(Uphill above our bay today, outside this church)
One breath of oneness; then one more; one at a time
Thus ever gratefully we breathe for one and all
announces, celebrates, indicates
God’s infinite being
Our only experience of the world is perception. That is; sights, sounds, tastes, textures and smells. All there is to perception in our experience, is perceiving, and the only substance present in perceiving, is knowing.
All there is to the mind, are thoughts and images. Our only knowledge of thoughts and images, are thinking and imagining. And the only substance present in thinking and imagining, is knowing.
See, that knowing, or consciousness, is the only substance that is ever actually known, or experienced.
Try now to find something in your experience –in your current experience; your remembered experience; your imagined experience– that is made of anything other than knowing.
Test your experience.
Go to the extremes.
A vision of God
A near-death experience
A deep depression
A moment of ecstasy
Or, simply the taste of tea
Is there anything to any of these experiences… Could there be anything to any of these experiences, or indeed to any experience, other than: knowing.
And ask yourself the question:
What is it that knows the experience of knowing?
Is it known by itself? Or is it known by something other than itself? Can you find anything other than knowing, with which knowing could be known?
Wherever we look in experience, there is only knowing. It is knowing that knows this knowing.
Now, ask yourself the question:
Is this knowing ever divided into parts?
If knowing were divided into parts, there would have to be something within knowing, other than knowing, with which it could be divided. In just the same way, that in order to divide the space of this room, we would have to build a wall through the middle of this room, made out of something other than the space.
Is there anything in empty space, with which empty space could be divided? Space cannot divide space.
Is there anything in knowing, other than knowing, with which knowing could be divided into parts?
See that this knowing is indivisible, there is nothing in itself with which it could be divided or limited, and therefore it is unlimited, or; infinite.
This knowing is not something foreign to our self; it is our very own self, the only self –if we can call it a “self”– there is.
This single, infinite, intimate, indivisible Whole, or Self, admits no other self or entity within itself.
No separate object or self ever comes into existence; existence, from the Latin ex-, meaning “out of”, and sistere, meaning “to stand”. No object or self ever exists, or “stands out from” this infinite, intimate, indivisible knowing, with its own independent existence.
There are no real objects or selves.
It is not blasphemous to say: “I am the infinite, perfect Whole.”
In other words, it is not blasphemous to say: “I am God’s infinite being.”
It is blasphemous to say: “I am a separate self.” That is the true blasphemy.
Because, to consider oneself “a self”, as separate individual, is to deny the only Presence of the infinite Whole. There is no room for the finite in the Infinite. There is no room in God’s infinite being for anything other than itself. To assert the existence of a separate self, or an object, is to deny the reality of God’s infinite being.
When Ramana Maharshi was asked by his devotees if he would like to take a tour round India, speaking to people in various parts of the country, he said: “What’s the point? I never see anything.” He didn’t mean that truly “I don’t see appearances”, but his vision was completely equal; he only ever experienced one thing, and travelling around India would give him no further experience of that one thing that he experienced at home in Arunachala. His vision was even, equal; knowing only knowing.
In the early stages of our investigation on the inward-facing path, objective experience seems to be a distraction from Reality. Objective experience –thinking, feeling, sensing, perceiving– seems to veil the reality of pure knowing, or God’s infinite being, and therefore we have to turn away from it.
But in the more advanced stages of our exploration in the outward-facing path, there is no question of being distracted from pure knowing. If there is nothing in experience, other than pure knowing, what could distract us from this knowing? What would be the need for the focusing of our attention; the resisting of any experience, or the accepting of any experience? In the more advanced stages of this investigation, objective experience is not a distraction, or an obscuration of Reality; it shines with Reality.
Every experience announces, celebrates, indicates God’s infinite being.
This is why Krishnamurti, when asked, towards the end of his life, “What is your secret?” he simply said, “I don’t mind what happens.” His students were expecting some marvellous new teaching; he just said, “I don’t mind what happens.” That was his secret. “I see the same thing in all experience. A vision of God; a deep depression; a moment of ecstasy; the taste of tea… It doesn’t matter. It’s all the same. Knowing; knowing only knowing.”
It’s why… – sorry, I can’t resist this…
[laughter in the audience, as they can tell he is about to repeat one of his favourite stories]
It’s why when William Blake was asked by one of his friends:
“When you see the Sun rise,
do you not see a round disc of fire,
somewhat like a guinea?”
“Oh, no, no, no…!
I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host, crying
‘Glory, Glory, Glory is the Lord God Almighty!’.”
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros
Why do we lose sense of time when we’re sleeping?
Why do we… ?
… lose sense of time when we’re sleeping?
Why do we lose sense of time, when we’re sleeping…
[Rupert takes a sip from his glass of water; thoughtfully turns towards this 13-year-old boy]
Try now… –you understand what I mean by… now; yeah?– and, if we represent the past, we could imagine that the past is like a vast space that extends endlessly behind the now, and that the future is a vast space that extends indefinitely in front of the now. Yes?
And that the distance between the past and the future is what we call time. Yes?
Or the distance between two events in the past or the future.
So. So now; let’s explore… time. The past and the future…
So now, just for a few moments, leave the now, and visit this place that you call the past.
Don’t… I don’t… When I say “visit it”, I don’t mean just think about it, or imagine it, because if you think about it – let’s say you take the image of breakfast this morning; that image doesn’t take place in the past; that image takes place now. So I don’t mean just “think about the past”, or “imagine the past”.
I mean, go there.
Leave the now, just step out of the now, and go into the past.
That’s not possible.
[Rupert smiles] OK…
… because, if I try to step into the past, that effort is happening now.
Exactly. So, can anyone here –just while we’re discussing– can anyone here step out of the now, and visit the past… Just for a few moments…
Can you imagine, Alexander, that anybody that has ever lived – not just us kind of weirdos that are interested in non-duality, but regular people, that, that… Can you imagine that any of them could, just for a few moments, step out of the now and actually go to the place that we call the past?
OK. So… If nobody’s ever been there – and presumably the same applies for the future; yeah? So, if nobody, nobody, has ever been there… how do we know that this place called the past really exists? Surely experience must be the test of the existence of something. So, if nobody’s ever been there, nobody’s ever got a glimpse of it… How do we know it’s there?
We don’t really.
We don’t know it’s there. We imagine it’s there, but we don’t know it’s there. We have no knowledge of it; at all.
Could it be that it’s not there?
And wouldn’t that be in line with our experience? In other words, could it be that the past and the future don’t exist in the way that our minds imagine them.
After all, have you ever experienced anything apart from; now.
And, how many nows have you experienced in your life?
Or let’s just take today; how many nows have you experienced today?
That’s a trick question. [Alexander and everybody laughs] One… One!
One. Yeah. So… so, all your life, you’re only going to experience one now.
And, that now… We’ve already discovered that, contrary to popular belief, the now is not this… fraction of a moment, sandwiched between these vast spaces of the past and future. The vast spaces of the past and future aren’t there.
So, now is not a moment in time. We normally think that the now is moving slowly through time, yeah? How fast is the now moving through time, in your experience?
It’s another trick question…
It’s not moving.
It’s not moving. It’s not going anywhere. It hasn’t come from anywhere, and it’s not going anywhere.
So this now, is the only now there is. And this now is not a moment in time. How… how long does this now last?
And you understand that by eternal… Eternal doesn’t mean “everlasting in time”; it means “Ever present now”.
So, if we are just simple, and we just stay with the facts of our experience, time is never experienced. Time is what the now looks like when it is filtered through our mind. In other words, time, it doesn’t exist in our mind, it seems to exist in our mind. And therefore, if that’s the case, wouldn’t it make sense that when our mind disappears in sleep, the seeming existence of time disappears with it?
That’s why we don’t experience time when we’re asleep.
Actually, we don’t experience time when we’re awake, but we; seem to.
But when we’re asleep, we don’t even seem to experience time, because no mind is present; in sleep. So, that’s why you seem to wake up, in the same moment that you fall asleep. Because there is no time in between two waking states, or two dreams states.
OK. Ah, that’s confusing, but it makes sense. [Laughter]
It’s confusing that it makes sense?
No. It’s confusing, but it makes sense.
It’s confusing but it makes sense, yes. Yes. It’s… Exactly.
It’s confusing because we compare… ’cause…
Everything that I’ve said, you’ve understood, in your own experience, and you’ve agreed with. And it’s very simple, what I’ve said, if you just stick with your experience.
But when we compare that, with; the way reality seems from the point of view of the mind, it conflicts with the mind’s view of reality.
So, it is the mind that superimposes its own limitations on reality; and makes reality appear in a way that is consistent with those limitations.
Just as I said this morning, if you put on a pair of orange sunglasses when you’re skiing, you very quickly forget that you’ve put the glasses on, and the snow appears to be orange; you think the snow is orange.
The snow is appearing in accordance with the limitations, or the colouring, of your glasses. Because you have forgot that you are looking through this limited medium, you think that the orange colour belongs to the snow.
Now, each of our minds is a limited medium. Our minds are the orange glasses; but the orange colour, is time and space; that’s the tint of our minds: time and space.
So, when Consciousness looks through the time-and-space glasses of our mind, it sees a three-dimensional wo…; a four-dimensional world; three dimensions of time and one dimension of space. And we think time and space belongs to the world. No. It doesn’t. Time and space are the orange glasses, through which Consciousness is looking, at, Eternity.
That’s what I meant when I said some time, today or yesterday, that the world, as we normally see it, is; a reification, or an objectification, of the limitations of our mind. The limits that we seem to see in the world, belong to the glasses of the mind, through which we perceive. If you take away the limitations of the mind through which we perceive, what is out there is eternal, infinite Awareness, or God’s infinite being.
And that’s what the Sufis mean when they say, “Everything is the face of God.”
It’s what William Blake meant when he said, “When the doors of perception are cleansed, everything will be seen as it really is; infinite.”
The doors of perception; that’s the… the glasses of time and space, through which… That’s the doors of perception. When the doors of perception are cleansed, when the mind is cleansed of time and space, what seemed to be finite, will be seen as infinite. In religious terms, as God’s face.
And what does that look like?
It… It is…
I know you can’t really… you can’t see it technically.
No, you can’t see it…
You know it through the experience of beauty.
That’s what the experience of beauty is.
That’s how you experience it.
And exactly the same way that when your relationship with other people, and animals, are cleansed, from the limitations of the mind, what seems to be a relationship with an “other”, is felt as love. Closeness. Friendship.
OK. So, you mean it’s the same beauty as like looking out the window?
And admiring the mountains? It’s the same…
When you experience beauty, in any form, that is… that is reality.
Eternal, infinite consciousness. Filtering in, to your finite mind.
Beauty is… is… is… ah… is the… is the experience of the collapse of the distinction between consciousness and existence; or between “self” and “other”.
I’m giving you a rational explanation of it. But the actual experience of it, is the experience of beauty. Or love.
So, the way the world appears, doesn’t change. But the way you experience that appearance, does change. So don’t expect suddenly the world to… to be transformed into some magical appearance. It’s not the appearance that changes, it’s your experience of the appearance that changes.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros
What to Remember When Waking
In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.
What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.
To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.
You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.
Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?
Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?
Make me a channel of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring Your love
Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord
And where there’s doubt, true faith in You
Make me a channel of Your peace
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness, ever joy
Oh, Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled, as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love with all my soul
Make me a channel of Your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Music by Sebastian Temple
The Tenebrae Choir, led by the conductor Nigel Short,
performing composer Paul Mealor’s adaptation.
Heavenly voices and an exquisite video.
💜 💜 💜