Sunday, May 18th 2014 – Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
It is such a pleasure and an honour to be able to send you these articles and know that they are being read by thoughtful and wise people who care so deeply about this topic. I send thanks to every person who reads these selections from us, and also to those who write in with their reactions and responses to our articles.
For today’s issue, I’ve reverted to the style for which I was originally invited to participate in this great publication: something that I call the “Highlights of the Highlights.” In this case, I’d like to share with you a handful of selections from some of my favourite issues that were curated by our co-editor Gloria Lee in the past 6 months of so. She has a great eye for photography and the visual image, but you may agree that these selections also showcase her great talent for selecting wise words on the topic of nonduality.
After selflessly providing several years of service and wonderful content, Gloria is taking an indeterminate hiatus from our publication for personal reasons, but we certainly hope that she returns to us at her earliest opportunity.
The essence of saintliness is total acceptance of the present moment, harmony with things as they happen. A saint does not want things to be different from what they are; he knows that, considering all factors, they are unavoidable. He is friendly with the inevitable and, therefore, does not suffer. Pain he may know, but it does not shatter him. If he can, he does the needful to restore the lost balance – or lets things take their course.
—From I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, 1973
But what I remember most about that day was that my heart opened in a way it never had before. I felt a powerful and all-encompassing love, not for anyone or anything in particular but for all of creation. And the next time I did lsd, a few months later, I felt that unconditional love again. I felt it every time I did lsd. I also saw more clearly that behind our seemingly separate bodies and personalities we share one consciousness. And, over time, I realized that if I was willing to leave a little more of “Sy” at the door, if you will, I’d experience myself as part of something far more interesting: everything that wasn’t me. Then, on one trip, I no longer had a choice about how much of “Sy” to leave behind. I was “gone, gone beyond, gone beyond beyond,” as the Buddhists say. And when I finally came back from that place where “I” no longer seemed to exist, when I was back in my body and back in my more-or-less-rightful mind, the love coursing through me was exponentially more powerful and more expansive than ever before. And I knew with absolute certainty that all I wanted to do from then on was to serve others. And I knew, too, that the best way to do this was never to announce it; that if you wear your spiritual heart on your sleeve, even though it might come from good intentions, it will inevitably create a sense of separation between yourself and another person.
—From an interview with Sy Safransky, founder of The Sun magazine, on the topic of the spiritual awakenings he experienced on LSD and how they shaped his path going forward
Stop trying to have someone else’s experience. Stop chasing freedom or happiness, or even spiritual enlightenment. Stand in your own shoes and examine closely what’s happening right here and right now.
At some point in my journey from Here to Here, it became clear that ALL states of consciousness (“being in the Now” AND being entranced by thoughts and stories) are equally included in What Is, and that ALL of them are passing experiences. All these different experiences are impersonal in the sense that they have no owner, no author, no subject—they are simply expressions of nature like the ever-changing movements of the outer weather. It was realized that biting my fingers is simply a compulsive happening of nature that is no more wrong or unenlightened or personally caused than a thunderstorm or a cloudy day or a gnarled up tree or any other expression of nature. It doesn’t MEAN anything “about me.”
That discovery or realization was a big relief. The NEED to get rid of this compulsion and all the ideas about what it meant about me fell away. The biting continues off and on when it does, but there is no judgment or evaluation of it, none of the previous conflict with it that used to be present. The interest and the inclination to pay total attention to it in any given moment (to “be in the Now” with it) may or may not arise, and it doesn’t matter either way. There is no longer any idea that “being here now” is the superior spiritual state and that “I” must make that happen.
Only in the absence of the doer will you know what is to be done.
When your mind is still, you have no name, you have no past, you have no relationships, you have no country, you have no spiritual attainment, you have no lack of spiritual attainment. There is just the presence of beingness with itself.