This is a copy of the letter I sent to Annette Nibley as an update to our last conversation. I'm posting it here because I think it provides some explanation of what "getting it" has been like here. While I would love to tell you that energy has been flowing through my body and exploding out of the top of my head and that everything is glowing, that hasn't been the case; and yet, something is very different.
hi annette - here is the update we discussed.
i really don't know what to say. it is utterly obvious that this open, clear awareness is and always has been here. but from here it is seen that EVERYTHING - including openness and clarity and spaciousness and timelessness are all concepts that seem to take form within this awareness (another concept). everything continues - traffic, noise, bother, happiness, hunger, pain in the hips, interest and disinterest, certainty and doubt, a "sense" of me and no-me, cold feet, the sound of the exhaust fan, the color of the walls, the walls, epsom salt in a plastic container, the hands on this keyboard, worry, irritation...and there is a recognition that the knowing of all of this is formless, timeless, spaceless, never-ending, and unchanging.
Just RESTING as this - and leaving absolutely everything else alone - while itself a conceptual and imperfect pointer - is all that ever needs to be done (in fact, it is all that is ever being done - the rest are the shadows and colors on the screen - there is just thinking that something else is happening).
look, even as I read this over, I think it sounds like just real, unadulterated and incredible bullshit - but it is the absolute truth - not in some plato-esque philosophical way but from the standpoint of simple, direct, first-grade level observation. this little pea-brain will never "get it." for all i know, it may well continue to try - but the SEEING of the trying or not-trying is what NEVER changes. the angst may never end for the mind (what mind?) - oh well. there is still no suffering.
as long as there is recognition (by no one) of this big, open, clear, no-space in which everything and absolutely nothing happens (that really makes no sense to the little brain, does it?), then, well, then nothing. i still have to clean the cat poop in the basement and the checkbook is still chugging along on fumes until the middle of the month.
that doesn't sound too thrilling, does it? it isn't. it's very ordinary AND wonderful. no kidding. wonderful. i should stop before i sound even more psychotic than i already do. i think this all fell into place just as a result of you giving me permission, annette. there was something about that that allowed me to know what i know and see what i see; and , i really appreciate that you made this so ordinary and so available. i really can't thank you enough.
your slow-learner advaita student,