The writing of the following was the result of conversations that took place with Neil, Joe and Liam. Thanks, and keep it up.
The non-dualist Mooji once remarked that thought can convince us that we are a peanut, it is that powerful. You may scoff at this as being obviously preposterous – but is it? Or do you simply doubt this because you disbelieve that something similar could be happening to you in this moment without your knowing it? The annals of psychology are rife with examples of the imaginative power of thought: from ‘the man who mistook his wife for a hat’ to ‘phantom limbs’ to ‘blind seeing’ where people who are convinced that they are blind successfully negotiate their way around every obstacle in their path. Any hypnotist will tell you of how easily an onion can be turned into an apple, or a grown man turned into a helpless child – or a barking dog!
Any person who has ever suffered from depression or anxiety or paranoia or schizophrenic bouts and recovered will tell you how convincing their thoughts were at the time. And yet we continue to think that we can trust our own thought-process to tell us the truth about our self and the nature of our reality. Our thought-process is the result of memory, and what we consider to be unchallengeable memory is the result of imagination. We never remember what is actually there in-front of us, what is actually happening.Instead, we abstract certain distinguishable features – leaving the rest behind – and turn these into an image which is stored for future reference.This is an imaginative act, but we seldom stop imagining long enough to see this. We continue to relate one imaginative act to another and in this way we build up theories that remove us further and further from what actually is. We then live in meaningless confusion as one theory after another breaks down in face of what is.
One so-called ‘mystic’ after another tells us that the realisation of Truth involves the ending of knowledge. But, we find this difficult to even contemplate, let alone understand. Is this because our very understanding is itself false – no more than the result of imagination? ‘Somewhere’ we know that if we ever stop imagining all this it will disappear. Does this ‘somewhere’ lie within awareness itself, which is everywhere yet nowhere?