May 30, 1996 Project Expand, Rebirth

96.05.30 PE C.

May 30, 1996 Project Expand

Q has asked (transcript 96.05.15 PE paragraph 6, “If there had been contact, seeing, perception ... “, and paragraph 8, “Ego self thinks it must ... “), where does the ego enter the picture?

Aaron: First, ego is an illusion. It is not the fact of the arising of this experience which we call ego which solidifies the illusion, but a sudden blindness to the ground, the move out of pure awareness. One becomes so fixated on the overlay, for example the overlay of thorn bush, that one forgets that the perfect unblemished ground always exists. One forgets that “thorn bush” is not a blemish but an expression of that ground. “Ego” is not the existence of the overlay but forgetfulness of the ground.

Questions not recorded. Speaking of K's experience of the towel handed to D from a selfless place, no giver.

Aaron: To experience ego and to be lost in ego are quite different. To experience ego as conditioned expression involves no movement from the place of ego. To experience ego as if it were solid is to invest it with power.

Aaron: When the confusion of the thought, “Who gave ...?,” arises, the thought itself does not pull you into reactivity from the small ego self. The thought is just a thought. Thus, when you ask, “When does ego arise?” the real question is not “When does it arise?” but “What makes that arising lead you to lose connection with pure awareness mind?” What are the conditions that give rise to that loss of connection? What may nurture the continuance of connection? I will speak to this in the body of my talk. I pause.

Q: Referring to Aaron's last paragraph above, where does that thought, “Who gave ...?” come from? Aaron often talks about thoughts arising as just “thoughts arising” and I am always wondering, where are they coming from? He talks about them as if they just appear out of nowhere and have no relationship to us. (Aaron interjects: “Who is ‘us'?”) Last night when he talked about Earth's history, about the Earth being a place of positivity, about negative beings coming to “tinker,” and the reaction of fear from the guardians leading to negativity becoming a part of the Earth plane experience form that time on, he spoke of it as if negativity just came, as if it had no relationship to the beings of Earth.

To me, it would seem that the potential for negativity was within all those beings on Earth. How can negativity enter a plane of experience if there is no fear present to begin with? There would be no point of entry for the negativity. Aaron has spoken many times in the past of our “inviting” negativity into our experience through our fear, that if we have no fear there is no invitation for negative energy to enter our presence. Wouldn't this also be true in the story of how negativity first entered the Earth experience?

Aaron: You asked about the statement that I made yesterday, “Fear arose, negativity arose.” Fear is not owned by those currently in material expression but also exists on the nonmaterial plane. Fear is a natural result of getting lost in the transparent overlay and forgetting the existence of the ground.

Since illusion is part of the incarnate experience, you are not attempting to get rid of the arising of illusion but to know it for what it is. Then you can rest in pure heart/mind and let illusion flow through without any secondary contraction around that illusion.

You are human. You are not blank slates. Various thoughts, images, contractions, opinions are carried in the mental, emotional and physical bodies, yes, even in the cells themselves. Therefore, you cannot stop these memories, images and opinions from arising, nor do you need to stop them. The thought is simply conditioned expression, that which arises as result of certain conditions. When you rest in pure heart mind and watch these thoughts arise, there is no secondary contraction around these thoughts. There is no fixation on the thought. There is no move from emptiness to somebody-ness. There is just a thought.

Fear is a type of thought. Like any thought, it arises in response to conditions. When something comes into your presence and you note it with bare perception, old memories are not a part of that noting. To note from bare perception is just a small step from noting with pure heart/mind.

The thought which carries fear is also expression of the dharmakaya, expression of God. Only when it is seen as “other than,” that is, seen without bare perception but from the “sem” or duality-fixated mind lost in the illusion, does secondary contraction arise around it, contraction that leads the way in to reactivity and karma. Just as, from rigpa, karma is seen to be an illusion, so “negativity” itself is part of the “sem” based illusion.

As for your specific question about fear on the earth plane, I speak in a kind of shorthand and must be more careful to be absolutely precise. The reactivity on the part of some of the “guardian angels” to the mischievous energy which entered the earth plane did not introduce negativity on earth; it introduced reactivity to negativity. This is the secondary contraction.

It was a gift, this introduction of reactivity to negativity, for it shaped a path of exploration of that reactivity. Such exploration is the basis of the path to maturity, for without such exploration you never determine that you have a choice, to choose fear or to choose love, and that finding the clarity for that choice is the responsibility of each being.

What does “potential for negativity” mean? It is only a statement of the deepest truth of being, that negativity is also an expression of the Divine and that it is the nature of the Unconditioned to express itself in infinite ways. We need not be disturbed by that expression, but must learn to respond with love whenever and wherever there is reactivity to the arising negative thought.

In this way, only, is negative thought conquered, not by banishing it by rendering it powerless.

Aaron is speaking now of Q's question about 95.05.15 PE, paragraph 10. There, Aaron had said: “Habitually, when emotions arise ... the emotional body is not your foe, but is distinctly a gift of the incarnation ... (Heavy emotional states) Unless you are paying attention, you cannot see that these states are simply the opportunity to discover the inherent wisdoms in them.”

Q: What wisdom is inherent in clinging, craving, aversion, etc.?

Aaron: You asked, how can there be wisdom in the arising of states of anger, greed, lethargy, jealousy or pride? There is wisdom when you note each arising as part of the transparent overlay, part of the realm of conditioned expression, nirmanakaya. or form body, and, due to your practice, that arising takes you back to the ground in just the same way that each time you see a sunbeam you are brought back to the sun. I will speak at length on this idea later.

As long as you have a mental body, thought will arise. It is one of the conditions out of which fear may arise. If fear arises and is known as just another thought, it directs you right back to the ground. When you act and speak from that ground, from pure heart mind, then there is nobody acting or speaking, there is no karma. When you lose connection with pure heart mind because of the involvement with fear and reactivity to fear, then you are back to small self, contraction and karma. I pause.

Q: I understand. What I am seeing from Aaron's words now is that the wisdom is in the noting and the awareness of the anger and the greed, etc., not in the anger or the greed themselves, which is the way it was written in the past transcript.

Barbara: Aaron is saying, not quite, because the anger itself, when it's seen clearly for what it is, is simply a conditioned expression ...

Q: The wisdom is in the seeing, not the anger itself.

Barbara: Okay, I see you're saying there is no wisdom inherent the anger.

Q: That's all I'm saying. Aaron had stated that “ ... . these states (anger, etc.) are simply the opportunity to discover the wisdoms inherent in them.” Whereas, the wisdom is in the seeing clearly when in those states.

Aaron: Not quite. There is also energy in anger, and wisdom is inherent in that energy. Beyond that, what is anger? It is a thought and is energy. You do not transform the anger. It has its own innate purity, is simply conditioned expression, nirmanakaya, expression of the ever-perfect. But it does carry energy and the strength of that energy is part of the foundation material for the emergent wisdom.

Before he talks, Aaron asks us to include a question D raised last night, asking Aaron to explain why events seem to gather together at a juncture in one's life. Many of these may be painful and seem to be offered as teachings.

Aaron: We move into the heart of the question: What precisely is vinnana or rebirth consciousness? In your human form, there will always be contact of the six senses to sense objects, and the resultant sense consciousnesses. Even in a sensory deprivation tank you are aware of the experience of a kind of blankness, empty of sights, sounds or tactile stimulation. Thoughts will still arise, such as thoughts of the pleasantness or unpleasantness of the lack of stimulation to the other senses.

In any situation, the arising of a physical or mental sensation or of emotion, which is both physical and mental, may be seen as a transparent overlay over the clear ground. When you rest in rigpa, merely watching these transparent overlays come and go, acting on them appropriately, you rest in the ground. It is important to remember here that “ground” is not only essence but essence and expression of essence. Dharmakaya and rupakaya. (This is a term used to cover all of the form body, both sambhogakaya. and nirmanakaya. Rupa simply means materiality, as in the term “nama-rupa” introduced in No Chain at All). There is no “doer.” The overlays have no dual existence, they are part of the ground, are expressions of it. Realizing this, there is no need to contract against the overlays. To do so would be like seeing immense storm clouds gather and then registering surprise that there was thunder and lightening, thinking you needed to stop this expression of the storm cloud. But these are just conditioned expressions of the storm cloud.

The storm cloud is also expression of the sky so that when you see a clear sky, you may know that sometimes there are storm clouds. There is no need to chase away the storm cloud. When you see that great black mass of cloud, you know that the clear sky has not ceased to exist. With such awareness there is no contraction. If you had planned a picnic, you would need to alter the plans to those suitable to the current expression of storm cloud. That is all you do.

If the thunder is very loud it may be unpleasant, too loud for comfort to the ears. There is a contraction around the discomfort, even though you are resting in pure heart/mind and the thunder has been understood as expression of the storm cloud. The contraction is just that: contraction. No different than the contraction if you touch the skin lightly with a sharp object. That primary contraction is simply the natural conditioned response resultant from the arising of a sense consciousness. It is one of our transparent overlays. When you note that contraction without losing the ground, there is nothing to be done with it. If it is very loud to the point of causing pain, you may choose to cover your ears. Such response is free of karma. It draws from the innate intelligence of pure awareness and is not motivated by the small self and its fears.

K said some weeks ago that she was stunned to discover that when she says she wants to go home, wants to shed the illusion of separation, she discovers that which is also attached to the illusion. If there was not that which is attached to the illusion, all of you would express the full illumination which lies within you waiting to reveal itself.

There is a balancing act going on: that which aspires to express its true nature for the benefit of all beings balancing that which clings to delusion because at some level it understands that the delusion does serve a purpose.

You wonder what kind of purpose delusion could possibly serve. You are all unlimited and all-powerful. There must be a gradual process of growth so that when you finally meet your true being, unfiltered by any clouds of confusion, you are ready for the immense responsibility inherent in that power. There is a process, then, of ever-growing wisdom and compassion, of ever-growing clarity. You arrive at an increased readiness to not move into a relationship with what arises conditioned by the contacts of a body and mind, to not move into a relationship with fear. You become ready neither to get lost in the transparent overlay of that arising, nor to deny the arising of that particular overlay, and thus to hide in a distorted experience of ground which denies the rupakaya.

We come here to D's question. The process I have just described forms the basis of all of your learning. You are each in a different place, of course. Each get stuck in different issues. When you are resting in pure heart mind free of that contraction around the contraction, but just observing any contraction, you are out of the karmic stream. When you hear the thunder and that sound draws you into a fight with the thunder so that you lose touch with the ground, then you are back in the karmic stream. Karma here relates directly to energy.

Since many of you as human cannot so clearly see energy, I would substitute the image of water. If water is flowing very clearly through a conduit with no obstacle, it moves openly, freely. If you block part of the conduit with a firm object, the water responds to that blockage. It gathers itself together into the space that is left. It moves faster. The pattern of it changes. You have all observed this in a river which runs through placid, open stretches and turbulent narrows.

Please visualize your energy fields as this river. Certainly there will be obstacles sometimes, such as a painful sound of thunder or the sight of somebody injured and bleeding or the physical sensation of cold or pain or a thought such of as jealousy or pride. When these arise in your mind-body experience and you understand them as what I have called “not-other-than,” but just as conditioned expression of the Unconditioned, then there is nothing solid there. The “obstacle” is transparent, is illusion. Your energy stream does not change its flow. There's nothing that is not you, and you, it. But when you see it as other-than, your energy contracts like a river when it meets the boulders in the narrows.

I am attempting to put in words here what I literally see. When you rest in pure heart mind, your energy is harmonious with the universe. It's open, infinitely expanded. On the Ultimate level there are no boundaries expressed. On the relative level the boundaries are merely useful tools. When contraction occurs, arising from mind-body experience, and is just contraction, the energy stays open. When you shift into subject-object, you set up an energy pattern which we may label a karmic pattern in which the energy is contracted and turbulent.

Such pattern becomes habit. There is a clear Buddhist teaching:

The thought manifests as the word; The word manifests as the deed; The deed develops into habit; And habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care, And let it spring from love Born out of concern for all beings.

You do not need to release the karmic pattern in the long-term way in which it was established. One moment of resting in clarity shatters it completely.

These energy currents or karma lead you to reverberate in conditioned ways to similar experiences. Here is the ego-self's opportunity to maintain itself through perpetuation of the pattern. A different voice of ego may say “No, we won't do that,” and fixate on the not doing, on getting rid of what has arisen. Either way, ego self is perpetuated and sem (discursive mind) runs the show.

Here is pure heart-mind's opportunity to shatter the illusion. You must begin to know that you have a choice. At any arising contact received by the mind-body, ego voice can rule or the deep wisdom mind can be in charge.

This knowing that you have a choice brings me around to the many practices, practices such as clear comprehension of purpose, practices such as tonglen and metta, practices such as looking deeper into the direct experience of your own courage, faith, energy, mind of meditation, equanimity and so forth. It is not easy to choose resting in your true being over the perpetuation of the ego self. All the various concentration, morality and wisdom practices, as they deepen, support such choice.

Much of what I express is lost in mere words. It must be experienced in your meditation. We will look deeper into rebirth consciousness with further experiential practices. I pause here.

(Q asks Aaron to clarify when the ego comes in.)

Aaron: The ego comes in with the shift to the transparent overlay. The ego comes in because we have not fully trained ourselves to acknowledge its emergence, to ask ourselves, “Is this what I truly choose?” And so we defer to ego as if it were all-powerful, instead of telling it, “No,” and go back to the spaciousness of pure heart/mind. You can see that shift. It is the moment of choice.

Q: Sometime I would like him to talk about what prompts that shift.

Barbara: Okay.