“… All that is happening in these contemplations is the clear seeing of the essential nature of experience …” ~ Rupert Spira
In this series, we are taking a peek into Rupert Spira’s book The Transparency of Things: Contemplating the Nature of Experience, which is ultimately reflections on our True Nature … (for a summary of the book, please visit part 1 of this series)
… the 1st part Unknowingness & Nature of Experience … or the Foreword from his book provided a framework for digging into the nature of experience
… this 2nd part is all about “.. clear seeing of the essential nature of experience …” … and is another chapter (Clear Seeing) from his book.
For another perspective on a similar exploration, you might consider taking a look at our recent, 5-part series, where Nirmala “dug into” aspects of our True Nature: from this moment’s treasure … to subjective/objective reality … to navigating feelings of emptiness within … to oneness & how to experience it deeply … and finally considering the question can awakening be ignited? …
This series’ posts are an edited migration from the old Stillness Speaks (pre June 2016 “REDO”) archives. All text below (except for the blockquote) is from Rupert’s book and is published here with his permission.
All that is happening in these contemplations is the clear seeing of the essential nature of experience. There is no attempt to change or manipulate it, to create a peaceful or happy state, to get rid of suffering or to change the world. There is simply the clear seeing of the true nature of this current experience.
This clear seeing is not an intellectual understanding, although it may be formulated provisionally in intellectual terms when required by the current situation. Rather, it is the direct, intimate and immediate knowing of ourselves resting in and as the formless expanse of Presence, and simultaneously dancing in the vibrancy and aliveness of every gesture and nuance of the body, mind and world.
The clear seeing of what is has a profound effect on the appearance of the mind, the body and the world, but that is not the object of this investigation. There is no object to this investigation.
Even the purpose of ‘seeing clearly’ turns out to be too much in the end. It is the thorn that removes the thorn, and when even this last trace of becoming has been dissolved in understanding, it too is abandoned, leaving only Being.
However, in most cases this exploration is a prelude to the revelation of Being. We start with experience and stay close to it. We do not start with a theory, a model, a map or a teaching, and then try to fit our experience into that model. Absolutely nothing is taken for granted.
We start with experience and we end with experience. We allow the naked clarity of experience itself to relieve itself of the burden of duality.
We simply look at the facts of experience. “Is it true of my experience in this moment?” That is the only reference point.
The few core beliefs and preconceived ideas that we hold about the nature of ourselves and the world are exposed in this disinterested investigation. We do not do anything to these beliefs. We are not trying to destroy them but rather to expose them.
Belief and doubt are two sides of the same coin. When a belief is exposed it is found either to be true, in which case the belief becomes a fact and the doubt that was implicit in it is dissolved, or it is found to be false, in which case both the belief and the doubt will naturally come to an end.
Any feelings or patterns of behaviour that were dependent on the belief that has been exposed will, in due time, naturally dissolve, simply because they are no longer nourished by the belief. They die of neglect.
These feelings and patterns of behaviour are the counterpart at the level of the body to beliefs at the level of the mind, and their dissolution is accomplished in the same way. What was an investigation at the level of the mind, is an exploration at the level of the body.
In this exploration these feelings and patterns of behaviour are exposed, and in this exposure, their power to separate is revealed to be non-existent. Separation is not simply understood to be an illusion. It is felt as such.
No longer nourished by belief, these feelings are exposed and, as such, are seen for what they are. They die of the fierce clarity of being clearly seen.
This dissolution of beliefs and feelings has a profound effect on our lives, our ideas, our relationships, our bodies, our work, the world, in fact on everything.
However, the purpose of this investigation and exploration is not to change anything. It is simply the clear seeing of what is, and clear seeing is the shrine on which Being shines.
This line of investigation could be likened to taking several MRI scans of an apple. With each scan the apple is sliced up in different ways, each one showing a new section or point of view.
However, the apple is never touched in this process. It always remains just as it is, whole, untouched, unmodified, undivided. It only appears to be divided, and this appearance gives a more complete picture of its true undivided nature.
It is the same with our experience. The contemplations in this book are like MRI scans of our experience. They look at experience from many angles, spreading it out, opening it up. However, our experience itself is always one.
It is always a seamless, unified totality with no separate parts, and its nature is always only pure Consciousness. That is a fact of experience and it never changes, even if we think it to be otherwise.
This line of enquiry comes from the truth of direct experience and therefore leads back to it. It leads to the Reality of experience, to the experience of Consciousness knowing itself, knowingly. It is ruthless and tender at the same time, and utterly simple.
It is sometimes thought that this kind of enquiry is intellectual and abstract and seems to bear little relation to our day to day experience. However, it is only because our conventional dualistic concepts about the nature of Reality are themselves so densely interwoven with abstract and erroneous ideas that they require some meticulous deconstruction.
In this case it has not yet been seen that what are considered to be our normal, common sense assumptions, are in fact themselves intellectual and abstract – that is, they have little to do with the facts of experience.
By the end of the book I hope it will be clear that it is in fact our conventional ways of seeing that bear little relation to our actual moment by moment experience.
And, by contrast, I hope that the formulations expressed here will be understood as simple and obvious statements about the nature of our experience, albeit within the limited confines of the mind.
For instance, it is usually considered a fact of indisputable common sense that the body and the world exist as physical objects in time and space, independent and separate from Consciousness. Any line of reasoning that suggests that this is not the case, that there may be only the experience of Consciousness knowing itself in and as objects, is sometimes considered to be intellectual and abstract.
However, it is precisely the idea that the body and the world exist as objects in time and space, independent and separate from Consciousness, that is intellectual and abstract. It is not based on experience. And by the same token, the idea that there is only the experience of Consciousness knowing itself in and as objects, becomes a self- evident, obvious and indisputable fact of experience.
Of course the appearance of physical objects continues, but appearance is no longer mistaken for Reality.
However, it would be a misunderstanding to think that appearances have to disappear for Reality to be revealed. It is simply that the misinterpretation is no longer superimposed onto experience.
The body and the world continue to appear in the same way, but it is clearly seen that the experience of the appearance of the body and the world takes place simultaneously with the experience of Consciousness knowing itself. It is the same experience, one experience.
The experience of Consciousness knowing itself knowingly in and as all appearances, becomes as obvious and self-evident as the previous, apparently obvious and self-evident experience of objects existing in time and space, independent and separate from Consciousness.
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Stay tuned for the next post, the chapter titled What Truly Is …