency to survive, to continue in independent form, is profoundly serious, and it is also absurd because it must be understood and transcended. Enlightenment is to be restored to Divine humor.
You can either become distracted by experience and forget about the real condition of life and go about repeating your experience over and over again, or you can transcend it. One or the other.
We are under the incredibly absurd illusion that there is an objective world “outside” Consciousness and there is a ‘me’ inside this body. There is not a shred of truth in these presumption. What ‘you’ presume in your everyday consciousness in any moment is the drama of the seriousness of your independent existence. When you awaken, even for a moment to its true Position, which is senior to any phenomena, then the full of humor and feedom of necessity to any experience is brought forth. There is only Enlightenment, Divine Freedom. No matter what arises.
What is objective about your experience? It is just your own fascination. It is your own mind. It is your own Consciousness, modified by the brain and organs of experience. It is mind. It is harmless enough in itself, really, but you are so distracted by it that you have lost your humor. You have lost your true position. You do not have a right relationship to experience.
The wrong relationship to experiential phenomena is to presume that you are a separate person, a separate consciousness, in the midst of a world that you know nothing about, that somehow encloses you, that is objective to you, that is separate from you. In that case, you see, experience is a very serious business. You have no option but to submit to it, to be distracted and tormented by it.
The motive that keeps this sense of ‘reality’ continuing is basic to your sense of existence. Surviving as experience is what you are chronically doing. You are being this body-mind. You are moved to continue as that, and to glamorize it, pleasurize it, protect it, fight for it and all the rest of the catostrophic mind set that goes with it. As soon as you get a little physical or emotional or mental pleasure, right away you think that you are existing in the highest state that one can realize. In Enlightenment, the motive to survival dissolves. Continued bodily existence is spontaneous affair. You are no longer dependent upon a psychological motive to continue. It simply continues on it’s own.
The universe is not ultimate. It does not hide a great Fact. If you could relax that demand just a little bit, something entirely different would happen. But you are afraid of something entirely different. You are afraid to die. You are afraid to allow things to change. Therefore, you hold on to your present experience. But if you could give up everything, not through negative, reactive effort, but through Transcendental Realization, then your humor would be restored, and a different sense of existence would quite spontaneously arise. Then you would realize that there is no necessity to this present experience, except that it is set in motion through ordinary causation and will therefore continue for its term.
Experience is NOT IT!
We are not present in our experience. In other words, acting, or experiencing, is not a present activity. It has nothing to do with the present, the absolute Moment of Existence. It is the past. All experience is the past. There is nothing new, and there is nothing real about the mind that experiences. The mind is simply memory, past association. It is not perceptive, nor truly sensitive to anything. It is just the mechanical record of patterns. The body is exactly the same as the mind, but because we think so much, we imagine that the mind is something different from the body. Actually, the body-mind is one, a simultaneous coincidence. Just as the mind is past associations, the body is past associations.
The body is the past. It is like a star-the rays of light that we now see were generated light years before now. The present form of that star is not visible, because it is so far away that the light it generates today takes eons to arrive. Likewise, these bodies are the reflections of the distant past. They have no present significance. They must be transcended before we can Realize the Present, or the Transcendental Reality.
Such a Realization, however, occurs only in the seventh stage of life. Many people read and think about spiritual teachings and their minds prattle the traditional ideas to the point that they think they are already Enlightened. Yet they have never become the bodily Sacrifice that is essential for this Realization. Enlightenment, or the Realization of God, is not just a conceptual understanding. It is not just a relatively calm state of mind. Enlightenment is an absolute Condition of existence that literally transcends the body-mind. It is not just an idea the body-mind has that makes it feel better. From the radical, Enlightened point of view, there is no body-mind! Thus, in order to enter into the seventh stage of life, one must pass through the most profound and even terrifying transformation. That event cannot be casually created by a little thinking. One must come to the point where there is literally no necessity to the body-mind, to the psyche, or to experience.
Countless silly people think that they are Enlightened when, at best, they feel good today. That mediocre sense of pleasure is not Enlightenment. Enlightenment involves no thinking whatsoever. There is no rational justification for Enlightenment, no logical sequence of thought that leads to it. Enlightenment is a spontaneous, absolute, transcendental Awakening that is free of all the seriousness and necessity of bodily and mental existence. Therefore, death, the cessation of experience, the cessation of states of mind, the cessation of the body, the cessation of the world, is no longer a threat. So much the worse for it! There is complete freedom from the implications of all that dreadful destiny that everyone fears so profoundly. The Enlightened being is not at all threatened by all of that. He is laughing. He is free.
But one must pay the price for this Freedom. It is not simply an attitude toward the world that one enjoys from some conventional position of separation. There is the Radiant Transcendental Consciousness, the Absolute Divine Reality. That truly is Existence, and It must be Realized if Enlightenment is to be true. In that Realization, the Divine Person is tacitly obvious, as concrete as any object that you now associate with bodily life and experience. Once this Realization is Awake, there is no necessity to the phenomena of experience. They simply continue in this moment, but they have no power to deceive.
All the stages of life leading up to the seventh stage are stages of distraction by the seriousness of one or another kind of experience. The process of the transcendence of experience begins at the lowest level, where experience involves the fear of loss of the body and the profound connection to food, and the craving for sexual self-indulgence. These experiences characterize the ordinary person, the lowest kind of person in the spectrum of existence. Yogis, mystics, and saints all cling mightily to experiential inwardness, visions, flashing lights in the brain, vibrations in the middle of the head, exotic, many-armed works of art that they create in imagination, infinite peacefulness without a single thought, or even seeing and thinking nothing and having no experience at all. But these are all, high and low, merely the possibilities of human beings in the first six stages of life.
In the Way of Divine Ignorance, what makes these possibilities spiritually significant is that in each stage of life, in the midst of each stage of distracting experience, whether high or low, we must realize self-transcendence and whole body surrender into the Radiant Transcendental Consciousness, or Divine Person.
The ordinary reactive personality, who is basically in despair and hysterical, can also say that life is meaningless, but such a person is very serious. The Enlightened man, however, Realizes total Freedom. He is no longer serious, but neither is he self-destructive. He has passed into Ecstasy. He has not suppressed or separated from himself-rather, all that he is has been transcended in the Radiant Transcendental Consciousness. Thus, he is full of humor and delight. He is not aggressively opposed to the world, nor is he clinging to it. All the tension in his heart has been re-leased. To speak of Enlightenment without that sign is nonsense. There is no Enlightenment without the release of the heart from all of its seriousness, all of its clinging to phenomena, high and low.
We must be allowed to become love, to be free, to be humorous. Then everything that is past will dissolve. The mind is the past, and so the mind dissolves. The body is the past, and so the body dissolves.
For the usual man, the body is the past, moving into the future. There is no present in the usual life. We are too busy having experiences to be Awakened in the present. The present is the Transcendental Reality Itself, for which we have no time because we are so occupied. Thus, you must Awaken from your vulgar disposition of clinging to vital desires themselves. You must Awaken from your romantic nostalgia for life and your desire for experiences. You must Awaken from your coolness of mind, whereby you inspect the world and find logical consistency and meaning. You must Awaken to your true Position, wherein all the locks on the heart are dissolved and all the tension in the heart is released.
It is the tension in the heart that produces obsession with vital experience, with reactive and illusory, emotional experience, with mental forms and inner psychic forms, all the subjective distractions. When the tension in the heart is released, there is no clinging to the body-mind or its experiential possibilities. If the body-mind arises, that is fine, and if it does not arise, that too is fine.
When you begin to come to rest in the native Blissfulness of God, you realize freedom and you receive Grace. Grace is the humor you enjoy by always already resting in God. Grace is not ultimately a matter of achieving all kinds of successes in life. Success may come also, but that is just part of the game of experience. Grace is the liberation that comes when we rest in God. Then the locks in the heart are loosened, and the seriousness of experience is dispelled. We feel Radiant. Our occupations become Blissful. Our capacity to enter into the spiritual process is clarified and intensified. We have energy for spiritual life. The process of self-transcendence is quickened, and we move into higher stages of the transforming process until Enlightenment is Radical or Perfect, uncaused and unsupported. In that case, there is simply rest in God, or Grace Absolute, and the world and the body-mind are allowed to float in Infinity. There is no tension in the body-mind, and no illusion.
The moral of this talk is that all devotees must realize Humor, Freedom, or Distance from all the seriousness of their interests and their occupations from day to day. They must see the ordinariness of it, even the absurdity of it, without becoming ironic. They must be free of the world in itself and rest naturally in the mood of the heart, the Intuition of the Radiant Transcendental Consciousness. If you rest in God, then you have received Grace. Then Grace has entered into your daily life and only serves its ultimate transcendence. If you do not come to rest in God, the heart is like a stone or a clenched fist. It has not entered into the Infinite Radiance of Consciousness. It is fixed upon itself. It is Narcissus, self-meditative, self-protective, threatened by everything to Infinity, obsessed with possibilities and the repetition of experience in order to acquire a sense of survival, consolation, and pleasure.
The only Happiness is the release of the heart, or the differentiated self, which is not a fixed entity. The self is just like this clenched fist. Relax the fist and there is nothing inside. Relax the heart and there is no one inside. The sense of self is just the tension in the body-mind that gives it the sense of independence. Relax the tension and the body-mind becomes transparent. There is no ego. There is no ego in experience. That is why Enlightenment is not really an event in the universe. It is not associated with experience of special, so-called “Enlightenment phenomena.” It would seem, from the ordinary point of view, that Enlightenment is the dissolution of this separate self. But Enlightenment is the Realization that there is no such self and that there never was, that there is no such self in all the other beings that now continue to exist, and that there never was a self when one was struggling to become Enlightened or to transcend oneself.
The Disposition of the Enlightened one is paradoxical. It is a bodily Disposition, because he is, in a conventional sense, embodied, and he therefore represents the past and its movement toward the future. And, paradoxically, his obligation is to somehow serve the Enlightenment of other beings. But from the point of view of Enlightenment itself there are no other beings, and those conventions of experience that we call other beings are not in fact failing to be Enlightened. They are Enlightenment. They are themselves only the Radiant Transcendental Consciousness. Therefore, all that we are confronting is a conventional concept of bondage and the need to survive. It is a superficial concept, and yet all beings are profoundly organized around these notions of bondage and survival. They create their daily lives around motives based in these notions. Thus, all beings appear to be tormented, and yet their torment is totally superficial and insignificant. The affair of life is unnecessary, but it is inevitable. The best description of it is that it is absurd. The entire universe and all experience exist only to be transcended.
The Spiritual Master is absurd, like everything else. He is a Function that serves to Enlighten or Awaken beings from this condition that is absurd and unnecessary to begin with. The occupation of the Spiritual Master is as absurd as anything anyone else does, you see. Therefore, it requires a Sense of Humor, or the Enlightened point of view. Likewise, people must be obliged to be responsible in their approach to me. Irresponsible people cannot be Enlightened, cannot be Awakened, cannot hear the Teaching. That obligation for responsibility having been met, then there is the right circumstance for our meeting, and then our meeting is truly Enlightening.
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