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Now You See it, Now You Don't

All the great mystics tell us that we will never find our real self because our real self is non-different from existence, non-different from the "good, the true, and the beautiful, and we cannot know truth as an object. We can become truth but then we will have disappeared "as the drop of water into the sea," the drop of water representing our self. But somewhere between enlightenment and manic-depression there is some essential progress that can be made. Somewhere between our grossly unconscious way of living and the light of complete consciousness and cosmic awareness, there is the possibility of improvement. At least, if we get a little objectivity on our modus operandi as a person who is heavily into rote and autonomic behavior, we can start to see that we don't have to blindly go along with our habitual ideas and feelings. The mind can call a panic, and we can refuse to go.

Here is an exercise that shows us how unnecessarily opaque and heavy with our own problems we have become. It gives us a hint that we are looking at the wrong side of life. We have been looking into our mind as reality. We are so used to our collapse into "dream past" and "dream future" that we really don't know what a clear present is. Everybody says "live in the now," but few of us grasp even intellectually what that means. That is because we can't experience now as an object. We can be now, but we can't know now.

Here's the exercise. We sit quietly somewhere outside and feel we are slowing fading away like a rainbow. We are growing fainter and fainter. We disappear. We just will it, for a second or two, to not be. The outside world itself, the sky, the trees are still here. The outside is still here and now, Right? Only we are gone. Quick, is anyone missing?

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