Visiting Voices: J C Tefft ~THE END OF SUFFERING
QUESTIONER: I have been a seeker for 30 years. I am 63, my father committed suicide when I was 19, and my best friend committed suicide when I was 18…[edited]
My understanding, based on the teachings of non-duality teachers, is that the universe wanted to experience that through those body mind organisms. But when you try and use logic to comprehend the meaning of life it all seems extremely cruel. Supposedly, God is love? Or is love non-conceptual awareness, being-ness?
If God is love, I still don’t understand why we have to go through so much pain and suffering every day. Non-duality teachers say that all we have to do is keep remembering that I’m not this pain and suffering, but I am prior to consciousness and once I realize this my suffering will end. Why am I not realizing this? I can remember all day long that I’m prior to consciousness but the suffering doesn’t end.
Please help me to better understand why all this suffering is necessary?
JCT RESPONSE: Before engaging with this response, please allow the mind to quiet and be still, so as to approach this inquiry with as little mind-stuff and/or memory in play as possible.
Insights into the true nature of Pure Awareness and enlightened Being occur out of the Silence of Present Moment Awareness, so that is where one needs to BE, as much as possible, if this exercise is to shed light on the true nature of the problems presented here. We (the writer and the reader) are not looking for ever-more conceptualized answers to explain the nature of God, suffering, Awareness, or Being, but are looking with the goal of Awakening (which is to Realize within) that which can only be Realized in the Present Moment, absent the content of Mind in play.
So, before continuing, allow Silence to be Present Now, so that we approach this problem with as much patience, openness, and preparedness as possible.
DO NOT CONTINUE READING UNTIL THE MIND IS AT REST!
What follows is not a conceptualized analysis in response to your comments and questions above, but rather, is to point out how one might approach the “problems” outlined here from a totally different point of view – not from the standpoint of evermore constructs of Mind, but from the standpoint of Pure Awareness observing various concepts, feelings, and emotions, as such arise in Consciousness in the Present Moment – Now – absent attachment to same. Disengagement from the content of Mind, as such arises in Consciousness, is what ultimately allows for Awakenings and Insights to occur. No concept, regardless of how subtle or sublime, can bring this about, but rather, the ending of identification with the stuff of Mind in the Present Moment, as such arises in Consciousness brings this about.
This said, the metaphors and analogies set forth in the following commentary are inevitably conceptual because we can only communicate conceptually. Therefore, don’t be quick to analyze their meaning conceptually, from the standpoint of Mind, for these words can only point to that which cannot be conceived of Mind. So instead, allow the intended meaning to Awaken in you as Insight and Revelation, rather than as a conceptualized image based on the definition of words. Such Insight does not generally occur as you read, but more likely occurs later – as one awakens out of sleep in the morning, for instance, or as one sits quietly contemplating nothing at all – suddenly – OH, that’s what that means…! An AHA moment or a significant Insight occurs revealing the underlying, living Truth first pointed to with words. Not a concept or image arising of Mind, but an Awareness of what ACTUALLY IS SO in the Present Moment – Now.
Living in the Present Moment has nothing to do with what happened yesterday or what might occur tomorrow, for what occurred in the past or might occur in the future is – in this moment now – nothing more than a concept of Mind arising in the Present Moment. Similarly, Awakenings and Insights only occur in the Present Moment, which is why all the pointers and profound teachings since ancient times regarding Awakening and Enlightened Being, which is likewise the end of suffering, do not make logical sense until we, too, Awaken unto the Actuality of the Present Moment, absent attachment to the content of Mind, as such arises in Consciousness.
Life is not a problem to be solved. Life is simply to be lived. So also, Awakening is not a problem to be solved. The process of Awakening is merely an aspect of daily Life. Consequently, one only needs to rest into this Reality – this Present Moment – and thereby allow the process of Life and of Awakening to occur and unfold spontaneously, as intended, absent resistance to same. The more one identifies with constructs of Mind the more one resists Awakening unto the Present Moment – unto the Pure Awareness that is the Truth of who you truly are, whether Realized Now or not.
This said, let us begin….
QUESTIONER: I have been a seeker for 30 years.
JCT RESPONSE: Wouldn’t you say, then, that the time has come for seeking to end and the end of seeking can only occur Now – not yesterday, nor tomorrow – but Now. That which you seek is already Here Now. One simply must Awaken unto the Truth of this fact and this is then Realized as So.
QUESTIONER: I am 63, my father committed suicide when I was 19, and my best friend committed suicide when I was 18 and my girlfriend tried to commit suicide by shooting herself in the head when I was 20 and she became a vegetable.
JCT RESPONSE: What do the above statements reveal, in this moment now, regarding your state of mind when they were written? Would you say these statements, at their root, are a series of concepts of past events that you currently identify with as an aspect of what you think of as “you” in this moment today? And identifying with these memories triggers, by extension, feelings of personal pain, frustration, guilt, and the like, simply by the fact of remembering and then identifying with events of the past. They remain, therefore, rooted in the human energy field that is “you,” and identifying with them, as they arise Now, brings them to life once again, wrapped in a cloak of apparent suffering within the embodiment of a conceptualized “you.”
As an analogy, let’s consider this process from a distance, if you will, rather than personal experience, thus from life experience generally. Imagine for a moment a fully-grown tree adorned with many leaves – some healthy, some scarred, some withered, and some pretty much dead, waiting to fall to the ground. Now imagine that each leaf, regardless of its current state of being, is like a human born to Earth, except that when leaves die, the other leaves do not mourn the death thereof because leaves do not identify with mental images of Mind at all. Each leaf is born, grows, flourishes, and dies spontaneously, without resistance, regret, or remorse, while the trunk and branches of the Tree continue on, sprouting new life forms to replace the old.
Leaves do not hold to mental images of how they “think” life should unfold from an egoic point of view, as humans do. Leaves are thus void of a sense of personal suffering, tragedy or loss. Thus, leaves are innately free of such sensations because they are not egocentrically rooted in this way. Each leaf simply lives in the Present Moment, absent attachments to constructs of Mind. Such is the Awakened state of Being for human beings – absent attachment to concepts of Mind, as such arise in Consciousness. And as the Buddha pointed out, the end of attachment to constructs of Mind is the end of suffering – just as is so for leaves.
‘Tis true, mental images – thoughts, concepts, emotions, and the like – do not arise in leaves because leaves do not embody a mechanism that perceives or conceives, but leaves live in the Present Moment nonetheless. And humans must learn to Be as leaves in this regard, as the content of Mind arises in Consciousness. We must learn to live untouched by the vagaries of space and time, which are the whims and moods of Mind.
After all, there is no actual event that is arising in Consciousness Now, but merely an image or thought, followed by a judgment in reference to the image or thought that simultaneously triggers a mental feeling and/or reaction based on the thought because the mind is conditioned to respond in this way. Cease to identify with thoughts in the Present Moment and in that Moment suffering ends.
Contemplate this question: What can be done to change the past or change the remembrance of the past? Can you change who, when or how someone died? Can you change how you reacted to those deaths back then? Nothing can be changed other than one’s attachment to the thought of same, as such arises in Consciousness in the Present Moment – Now.
Why identify with the stuff of Mind when all it brings is more suffering? What lesson can be learned by hanging on; by continuing to identify with tragedies, as constructed of Mind? If one truly seeks the end of suffering then one must LET GO NOW of all such remembrances, as such arise in Consciousness. There is no other way – no path, no system, no method – there is only Awakening Now – full stop, end of story.
Allow life to be as it truly is in the Present Moment. Not how you imagine you would like it to be, according to mental images of Mind, but how Life actually IS in the Present Moment, free of attachment to the content of Mind, as such arises in Consciousness. For this to be so, you must LET GO in THIS MOMENT. Not in an imagined future moment, but this moment – Now. Let go, watch, and observe while resting in the Silence that is the Source of All that IS – ongoing and forevermore.
Observe the thought or feeling of personal tragedy or loss, as such arises in Consciousness and cease to identify with same in THIS moment. Realize the Peace of God, the Silence of Now, which is simultaneously the end of suffering in humankind.
Standing in Pure Awareness in the Present Moment IS the final resolution to any and all “problems” conceived of Mind. So Be Here Now instead of wallowing in the muck of mental constructs of Mind. Realization of this fact IS to Awaken unto the Present Moment and to Awaken unto the Present Moment ends suffering, as conceived of Mind.
QUESTIONER: My understanding, based on the teachings of non-duality teachers, is the universe wanted to experience that through those body mind organisms. But when you try and use logic to comprehend the meaning of life it all seems extremely cruel. Supposedly, God is love? Or is love non-conceptual awareness, being-ness?
JCT RESPONSE: Do you see that you answered your own question in your observation above? “When you try to use logic to comprehend the meaning of life it all seems extremely cruel.” Yes, it does or it can, because logic is based upon concepts of Mind and Awakening unto the Reality of universal Love is not to Awaken unto a concept of Mind. The Actuality of Love is not conceptual. Logical analysis, therefore, does not lead to the Realization of Love.
Love is undefinable and therefore inexpressible in words. In the broadest sense one might say, however, that Love is that which inspires and motivates Life, as a Whole, to express and evolve coherently as ONE holistic Reality. In this same light one might also say that God is All and All and In All that IS and, in that sense, God, Love, Awareness, and everything that arises in Awareness are inseparable as One holistic Reality. Yet God is also prior to Awareness, prior to that which appears in Awareness. Even so, having just now expressed all these words pointing to the nature of God, Love, and Pure Awareness do we now know God or Love or Pure Awareness as an Actualized Reality? The answer, of course, is “No,” for not one of these statements reveals the Actual living Truth of God or Love or Pure Awareness in the Present Moment – Now.
Fortunately, Awakening unto the Present Moment does not require one to come up with a definition of God, Love or Pure Awareness in advance. There’s only a need to Awaken unto the Present Moment – Now – and all is Revealed out of the Silence of this Reality – a Reality that is not conceptual, but is beyond the purview of Mind entirely.
QUESTIONER: If God is love, I still don’t understand why we have to go through so much pain and suffering every day. Non-duality teachers say that all we have to do is keep remembering that I’m not pain and suffering, but I am prior to consciousness and once I realize this my suffering will end. Why am I not realizing this? I can remember all day long that I’m prior to consciousness but the suffering doesn’t end.
JCT RESPONSE: To “remember” is not to Awaken. Nor is it to be Purely Aware in the Present Moment. The end of suffering is not about remembering the past one way or another – whether positive or negative, tragic or blissful – it makes no difference – it’s conceptualized memory all the same.
What is needed is for you to AWAKEN unto the FACT that this is so. And Awakenings come about as one lets go – of memories, prejudices, and the overall illusion of separateness – all the stuff born of Mind – in THIS MOMENT – NOW. Identifying with concepts of either past or future arising Now, regardless of what the concept might appear to be (good or bad, positive or negative) will not bring this about.
From a conceptualized, egocentric point of view, such suffering might appear to be aimed at “me” versus “them,” but from a non-egocentric point of view, who can say this is so? The degree of personal suffering one experiences is in direct proportion to the degree of one’s identification with the content of Mind; in direct proportion to the illusion of separateness, of “me” and “my” trials and tribulations compared to “you” and “yours.” Release from such suffering occurs when one no longer identifies with personal points of view, as such arise in Consciousness – Now.
The end of suffering, however, is not the end of physical pain – my joints still hurt when I over exert – but rather, the end of suffering is the end of psychological pain as if it was personal to “me” and no one else – “my” loss or “my” pain versus someone else’s loss, pain or gain.
If one looks into this deeply, intently, and open-mindedly, within oneself, one might come to Realize that the experience of suffering is a self-inflicted wound; a wound brought about by longstanding attachments to thoughts and feelings arising in Consciousness Now. When such concepts arise, in THAT moment, let go of the idea that this suffering is mine or unique to “me” and in that act of letting go there’s a possibility, per the universal potential that underlies all human experience that the sense of personal suffering will end. And in that moment one Realizes “I” am not that pain, that suffering, but AM THAT which is AWARE of pain and suffering, as such arises in Consciousness. And in that Present Moment Awareness, absent the Mind in play, the personal sense of pain and suffering ends.
Conversely, whenever the illusion of separateness is in play, it continues to seem as though the sense of pain and suffering is “my” cross to bear, when such is not the case. To break from this illusion, one simply must allow the evolution of Conscious Awareness to unfold and unveil from within, not as a delusional “me” would have it so, but as the universal Will of All that IS would have it so. Realization of this fact is to Awaken unto that which is beyond the purview of Mind.
AWAKENING and REALIZATION of the ACTUAL – of the Living Truth of what Actually is so in the Present Moment – is the One overall Reality, the One Truth that has been pointed to since ancient times that sets ‘YOU’ – the Awakened ‘YOU’ – the Purely Aware “YOU” – the Real ‘YOU’ – FREE. Free from what? Free from attachment to the worries, dreads, tragedies, and all the rest that arise of Mind in humankind, and humankind alone.
The Aware ‘YOU’ Awakens an entirely different Reality than the egocentrically conceived “you” that is a fiction of Mind. The egocentric “you” has no power to “do” or “attain” or “accomplish” anything at all, in and of itself, because in Truth the egocentric self is not separate from the Whole. It only imagines this is so. And as a consequence of identifying with such imaginings – the memories, the sense of separateness and personal tragedy – the illusion of separateness continues to hold sway.
So … LET GO, LET GO, LET GO … in every instance that memories and imaginings arise and see what shows. The Power of letting go, which is likewise the Power of forgiveness, is Powerful indeed. Discover this Truth and all will be well.
* And finally, an end note with this little ray of delight: 🙂
~ THIS SUNNY LITTLE SUNNY SPOT
I am not an old woman,
not young it’s true.
I am not the woman
I used to think I knew.
I am a bird on a branch
high up an apple tree.
I sing this song to you,
I sing this song to me.
The sun light meets
the waterfall mist below,
My Spirit dances and delights
In what it doesn’t need to know
No thought about where I’m not
no fight remains to be fought,
I’m just sitting here singing
In this sunny little sunny spot
Sitting here singing
in this sunny little sunny spot.
Visiting Voices: J C Tefft ~THE END OF SUFFERING