THE MEANING OF LIFE AND LONGING FOR WHOLENESS
Nicolae Tanase: Jim, what is the meaning of life?
Jim Newman: There is no meaning and no need for a meaning of life. Everything is already what it is, which is already needlessly, free and fulfilled.
“Life” is not separate from what is. Without separation, there is no space or distance in which the need for a meaning of life could arise.
There is only what is. “What is” is not objective or subjective, it is not conceptual, knowable or understandable. “What is” is indivisible, all encompassing, everything without position or perspective, no inside, no outside, not two, not separate, non dual.
What is – undifferentiated everything – can appear as something, a perspective, an apparent position. A position can be experienced, making the appearance seem personal. As a personal experience, life appears to be an object or “a something” requiring meaning. However, the person is illusory and has no reality outside of its experience of itself. The search for meaning is a need that arises out of that experience, which is the experience of separation, the experience that “what is” is real and personal.
The question or search for a meaning of life comes from the longing for wholeness, absolute freedom, which is unknowingly a longing for dissolution, an end to the person. The personal experience inevitably seeks for an answer to the question of “what is my life about?”. For the person there is no answer because this, what is, is not about anything. And it does not need to be about anything. The only solution for the person is the end of the person.
The person cannot go beyond the illusory nature of itself and cannot help being an effect of itself: a seeker. Its search is for love, for more or better experiences. It experiences itself on a path to find what it hopes will resolve its diss-ease of need. The path is seeking. Seeking can be the search for money, power, more… Because the search does not and can not address the cause of need, it can only lead to more seeking. The premise for seeking – that something intrinsically is wrong or missing – is illusory. Consequentially all of its efforts are hopelessly limited to that false premise.
The person is trying to overcome this diss-ease of the need for experience through more experience.
The effort exerted by the person can never lead to the fulfillment it seeks, the unlimited all inclusiveness of the unknowable “what is”. What is longed for is beyond personal seeking, by being “what is” already. “What is” is not an objective reality, is not knowable. “What is” is emptiness being everything as it is. Everything being what it is, is already complete, already absolutely free, without any need of meaning.
WHY NON DUALISM IS NOT A TEACHING
There seems to be some confusion about what is meant by non dualism; why it is not a teaching and why non dual speakers are not called teachers.
Spiritual teachings and teachers function within the belief, knowing or experience, that there is a lack, something missing in the student, that can be rectified through becoming better or learning something new. Spiritual teaching comes from the perspective, that separation — the subject-object experience — is real and can be or even should be overcome. The overcoming of the separation has the goal of becoming a better person or even the so called personal enlightenment.
Non dualism says, the experience of separation is illusory. Therefore, trying to overcome it, is just furthering the misunderstanding. All justification for spiritual teachings and teachers is based on this misunderstanding.
Spiritual teachers and teachings are lost in the dream of separation and are dealing with consequences and not the cause of apparent separation, becoming an effect of an effect of an effect (and so on) of the experience of the individual. Spiritual teachings are in that way a trap that can never provide the promised goods. As already stated, the only justification for teaching would be, if the experience of separation was real. But there is no real separation.
Absolute Freedom cannot be found within the experience of separation, which is where all spiritual teachers and teachings function.
The individual has never, would never, and could never do anything to rid itself of itself or uncover the reality of itself or what is.
What effect does working with the consequence of separation have? Spirituality and the spiritual path do have effects in the experience of the individual. They can make that experience better or worse (both only temporarily) and more or less functional. Just as therapy can. Spirituality bases its function on the assumption of there being something wrong with the person — the seeker. Which is in agreement with the assumptions the person has about itself, that there is something wrong with it. Spiritual teachings confirm this false assumption and tells the individual, what they can, could or should do, to be a better person, to find what is looked for. None of these approaches recognisze the real cause of the discontent: the experience of separation, the individual.
There is nothing missing and no need to find anything. When the dream ends, no one wakes up. The dream was the dreamers only reality. When it ends, there is no one left to wake up.
Non dualism has no judgment, as it does not recognize the free will (the individual experiences itself to have) as real. So there is no one to be responsible. Free will and personal responsibility are simply aspects of the illusory experience of the individual. This is a description, pointing out common misunderstandings, which arise because the suggestions and descriptions of non dualism are so foreign to the logic which arises out of the experience that “I am real” and “I do everything”.
Even the idea of “being no one” can be falsely understood as having to do with a real experience or real knowing. Real experience or real knowing are consequences of the illusory individual. Non dualism points to the unknowing emptiness, appearing as what is, which is beyond experience and knowing.
There is nothing to find, except “there is nothing to find”, which is never the result of seeking. There is no value in seeking, contrary to the seekers experience and value system.
Non dualism points to the completeness which is beyond words or understanding. It points to the wholeness, which is not effected by the experience of separation. It points to the unconditional love, which is already everything. It points to the unbounded absolute freedom, which is so free, it can appear as separation seeking freedom. There is only what is — everything — never anything else and this everything is the absolute freedom longed for already.
THIS IS ABOUT NOTHING
J: There is no way to say „what is“ is about nothing, because there is no one to tell and no one who wants to know. No one wants to hear this. For the individual the experience is: this is about something.
R: You say there is no choice, you also say there is no consciousness. With consciousness one always needs to be conscious of something, an awareness of something. And of „this“ you cannot be aware. I ask – is it not crazy that „this“ is all there is and one cannot access it.
J: There is no accessing it and there is no not accessing it. It simply is. „What is“ cannot be gotten and cannot be lost, it is unknowing.
R: Sounds like a paradox. You cannot get it, you cannot lose it? What kind of relationship do you have to „this“!
J: Well that is the thing – there is no relationship in „what is“.
R: Because there is no awareness of it?
J: No, because there is no distance. For a relationship you need distance to it.
R: Pause That is pretty cool.
J: This is all about nothing. Which is covered over by the experience „this is about something“ which is a pretty dissatisfying experience. Trying to find a something that it is about. And – it is not about anything. It is completely empty. And „what is“ is completely empty includes a seemingly „it is about something“ so everything that is appearing, everything that is, is not a misplaced everything, it is just empty. It is not about really anything.
R: What does that mean „it is empty“.
J: Well, it means it is not about something which the person is experiencing.
R: Like that it is going somewhere?
J: Well, coming from somewhere, going somewhere, that there is the need of finding something, that something is really happening. So if you are asking somebody what difference it makes if you die now or in ten years, most people will say „a huge difference!“ because things can change, one can have experiences. And all this is seeing what is happening from the perspective of that the appearance is all there is. So from that perspective the individual feels like it is the appearance, that being everything, the appearance is all there is. So being the appearance something real could happen. But the reality is, the appearance is real and unreal, doesn't have any real effect because nothing is really happening. So if there would be no individual there it would be recognized, that dying now or dying in ten years makes no difference because nothing really happens. The individual thinks that they are taking it with them. They imagine that there is a continuum that will go on after they die so whatever they experienced has some reality that belongs to a continuum. When there is no one experiencing this is about something, then there is obvious (to no one) that „what is“ is about nothing, isn't something that happens. It is always all nothing, it is just covered over by the experience that it is something or about something. So when the „about something“ stops happening, nothing actually changes. Because the „something happening“ is also nothing, makes no difference. „What is“ doesn't care if there is an individual that thinks it is about something or if there is not an individual, it makes absolute no difference because the reality is: everything that is appearing, is nothing appearing that way. It is all about nothing.
R: But isn't that a cold universe?
J: No, the cold universe is the individuals world. Where it is about something, where it is hard and full of need, and lack, that is cold. What is left - when that is no longer - is really beauty, is unconditional love, what is natural actually.
R: But total uncaring it sounds like.
J: It is the end of anxious caring. The caring becomes broader, so it is recognized that the individual is looking for nothing but doesn't want nothing, cannot have nothing, cannot know nothing. And that is really tragic because that can lead to a lot of suffering and unhappiness. But here is a bigger picture, that all the need where that comes from is also nothing, pointless and useless. So in a big sense there is a caring and a understanding or a compassion for the whole suffering but for the individual experience, it is such a self masturbatory exercise of the individual going up and down and up and down in its own world of need which is going nowhere. So it is hard to care about that.
R: And then on top of it there is no person anyway.
J: It doesn't matter, yes there isn't one but that is also just nothing appearing as a person or appearing as no person. Nothing makes a difference. It just doesn't matter because it is not happening, it is not real.
R: And then the bottom drops out when this is seen?
J: No, the bottom drops out when there is no one left feeling like there is a bottom. Because nobody „sees“ nothing. It is the end of looking. And it is not a recognition. There are all these insights or realizations that there is nothing left inside, that there is no such thing as an individual, never was, everything and nothing are the same thing, that everything is empty and there is no story. Those still seemed to me like something happened and it is still an experienced happening. They are like peepholes into another reality, but they are still peepholes. When all of that ends and there is nothing, that is just something completely else. Because when there is recognized that there is no „me“, that is like something you can talk about, that is like something you can recognize, something that there is no one and never was one. But when the bottom drops out then there is nothing, it is not like there is nothing left, it is like there never was anything. So „there is nothing happening“ is not a recognition, not a realization because there is no one to have it.
R: And where does the „something“ fit in? All that is appearing? Is that all nothing appearing as something? But doesn't that mean that „Nothing“ is in a way stronger than the something?
R: There is a balance between something and nothing?
J: There is no balance, it is all the same thing. It is all empty. There is not nothing somewhere else or then something somewhere else. If there were, there would be something happening.
R: What is the difference between nothing and empty?
J: No difference, it is the same thing.
R: But again: there is much more nothing than there is something.
J: No. Everything. Is. Empty.
R: So there is just empty nothingness.
J: … appearing as something "everythingness".
R: What to do with that?
J: Who would do anything with that?
R: The one who thinks they have to pay a rent and worrying about ending up on the street.
J: Well that is something seemingly happening.
R: Yeah, it feels very much something happening to the one worrying about ending up on the street.
J: With the individual, when there is the experience of it being about something than all of that shows up as being meaningful. Of course all of this seems to happen but it doesn't mean anything. It either does or it doesn't happen.
R: But if somebody takes that to heart they think „it doesn't matter anyhow“ and their children have nothing to eat. So isn't that a reckless advise to give to a person?
J: I am not giving any advice. There is no point to get, there is nothing to take away from this. This has nothing to do with the experience that this is about something. There is no relationship.
R: But if this is heard by somebody …
J: Nobody gives this. If somebody misunderstands it and decides they can do all sort of things, then that's what happens.
R: It is a powerful insight that this is all about nothing.
J: Huge. And it is not an insight.
R: What is it then?
J: The end of insights. The end of this being about something. That is the „bottom falling out“, that this being about something and all that is left is free fall.
R: But when nothing can be done with it, it is a completely useless message.
J: Completely useless.
R: No easing of pain, no motivation of sports, no relief of worry. But I did see deep relaxation in people.
J: I think this is „known“ by everybody. And there is an unraveling. „Known“ is not the right word.
R: So what is your advise how to go on in everyday life?
J: The point is, there never was anybody who made a choice in the first place. It just seemingly goes on as it always did and actually nothing goes on.
R: But is there no glory in the psyche to experience, a little bit maybe?
J: There is nothing in it for the individual. The one thing that is recognized when the bottom falls out is, that the individual is exceptional arrogant thinking it is about something. Because it being about something is really a being about me. Me, me, me, me. What I think is important, what I feel is important, what I do is important, where I go is important, it is all so important, but really important.
R: So the me is totally oblivious? And then it is just erased, swoosh gone?
J: Well sort of except it was never anyway. So it is the end of something which never happened. This is a completely unwant able message. It is just not want able.
R: It is like being trapped in a house of mirrors and being told that everything, all the reflections you see of yourself is an illusion because there is no self and there is no way out and there is nothing you can do and really all of this is not happening. Really one goes mad, don't you see that? Just madness.
J: Well I think what you are talking about is a subtle recognition of the reality what is pointed to and the hopelessness of the individual to do anything about it or anything with it.
R: This is an unkind universe, to me.
J: The individual is trapped in its own dream.
R: Without a dreamer.
J: No, the individual is it's own dream so when the individual is no longer then there is no one that ever dreamed. No dream, no dreamer.
R: What is left then?
J: Everything. This, just as it is, what is. Which is all there ever is.
R: So it was actually never really different, just seen a bit askew.
J: The experience of this being about something makes this for the individual appear as about something it is not. There is nothing to get, there is nowhere to go because there is nothing to find because there is nothing lost.
R: That is quite diametral what I feel my me is about.
J: It is. Absolutely. The individual, the me is the experience it is about something and the reality is, it is about nothing.
R: … when the me wants to go and get, „here I come!“ and be on a „solution finding mission“.
J: Solution to a problem which is unreal.
R: That is depressing.
J: To the individual it is a quite tragic message. But really all what the message is doing is exposing the tragedy of the individual in the first place. Actually it is not really doing anything, it is just simply a description.
R: But in describing it, a veil can be lifted.
J: Or not. Or there is the recognition there never was a veil.
It is difficult to get my head around the fact that no one wants to hear this and everybody wants to hear this. It cannot be said because it is too everything and too nothing.
R: So there is the big price available and it cannot be claimed.
J: There is no big price. But there is suffering, there is discontent.
R: When it is really really seen that nothing can be done, that one cannot lift itself out on its own boot-straps, will it then fall away?
J: Could be. The end of the story is the end of the story when it is obvious it is all about nothing. This is the end of it being about something.
R: Is there anything else you need to say.
J: No, I need a drink of water.
R: Me too. So this is still happening.
J: laughs Apparently.
Jim Newman / 29th of January 2017
THE SEARCH • Why am I here? What is the purpose and meaning of life? What happens when I die? How do I find happiness, peace, fulfillment?
These questions every person has answered in one way or another with hope and belief. The imagined future. Some of these self-serving answers can be seen in religion, faith, higher consciousness, Higher Self with a capital S, enlightenment knowledge and knowing among others names.
Every apparent answer points to a special "what will be", never to the ordinary original what is. What will be is also called the search.
All apparent answers point away from what is, confirming the reality of the questioner and its questions. This apparent confirmation of the question and therefore questioner does nothing to give the individual - the questioner - the happiness, peace and fulfillment it is looking for. There is no answer to any of the questions because the questioner is an illusion. The search and the appearance of an individual in the body are the same thing.
The person is a construct, a contraction, a center to the psychic cloud of unknowing, of everything. The center, the subsequent interaction is the person and its illusory life of meaning and purpose. The result is necessarily the search for hope, meaning and purpose. The search is a search for the answer to the problem of itself.
The search is completely hopeless.