The Shackles Of Physicality

cageIt’s not that we awaken within a three-dimensional physical universe, as an ‘enlightened being’—as a space-time entity who has had some shift in her perceptual capabilities—it’s rather that the universe (including one’s body) is finally recognized to be, not a universe at all, but a mixture of sense percepts and conceptualizations – the non-dual nature of which suddenly become readily apparent in that moment of awakening, and makes it abundantly clear that there isn’t anything physical going on.

Physicality is thereby revealed as the mental fabrication it always was – and at last, we’re liberated from an imagined bondage.

‘Imagined’, because the whole problem is that we see everything through this fallacious model wherein we ‘exist’ as objects in space-time, and therefore subjects to a variety of ‘laws’ we have invented; the most prominent of which is the law of causation, and, let’s not forget, the law of you-must-inevitably-die-someday.

Upon awakening then, we’re liberated from these constraints. No longer are we confined by such artificial bounds, because we now recognize that both the constraints and whoever is constrained is merely a product of that false physical model of reality; a model now and forever put on the shelf along tooth fairies, unicorns and santa claus.

Let me put this in another way. Every apparent thing, including the so called physical universe, is reducible to our knowing of it. Strip away all the falseness; all the erroneus conceptual structures surrounding our experience of reality, and we’re left with just perception.

And perception is nothing but pure knowing.

And there’s nothing physical about knowing.

Knowing does not have width or height. It doesn’t have breadth or depth. There is no start or end to knowing.

What you’re looking at right now is knowing made manifest.

And if you ask yourself how wide this manifestation is—that is, if you ask yourself whether it’s physical—you’ll see that it can’t be done. I mean, how wide is you field of vision? How wide is your field of feeling? In order to measure its width, we would have to start on one end of the field of experiencing and measure against the other. But there are no ends to this moment. There are no borders to experiencing. We can’t locate the left border and measure the distance to the right. There are no borders. There’s nothing physical about knowing. There’s nothing physical going on.

And besides, in order to measure its width, we would have to do so within a frame of reference, namely another ‘space’, a larger meta-reality in which the manifestation takes place. But there is no such frame of reference. This moment doesn’t takes place in space.

Where’s does it take place, then?

Nowhere but here.

Further reading:

12 Responses to The Shackles Of Physicality

  1. John says:

    Amazing, Goran! Thank you!

    Have you read anything about Lester Levenson?

    • Göran Backlund says:

      I’m only a little familiar with Lester Levenson’s work, only on a surface level. I’ll look into it some more.

  2. John says:

    Totally recommended for everyone, he says some really, really interesting things!

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  5. don salmon says:

    Hi Goran, nice piece. I recommend Bernardo Kastrup’s work if you’re not familiar with it. If you feel like it, drop over at the forum at (at the moment, my review of “Beyond Physicalism” is on the main page)

  6. Great piece, Goran. Thank you! It recalls for me the following from Tom Bunzel’s “Presence of Mind: Journey to a New Operating System, “Bear in mind that what we deem mental or physical is a description we have come up with; in nature there is no distinction— everything simply exists as it is.”

  7. Mustafa says:

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  8. bill callahan says:

    I have nothing to recommend, no way to better you or show you how brilliant I am. I can only say a humble thank you. I am reading your book for the third time now and get a little bit more with every reading. Such resonance with it. I am “abiding” in awareness and have reached a point that confuses me. I feel a little lost and a little in la la land. Sort of a loss of control thing and at the same time very spacious? I am sure it will work itself out. Ramana Maharishi would say just stick with it so that is what I will try to do. It has seemed to me that you need to build on the knowing. You aren’t ready to hear a thing one day and very ripe the next?
    Thanks Again for this wonderful sharing.

  9. Vish says:

    Goran, very logical, honest, sensible, plain way of deconstructing the dualistic web that the ‘I” is caught in. But where does this awakening leave one with concepts of good vs. evil, love vs. hate, right vs. wrong, action vs. inaction and all the rest? Are they also part of a dualistic thinking? If so, would that not lead to inaction by the enlightened while the rest of the world is going down the destructive path?

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