The specific meaning of certain words as they are used here and in CIA will come up in later posts, but generally speaking, why is meaning so important? One often hears that, on a “human mind” basis, everyone places a different meaning on things—so no one meaning is more valid than another—and on that basis, it seems to be true. In much of nonduality, defining words is considered thinking, and thus is frowned upon because thinking is said to be dualistic, and of the “ego.”
Thinking also can leave one clinging to that which is merely conceptual, rather than Actual. Also true, on that basis. So it is recommended to just be completely still or silent, and not analyze. This is sometimes referred to as “direct experience.” In other words, “Awareness Itself does not think (true!), so just be Awareness and let appearances appear.”
Yes, Awareness Itself, Pure NOW, certainly does not think—and who else is there to think? And as often said, certainly no amount of thinking about IT ever will touch or be IT. This is all well and good. But just as there is a downside to being conceptual, there appears to be a downside to “no-thinking” or “direct experience. This will come up again, but in short, because “direct experience” doesn’t bother to think, it never bothers to question its own validity, or look deeper than itself. Unless one appears to be living alone in a cave, thinking or “mental stuff” still appears to be very much a part of one’s experience.
This subject of thought goes far, far deeper than merely having overcome intellectualizing, or seeing through so-called ego-thoughts—for the entire so-called appearing world, as shown in our previous posts, really would be just so much thought, too.
Speaking relatively, it seems we are mis-educated constantly (by parents, teachers, society in general) as to the meaning of words. We then unwittingly seem to bring those misconceptions and lack of clarity to spiritual teachings and literature. A few major examples of such words are Truth, Consciousness, Infinity, All, and Now or the Present. This is NOT advocating that one become “intellectual.” Rather, when clear as to what these words are, it’s clear that they’re YOU, and one seems to become less intellectual or conceptual
Consider how often words such as Consciousness, Truth, Infinity, Now, and others are used in spiritual-talk. But what if, all along, you’ve had an incorrect sense of what they really are? What have you done to yourself? How accurate or true is what you assume you’ve “gotten” from all your spiritual study? Speaking relatively now, it seems very, very few have not had to do some spiritual reading or hearing of teachers, etc. But what did we read or hear?
For example, I have no idea how many times the word Infinity is used in CIA—but it’s a LOT! What do you take Infinity to mean? If you assume Infinity is merely a vast, ongoing finity—or that Infinity is “out beyond” finity, you’ve got a completely wrong notion of the meaning intended. So what did you get out of the book?
Thanks to such so-called preconceived notions, we open spiritual books and “read into” them our mistaken meaning—a meaning often far from that intended. What’s more, much spiritual literature is written on the basis of misconceptions! Even the dictionary, which is considered to be an authority, is written 99% on a “mind” basis that is dualistic or relative. (There are a few absolute definitions to be found—for words like truth, one, single, perfect, etc.) All of this is nobody’s fault—it just seems to go with the rest of the ignore-ance and confusion in the human scene.
Reality check: Isn’t it great that Infallibly Pure Awareness here, now, is the Only One being aware, alive, existent—and Its un-changing, un-thinking-ness never has a single misconception on a would-be relative basis!
What also seems to make it difficult when putting this into words is that, by virtue of using words (and therefore thoughts) in books, blogs, videos, etc. one is in the seeming realm of the relative. It’s like trying to play the game of the Absolute on a relative field, and the relative sure seems to have the home-field advantage!
The seeming irony is that “both sides” in this so-called disagreement about appearances would instantly agree there is only One Life, One Self (Advaita means one without a second) and thus there really aren’t separate selves that could be in disagreement. Due to having to still use words and thoughts in these types of forums, there still seem to be some small bones of contention. Yet all the while it is clear there really is only One Infinite Life.