“One Taste” by Ken Wilber: Page 66, entry for Monday March 24th 1997.
With the awakening of constant consciousness, you become something of a divine schizophrenic, in the popular sense of “split-minded,” because you have access to both the Witness and the ego. You are actually “whole-minded,” but it sounds like it’s split, because you are aware of the constant Witness or Spirit, and you are also perfectly aware of the movie of life, the ego and all its ups and downs. So you still feel pain and suffering and sorrow, but they no longer convince you of their importance – you are no longer the victim of life, but its Witness.
In fact, because you are no longer afraid of your feelings, you can engage them with much greater intensity. The movie of life becomes more vivid and vibrant, precisely because you are no longer grasping or avoiding it, and thus no longer trying to dull or dilute it. You no longer turn the volume down. You might even cry harder, laugh louder, jump higher. Choiceless awareness doesn’t mean you cease to feel; it means you feel fully, feel deeply, feel to infinity itself, and laugh and cry and love until it hurts. Life jumps right off the screen, and you are one with all of it, because you don’t recoil.
If you are having a dream, and you think it’s real, it can get very scary. Say you are dreaming that you are tightrope walking across Niagara Falls. If you fall off, you plunge to your death. So you are walking very slowly, very carefully. Then suppose you start lucid dreaming, and you realize that it’s just a dream. What do you do? Become more cautious and careful? No, you start jumping up and down on the tightrope, you do flips, you bounce around, you have a ball – precisely because you know it isn’t real. When you realize it’s a dream, you can afford to play.
The same thing happens when you realize that ordinary life is just a dream, just a movie, just a play. You don’t become more cautious, more timid, more reserved. You start jumping up and down and doing flips, precisely because it’s all a dream, it’s all pure Emptiness. You don’t feel less, you feel more – because you can afford to. You are no longer afraid of dying, and therefore you are not afraid of living. You become radical and wild, intense and vivid, shocking and silly. You let it all come pouring through, because it’s all your dream.
Life then assumes its true identity, its vivid luminosity, its radical effervescence. Pain is more painful and happiness is happier; joy is more joyous and sorrow is even sadder. It all comes radiantly alive to the mirror-mind, the mind that doesn’t grasp or avoid, but simply witnesses the play, and therefore can afford to play, even as it watches.
What would motivate you if you saw everything as the dream of your own highest Self? What would actually move you in this playful dream world? Everything in the dream is basically fun, at some deep level, except for this: when you see your friends suffering because they think the dream is real, you want to relieve their suffering, you want them to wake up, too. Watching them suffer is not fun. And so a deep and powerful compassion arises in the heart of the awakened ones, and they seek, above all else, to awaken others – and thus relieve them from the sorrow and the pity, the torment and the pain, the terror and the anguish that comes from taking with dreadful seriousness the passing dream of life.
So you are a divine schizophrenic, you are “split-minded” in the sense that you are simultaneously in touch with both the pure Witness and the world of the ego-film. But that really means that you are actually “whole-minded,” because these two worlds are not really two-two. The ego is just the dream of the Witness, the film that the Witness creates out of its own infinite plenitude, simply so it will have something to watch at the movies.
At that point the entire play arises within your own constant consciousness. There is no inside and no outside, no in here versus out there. The nondual universe of One Taste arises as a spontaneous gesture of your own true nature. You can taste the sun and swallow the moon, and centuries fit in the palm of your hand. The pure I-I. The great I AMness, breathes to infinity and creates a Kosmos as the Song of its very Self, and oceans of compassion fall as tears from your very own Original Face.
Last night I saw the reflection of the moon in a cool clear crystal pond, and nothing else happened at all.