As you may have heard me say on other occasions, that both knowledge and experience of Consciousness are necessary for enlightenment. It’s also wise to add that the underlying assumption about reality is one of non-necessity. Here, non-necessity refers to the “reason” as to why life occurs. Life, the play of relativity, the manifestation of worlds, is without purpose. Consciousness therefore, plays. Manifestation is play. It’s not the outcome of a serious agenda with a specific purpose. It has no goal. Understanding that consciousness is play, that the universe comes out of pure consciousness without reason, without destination, without even a clear point of origin, allows us to relax and begin to inspect our experience through meditation and self-inquiry. Directly we can inspect, we can investigate, we can look into, meditate upon our direct experience in order to fathom what is. This sort of attitude is conducive to realization.
If you have a demand or a theory as to why existence manifests and then seek enlightenment for the reason of justifying your own theory, you will never attain liberation. Not in this birth and not in any future birth. Theories, here, include religious theories, metaphysical theories, theories that come out of India, Tibet, China, Japan, America, all over the world. Theorizing is a natural capability of the human mind and intellect. Imagination is a key ingredient of the ability to imagine and investigate, to wonder and think. Those are natural capabilities. But when we are talking about realizing Consciousness, realizing what our consciousness is, we can only look to see how it functions, how it behaves. When you look subjectively in that way, it becomes meditation. When you are simply observing the movement of thought, where thought begins, where it exists as it proceeds and what happens to it when it subsides. That’s the investigation of subjective human consciousness and that area is covered, thoroughly by meditation. In meditation you are allowed to delve into that area where you experience clearly, the relationship of the subject, the object and the process of knowing.
To look innocently at that process just for what it is, how it arises, how it subsides is meditation. To see how the contents of consciousness are relative, that in which they inhere is Absolute. But as to gaining a sense of unity, acquiring a sense of unified consciousness, whereby consciousness is sensed to exist everywhere, in all things, purposely vibrating within itself, that requires a mind that is free from aggravation, the insult of aggravation. Aggravation, in this sense, means being consumed by some irritation and seeking an answer to the riddle of existence, to the paradox and mystery of existence. Once you learn to accept that there is not going to be any knowledge about Consciousness, there is only knowledge from inside of Consciousness then you are allowed to open your eyes in innocence. That presumes ridding oneself of the ache to know, “knowledge” here, meaning demand, the demand for knowledge, the demand that things make sense. Existence is rooted in non-necessity, it arises out of its own movement, which has no justification. There’s no justification for the whole appearance of the universe, including you, your appearance in it. It happens gratuitously, it happens for no reason. To say it happens for no reason does not suggest believing that there is no reason. That too is of the same fabric, that sort of believing or assuming, as the demand for knowledge.
So, when you intellectually relax and not continue to seek for explanations as to why there is suffering, why there is death, why you have to die, why there is (from a human perspective) tragedy. When you can release that whole degraded from of inquiry and enter into a lighter, easier attitude in which you are just looking to see what is, then there’s a possibility for real knowledge to arise. Spontaneously, insight happens, it can happen regarding how consciousnesses play, how the universe is play. It happens without ultimate result. It’s not known within the confines of a human mind, what its reason for manifestation is, how it continues to manifest and also the mechanics of its dissolution. There are no reasons for any of it.
So, when you abandon the academic or formal approach, which is mainstream, in other words, non-extraordinary, and embrace a more personalized and unique way of looking into your own experience, there is the possibility for real insight to occur. That insight happens when the mind is released of its insistence that things make sense, that things make sense according to a plan. Whether that plan is human or divine. There is no human plan, there is no divine plan, there is just the non-necessity of arising. Everything continues to arise, including your own perceptual experience because it’s already in motion and it’s best to assume that it will always be in motion. To try to find a place that is utterly at rest and outside the motion defies the game, the purity of the game. It insults the innocence of radical looking into, for no reason. So, as long as we are in this human body there will always be this ability to turn existence into something objective or to recognize it as a manifestation of one’s own subjectivity. That’s another way of saying the same thing, of turning object-based attention into simple subjective gazing. If you can innocently, naturally, spontaneously come upon this form of looking, which has no demand in it, which has no anger in it, then there is the possibility of observing something in the moment, something that is alive, living and that displays the play of Consciousness. That observation, that way of observing (there’s no distinction between the two), will give the kind of insight that does, in fact, bring the motion of the human mind to rest. Not rest inside of a smug answer, just rest, also, for no reason. Because balance has been achieved, homeostasis has been achieved, insight has been revealed. And the way in which these body-minds are structured is that they contain the whole movement and rest of the whole universe: the silence and the dynamism of the universal play.
If you have any questions either about this talk or about some other aspect of your curiosity, feel free to type your question in.
Moderator: First David, a comment from a participant in Massachusetts, “Recently, I’ve seen that while I may at some other time honor a call to human action, here with you I enjoy relaxing into the manifestation of all that is. Thank you for sharing this relaxed enlivenment.”
And from a participant in Australia, “It seems like spontaneous arising, Shakti gave me a visionary experience where I saw the spontaneous arising of conditional reality. Then consciousness plays in this for as long as it lasts.”
From a participant in Brooklyn, “I get knowledge coming to silence but not so clearly devotion coming to silence. Is the friction between jnana and bhakti like an engine of realization?”
David: Realization comes out of either or both or in the heated exchange of knowledge and feeling within oneself. Both are necessary. How they manifest in each individual’s experience will be unique. It’s not going to be what you imagine knowledge and feeling to be. You will just see how you must rest in your vital centers to be real. You also have to think and cognate to be real. When you see that these two tendencies are not in automatic alignment, you simply begin investigating what is beyond both them. Or, you can simply stay in either knowledge, which is discrimination; or feeling, which is devotion, and also the concern with beauty and beauty’s nature. All of these things come to play in realization. What’s important is that we don’t have a fixed idea, a solid conclusion as to what all these things mean and then try to align ourselves with it. There’s got to be this fundamental sense of trust operating, where you simply believe in where you are. You don’t try to change your initial stance, even if you think it’s delusional. You stay with what is. Within the movement of what is comes insight, not as something separate from what is; it’s something that’s revealed when you are comfortable inside yourself, although it can also come in other ways and in other instances.
Moderator: In regard to the talk you made, a comment from a participant near Nevada City, California: “Beautiful, incredible, brilliant, I love you, for the first time words brought transcendence.”
David: We are all interested in the same thing here, we are interested in investigating the nature of consciousness, which is the nature of Being and we area also interested in truth. Not truth as a fixed object somewhere that we are going to find, truth in the sense of authenticity, the truth of reality, of being real and of understanding that in realness, in relaxed realness comes reality. The temptation, the endless temptation is always to resort back to the mind in dilemma and try to solve something, as though a puzzle has to be put together, something that you can cleverly understand on your own. There is a certain amount of egoic awareness that is informed spiritually. So, in some sense, we cannot discard the subject, the separate subject. The separate subject is integral to the process of realization. At some point, the separate subject disappears in the sense of being permeated with transparency. And that is the climax to knowledge, to successful discrimination.
Realization is a spontaneous balancing that happens between active seeking and quiet repose. It’s a combination of these things, it’s not getting rid of the seeker. It’s not creating some ideal circumstance where the seeker has been understood or undermined or made transparent, it’s that the seeker simply continues in the process of natural hunger toward liberation until the experience appears, the experience of non-duality. That’s insight. That gives the climax of knowledge and of devotion, if one is on a devotional path.
As I was saying earlier, we are all here for the same thing, we are all gathered in this focus of observing what’s real. So, the thread of connection here is in the intensity of that concern. That’s what’s special about being here, why it’s special, is because of the great intensity, the fire that surrounds an investigation of reality, which is Consciousness, which is what is. Because we are not directing our attention toward some finite goal, some finite subject matter, it’s left open. And yet, the intensity can allow still for some kind of piercing in the discriminative process into Consciousness. And so, being here together like this is the real gesture of togetherness, just being here with each other, acknowledging that we are all on the same path, we are one in that sense. It doesn’t matter then whether one’s approach is 100% pure or 90% pure. We create a kind of structure in which everyone comes under the same house of recognition, so that realization is dispensed democratically, not based on individual merit. So, because of the democratic or non-structured way in which realization can be shared on this webcast, the only real criterion is whether we are simply entering into this unified concern and whether we donate our attention into that area. We give ourselves over, in love, in curiosity, in innocence to the investigation of what is, which is no investigation, which is not an investigation. We say “investigation” just to create some word to describe what happens, what this happening is.
Moderator: A Massachusetts viewer comments, “Such a lovely evening together for no reason.”
David: It’s so important to realize this understanding of “no reason”. Everything else is like a monkey on one’s back, digging in its claws. Those are the claws of demand, the demand to know, the demand to be satisfied with knowledge, the demand to end one’s suffering. Demand after demand creates an uncomfortable position in the present moment. It does not allow for the composure necessary to see and to accept what is, which is what arises. This process of arising spontaneously, in consciousness, to consciousness is the very essence of realization. It’s not about realizing something apart from the machinery, the activity of relative consciousness.
Moderator: A viewer in New York City is feeling “such pure aliveness saturating everything.”
Nevada City comments, “Demands destroy love.”
David: The observer will take on demands in order to solidify its existence. The observer creates an inherent sense of discomfort in the human individual. So, there’s a choice that has to be made about whether you are going to look into the discomfort of the observer or you’re going to follow up with it and try to pursue an answer based on anxiety. This is the crucial movement that an aspirant has to deal with, where one’s attention is going to go. So, if one has as a point of discrimination in the beginning that the revelation of Consciousness is a play and not some kind of dictated answer or condition, then innocence is freed up. In play, you can’t take it seriously, at least not in a strict or dogmatic sense. You play with awareness, you play with feeling, you play with intelligence. All those things come into play with play. But you cannot impose upon the play in order to understand what it is. There’s no vantage point outside of the play with which to become liberated or enlightened. So, enlightenment itself is that play, it’s the play and it’s the liberating effect of one’s total awareness. It’s the liberation of one’s total consciousness. But you have to, in some sense, be free at the beginning, with a correct view, that is, a view that is disarmed from the various forms of delusion that overtakes human beings, delusions having to do with self-grandeur, self-importance that somehow, something has to be revealed to you clearly in order for you to be satisfied.
So, instead of adopting that kind of demand-based viewpoint it’s best to take that apart, so that you relax. And then, in this company, in the company of with which I present to you, in which this atmosphere of Shakti initiation, non-duality and devotional intensity arise, there is the possibility for realization. Realization will only impact deeply when we are robbed of our intellectual agenda. This is commonly called “surrender,” it’s not a great word. Surrender doesn’t really capture the level of innocence that’s required to simply become disarmed spontaneously of one’s intellectual demands. Fortunately, this is not just a theory I’m giving you, it’s not some position that I’ve actually worked to perfection and then display to you, communicate to you. It’s rather just a work in progress, a work whereby the understanding is finding its way into that uncaused reality.
This atmosphere of Kundalini-shakti, divine intoxication, non-dual recognition arise spontaneously as atmosphere in this gathering, as an atmosphere, as an atmospheric transmission. Which really relieves you, relieves all of us of the responsibility of even having to worry about everything I just discussed. The reason I discuss it is in case someone is having a hard time with the mind. So, if the mind is constricted upon itself then it’s healthy to address it, it’s healthy to talk to it in the language of the mind, which is the language of thought and logic and reason, about what the nature of the difficulty is. But that will only act to dismantle mental congestion, mental stress over wrong intellectual approach. Beyond that, better than that is the transmission process of actually feeling the Shakti, feeling the devotional consciousness, feeling the recognition of the non-dual reality. Which all arise spontaneously here as play. Not as teaching, although teaching is postured on my end. Teaching is communicated but it’s quickly undermined by that which is most sublime, most powerful, rendering the teaching itself as a play now, not as a teaching merely.
Moderator: A participant in Santa Fe comments, “Such beautiful aliveness, thank you David.”
David: So, the best part of this evening is that we just spend time together. It doesn’t even matter what happens during this time in the sense of the arising of this special communication of divine atmosphere. We can’t control it either way. Be what we do in the meantime is simply discuss, engage, theorize until there’s a felt sensation of something sublime, something having to do with the field of understanding itself, of realization, something about existence; one’s own existence in this simple moment.
Moderator: A comment from a participant in Scottsdale, Arizona, “Yes, I was going ask about the role of grace but you answered it.” The participant comments, “I’m glad you spoke of play, it’s been my word of the week.”
A participant in Connecticut comments, “I came with a question pre-written on consciousness and you answered it. Thank you.”
And from Albuquerque, “This transmission was wonderful, thank you.”