Within most religious and spiritual doctrine there is another hidden message which is beyond belief, process, path and the teaching of personal endeavour. It is a revelation out of which can arise a radically different perception of reality. The Open Secret explores the essence of various traditional and contemporary practices and attempts to expose the myths that surround the mystery to which they aspire.
It also reveals the way in which seeking for fulfilment can only reinforce the sense of continuously reaching out for something that has never been lost.
The dynamic of this communication is essentially energetic, and this can nullify the mind's need for ideas and answers and dissipate the contracted sense of the self and its fear of unconditional freedom.
The Open Secret is not new . . . and also it is. Its fundamental essence and content is to be found in the apparent history of seeking originating in Advaita Vedanta, Non-dualism, a particular Zen Buddhism and Christian mysticism. These subjects are explored in more liberally-minded schools and are certainly part of the University curriculum. This message also embraces recent discoveries of quantum physicists, neuroscientists and biologists.
Excerpts from the new book 'This Freedom'
So what we are sharing together is the exposure of the artificial construct of 'me', the illusory feeling that it is real and has real choice, and the awful and wonderful futility of the effort it makes to find fulfilment. We will share the illumination that the 'me' lives in a world that is finite; a subject-object world. It can only exist in that world. It exists there by being self-conscious. At a very early age self-consciousness takes over, "I am aware of myself". It grows and it grows and what is sought is limited by its personal experience of that contracted reality. It seeks the infinite in an artificially finite experience that it dreams is real.
So the seeker is constantly looking from the point of view of being a subject. It is constantly looking for an object called self-fulfilment. What we are sharing together is that this whole effort is completely and utterly futile, because of the nature of 'me'. Constantly the response here will be to point to the illusory dream of there being a 'me' and to the arising of another possibility.
So should the seeker stop seeking?
This is not a message about seeking or not seeking. The 'me' energy can only seek and try to come back home. That is all it can do. When it thinks it has lost wholeness all it can do is to try and find wholeness. People believe that if they reach the pinnacle of purity, which is just a mind creation, they will then be worthy of freedom. That is the problem the 'me' has. It loves the idea of becoming pure, because it believes it is unworthy. The whole teaching of becoming is based on a fallacy that the 'me' needs to change, whereas 'me' is just wholeness appearing to be 'me'. It is meaningless and without purpose.
Because the apparent self can only arise through its personal experience, knowing or self-awareness, its search for a deeper meaning will be limited to that which it can know and experience for itself. Within these limitations there are a multitude of doctrines, therapies, ideologies, spiritual teachings and belief systems that the seeker can come to know. There can also be the knowing and experiencing of states of silence, stillness, bliss, awareness and detachment, all of which seem to come and go like night and day.
All of these teachings, recommendations and prescriptions are attempting to provide the seeker with answers to that which is unknowable, and ways to find that which has never been lost.
For energy to start to contract it must have a sense of being in crisis?
The moment of separation is so powerful and so awful, we forget it. There is nothing worse than separating from wholeness. When you are in love with someone and they reject you it is hugely painful. But rejection from wholeness is much more. 'Me' can never remember this. The strange thing is that behind the story there is a sense of something else that is a resonance that something seems lost. There is the belief that one day 'me' will find it again. "Because I am very influential, I can make my life work because I own thoughts and emotions and so I can own enlightenment". It is part of the story to have a teaching that is about 'me' becoming enlightened. But in a way all that the 'me' is trying to do is recompense for that awful loss.
Can you say more on the separation and awareness, and meditation?
Awareness is the accomplice of separation. Awareness is a function which requires something for it to be aware of. When awareness arises there is a subject aware of an object. That is awareness. It is a fallacy that you should become more aware. The whole construct of self-enquiry reinforces separation. It is generally acknowledged that trying to stay in a focused awareness or knowing is impossible, and that is because these are all functional states that, by their very nature, are transient. Failing to stay in focused awareness reinforces the sense of unworthiness.
Meditation is a slightly different construct; it is still trying to get something. All that is being suggested here is that there is no one and nothing to do; there is no path.
So how did the 'I/me' come to make such a big mistake?
Nobody made a mistake. Energy just appeared as an individual. Nobody did it. The 'I' feels as if it has lost something and therefore, now that it is an identity, there must be something wrong with it. So then the 'I' goes to find out what is wrong with it and tries to learn how to be better. It is a completely futile activity based on a false assumption.
I understand it but I still want to seek.
The 'I' is the seeking. It is futile but it can only seek because it is constantly aware and therefore separate. In some way or other, when the absolute dilemma is exposed, there can be a recognition of the ridiculousness of it all. Then there can be an 'aahh!' and possibly something can collapse, apparently.
Can the fear stop it happening?
'Me' tries everything to stop it happening. 'Me' naturally rejects this message because it means that 'me' would die. Nothing can stop it happening because it doesn't happen. When suddenly 'me' collapses there is an instant recognition, by no one, that there never was anyone or anything to collapse. There can be a lot of fear because it is apparently impersonal. 'Me' wants to know it is OK.
So the self is the separate seeker that pursues everything that it thinks it can know and do, excepting the absence of itself. That absence is the emptiness which is unknowable, but paradoxically it is also the very fullness, the wholeness that is longed for.