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April 15, 2007


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When the individual "I" sense drops or is seen through, many questions/issues fall away and become unnecessary. What remains is a mystery, but there is no one to be concerned about it. There is a matrix present which some call "love", but that word is a little sappy for my mindset at this moment. Still, it's as good as any. Perhaps this love is the purpose/non-purpose of it all. Whatever you want to call it, it always seems to be there whether you are looking at a blooming flower by a mountain stream or having your kneecap ripped off by a pitbull. Maybe we should call it the "force". In the case of a pitbull bite, the force is felt in full measure.

Dear Brian,

I find it difficult to accept that the birth of little Evelyn is just

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, I've tried to make the distinction (but obviously not too clearly) between relative and ultimate reality.

Meanings, by definition, involve relationships. One thing is connected with another thing. A flag connects with feelings of patriotism, or the memory of a deceased soldier relative, and so becomes meaningful.

But what relation can there be between me, or you, and the ultimate? I don't know about you, but I'm not in contact with ultimate reality. (If I were, I suspect I wouldn't be writing about not being in contact with it).

My granddaughter Evelyn isn't meaningless. Nor is anything or anyone else with whom I'm in direct contact. I just ate some baby carrots. They had meaning to my taste buds and partly empty stomach.

I've been equating "mystery" and "meaninglessness." If something or someone is known, even partially, that isn't a real mystery.

God is a mystery. Boundless existence is a mystery. What lies beyond the observable universe is a mystery. These mysteries have meaning for me only in a very subjective sense. I think "Wow!" and relate to my own Wow-ness.

That isn't a real relation. Which is why I say that genuine Mystery is meaningless, because we have no relation with it.

You gave away your thoughts, (and in 1977, I was actively seeking random thoughts, so I probably have some of yours in my memory.)

You gave away a lot of relationships and connections.

Loss like growing older, like putting away the things of childhood.

You gave up needing meaning in meditation. The person who taught me meditation was in the zen school of thought, so that was my "Intro to Meaninglessness 101".

So why are you holding so tightly to mystery? The relationship between meaning and meaninglessness has the same weight as any dichotomy.

Robert comment is remarkably acute: Any Evelyn you may know you will know as completely as you know anything. The very next creation, (this one! this one!) is delightfully surprised. There is now only mystery.

You don't really have meaning, let it go.


I recently posted something similar to this in RS Studies..

" What is more wondrous....

A human-centric universe with a known 'non-dual' state as its


A VAST Mystery that all human thought can't even conceive of?

We are one small specie of life among billions....on one tiny planet
circling one small star among millions in one spiral arm of one
galaxy among billions.......in this Universe/Multiverse?

To think that anyone here on this speck has figured the whole thing
out goes way beyond hubris into something so far beyond absurd that
there isn't even a word for it.

What makes us think that our ideas of states of being....non-
duality....'beingness'....'awareness'....God....Heaven...Sach Khand..
Light... Sound.....Oneness........any of this even scratches the
surface of that mystery?

For that matter....

What makes us think that any of our scientific models even scratch
the surface of that vastness?

What's before us in MUCH more than what is behind.

Our ideas of life after life...
spirituality....reality....materialism...... technology...etc... may
not even measure up to the crudest of implements of our first tool
using ancestors..... compared to what we may one day know about the
universe and ourselves.....

And even that 'exalted state' may be comparatively as far away as we
are right now.

That mystery may be racing away faster than we can advance toward it.

But I also think..


How awesome.

Dear Brian,

How does one meditate on meaninglessness? Do you simply let your thoughts wander without attempting to stop them?

Ashwin, my wandering thoughts probably would wander forever. I find that a simply meaningless one syllable mantra is more effective for me than the "let thoughts wander" approach.

It isn't possible to have absolutely no contents of consciousness. Or at least, its very difficult. So I lean toward keeping the contents as simple and meaning-free as possible.

Meaning involves relationships. If I don't let my mind make connections with the mantra--and that's fairly easy to do if it doesn't have an intrinsic meaning--then thoughts tend to settle down.

From your description Brian it would seem that mental/emotional agitation stems from meaning. Whenever my mind wanders during meditation (or indeed at any other time) I always end up being invested in my thoughts: I am endowing my thoughts with substance, meaning, and therefore "I" react to them as real phenomena. (Or the sense of "I" is the reaction?)

Ah, meaninglessness, marvellous state to wander in coupled with its sibling absurdity.
My insight into meaninglessness (what a darn long word) came by its own volition into my mind or perhaps via my little toenail (uninvited). I worked and travelled the world when younger, calamities,
tragedies, witnessing appalling sufferings, and also experienced times of joy. This all co-mingled into a huge formula for the birth of the absurd. With this came complete misunderstanding within marriage, later lovers, children and friends. I was forced to act in meaningful ways, a charade.
This was the downside. On the upside, within me, lies liberation. This brief posting does not really clarify exactly what I mean but it doesn't matter - I can't resist a comment.

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