November 26

The Need for a Teacher

Q: Roy, does everyone need a teacher?
R: In an absolute sense, everyone is Self taught; there is no individual teaching another individual.
Relatively speaking, although I hesitate to generalize in any manner, most do need somebody to reveal to them that they don’t need anybody.

Some suggest that a teacher is like a doctor. This may be valid but it is quite clear that most are rejecting said doctor’s prescriptions. They go along only as far as their fears will allow.
I prefer to view a teacher like a friend who comes over to help you throw out all the unnecessary stuff you’ve amassed. In that sense, if you’ve got a lot of acquired junk, a teacher may be appropriate.
Too, since you believe you have a body, you believe that the teacher must also have a body. Yet, this is not always the case. Life provides many key teachings without the use of an embodied teacher.
The usual difficulty that commonly arises in the process is that everyone tries to discern the teaching using the intellect. But the intellect is the wrong tool much as a hammer is the wrong tool for cutting lumber.
It is only the native Intelligence which can grasp it or apperceive it and this only occurs once the intellect is out of the way. Then, the attention to phenomena transitions to attention to attention.

Q: This issue has really been problematic for me.
R: When analyzing any problem, the first question is “When does this problem present itself?”
My argument is that it only presents when you are awake. When you are sleeping or dreaming, it’s not there. It’s not even there when you’re awake, unless you have a thought of it.
What problems can there be which the mind did not create?

Q: Can I develop my instincts further in order to see this?
R: No you can’t. Instinct is the software that comes pre-installed by the manufacturer.

Q: Can a teacher help me witness?
R: Witnessing arises spontaneously. There is nothing that anyone can do to bring it about. Nor are there personal witnesses, or numerous individual witnesses. There is only witnessing.

Q: Why do you assign so much urgency to “waking up”?
R: In the sense that a lit candle is dying every minute, so too are each of us dying every minute. Therefore, there is no time to waste.
As the world of the dream appears in the mind, so too, the world of the waking state is an appearance in mind only. Mind is the screen on which images appear.
We are always back where we started because we never go outside of it.
Illusions seem so real because they deploy the very same systems in the brain that actual perceptions do. The inherent flaw in the brain is that it reports how things seem to it, not how they are.

Q: Then, we’re all victims of our brains, so to speak.
R: I wouldn’t introduce victimization, as such.
The human brain may be thought of as a physical condensation of the mind and is the outcome of the past, millions of years of evolution. Everything registered by consciousness is filtered for relevance by the brain and whatever is not rejected is translated by the mind. It is the mind’s function to change, to discriminate and correct.

Q: What is the relationship between the mind and the brain?
R: One aspect of the Conscious Life Energy is this knowing consciousness. Mind is a manifestation of consciousness, which in turn manifests worlds. Mind rises in the body via the integration of the brain and the nervous system.

Q: The mind manifests worlds? I don’t see that.
R: The waking state is one of externality. That is to say that there is a “me” and a world that seems to appear outside of this “me”. However, the world has no existence outside of the mind in which it appears.

Q: Where does the “me” come from?
R: When individual consciousness rises from sleep, we know ourselves via “I-am-this-body”. But in sleep there is knowledge of neither the body nor the world. The pure consciousness or authentic-I alone exists in sleep.
In the waking state, the first thought “I am” appears.  Only to this first thought do additional thoughts of other, of second and third persons, rise. The more one attends to second and third persons, the more the thoughts will increase.
The body in the world attracts attention and fascinates so completely that rarely does one perceive the essential. As such, the attention must return to the first-person and away from “other”.

November 21


Q: You say that virtually all practices fail. Why is that?
R: One begins a certain practice, stays with it for a number of days, weeks, months or years and then decides that it hasn’t produced the desired results. So they move on to another practice that seems to hold more promise and, here again, he or she stays with it for a number of days, weeks, months or years and then decides that it hasn’t produced the desired results. What we have here is the movement of no movement, going from practice to practice to practice, never seeing the root flaw.
It is like trying to change the face in the mirror by changing the mirror. It isn’t the mirror that needs changing.

Q: Therefore, there is nothing that I can do?
R: Here’s an idea; play with it, if you like. Don’t be rigid about it. Let it reveal itself by itself.
One comes to see the polarity that exists between Subjectivity and Objectivity. When the attention is transfixed in the latter, we refer to it as identification. When fixed in the former, it is called realization or enlightenment.
How then, to create movement away from Objectivity and toward Subjectivity?
One begins by creating the smallest of gaps between one objective transfixation and the next. In the instant that I declare “I observe” while attending to phenomena, there is the briefest moment when the attending ceases. When our attention operates in an active and vigilant fashion, then thoughts and concepts do not arise, for this active attention prevents the disintegration of our Energy into these forms.
Over time, these gaps increase in duration, eventually leading to a tsunami of clarity, a steady and unwavering abidance in Subjective Being.

Q: I remember your saying that the I is the problem. I don’t get that; can you explain?
R: When we sit quietly, many phenomena come into our attention. We may hear the buzzing of an insect, see the redness of a rosebud and smell what appears to be pasta sauce cooking.
These are all registered in consciousness and these registrations are translated by the mind as “I hear”, “I see” and “I smell”.
However, this is inaccurate. There is Hearing, Seeing and Smelling, all as aspects of Knowing.
In that sense, the “I hear”, “I see” and “I smell” are all representations of an inauthentic-I, as opposed to the authentic-I which is the Knowing. I’ll call this inauthentic-I, small i. This is the first distortion. However, that’s not all.
Then, this small i looks out and sees a world separate from itself, an other-than-small-i. This is the second distortion.
It is the combination of these two distortions that results in the rampant confusion about what constitutes reality.

Q: I still don’t see how to attain this state.
R: There is nothing higher to attain to.
You are already the highest, but you tells yourself otherwise. You can only know yourself by being yourself without any attempt at self-definition and self-description. Nothing happens to you; you are the center of observation of all that happens.
Turn away from intellectualism and toward pure experience. Be still, cease being anything in particular, and see whether or not my words ring true.

November 17


Q: Roy, lately I’ve been reading a lot of the ancient texts of the East. Many refer to man’s ignorance as the sole impediment to enlightenment. Am I ignorant?
R: (laughing) Now, that’s a loaded question!

When these texts speak of ignorance, they are referring to man’s taking his beliefs to be evident truths. In that sense, if you have unverified beliefs that you’re holding on to, then you’re ignorant.
What they make most clear is that the dissipation of this ignorance is a precondition for clarity.
I prefer to use confusion as opposed to ignorance. One is confused. Confusion is the result of taking what seems to be for what is. The Hindus refer to it as maya and the confusion is moha.

Q: Can you speak further about it?
R: Sure. It could be said that there are two views of the world, one that is perceived by Conscious and the other that is perceived by self-consciousness.  The singular former is reality whereas the billions constituting the latter are confusion.
The Conscious Life Energy, its manifestation and function, and the experience of it is all there is. With clear sight, everything seen is a part of Me. Kim is a part of this Me, as is Roy, and Jack and his dog and its pups.
One may construct narratives filled with I’s, you’s, me’s, we’s and they’s, but it is without real substance.

Q: If the self consciousness is the problem, how do I get rid of it?
R: It is the self consciousness itself which makes efforts to get rid of itself. So how can it be gotten rid of? If self consciousness is to go, then something else must make it happen.
The potentiality for self consciousness is the I-am thought. In its subtle form, it remains a thought whereas in its gross aspect it embraces mind, senses and body.
One must come to understand who is that “I” contained in each “my”. This is the core of the investigation.
You begin at the beginning; before one conceptualizes anything, one is.
This person, this psychosomatic organism, is only an aggregate of phenomena. The body appears as a series of sensory perceptions and subsequently, concepts are formed regarding it. Yet, the senses that provide the perceptions are part of the body.
This is the paradox.

Q: Then the whole thing is outside of my control.
R: Yes, and seeing that is movement in the right direct, so to speak.
Life is the flow of individual events that sometimes intersect with this form; nothing more.
Thousands of things enter and depart from my experience without my approval. I become ill; I get well. Good news arrives, bad news arrives. I become hungry; I don’t decide to become hungry.
Life doesn’t need anyone’s approval. In that sense, the notion of controlling life is delusional.

November 14

Mind Control and Consciousness

Q: Roy, there are many traditions that advocate the control of the mind as the path to enlightenment. What is your viewpoint in this?
Roy: As music is a stream of tones, mind is a stream of phenomena, of which thought is one type.
Before the effort to control, there must be the thought of control. How will the mind, which is a collection of thoughts, come under control by the thought of controlling it?
Controlling the mind doesn’t take you to freedom. Controlling the mind adds another link to the chains. Controlling the flow of the mind is like damming a river; all results are temporary.

Q: Well, if this is not the answer, what do you suggest?
R: Man has within himself the conscious energy to effect his transformation. However, he presently squanders the energy through his resistance to what-is and through his energetic expenditures on attachments.

Q: How does resistance squander energy?
R: Take a very material example: if you want to stop a boulder from rolling downhill, you must exert considerable energy to stop it. You are, in effect, resisting its momentum. What-is has its own momentum; to resist it, expends energy.
The desire to change what-is into something else invariably introduces tension into the process.
In like fashion, it requires considerable energy to hold on to all the things one is usually attached to. Make a list and see for yourself.

Q: I can see that. But there are things that are undesirable.
R: Yes, that’s resistance to what-is.

Q: I don’t know how to get passed that. Some things are good, somethings are bad.
R: See that there is no opposition between the polarities. The cyclical movement from one pole to another continues as it always has. The inherent unity in diversity is natural. Winter doesn’t seek to slow the arrival of Spring.
This good-bad dichotomy is rooted in viewpoint. A cat captures a mouse; what’s bad for the mouse is good for the cat.

Q: Then how can I stop thinking in terms of good and bad?
R: In one sense, you can’t. Thought breeds the thinker. You assume that you create the thoughts that arrive, thus making you their thinker. But what if that’s not so?

Q: Is that what you’re suggesting?
R: When the Conscious Life Energy passes through the heart, one gets pumping action. When it passes through the brain, one gets thought. The brain doesn’t think in the same way that the eye doesn’t see. Nor does the thought “I see” see.
I’m suggesting you not take my word for anything. Check it out for yourself and reach your own conclusions.

Q: The eye doesn’t see? Can you elaborate on that?
R: Let”s compare two conceptual snapshots of a man.
In the first snapshot, which I”ll call Mr. Yesterday, we have a man who is alive and vibrant. In the second, we have the same man, 24 hours later, laid out on a slab in a hospital, dead from a massive heart attack. I”ll call him Mr. Today.
Both snapshots have eyes but only Mr. Yesterday can see. Both have ears but only Mr. Yesterday can hear. From this, one must conclude that it is not the eyes that see nor the ears that hear, but something else.
Both Mr. Yesterday and Mr. Today have brains, but only the former processes thoughts. Here again, the brain is not the active agent. Instead, it is the instrument for the activity.
In the same way, Mr. Yesterday breathes, blinks his eyes, salivates and performs hundreds of other bodily functions that Mr. Today cannot. Again, we must therefore conclude that it is not the body that operates these processes, but something else.
This “something else” is what I call the Conscious Life Energy. It is the animus to its instrument, the corpus.

Q: OK, then what is my relationship to this Conscious Life Energy?
R: Good question. The answer is that you have no relationship to it. This Conscious Life Energy is what one is.
Relationship requires self and other. One can”t have a relationship with oneself.

Q: Then, when I say “I”, who or what am I talking about?
R: “I” is the mind”s translation of the sense of the presence of the Conscious Life Energy in the body. The “my” in “my body, my mind” emphasizes both as possessions of this “I”.
The “my” in “my car” or “my wife” points to each as possessions of the named organism whose body/mind is the possession of “I”.

Q: I’m confused.
R: Look at all the acts performed by the body without assigning any personal agency to them …………………. no one doing anything.
The instant one awakens and the instant one falls asleep occur outside of one”s control. One decides to do neither.
The seeming “I” which appears is unreal. The moment the “I” is proven unreal, what is it that knows that the “I” is unreal? This knowledge within that knows the “I” is unreal, the knowledge which knows change, must itself be changeless, permanent.

Q: What I’m taking away from what you said is that it is something yet it is nothing. Can you clarify this for me?
R: One of the more difficult notions for people to embrace is that what one is is nothing perceivable. It runs counter to the brain”s referential structure. You are nothing that you are conscious of. Giving this consideration causes the brain to lock up for an instant.
The only way to know this ephemerality is by its effects. Energy moving through water is called wave. Energy moving through the air is called wind. Energy moving through an inert ovum is now a living organism called Sally.

Q: I follow what you are saying and feel that I have a good intellectual understanding of it. Now what?
R: Some of you will leave here today having afforded yourselves a Masters in Intellectual Understanding. However, it is a paper crown.
What remains is for this understanding to ripen. Then its fruit drops. The ripening can be facilitated by sitting with a single question: “That which I have heard here today, is it true or not?” Don”t get entwined in whether or not it conforms with your present beliefs. Begin an independent inquiry into it without any previous biases.
This is ripening.

Q: Would you say that is a summation of your view?
R: I’ll restate it this way.
The only thing one can know, that one can ever know, is what presents itself in that consciousness that one essentially is.
A table or a tree exists only when it appears as a conscious perception. In other words, the only tables and the trees that one knows are appearances in consciousness.
They arise from the field of consciousness and ultimately resolve there. The appearances change instant by instant, continuously; the Seeing does not.
Looking inward, what is revealed is that one is always the silent observing of whichever perception presents itself. All these appear in consciousness, like clouds in the sky. Whether there are big clouds or small clouds, the silent observing remains itself unchanged.
All phenomena perceived, the thoughts, feelings and sensations, are nothing but movements of energy.
Every movement is in time, having its beginning, its crest and its dissolution there. Consciousness, the Experiencing that we are, is there before a movement commences, throughout its duration and after its disappearance, just as water must be there before the birth of any wave, remaining as such during its lifetime, and even after the wave has disappeared.
So-called seeking is consciousness seeking its source. There is no individual. There is only you, the total functioning as you. The total functioning is you.
The consciousness is you.
Every moment the attention is going outward toward the world. Were it redirected inward and were it to stabilize there, all your problems would dissolve.
I invite you to see for yourself.