For those who have experienced awakening it’s obvious that there is no individual self in operation, that we have simply imagined that the “I” is a concrete reality. A handy imagining, to be sure, and entirely natural, but a belief in something unreal nonetheless.
It is also obvious that the things that seem to happen out of this imaginary “me” actually do seem to happen here in the world of 3D. Decisions come forth, actions are taken, words spoken. Circumstances ebb and flow and responses to those movements alter along with the movements themselves. It’s commen in the non-dual community to hear the explanation for this to be that there is nothing happening and no one to do it in any case. While this is fundamentally true it can feel wholly empty and inadequate as it provides nothing to grab onto, and despite no self being present the functions we have always attributed to that empty belief are still in operation: there is desire for something to grab onto when it comes to these matters.
So, if there is no me or you deciding, acting, speaking, flowing with circumstances, what is it that is happening?
Spontaneous, seamless appearance, that’s what. Never anything via our own volition but simply a nano-moment by nano-moment flash, endlessly repeated, of what we call ourselves, our world, the physical universe. It shows up as a oneness unit in each of those moments and as a fresh and whole new oneness in the next. And yup, not physical and not in something called time, except in our labeling and beliefs. It just is, and that isness is never what we’d thought it to be. It cannot be explained, not even truly be discussed, as all explanations and discussions involve concepts that are profoundly just that… concepts. Great fun, good old-fashioned mind candy, but mere ideas and thoughts and hence always but wisps of smoke, grabbed onto by we grabbing-on humans. Another wholly natural and handy imagining, this thinking that we think we know.
The good news? Seeing this spontaneous projection of life clearly, accepting it unequivocably is the core of enlightenment as well as total realization that suffering need not be. In fact, living this in the moment makes suffering impossible. Experiencing that all is showing up as a singularity that is at once completely unavoidable and at the same time utterly desirable causes suffering to seem ludicrous. It is the burden of false responsibility gone forever.
For in the end we have no responsibility as decision-makers, action-takers, word-sayers. We can no more help what comes out of and from us than a tree does in how its branches grow, it’s leaves unfurl, its roots spread. We are as natural and unself-conscious as that tree but do not realize it until awakening, although it can take some time before the wholeness of that is absorbed. Awakening is but a boarder crossed, it is not the territory.
There is much to be traverssed from that point forward. A lifetime of believing in the illusion of self, world, choice and control does not dissolve instantly. But dissolve it does. We will continue to act as if… as if we decide, as if we choose and have control and that’s as it should be as it’s how the game of life is played. Yet we are but conduits for those and what seem to be the after-effects and consequences of those. It’s all the same.
Meanwhile, whether you are a seeker or one who has already awoken, pay attention to the moment. A clear open view of the reality of how everything shows up is readily available. Just sit, look, wait. It’s here every moment for it is just what is, and this can absolutely be seen.