In the past, I’ve mentioned that I had studied Buddhism for 10 years as a narcissist without any of it actually penetrating my mind – at least not very deeply and not in any meaningful way.
Over the course of the past month things have changed rather dramatically. Yet each time I think I understand some new aspect of my unfolding process; I hit a new wall and am forced to reconsider things in a new way.
These past couple of days, something has been made abundantly clear to me. The Buddha was NEVER trying to walk us through some sort of mystical experience. Every part of his teachings was about practical and experiential learning. His entire teaching is about opening ourselves up to reality!
Before these experiences, I always focused on the mindfulness side of things and largely ignored everything else. Now, as I study the Abhidhamma in order to better understand my own experiences and chart a path forward, the truth of it has all come crashing down.
As expressed in one of the segments from ‘What the Bleep Do We Know’, we are essentially a four layered bio-body suit with five sensory inputs and an aggregate of mind. What lies within the four-layered bio-body suit is a conscious spirit.
The problem is, for the four-layered bio-body suit to be truly useful to the oneness that we are all connected to; it had to be capable of higher order thinking. Unfortunately this higher order thinking has a built in flaw called circular patterns of thinking.
Every aspect of the concept of I is a false concept that arises from circular patterns of thinking. It is a symptom of our limited ability to perceive things as they really are. We have only our five senses and our mind with which to perceive; because of this our experience is one of separateness and division.
The truth of the matter is far simpler and more beautiful. We are not separate – we are one. Everything that exists in the universe is a part of the same construct, whether conscious or not. This construct is built from atoms, which are composed of smaller and smaller components until we reach a harmonic.
Free-will is the choice to remain caught in circular patterns thinking, or to free ourselves from this pattern and allow the spirit within to arise and take its rightful place in the four layer bio-body suit. This concept may sound frightening, but it is not.
Our sense of separateness, based on the limits of our human perceptions, is what gives rise to the formation of the ego. The ego begins to claim all experiences as real and asserts itself as a way to interact with this ‘real’ world. The ego exists as a pattern of circular thinking in our minds.
If we truly examine our internal world, as the Buddha taught, we become aware that our sense of ‘self’ is nothing more than circular patterns of thinking. What the Buddha is also telling us – and the real core of his message is that this noise is what separates us from the oneness, or god if you prefer.
Every part of his teaching is about how to quiet this noise and allow the spirit within to emerge. Most people are unable to embrace this concept because of our attachment to the concept of “I, me, and mine – as a distinct and separate being” that the ego manifests.
The ENTIRE path is about preparing this vessel we call a body so that the spirit within can emerge and experience the world in its fullness. The spirit within knows that this world is nothing more than an illusion – a hologram really, so it does not get caught up in the same kinds of patterns that we do.
There’s more, but the most striking thing is the degree of attachment that we have to our egos and how trapped we remain on the carousel of life when we listen to our egos instead of our hearts. Personally I still maintain that my heart is the spirit within – but those are just labels.
What this experience really boils down to is returning this body back to its originally intended purpose – the purpose of allowing the oneness to fully experience and understand itself. And what a marvelous gift this is for us… IF we allow ourselves the room needed to see and escape our patterns.
There is no ‘loss’ in the sense that one might comprehend at the level of an egoic mind state. The ego wants to hold on – because it thinks that it exists. In reality, the ego is just a made up thing that tries to exert control over the four-layered bio-body suit.
There are indeed a number of ‘experiences’ that arise as our understanding of these truths goes deeper and deeper. None of them are mystical though – they are entirely natural. We perceive them as mystical because they do not fit into our fictional understanding of the way things work.
We look at those who have escaped these patterns or are working to do so as if they are insane, or going insane. Reality dictates that the opposite is true. And this is what the Buddha, Jesus, and many other great teachers have been trying to communicate to us for centuries – insanity is continuing to take part in the delusion!
The Buddha’s path was simple. Free yourself from your patterns and rediscover your most basic nature. The nature of oneness, the nature of love. Having experienced the truth of this for myself, I no longer study Buddhism… I now walk the path…