The Felt Sense Of Self

Dry Grass in the Morning Light

Dry Grass in the Morning Light

JOE SKEEN CAMPGROUND, NM — #Emptiness #Encounters #Radiance #Writing

April 21, 2015 7:25 AM

This spot isn’t going to do it. Not that there’s anything wrong with it—it’s a free, developed campground with a decent Signal—but it just doesn’t feel right for writing. Am I procrastinating again? I dunno, but I think I’ll move on.

From the Vastness, there is no center to “You.” There is a point where everything is seen from, but the sense of self seems to be missing, it’s expanded to infinity so there seems to be no felt centuralized location for it. … Read more…

The War Of The Cartoon Elephants

How Clouds Look In Limbo

How Clouds Look In Limbo

LIMBO, KS — #Emptiness #FourthWall

April 17, 2015 9:09 AM

“I am mad at you.”

How often do people say this? How often do they think it?

When our body dies, we (as a Soul) detach from what we used to think we were: our body and mind.

In an almost identical manner, when we step through the Gateless Gate, we detach from what we used to think we were: our thoughts.Read more…

Ocelots and Emptiness

Not What It Used To Be

Not What It Used To Be

PEABODY CONSERVATION AREA, MO — #Emptiness

April 8, 2015 1:47 PM

After yesterday’s post, I made camp at a prime, grassy, wooded spot (I’m really loving these Missouri Conservation areas), then settled in for the evening.

During the night, I realized something: In nonduality circles, “rare” often gets confused with “better.”

Emptiness is rare, but it isn’t better than the more accessible IntimateRadiance or Eternal qualities.

Because it is rare, people naturally seek to “acquire” Emptiness/Unity consciousness, and because they unconsciously equate rare with better, they naturally assume that Unity (Emptiness) is absolute truth where Separation is the lesser (less worthy), relative truth.

But that is like thinking that an ocelot is better than a house cat. An ocelot is a rare feline, but it would make for a terrible pet.

So too with Emptiness. It’s rare, but Unity consciousness is simply not a practical way of living.

Why does Emptiness suck in application? Because without boundaries, everything is not only understood as the same thing (Unity), everything also feels the same. When everything feels the same, there is no empathy for the suffering of others (it’s all “you”), your body is no more important than that tree, there’s no need to get up to go to the bathroom (just go wherever you’re sitting—it’s okay, it’s all One Thing).

The realization of Emptiness is rare, and though it is very useful for putting both suffering and identity into perspective, it is merely a single quality of a much greater Whole (Emptiness, Radiance, Eternal, Mortal, Intimate).

Emptiness is not better than the other qualities, it is just the least often experienced.

The Tao of Robots

When Spring Looks Like Fall

When Spring Looks Like Fall

TN-AL BORDER — #Emptiness #MyLove

April 2, 2015 12:51 PM

Though the trees are still nude, bright green grass springs alive next to the gravel road and in sunlit patches around camp. The day has been largely overcast and when it rains, you hear it rather than see it—the soft patter on the dead and decaying leaves that Fall has left behind.

The Winter edition of A Mystic’s Journal is now online. I expected it to go live yesterday, but Amazon’s robots—finding the text of the book already on my website—thought it was public domain and flagged it. Software glitches like that make you wonder just how long it will take Artificial Intelligence (AI) to decide—due to either a bug or a hacker—that human existence should be “flagged and deleted” because of public domain issues. Just kidding. No one in their right mind would consider hacking AI’s—making them kill off a select portion of the population that meets a strict set of criteria (ie: Line 001: If person X = “Mystic” then kill person X). Who would want to do something like that?

Though I expect they will be our demise, AI’s are coming. Which brings up a couple of questions:

  1. Will AI’s have a Soul?
  2. Will AI’s experience Love?
  3. Will AI’s be the New Burka of Pure Awareness?
  4. Will TaoGodHer—once AI’s go live—see through the eyes of a robot?
  5. Will robots then become aware of TaoGodHer, looking out their eyes?

Farfetched ideas, I know. But then so was the internet not so long ago.

Attached To The Emptiness Quality

Not a No-Thing

Not a No-Thing

TUSKEGEE NF, AL — #Emptiness #Intimate

March 29, 2015 3:08 PM

I just finished the prep work for the second volume of the Mystic’s Journal series (January through March 2015). Amazingly, it shouldn’t take any more than a few minutes to upload Volume II on the morning of April 1. Probably the most time consuming feature of publishing on Amazon will be waiting for Amazon to approve the book and make it available to the public.

We’ve come a long way since I first started writing.

3:13 PM

In thinking about this upcoming interview, I realized last night that probably the most significant thing that sets me apart from most nondual teachers is that I don’t focus on the Emptiness quality.

In advaita (I believe) they stress not to become attached to the siddhis—the magical powers that sometimes manifest in a seeker’s life as he progresses in his spiritual development. Attachment to the siddhis—it is warned—will keep you from progressing further.

Some may criticize me for having fallen into this trap—of being attached to the magic and luck and synchronicities and thereby stunting my development.

I disagree.

I consider the siddhis a component of the Intimate quality of Mystical Oneness (the less there is of you, the more there is of the magic). But the Intimate quality is only one of five qualities that make up Mystical Oneness: The Mortal, EternalRadianceEmptiness, and Intimate.

I like to focus on, and flow between, all these areas of the conscious experience (though I’m not crazy about the Mortal quality).

Ironically, you could say that most nondual teachers—just like they warn not to get attached to the siddhis—have themselves become attached to the Emptiness quality.

Emptiness is practically all they talk about.

It’s understandable, Emptiness is pretty cool, but it’s not the end-all. There’s much more to Life than No-thing.

The Dangers Below

Boulders Unseen. Dangers Unknown.

Boulders Unseen. Dangers Unknown.

FLINT RIVER OUTSIDE NEWTON, GA — #LivingIt #Emptiness #MiracleLog #FourthWall

March 23, 2015 1:03 PM

He asked me if I was fishing.

“No, I don’t fish,” I replied, “Just hanging out, having some lunch.”

He told me this whole area use to be state land, but now this boat ramp was all that was left of it. He pointed across the river and explained there were huge boulders lying just below the surface over there. He doesn’t launch his boat here anymore because of those damn boulders. He explained how he has a stainless steel prop and if you were to hit one of those rocks, rather than bend a blade, it would tear up your engine and the whole back of your boat. I nodded silently, not because I knew any of this, but because I’m always grateful when She talks to me through strangers…

The mind says, “Get a stainless steel prop. It’s tough, doesn’t rust or tarnish and is maintenance free. It’s great!”

But when this thought—this theory—is applied, well, then the theory doesn’t always hold up to Reality.

Earlier this morning, as I was driving down the rural backroads of Southern Georgia, I came across a wonderful sign:

What difference does it make which church you stay home from?

That’s really the gist of what sets the Mystic apart from the philosophers, isn’t it? The key difference between the Mystic and the nondualists who only focus on the Emptiness quality. The Mystic knows that in order to truly understand something, you’ve got to throw yourself into the fray. To not just talk about it, not just think and theorize and pontificate about it, but to dive in—consequences be damned—and live it.

To be a Mystic—to walk the talk—means you very well might hit a boulder and rip out the transom of your boat. But hidden among those dark and dangerous boulders are where the big fish lay—submerged secrets that the philosophers standing on the shore have no access to—and all the thinking and theorizing and excuses in the world won’t land a single one of them.

It’s easy to talk about this stuff, but not so easy to do.

The smart have their books. The wise have their scars.

Northwest It Is Then

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL — #VanDwelling #Emptiness

March 21, 2015 6:41 PM

I said my goodbyes to my folks, hopped in the van and followed US 1 north. I drove farther than I like, over 200 miles, but I wanted to escape the heat that’s been dogging me lately (and my refrigerator and thus my batteries).

As I drove, I monitored my inner peace level and how dramatically it would swing in respect to my surroundings: An inspirational song would leave me feeling deeply connected to TaoGodHer, while an aggressive and obnoxious city driver would awaken an almost animalistic anger.

This simple exercise seemed to offer an answer to something that’s been gnawing at me lately: Once out of Florida, should I head northeast or northwest?

Our surroundings have a powerful effect on our emotional state of being. Though I’d like to explore some parts of the northeast further, my past experiences have often left me frustrated. Frustration is useful for helping spiritual seekers learn to see their thoughts and emotions (dis-identify with them), but I haven’t experienced thoughts or emotions as me for a long time (they often contract me, but they aren’t me).

No. What I’m yearning for is Peace… some peaceful and pleasant places conducive to writing.

Northwest it is then.