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Missing Out

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Here is another guest post by my wife, Gina Lake. You can read much more of her writings on her own blog/website at www.radicalhappiness.com:

the four of us

The reason we find thoughts so compelling, besides the fact that we are programmed to pay attention to them, is that we believe we need them to function-and we enjoy thinking. We do need some thoughts to function, but most of our thoughts come from the egoic mind, and we don't need those. We think we're going to miss out on something if we don't pay attention to these thoughts-this voice in our head-but what we miss out on is real life, the life beyond the mental world created by the ego. The ego doesn't have a very high opinion of real life, and either do we when we are identified with it. Life without thoughts seems boring, uninteresting. But that's really only because we don't stay long enough in real life to really experience what it has to offer. We are often one foot in and one foot out of it-one foot in the mind and one foot in what's real: present moment experience.

We believe that thinking supplies everything we need-wisdom, insight, information, guidance, and perfect planning-and it's fun. What more could you ask for? If the mind could really provide all of this, then it would be indispensible and a true friend. However, it fails miserably at all of these; even the fun often comes at quite an expense. It pretends to be able to provide these things, and we are programmed to believe it can, but the truth is that it doesn't deliver what it promises.

Even when we see this, we may still give the egoic mind our attention just in case it comes up with something good-maybe the next thought is the one that will change everything! All of the things we really want to know-what will happen, why things have happened, and what to do next-the mind just doesn't know. Let this sink in a moment, because we are deeply conditioned to believe that it has these answers. What if you really knew that your mind doesn't have any of the answers you're looking for? It, in fact, is what raises these questions and wants so badly to know the answers, but it doesn't have them.

Living from the Biggest Truth

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Someone emailed me with a good question about how to keep the perspective of there being no separate self in the midst of the daily demands of their practical life, and how to live more fully from this bigger perspective. Here is what I wrote back:

Your question goes right to the heart of the matter. Yet, the truth cannot be contained in one perspective or the other. There is no separate self, and it is also true that on the relative level there is a functioning as an apparent separate self that is needed. These are not contradictory truths, but complimentary truths. Often in spiritual teaching there is an emphasis on the nondual truth since this is the aspect of truth that most people have not realized. But before, during and after a realization of this bigger truth, you still need to function in this relative world.

The wonderful thing about recognizing the bigger truth is not that the smaller practical considerations of getting along with your boss and taking care of your family disappear, but that you can hold them more lightly. And you can start to notice that there is much more that is unfolding even your practical life as a human with a job and responsibilities. So even though it is up to you to get up and go to work everyday, there is also a deeper presence that is unfolding all of life and that is what truly knows when you need to stay in a job and when you need to lose a job.

It is also a delicate understanding because seeing the bigger truth does lead to holding all of this more lightly, which can actually make things happen more smoothly. It can allow you to simply be in the flow and respond to what is really happening without all of the extra tension created when we think it is all up to me. But, we can then try to hold onto the this bigger perspective as a way to make our life run more smoothly which actually is just a more subtle way of trying to do it yourself....by not trying to do it yourself!

And almost everyone who experiences a bigger truth and the sense of flow that results tries then to make that happen. Instead, you can simply be curious about all of these dynamics, even the subtlest ways of spiritually efforting and trying to make things work. The real gift is in the discovery of the many levels of truth, not so much in holding onto the biggest truth as a way of making your life turn out great.

You may enjoy the article on the free articles page entitled, What to Do When There Is No Doer?, that gives a sense of the profound mystery of all of these different truths operating simultaneously, and also you may enjoy the short ebook on this site entitled Beyond No Self which addresses the different dimensions of truth that still exist when the separate egoic self is seen through.


What Is Found in Lack?

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Q: How do I go about exploring the sense of lack? Here’s my attempt: From the perspective of feeling, the sense of lack is a tension and sense of anxiety. The tension can be felt to different degrees everywhere in the body. The anxiety seems to be in the lower belly, the stomach, and the chest. The thoughts that go along with it are: “People know something I don’t. I have to get more information, more knowledge. Something is missing. Maybe I can get what I need from a teacher or book. I’m not enough. I need something more. I have to prove myself. I have to work hard and earn enlightenment. Something in the future could bring me what I want. The future could also bring disaster. I’m so vulnerable. I’m incomplete, insecure, and lacking in confidence.” That seems to be its voice at the moment. I still feel like I’m missing something in my exploration of missing something! How do you suggest I meet this sense of something missing? What can I do?

A: That’s a wonderful start to your exploration. You can also become curious about the actual “hole” or emptiness in the center of the feeling of lack. Directing your attention to this sensation of lack will bring to awareness all the voices, memories, and conditioning associated with the experience of lack, which need to be seen and allowed to be there. Just allow any associations to arise and be seen and continue to direct your awareness to the emptiness or sense of lack.

If you stay with this process long enough, often a deeper layer of conditioning will come to the surface, which may appear as feelings, such as sadness, anger, or fear. Or you might experience a deeper layer of your true nature, which may appear as a quality of essence, or Being, such as love, peace, or joy. Surprisingly, what often arises in the lack is the very thing you felt you were lacking. For instance, love can be found in the place where you experience a lack of love, and worth can be found in a place where you experience a lack of self-worth. There’s no formula for this exploration, as whenever you look within, the experience unfolds differently. But all you really need to do is trust and explore whatever shows up.

Even the deeper experiences of essence are empty at their core. When you touch this emptiness, the invitation is to go even deeper into the emptiness. Infinite layers of essential aspects of your Being are then discovered to be hiding another deeper layer of emptiness. Surprisingly, the doorway to the deeper reality is often the place where it seems emptiest.


There is an article on my website that explores this in greater depth here.

And in light of your questions, you might enjoy the following video. It is by a physicist who has found a unified field theory that fits right in with this way of understanding consciousness. But be forewarned, the video is very long and yet his theory of how the universe is structured fits right in with what we have been discussing, with an emptiness at the core actually being the entry into a deeper dimension. In his theory the emptiness at the core of every object (including the Sun, the Earth and our physical body) is an actual black hole. Like I said it is kind of mind blowing! Here are the links:

Hope this helps.