Originally posted on Rainbow Wave of Light
: ? The questions that you have asked us are excellent ones.
You have given us many wonderful opportunities.
Today, however, we ask your indulgence
as we explore a topic that will provide many of you
answers as you consider it deeply.
We are here to awaken from the illusion of separateness
~Thich Nhat Hanh
The following is a short excerpt from a 1998 Dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh, entitled The Island of Self: The Three Dharma Seals. Here he explains how awareness of the interdependence of all things in the universe can provide us with deeper insight into the Buddha’s teachings on non-self, emptiness and impermanence.
“What is non-self, Anatta? It means impermanence. If things are impermanent, they don’t remain the same things forever. You of this moment are no longer you of a minute ago. There is no permanent entity within us, there is only a stream of being.
There is always a lot of input and output. The input and the output happen in every second, and we should learn how to look at life as streams of being, and not as separate entities. This is a very profound teaching of the Buddha.
Inter-being with the world
For instance, looking into a flower, you can see that the flower is made of many elements that we can call non-flower elements. When you touch the flower, you touch the cloud. You cannot remove the cloud from the flower, because if you could remove the cloud from the flower, the flower would collapse right away.
You don’t have to be a poet in order to see a cloud floating in the flower, but you know very well that without the clouds there would be no rain and no water for the flower to grow.
So cloud is part of flower, and if you send the element cloud back to the sky, there will be no flower. Cloud is a non-flower element. And the sunshine…you can touch the sunshine here. If you send back the element sunshine, the flower will vanish. And sunshine is another non-flower element.
And earth, and gardener… if you continue, you will see a multitude of non-flower elements in the flower. In fact, a flower is made only with non-flower elements. It does not have a separate self.
So the true nature of the flower is the nature of inter-being, the nature of no self.
A flower cannot be by herself alone. A flower has to “inter-be” with everything else that is called non-flower. That is what we call inter-being. You cannot be, you can only inter-be. The word inter-be can reveal more of the reality than the word “to be.” You cannot be by yourself alone, you have to inter-be with everything else.
The flower is there, beautiful, fragrant, yes, but the flower is empty of a separate self. To be empty is not a negative note. Nagarjuna, of the second century, said that because of emptiness, everything becomes possible.
Looking into the nature of your non-self
So a flower is described as empty. But I like to say it differently. A flower is empty only of a separate self, but a flower is full of everything else. The whole cosmos can be seen, can be identified, can be touched, in one flower. So to say that the flower is empty of a separate self also means that the flower is full of the cosmos.
It’s the same thing. So you are of the same nature as a flower: you are empty of a separate self, but you are full of the cosmos. You are as wonderful as the cosmos, you are a manifestation of the cosmos.
So non-self is another guide that Buddha offers us in order for us to successfully practice looking deeply. What does it mean to look deeply? Looking deeply means to look in such a way that the true nature of impermanence and non-self can reveal themselves to you.
Looking into yourself, looking into the flower, you can touch the nature of impermanence and the nature of non-self, and if you can touch the nature of impermanence and non-self deeply, you can also touch the nature of nirvana, which is the Third Dharma Seal.”
~By Thich Nhat Hanh
The Island of Self
“All in One, One in All. The All melts into a single whole. There are no divisions in the totality of reality… It views the cosmos as holy, as “one bright pearl,” the universal reality of the Buddha..” The view of inter-being and interpenetration is central to the Huayan School of Buddhism.
Thank you to phoenixisrisen.co.uk / Ascension With Earth
by Frank M Wanderer
We live here on Earth, together with billions of fellow human beings. That we live is an irrefutable empirical fact, similarly, the fact that other people live on Earth too, is also an empirical fact. We do not merely live, however, but we are also personalities.
We are personalities who are similar to each other in various respects, and largely different from each other in other respects. That we are personalities, different from each other is also an empirical fact for us. Out of these two experiences, however, only one is true, the other is deception. Only one is a fact, the other is an illusion: the biggest illusion of the world.
The Beginnings of the Illusion
Let us take a closer look and examine which of the two experiences is true and which is a mere illusion.
Our life in this world begins when we are born. It is obvious that we are alive, but we are not yet a personality. At that time only the simplicity and greatness of the present, the existence is known to us.
The society and its culture is what shapes us into personalities while we grow up. We become a personality when our Ego is born. This is an inevitable step in the evolution of the Consciousness, so there is nothing wrong with that.The Ego is born, the separate little Self, as a focus of the Consciousness. That little Self obtains experience about itself and the world. In the natural course of evolution and as a result of the experience gathered, the Ego withdraws to give way to the process as a result of which Consciousness awakens to its own existence through a human form.
The progress of this evolutionary process can, however, be impeded by an illusion: the illusion that the individual is becoming somebody, a personality. We begin to become somebody, a personality, when we start to identify with the Ego, with that separate little Self. Under that illusion we believe that the Ego is a reality, and we are identical with the Ego, and the development of the separate little Self is in fact the foundation of our personal development. Nowadays it is virtually impossible to avoid that kind of illusion, since mankind has lived in it for thousands of years. The deception has become independent, and theillusion of the Ego is now a reality for the entire mankind, including naturally us.
The all inclusive and integrated oneness of God and all that He creates is becoming impossible for humanity to remain unaware of. Modern physics has made it abundantly clear that everything is connected to everything else! There is no separation; separation is an illusion that you have believed in and which has brought you much pain, but it is unreal. Because you believed in it you were fearful and felt the need to protect yourselves against others by building defenses – sarcasm, wit, humor, dismissal, judgment, and attack. Protection, defense, and attack are all reactions to your fear, the state that your apparent separation encourages you to believe in, but to engage with them is to inflict pain on yourself!
Everything you think, say, or do affects the whole of creation even though this is not apparent to you while you remain in your state of very limited consciousness. However, Reality, Heaven, Oneness with your Source can never be damaged or even offended because It is the supreme sovereign state of infinite Love, complete in and of Itself, containing and embracing all, and in opposition to nothing because there is nothing apart from It.
Any unloving – i.e. insane – activities in which you engage with in the illusion have severe and painful effects that can be extensive, but they are illusory like the environment in which they take place. Therefore if you choose to defend yourself or attack another the effects of those thoughts, words, or actions reverberate widely and painfully throughout your environment, increasing the sense of fear and insecurity that drives you into action in the first place.
The way out of this exhausting and repetitious cycle is to let go of all your defenses, and engage in every situation with love, your true and eternal nature. Nothing else works, which is why world peace has still to be established. However, because more and more of you are opening to the Love that is safely, eternally, and ineradicably established within each of you, and because you are choosing to respond lovingly instead of defensively whatever the situation you may be facing, the world is moving inexorably towards lasting peace. Deep within yourselves you do know this, so rejoice that the divine plan is unfolding as promised.
Signs of its unfoldment are to be seen all over the world as people refuse to be cowed any longer by the illegal, illegitimate, and in fact criminal suppression of their human rights that your so-called elected representatives in positions of authority have been imposing on you through the illicit laws that they have put on the statute books. Equally criminal is the use of civil or military “security” forces to make sure that these laws are obeyed. The immoral foundation on which the self-serving and illegitimate authoritarian positions that your elected representatives continue to cling to as upholders of “just” laws is collapsing beneath them, as their deceit and corruption continues to be unveiled by courageous whistle-blowers everywhere.
Refreshing changes are occurring all across the world despite the efforts of those in power – who “claim” to be working for your good and the good of humanity – to prevent them. So, celebrate! The old crushing and authoritarian regimes are effectively on their knees, as the extent of their self-serving and corrupt agendas becomes common knowledge, and as those who used to support them in their criminal and deceitful endeavors withdraw that essential support. Without cooperation and support no human endeavors can succeed. While accepting their apologies for the “sins” that they have committed, and to which they have admitted – for God is infinitely loving and forgiving, and so must you be, being inseparable parts of Him – do not re-elect them!
Personal self-aggrandizement and self-protection are the egoic natures to which they are clinging in desperation, because to face the truth of their self-centered ego-driven agendas, as so clearly demonstrated by their actions and intentions, is far too painful for them to even think of just yet. Their nature is Love, because all of creation is created from Love, and to acknowledge their shameful errors would bring them painfully face to face with their unconscionable and utterly unacceptable behaviors.
As a direct result of the whistle-blowers revelations they claim that they have, as a consequence of these incredible insights, mended their ways, and can now therefore be trusted to use their skills and abilities to work for you and with you – which is why you elected them in the first place. However, do not be fooled by the clever and inspired rhetoric with which they attempt to convince you that they have now truly understood the errors they have made, and for which they beg your forgiveness as they claim to be moving forwards to correct them.
They will do everything in their power to maintain the influence and control that they have enjoyed as authority figures over the eons and through many earth lives, regardless of the consequences for humanity as a whole. They have an intense need to hide from and disown the now revealed unconscionable behaviors in which they have engaged in this and numerous previous lives, behaviors which have now been most clearly revealed as shameful and even unforgivable, as their karmic debts are called in for payment in full in this lifetime.
They are, of course, just like all you Light bearers and wayshowers, beloved children of God. What seems to have happened within the illusory environment that you built to experience separation from God, from your Source, has not occurred. Consequently there is no need for forgiveness, nothing untoward has ever happened, and never could happen in the divine Reality, Heaven, that God created for your and His eternal joy. To forgive something that has never occurred is not possible, even though as humans in an illusory world much that is unacceptable does seem to have happened.
However, as humans undergoing intensely real seeming and painful experiences of betrayal and torture – psychological, emotional, or physical – it is necessary for you to forgive those who have apparently harmed you. While remaining unforgiving of these assumed and apparent mistreatments you close yourselves off from the Love that your Father offers you in every moment of your existence, because judgment, and resentment or condemnation cannot associate with or be in communion with Love. Love insists on unconditional acceptance of every part of creation, and there is nothing outside creation because the field of creation has no boundaries, it is limitless. By forgiving you release all within yourselves that is unreal – anything that is not in perfect harmony and alignment with Love – and open yourselves to the infinite and divine field of Love by which you are eternally surrounded, leading you forwards to your inevitable awakening. Forgiveness is an absolutely essential aspect of your awakening process.
To forgive is to admit to yourselves that nothing untoward, nothing unreal has occurred, and if that is the case – as it most certainly is – there is nothing to prevent you from awakening. At present your awakening is curtailed solely because, collectively, you are still holding on to resentment, to an intense desire for restitution. What you need to understand is that there is no need for restitution because nothing has happened, or could happen, that requires restitution.
You are all eternally One with God, the divine Source of all that exists, and God cannot be hurt, damaged, or offended, because there is nothing that is or ever could be in opposition to Him as He is all that exists. You are all, each and every one of you, essential and inseparable parts of that divine Source, so there is nothing that could attack or damage you. Accept this truth, open your hearts in Love, forgive all who appear to have hurt or offended you, and prepare to awaken. There truly is no other option, and why would you want one when this one promises you eternal joy?
With so very much love, Saul.
Written by Steve Beckow, the Golden Age of Gaia, http://goldenageofgaia.com/2014/01/the-challenge-of-the-times/
“Ego” is a Latin word meaning “I.” We use it today to refer to one of the many selves we have, a self that’s constructed of thoughts, which is not permanent, and whose survival all our efforts are bent towards.
The purpose of life is to know ourself, but the self that we know is the soul, also called the Atman by Hindus and the Christ by Christians.
This same Self is itself an offspring, part, spark (these words are all metaphorical) of the Supreme Self. Jesus characterized it as a relationship between the Son and the Father. The Self, Atman or Christ is the Father individuated.
The Self is said to reside in the spiritual heart or hridayam. But the ego resides only in our thoughts. Life is a progressive unveiling of the “I” that we are, moving from no consciousness of self at all, to self-consciousness, to awareness of the soul/Self, to awareness of the Supreme Self/God.
We leapfrog over one less adequate sense of self to another more adequate sense, and then to a more adequate sense than that. We do so by realization. We realize the more umbrageous sense of the Self that we are until we at last “become” that One Self of all. I say “become” because we always were that One Self. We just didn’t know it.
When we disappear as a separate Self and are reunited with the Father or Parabrahman, (1) we’ve achieved the goal of life.
We have a permanent interest in the self that we have and are. Whatever is “I” is what holds our attention, lifetime after lifetime. The depth of our knowledge will vary but the object of our knowledge – the self at whatever level we conceive of it at any moment in time – remains the same.
We often speak of a “false grid” of beliefs that characterize Third Dimensionality and a life determined by the ego. What are some of those false beliefs? If I had my choice of the top three, I’d say separation, survival, and scarcity.
We think that we’re separate beings but it turns out that we’re all One. This sense of separation sets us up for the errors we commit out of believing the next two concepts.
The second concept is survival. We think that this separate being that we are won’t survive death and so we try to extend our lives in any way we can. We focus our attention on seeing that this being and everything it identifies with (that is, “me” and “mine”) survives. It identifies itself with our body, family, house, car, job, etc.
But there’s really no need to ensure the survival of this being. We’re eternal – always were, are, and will be. We never die although we doff this body as we would a suit of clothes.
The third concept is scarcity. We think that everything in our world is scarce and that, as separate beings trying to survive, we must compete for scarce resources. In fact, in the higher dimensions where we’re headed, everything is infinitely plentiful and created by thought. There’s no lack and no scarcity. And I imagine there would be no scarcity here either if we but changed our way of seeing things.
The separative ego accomplishes survival in the midst of perceived scarcity by engaging in the self-serving bias. That way of being magnifies the self and minimizes others, glorifies itself and detracts from others. It attributes all successes to itself and all failures to others. It embraces all victories and disavows responsibility for all losses.
It judges and dominates others and avoids judgment and domination of itself. It blames others and sidesteps blame of itself.
It builds around the being a constructed self or mask, sells its performances to others, and seeks validation. It manages its image by such strategies as dressing for success, looking out for number one, talking it up, etc.
It creates a story about itself, bending history to the needs of the moment and rehearsing its story wherever possible until the details are polished and arranged to give the desired impression of success, victory, influence, etc.
The ego lives at the peripheries of life. It traffics in extremes, drama, and histrionics.
The Self lives in the centre, in the middle, in the heart and has no truck or trade with extremes, drama, or histrionics.
One who lives in the center is usually characterized by balance, serenity, joy and the other divine qualities.
One who lives on the peripheries and in the extremes usually forfeits these qualities but usually isn’t seeking them anyways. The person living on the peripheries and in the extremes is usually seeking money, sensual gratification, and influence.
The ego tends to be selfish; the Self tends to be selfless. When we hear someone blowing their own horn, boasting about their accomplishments, puffing themselves, it usually means that they see themselves as this body, together with its thoughts and feelings, and probably nothing else.
To do so is to take an empirical-materialist view of life that only what we can touch, see, hear and feel is real. Such a view is not enough to allow us to realize our Self and therefore not enough to achieve the purpose of life.
It’s up to us as lightworkers and starseeds to go beyond the ego, with its self-serving bias. It’s up to us to recognize when we’re in the grip of the ego or serving its need for survival. To do so is not an easy thing. Most people do actually believe that they are this body, its senses, and its mind and nothing else. And so long as they do so, they’re concerned with survival.
But that’s the challenge of the times nevertheless – to move beyond the narrow view and to focus more and more deeply on the heart, the centre, the soul. The challenge is also to live by what the Buddha called the Middle Way of balance and moderation.
There has never been a better time to accomplish these spiritual goals in life than now. Never has it been easier. Never has so much conspired to assure our success in these efforts.
We have to recognize the call of the ego, the cry of the limited, constructed self and set it aside in preference to the heart’s most distinct call, which is love.