Potentiality and the appearance of phenomena.


Hubble Photo of a galaxy


‘We’ think we are so important.  The human species.  Observe the sheer intelligence of the universe – self organising – self illuminating.

Your arm moves, the hand brushes away a speck of dust from your clothing.  Something catches your eye and you turn to gaze in a new direction.  A sound startles you and you turn again in another direction.  Who is directing these actions?   Is it a person?  An identity?   Where exactly is this director?   Which impulses does it accept and act upon and which impulses does it ignore?   There is a constant activity going on and the scale of it all runs right down into the microscopic realms and beyond.

When did all this activity start?  Was it when you were born?  No, it couldn’t be then because the activity must have been going on inside the womb.  And it can be traced back to the sperm and the ovum.  Just prior to that ‘meeting’ there was a lot of activity between your father and mother, however brief it may have been.   So this means that the activity, this non stop activity can’t be isolated to ‘me’.   The cells of ‘your body’ are not alone – there are microbes, ten times the number of body cells, microbes in and on the body – and the body depends on these microbes and the ‘work’ they do.  Without them the cells would perish.  This is a known fact.  There is no such thing as an isolated object, no matter how large or small.

So, where is the director of all this activity?    You may be thinking about this right now.  What concepts are being presented?  Are they original concepts and words?  Are they second hand concepts, ideas and words flowing through the mind?   Where is this mind of yours?   Can you locate it?  What is it made of?  What is it that can even look for the mind, if it is not mind?

Who is directing this activity?   Or what is it?

Assumptions are not good enough and anyway, they are all second hand.

Have you ever had an original thought?

Can you intentionally think a thought?   If you believe you can, do it right now.

Please let me know what thought you intentionally made happen.  I am sure there would be many who would love to know what it is or ‘was’.

How brief is a thought?  Can it’s duration be measured?

Life and meaning.  Energy and movement.    Light and darkness.   Potentiality and the appearance of phenomena.


  1. Where is my worthy opponent? I said worthy. Not some angry intellectual who has an axe to grind and a false identity to protect.

  2. I would like to say…I have this experience when I do things like run or ski or dance. legs are moving automatically and effortlessly jumping over obstacles and puddles of water. Changing direction in an instant to miss a tree. Moving to music on a dance floor not knowing what movement will come next. Running is happening, skiing is happening, dancing is just happening. Some call this being in the “zone”, mind is quiet. But when those activities come to an end, I feel a “me” again that is centered in this body/mind.

  3. I would like to say…i cannot oppose what has been said.
    and said with such clarity.

  4. I would like to say…nothing special. Life is going on. Getting up in the morning, the body is moving around and things are done the habitual way they had. Nothing special. There is eating, speaking, worrying, sleeping, working, … Before seeing no self, it is believed that someone is here, after seeing no self, it is seen that there is no one here, it never was, it never will be. Can a concept have an opinion about something, no. Life is going on.

  5. I would like to say…When I find myself caught up in “me” and feeling centered in this body/mind during the day I make notice that this body is driving a car; shifting gears,making turns, negotiating traffic, parallel parking, all without effort or thought (well, sometimes there is screaming involved, but even then screaming is just happening). These hands are busily washing, rinsing, drying dishes without effort or thought. I am reminded there is not a me doing these things. It sounds like a practice, but when I find myself feeling like a separate self, it helps me remember that there is not a separate self. What I am is simply the awareness and presence in this moment. I do find myself falling for that trap of a future.Looking forward to when that sense of self will just dissolve and fall away. I still feel the distance between me and “other”. I know that I cannot make this happen, mind cannot grasp this or make it happen. It’s very hard to ask questions, Gilbert, or for guidance, it’s so hard to articulate what I understand and why my belief in a self isn’t being seen through and hasn’t just fallen away! On the other hand, I’ve liken’ed this before to being pulled in like a tractor beam on Star Trek. I am drawn to the truth of non-duality, I have tried to just forget it and walk away, but I just keep coming back and reading yet another book, listening to yet another podcast, reading yet another blog! I do really enjoy your blog and get a lot out of it. Thanks for that Gilbert.

    • In finding that you can get absolutely nothing out of reading, it is a relief. There is nothing to get. (I find most Non Duality books are as boring as bat shit) Reading can be a non stop loop trap, a self feeding trap for the mind. Especially if you are reading stuff that is not totally clear and precisely expressed. Most non duality stuff is a mixture – and the ‘hook’ that the writer has not gotten themselves off permeates the writing. There is a stiltedness in the expression. It may be squeaky clean but you can ‘feel’ the prison walls in the writing. Or the ‘ego’ is there with its pretensions. Some may point a finger at me and accuse me of the same thing, however I challenge anyone to find the hook that they believe I am stuck on. Being free of the appearance also means you can play with it freely. It is sometimes very humorous how someone will get into a state about ME – and the unconventional pointing is right there in the writing, grinding away at ‘the belief in me’ wherever it may be. What is necessary is to start from the fact that you are nothing at all – and then see whatever it is that seemingly turns you into ‘something’. Everything is No Thing in essence. That ‘fact’ is clearly at the heart of Buddhism but what do we see from the ‘leaders’ of Buddhism? We see watered down rhetoric and nice guy personas. I watched a video of a highly promoted Buddhist speaker and the entire talk was total nonsense. It is very obvious that 20 or 30 years of study had not delivered him from the illusions of mind and YET he has the audacity to ‘teach’ and everyone applauds him. It is a circus. Absurdity parading as a clear teaching. Is that ‘my hook’? Am I caught on that? No, I am not but I am not afraid to appear as if I am – and that appearance is valid, even more so if someone recognises their own stuckness through my expression. ‘Have a nice day’ is an American slogan. Ha. Just like ‘good morning’ – it is more often than not a mechanical expression, spoken without any meaning. Do you hear your own voice when you speak? Do you see your own self importance when you swagger? The automaton of the mask can be broken. Few are interested in breaking it.

  6. I would like to say…i would like to take a stab at responding to original post For clarity let’s call our character Being.

    Through activity (hopefully much) there is a division of cells and Being is born into the Already ongoing activity of World. Activity that needs nothing. First, the simplicity of opposites Eyes adjusting to dark of night and brilliant day. A mothers soft touch, diaper pin. Hunger and breast. Cold and blanket. Then Being grows in awareness. Observes there is more and more division. Time/frequency and object/multiplicity. The world is big and complex and there is much to fear. Being observes actions of other Beings. Takes notice. Mimics. Response becomes react. Simplicity becomes calculation. Being notices that Activity cant be kept up with. The more Being looks at things the more they can be divided. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family (ahhh family) Genus Species. All decisions must be weighed. What school? What partner? Thick or thin crust pizza, pepperoni or sausage?So as time escalates Being forms patterns and belief to help control what is getting out of hand. Sooo much easier. There is not Time to question assumptions and beliefs. Then Being’s systems and controls start to fail. Maybe age, loss or just the grind. Being is startled into Thought. Crap! Being is blank for a minute. Then…..

    The majority will conform
    Some go mad
    others seek
    a few investigate

    well, you did ask for a response. And as far as thought goes, maybe it starts with the Why acting as a conduit between observation and thinking. (just a thought!)

  7. Jan…….It is all conceptual geometry (what you propose). It puts forward, proposes, an entity that is separate – a being separate from BEING. There is only BEING – LIFE. There is no one that has an independent life. Out of emptiness appears form. The form appears to have substance. ‘We’ take ourselves to be the body. As Nisargadatta says “You are not the body nor the mind”. He is not philosophising. It is a living fact – but it cannot mean anything unless it is seen to be true. Of course that implies someone who sees it. However the implication is a concept only.
    Everything can be broken down into space. Ask any physics graduate. Science has to postulate some finer substance in space otherwise its funding ceases. Who would pour money into an empty vessel? Therapists must insist on their cure, which may appear to work or not. To cure a patient is to lose a patient. Hefty fees make the therapist wealthy. So they have a biased belief. I had some training as a therapist and when it came down to the choice of actually doing therapy day to day, I did not want to do it. The modality was pure enough – Cranial Sacral Therapy – the impulse to use the therapy just wasn’t there. The insights that came from a session (for myself) were so potent, it rocked my world of belief so much, was so organic, I did not want to let go of the way I saw things (my habit). That was many years ago.
    Why be a conduit between observation and thinking? Why be an agent?
    Actually there is no choice. There is only one – without a second. Everyone who argues about Non Duality forgets that basic ‘principle’. Not sure that helps.

  8. activity is beginningless and endless

    this seeing/knowing is only the universe aware of itself

    as such, where are boundaries?