Spoiler Alert: You Do Not Exist
I would like to start this article gently, but the truth is. No matter how I put this, it will seem odd. No matter how I say this, it will rub someone up the wrong way. No matter how delicately I handle this it, will challenge the foundations of your entire life.
If moving towards the truth is not what you want. If breaking free of the ties that have bound your life. If a rejection of the very reason you are here now, searching for freedom is not what you are after, stop reading now.
I’ll assume whoever is left only wants one thing: the cold and ruthless truth. Now to dispense with the pleasantries…
You do not exist.
What? How? Why?
I could tell you that all you have ever had of your self is your thoughts about it. Just as your thoughts about unicorns do not mean unicorns are real, your thoughts about yourself are nothing more than thoughts.
We could delve into the many linguistic errors in this piece and ask “if you don’t exist why do you use the word ‘I’ so much”. I know, as you now know, that use of a word does not prove the existence of its namesake. We must simply do our best with the limited “selfish” language we were given.
I do not expect you to believe me
I’d like to offer that all we really know for sure is what we are experiencing right now. Memory is fallible, the past and future never come or go. All we can know is our direct experience of what is in the present moment.
With that in mind, I want you to pay direct attention to your experience of life right now.
Take a look at this self, which thinks your thoughts and moves your body. If it truly thinks your thoughts then it must exist apart from those thoughts. Pay attention to your experience; do you experience this self outside of thought?
Sure you have thoughts about the self, but look at experience, do those thoughts come from a self?
More importantly what are each of those thoughts DOING ? Are they trying to convince that there is a self?
I resisted this at first too
I began to rationalize that I must be the brain because the brain thinks up the thoughts, but it hit me hard between the eyes. I don’t experience the brain thinking up thoughts.
I just experience thoughts arising conditioned by experience. It wasn’t my experience, I wasn’t there thinking the thoughts. There was only experience conditioned thoughts.
Sure there was a body and a mind, but the driver seat was empty. Life was automatic. As I looked around the room I sat in, the haze began to lift. My entire world fell apart. Only, it wasn’t my world and had never been. My whole life made sense, because it was never truly my life.
How has this affected me?
In mid September 2010 I saw life for what it is. It’s changed me for the better since. I can see clearly now. I tend not to get caught in emotional feedback loops and the idea of self. I still have it I just see that I have it, and see it for what it is.
Since I got this I’ve dedicated my life to bringing this to other people. I’ve been taking a little break but over the first 6 months I liberated 13 people . I have many friends who also pledged themselves to free this world. It’s hasn’t been easy there have been many ups and downs. We’ve stared into the abyss together and watched the brightest of stars fall from grace. What we do now we do with eyes open, and what we do is open eyes.
All it took was 7 minutes. I’ve seen people do it in 3. All you need to do is to pay attention to your experience of life. Just look.
Look Into Your Mind
“Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”
- Alan Watts
I am a guest here, so I’ll start with this. The mission of HighExistence says the site aims to…
-Provide a medium for freethinking individuals to connect & discuss
-Question anything & everything that is considered ‘normal’
-Explore all aspects of the human condition
-Promote the general spread of happiness
When I first started learning about Zen Buddhist philosophy, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you whether or not it encompassed all of these things. Now, I definitely can. My goal in this post isn’t to act as some sort of New Age Zen evangelist or claim that Zen practice will solve all your problems or instantly help you achieve the goals aforementioned. But it will help you out.
Why? Well, to start, here’s what we’re working with when it comes to ‘tenets’ with Zen. These are the highest-valued qualities:
- Mindfulness (always being in the here-and-now)
- Compassion (generally being a nice, open person)
- Honesty (both to others, and also to yourself)
- Health (exercise, good food, and genuine relationships)
Zen values experience over intellectualization; while it’s of high importance to learn, read books, and read stuff like this, you mostly need to get off your ass and really exist! If you follow Zen practice at its core, you treat every experience as an exercise in mindfulness and as its own meditation. Every activity flows naturally, and we don’t force our opinions of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ on anything. One of my favorite High Existence posts is this one because it outlines Zen philosophy in two words: resist nothing.
Your happiness, freedom, and understanding of the mind– these all rely on your ability to not resist. If something ‘bad’ happens, take it as it comes. If something ‘good’ happens, do the same. There’s an old Zen story, or, as it’s officially called ‘koan’ which called the Fable of the Zen Master.
Zen practice involves questioning everything, because, after meditating and cultivating mindfulness for long enough, you start to realize that everything can be questioned. It’s remarkable how much BS usually pervades the mind of the person modern society views as ‘normal’ or ‘well-adjusted’. Try instead to be more like the Zen master.
Historically, people have worked on doing this in various ways. Many have used meditation, many have used yoga, and many have used psychedelic drugs. I could write a meditation guide into this post, but I don’t want it to drag on. If you’re interested, read the beginner’s guide on my site.
While strict Zen ideology values the natural authenticity of meditation over psychedelic experience, these substances have been known to aid in the process of experiencing mindfulness and exploring the mind. I only mention psychedelics here because, in time spent reading Zen philosophy, I’ve found many parallels with philosophers who’ve implemented psychedelics into the quest for enlightenment. Terence McKenna, a brilliant psychedelic philosopher, said this:
“We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.”
Don’t fear your own mind. Respect it, but don’t fear it. There’s a Zen proverb: ”Be a master of mind, not mastered by mind.” Work to master your mind, by whatever means you discover work best for you, and you’ll have taken a huge step in achieving ‘the mission’.
Authority, tradition, strict ideology– none of these are really worth your time. What is worth your time is direct experience of the here and now, which can be achieved through Zen practice. Explore it and enjoy it.
From High Existence @ http://www.highexistence.com/spoiler-alert-you-do-not-exist and http://www.highexistence.com/look-into-your-mind/
For more information about meditation see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/meditation
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