Question:Can I ask about integration ? When I spoke to you last year I told you that my sense of myself was behind me. It appears sometimes that I have two types of experience that seem quite apart; it’s my perception that there’s a split, but I can confuse myself a lot. Some of the things I’m involved in talk a lot about an integration process. Is there a time where you feel you have arrived home ?
Mooji:If I were to talk to you on the basis that something is separate or separated or that there is some split, then we may talk about integration. There is no end to that talk. But you say there is a ‘sense’ of some split. This is still related to the things we discussed the last time I spoke to you – the sense of there being more behind here. They are just thoughts. Perhaps the question you could ask is, what is aware of some split ? We feel we understand the split, but what or who perceives that ?
Q:My real self. My natural awareness, I suppose.
M:Okay. In your natural awareness, what form does awareness have ? What form do you have as awareness ? When you say awareness, are you aware of yourself as something measurable ? Is there something tangible about awareness ?
Q:What seems to happen is it collapses very quickly in an object.
M:What witnesses collapse or the sense of collapse ? Is that collapsing ?
In the field of consciousness, innumerable sensations arise. It seems inexhaustible, this flow, this traffic of thoughts. Sometimes a thought or some sensation arises, and you have a feeling that you are affected by it. Sometimes what really happens is that the energy of that thought or sensation is already exhausted but you are living in the memory of it perpetuating it through memory.
Q:At the moment it’s a feeling of extreme tiredness, too much sensation. I can’t take any more.
M:Don’t take it. How do you take the sensation ? What’s the payoff ?
Q:I suppose the payoff is someone who is experiencing.
M:If there is no pay-off, does it amount to no experiencing ? Does payoff imply
Does experiencing have a particular aim ? You are simply observing consciousness acting, and it’s ever shape-shifting. You think you are going to make a nice comfortable place for yourself here, and you go to sit and everything vanishes. There is nowhere you need to locate yourself but a sense of location arises in you. You are aware of that. There is this tendency to give some quality to what you call yourself.
Q:I identify with the feeling that arises.
M:You identify with it. The feeling arises. Perceived. Do you identify with all the thoughts that arise in you ?
Q:No. Some strong feelings I identify with.
M:Some feelings arise and you experience them strongly. Maybe sometimes in childhood you picked
up some impression that this was actually happening to you, because once the consciousness
resonates within this form in the feeling ‘I am’, quickly that feeling rushes forward and
identifies with the body and borrows the body’s qualities and says ‘I am that’. Originally,
that consciousness is not personal, but it feels itself to be personal by feeling ‘I am this
particular form’. It is just like the electricity supply; in a lamp it produces light, in a
fridge it is making things cold, but electricity is none of those things. Functioning through
particular things, it appears to make things cold or bright or whatever, but electricity
cannot be described as being light or cold. As this consciousness or knowingness, you are
simply perceiving. But when the feeling arises very strongly ‘I am the body’, the
experiencing seems very impactful for consciousness expressing itself in various bodies known
as people. The intensity varies according to the degree or potency of belief in the
identification, ‘I am this particular form’.
Gradually, that identification is coming under a lot of stress in what we call ‘life’, because having identified as a particular body, the consciousness sets about trying to perpetuate life in that particular form, taking that form to be itself. It regards any threat or injury to that form, or the passing away of that form to be the passing away of itself. It experiences fear, anxiety, restlessness and all of that stuff because it assumes itself to be this particular form. As the particular form – known as ‘ego’ â€“ it feels itself to be distinctly different, borrowing the unique quality of a particular body to be its body and seeing other bodies as different from itself. This is how it comes into this field of otherness. In this way, the consciousness which is pure and universal in origin experiences itself as independent and as separate. For some time it is invested in that separateness and even proud to be separate. But it cannot sustain this; gradually it is being buffeted by world, by circumstances, by frustrated dreams and disappointments. It loses its conceitedness and arrogance and becomes more pliable, more receptive to spiritual truths. You don’t have to know that this is occurring. You may not think this is happening, but at some point it sprouts up in your consciousness, somehow, as an affinity and an attraction for some teachings, perhaps, or some questions arise naturally in you. You may not be able to trace how it came about. Why you ?
Maybe you are here and perhaps you have a family, friends, who don’t share this interest. Where did this particular interest arise in you ?
Q:I think initially from the discomfort.
M:So in a way you have to be grateful to the discomfort if it brings you to want to be free from that.
Q:Thank you. That’s a very good description of what’s been happening. It seems to have reached a crisis point or an intensity that I can’t â€“ that I don’t want to bear; the thought that arises is somehow to get rid of the self to stop the feelings – sort of an impasseâ€¦.
M:Don’t get too good at talking about your feelings.
Q:Yes, because I’m involved in group therapy at the moment.
M:It gives you that kind of skill.
Q:I actually wanted to move away from it, and the facilitator said I would disrupt the group if I removed myself.
M:Are you inclined to feel overly responsible for other people ?
Q:No, and I actually wondered was I being cold. I would have been at one point. Maybe I’ve gone from one extreme to another.
M:What is it that’s aware of the extremes ? You speak so easily about that, naturally, extremes. Something is aware of this jumping, this twitching. What is aware of that ? Can you refute that there is something which is not that flitting, in which that jumping around is observed ? What do you have to do to be where that awareness is ?
Q:To be fully with it.
M:What will be with what ?
Q:It’s already there withoutâ€¦
M:Is there something pressing arising for you right now ? Don’t touch some past thing. Right now, this instant.
Q:Right now it’s clear. There are feelings, but right now it’s okay.
M:When does now become then ? Stay now.
Q:Immediately now stays, and then is gone; it’s almost simultaneous.
M:Now, right now, what are you, just now ? Where is any of this stuff, right now ? Don’t go to the past.
Q:I don’t know.
M:How does it feel not knowing ?
M:How are you going to be from now ?
Q:Pay attention to now.
M:You are aware of attention. You are not attention. Ordinarily, what we call ourselves, when we really investigate it we are speaking about our attention. You are aware of attention. If you are inclined to feel ‘I come and I go’, something witnesses the sensation of coming and going. If I ask you what that is, whatever answer your mind comes up with will not be it.
Q:I think I was identifying with my attention and thinking that was the awareness.
M:It arises much more strongly when you feel yourself to be a particular person. It matters to be successful, it matters to be happy, and it matters to make money. But the feeling of yourself as a fixed personality, when you investigate it, it’s only an idea. It’s like we speak about the weather; English weather, Irish weather, but can you produce a sample of the weather ? We speak about it like a noun, but it’s more like a movement. Inwardly in the landscape of your consciousness all these sensations are moving like the weather too. You are more like a verb than a noun, but you think of yourself as a noun, you sense something solid. But what the solidity is is the basic feeling ‘I am’. The continuous unbroken basis. And a little bit of a cocktail of that basic I am-ness mixed with the feeling ‘I am the body’ that produces this thing. The body-mind feels ‘I am the person’, and ‘I am constant’. It borrows the constancy and the solidity of the I am-ness and says ‘I am that’. I the personality am this solidity. When you investigate the personality it’s simply a movement, an aggregate of memory and conditioning and all of this stuff playing out like a kind of software.
Q:There’s a huge difference. As opposed to identifying with the body I would identify with a feeling.
M:And if you don’t identify with anything ?
Q:There is just I am, but it’s interesting you mentioned solidity because I would seek that outâ€¦
M:You see, I asked you this question, what’s there when you don’t identify and you said the basic ‘I am’, and so quickly you have moved off. ‘Just I am’ was an answer that you were giving rather than being one with that. It is really the mind that accepts the answer ‘I am’, it says ‘yeah, I know that, but there is no juice in it’. It’s still looking for a fix. It’s collecting this feeling ‘I am’ as a kind of an answer. You are not really being pointed to recognize and be one with that which you already are, because there’s this athlete’s foot mind, itching for a good scratch and you are scratching and you are never satisfied and you need to just recognize that tendency. Stay with that. Be aware that they are just arising. It’s not wrong that they should; they just are. They will arise as long as the consciousness is here in this body. Activity is not contrary to truth; just let it be, and you can observe. Function naturally. Everything is just happening by itself. But once you adopt the position of being the doer, then there is difficulty, and you have to sign up for a long time; for therapy and all this type of thing. But you will have to return to the very basic truth if you are to be satisfied, happy and free. you are now free, but somehow your attention caresses ‘other’ and your facinations – your conceptual investments which spring from the belief ‘I am the body’ amounts to an eclipsing of your natural Self-awareness/beingness. There is a tendency to think that there is still something to work out, something more to get. This sense keeps you at the nipple, in a suffering state, so the sense of suffering itself is a very deep invitation to put an end to that.
M:Start real looking. Whatever is arising, don’t jump on its back so quickly. It has only gathered strength because you have been looking after these feelings for so long, thinking that somehow you are deriving some benefit from it. Give it some time; don’t try it for five minutes.