How do you like your world? Well I hope you really really like it because you built it!
I don’t know if you have a job or you work full time or part time or not at all but your real full time or actually 24/7 job is maintaining the structure of your world. You see not only did you create the world you live in but it requires your constant maintenance just like a precision machine that has to run continuously. If you did not constantly maintain it, well, the world as you know it would fall apart. We tend to think, because of our conditioning, that the world is separate from us, separately existing. However the sages have told us for countless centuries that this is an illusion, an optical illusion of consciousness as Einstein is reported to have said. In the east they call this illusion Maya and its an illusion in exactly the same way a movie is an illusion.
In a movie we see images projected onto a screen which seem to come to life as we engage our attention in the story. If its a really good movie we may even forget its a movie for a brief time as we become immersed in the display. Yet the events and objects of the movie are not real, it is nothing more than light projected onto a blank screen. This is precisely how our world works, the mind contains mental patterns which are projected onto the blank screen of consciousness as the light of consciousness shines through them. The true underlying reality is consciousness and this is not something you need to believe, it can be personally and precisely confirmed by each one of us. One way of describing that process is called the Path of Self Discovery. On this path you become an explorer who’s mission is to look into the very fabric of reality.
If we want to see reality directly we have a task to accomplish first. You may have already started it because for some it begins without their knowledge. That task is dismantling the mental structure you have erected around yourself which obscures the truth. We have all built such a structure around ourselves usually preferring to call it – The World. Very few people are willing to really do this or even consider the task to begin with because it seems too threatening. Will I lose everything I know and become nothing? The mind is armed with numerous traps to dissuade one from messing with the structure except to add to and reinforce it. If you want to see what its made of or take it down you will have to deal with the most powerful weapons the mind has, desire and fear. The mind will simultaneously bring up your greatest desires to keep you attached to the things of this world while it brings us the fear of losing them.
If your desire for truth and freedom is strong enough and you can find the courage you will overcome these defenses of the mind and be able to start the task. To engage this task we must have some understanding of the structure we have built. One way of looking at it is this: Out of unified undifferentiated consciousness emerges the first manifestation of God, I am. I am or I is the sense of individual presence or existence and out of the cosmic will for experience from the I am ego is born. The ego is the conceptualization of consciousness and it is the foundation of our structure. The ego forms to setup the conditions necessary for experience to happen and to be the center point of all the other thought forms and mental patterns which form from it. Now initially the ego takes on a few very broad characteristics such as certain thoughts, inclinations and beliefs and these make up the first level of the structure which is built on the foundation of the ego. The next level of the structure involves a particular physical body. It is through the senses of that physical body that the ego projects further to create the experience of the external environment and we have a personal world.
So we have a multilayered structure starting with the foundation of the ego with the mind and its content built on that and the body and the external world built on the mind. The construction of this structure didn’t really have a beginning as death does not destroy the foundation of it, you could consider an individual life as like a house being built on a foundation and then being demolished (death) and a new house built on the same foundation (next life). The foundation remains even as different structures are built on it. Nevertheless these structures require our constant attention and care. We have to put enormous energy into maintaining it and replacing parts that have worn out. When a piece of the structure fails us especially if its a key piece we feel a crisis and we are powerfully motivated to fix it by replacing the broken piece. The piece might be a relationship, a job, the identification with a religion or other core belief. These mental structures are inherently unstable so they require constant work to try to keep together. We are always replacing pieces, trying to fix pieces and deciding which pieces to discard or add. It’s very much like the game where you build a tower of little blocks and you add and remove them all the while trying to keep it from collapsing. This is the nature of manifest existence or the play of Maya.
Yet an interesting thing happens for some beings, some reach a point where their structure begins to fall apart and no matter what they do they cannot seem to fix it. This person’s structure may actually disintegrate at an increasing rate creating a great deal of turmoil. Its possible that the person may even lose interest in doing whats necessary to maintain their structure. At this point its time for it to come down because the call of truth is starting to overpower the call of illusion. Truth is the great destroyer, nothing false can stand up to it and our structures are ultimately false in the context of reality. If this is happening to you or if you feel it beginning to happen I want to encourage you to go with it regardless of the fear and confusion you may feel because these things are not true. What is true cannot harm you and it cannot be resisted because it is reality itself.
To aid in the process of dismantling the structure I can offer a few suggestions. The mental structures we live in consist of projections as mentioned but there are two types of projections, manifest and unmanifest. Manifest projections are things that have already taken form in the physical world. Manifest projections only exist in the present moment and they constitute the immediate experience of life. Unmanifest projections have not taken actual form, they are projections that only exist as thought. This includes all consideration of the past and the future. All imaginations of what might happen or what might have happened. Unmanifest projections carry our desires and fears and those that are powerful enough become manifest in form eventually. So what we want to do is learn to focus our attention in the present moment so we are dealing with the manifest world and don’t worry ourselves with the past and future.
When the past and future are seen to be nothing but thought and de-emphasized our problems, fears and habit patterns dissolve because they depend on the past and future for their existence. When we live in the present moment we only have to deal with what actually happens not what might happen. Instead of problems we simply see the situation as it is and respond accordingly without adding a conceptual layer which is negative more often than not. Even positive projections create an expectation which obscures other possibilities and if not met results in disappointment. One great secret to freedom is that present moment reality contains exactly what is needed for our life to move in the direction it needs to move in. What you need is ALWAYS immediately available to you. However it may not be what you THINK is needed. If we have a mental conception of what is happening and what needs to happen next we cannot see clearly because that conception clouds our vision. Instead of thinking our way through life, we DISCOVER our way through it. We learn to pay close attention to reality and read the movements of energy so we move with the flow of life instead of creating conflict with it.
If you practice truly living in the present moment your mental structure will slowly crumble on its own and when it dissolves sufficiently you are left with the naked experience of life without the veil of separation and mind. Its not a question of whether we could live this way, its a question of how can we possibly keep living in the limited conflict ridden structure of our mind when a life of joy and freedom is what underlies it? We hold on to our attachments, beliefs and identity so strongly that many would rather suffer horribly than let them go. Life is a beautiful expression of consciousness and you are an aspect of this expression. See who and what you are, see what is true, what is real. Be free! Or continue to play with your structure as long as you desire, it makes no difference to consciousness.
You do not need to live life. Life is not something that you do. You are life, there is really no you and life as separate things. So there is no one apart from life to live life. Life is an endlessly flowing current of energy manifesting in a limitless field of something beyond description. Know who and what you truly are and all difficulty, all confusion, all doubt, all struggle, all problems will immediately cease to exist and you will flow free as your true Self.