(What is the difference between a notion and a context? A notion is partial, but a context is whole.)
I realize that sounds a bit jargony and I apologize for that, but hope you stay with the thread of the thought nonetheless.
The longest journey in the world is from dualistic consciousness to unitive consciousness and, I believe, that journey will not be made until we eliminate any and every percentage of separation from our minds, no matter how small. 1%. .01%. It matters not. Whole is whole. Any degree of separation is separation.
Equal-mindedness, dispassion, unity, contextuality does not permit of any degree of separation.
It’s also true to say, I believe, that the longest journey can be made in a flash. But that is a different subject.
All this morning I worked with the notion of “the 99%,” “worldwide,” and “billions,” in the same way that one kneads dough. I kept kneading, kneading and kneading the concept and I went through a most instructive process.
As I got each part of the conceptualization – the 99%, the billions, worldwide – I felt freer and freer and freer.
It left me in such a good mood that I’ve been smiling all day, everywhere I go. Smiling on the bus, smiling at coffee, smiling at the beach, smiling in the supermarket.
It was sunny here today. I had coffee with a friend near English Bay – the fellow who introduced me to 2012. And whenever I go down by English Bay I carry a bag full of split peas to feed the pigeons. So, after coffee during which I smiled and smiled and smiled, my friend and I went down to the beach and we fed this big bag to the birds.
They sat on our heads, arms and everywhere. One even let me hold him. Part of me sensed that the pigeons were so tame because they sensed an absence of evil intention. I knew somewhere that the love I felt at that moment from having climbed to 99% was capable of being sensed. In this case by birds, but by everyone I met, really.
Another example: I ran into an older woman in the bakery section at Safeway. She had her few purchases lined up on the bakery shelf and was counting her money again and again. I presumed she was seeing how she was going to afford what she wanted. I watched and watched and then could not resist myself, so good did I feel. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a $20 and slipped it into her hand. She was ecstatic and I had to get her to shoosh, lest someone think I just robbed her.
I know. You’re saying: so what? Well, the “so what” is that I could see the impact of having gotten things up to 99%. I was on cloud nine. But I also sensed that the prize, which would be huge by comparison even with that, awaited getting it up to 100%.
If you read the sages of all times preceding this age, you’ll see that they say over and over again what I’m referring to here, but in slightly different language. They say that one cannot achieve unitive consciousness until one has transcended the slightest degree of separation (not forever but for at least a moment).
They say this in various ways: That the heart must be totally purified of worldliness (not 99% purified), that the mind must be totally stilled, without a single thought disturbing it or a single vasana ruffling it, that not a single desire can arise, etc., but I assure you that, to the best of my knowledge, despite the difference in wording, the meaning is the same as the difference between 99% and 100%. Let’s look at some of these summations of the need for total action (not as something that must be sustained forever, but as something that must be attained or achieved).
The Upanishads: “When through discrimination the heart has become pure, then, in meditation, the Impersonal Self is revealed.” (1)
Paramahansa Ramakrishna: “The upshot of the whole thing is that, no matter what path you follow, yoga is impossible unless the mind becomes quiet.” (2)
Ramana Maharshi: “Even though one practices kevala nirvikalpa samadhi [seventh-chakra God realization] for years together, if one has not rooted out the vasanas [the waves in the mind], he will not attain salvation [permanent heart-opening in sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi].” (3)
Rinzai: “Apply the mind and at once there’s differentiation; rouse a thought and at once there’s error. The person who can understand this never ceases to be right before my eyes.” (4)
Krishnamurti: “When the mind is entirely free of this structure of desire, is the mind then different from the void?” (5)
Krishnamurti: “Positive and negative continuance are similar. The gathering centre is desire, the desire for the more or the less. This centre is the self, placed at different levels according to one’s conditioning. Any activity of this centre only brings about the further continuity of itself.” (6)
St. John of the Cross: “To undertake the journey to God the heart must be burned and purified of all creatures with the fire of divine love.” (7)
Paramahansa Ramnakrishna: “You cannot succeed in this path if you have the slightest trace of worldliness.” (8)
If what we’re considering is unitive consciousness, then separation is an impure heart; unity is a pure heart. Separation is a thought arising; unity is a quiet mind. Separation is worldliness, desire; unity is no worldliness, no desire. Etc.
That the mind has no degrees of separation means that we have gone past even the 99% to 100%. It means that nothing stands between us – no thought, no desire, no differentiation – and that which we regard.
As we come nearer and nearer to that state, we experience more and more love, much as I did with the pigeons and the woman in the Safeway. But we don’t experience divine love until the mind is totally purified of all thoughts, things, desires, worldliness, and that does not come until we see and love 100% of the world and not just 99%.
Divine love is not the same as ordinary love. It is totally transformative. Once in that state, I believe (I have only had brief glimpses of it, but remember them well), unitive consciousness comes with it.
Having said all this, I hasten to add that at the end of the cycle, we no longer have to work as hard as the seekers in Jesus’ time did for a still mind, a purified heart, and unitive consciousness. Sananada told us as much in The Crystal Stair:
“Yes, we have requirements. I use the word rather facetiously, for compared to the requirements for those who have already ascended before this time, they are really rather easy requirements. [He then states the requirements and continues:] That’s it. You see, it is not very difficult, is it? … You can have the experience of Ascension even in your sleep. You do not need to become a great saint or yogi.” (9)
People are working feverishly to complete what karma they can but past the point they reach, whatever it is, all will be forgiven by the law of grace, as SaLuSa tells us.
“With the end times rapidly drawing so near, may souls have elected to take on all remaining karmic experiences. For many it is therefore a hectic time, particularly at a personal level. When you ascend, karma will have been cleared by you or ‘written off’ through the Law of Grace.” (10)
So we have an easy time of it compared to the saints and sages of earlier times. It will be easier for us to release our vasanas, quiet our minds, and let go of worldliness. It will be easier for us to realize and love the 1o0%.
But we have to knead the dough. We have to play with, work with these concepts. We need to find a way to move, in our minds – and not just as a good idea but as a lived reality – from the 99% to 100%.
Ninety-nine percent is a great milestone, I think. It’s progress. It has brought us a long way. But I believe it will be a far greater milestone with a far greater impact to be able to conceive of and realize, in complete allowance and forgiveness, the whole, the unity – the 100%.
(1) Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester, trans., The Upanishads. Breath of the Eternal. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1957; c1948, 47. By the “Impersonal Self” is meant Brahman or God the Father, the Tracendental, the Formless.
(2) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Nikhilananda, Swami, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 248. [Hereafter GSR.] By “quiet” is meant that not a wave or vasana stirs in the mind.
(3) Sri Ramana Maharshi in Ramanananda Swarnagiri, Crumbs from His Table.http://www.ramana-maharshi.org . Downloaded 10 September 2005, n.p.
(4) Lin Chi [Rinzai] in Burton Watson, trans., The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai]. A Translation of the Lin-Chi Lu. Boston and London: Shambala, 1993, 58. Rinzai is saying that the moment one differentiates, which is to say the moment a thought arises in the mind, the stillness is broken and the achievement of permanent samadhi cannot be attained. But again, the emphasis is on the attainment of perfect stillness. Once permanent samadhi (or sahaja nirvaiklapa samadhi) is attained, the mind can be allowed to become active again with no injury. Moreover the effort to achieve perfect stillness does not mean that one does not take time out from practice to use the mind in everyday life.
(5) Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. Third Series. Bombay, etc.: B.I. Publications, 37. [Hereafter COL]
(6) Krishnamurti, COL, 2, 108.
(7) St. John of the Cross in Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez, trans. Complete Works of St. John of the Cross. Washington: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973, 75. By “creatures,” I think St. John of the Cross means any created thing. The Formless is neither a thing nor a creature or creation. Thus we have to abandon all desire for anything but the Formless.
(8) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 354. By “worldliness,” I believe Sri Ramakrishna means “anything but God.”
(9) Sananda in The Crystal Stair, Eric Klein, med. Livermore: Outen House, 1992; c1990, 26-7.
(10) SaLuSa, Aug. 3, 2011, at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm