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The Question of Being

--by Adyashanti (Apr 21, 2014)
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Above the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi were written the words, “Know Thyself.” Jesus came along and added a sense of urgency and consequence to the ancient idea when he said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

What Jesus is saying is that spirituality is serious business, with serious consequences. Your life hangs precariously in the balance, teetering between a state of unconscious sleepwalking and eyes-wide-open spiritual enlightenment. The fact that most people do not see life this way testifies to how deeply asleep and in denial they truly are.

Within each of our forms lies the existential mystery of being. Apart from one’s physical appearance, personality, gender, history, occupation, hopes and dreams, comings and goings, there lies an eerie silence, an abyss of stillness charged with an etheric presence. For all of our anxious business and obsession with triviality, we cannot completely deny this phantasmal essence at our core. And yet we do everything we can to avoid its stillness, its silence, its utter emptiness and intimate embrace.

To remain unconscious of being is to be trapped within an ego-driven wasteland of conflict, strife, and fear that only seems customary because we have been brainwashed into a state of suspended disbelief where a shocking amount of hate, dishonesty, ignorance, and greed are viewed as normal and sane. But it is not sane, not even close to being sane. Nor is it based in reality. In fact, nothing could be less real than what we human beings call reality.

By clinging to the mind in the form of memory and thought, we are held captive by the movement of our conditioned thinking and imagination, all the while believing that we are perfectly rational and sane. We therefore continue to justify the reality of what causes us, as well as others, immeasurable amounts of pain and suffering.

Deep down we all suspect that something is very wrong with the way we perceive life but we try very, very hard not to notice it. And the way we remain blind to our frightful condition is through an obsessive and pathological denial of being -- as if some dreadful fate would overcome us if we were to face the pure light of truth and lay bare our fearful clinging to illusion.

The question of being is everything. Nothing could be more important or consequential -- nothing where the stakes run so high. To remain unconscious of being is to remain asleep to our own reality and therefore asleep to reality at large. The choice is simple: awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep. 

-- Adyashanti


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22 Previous Reflections:

 
On Apr 23, 2014 gayathri wrote:

 simply ahaa moment!



On Apr 23, 2014 rajesh wrote:

 Please help me understand this passage better. For example: "Your life hangs precariously in the balance, teetering between a state of unconscious sleepwalking and eyes-wide-open spiritual enlightenment." I believe i am on a journey from somewhat darker to somewhat brighter. I don't understand this teetering nor hanging precariously.

I also believe that this journey may not be all stillness, it might also be in doing, in constant motion (not agitation, but deliberate, slow action) - one step, one prayer at at time.

And i am not sure of: "awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep." I accept my 'being' and am happy to awaken. But this life has also some meaning and is part of the awakening. To me, it might not be an endless sleep or a full awakening, but somewhere in the middle. It is a mystery and most likely will remain a mystery after all.



On Apr 23, 2014 Carlton wrote:

 Is there a  reason that the audio does not match the text provided ? The first two paragraphs (above) were not included in the audio presentation of the text. 



On Apr 23, 2014 Harmony1 wrote:

 I wanted to comment on the art/picture here. I love the various patches depicting life's "patchwork" accumulated over time and the question of "who's under there?" Love this.



On Apr 22, 2014 Ammi wrote:

 Being means awareness that I am. Just that. I am. I allow myself to happen, just as I am. When I start to think about what is conditioned thinking and what is truly me, I am already moving away from simply being. The conditioned me is also just meant to be, just as it is. Accept it and just be.



On Apr 22, 2014 Syd wrote:

 When I felt my value as nothingness when I was small boy I lost contact with my being from within.  I thought I had holes in soul.  I looked at my body to see if I had holes in my soul.  My value being nothingness grew into feeling powerless, overwhelmed and hopeless.  This created overheated mental associations, as my mind became filled with terror.  By gradually releasing my fears from within, forty years, I have now just begun to touch faith from within.  I have noticed this real faith from within has nothing to do with beliefs, as it is more the recognition of the actual support of presence and Being right now.  This faith is an unshakable confidence and allows the moment to emerge without doubts or beliefs.  I notice this faith is stillness and being.     This faith as being (Presence) feels like just a place to begin.  It is like I will begin over and over and over as being.  The hard part for me is this begi  See full.

 When I felt my value as nothingness when I was small boy I lost contact with my being from within.  I thought I had holes in soul.  I looked at my body to see if I had holes in my soul.  My value being nothingness grew into feeling powerless, overwhelmed and hopeless.  This created overheated mental associations, as my mind became filled with terror.  By gradually releasing my fears from within, forty years, I have now just begun to touch faith from within.  I have noticed this real faith from within has nothing to do with beliefs, as it is more the recognition of the actual support of presence and Being right now.  This faith is an unshakable confidence and allows the moment to emerge without doubts or beliefs.  I notice this faith is stillness and being.    

This faith as being (Presence) feels like just a place to begin.  It is like I will begin over and over and over as being.  The hard part for me is this beginning does not allow my ego to accomplishing something.  It takes me back to having this sensation I have holes in my soul and my human nature abhors this vacuum.  It feels like a death walk, nonidentification with my ego, and faith within says there can be no clinging to the endless activity of my mind as a source of identity.  So if being is a place to begin and faith is real than stillness is the essence of Being. 

This is not totally clear to me as I have just begun.  The best I can tell being is a clear, quiet mind, knowing and recognizing the unity of Being.  The hard part is I do not know, only just faith is the beginning of being with Being.               
 

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4 replies: Harmony1, Syd, Me, Syd | Post Your Reply
On Apr 22, 2014 harmony1 wrote:

 Love: Residing and resonating within. Beyond imagination, beyond view, yet closer than anything I have ever known, is this.  The light within us, is.  It is the peaceful way. It is the peaceful knowing of perfect love, perfect truth, and the eternal embrace of life and being.



On Apr 22, 2014 Deven P Shah wrote:

 Being to me means being aware of my soul and how it's connected to universal conscience. It's detaching myself from ego, emotions, desires, wants and enjoying the every moment.



On Apr 22, 2014 poornima wrote:

 There is an immense potential in each of us, multitudes of possibilities in each one of us. To pretend we are less than what we are is really a sin. As they say each one us are guilty of 'all the good we did not do'.



On Apr 20, 2014 david doane wrote:

 The author emphasizes that being is what is most important and offers an abundance of criticism of us for avoiding and denying being -- I wish he had said more about being and embracing being.  I think my being is my soul.  Being expresses and differentiates into all beings, animate and inanimate.  My being is my little piece of Being.  It is my essence.  And it is for me to listen to, acknowledge, value, accept, know, express my being.  As is said, what good does it do to gain the whole world and lose one's being or soul.  For me the process starts with being still and listening to my inner being.  What is truly within us is deeper than conditioned thinking.  I think I'm being faithful to my inner being when my inner being/voice/truth is more important to me than what others or society says is right or wrong.  Sometimes I realize that I have fooled myself when I realize that I was listening to conditioned thinking -- sometimes i  See full.

 The author emphasizes that being is what is most important and offers an abundance of criticism of us for avoiding and denying being -- I wish he had said more about being and embracing being.  I think my being is my soul.  Being expresses and differentiates into all beings, animate and inanimate.  My being is my little piece of Being.  It is my essence.  And it is for me to listen to, acknowledge, value, accept, know, express my being.  As is said, what good does it do to gain the whole world and lose one's being or soul.  For me the process starts with being still and listening to my inner being.  What is truly within us is deeper than conditioned thinking.  I think I'm being faithful to my inner being when my inner being/voice/truth is more important to me than what others or society says is right or wrong.  Sometimes I realize that I have fooled myself when I realize that I was listening to conditioned thinking -- sometimes it's hard to know what I'm listening to.  I hope I listen more closely the next time.  Practice helps. 

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1 reply: Jyoti | Post Your Reply
On Apr 19, 2014 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 timely. Here's the blog post I shared on the 17th Every Light Has a Shadow; The Bravery of Acceptance. Indeed when we bring forth and accept all that is within us it frees us and often helps others. Being  all of who we are feels more "real" to others around us too and allows them to be who they are. http://storytellerkp.com/every-light-shadow-bravery-acceptance/  I hope the post helps you to be all of who you are too. HUG from my heart to yours. Kristin



On Apr 18, 2014 Jagdish P Daveh wrote:

 This insightful writing rings bell in my mind. I hear the clear sound when I am still. I call it my being zone, the here and now consciousness. It has been very helpful to me to be mindful of my ego created and ego sustained world of illusion. When I go through the cycle of self -created suffering, I give myself space to move into the being zone. I let the thoughts, feelings and emotions be processed mindfully and get connected with the presence of my being. The most precious gift I can to my self is this presence of being. This process helps me to make wise and wholesome choices and bring  peace and deep sense of contentment. It is an ongoing journey that requires me to remain awakened and not go back to sleep. I slip and compassionately acknowledge and accept my slip or nap taking. My mistakes have been a wake up call for me to return to the being zone. I feel like I am coming home. When I was young I used to listen to a song of awakening. It is in Hindi, an Ind  See full.

 This insightful writing rings bell in my mind. I hear the clear sound when I am still. I call it my being zone, the here and now consciousness. It has been very helpful to me to be mindful of my ego created and ego sustained world of illusion. When I go through the cycle of self -created suffering, I give myself space to move into the being zone. I let the thoughts, feelings and emotions be processed mindfully and get connected with the presence of my being. The most precious gift I can to my self is this presence of being. This process helps me to make wise and wholesome choices and bring  peace and deep sense of contentment. It is an ongoing journey that requires me to remain awakened and not go back to sleep. I slip and compassionately acknowledge and accept my slip or nap taking. My mistakes have been a wake up call for me to return to the being zone. I feel like I am coming home.

When I was young I used to listen to a song of awakening. It is in Hindi, an Indian language. It was a call of awakening. The poet sang: O the traveler. The night has gone away, The dawn has arrived. How long will you remain asleep? Wake up.The one who wakes up gains everything, the one who keeps on sleeping loses everything. I enjoyed singing that song everyday like a mantra. When I would take a step leading me to the dark zone, this mantra helps me to wake up. That mantra came to my heart as I was reading this very insightful writing.

This writing also reminded me of the dilemma that Duryodhana, one of the main characters in Indian epic Mahabarat. He says: I know what is the right thing to do but I don't do it. I know what is the wrong thing to do but I do not refrain from it. This prince represents the dark zone we all go through and get stuck with it. Knowing by itself is not enough. Applying it , practicing it even in small measures is the way to ending our suffering. For me , it is an ongoing process. At times the open, vast and clear sky of being gets clouded by me and when I mindfully go though it, the clouds clear up and there I am in the clear light of my being. What a blessing! It is a wonderful life.

I am grateful to Adishanti for reminding me to stay the course of awakening and receiving gifts and blessings from the flow of life, from my own being

Jagdish P Dave

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On Apr 18, 2014 Conrad P Pritscher wrote:

 When I am open and awareI can more easily distinguish between condition thinking and what is truly within me. I think I am so unconscious so often that it is difficult for me to know. As far as I can see, all I can be said about being is: "being is." It is an incomprehensible mystery as is the universe. As Lao Tzu implied, being is the way. He also said: "the way that can be said is not the way." The 1st time I sat to meditate, during my late 50s, tears came to my eyes. That  to me was bringing forth well was within me. The question of being fascinates me but I cannot say what it is. Nor can I say what experiences yet I can more or less describe a particular experience and distinguish it from another particular experience. as I can say some different words about one being and another being. When all beings are part of one being. It is more difficult to speak about.I think questioning being and attempting to use the words surrounding it, are fine if it leads us to be more ki  See full.

 When I am open and awareI can more easily distinguish between condition thinking and what is truly within me. I think I am so unconscious so often that it is difficult for me to know. As far as I can see, all I can be said about being is: "being is." It is an incomprehensible mystery as is the universe. As Lao Tzu implied, being is the way. He also said: "the way that can be said is not the way." The 1st time I sat to meditate, during my late 50s, tears came to my eyes. That  to me was bringing forth well was within me. The question of being fascinates me but I cannot say what it is. Nor can I say what experiences yet I can more or less describe a particular experience and distinguish it from another particular experience. as I can say some different words about one being and another being. When all beings are part of one being. It is more difficult to speak about.I think questioning being and attempting to use the words surrounding it, are fine if it leads us to be more kind and compassionate to everyone and everything. Thanks for the opportunity to respond. Warm and kind regards to everyone.

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