seeker: I find it hard to grasp what exactly you mean by saying that you are neither the object nor the subject. At this very moment, as we talk, am I not the object of your experience, and you the subject?
Niz: Look -- my thumb touches my forefinger. Both touch and are touched. When my attention is on the thumb, the thumb is the feeler and the forefinger -- the self. Shift the focus of attention and the relationship is reversed. I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness 'love'; you may give it any name you like. Love says, 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing.' Between the two my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both.
(Chapter 57, paragraphs 14 and 15 of "I AM THAT", "Beyond Mind, There is No Suffering")
Some human beings find it easier to be open minded and some find it easier to be open hearted but to really be here now is to be both. When you are open, you do not filter the experience nor do you barricade yourself. You do not try to defend yourself, but you open up to the mystery by questioning what you believe.
When you give yourself this amazing gift of not trying to find yourself within some particular concept or feeling, then the openness expands until your identity becomes more and more the openness itself, rather than some point of reference in the mind called a belief or a particular feeling in the body. The point is not to get rid of thoughts or feelings, but just not to feel located inside of them.
Adyashanti, chap 3, para's 1 and 2, "Emptiness Dancing"
"What is MU!? To say it is 'Yes and no' would be like putting Manjusri's lion in a circus cage. To say Mu is a paradoxical response to heighten the obviousness of "yes" is like taking Manjusri's sword and blunting it against the rocks".
Albert Low, "Iron Cow of Zen", para 21 of Chapter 10, "Arouse the Mind Without Resting it Upon Anything"
The first Zen patriarch, Bodhidharma, brought Zen to China from India in the sixth century. According to his biography recorded in the year 1004 by the Chinese teacher Dogen, after nine years in China Bodhidharma wished to go home and gathered his disciples about him to test their apperception.
Dofuku said: "In my opinion, truth is beyond affirmation or negation, for this is the way it moves."
Bodidharma replied: "You have my skin."
The nun Soji said: "In my view, it is like Ananda's sight of the Buddha-land -- seen once and for ever."
Bodhidharma answered: "You have my flesh."
Doiku said: "The four elements of light, airiness, fluidity, and solidity are empty and the five skandhas are no-things. In my opinion, no-thing is reality."
Bodhidharma commented: "You have my bones."
Finally, Eka bowed before the master - and remained silent.
You probably come across 'mad' people in the street incessantly talking or muttering to themselves. Well, that's not much different from what you and all other 'normal' people do, except that you don't do it out loud. The voice comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on. The voice isn't necessarily relevant to the situation you find yourself in at the time: it may be reviving the recent or distant past or rehearsing or imagining possible future situations. Here it often imagines things going wrong and negative outcomes; this is called worry. Sometimes this soundtrack is accompanied by visual images or 'mind movies'. Even if the voice is relevant to the situation at hand, it will interpret it in terms of the past. This is because the voice belongs to your conditioned mind, which is the result of all your past history as well as of the collective cultural mind-set you inherited. So you see and judge the present through the eyes of the past and get a totally distorted view of it. It is not uncommon for the voice to be a person's own worst enemy. Many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness, as well as of disease.
Eckhart Tolle, para 27, chap 1, "You Are Not Your Mind" of "The Power of Now"
"Stand naked in front of me now, without the protection of your favorite philosophy, without your dusty old books, without quoting what you have read or been told, without even the familiar thought 'who meets who?' or 'it's all just a story' to comfort you or separate us.
If you think you have found the answers, if you're excited because you think you've 'arrived', even if you believe yourself to be 'the enlightened one', that's okay, it's nothing to be ashamed of, we've all been through it. And if you think you haven't found the answers yet, if you feel lost and lonely and far from home, that's okay too.
Just stay close....let us sit together awhile." ~ Jeff Foster
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birdwings. ~Rumi
(This quote is about the reason for man's existence from JG Bennett... For me its significance is about 'how we live matters'...)
... The reason we keep sheep is not that they are sheep but that they can give wool. The grass transforms air, water, and sunshine into food, the cow transforms grass into milk, and if there is a reason for man's existence then it must be also in some kind of transformation. Now if we ask ourselves what it is that is constantly being transformed in man himself, we can see at once that it is his experience, his sense perceptions, his thoughts, his feelings, his joys, his sorrows, his strivings, his moments of enlightenment, and his moments of love. At first, it might seem that these are even more perishable than a body and pass away into nothingness as soon as they have arisen. There is a great mistake here, for all these have the quality of energy, and energy does not perish -- only its visible forms and outer manifestations change. Bodies die, works perish, but energy remains, undergoing endless transformations, rising and falling in the scale of existence but never destroyed. Since our human experiences are also a form of energy, they cannot be destroyed but must go somewhere, and here at last we begin to find the answer to the question we have been pursuing. Out of every life is the possibility of something that serves the need of another life, and out of human life also there is the possibility of energy needed for a higher level of existence. ...
... Human experience obviously differs very much in the quality of energy it produces. Much of it is to all intents and purposes the same as that of animals. When a man eats or lies down to sleep or mates, his experiences can differ very little from those of any other animal's. The forms of experience that are characteristically human are those that go beyond the needs and impulses of the body, beyond even the satisfactions of human intercourse, though these also cannot differ very much from the social impulses of animals. That which is truly human is the capacity for joy and suffering, for hope and fear, that leads him beyond himself, and we must, if we are to find the reason for human existence, look for it in these experiences and here alone.
When we study these impulses closely, we find that they are intimately connected with the experiences of death and birth; joy and suffering are the meeting point of yes and no; and "yes" and "no" are themselves the impulses of birth and death. If we look still more closely, we can see that man is never really touched by anything but these two impulses. ... Nothing distinguishes one man from another more than the way in which they respond to the impulses of death and birth. ... [The energy man produces] is liberated through his experiences of joy and suffering and through his response to the forces of death and birth. ...
Sometimes a thing is disguised by appearing to be exactly what it is. - B.
From pure sensation to the intuition of beauty, from pleasure and pain to love and the mystical ecstasy and death — all the things that are fundamental, all the things that, to the human spirit, are most profoundly significant, can only be experienced, not expressed. The rest is always and everywhere silence.
After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.