Many have joined the facebook group – and a lot of good, thoughtful questions have been asked and answered. Most have been about the argument put forth in the book, but some have been directed at me, personally. Here are two of them:
Goran, I find it curious that you publicize your work very assertively, either through your articles or the book – at several different groups or facebook pages. In the past, one of the articles you advertised the most was the one about your awakening.
What I find intriguing is that the wish to promote your work and ideas would seemingly come from either an egoistical sense of self (wanting to be seen as a guru) or from a more selfless place (wishing to help other beings dissolving the root of suffering and delusion). The thing is that these both seem to promote the existence of people who are out there needing guidance.
Please note that I am using the word “seem” very often. I know that life goes on. There never has been any self – seeing though this idea doesn’t make the manifestation/appearance vanish. But I would assume someone who is free from dualistic points-of-view to be, at least, a little more discreet.
This is not a judgement or an evaluation. I do appreciate your work deeply, it has been helping me lately and, as a matter of fact, I was the first one to review your book at amazon, giving it 5 stars. Still, this curiosity remains. I hope I’m not offending you in any way. It is just an honest – exceedingly straightforward, perhaps – inquiry.
This is not a fundamental question, but in a way connects to some others I have for some time now, and these ones may be of more interest: how does your teaching perform in terms of eliminating suffering? And how is the identity issue answered (“who am I” kind of thing)?
I love talking, discussing, reading and writing about this stuff. And if I make some money doing it, I won’t need to spend as much time on my day job – which would then free up time that I could spend doing this instead.
Ideally, I could make so much money off this book that I could be working full time writing more books, helping out, answering questions, writing blog posts, etc – which would arguably be better for everyone.
So, that’s what I’m trying to do; to sell more books (and to do it ‘assertively’ is simply my style) so that I can provide for my family while helping others. That’s my motivation.
I’m not interested in people seeing me as a guru. But even if I did, would that change anything? An awakening entails that you no longer experience yourself as a subject – not necessarily that the expressions of the dreamstate must unfold in an ego-less fashion. Granted, a true awakening seems to have a profound effect on the conditioning—there’s something about experiencing yourself as no-thingness that seemingly makes a deep impact on the psychological makeup of the character—but old conditioning doesn’t vanish in an instant – and, as far as I can tell, might still operate for years after an awakening.
Anyway, I want to do what I love, and if I can, make some money while doing it.
Now, that is to answer your question on one level. On another level, all of the above is merely something that comes up when I’m asked about it. That is, that’s simply what I say if I were to make up a reason as to why I do what I do. Because in truth, I do what I do simply because that is what’s happening right now – that is the way this thing unfolds, and there’s no difference between myself and that. It’s the way in which reality manifests. Or, you could say I do it because I feel like it – whatever level of explanation you prefer.
Here’s what I’ll say to the identity issue: After an awakening you no longer feel like you’re a subject in a body – instead, you feel like you’re the entire field of experiencing, which as such is now revealed to be merely fleeting wisps of dream stuff made out of no-thingness.
How does that relate to the end of suffering? If there’s suffering, that too is also made out of this no-thingness that you now know yourself to be – which means that you no longer suffer, as suffering is now recognized to be what you are – and suffering can’t suffer!
What is life to you now? Yes, a very general question, but that’s intentional. Answer it just the way it comes out. Is it the same as it has always been?
Life for me is very different now once I shifted into non-dual awareness. First of all, the raw sensate field that makes up experience as such is ‘taken in’ differently. It no longer feels that I’m an experiencer, experiencing experiences – but that there’s only experiencing; an outpouring of phenomenality that is completely non-dual, without any sense of division into an observer and something observed.
Secondly, this shift in perception has a psychological impact. That is, the aspect of the phenomenality that’s usually denoted as ‘mind’ or ‘the thinking process’ has changed, and is still changing, since the shift. Framed within the universe-model (wherein it’s the characters themselves that are doing the perceiving) I would say that this radical shift in experiencing changes your psychological makeup.
For instance, when you feel like you’re this field of no-thingness, which is what takes the form of the phenomenal world, you’re not really bothered as much of what’s going on in it, as much as you’re in awe of the presence and the outpouring of the field itself. That is not to say that I’m not enjoying the storyline that’s unfolding within it – I do. But I can seemingly shift the attention between the storyline and the outpouring, sort of like how you can shift the way you look at the heads or the vase in this example: Figure-Ground(perception)
In regular life then, how the storyline unfolds now from my perspective, is best described here: Life: how to live it.
That is, life simply unfolds just like it always has – but the intention aspect of the outpouring has largely fallen away. Whereas it before was a stream punctuated by lots of intentions, there’s now, after the shift, only a free flow.