Bill Carey: The Cornerstone of Reality is Consciousness & the Zen Gateless Gate

I came across an interesting insight by Bill carey on consciousness. Consciousness is a synonym for awareness for some writers on spirituality. My simple distinction is between the physical consciousness and the spiritual awareness. Awareness can be difficult to explain in a Nondual context. “Rupert Spira says;

“By ‘Awareness’ I mean whatever it is that is aware of our experience. By ‘mind’ I mean thoughts and images (although in a wider context I sometimes use the term to include feelings, sensations and perceptions as well.)”

The Bill Carey piece;

“Finally, I came to understand the nature of reality, whose cornerstone
is consciousness:

(a) it is created by the delimitation of perceptual chaos through agreement;

(b) it is unique to each individual; and

(c) we create a cultural consensus regarding the content of “reality”
using language as our tool.

Language is our willed abstraction of our experience, just as identity
is our willed abstraction of what some call “the ground of being.” A
visceral understanding and utilization of these insights constitutes,
in a real sense, the abandonment of all paradigms; at that instant,
one steps through what Zen calls “the gateless gate” (a one-way
passage, by the way.)

But everybody’s got to do it by themselves, because it isn’t teachable
in any current sense of the word, since language merely abstracts the
experience rather than describes it. Yet the experience is available
to everyone. Once again, Zen:

“It is too clear, and so it is hard to see. A dunce once searched for
a fire with a lighted lantern.

Had he known what fire was, he could have cooked his rice much
sooner.” ”

http://www.firedocs.com/carey/happen.html

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Miriam Louisa – Zen saying: painted cakes do not satisfy hunger

This incisive observation from Miriam Louisa helps in the issue of understanding no-self as self obliteration!

DOGEN ON PAINTED CAKES AND HUNGER. AGAIN. – Miriam Louisa http://wonderingmindstudio.com/blog/

FEBRUARY 12, 2016

Miriam says;
“A recent online conversation with a friend brought up our observations of the way so many folk in the ‘spiritual field’ feel that it’s somehow wrong to have a passion to create, or be interested in, art. He commented, “They’ve internalized teachings that say that artistic expression is a lie, that it is too sensuous, too rajasic, too much of a distraction from “higher” things. I’m reminded of Plato wanting to expel poets and musicians from his Republic!”

The mainstream art world is a minefield for artists and artisans whose practice is fuelled by the impulse to express from the wonderment and awe that is their authentic experience. On the one hand we have the denial by its curators and critics of anything that whiffs of ‘the spiritual’ in contemporary art (see the daylighting has begun), and on the other we are rebuked by the high priests, teachers and purveyors of (so-called) “higher” things themselves! I have had first-hand experience of this on my journey – I was associated for a while with teachings that regarded all creative expression as potential ego-reinforcement. It was a liberation for me to abandon such a separative misconception and embrace the full monty of the creative life; to meet and work with new teachers who themselves were artists and who considered creative practice to be an essential aspect of awakening to the Real.

My friend finished by saying that many of these people have “suppressed creative, esthetic, blissful, sensitive, compassionate and divinely universal parts of themselves by rejecting the aesthetic aspect of life.”

Miriam Louisa says;
“It made me think back to this post – originally written and published in 2009 – and prompted me to put it up again. Lest we forget.

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Zen saying: painted cakes do not satisfy hunger

Meaning: painted cakes aren’t the real thing, they only describe the real thing. Implying that for the serious seeker of Truth, creative work is a vanity, a distraction, a pointless pursuit.

It is true that the tendency to identify with one’s creative expressions can cause the ego to inflate, with all the suffering that comes by default. But identification with any human activity carries this danger.

The question: What is the self that expresses in self-expression? is our lifeboat in these dangerous waters.

The monk Dogen saw the bigger picture.
He said: Painted cakes do satisfy hunger.

Aside from painted cakes, there is no way to satisfy hunger.
Aside from the painted cakes we make,
artists and writers and educators and web builders
have no way to express their ideas and inspirations.

Aside from the process of making painted cakes
we have no insight into our creativity
and what fosters it or sabotages it.

Aside from the painted cakes we perceive,
what so-called Reality is there?

If Reality is REAL, it must be whole and undivided. Our painted cakes are therefore nondual expressions of the truth – whether we know it or not, and whether we like it or not. The ten thousand things are painted cakes awaiting the glance of an awakened wondering mind. This vast and all-embracing perspective lifts our creative work into the realm of sacred practice, something many artisans – including this one – are very conscious of and deeply committed to. Our works are ‘painted cakes’ and amazingly, they do satisfy hunger.”

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Homage to John Daido Loori, Sensei, for inspiration and teachings.

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Painting by Wayne Thiebaud – Boston Cremes, 1962

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If this topic interests you, do pop over toMiriam Louisa’s other website theawakenedeye.com and have a look around. Thanks.

Two realms; duality, nonduality – A J Heschel, R Spira and Baha’u’llah

1 The search for reason ends at the shore of the known;
on the immense expanse beyond it
only the sense of the ineffable can glide.

It alone knows the route to that
which is remote from experience and understanding.
Neither is amphibious:
reason cannot go beyond the shore,
and the sense of the ineffable
is out of place where we measure, where we weigh…….

Citizens of two realms, we must all sustain dual allegiance:
we sense the ineffable in one realm;
we name and exploit reality in another.

Between the two we set up a system of references,
but can never fill the gap. Abraham Joshua Heschel
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2 ‘Thought encloses Reality in names;
sensations and perceptions enclose it in forms.

Divested of these projections, Reality stands as the raw, unnameable, indivisible intimacy of
all experience.’ – The Daily Quote from Rupert Spira, 21st January 2016
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3 “Man is My mystery, and I am his mystery.” – http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-90.html
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The Dalai Lama: How to develop wisdom.

Developing wisdom is a process of bringing our minds into accordance with the way things really are. Through this process we gradually remove the incorrect perceptions of reality….. ”
(The Dalai Lama, An Open Heart [Boston/New York/London: Little, Brown and Company, 2001], page 86).

Our greatest fear is that when we die we will become nothing

“Our greatest fear is that when we die we will become nothing. We believe that we are born from nothing and that when we die we become nothing. And so we are filled with the fear of annihilation. The Buddha has a very different understanding, that birth and death are notions. They are not real. ” – from ‘No Death, No Fear’ by Thich Nhat Hanh

GURU means gu’ actually means darkness while…

GURU means “gu’ actually means darkness while “ru” means light. The two serve as a principle for the development of consciousness where it leads the creation from unreality to reality, from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge. – from ‘UNIVERSAL TRUTH: thinking outside the box’ by Peter C Rogers D.D., PhD

The term Guru is therefore explained as the remover of darkness, who reveals the light of the heart.

See also – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Gita#cite_note-Grimes1996-5

Abdu’l-Baha – a holistic view on learning, educating and how to ‘get real’

‘Although to acquire the sciences and arts is the greatest glory of mankind, this is so only on condition that man’s river flow into the mighty sea, and draw from God’s ancient source His inspiration.

When this cometh to pass, then every teacher is as a shoreless ocean, every pupil a prodigal fountain of knowledge.

If, then, the pursuit of knowledge lead to the beauty of Him Who is the Object of all Knowledge, how excellent that goal; but if not, a mere drop will perhaps shut a man off from flooding grace, for with learning cometh arrogance and pride, and it bringeth on error and indifference to God.

The sciences of today are bridges to reality; if then they lead not to reality, naught remains but fruitless illusion. By the one true God! If learning be not a means of access to Him, the Most Manifest, it is nothing but evident loss.’

Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 110image-scaled696