What Is

What Is

What? by Bonbon
What? by Bonbon

Initially, most adults are in that place of “what I want.” New Age approaches may amplify that, such as goal-setting our desires.

Alas, so often we’ve learned to resist what we don’t want and grasp at what we do, sometimes engaging in a perpetual battle with life. This doesn’t support fulfilment but perpetuates what we don’t want.

We may play the role of the victor or the victim, but in either case, that’s about controlling life rather than being with what is here.

Some get into a concept of needing to fix themselves, perpetually taking self-help workshops. They see themselves as fundamentally broken. Some even talk of fractured souls.

There is nothing wrong with planning, goal-setting, and learning good self-care and healing. But what’s driving that? A move to fulfilment? Or a need to control? Or a sense of being broken?

Some choose a neo-advaita approach that denies the world as an illusion. But is that the actual experience or is it just another form of spiritual bypassing? ie: using spiritual techniques to resist and avoid what is here.

As Shankara observed, when tamas guna (inertia) is dominant in our physiology, we see the world as real. When rajas (transformation) becomes dominant, we see the world as illusion. Then when sattva (purity) becomes dominant, we see the world as Lila, the divine play. These are not concepts but qualities that change how we perceive the world. When we upgrade, the world upgrades.

The deeper truth is that the world is not real in and of itself but is real in the sense of it being flowing consciousness. Recognizing the actual reality often unfolds in the above stages. Thus, world as unreal is a stage, not a fundamental reality.

Shankara framed it like this:

“Brahman is real
the world is not real  [the half truth]
Brahman is the world”

As we soften our identification with the personal ‘me’ and do some healing, our resistance and grasping becomes more conscious. We can ease up and begin to accept life as it is. We become OK with what is.

As we work with life instead of against it, life shifts to support us in return. Problems come with solutions and past consequences resolve more smoothly. We move into sync with nature.

This does not mean we have no desires, but they lighten up. We stop wanting what isn’t in our best interests. Our desires also sync with nature.

When the heart opens, we step into life’s deeper flows and go beyond being OK with what is. We come to love life and recognize that whatever arises, we know it is for the greater good. Framed another way, we come to trust life and know from experience that everything will be fine, whatever the surface appearance. We let go and surrender to its flows.

We come to love what is (mostly).

This creates a vastly deeper intimacy with life and nature. In time, we progressively deepen into more and more fundamental layers of reality. This increases our appreciation of ‘what is’ in ways that cannot be described. Oneness dawns.

Life is good. Live is bliss. Life is love.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. Yes, it’s amazing what happens when we step into the flow of life. Fulfillment is a natural outcome rather than suffering. We don’t even realize how much we’re suffering until we’re out of it. Whew!
      🙂 Yeah, I enjoy playful pictures.
      I am reminded how people are so often living in self-made dramas. They don’t even realize it because they’re in it. Like a waking dream, only we’re writing as we go along, mainly by running old routines/ expectations against what is arising. They can get annoyed when you won’t play the game or buy the story. Sometimes, they become more insistent. But this really Might happen!
      I suggest people listen to what they tell other people about their life. That can be a clue about the programs they’re running. If we see them and recognize they’re not real, they lose their power over us and fall away.
      Once some of the drama settles, then the flows of life itself can be revealed under all the noise. 🙂

  1. Ana

    ”soften our identification with the personal ‘me’ and do some healing” in order to get our grasps and resistance more conscious.
    How to soften our identification and how to heal?! By effortless meditation, only?!
    Thank you so much!

  2. Lynette

    D, when you wrote “Our desires also sync with nature.”. What exactly do you mean by nature? I often hear this nature thing from my TM teacher. Example, you will have the support of nature, these are the laws of nature, or something similar. What does it exactly mean? When I hear the word nature, I imagine it to be trees, water, air, soil, wildlife and etc. So when I read in sync with nature I imagine I’m returning to dust? Or I’m going back from where I came from? .

    1. Hi Lynette
      Ah. “Nature” is big picture. It refers to the mechanics of consciousness and the way the world around us comes to be. So this includes our personal qualities and tendencies, what keeps our body working, the way experiences arise, and so forth.
      If we’re responding to life with resistance – pushing against what we don’t want and grasping at what we do, we’re working against life and we struggle and suffer. We feel unsupported.
      However, as we soften the binding influence of stress and the habits of that response, we begin to step into the flow of life (sync with nature). We put our attention on something or move towards it and it just happens. Things just work out easily. Or if there are bumps, a clear solution also arises. We feel supported by life. This is “support of nature” – feeling supported by life.
      Nature as in trees, water, soil, etc is a part of that. We may live in made-made structures, etc but we’re still intimately tied to the natural world.
      Nature isn’t something separate from us. It’s the expressed aspect of our own higher nature. We’re moving more into sync with our higher self and we gain the power of that.
      The laws of nature are the principles nature runs by. Some of that is known by science, like for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Or that our bodies need food, water, and oxygen. But this is also active in our personality and abilities. It’s my nature to be quite analytical, for example, with a strong mind. That made letting go a little more difficult. But then after the shift, it helps support the insights I share on the blog. Someone else will have different laws more prominent.
      But yes, you are going back to where you came from. That’s not dust, it’s infinite being. Everything, everywhere. 🙂

      I’ll do a post on this. It’s a good topic. Thanks.

  3. Love the point about the duality of victor or victim
    Surrender to what is is the doorway to the place of beholding what shows up without getting entangled in the polarties – a lot less heavy lifting and strain. a good reminder to listen more to myself and what I keep telling myself about my life and how I am feeling about it. If I am having a big reaction then its time to question my story and look for what’s behind it and let it go along with those victor/victim labels too

    1. Hi Harrison
      The singer Denise Hagan has a song called “The Life You’ve being Dying To Live” in which she sings about her last life. After so many playing the victim and the victor, she is finally going to complete the play.
      Yes, it is so much easier when you can walk through life without all the drama and need for playing a role. Then when elements of drama arise, you can more easily see them for what they are and let go. Ah – here’s the place where I know better than life. There’s the button that causes this reaction. Oh – do I really believe that??
      It would be fun if it wasn’t so charged sometimes. (laughs)

  4. Courtney

    The blogs over the last couple of weeks have been extremely supportive. I love being able to re-read these posts and gain different perspectives each time.

    I greatly appreciate your writings and so grateful for your time and dedication to the work!

  5. robert

    There is a lot of talk about support of nature but if you have hard karma it’s not very helpful. In my experience unless your able to flow into a thought or a visual construct your intention does not manifest or it takes a long time.
    One other way it seems to bring things about is to hold a thought above the top of the head ,I have had teachers ues me in this way at certain points of time for things like world peace.Thought become incredible powerful and affects many minds.
    I was wondering does your teacher make use of you in this way.

    1. Hi Robert
      It’s useful to recognize that karma is action and action plays out in nature. We certainly may not feel supported by difficult karma but it is nature’s way of trying to rebalance unresolved trauma or actions out of accord. By resolving that karma, we release that burden and shadow. It too is support of nature, but in the bigger picture.

      Nature works holistically. It can seem harsh from the perspective of our desires and preferences. But it is to our benefit even if it’s tough love. But yeah, easier to say than live.

      There are a lot of ideas around intention and goal setting that revolve around a controlling me and what I want. Too often that’s driven by unresolved baggage rather than our true nature.

      If we attune ourselves more in the direction of the whole, think of what I can do for the whole, then we move more into the field nature operates in. We bring something to the whole and the whole supports us in return.

      Nature works in grand cycles. There is a time to sew and a time to reap, etc. Our desires are fulfilled when it’s the best for the whole. Just because we ask for it cleanly doesn’t mean it’s going to happen now. I’ve had a few things take decades, then they show up very fully.

      I’ve not tried that technique but it shouldn’t be necessary to hold a thought. Just have a clear intention and drop it into source. Then let it go and allow nature to do what it does. I’d also be careful about trying to influence others. That amplifies karmic consequences and entanglements.

      No. My teacher guides me to act from source, letting go of control. Then the power of nature is behind it and it’s free of consequences and entanglements. Nature also tends to do a better job of bringing results than our original conception. The more we get out of the way of that, the richer the results.

  6. robert

    I liked and agree with your answer. The thing about holding thought was not personal but the teachers doing. There wasn’t any effort on my part and the purpose was to help the whole. I understand about dropping thought but what I was talking about is sort of the same but more like creating a bulge while in the fullness and letting it go. If there is strain or effort it won’t work. I agree if you’re in the awake state and you can be in that state completely apart, everything will resolve itself and things that in the past that seem bad, bring you to the awake state. I don’t ever try to influence people. The only reason I knew how powerful the effects were from the teacher were, was about 30 min afterward when I was coming out of the state was the effect of accidental thoughts. I know if your awake just full attention can heal almost anything but very seldom have I experienced that level of awakeness.

    1. Hi Robert
      Yes, it’s very common for teachers to see holding or control as correct practice. But if you do the same without effort, it completely changes the effectiveness. Agreed – holding is usually mind which gets in the way of the process going anywhere. Maharishi used to joke that such practices would exhaust the mind – then it would let go and samadhi would arise…

      Lovely you found something that works for you. Allow it to evolve though. It may be effective for a time as it’s what is needed. Then it stops being needed. Something like giving attention to a sore knee can help it heal. And then that need is done.

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