This post is in response to another good question, which came in from a friend called Lily. Here it is, below:
What is called the ¨world out there¨ is the very mind, not something apart from mind, but mind itself, something mind ¨is¨ and ¨does.¨ Is this right? So, even when this ¨world out there¨ is a false impression, ¨mind¨ can take place, so to speak, only because there is Consciousness, otherwise mind and its false impressions could not even be recognized as such. Then, mind, stemming from Consciousness (which would be the only ¨source¨ available, if you will, and therefore, the only power there is), kind of derives from It its ¨qualification ¨ to what looks like its ability to ¨create¨ this ¨world out there¨ with its seeming conditions; all this through the aid of ¨thought,¨ as it were?
To this extent then, if the above were correct, can it be said that there is power in thought as an extension of Consciousness?
Could this be the reason behind what the mind-sense of a ¨personal me¨ experiences as seeming tangible ¨evil¨ of every kind? And thus, there could be an answer for it in just ¨taking no thought¨?
The best way to reply to this is in portions:
What is called the ¨world out there¨ is the very mind, not something apart from mind, but mind itself, something mind ¨is¨ and ¨does.¨ Is this right?
Yes. It is important to see that what appear as things are really not separate items or objects that the “mind” knows about. They would be the mind itself. This is the subject of chapters 13 -16 in the book. However, this is a good opportunity to emphasize another important point about “mind.”
When referring to appearances, to the finite realm, to the everyday world of phenomena, the terms “finite mind” and “finite sense-mind” are used a lot in Cons. Is All. However, those are just terms of convenience. There really is no such entity as a “mind” which does things such as thinking and experiencing sensations.
Yes, on a finite basis it seems as if thoughts arise. It seems as if sensations are experienced—sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. It seems emotions are experienced. Even the “self” that seems to witness all this is a kind of arising thought, and depends entirely on what it supposedly witnesses for its very seeming presence. They are opposite sides of a coin. Take away what is witnessed, and there cannot be said to be a witness, and vice-versa.
But these all would be just random arising experiences. It is not as if there is something else, a “mind,” that is their source or is “generating” thoughts and sensations. When all these arising forms are lumped together, the term “mind” is used as a kind of collective label.
Meanwhile, Infinity does not “witness” any such thing because Infinity is not witnessable, and to Infinity there is nothing besides Infinity to witness.
So, even when this ¨world out there¨ is a false impression, ¨mind¨ can take place, so to speak, only because there is Consciousness, otherwise mind and its false impressions could not even be recognized as such. Then, mind, stemming from Consciousness (which would be the only ¨source¨ available, if you will, and therefore, the only power there is), kind of derives from It its ¨qualification ¨ to what looks like its ability to ¨create¨ this ¨world out there¨ with its seeming conditions; all this through the aid of ¨thought,¨ as it were?
From the level of so-called “mind” or thought, the finite, it does seem as if thought is a creator of sorts. It seems as if thought is a cause. I have the thought that I’m going to the grocery store, and that thought causes my body to go there. But this seems to be the case only when this activity is seen from the level of thought itself.
There is another way of looking at what appears to occur.
First, it isn’t really that Consciousness is a “positive source” of such things, as you said. Pure Consciousness (meant here as synonymous with Infinity, Presence, Being), which is not dual, could not create both good and evil.
These things appear to happen because it seems utter Infinity, pure Being, is being “ignored” to some extent, even though not intentionally. Despite what we say about the ALLNESS of Consciousness, Infinity, it still seems or appears from a human point of view, as if there is still some degree of not 100% BEING It.
Identification with thought, giving thought “power,” is one way this ignoring seems to occur. (This ignoring literally is what “creates” the human or personal point of view!) Even posts such as this require some degree of thought to read. But here, and in other nondual writing, thought is used only as a means to wipe out the identification with thought! Our friend Escher brilliantly exemplifies this with his illustration of the hands in the photo above.
Yet, from the standpoint of pure Infinity, It cannot really ignore Itself in favor of thought, ever. There is no time in pure Present-ness in which ignoring could occur.
What occurs thanks to this seeming “ignore-ance” is far different than what seems to occur when something is “positively created” or caused on the level of thought.
This is far from a perfect example, but it’s like when a dream starts up after falling asleep. The falling asleep is kind of like “ignoring” awakeness–and while this ignoring seems to go on, all kinds of things can happen in the resultant dream. Yet no one intentionally thought, created or dreamed them up that way.
In the same way, when it seems there has been a “falling asleep” to Infinity, then all kinds of things can seem to appear in the so-called finite realm (which the Infinite really knows nothing of). And Infinity Itself really never can fall asleep or ignore Itself. So even to address such issues as if they were possible to the Infinite, is to be “off.”
To this extent then, if the above were correct, can it be said that there is power in thought as an extension of Consciousness? So that this could be the reason behind what the mind sense of a ¨personal me¨ experiences as seeming tangible ¨evil¨ of every kind? And thus, there could be an answer for it in just ¨taking no thought¨?
As far as “taking no thought” yes, the instincts were good on that one. In a sense that’s the “answer.” However, maybe a more specific way to put it would be to say “staying specifically alive as pure Present-ness” (which also is “taking no thought” but goes a bit “further”).
Pure Present-ness is single, without an opposite, and as one “lives here,” as this Awakeness, what seem to be appearances of duality and evil (suffering) have to fade because there is no longer a finite “dual mind” (ignorance, dream) to feed or ignore-antly “create” or dream them.
Appearances do not have their own presence or present-ness. Only pure Present-ness has, or IS, all Presence.
Starting from, or AS, pure Present-ness—there is absolutely no history of anything—not even of Present-ness Itself! One “lives here” because this is what Presence Itself (the only One alive!) is “doing” or being.
So there really is NO history of a mind or finite state that knows about or could produce evil—thus no such thing to perpetuate such appearances. (discussed a lot in Ch. 22). History-less Presence is present for Its own sake—It is not trying to clear up evil pictures—because to pure Present-ness nothing has existed before that could need clearing up—not even Itself!
It seems one has to stay alert to Present-ness, yes. But don’t let it become a struggle or task. Rather, just notice how effortlessly, how relentlessly, how totally, and how infallibly the Present is present.
In fact, as so often said here, try to make the Present, NOW, not be now, not be 100% pure and without history. It’s impossible!
It is a matter of “resting in” or “enjoying” the un-go-away-able-ness of It! And who or What is doing the resting or enjoying? History-less Presence Itself!