This post is in reply to Anonymous’ comment of 6-6-10 on the previous post, “The ‘best finity’ is Infinity ONLY.” The comment is repeated below:
“…You say: ‘Infinity (from Its “perspective”) is All, Absolute, Alone, Not-two, and actually precludes the possibility of there being an illusion–even as illusion.’
Let´s say that dreams happen in so-called dream-consciousness. Obviously dreams are not separate from dream-consciousness. But from the “perspective” of dream-consciousness there are other “perspectives”, f.ex. the “perspectives” of the dreamed characters. And dream-consciousness doesn´t precludes these “perspectives”, it includes them. It doesn´t matter if, from the “perspective” dream-consciousness, these “perspectives” are seen as illusion or not-illusion. What matters is that these “perspectives” and the “perspective” of dream-consciousness are not-two.
And now I ask you: Is it really so that Infinity precludes the possibility of anything?
My concept is: Infinity includes the possibility of everything “and” nothing (every thing as no thing), even the possibility of so-called illusion being and not being at all!”
Thanks for your comments, Anonymous. Very good points—and this really exemplifies the need to be specific as to what is meant by the terms/words being used. Yes, all words at best are mere pointers as said so often, but if, in discussions such as these, there are different meanings attached to a word, then we’re all pointing in different directions—and may not even realize it!
If I’m clear about what you’re saying, it sounds like you’re drawing an analogy between dream-consciousness, in which illusion and not-illusion seem to be not-two—and then asking why Infinity and possibility can’t also be not-two, in a similar way.
In this analogy, so-called dream-consciousness involves time, and the infinity you’re referring to also involves time. Notice that the very notion of “possibility” implies a future, potential, or time. Also, the mere observation or witnessing of illusion (whether seen as illusion or “real”) also would involve time.
Here, in Reality Check, we mean a very different kind of Infinity.
In the Infinity spoken of here, there is no time. Nor does Infinity co-exist with time—though admittedly It seems or appears as if It does.
Infinity, as the term is used here, is not the same as the traditional or generally accepted (dualistic, finite) definition of infinity. The traditional definition is that infinity is a vast or endlessly extending finity…a sort of indefinitely ongoing finity.
Just one of many simple examples is found with counting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…and so on; one could count endlessly to “infinity.” We also hear of “infinite space” and “infinite time” which would be said to extend endlessly, too. The hero Buzz Lightyear of the Disney film Toy Story, is famous for his quote, “To infinity and beyond!” Even though we know that was a joke (because there’s nothing beyond infinity), it still implies that infinity is some kind of endless extension.
BUT, this “infinity” really is a matter of having started out with finity and saying infinity is an endless version of that.
It really would be just an endless finity.
There is another, entirely different “meaning” of Infinity.
The prefix “in” literally means “no” or “not.” On this basis, in-finity does not mean vast or endless finity.
It means no finity at all! None.
In-finity or no-finity, means no counting, no amount, no form, no measurement, no observing or witnessing, no time, no space or location. None at all. It’s almost another way of saying “emptiness”—yet It is an emptiness which is not deadness—but is presently ALIVE as undimensional, timeless, formless, measureless, unobservable pure Awareness as It is being.
One cannot even TRY to think what This is—it’s impossible. But this Present Awareness is inescapably, un-thinkingly being It.
The difference between these two meanings of infinity is huge…the importance of this distinction cannot be emphasized too much. (This “new” Infinity has been mentioned here on Reality Check previously—please don’t ask me where!—and the full discussion is too long to go into in this post, so these are just highlights.) It also is discussed a bit in Chap 4 “Consciousness Is The Infinite Itself” (free on this site in the Writings section). A full discussion can be found in the e-book, “The New, True Infinity” also on this site for $9.95.
One of the key distinctions of this Infinity is that there is no time. Where there’s no time, there can be no “possibilities” because again, possibility implies a future, potential, in other words, time. Be clear that this Infinity means the absence of time altogether, not “endless” time.
The Infinity spoken of here is one that, strictly speaking, is not beyond or outside of finity—but which precludes finity ever occurring, because all finity would require or be one-with time.
Bottom line is, rather than saying, “Infinity includes the possibility of everything ‘and’ nothing…” as Anonymous put it, we’d prefer to say: “It appears as if Infinity includes the possibility of everything ‘and’ nothing…”
We’ll come back to why this is so in a moment, but first some of the other comments from above:
“…But from the “perspective” of dream-consciousness there are other “perspectives”, f.ex. the “perspectives” of the dreamed characters. And dream-consciousness doesn´t precludes these “perspectives”, it includes them.”
In one sense, yes. From within the framework of the dream, it appears as if there are other perspectives. It seems best to qualify it by saying “appears as if” because there’s still another way of looking at it. Even when still speaking of dream, it also can be said that all those “other” seeming perspectives really aren’t other perspectives at all. In what appears to be the finite-Peter-mind, or dream-consciousness, it may seem as if there are many bodies, each having its own separate mind or consciousness, hence its own perspective, which seems to be “other” than the Peter-mind-perspective.
But in another sense, ALL OF IT actually depends on the one Peter-mind-perspective as its seeming source. Take away the finite-Peter-mind and the whole scene vanishes—even all those others and their “perspectives”…so were they really separate to begin with? When you awaken from a dream, all the other bodies (and perspectives) that appeared in that dream do not awaken with you.
Put it another way. When watching a movie on a screen, all the characters appear to be separate selves or identities…they all appear to act and talk as if they have their own independent perspectives, one for each of those character-bodies. But from another perspective, it’s clear that all the characters actually are puppets of, and manipulated by the ONE movie. The characters don’t really control anything; there really aren’t separate lives or perspectives there…it all would be a product of, and controlled by the movie. No character really says or does anything on its own, independent of the one movie…so, in this case, the only so-called “perspective” would be that of the one movie. And yet the movie is not really a conscious identity or intelligence at all—the movie is just a series of reactions.
“…And dream-consciousness doesn´t precludes these “perspectives”, it includes them.”
Yes. In fact, just to be very specific and crystal clear, dream-consciousness would be the perspectives, which seems a bit more accurate than saying it includes them. And it’s really only one perspective (dream’s) not many that are included. It’s like looking at a painting…in one sense there may appear to be many…many objects painted in many colors—but in another sense, it’s all one “stuff”—paint. It seems clearest to say it as Anonymous put it later:
“…What matters is that these “perspectives” and the “perspective” of dream-consciousness are not-two…”
Now back to Infinity as meaning no-finity. One might ask, “Well, why this new definition…what’s wrong with the old one?” Nothing—and the traditional “infinity” appears to be very useful in everyday mathematics and science.
This “new” Infinity seems more consistent with what nonduality, Being, and Awareness actually IS. This is not referring to a thinking mind’s conceptual nonduality, Being, Awareness, but ACTUAL nonduality, Being, Awareness.
Infinity as used here is pointing to the IS-ness that pure Awareness, Being, is. It is the present-only-ness of Awareness, which cannot vacate being present only. In pure Awareness, Being, IS, or NOW, there is no time. There is no space and no measurement. Pure Awareness, Being, NOW, is not observable, not countable—all of which is exactly true of Infinity.
IS is not a possibility—It IS—and nothing besides IS can be. NOW is not a possibility—and It NEVER is not-NOW. It is in this sense that it’s said that Infinity (NOW) does not really include possibility, even though it seems or appears to the “finite mind” as if It does.
To say Infinity includes possibility is like saying NOW includes time, and that is not what is meant here by NOW. If there’s a claim to the contrary, it would seem to be coming only from thought, not Infinite Awareness (which is what NOW is). Here we are concerned primarily with the Infinity, the NOW-only, that Awareness is, although the seeming nature of finite thought is often mentioned for purposes of explanation.
What COUNTS is not these terms or words about Infinity, but the un-verbal, un-thinking Alive Now-only-ness that THIS Awareness presently, alive-ly, is and does not fail to be, which is Infinity timelessly being.
This is the “stance” taken here—and though it may appear as if there is a sense of time, of space, of observation, and of wonderful possibilities, even as illusion, they are not denied or negated—we just stay clear as to what really IS.
It has been shown in previous posts why the Present Awareness aware here, now, is absolutely history-less, time-less. Whatever would try to say any thing, any form, even “illusion” was present before, and is now past, even a few seconds ago, would be mere thought, not Awareness. And that thought of a “past” actually seems to be arising ONLY in the current moment—it’s not “back there” or past at all.
In fact, the entirety of what seems to be past isn’t past at all. It just seems to arise currently. Even the thought that Present Awareness “has been present eternally” (for a long time) is just a mere thought arising now for the “first time ever.” So not even Present Awareness, All That Is, can be said to have been before, or be a moment “old.”
Just stop to consider—absolutely ALL THAT IS has zero prior history of existing!
This Self-evident Truth means that nowhere is there any accumulation from a past, because there hasn’t been a past! Nowhere is there a prior pattern of any type that could limit YOU, this Present Awareness, for there has been absolutely nothing prior.
Now that’s “new”!
(These, too, are mere highlights on the Present-only-ness of Awareness. For a more complete discussion see “Present Consciousness” in the Writings section on this site.)
So, yes, in one sense it does seem as if this never-before Unlimitedness opens infinitely wide the door of “possibilities” because Present Awareness, All, always is at this standpoint of being utterly “fresh” and “un-aged.” Absolutely nothing has occurred before that could tell Awareness how things must be or will be—because there has been no before!
But Present Awareness (which is the subject of this blog), Itself is not a possibility—It IS. And It is Present Awareness Itself that really is all that is present, and does not change. When is the Present not present? That simply doesn’t happen.
Whatever there may seem to be in the way of phenomena, seems to be arising only in the current moment as thought. But it simultaneously also is “leaving,” passing on, not-being-present the moment it seems to arise—thus never changelessly IS—thus is not considered real, eternal or present.
So, strictly speaking, to Infinity (THIS unchangingly Present Awareness) there is only Its timeless, changeless BEING—and no time for possibility. That means no possibility of “illusion being and not being at all” because there’s no possibility at all, and no illusion at all, both of which would involve time.
If the foregoing might seem logical but feels overly conceptual, then see for yourself via “direct experience.” Investigate. Is Awareness aware now? (Hopefully the answer is yes!) Is this presently aware Awareness merely a possibility, or is It actually, actively aware now? Can Awareness ever be taken out of being present tense only and be put in time? Notice if there’s a doubt or claim to the contrary about time, possibility, or a witnessing of illusion—what is that? It’s mere thought trying to talk—not Awareness being.
While it may be clear this is Truth, it “seems” as if “we” are still a quite a ways from LIVING, BEING, 100% on this basis. It still seems as if there is a phenomenal world in which possibilities seem to, well, be possible.
As said above, what’s of value is not the theorizing about Infinity or the Timelessness that Awareness is, not the discussion of It—but the “acting” or “abiding” AS IT. After all, Awareness is purely “abiding as” Awareness and not thinking about Itself—and there is no other being aware here, now.
“Where It’s at” is not in intellectually agreeing with all this, but in being consciously alive as Present Awareness which IS Unlimitedness Itself. It is, pattern-less Life, infinitely open Being. And in what still seems to be finite experience, this will “seem” or “appear” as more and more new “possibilities” because there is no longer the seeming clinging to mere repeating mental patterns.