“I Am Here, Now”
When it comes to describing pure experience, language is a problem, but it’s what we use to communicate (although a gesture and even silence can be most effective). When we talk about ‘I’, ‘here’, ‘now’, we are actually using words to describe an event in the past, even a milli-moment ago. Recounting what happened is a fundamental shift in identity. Absolute truth shifted into relative, conventional truth and unfortunately got caught there: this is what happens to sentient beings. We are ensnared by language, and the way in which we communicate depends on our motivation.
Of course, we know – in a conventional way – what someone means by, “I am here now”. Whether they are present with an open mind is another thing! From a Dzogchen perspective, the eighth consciousness (the alaya vijnana) mistakes itself for the ninth consciousness, which is Rigpa. (search: Eight Consciousnesses for details).
Here is an example: “I am experiencing stillness”. This is not synonymous with ‘being’ stillness. “I am experiencing stillness” is important because is the stepping stone for the final step of dropping the I. It’s important to experience both so that we know where we are…and where we are not…and when we are not.
In the Dzogchen teachings, Rigpa essence is a dry state of mere being but, through compassion, it can manifest as ‘essence love’, ‘essence display’ and ‘essence adornment’. While in Rigpa, a little I, a little ego, can manifest to communicate for the benefit of others, and then quickly return to rigpa essence, without hanging about longer than necessary!
Awareness is relative truth, and emptiness is absolute truth. They work nicely as a unity.
Relative truth means relating to something, a reflection. We use the reflection to communicate, but remember to return to emptiness – absolute truth.
Expressing experience using language is precarious, so we have to be mindful of sensibilities and context. We are dealing with extremely subtle explanations of being. To some, this may not sound relevant, but in the Dharma, it is an extremely subtle understanding.
‘Now’ is timeless.
Talking about ‘now’ takes time, a moment of reflection.
A moment after now.
There is only now.
To speak of ‘now’ is to look back on now, now!
Talking about ‘now’ obscures now.
The ‘now’, then, is the same as the ‘now’, now.
Doing anything with ‘now’ is dealing with the past;
awareness is reflecting in a mental world, a memory.
‘Now’ is always present, but when we use thought to describe it,
we move into a mental state of past experiences.
We move out of the awareness of now.
This is what relative truth is all about.
In pure experience there is no comment.
Only upon reflection is there analysis,
where wisdom uses knowledge to inform.
A full blown thought is many milli-moments away from pure awareness. From now. Now is now; timeless. Any statement about ‘now’ is reflective and indicates time. While writing this, awareness is oscillating between the two truths; being, observing, reflecting and describing. Describing is many moments away from pure experience. Time and timelessness.
Time to shut up!
Ah! Timelessness……no, I’m still commenting…