Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Love and Compassion

When all negative thinking has been identified as nothing more than false belief what is left is naturally positive. Free of beliefs the mind is naturally loving and compassionate it is only the negative aspects of ego that obscure this fact. On a retreat a woman told me that she thought it very important to be humble and loving I replied that when we try to be humble and loving it is because we feel we are not. The ego is not able to be loving and compassionate but it is able to mimic the appearance of what it thinks is loving and compassionate. The spiritual world of all religions is full of those who think that mimicking love and compassion is the same as being loving and compassionate. It is usually a screen the ego hides behind. Many seekers take it as a sure sign that someone is enlightened if they smile a lot. Love and compassion are natural aspects of consciousness but consciousness has no need to prove that it is loving and compassionate. It is only the ego being deficient of these qualities that needs to prove how loving and compassionate it is. Consciousness is free of all negatives, once this is understood it becomes clear what needs to happen. We need to see clearly every trace of negative thinking, this thinking cannot be removed it can only be seen clearly for what it is – something that is not true or has no basis in reality. When this is seen on a very deep level (not the level of ego) that which obscures consciousness becomes redundant. Negatives obscure consciousness because they carry a negative charge or feeling, this feeling then occupies our attention causing neurosis (thinking about things that are not worth thinking about) while we are doing this consciousness is obscured, it is still there and even the neurotic thinking could not be there without it but our attention is fixated on the negativity and associated physical feeling produced by the ego. We do not need to concern ourselves as to whether or not we are loving and compassionate we just need to identify the negatives. It is helpful to separate the meaning from physical feeling. When we are able to feel what we feel without the usual attached meaning the feeling will naturally fall away as it is in the meaning that the feeling comes to exist in the first place. There is no meaning in consciousness that is to say consciousness is free of meaning. The important principle here is that nothing can be changed except through seeing that which does not exist. If we remove meaning from our minds nothing can be said to exist. I am not suggesting we do this, what is required is only to remove the negatives as it is in the negatives that we find the aspects of the ego that are not practical or useful. The aspects of the ego that are useful do not need thinking about, they are naturally there without the negatives. The ego has a place and could never be removed, it can only be seen for what it is. When we see what the ego is we see the place of the ego and most importantly we see what has no place in the ego. Seeing the ego is possibly the most difficult thing we may ever attempt this is because the ego does not wish to be seen, this is understandable because contained in the ego are all the things we would rather not know about. The ego’s mission is to keep our attention away from these things we would rather not know about. Knowing the things we would rather not know about the ego would lose all of its power, to the ego this is the same as death and it will do anything to preserve itself. The best way for the ego to do this is in neurotic or unnecessary thinking and especially in negative thinking as in negative thinking physical feelings are stirred up that cause us to think more rather than less. The ego does not exist but acts as though it does and to sustain this illusion requires us to think in neurotic and unnecessary ways, it also requires us to create negative stories or drama’s that in turn cause physical feeling to become attached to our stories that then become harder and harder to disentangle.


  1. Hi Ray,
    As usual you have made perfect sense regarding the ego's part and how it avoids the parts that it is protecting by using negative thinking and subsequent physical sensation to prevent revealing its phantom nature. I can also understand how physical sensation causes us to involve ourselves more in thinking as the discomfort felt in the body moves us away from vulnerability and towards escapism through further thinking.
    I also appreciated your use of the word 'meaning' which somehow points to 'beliefs' in a more precise way.
    However could you explain why the mind is naturally loving and compassionate without beliefs or rather could you give some examples of how this love & compassion is experienced or expressed in Consciousness, like in yourself using personal examples?
    Also could you elaborate on what place does the ego have without the negatives and what are the useful aspects of this non-entity as you mentioned?

  2. From the viewpoint of consciousness everything is seen as it is which is truth. All interactions are therefore truthful. You could say that truthfulness and consciousness are the same thing. In the world what is seen as love is not love and so is not truthful. Once the negatives are removed this is all revealed. The point I am making is that much of what seems to be loving and compassionate in the world is not, it is the ego's version of what it thinks love and compassion would be like. In a sense love and compassion would be invisible from the point of view of the ego, in fact as often happens in my group things that I say are taken as negatives because I am expressing a view that does not conform to the ego's view of what is loving and compassionate. I would never say something with the intention of hurting but sometimes the truth does hurt for the reasons I have stated in this recent post. The ego is easily hurt because so much of what it believes is false. This hurt in a way is good because it reveals more easily the false beliefs that lead to this hurt. Many teachers avoid this conundrum by playing safe and never saying anything that could possibly hurt anyones feelings. But this is not safe as there is no way I know of to reveal the ego painlessly. If it is painless then nothing is going on or the ego just hears what it wants to hear. The most important factor in therapy or spirituality is honesty and truth without these nothing is happening. As I said the ego seeks to survive without its beliefs ever being challenged. When I work with individuals I try to get an idea of that persons tolerance levels (of truth) everyone has a different level of tolerance. This is to minimise the painful aspects of this work. In group work it is a bit more tricky as I am then working with many different tolerance levels and others in the group may say things that are hurtful with the intention of hurting in which case it is my job to point this out. Pointing this out may be hurtful but without the intention to hurt it is less hurtful.
    The ego without the negatives is actually all the information received by the senses without the addition of ego meaning. The eyes and the brain allow us to see a world. There is meaning here but this meaning is in terms of the blueness of the sky or greenness of the grass and trees. The sounds of water running or cars for that matter. The information of the senses has taken millions of years to develop and does not need to be changed. This to me is ego and I know it is not the traditional view of ego in the world. For me information is ego and there are many different forms of this information, some of it is sensory. Not all of it is accurate, the senses tend to be reasonably accurate while the thinking part tends to be inaccurate. The problem is that we take the information of the senses - information about ourselves and the world, to be true. This supposed true information is then mixed with all the meaning type information to construct a prison that without suffering we could never escape. Suffering reveals the illusion of false beliefs.

    1. Ok, I have realised something. I'm surprised that you never mentioned this directly (maybe you did and I couldn't or didn't want to see it.) Here it is:
      Every belief has a corresponding physical sensation. If due attention is given to the physical sensations it will be seen that these sensations itself are not true. They are not not true just because they arise and disappear in rapid succession, but they are not true because it is only the belief aspect in their reality that gives them any life. So subsequently when the sensations are disregarded as the truth (especially the negative ones) , they lose power and concurrently the beliefs that were holding them in place also do, until all sensations are seen for what they are i.e. phantom like semi-real patterns of energy, and this of course implies the collapse of all beliefs.
      Is this true, Ray? (Without a taint of pride, I honestly & firmly feel this to be the truth without any need of conformance from you, although your opinion is highly valued)

    2. I guess you could put it that way but I think of it the other way round. I take physical sensations to be true and the meaning that is added to these sensations as false. By allowing the sensations to be true the risk of repression is reduced. Also without the meaning these sensations begin to reveal accurate information regarding our interactions with the world and others. If we disregard the sensations as being truthful we may inadvertently repress these sensations, which is why this has all become such a problem in the first place. Thinking itself has the effect of repressing feelings - without thinking physical sensations come and go very easily. Ultimately you are right that the sensations are not real either but they do have a place and are a source of great wisdom.

  3. Ok, I can see the fallacy of that conclusion I made now. In fact even before I read your reply I was already starting to see how the ego conjured up a new repression strategy to avoid being seen.
    It never seems to cease creating new conclusions and concepts that seem to be so real when they occur.
    This morning I began to see how the subsconscious mind seems to be choosing all this suffering yet I only know that it does from the way that I feel, think & act. I felt like crying due to something I saw, to which my wife said "Don't get caught up in your emotions", to which I snapped "Do you think I'm choosing to be emotional", and at that very moment I realised what you have been saying all along , that maybe I am choosing these emotions, negative thinking etc. on a deep subconscious level. It must be so otherwise why would it be like this anyway. After that I thought most people must consciously live on the tip of the iceberg while the majority of the mind lives under the surface. Although I've read that in psychology texts before I saw the truth of it much more better thanks to what you have been pointing at tiredlessly all along.
    However that still leaves me with a Sisyphusian task to uncover the subconscious mind to reveal all the false beliefs that are being held on to, which is the root cause af all suffering. What a job that's going to be if that area is so vast and deep!

  4. Sounds like your mind is working this out for itself. The iceberg analogy is correct in that most of what we do is unconscious and even the conscious part is not truly conscious as there are so many false beliefs in this part. Although it seems true to think that because there is so much unconscious material to be worked through it is thankfully not. An analogy for what I am saying is in the Rosetta stone a stone that held the key to understanding the ancient egyptian language. The term Rosetta Stone is now used in other contexts as the name for the essential clue to a new field of knowledge. What we are talking about is a new field of knowledge although it seems this particular field has been talked about for thousands of years. Most of what has gone before was based on certain misunderstandings partly to do with the nature and function of the ego and some to do with the current scientific model which only in the last century has begun to change as in the subject of the video's referred to recently. The key to understanding the mind and the universe is I am sure in the word 'belief'. Since the beginning it seems we have just taken it for granted that we all believe different things and then we have argued endlessly about those things. Until recently very few have looked deeply at not what do we believe but rather what is belief itself. If you truly understand this word everything becomes immediately very clear - belief is the mote in gods eye.

  5. As more and more is seen it suddenly dawned on me yesterday that the core emotion in me is fear. This is primarily the main obstacle that prevents going deeper into the unconscious parts of the ego that does not want to be seen. Earlier I thought that boredom, negative thinking, guilt, sadness, jealousy and other distractions are the main tools that the ego uses. I completely bypassed fear as on the surface it didn't look like I was scared of anything at all. However I feel the main henchman the ego uses is fear. To avoid that innate fear I feel that the rest of the other emotions are used. Having said that I also feel that fear is the most easiest to detect as a belief that is not true as it uses imagination (as you said earlier) and fantasy to give it reality instead of what is real. It clearly means that I am believing and protecting something which I'm not even sure exists except as a thought/image/assumption.
    When I asked myself what I'm really afraid of, the answer came up as : 'I' do not want to be hurt or diminished in any way and 'I' do not want to not exist at all. So i have identified these fears and they are quite persistent and real-like although something deeper says they are not.
    But the objection that comes up when I doubt their reality is: what about fear that is necessary for the survival of the body? Isn't that required or necessary (I remember you telling me that fear is not required at all for anything useful).
    Ray, can I just suggest that instead of replying to this comment you dedicate an entire post to FEAR as I feel it dominates most peoples lives and prevents the ego from being exposed through its ingenious tactics and is the source of much suffering both directly and through its protection of other sources of suffering from being seen. Thanks

    1. Strangely enough 'Fear' is the title of my next post, should be posted in the next couple of days.

  6. Ray,
    I have been pondering, feeling and searching after you pointed out that once I truly understand the word 'belief' everything will become more clear. In spite of reading your books, blogs & emails and talking to you I have still not seen the direct meaning of what the word really points to. To summarise here is what I understand of the word up to now: something palatable to myself, abstract concept, meaning, imagination, accumalated information stored which includes the practical as well as the negative.
    The above merely states the definitions of 'belief' which are only thought of or conceived intellectually. Maybe I don't understand it truly speaking and I feel that I have reached the peak of my intellectual capacity to understand it any more on that level. There needs to be a quantum jump to understand this word any deeper now not unlike the physicist today needs to change the classical mechanical way of thinking to truly understand the Quanta in want for a Theory of Everything.
    Please guide me if there is anything further I can do or explore to understand this further besides being vulnerable to the physical sensations in order to discover the Rosetta stone that will uncover the Mote in God's Eye

  7. I focus on 'belief' because it relates to the way we use all words and meanings as well as the way we view reality itself. We are layering our beliefs in many different ways over something that cannot be described. When we understand what belief really means we stop focusing on the layer and begin to notice what the layer is hiding. The layer is insignificant except where it is practical and useful. From the vantage point of what is not the layer what is practical and useful becomes obvious. From the vantage point of the layer 'belief' we can only see our beliefs and not seeing clearly what is practical and useful tend to get lost in neurosis - thinking about all the things that are not practical and useful. Just after reading your comment I came across this article about the shadow that you may find interesting, here is the link -

  8. Thanks. It makes it a bit clearer but not completely. This explains the mechanics of how 'belief' operates but not what it really is. Although I understand that you are probably doing the best you can to point (and these are only pointers of course) to something that is intrinsically difficult to put into words.
    Regarding the 'shadow' article you shared the link to, it is true although only on one level. The shadow is true from th vantage point of the ego which does not want to look at certain aspects of it's own doings. However from the vantage point of Consciousness or pure Being the shadow can only be another story albeit a practical and useful one as to not prevent the story of the ego itself from being detected and seen, isn't it? What I also mean to say by stating this is that; is there anything that truly exists unless it is appearing Now in the forefront of our being including concepts, memories and pointers indicating that there is something 'other than' this, which is merely appearing in the present. It is only through inference that that something else exists which is not directly experienced now except as a thought/image. Is there really a concurrent alternate existence of anything except as just another picture/meaning in Consciousness. Is there really a man behind the curtain so to speak pulling the strings whether that man be the shadow, cosmic forces, a deterministic path, karma, God's will etc. and the other various stories that explain why things are happening or unfolding in any particular way?
    I completely agree that for psychotherapy to work the existence of the unconscious has to be taken into account for any healing to be achieved through it, but in reality does it really exist. If it sounds like I'm trying to devise a new way to avoid seeing my own shadow, I can tell you that this comes after a complete conviction that it is the shadow in me(ego)that caused certain behavioural traits in me which in turn caused suffering. So on a psychological and practical level I am not denying it. All I need to know is how to integrate these two viewpoints from the absolute point of view i.e. Consciousness

    1. Everything except consciousness only appears to exist in the form of belief and this includes the ego and the shadow. This is another way of saying 'Everything that is not a belief is true'. The only reason to look at these things that do not exist is to see that fact. We are nothing but pure consciousness but being born in a human body with its senses we cannot help but see ourselves as separate along with everything else. Even so at no time are we anything but pure consciousness. All beliefs are a lie and because consciousness is truth it is helpful to see clearly what is not true or neti neti. The ego will resist this process of seeing what is not true. I think there are no short cuts to this and that it is only through suffering that we finally have the will to want to see all that is not true. Many non dualists imagine they can do this without going through this process and it is obvious why this particular belief is so appealing. The best thing you can do is to relax and just observe the truth that everything is as it is regardless of what you think about it.