“I Feel But Am Not A Feeling” ...

We’re always talking about (nearly always talking about) the actual feeling in the moment. So, it’s the feeling in the moment that what I am is identical to this. The feeling we have that I’m located in here [Points to the body] as the feeler or in here [Points to the head] as the thinker or the seer or the hearer.

In other words, we’re exposing and exploring the deep conditioning we have in which we feel (not just believe but feel) that what I am is identical to this cluster of sensations. And it’s the mixture of what I am with a sensation. What I am (Awareness); a sensation (the body). It is the mixture of these two that creates the separate self.

So, it’s like having oil and vinegar. They get thoroughly mixed up together and they appear to be one substance; salad dressing. You look at it and you think it’s one substance, like the separate self.

So, what we do here is we let them settle out, or rather, we See that in fact it’s two things (at least to begin with). What I am (Awareness) is not identical to a little cluster of sensations in here. [Points to the body] The sensations come and go, they move and change, they appear and disappear, but I-Awareness (the One in whom they appear and the One in which they are known) doesn’t appear and disappear with them. In other words, I-Awareness am not identical to a temporary, limited feeling.

The reason we think that I am temporary and limited is because thought has imagined that I am identical to a temporary, limited feeling. The image on a screen is temporary and limited. […] It comes and goes. But the screen is not limited. The blue and the green comes and goes but the screen remains (within the limit of the metaphor). The screen is unlimited. Because it from time to time appears to be blue and green, thoughts says ‘Ah, the screen is inherently blue and green’. It’s not. Next minute, it’s red and yellow. It’s the same thing; it’s temporary and limited. The body and the mind are temporary and limited.

Thought says ‘The body and the mind are temporary and limited, therefore you are temporary and limited, because You-Awareness are identical to the body and the mind’. And out of that mixture, an imaginary self is created; a self that is part Awareness and part body/mind. Hence, the separate self feels ‘I am a body/mind which is aware’ … ‘ I, the body/mind, am aware of the world’. So, the separate self is partly body/mind, part Awareness, but it feels like one whole; one separate aware self.

So, here, the first step we take is to separate out the oil from the vinegar, to separate out ‘No, this is temporary sensation (temporary thoughts, feelings, sensations) but Awareness always remains. Awareness is not made out of a sensation or a thought’.

Later on, we then collapse the difference. So, we mix them up again together. But there’s a difference because in the first stage, Awareness is identical to the body/mind. In the second stage, the midway point, they are separate, they are different, (Awareness plus objects); in the third stage (not Awareness identical to the body/mind)…, in the third stage, the body/mind is identical to Awareness.

In the first stage, Awareness is made out of the body/mind. In the third stage, the body/mind is made out of Awareness.. So, the distinction between them is again collapsed, but at this stage, the lack of distinction between the body/mind and Awareness is called Love.. In the first stage, the lack of distinction between them is called ignorance or suffering.

Q: Thought seems to be confirming .., for example, seeing you there as separate from me…, you’re not there to be found, but it appears so, because vision gives me…

Rupert: Okay, hold on. Let me pause you. [Chuckles]

You say that you are over there separate from me. All you know of me at the moment is the sight of me and the sound of me. Is that true?

Q: Right.

Rupert: In other words, the experience of hearing and the experience of seeing. Now, how far from yourself do the experience of hearing and seeing take place?

Q: I understand that.

R: Yes. No distance.

Q: No distance.

"In fact, you cant even find these two substances:
1. myself that knows and
2. the experience of hearing and seeing that are known.

Hearing and seeing are made out OF the knowing of them; and You are That knowing.
In other words, you don't experience me at a distance from yourself. It's like saying that the flower in the foreground in the movie is closer to than the mountain in the background. I know that it appears like that but its not like that. Or it's like having a dream and seeing the flower in the foreground and the mountains in the distance, and saying the mountains are further away from me. They're not. They take place in the same place as the flowers in the foreground take place.

That doesn't prevent the illusion or appearance of distance from continuing to appear. It continues to appear.

Q: This illusion is also a thought saying ‘There is that, there is distance’ or…, you know what I mean? Thought comes and says…, I’m defining things.

R: It’s true. It’s true that even our ordinary sense of space has been educated into us. It’s true that if a newborn baby could talk and think, the newborn baby wouldn’t say ‘My mother is closer to me than the wall over there’. We have to learn to see spatially. We, the brain, have to be conditioned. It’s true.

But what I’m saying is once that conditioning has taken place, there’s nothing wrong with it. It belongs to the structure; it’s the nature of seeing. There’s nothing wrong with it. There’s no ignorance there. What is a problem or wrong (if we can use that word; it’s not really wrong) is to believe that it is absolutely true.

We’ve learned while watching a movie to see that the flowers in the foreground are closer than the background. A baby wouldn’t know that. We’ve learned to see that.

Now, when we know…, even after we know it’s all one flat screen, we continue to see the apparent distance. So, the sense of space doesn’t go away, but we know it’s not real.

Q: I understand. I fully understand when we talk about ‘All we know is our own experience’. But some of us that are not completely clear would have trouble with thought; for example, sitting here, all I know is the experience of sitting, but then a thought comes ‘I’m sitting on the chair’ and then that emerges as the body…, as if there is a link between sensation and whatever it is; neo-cortex, the body. So, there’s a loop going, confirming, explaining; externalogy.

R: But that’s okay. That’s necessary for practical purposes. It's necessary to have a concept of a separate body and a separate chair and a separate table and flowers and vase and mic. All these concepts are necessary for practical purposes.

To believe that these concepts refer to things that are actually experienced in the way thought conceives them is a mistake. The concept itself is not a mistake. It's when the concept becomes a belief that it becomes a problem.

In other words, the concept of an object is not a problem. It's necessary for practical purposes. But to believe that experience is inherently divided up into a subject and an object (in other words, that experience is inherently dualistic), that is a problem.

In other words, the concept of duality is not a problem. The belief that it is real is a problem. In fact, the concept of duality is necessary for everyday life, for practical purposes. Otherwise, you would be mad. That's the difference between madness and non-dual understanding. In some forms of madness, you lose the sense of there not being objects, or the normal perspective of objects; you can't function in the world. That is not what's being suggested here.

Rupert Spira

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