About phantasms and attachment to the past

A movie

phantomRecently I saw a low-cost one but interesting movie; the protagonist, a young man in their thirties, living in love with a woman, die in a car accident. Probably due to their strong attachment to their nice live and his couple, their soul remain into their home, wandering. The look of our guy is very classical: a phantasm covered with a white sheet with two holes acting as eyes.  He can see  but he can’t talk, nor communicate in any way. The phantasm contemplate their couple, depressed, crying, for a while, then, she start to dating with other man … time flies, the woman sell the house, so the phantasm become alone in the empty house, observing, new people come to the house, … at last, after many years of wandering, the phantasm suddenly realizes their time has passed away, realizes there are nothing there connected with him, and he become free of attachment, and disappear from this material world. Being a movie not dedicated to achieve high amounts of incomes, the action is very slow, with long shots showing the monotone “life” of the phantasm, doing nothing, only observing, watching the house. I think this slow speed, that at first worried me due to the lack of habit (you know, all the commercial movies are on the other side, action and more action, with very fast conversations, etc) was necessary for really understand the mental state of a person strongly attached to something that has ceased to exist, waiting unconsciously for a impossible return. I didn’t be aware in that time, but now  I realize the message really penetrate into my subconscious.

Attached to a memory

Familia

Old times, people no longer there, but house still is there.

Last Saturday, I’m reading while traveling by suburban train;  the convoy stops in a railway station, and absently I look up from the book for find out where I am … oh … is the station where I lived many years before, with my parents, both died now. Nostalgia invades me, my lost childhood, etc. And then I think maybe some day I’ll go down in this station, then I will walk to my old house, now inhabited for another family, and I will sit there, in front of the house, for relive the old sensations for a while, yes, maybe is a good idea. Then, while I was thinking about, I saw my own reflection on the window of the train, in front of me; being a window, not a mirror, my reflections was very blur. And then, suddenly, I remember the movie, my image looks like a phantasm, not with a white sheet but blur, seated there, still, waiting, desiring reliving a past that never will return … I was a phantasm! Oh dear! Or at least, I was behaving like a ghost, chained to a house by memories. This thought deeply disturbed me, I never before had considered the emotional attachment to a place in this way. The train resumed, and I remain meditative, trying to see, to understand the lesson. Seems to me that every moment is unique, it exists for a brief moment and then disappears… sure? All disappears every moment? Seems absurd, seems nothing really exists, is like another phantasm, with no real existence, mm…

The book, the time and the present moment

At home, I mean the actual one. After lunch, I’m looking for a book about Bach’s flowers, an alternative therapy for emotional equilibrium, not for me, but for my wife. We have lots of books in home, distributed in many libraries, shelves, tables, and not very well ordered, so is not easy to find the book. As it often happens, while looking for a book I find other books that read many years ago, almost forgotten, and is a nice surprise see them again … oh! this one, interesting, and this other, also interesting, … so I finally return to the living room with some books, for reread them. One of the books is about inner work, I mean, meditation; I opened it randomly and read:

We have the illusion that time is continuous, but really, at every moment everything disappears and reappears. It is like a systole and a diastole of creation, but we only live through diastole. At every moment, everything is created. Therefore, each moment is unique and unrepeatable. As this happens very quickly, we have the feeling of continuity, as when we see a film composed of dozens of frames that parade at great speed in front of our eyes. When you work the conscience, you can get to see this.

Wow … what a coincidence! The movie, the station and my insight, and now this text, randomly chosen. Indeed, modern Quantum Mechanics is also pointing in this direction: time is not continuous, but discrete, advance by “jumping”, with very short intervals of … no time! This intervals are really short: named Planck time, is approximately 5.39 × 10 −44 s, a unimaginable little bit of time: universe is about 4,7304e+17s old, so in a scale from Plank time to a Universe age, the time “one second” is more near to the age of Universe than the Plank time, that is a very very little interval of time!

Planckb

Scale of powers of ten: at left, 10⁻⁴⁴ is the Plank time, 1 represents 1 second, and at right, 10¹⁶ is near the age of Universe

Is possible that a meditator are able to perceive such insignificant time interval? Maybe the writer was aware of this quantum law and was influenced by it, imagining he can fell it. Anyway, it was a great coincidence.  

Indeed, my own experience is just the contrary; in deep meditation, feeling the unity of all the creation, I often also feel the unity of time: there are only one unique instant, eternal, that incorporate all. Is the unity of all in space and also in time. Maybe is a matter of point of view: when we see all from a whole view, with expanded awareness, the unity of all is the answer, but when we dive in our own awareness, looking for the center, then we find the pulse of the creation, that systole and a diastole movement of creation.

galaxia plana

 

 

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Happiness is hidden in a corner of your heart

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Bridge over the abyss. Source: flickr.com

The river of life runs between the banks of pain and pleasure. The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.
You are not passing through life, you are here because you are life.
You are this twig of conscious life rocking on the swing of existence.

vela

The candle flame expands its light. Source: 365consejosparaserfeliz.blogspot.com.es

 

When you discover the flower that springs every morning in the heart of the friend, the love that unites eclipses the mind that separates.
Reason tells you that you are barely anything in the immensity of the cosmos, but the heart assures you that you are everything.
The flower fills the space with its perfume, the candle flame expands its light. Neither the flower nor the flame do anything; and yet they change everything by their mere presence.

surface_mind

Ocean

Every drop of the ocean carries the scent of the ocean. Every moment of your life carries the fragrance of the eternal.

 

IMG_331074902130976

Happiness is hidden in a corner of your heart. Sleep quiet, oblivious to your anxiety, waiting for you to wake her up.
Your real being is love itself and the multitude of your loves are its reflection.

-Mario Carrillo-

All that we have, all that we are

In Spain there are a region, about 400 x 200 km, named Catalonia, with a great wealth of landscapes: nice beaches, cliffs, mountains, lakes, forests, rivers, fields and, of course, little villages, towns and cities.

catalunya

Landscapes of Catalonia

In similar way, but to a much greater extent, in human being many facets of Nature converge: we are corporeal, we have a body made of matter, the same matter that surrounds us, subject to gravity, occupies a space, contains huge amount of chemical compounds. Also, we have living beings, our body is alive, moreover, we contain an astronomical number of another living beings, named cells, all together working in association, with an incredible precision and organization. Also, we have a sophisticated nervous system, we are sensitive, sentient beings, having a huge amount of sensations, feelings and emotions (more than three hundred emotions have been identified), and of course we are intelligent beings. We also are social beings, having a very complex organised society. And at last, but not less important, we are spiritual beings, with moral, ethical, existential doubts, with faiths, and pursuing happiness.

When a traveler arrives to Catalonia, he has a wide set of options for choose: let me see … maybe I’ll visit such little village at high mountains, or maybe I’ll walk in the woods, or maybe I prefer first visit such beautiful lake… no matter with the choice, the important thing is all such places are available for enjoying. And also for our awareness there are many options for live, for visit and enjoy: we can attend our body, feeling their life, also we can visit our emotions and feelings, a rich set of experiences are waiting for us there, or we can choose visit our intellect, a vast field of experiences, intellectual pleasures, imaginations, etc. Very often, people forget we are travelers of our own Universe. Please, remember to visit frequently all these inner places; if a traveler arrives Catalonia and only visit a beach indeed not know nothing of the territory, similarly, a person who lives only in one place, such their thoughts about work and daily obligations, forgetting the rest of their places, is not full living.

Talks with a master

This post is an extract of one talk between some seekers of knowledge and Antonio Blay, a Spanish master. Blay has not been translated to other languages, he didn’t travel to other countries, and he didn’t establish schools nor ashrams, unlike many oriental masters. That’s why he’s not well known. But his teachings are actually worthy. I read them since twenty years ago. The talk I want to extract is related to Advaita Vedanta philosophy, which nowadays I’m studying. Specifically, the topics covered are:

  • Continuity between different conscience planes
  • Self and Creation
  • Time and conscience. Existence as a pulsation
  • The now and the void
  • Knowledge, reasoning and intuition

 

Continuity between different conscience planes

Student: we feel separated from higher planes of existence, but we have heard there are only one existence, why this feeling then?

Master: Due to our partial perception, indeed there are not any separation. Seen from “above” there are not any creation because creation is all, all is included. Instead seen from “below” there are. 

Student: What do you mean with “above”?

Master: The highest point that can be, which is out of the creation.

Self and Creation

Student: I see, then, there are only a whole and nothing more, is this whole the creator?

Master: As I said, from outside of the creation, creation can’t exist. On the other hand if we are in the conscious of the creation, then the only thing that exist is the creation. We can’t live both aspects at the same time. The problem is: while we are into the creation, we are trying to attribute the subjective notion we have, to the highest Self, imagining a being called God, and this is wrong. If you call Self to the Absolute reality, then the creation is not, and if you call Self to the whole creation, then the Absolute is not. 

Student: But, can’t we see God like something embedded in all the things around us?

Master: Does not matter. Or are the forms, or is God, but not together.  God is not any form nor thing.

Student: I mean to see him as something global.

Master: When you have a set of things, you can think in global, but the Creator of everything can’t be another thing, do you understand? We usually think about God like whether He were a thing, a very big thing, but a thing, this is false. Actually, we can’t formulate anything about the Creator, when we do it, we take attributes from our experience, from the becoming, from the manifested, while He is beyond it. 

Time and conscience. Existence as a pulsation

Student: Creation and time go together, right? So, seen from “above”, there are no time, and seen from “below” there are time but no “above”. So seen from here, from creation, what is “above”? 

Master: A phenomenon of consciousness.

Student: Then, the creation is a process running? Seeing it from creation point of view.

Master: Creation seems a continuous process … to our consciousness. But is possible to discover creation has a discontinuity. Is like the images in film: there is an illusion of continuity, but actually is not continuous, there are times that there aren’t images, there is nothing at all. The notion of time come from our conscience of change, comparing our perception of a small part of the whole with others perceptions of other small parts. But time, seen from above, is only one thing, one moment. So the Creation is a single action made from eternity. But also is is an action made in each moment, seen from below. Each moment has their root in the eternity of now. Moreover, we can live, we can experience, that in each moment, things cease to be, and are again. So in each moment we can live in a unique and total way, because in every moment all start to be new

The now and the void

Student: I think we can live the time as non existent, because only exist the present moment, past and future don’t exist, right?

Master: Not exactly. If for you the present is a succession of events or states, then it is not more the present. Present is unique, without any change. You can live it looking for the root of your live, the root of all the phenomena. When you stop to live hypnotized for the phenomena field, and try to find the “I” from where arise all, your subjective notion of time will disappear. Eventually you’ll reach a point without dimensions nor time, but at the same time it includes all possible notion of time. And you are able to do it now: you can do it, you can live it.

Student: yeah, I have read about the void, there are schools teaching it, like Zen for example. They say the world indeed not exist …

Master: Said that way is false. They say the real nature of all is void (Sunyata). According with Mahayana, this is the true reality of everything. And is right. But, if we see it from our consciousness, identified with things, the the notion of void is false. 

Knowledge, reasoning and intuition

Student: All of this seem to me too theoric, and maybe not useful.

Master: Not believe it, this are important questions, related with states of mind. Many people ask this questions, so is a demand from within, borned from a need. Mind needs feed for their develop, the mind is satisfied knowing only. 

Student: But by the way of knowledge we can’t understand this topics, right?

Master: I think so yes, moreover, is the only way for come to understand it. 

Student: You mean understand intuitively, without reasoning?

Master: To think is related to look for intuitions, when you think wanting to know the subject, to understand it. When an area of mind need enlightenment, a research process is needed, human mind works that way. But we don’t have to limit the research to find concepts, instead we need to see what is behind the concepts. The true is behind the thinking, so eventually I have to stop think … even my mind still run, very attentive and relaxed. 

Student: I still believe is complicated to think about this topics …

Master: You don’t have to think, you have to see. I don’t think. Is a inner silent attitude. 


 

Bibliography: “Pláticas sobre el trabajo interior. Conversaciones con Antonio Blay“. (Spanish edition)