Light and shadow from Steven Kaufman's blog

The world is not composed of Consciousness.


The world is Consciousness.


Consciousness just appears as the world.



It is as if a River flows, and in some areas the River flows faster or slower than in other adjacent areas, and so a Swirl arises within the river.


The perception of the world is not even the perception of such a Swirl of Consciousness, for such Swirls are of the same nature as the River of Consciousness in which they arise, whereas what is perceived as the world is not of the same nature as the River of Consciousness within which what is perceived arises and by which what is perceived is apprehended.



But how can this be? How can something arise within the River that is other than the River?


Something can arise within the River that is other than the River, but nothing can arise within the River that exists apart from the River.


Shadows cannot arise within complete darkness. Perception cannot arise in the absence of Consciousness.


Shadows are different in nature than the light that is required for them to arise and what is perceived is different in nature than the Consciousness that is required for it to arise.



Is a tree Real?


If by the word tree one means just the form that is perceived, then that is not Real.


But if by the word tree one refers to the Swirl of Consciousness that underlies the perceived form, then that is Real.



But trees come and go, so how can they be Real?


Because That of which they are composed is Real, and so does not come and go, but always Is.



That there is a form to be perceived requires the Is-ness of Swirls.


That which perceives form is the Is-ness of the River.


The Is-ness of the River and the Is-ness of the Swirls are identical.



And all that has been or will be said about perception applies to the more subtle form that is conception, and to the even more subtle form that is emotion.



The River never sees a Swirl as other than Itself.


Swirls, on the other hand, can see themselves as the River, or they can see themselves as other than the River.


When a Swirl sees Itself as the River, this is called enlightenment.


When a Swirl sees Itself as other than the River, this is called delusion.



A Swirl can see Itself as other than the River when it mistakes Itself for a perceived, conceived, or felt form.



When a Swirl mistakes itself for what is only form, then the River becomes obscured and so seems to vanish, and so the Swirl seems to vanish as well, leaving only the appearance of form.


This trick is called maya.


Maya is the illusion of Consciousness appearing as the world of form.


For the trick to work a Swirl must volunteer to identify with form, otherwise the trick does not work.



But the River of Consciousness does not actually go anywhere or actually go away once the spell of maya has been cast, once the illusion has been established.


If It did there could be no apprehended form, perceived, conceived, or felt.


For a Swirl may identify with form, may know Itself as form, but a Swirl can only know these things, apprehend these things, these forms of various degrees of grossness and subtlety, because it is actually and always not other than the River of Consciousness, by which all form is apprehended and within which all forms arise and exist.



Untangling Consciousness from the forms it has identified itself with is somewhat like untangling a very fine thread from a more coarse thread.


Observation is more important than action.


Action without observation only creates more knots.


Just observe the relations between Consciousness and form, and the knots will loosen and untangle themselves.



How can one tell whether they are, in a given moment, in this Now, untangling the knots of form-identification or creating more knots of form-identification?


According to whether one's degree of suffering is, in a given moment, in this Now, decreasing or increasing.



Where there is no form-identity there is no suffering. Where there is only form-identity there is only suffering.



Suffering here does not refer to organic or bodily pain, but refers to something more subtle and hard to define.


Suffering is subtle and hard to define because it is something that seems to be happening to that which is Formless.



But how can anything happen to That which is Formless?


It actually cannot, but can only seem to.



Suffering is a sort of suffocation of Is-ness.


Suffocation occurs when the flow of air to the organism becomes restricted or impeded.


Suffering occurs when the flow of Consciousness to a Swirl of Consciousness becomes restricted or impeded.



And how does the flow of Consciousness to a Swirl of Consciousness become restricted or impeded?


When the Swirl won't let that Flow in because the Swirl no longer recognizes the River of Consciousness as Itself.


Because in not recognizing that underlying the appearance of any form is That which is ultimately Itself, the Swirl opposes many of those forms, and so opposes what exists.


And because what exists has as its basis what Is, in opposing what exists the Swirl opposes what Is, and so flows in opposition to Itself.



When form-identification ceases, all the reasons that it seems necessary to oppose other forms wither away, since all those reasons are themselves illusions that grow out of the illusory soil that is form-identification.


But form-identification cannot cease while in opposition to what Is.


And while in opposition to what Is, only form appears as that with which one can identify.



Cease to oppose what exists, even while still identified with form, and you cease to oppose what Is, and a tear appears in the fabric of maya that lets in the Light of Consciousness.


Then you can identify with That instead, after which the whole illusion begins to unravel.


And then the real fun begins. 

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