Point Of View

Yesterday's Intensive in Stinson Beach took place in a beautiful area on a blazingly clear day. It was to be an explosive Teaching of tempering fire that burned away illusion-- as David burnished the sword of Enlightened discrimination. Everything about the day and the time with David screamed Freedom Beyond all points of view-- as well as included all points of view. David spontaneously burst forth with declarations about the Real and Unreal. He began by referring to Sri Ramana Maharshi's declaration's of being beyond the body, or "I" am not the body, and spoke about how so many people have misunderstood this teaching, or merely understood it conceptually. David then explored Ramana's notion's of Reality, the Self and deep sleep, and He innovated, or riffed off of Ramana's references to deep sleep to explain that from the perspective of relative points of view, we are all in deep sleep, and quite literally blind to the Multi-Perspectival, All-Inclusive Absolute that is the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer in each instant of the perceived flow of time. David spoke contrarian to Ramana's Advaitic declaration about the world and body being unreal and discussed many of the myriad ways that the world is indeed Real and how it depends upon ones point of view. While one mistakes a rope for a snake, one can just as easily mistake a snake for a rope!
Someone brought up the black plague and pondered about how from one point of view this was an horrific event, and yet from another it began a new cycle of life and innovation ( the specifics of which, now escape me). We discussed how, or where and what caused that plague, and whether or not that was, "bad", or "evil" and mused upon whether there was a "good" or "evil" in nature's working's. Were the fleas that lived on the rats that brought the plague bad? From the perspective of nature there is no 'good,' or 'evil,' it is all a process. David also spoke about how a 'good' person doesn't know that they are "good." In such a case, there is no resident ego that thinks from a limited point of view in a relative sense, but rather a flux of undulant Being that is ever created, preserved and destroyed.
All the while this teaching was manifesting, David's Radiant Shakti burned through our small selves and burned us in the Radiant Transcendental Sun of Inconceivable Consciousness, Divine Mystery and Fully-Saturating-Bliss. It was such a profound and potent subtle teaching, that will continue to reverberate in the well of Consciousness.

Thankful beyond words!


Sounds like a great event. Wish I could have been there. It sounds like some philosophical points of understanding were the kind that I always like to talk about. A few years back I wrote an essay that was my attempt to put down on paper, the meat of some AHA! moments of understanding that were happening at that time, surrounding just these points.

Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden

A hawk hunting on the wind spots a field mouse foraging in the grass below, looking for food for its babies. The hawk swoops down, snatches the field mouse in its talons, and carries it back to her nest where she rips mother mouse to pieces and feeds it to her chicks.

Back at the den of the field mouse, the mouse babies hungrily await their mother’s return. But mother mouse never returns from her foraging trip, and the baby mice slowly die of starvation.

Is this event good or evil? Obviously, the hawk and her young would say it was good. The hawk's young will live and grow strong. But the mouse family would probably call it evil. Evil of the worst sort. The big bad hawk murdered mom and all the babies died, enduring much suffering. The creatures on both sides of this event have their own point of view.

What would you call it? Good or evil?

You would probably say it's neither good nor evil, it's just a part of nature, a perfect cycle that creates the beauty of life on earth. When looked at as a whole, nature is beautiful and perfect. But it often holds tragedy for individual beings. In fact, nature inevitably holds tragedy for all individual life forms. It may come in the jaws of a predator, or with old age, decay and death. But again, if we look at nature as a whole, nature is perfect and beautiful.

This is similar to the difference between how we, in our consciousness as an individual, see the world, and the way that we, as universal consciousness, see the world. We as an individual, see only a small part of the universe. But we, as universal consciousness, “see” the universe as a whole.

As we awaken as universal consciousness we see a completely different reality, than we see as an individual consciousness. Even though we are looking at exactly the same thing or event.

Again, the difference is that we, as individuals see the universe from a personal perspective. But when we awaken as universal consciousness, we see the universe as a whole. And just as nature when looked at as a whole is perfect, so our universe when looked at as a whole, is also perfect.

As individuals we see quite clearly that there are things that are good for us and things that are bad. Things that make us happy and things that make us sad. There are things that are good for our family, groups that we are part of, our nation etc. The individual "sees" a world full of good things and evil things. A world filled with problems that need to be solved. The individual sees their self as full of faults that need to be corrected and good qualities that need to be strived for.

As we awaken as the universal self, however, we “see” things quite differently. Those things we see quite clearly as the individual have no meaning to universal self. The universal self "sees" the universe , created and uncreated, as a whole, and like nature when seen as a whole, and like the natural event with the hawk and the mice, everything that happens there is perfect. There is no good, there is no evil, there is only a perfect and harmonious ecology of its own being.

So which of these “points of view” is real, the individual, or the universal?

The short answer is BOTH of them are real! They are not mutually exclusive.

The person who has awakened in universal consciousness, and yet maintains an individual existence, lives in a profoundly paradoxical state. This person to one degree or another is both an individual and the universal self at the same time. As an individual they see a world where things must be done to improve their life and the lives of those around them. As universal self they also see that all of it is quite perfect. They see that even the work they are doing to improve the imperfections of their individual lives is also perfect. No matter what they do, it is not possible to step outside of the perfect whole. They live all of this, all at the same time.

So you can imagine that when first encountered, the condition of this person will be virtually impossible for the linear mind to understand. You may hear them making apparently contradictory statements.

All of which are completely true!

To the universal self, even those things that we see as ugly, degraded, corrupt, dirty and rotten are not qualitatively different than those things that we see as fresh, pure, gorgeous, precious and beautiful. Our perception of things as wonderful and beautiful, or gross and sickening is an artifact of our "point of view" as a human, as an individual. Our perception of things as good and evil is also an artifact of our point of view as an individual. Universal Self has NO point of view, and therefore has no such perceptions and holds no such judgments. Again, to universal self, there is no qualitative difference between enlightenment or lack of enlightenment, a preference for an enlightened state is purely a preference of individual self.

The “view” of the universal self may seem to be cold and uncaring, but this is not the case. The universal self is overflowing with love for all. But the keyword is ALL. The love of universal self is completely impersonal. It holds no individual above another. But in the same way that we love nature, in spite of its inherent brutality to individual creatures, we, as universal self, love ALL parts of our self, our creation if you will.

There are no words to describe the BEAUTY that is created and felt when these two “points of view”, the individual and the universal collide, or rather are harmonized in awareness. The personal part of perception provides an endless supply of colors, tastes, sounds, feelings and smells, some of which will be pleasant, and some which will be unpleasant. The universal part of perception amplifies the pleasant experiences and softens the unpleasant experiences. The universal shows the individual the perfection of each event and frees the individual from the personal judgments that ruin experience for most people. Freed from these judgments, even unpleasant experiences can take on a different, sometimes even an ecstatic quality.

One thing that the individual creates in experience is personal love and compassion for all "others" that exist as individuals. The individual cares deeply about the plight of each “other” individual being. Merged with the awareness of perfection of the whole, of universal self, this compassion and love is also supremely beautiful and enjoyable.

So, these views merge and harmonize to create incredible beauty of perception and experience. Such a person will be walking and talking and being in the world of good and evil. The world that most people speak of as “samsara”, but they won't see it as samsara at all, they will “see” something completely different.

They will see and feel that they are walking in the Garden of Eden.

By Blufire

Thank you for that very appropriate and wonderful response, Steve.

"When the 'I' remains as 'I alone, that is the 'I' referred to in Aham Brahmasmi. When that same 'I' manifests as 'I' and 'you,' that is referred to as Ahamkara Brahman (Brahman manifested as ego.) That is to say, that when the one appears as two, that is the state of Ahamkara Brahman--but even here we must not think that Brahman is absent but only that it has assumed the form of duaity, ego."

"If you take this creation to be real, then it is real; if you take it to be unreal, then it is unreal. Problems arise only when you have two thoughts about it--when you are not certain whether it is real or unreal. When the oneness of everything is felt, maya does not appear at all. When you see the One everywhere, there can be no more doubt. Maya is seeing the duality of creation without feeling it's oneness. That is where all problems arise." --Anusaya Devi, from the book 'Mother of All'

"So long as we take there to be two distinct entities--Brahman and the world--either one can be taken to be the real thing and the other a projection onto it ( "illusion can work either way." ) Whether we call Brahman real or the world real and Brahman illusion, is entirely a matter of the particular perspective we assume and not of Truth, which is beyond all limited viewpoints and dualities." -Richard Schiffman, Author of 'Mother of All', commenting on Anusaya Devi's words.

By michael ortega

Thanks for that recap Michael. I was there and I still found your post helpful in my recollection of the event.

By paul

I say wow to this dialogue! Thank you Michael so much for sharing your recollection of your time with David, and Steve for your AHA experience. I just came across it now, and now I have the answer to a question I was going to ask David on his next Wed. night broadcast. I am starting to live the impersonal aspect of love, quite different from experiencing it only in meditation and then coming back out in the world and being back in dual relationship again. The answer to my question, "What to do about integrating impersonal love with personal relationship in everyday life," is seeing both sides, the impersonal and the personal. Having been use to the experience of only personal love relationships in living a dual life, and then to spontaneously be aware of the non-dual, it seemed so cold, uncaring, not coming from the me, not coming from a center within, as there was no inner or outer, just the Self loving itself, love circulating from within itself. Since we are consciousness living in a body that sees out of dual eyes, we can appreciate both. It was just in that moment, that the impersonal aspect of love was so strong that the personal aspect was not apparent.

By jasalerno