The Intimacy and Immediacy of the Now by Rupert Spira

 

 See clearly that all we know is experiencing. However, experiencing is not known by someoneor something other than itself. It is experiencing that experiences experiencing.

Where is the inside self and the outside world in our actual experience? Stay intimately with pure experiencing and see if you find such a self or world there.

Where is the line in pure experiencing that separates an inside from an outside? Search experience and try to find this line.

This absolute intimacy of pure experiencing is what we call love. It is the absence of distance, separation or otherness. There is no room for two there. Love is the experience of pure non-duality.

See clearly how artificial are the ‘me’ and ‘not me’ labels. We have never experienced anything that was not our self, nor would it be possible to do so.

And what is it that experiences our self? Only our self! There is only one substance in experience and it is pervaded by and made out of knowing or awareness. In the classical language of non-duality this is sometimes expressed in phrases such as, ‘Awareness only knows itself,’ but this may seem abstract.

It is simply an attempt to describe the seamless intimacy of experience in which there is no room for a self, object, other or world; no room to step back from experience and find it happy or unhappy, right or wrong, good or bad; no time in which to step out of the now into an imaginary past or into a future in which we may become, evolve or progress; no possibility of stepping out of the intimacy of love into relationship with an other; no possibility of knowing anything other than knowing, of being anything other than being, of loving anything other than loving; no possibility of a thought arising which would attempt to frame the intimacy of experience in the abstract forms of the mind; no possibility for our self to become a self, a fragment, a part; no possibility for the world to jump outside and for the self to contract inside; no possibility for time, distance or space to appear.

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And what can we call this raw intimacy of experience? What is its nature? If we say it is ‘one’ we subtly imply the possibility of either more than one or less than one. That is why the ancients, in their wisdom and humility, called this understanding ‘non-duality’ rather than ‘oneness.’ They knew that to say ‘one’ was to say one thing too much.

Only thought tries to name experience or find its ultimate nature. Our self, aware presence, does no such thing. It is only thought that says experience consists of a body, mind and world, that the body, mind and world consist of sensations, thoughts and perceptions, that sensations, thoughts and perceptions consist of sensing, thinking and perceiving and that sensing, thinking and perceiving consist of our self. In other words, all these more or less subtle objects are only for thought. Indeed it is only thought that says that all these are thoughts. Experience itself knows no such thing.

Experience itself doesn’t even know sensing, thinking or perceiving let alone sensations, thoughts, perceptions. Experience itself is too intimately itself to be able to step back from itself and know, let alone conceptualize itself as ‘something.’ It doesn’t even know itself as ‘experience.’

In order to do so it would have to divide itself into two parts, one part that knows, experiences and describes and the other part that is known, experienced and described.

How would it do this? Only by taking the shape of thought. Once it has done so, pure, indescribable, seamless intimacy can be divided in two imaginary parts, one that knows, loves or perceives and the other that is known, loved or perceived.

In order to do this, pure, indescribable, seamless intimacy would have to collapse into a separate inside self and a separate outside object or world. It would have to forgo the intimacy of love and become a separate self, moving around in an imaginary world of objects, time and space.

However, no such thing ever happens. All that is only for thought and even a thought is only a thought for thought.

Sooner or later it becomes clear that thinking can never go to the heart of experience; it can only seem to go away from it. When this is clearly seen, thought comes to its own natural ending. We find ourselves plunged into the intimacy and immediacy of the now.

The intimacy and immediacy of the now is the only place that thinking cannot enter. The now is our only security. It is utterly vulnerable and completely secure. No harm can come to us in the now, no sorrow and no death. All our longing longs only for this.

Like the fish in the ocean looking for water, all resistance and seeking – that is, the separate, inside self – is already made out of the very thing it is looking for. But it can never find it.

The thought that tries to enter the now is like the moth that tries to touch the flame. It cannot touch the flame; it can only die in it.

For some time the residues that thinking has left in the body will continue to rise up and initiate the old search for peace, happiness and love – the search of a non-existent self in a non-existent world for the one thing that is ever-present in experience. But sooner or later these residues vanish like a fading echo.

We seem to have been on a long journey only to discover that experience is experience again. It is now what it always was. But something has been removed. We may not know how or why or when this happened or it may seem to have happened in response to the intensity of our search. Either way all experience is now pervaded by the intimacy of our own being.

We may find ourselves again moving out into the so-called world but this time without motive. The inclinations of our particular body and mind are undertaken spontaneously, without calculation, and they leave no trace of a separate self. We may find our self still having desires but they are no longer motivated to find peace, happiness and love; they seek only to express, share and celebrate it.

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