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Learning by Thinking
The time lapse between an internally sensed occurrence and the ego’s claim to authorship is about1/10,000th of a second. Once this gap is discovered, the ego loses its dominance. Few people know what it is to live without fear. But beyond fear lies joy, as the meaning and purpose of existence become transparent. Once this realization occurs, life becomes effortless, and the sources of suffering dissolve; suffering is only the price we pay for our attachments. A major deterrent to spiritual evolution and transcending identification of the self with one’s mind is the processing of data, symbols, and words via random mentalization, which is presumed to be“thinking.”One has the illusion that one couldn’t get through life unless one thinks. Tavistock Institute. Part 115
The time lapse between an internally sensed occurrence and the ego’s claim to authorship is about1/10,000th of a second. Once this gap is discovered, the ego loses its dominance. Few people know what it is to live without fear. But beyond fear lies joy, as the meaning and purpose of existence become transparent. Once this realization occurs, life becomes effortless, and the sources of suffering dissolve; suffering is only the price we pay for our attachments. A major deterrent to spiritual evolution and transcending identification of the self with one’s mind is the processing of data, symbols, and words via random mentalization, which is presumed to be“thinking.”One has the illusion that one couldn’t get through life unless one thinks. Tavistock Institute. Part 115

The time lapse between an internally sensed occurrence and the ego’s claim to authorship is about1/10,000th of a second. Once this gap is discovered, the ego loses its dominance. Few people know what it is to live without fear. But beyond fear lies joy, as the meaning and purpose of existence become transparent. Once this realization occurs, life becomes effortless, and the sources of suffering dissolve; suffering is only the price we pay for our attachments. A major deterrent to spiritual evolution and transcending identification of the self with one’s mind is the processing of data, symbols, and words via random mentalization, which is presumed to be“thinking.”One has the illusion that one couldn’t get through life unless one thinks. Tavistock Institute. Part 115

The time lapse between an internally sensed occurrence and the ego’s claim to authorship is about1/10,000th of a second. Once this gap is discovered, the ego loses its dominance. Few people know what it is to live without fear. But beyond fear lies joy, as the meaning and purpose of existence become transparent. Once this realization occurs, life becomes effortless, and the sources of suffering dissolve; suffering is only the price we pay for our attachments. A major deterrent to spiritual evolution and transcending identification of the self with one’s mind is the processing of data, symbols, and words via random mentalization, which is presumed to be“thinking.”One has the illusion that one couldn’t get through life unless one thinks. Tavistock Institute. Part 115

The “pathway of mind,” also called the “pathway of no mind,” is the pursuit of Truth via knowledge— through a thorough examination of the illusionary nature of ego and mind and their various programs. Enlightenment, then, occurs through a letting go of these false programs, whereby oneexperiences a realization of what is. In these contemplations, Dr. Hawkins provides the spiritualaspirant with clear direction to navigate out of the ego’s “house of mirrors. suffering. To let go of positionalities is to silence opinions, and to silence opinions is to let go ofpositionalities.Basic to the ego’s continuance and capacity to dominate is its claim to authorship of all subjectiveexperience.

The “I thought” is extremely quick in interjecting itself as the supposed cause of allaspects of one’s life. This is difficult to detect except by intense focus of attention during meditationon the origination of the thought stream.

The time lapse between an internally sensed occurrence and the ego’s claim to authorship is about1/10,000th of a second. Once this gap is discovered, the ego loses its dominance. It becomes obvious that one is the witness of phenomena and not the cause or doer of them. The self, then, becomesidentified as that which is being witnessed rather than as the witness or experiencer…. In summation,it can be said that the ego is a compilation of positionalities held together by vanity and fear. It isundone by radical humility, which undermines its propagation.To undo the dominance of mental content, it is necessary to remove the illusion that thoughts arepersonal; that they are valuable; or that they belong to, or originate from, one’s own self.

Like thebody, the mind and its contents are really a product of the world.The thought I know precludes the ultimate awareness of the real “I am.” The word know is dualisticand assumes a dichotomy between a separate subject—the “knower”—and something external to beknown.Reality becomes self-evident when the obstructions of perception and mental activity are removed,including all belief systems.It is not really necessary to subdue the ego, but merely to stop identifying with it.Cease to identify with the body/emotions/ mind as “me.” Be truthful and admit that they are yoursbut not you.

This may seem artificial, strange, foreign, and unnatural in the beginning; yet the basicreality is that it is a truth of higher order, which makes it a very powerful and formidable tool. Themind will try to deny this reality as well as truth (that’s what it is “supposed to do”) because Truth isintuited as its nemesis.Whereas ordinary information is “acquired” by effort, in spiritual endeavor the emphasis is onrelinquishing, letting go, and surrendering. The “work” involves identifying positionalities and thentranscending the ego’s resistances and relinquishing its illusory control or sovereignty. Thus, the coreof spiritual work is aligned with the undoing and unloading of the mind rather than its enrichment.

Complexity is a perception of the ego/mind. One sharp knife can cut through hundreds of differentobjects; there is only the necessity of one simple action. Analogously, there is only one simple keyconcept necessary to disengage from all the ego’s encumbrances: it has only one addiction, which issubjective pleasure/gain. That is the secret payoff of all desires, projected values, and attractions. This is exaggerated by projected value, worth, glamour, or specialness.

There is only one gain, and this same gain is merely superimposed on everything that is desired and therefore attracts attachment. Thepleasure is associated with derived happiness; thus, the ego has only one goal. That discernmentenables escape from all attractions. This solitary motive is merely projected onto multiple diverseobjects, persons, qualities, events, or circumstances.

The clever ego can extract the juice/payoff of secret gratification and pleasure from anything it arbitrarily selects. Actually, it is always just the same goal over and over again. The “what” that isdesired is actually irrelevant. The locus is imagined to be “out there” but is actually “in here,” for thepleasure gained is subjective and internal. The relinquishment of this single, solitary goal unveils theReality of the Self—which is the innate prime source of all happiness—and its Realization terminatesall wants and desires.

The locus of happiness is always solely from within. Pleasure is transitory; joyand happiness are from within.The key to transcending the inherent limitations of the ego/mind is humility, without which themind is hopelessly trapped in its illusory house of mirrors.Once the evolutionary structure and function of the ego are understood, its disassembly isfacilitated by the inner decision to pursue that which is real and eternal rather than that which istemporal, transitory, and ephemeral.

The human mind is like a ship at sea that is unable to correct its direction without a compass or anexternal source of reference, such as the stars. It is important to realize that a system is onlycorrectible when it has access to an external point of reference (like a global positioning system) thatserves as the Absolute by which all other data are compared.To transcend the mind is to see that the many and the one are the same. Without the contrastingmental dualistic terms of many or one, neither would be said to exist. Instead, there could only be thisrealization: “All Is.”All opinions are vanities with no intrinsic value, and are actually the result of naïveté.Whereas ordinary mental functioning could be typified as a constant effort to “get” something,spiritual realization is totally effortless, passive, and spontaneous. It is received rather than obtained.

By analogy, when sound stops, the silence reveals itself. One cannot get it by effort or endeavor. With mental activity, there is a capacity to control; with revelation, there is no control at all. No control ispossible where there is nothing to control and there is no means to apply control, even if it werepossible.

That which is formless cannot be manipulated.From thinking that we are our minds, we begin to see that we have minds—and that it is the mindthat has thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and opinions. Eventually we may arrive at the insight that all ourthoughts are merely borrowed from the great database of consciousness and were never really ourown. Prevailing thought systems are received, absorbed, and identified with; in due time, they arereplaced by new ideas that have become fashionable with us. As we place less value on such passingnotions, they lose their capacity to dominate us. We experience progressive freedom of, as well asfrom, the mind.

This in turn ripens into a new source of pleasure; fittingly, the pleasure of existenceitself matures as one ascends the Map of Consciousness.Identification solely with the content of consciousness accounts for the experience of self aslimited. In contrast, to identify with consciousness itself is to know that one’s actual Self is unlimited.When such circumscribed selfidentifications have been surmounted so that the sense of self isidentified as consciousness itself, we become “Enlightened.”The mind, in its identity with the ego, cannot, by definition, comprehend reality; if it could, itwould instantly dissolve itself upon the recognition of its own illusory nature.

It is only beyond the paradox of mind transcending ego that that which Is stands forth self-evident and dazzling in its infinite Absoluteness. And then all these words are useless.At all times, remain aware that the real you is not the ego. Refuse to identify with it.By introspection, one can see that there is that which changes and that which is changeless. Thatwhich changes thereby identifies itself as illusion.The mind can only “know about,” rather than truly comprehend, essence—which is a nonverbalrealization in which consciousness and essence are united as Oneness.It is a relief to let the mind become silent and just “be” with surroundings.The well-disciplined mind should only speak when requested to perform a task. Untrained, the mindbecomes an unruly “onstage” performer and a nuisance. The self needs to learn respect for the Selfand the silence of the Presence. By observing the mind, it becomes apparent that the self representsthe disruptive, unruly child who constantly seeks attention.

It is usually fruitless to try to block thought, or to force the mind to be still without removing itsmotivation and payoff. Its motivational roots can be identified and surrendered. It is then surprisinglypossible to make a decision: Just do not think about anything. This is made possible by aligning withthe infinite silence out of which thinkingness arises. It is located not between, but just before, theemergence of thoughts.

The undoing of domination by the mind can be accomplished by one single step—humility— whichis reinforced by simply recognizing that the mind is not sovereign, omniscient, or even capable oftelling truth from falsehood.Q: How can one silence the mind?A: One cannot. It stops of its own accord when the energy of interest is removed. It is of greaterservice to merely disown it and stop identifying with it as “my mind.” Thoughts are the automaticconsequence of a specific calibrated level of consciousness plus personalization, by which they gainvalue. With relinquishment of the activation of memory, one lives in the emergent instant rather thanhanging on to the past or anticipating the future.The mind stops when it is no longer narcissistically energized. Thinkingness is intrinsically avanity.

Survival is spontaneous and autonomous, an automatic karmic consequence. Even when themind becomes totally silent, the body goes about its business like a karmic windup toy.Q: What replaces the mind when it disappears?A: Divine wisdom unfolds. Consciousness/ awareness remains, but it is an autonomous quality orcondition. Loss of mind does not result in “nothingness”; on the contrary, it is replaced by Allness.The leaf is not the tree.It is safe to abandon any identification with what one thinks or believes one is, for none of it is real,and “nothingness” is purely an imagination.All thinking, from a spiritual viewpoint, is merely vanity, illusion, and pomposity. The less onethinks, the more delightful life becomes. Thinkingness eventually becomes replaced by knowingness.That one “is” does not really need any thought at all. It is helpful, therefore, to make a decision to stopmental conversation and useless babbling.To refuse memory, which is the vast storehouse of illusions, leads to a clear approach to self-inquiry. It leads to the discovery that there is no actual “who”; there is only awareness. You’re not a“who” but a “what.”

To a highly aware person, most people seem to walk about as if they are in some kind of a dreamstate, unconscious and unaware of themselves. Self-observation leads to awakening, which then motivates the desire to learn, grow, mature, and evolve. Self-inquiry leads to discovery and theunfolding of the layers that obscure the Self. With self-inquiry, one examines the basis for faith andbeliefs—and by instituting spiritual techniques and criteria, one proceeds to discover the innervalidation of spiritual truths for oneself. Thus, the field of inquiry is the function ofconsciousness/awareness and the manner in which it contextualizes the inner experience of self,others, and Divinity.The inner process is primarily one of deenergizing illusions rather than one of acquiring newinformation.

The “experiencer” is the perceptual edge of consciousness/awareness that is independent of thenature of the data being processed. It is this quality that one identifies with as “me” or “I.” Withobservation, it will be recognized that this function is autonomous and impersonal, although the selfclaims it is identity. The experiencer is not a “who” but an “it.” It is an autonomous functionality. It iscomparable to a multifunctional processing-probe faculty.

The ego/self thrives on that “experiencer”quality and is actually addicted to it.By attention and volition, the seductive attraction of the experiencer can be refused. Succumbing toits entertainment is only a habit. It is not a “you,” but only an activity with which the self becomesidentified. The mind thinks that it will “go blank” and become void without the constant linear inputof information and focus on “what’s going on.” Yet at night, sleep is a welcome relief from theexperiencer’s endless chatter. Thus, the mind thinks there are only three possibilities:

(1)experiencing;

(2) sleep (oblivion); or, perhaps, (3) sleep with dreaming. But relatively unknown to theordinary mind is a fourth state, which is one of awareness itself, and independent of content orexperiencing—or even participating, analyzing, or recording. The underlying quality is effortless,peaceful, and compatible with a contemplative lifestyle. It leads to the state classically termed assamadhi.

Once thoughts, like objects, are depersonalized, they become devalued and lose their attraction.Thoughts and feelings arise from desire, and the mind desires what it values.To clear the mind, merely note that nothing at all is of special or unique “value” or “worth” exceptby invested, superimposed, and projected belief. Therefore, withdraw value, worth, importance, andinterest.The major transitions occur when conceptual thought is abandoned along with interest in“experiencing” or identification with the experiencer “edge” of the ego/self and its processingfunctions.With practice, one can stay focused on the quality of consciousness as a process without actuallygetting involved in the “what” that is being processed or experienced.

Through observation, it can be seen that beneath the images and words themselves, there is adriving energy—a desire to think, to stay mentally active, to keep busy with any input the mind canfind to fill in the gaps. One can detect a drive to “thinkingness,” which is impersonal. Withobservation, one can detect that there is no “I” thinking the thoughts at all. In fact, the “I” rarelyintervenes.Spiritual reality is a greater source of pleasure and satisfaction than the world can supply. It isendless and always available in the present instead of the future. It is actually more exciting becauseone learns to live on the crest of the current moment, instead of on the back of the wave (the past) oron the front of the wave (the future).

There is greater freedom from living on the knife edge of the moment than being a prisoner of the past or having expectations of the future.If the goal of life is to do the very best one can do at each unfolding moment of existence, thenthrough spiritual work, one has already escaped the primary cause of suffering. In the stopframe of theradical present, there is no life story to react to or edit. With this “one-pointedness” of mind, it soonbecomes obvious that everything merely “is as it is,” without comment or adjectives.When the mind stops talking, one is aware that one is life. One is immersed in it rather than beingon the surface, talking about it. Paradoxically, this enables full participation.

With diminution of egocentricity, the joy of freedom and the sheer flow of life sweep one into total surrender. One then stops reacting to life so that it can be enjoyed with serenity.Spiritual progress is possible because the mind, through understanding, is able to recontextualize the contents of the ego and discern its very mechanism. Once this occurs, one is no longer blindly “at the mercy” of the ego. As the payoffs of the ego are refused and surrendered, its grip on the psyche lessens, and spiritualexperience progresses as the residues of doubt are progressively relinquished. As a consequence,belief is replaced by experiential knowledge, and the depth and intensity of devotion increase and mayeventually supersede and eclipse all other worldly activities and interests.Eventually, it is recognized that form is constituted by the formless and that they are one and thesame—but until that realization occurs, form itself is a distraction and a delay that is best avoided.Q: How can one facilitate progress?

A: That is a natural curiosity. Choice results in proclivities that become habitual mind-sets ofattention. Within each moment are all the necessary elements for realization. Look for essence ratherthan just appearance. Everything is perfect if seen as it really is. Everything is exactly the way it is“supposed to be,” whether it is shiny and new or rusty and dusty.Avoid adjectives, for they are all projected, mentalized qualifications. Later, one can even dropverbs and adverbs for nothing is actually “doing” anything; it just innately is. Transition is aphenomenon that stems from within the observer who sees sequence as a verb. If seen in less than1/10,000th of a second, everything appears to be stationary.Error occurs when we cling to the belief that I am “that.” Truth is unveiled when we see that one has“that” or does “that,” instead of is “that.”There is great freedom in the realization that I “have” a body and a mind, rather than that I “am” mymind or body. Once the fear of death is transcended, life becomes a transformed experience becausethat particular fear underlies all others. ‘

Few people know what it is to live without fear. But beyond fear lies joy, as the meaning and purpose of existence become transparent. Once this realization occurs, life becomes effortless, and the sources of suffering dissolve; suffering is only the price we pay for our attachments. A major deterrent to spiritual evolution and transcending identification of the self with one’s mindis the processing of data, symbols, and words via random mentalization, which is presumed to be“thinking.”One has the illusion that one couldn’t get through life unless one thinks.

No such thing happens. Itis not necessary for any individual to be there. It is not necessary to think that there is an “I” that isresponsible for one’s actions. Everything is doing itself. It is the vanity of the ego that says, “I didthis; I thought that; I decided that.” There is no such “I” at all. All these things are decidingthemselves and doing themselves, all by themselves (autonomous). There is no necessity for an “I.”There is no “doer”; all is “doing itself” spontaneously. There is no separate person doing anything;action occurs of itself. Objectification stops.

Experience shifts from successive states to process itself,from linear to nonlinear; and objective and subjective are all one.The ego/mind is afraid that if it doesn’t think, it will (1) get bored, and (2) cease to exist. Theproblem of boredom is relatively easy to transcend simply by seeing that boredom is just thefrustration of not being amused by “interesting” thoughts. To transcend the thinkingness, interestshould really be refocused on searching for the substrate out of which thinkingness arises.By understanding and accepting the nature of the ego, it is transcended and finally collapses anddisappears when all of its positionalities and their resultant dualities have been surrendered. The egodoes not become enlightened, but instead disappears and collapses. It is then replaced by aTranscendental Reality as described by the Buddha; that is, the Buddha Nature. Just as the sun shines forth when the clouds disappear, the Reality of the Self shines forth of its own as Revelation,Realization, and Enlightenment

There is the objective world—the world perceived “out there”—existing in form, governed by timeand space. Then there is the subjective experience—an internal state of being. How do you know thatyou are? That you exist? Dr. Hawkins points the student inward to the impersonal quality ofconsciousness and the field of awareness itself, which generally goes unnoticed because the ego/mindis focused on the content of phenomena being processed through perception.

The way out is simple: Direct one’s focus inward to the absolute subjectivity of all experiencing.Examine the nature of the sense of subjectivity that accompanies every expression of life. Withoutlabeling, note that at all times—in every instant, in every moment, in every circumstance—there isalways present the ultimately irreducible, underlying substrate of subjectivity. It never changes. Theessence of experiencing, in all its forms (thinking, feeling, seeing, knowing, and so on), is thepresence of this subjective quality. Then look further to find out what this subjective experiencing isthat is ever present.

Without it, there would not be the possibility of knowing that one exists.Ask, “How am I aware or even know that I exist?” That question is the best that can be acted upon,for it leads directly and nonverbally to the ever-present Reality. Identify with that quality, capacity, orcondition of ever-present subjectivity, which is experienced as an underlying awareness. It isconsciousness itself. Identify with that consciousness instead of with the “what” it is conscious about.

That is the direct route to the Self. It is actually the only practice that leads directly through thedoorway. There is nothing to know, to learn, or to remember. It is merely necessary to focus, fixate,meditate, contemplate, and look at—and to realize that the source and substrate of existence is theradical subjectivity of the Presence of God as the Light of Consciousness.

To accept the inner core of one’s existence as a self-existent reality requires letting go of anydefinitions of oneself as a “who,” and instead see oneself as a “what.”Simply put, realization or enlightenment is the condition where the sense of self moves from thelimited linear material to the nonlinear infinite and formless.

The “me” moves from the visible to theinvisible. This occurs as a shift of awareness and identification from perception of form as objectiveand real to the realization of the purely subjective as the Ultimate Reality.The realization eventually occurs that the “I” is not the content or the data, but an impersonal fieldseveral steps removed from the content of the programs. One then realizes that one is the audience,rather than the participant or subject.To “know about” means that although the information itself is familiar, its reality and truth remainto be confirmed experientially. In the final stage of achieving certainty, to really know means to “be,”and thus both subject and knower are unified. To know “about” is mental; to know experientially isaccepted as confirmatory.The field of conscious awareness is not timetracked. It is silent, autonomous, effortless, peaceful,all-encompassing, and unprogrammed; it is free, unbound, spontaneous, tranquil, and not subject tobirth or death. Discovery of this field is simple, easy, and relaxed. The realization is a consequence of“allowing” rather than “trying.” It is surrendered to rather than acquired. As the desire for, and theego’s obsession with, control are relinquished, the field presents itself for recognition.
Q: What is beyond mind?A: Subjective awareness devoid of content, such as thoughts, feelings, or images—silent, still,unmoving,

All-Present, All-Inclusive.Curiosity can be shifted from the form and content of thoughts in order to become aware of thesilent nascent field of consciousness/awareness itself. Silence is of the Self; thoughts are of the self.The ego/mind is attracted to novelty and therefore searches frantically for interesting form andsensation. This can be refused and replaced by interest in the silent, formless substrate that is alwayspresent and merely has to be noticed. It is comparable to the silent background without which soundcould not be discerned.Peace can be the consequence of surrender to the inevitabilities of life.

The religious/spiritualskeptic can look within and observe that the inner fundamental and irreducible quality of life is thecapacity of awareness, consciousness, and the substrate of subjectivity. Without consciousness, theindividual would not “know”—or even “know” if he or she “knows”—so consciousness is a prioriawareness of existence, irrespective of the content of that existence.

Thus, consciousness itself can beaccepted as an obvious reality, without the elaboration of being Divine (as recommended by theBuddha). To “be” is one thing; to know that one “is” obviously requires a more transcendent quality.What gives the sense of “I” its subjective quality of reality is the radiance of the true Self, which isthe source of the Reality that emanates as the Presence.

To clarify the pursuit, it is helpful to searchfor the innate quality that accords the subjective experiential sense of identity itself. It may be morefruitful to search for the source of the quality of subjectivity, which is not a “who” but an innatequality of sentient life (a “what”).Is reality subjective or objective? At some point, the introspective mind ponders the truth of itsqualities, that is: How do I know? How do I know that I know? How do I know that which I presume tobe truth is actually true? In addition: Whence arose life, and what is its source?

This subjective stateis nonlinear, primordial, and a priori. Out of this impersonal field arises the very personal sense of “I-ness” as a primary quality of content. This basic subjective sense of “I” is capable of reflexive self-knowing, whereas, in contrast, the mind merely thinks.The undoing of the identification of the ego/ self is the primary focus of spiritual evolution and isthe enigma that has baffled even the most erudite minds of history. The crux of the problem ismisidentification with qualities of the ego/mind’s processing function, which is already identifiedwith the linearity of the localization of phenomena. This is a natural consequence associated with thephysical reality of the experience of life as a body. The primary problem is misidentification of theactual source of subjectivity and the presumption that it is local rather than nonlocal.

In the process of spiritual discovery, one looks to discover what it is that is aware of—and has theauthority to sense the existence of— “I-ness” or the quality of “I-ness,” rather than a specific orcircumscribed “me” as the “I.”All mental approaches to a definition of truth are eventually confronted by the necessity of makinga paradigm jump from the abstract to the experiential, and from the supposedly objective to theradically subjective. Thus, the statement “Only the objective is real” is a purely subjective premise.Therefore, the mechanistic reductionist actually lives in an intrapsychic, subjective reality, the sameas everyone else.

The resolution of the dilemma of a description and knowingness of absolute truth requires the leapinto the field of research of consciousness itself—which makes it clear that the only actual, verifiablereality of knowingness is by the virtue of “being” (that is, all intellectualizations are “about”something). This requires that the observer be extraneous in order to be the witness of the thing to beexamined. For example, a human observer can “know about” a cat, but only a cat really knows what itis to be a cat by virtue of the quality of being a cat.

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