Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Horse's New Penis

Some years ago I wrote a blog post, imaginatively entitled “The Horse's Penis”. The story wasn't really about a horse's penis, although it had a horse's penis in it.

It was about childhood, and the early signs of alcoholism.

It wasn't even a very good bit of writing, if the truth be told. The dialogue was awful, and the storyline was abysmal, even though it happened to be true. True stories are often like that; they don't go anywhere, really. They don't really start and they don't really end. Because life is like that. It's like trying to cram a bunch of random and unconnected happenings into a tiny box that isn't even there.

Well, stone me if it didn't turn out to be the most popular blog post I've ever written. I mean, this thing gets more hits than a heroin addict's collapsed groin. Every day, twenty or thirty people from dark places all over the world land on it, mostly by searching on Google for “horse penis”.

They don't stay long.

After a while I began to wonder... is the equine member some sort of delicacy that I haven't heard about? Something in the way of an appetiser in foreign hotels? Maybe it has an esoteric use in various religious rituals with which I am unfamiliar, or is a vital ingredient in certain exotic hairstyles or making bitumen.

So this morning I decided I'd find out, and put my mind at rest once and for all. I typed the magic words into the Google search bar and guess what came up?

Well, a whole lot of pictures of horse penises. I mean, loads of them. I admit, I'm no expert, but they all looked pretty much the same to me. Outlandishly big and, well, penisy.

So really, I'm just writing this to the people who accidentally land on my blog in their obsessive quest for the ultimate picture of an equestrian penis. We've all got our quirks, but hey.

What the hell is wrong with you?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

John's Psychosomatic Trousers

There was this man called John, you see. He wasn't a great deal like John the Baptist, it has to be said – unless you count the fact that he lived in the desert and waved his fists around a lot; and he also wasn't a lot like Noel Edmonds. So he wasn't out there living alone in the desert to benefit the rest of mankind, far from it. He was definitely doing it for himself.

John, you see, was a mumukshu. A mumukshu is someone with a burning desire to be free of limitation. The desert was limitless, or it seemed that way. John could stand at the edge of the universe and create worlds out of his own imagination. He'd long since finished with the armchairs and coffee tables of life; wives and children were the next thing to go. Finally he'd ditched his clothes, and now, here he was, wandering about the desert naked. The landscape would have looked on with unattached enjoyment, had there been a landscape.

John, you see, was a big fan of trousers. He was always trying to find the right pair. He had millions of pairs, all very nice. But none of them felt like the ultimate trousers, to him. So he was constantly thwarted. The desire for psychedelic trousers just got stronger and stronger. He tried renouncing trousers for a while, and then he'd find himself in a shop, buying them indiscriminately, or he'd wake up with this new and alarming pair of trousers.

But the fact is, trousers don't make you happy. The removal of the desire reveals your nature, which is happiness. And then the itch starts again.

So John ditched everything, like I said, and was out in the desert, being happiness. His wife was in the work house, where she liked it. The children, God knew where they were.

One day John woke up in the desert to discover that he had no legs; not only that, but that he'd never had any. The whole thing had been a misunderstanding. What he'd taken to be legs, weren't legs at all. So there'd never been a need for trousers, which was just aswell, because like the legs, they didn't exist.

I can go home now, thought John, but he didn't.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Self Inquiry 101 #2

When you know you're awareness, what else is there to know?

Well, nothing, that's what.

So how come I'm bored, irritable and restless?

Rajas, that pesky monkey. All over the place. Everywhere.

How come I don't feel superconfident in the knowledge? How come the knowledge seems to come and go?

The knowledge doesn't come and go, because the knowledge is you, and you are always present.

You are the one constant unchanging factor in your experience.

Experience changes, but that you experience does not. Or at least that there is experiencing, and there is the knowing of it. That is all there is. That is you.

Am I seperate from my experience?


Everything that occurs occurs within the scope of awareness. There is nothing outside of awareness.

In the waking state it seems as if we experience a mind, body and world. And it seems to be “out there”. Is it true?

No, because there is no “out there”. There is nothing outside of awareness, not that awareness has an outside. It is that in which all dualities express, but it is beyond duality and nonduality.

It is beyond such concepts as “beyond”, because it is all there is.

Therefore what I'm experiencing can only ever be awareness.

It seems like there's a multiplicity of things coming and going.

Yes, but they're all made out of you. You are the substance of them. You are the substance of the creation. You are what gives it existence, because you are existence.

Why can't I see it clearly?

Tamas. It makes the mind dull and stupid. But a state of mind is an object to you. It comes and goes. Therefore cultivate sattva.

How can I cultivate sattva?

Put your attention on awareness, not what appears in it, not what it appears to be. Put your attention on what is is. It is the knowing principle. It is your very essence; you are its essence.

Sometimes I think I'm not interested enough.

No, because that is just a thought appearing, in you, awareness. As is the thought that says you're doing it all great and really making progress.

Everything you experience is within you, made out of you and known only by you. You and experience and knowledge are one.

You are knowing and experiencing.

Cultivate sattva.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Thoughts & thoughts & thoughts

There are thoughts and thoughts and thoughts.

Quick thoughts, slow thoughts, skinny thoughts, fat thoughts, thoughts that go up and thoughts that go down.

There is no end to these thoughts, it seems.

But actually there is only one thought, ever. There is only ever one thought arising, and you are that to which it arises. You are that in which everything comes and goes.  

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

An Idiot's Guide to Self Knowledge pt. 2

So if I am everything that is – the all knowing limitless Brahman (Brahman means absolute pure consciousness), then how come I seem not to know the truth about myself? How come it seems that I am inside a body, inside a world, totally cut off from everything around me?

Well, in truth there is no separation, there never was any. There is just a misapprehension of reality. Nothing more than a wrong idea about it - the idea that there is me, and there is something else, when in fact there is just me appearing as what I experience, and part of what I experience is a wrong idea about who I am.

It's nothing but a thought in awareness.

The practise of self knowledge is to take the point of view of awareness, because I am awareness, and everything appears in me. I am the substrate, the immovable absolute which lends its being to everything.

Friday, 16 March 2012

An Idiot’s Guide to Self Knowledge

Advaita (nonduality) is a word that is used to indicate the nature of Reality, which literally means “not two”. It means that, in spite of appearances, there is only one principle operating, and it is the cause and effect of everything that is. You can call it Consciousness, Awareness, God, Being, Love, Intelligence, Knowing, Happiness, Freedom, Truth, or whatever you want. You can call it your Self, because that’s what it is. Because it is limitless words are inadequate to describe it, but that doesn’t mean that wielded by a competent teacher they are unable to reveal it.

Ignorance is the belief that I am small, limited, inadequate; that I need something or someone to complete me. It shows up as any belief, thought, emotion, fear or desire which doesn’t correspond to the truth: that I am unborn, whole, complete, limitless, ever present, all pervasive, nondual, actionless, unconcerned, ordinary awareness; that I am fullness itself. The practise of knowledge is to monitor the mind at all times, and to consistently refute ignorance in the light of the truth, until the ignorance is destroyed. It means taking a stand in awareness, as awareness.

Enlightenment is knowing that I am everything that is. And that’s it, really.

Reasons to be Cheerful #6

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Private Life of Electricity

Electricity, when coming through a light bulb, manifests as light.

When coming through a heater, it manifests as heat.

When coming through a radio, it manifests as sound.

It appears to be three different things; heat, light, and sound. But it isn’t. It’s just electricity. It appears as various names and forms without being in any way different from what it always is: electricity.

There isn’t a separate electricity for each of the apparatus: an electricity for the light; an electricity for the heater; an electricity for the radio.

It is the same electricity that powers them all.

When experienced from the point of view of light, heat and sound, or from the point of view of the various appliances that it powers, it appears to be different; to be many distinct things.

But from the point of view of electricity, there aren’t many things. There isn’t even one thing. There is just electricity.

There is only itself.

Like this awareness appears as the universe, without being anything other than itself.