am I all here

by roy k austin

Most people, to some degree, question their lives inwardly at some time. To that kind of degree do I philosophise, for my nature is to express itself or no - self, in poetry. "Too much philosophy clips the angel’s wings!"

Many years ago, the most fundamental question for me was, "Do I live or am I being lived?" Lived by a higher self that I had forgotten and consequently was unaware of. The latter of course, would suggest that my sense of selfhood - the persona- was derived from the community that I was born in to, which would ultimately prove to be an illusion. As the years past, studying the works of our century’s sages and sage philosophers, I began to see how much they converged in their teaching and how much accord there was in their underlying spiritual paradigms. A significant mark, I thought, of their authenticity. Among these sages there were those who considered our sense of identity as a complete illusion. Some coined the phrase ‘mistaken identity’. Others would hold that our sense of self is part of an inward evolution or involution of consciousness, where the causal spirit of all is simply seeking the causal spirit. The one true self of the world, which in this sense is doing it all, including my asking the question in the first place! My present understanding is that the delusion is real enough and will ultimately be seen as such, but that our current mainstream consciousness, - the awareness of selfhood or ' I ' sense, serves a purpose in the advance of the spirit’s path. A rediscovery of spirit for spirit. Thus we have the inbuilt dualistic vision, a dualistic language engendered in a world of duality, where individual identity is imperative and where the non dual vision of life is its opposite or counterpoint and an anathema to it.

Our world today is quite literally, ready for the non dual vision of life to arise. All the ingredients are in the world for it to emerge in human consciousness, and though the principle might be ‘more depth less span ‘ in human consciousness, the depth is deep enough now. We need an epidemic to increase the span.

An emergence would, to use Ken Wilber’ s terminology, ‘transcend and include’ its lower levels. (See a brief history of everything. K Wilber.) This might come about as an aftermath to great human suffering and catastrophic damage, caused by man, or even nature’s readjustment to man’s activities. The phrase 'everything is one' may turn out to be the only recognition and realisation that will save our humanity. Change the competitive urge to the cooperative spirit, that might make our future world a more sustainable one. Of course we then arrive at the final paradox that if non duality becomes the sway and the way of man, what need then for the world? Ultimate reality is non duality above the stream of time. We call it heaven, bliss, and even oblivion- which begs the question, what is your experience of this dualistic world? Is it more like hell?

The unborn self of the Buddha is so beautiful to me. I really am convinced both by thought and experience that the deepest and more substantial part of us, (our archetype if you will,) is elsewhere. Not in location but in realms of conscious awareness.
In other words we are all connected in such a way to our original selves that are not individual selves at all. Selves that dissolve back into the essence of their divine source, from whence they, like prodigals came. For me then, the delusion is part of a journey
that will arrive at its destination as a realisation. A bit like a train being late - not knowing how or where to connect to arrive !

I am sometimes astonished when I look closely at nature, for I see in the lowliest places the most profound ciphers, clues to the unity of it all. It is there that I feel most inspired to write. My conviction is that the sages and seers are for the most part, correct, regarding the metaphysical reality of the world, and as Ken Wilber has said, 'they ride a beam of light as they advance human consciousness.'

Is there a tacit conspiracy to ignore ‘who’ and ‘what’ we are ? Alan Watts certainly thought so. Up to a point so do I. (I owe much to this man by way of understanding.) My feeling though, is that it may lie at a deep level, almost subconscious, and therefore it is that that we must try to awaken in our art, our creativity. Like a head - set to be removed in virtual reality, I ask of my own consciousness, apart from space and time and location, ‘ am I all here or more fully, somewhere else.

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