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LATEST DIALOGUES Love Is a Place – Rupert Spira – Part 4 of 4

Christine Ellger

photo by Christine Ellger

The only activity the separate self is really engaged in is the discovery of peace, freedom and happiness. It first tries to do this by uniting with objects, substances, states and relationships, but at some point it gets to the end of that adventure. It realises that it can never be fully satisfied by objective experience, and that is when the real journey back home begins.

That is when Jane on the streets of New York asks herself, ‘What is the nature of my mind?’ Jane notices that nothing in life really satisfies her. She has numerous relationships, she tries all sorts of substances, and they all give her temporary relief, but none of them give her the lasting happiness she truly desires.

At one point she begins to explore the only direction left: the nature of her own mind. That exploration takes her mind on a journey backwards towards its source, the subject of experience, rather than outwards towards the object. On this return journey, the mind is divested, in most cases progressively, of its limitations and at some point stands revealed as infinite Consciousness. Jane’s finite mind is revealed as Mary’s infinite Consciousness. That is the experience of happiness; that is the experience of love.

Happiness or love experienced by the person, because the person dissolves in that experience. The person who seeks happiness and love is like the moth that seeks the flame. The moth longs for the flame above all else but it is the only thing the moth cannot experience. To experience the flame means to be consumed in it, to die into it. That is the experience for which the moth longs.

The only experience that the apparently separate self longs for is the experience of happiness or love. The experience of love is the dissolution of the limitations of the self. It is not an experience that the separate self can have; it is an experience in which the separate self dies.

Infinite Consciousness overlooks the knowing of its own Being to bring manifestation into apparent existence. It freely assumes the form of the finite mind in order to know the finite world.

That is why we always seem to know the world from the point of view of an inside self. Even in a dream, the world we experience is seen from the point of view of a self in a body. It is infinite Consciousness itself that divides itself into two parts — mind on the inside and matter on the outside — but matter is only matter from the illusory point of view of the finite mind, the self in the body.

From the point of view of infinite Consciousness there is no such substance called matter. There isn’t even any substance called the finite mind; there is only its own infinite, intimate, indivisible Being, which never actually ceases to be itself. It never comes in contact with or knows anything other than itself.

This means that all of this, our current experience — and I’m not talking abstract philosophy here; I mean the very experience that each of us is having now — is only infinite Consciousness itself assuming the form of the finite mind and appearing to itself as a world.

It means that the substance that our current experience is made of itself has no dimensions. It means this ordinary experience of four dimensions of time and space, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, activities, relationships, this very experience that each of us is having now, has no dimensions at all. Don’t try to think of that. It’s not possible to think of something with no dimensions.

Could it be that what is called the Big Bang is not an event that happened millions of years ago, but the event that is continually happening every time infinite Consciousness assumes the form of the finite mind and appears to itself as the world?

Could it be that the Big Bang is happening over and over and over again, always in the same Now? And yet, when Consciousness does assume the form of the finite mind and appear to itself as the world, no real world made out of matter comes into existence.

Existence comes from two Latin words, ex and sistere, meaning ‘to stand out from’. Nothing stands out from Consciousness; nobody has ever found a place outside Consciousness. No thing comes into existence. Objects borrow their apparent existence from God’s infinite Being, the only Being there is.

The very ‘I’ that each us is now feeling as ‘myself’, the ‘I’ that I am, is infinite Consciousness itself, God’s infinite Being. It is the reality, the substance out of which all experience is made.

No object ever comes out of Consciousness; no object ever exists in its own right. The seeming existence of all things belongs to infinite Consciousness, just like the apparent existence of characters in a movie belongs to the screen. There are never any divisions in the screen itself. The divisions are always in the appearances, never in the reality.

This means that this very experience that each of us is experiencing is God’s infinite Being alone. There is nothing being experienced now other than infinite Consciousness, and it is infinite Consciousness itself that refracting itself into a multiplicity of finite minds and appearing to itself as a multiplicity of finite worlds. But from Consciousness’s point of view it is never experiencing anything other than its own intimate, infinite Self.

When the Sufis say, ‘La ilaha illallah’ they mean, ‘There is no god but God.’ In other words, no thing has an existence of its own, no thing is a thing unto itself. All things borrow their thingness, their isness, their reality, from God’s infinite Being.

God’s infinite Being shines in each of our minds as the knowledge ‘I am’. That is why the ultimate spiritual practice is to give the ‘I’ that I am our attention, to allow the mind to sink back into its subjective source. As it does so it is temporarily, in most cases, occasionally suddenly, divested of its finite limitations and stands revealed as infinite Consciousness, God’s infinite Being, the only Being there is, the heart that we all share, the heart we all are.

I would suggest that the experience of love is simply the knowledge of our shared Being. When we love, we feel one with the other. Love is the experience of our shared Being. Is there any experience the separate self desires more than the experience of love?

What the separate self longs for above all else is simply to be divested of its separateness. So as a concession to the separate self, we can say that all the separate self needs to do to find this love for which it longs is to ask itself, ‘What is the nature of the knowing with which I know my experience?’

All Jane needs to do to be relieved of her suffering on the streets of New York is to ask herself, ‘What is the nature of my mind?’ If Jane enquires deeply enough into the nature of her own mind she will discover that her agitated, finite mind is made of Mary’s peaceful, infinite mind. That’s all there is to Jane’s mind. All there is to each of our minds is the inherently peaceful presence of infinite Consciousness.

love is a place
and through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
and in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds
E. E. Cummings

from his talk at Titignano, Italy 2015

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From an early age Rupert was deeply interested in the nature of Reality. For twenty years he studied the teachings of Ouspensky, Krishnamurti, Rumi, Shankaracharya, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta and Robert Adams, until he met his teacher, Francis Lucille, twelve years ago. Francis introduced Rupert to the teaching of Jean Klein, Parmenides, Wei Wu Wei and Atmananda Krishnamenon and, more importantly, directly indicated to him the true nature of experience. Rupert’s first book is "The Transparency of Things," subtitled "Contemplating the Nature of Experience". His second book, "Presence Volume I The Art of Peace and Happiness and Presence Volume II The Intimacy of All Experience" has been currently released by Non-Duality Press.
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10 Responses to “Love Is a Place – Rupert Spira – Part 4 of 4”

  1. June 23, 2015 at 11:52 pm, John Sharman said:

    This has been a very interesting and thought-provoking series, and is directly relevant to ‘exploring the nature of consciousness’. Thanks for sharing it. Within the ideas presented here, however, I feel there are certain assumptions which are open to question, and thus I respectfully offer the following comments based on quotes from the series.

    “… let us provisionally give Consciousness a spacelike or fieldlike quality, and see that whatever thoughts are appearing are appearing in this spacelike, aware field.”

    I see no valid reason to posit a field or aware space in which thoughts and sensations arise. In my direct experience, awareness or conciousness is inseparable from its context of thoughts and sensations. The one arises with the other. Thoughts, perceptions, and sensations can’t be said to have any existence without the consciousness which allows them to be known as such, and conversely, consciousness can’t be said to have any existence without the thoughts, sensations and perceptions of which it is conscious. I can be conscious of being conscious, but the consciousness of which I am conscious is always the consciousness that arises in conjunction with a thought or sensation.

    “All we know of a universe is a series of fleeting perceptions, and perceptions appear in Consciousness.”

    What is the difference between saying ‘perceptions appear in consciousness’, and saying ‘I am conscious of perceptions’? Why posit a background of consciousness, somehow standing independently from the perceptions that arise in conjunction with it? In direct experience, how can anything be said about consciousness that doesn’t
    implicate perceptions?

    “When we hear the question, ‘Am I aware?’, Awareness directs itself towards the question. At the end of the question, there is a pause in which Awareness has nowhere to direct itself, and as a result it collapses for a moment, sinks back for a moment into itself, and then rises again in the form of the answer, ‘Yes’. In this pause Awareness tastes itself, momentarily. In the pause between the question and the answer, we
    become aware that we are aware. Not only am I aware, but I am aware that I am
    aware. In that pause, Consciousness knows itself; it recognises its own Being.”

    In the pause after the question, it isn’t actually true that awareness has nowhere to direct itself, and thus collapses. When I ask myself, ‘Am I aware?’, there is no
    perceptible pause between the question and the lightning-fast response, as awareness
    ‘checks in’ with whatever thoughts and sensations are arising at the time, reaffirms
    its inextricable interconnectedness with these thoughts and sensations, and at
    the same time is aware of this awareness.

    “Manifestation means form, and form means limit, so in order to experience something limited, such as a universe, Consciousness must overlook the knowing of its own unlimited Being. It must fall asleep to itself and freely assume the form of the finite mind.”

    Words like ‘manifestation’ and ‘form’ tend to evoke a material universe, but as it was
    pointed out earlier in the series, no matter has ever been found. Therefore
    ‘form’ doesn’t necessarily imply limit, because form is an arbitrary concept
    anyway. Thus there can be no basis for saying that consciousness experiences
    something limited. The only limits are our own limited concepts.

    Additionally, consciousness can’t really be said to ‘overlook the knowing of its own
    unlimited Being’, because if consciousness has no qualities, and is
    indivisible, it cannot by definition know anything about itself, as that would
    imply the duality of ‘knower’ and ‘known’.

    “In order to bring the universe into apparent existence, Consciousness has had to forget its innate nature of peace and freedom, and that is why ‘the self in the world’ longs for one thing alone: peace and freedom.”

    Consciousness, if it is without attributes or qualities of any kind, cannot be said to possess an ‘innate nature of peace and freedom’. There can be no basis for personifying consciousness in this way, or for separating it from the apparently manifest
    universe. I’d be very interested to hear of any evidence that consciousness
    exists prior to or independently of the apparently manifest universe of our
    thoughts and sensations.

    As for the ‘self in the world’ longing for peace and freedom, I would suggest that the ‘self in the world’ longs for a great deal more than that. It longs for sensation, for stimulus, for the fullest of embodiment. I’d suggest that a basic model for understanding the association of consciousness with perception is this: consciousness, being non-dual, without attributes or sensations of any kind, gives rise to (and is inseparable from) its complement – an inexhaustible wealth of apparent attributes and sensations that are
    experienced as real through the illusory duality of knower and known.

    If we were to play the game of personifying Consciousness, then apart from saying it possesses an ‘innate nature of peace and freedom’, we could equally say that it lusts for embodiment in all its goriest and fullest complexity. It lusts for the fullest and most
    intense experience of its own being, which it can only know by adopting the guise of myriads of seemingly separate body/mind entities in subject/object correlation, all caught up in their egoic games of power and control, in the powerfully
    embodying experiences brought about through eating and drinking, through sex
    and drugs, through the raw power of emotions – terror, joy, passion, sadness,
    bliss. And also, of course, Consciousness lusts to know that ‘I am all of that’.

    • July 06, 2015 at 1:38 pm, sandy Carter said:

      It is impersonal belief, the belief in a subject, that instantly gives rise to the false data of objectivity. Belief is made of consciousness because that is the medium -there is no matter.
      It is belief that wants to continue objectifying itself; experiencing itself; imagining itself to be
      in relationship. Belief arises with the concept of objectivity, and when objectivity ceases, it
      disappears, so it isn’t real Awareness, i.e., the underlying Awareness/Consciousness of Reality, the substance of which is infinite Love. Unfortunately, this real Awareness is rarely
      experienced, as it is covered over by the illusory sense phenomena. This real substance of the universe is Life itself, and can’t be proven to belief, i.e., person, which recognizes only what it objectifies. It is only belief that plays the game of personifying Consciousness. It is
      only belief that thrives on sensation and craves experience.

      • July 06, 2015 at 11:08 pm, John Sharman said:

        “…this real Awareness is rarely experienced, as it is covered over by the illusory sense phenomena.” How could “real Awareness” ever be experienced at all? With experience, there is always a someone experiencing a something, and that involves the “illusory sense phenomena” that you mention.

        • July 07, 2015 at 12:05 am, sandy Carter said:

          Infinite Love, Intelligence is the substance of Mind. It is Self-aware. It is not “unconscious”.
          It is NEVER the so-called person/entity that recognizes this boundless Love/ Oneness. Belief identifying itself as person/entity falls away, however briefly, and what remains is
          Reality. Person can never know this or “have” this “experience”. Infinite Awareness is Self-
          aware. The awareness of objectivity can only know objects/concepts/sensory experience.
          What says, “i” is nothing but the finite awareness of concepts. There are, in fact, not two
          persons talking. The one belief in objectivity outlines itself as all personalities, all voices, all phenomena. There is the projected movie and there is the soundtrack, both wholly impersonal. Literally nothing happens on the screen. It is never the movie images speaking, going, doing. The entire impersonal cosmic drama is a dense energetic field
          that conceals the omnipresent Reality of Mind. Person/entity has never been. Person is
          a vacant domicile; has no ability, autonomy, or volition, in the same way that the image on the movie screen is indivisible from all that is in the frame. Tremendous “energy” is expended in order to perpetuate the myth that an “i” lives within the image of person, and that a brain animates it and gives it life and consciousness. The entire apparent world is the equivalent of a virtual reality concealing the only Reality there is.

          • July 07, 2015 at 9:32 pm, John Sharman said:

            Well sure, Sandy. Of course I know that what I am is not these thoughts, these sensations, these perceptions that arise. I am not a mind or a body. I am the Ground, the Potential, the Source of all these sensations and perceptions. But in order to know this great truth, I have to perform a clever little trick – I have to pretend to step aside from being pure non-dual Awareness, and create the illusion of being a separate self. That’s the only way I can look at Who I Really Am, by performing this clever reflexive trick. The Eye cannot see itself, but it “virtually” sees itself by creating the illusion of duality. Do you also see it that way?

          • July 09, 2015 at 1:07 am, sandy Carter said:

            No, I don’t. Belief is not an intelligence or a mind; it is not a “who”. It is a false sense of consciousness; it is an impersonal belief in objectivity spinning out fictional data.
            What it spins out is a lie. HOW COULD CONSCIOUSNESS KNOW ITSELF THROUGH LIES?
            The consciousness of objectivity is the belief that Consciousness could be finitized/
            walled-off. There is no such thing as a walled-off awareness. No awareness is ever contained in the body which is just a picture wholly indivisible from its “surroundings”.
            Duality is not an alternative. It is literally impossible. Sensations and perceptions are
            simply the product of the lie of objectivity. They are the product of belief. The consciousness or awareness of sensations and perceptions is belief, itself.
            Imagine a self-aware software program, aware of its own data. Infinite, indivisible Mind doesn’t know the finite; can’t know the finite. The sense of objectivity/ duality
            IS the awareness of concepts. This false sense of awareness is fictional. It can’t know
            itself because it has no actuality or being. Think of the Matrix, but instead of a Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus being “jacked in”, there is a single impersonal consciousness
            “plugged in”. It isn’t experiencing “itself”. It isn’t ” knowing” itself. It is utterly deluded,
            believing itself to be everything in the Matrix, and then, specifically, an “individual”.
            The persons, things, events, conditions, and places within the Matrix don’t have anything to do with the nature of Consciousness. As long as the belief in objectivity
            exists; as long the “matrix” or belief in a subject exists, Consciousness will never be free.
            This is because it is completely mesmerized by the sense phenomena. What arises in and as the “matrix” is impossible. No-one and nothing is in it. It is merely false data.

          • July 09, 2015 at 3:50 am, John Sharman said:

            I really don’t understand you. You’re saying that duality is impossible, yet you’re conversing with me as if I am a separate entity. You’re criticising the belief in objectivity, yet you’re playing the whole subject/object game with me. Can you explain this contradiction?

          • July 09, 2015 at 2:28 pm, sandy Carter said:

            The ideas expressed are clear. Rupert Spira probably does the best teaching of this
            although there is a different way of expressing it here. Persons communicating are
            part of the dream sense. How far down the rabbit hole does thought want to go? What is heard is heard. ” First there is a mountain. Then there is no mountain. Then there is Being.”

    • November 01, 2015 at 1:11 pm, Suzanne Woitowich said:

      Interesting!!!

      • August 01, 2016 at 2:34 am, derrida unknown said:

        > Thou shall have no Gods before me. The unifying factor for a chain or it’s links is beyond the chain. I just felt like saying this.

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