What have you attained?


Wood engraving ‘The Path’ – just an image.

‘You’ may believe you have been ‘on the path’ for decades and you may be very serious about your spiritual practices.

Without going into memory and without referring to the ‘habitual story of me’, what exactly have you attained after all that ‘serious endeavour’, after all that ‘time’?  Now, pay close attention to your private and secret responses to the questions. A spiritual pretender will go straight to referring to their spiritual image. Anyone who is genuine will investigate. You didn’t ask for it but the opportunity presents itself.  Excuses from the ‘me’ will be blazingly obvious and for the one consumed by self-centredness, the mind will be busy, actively constructing a contrived set of responses.  If you cannot face an inquiry into your own erroneous beliefs, then what on earth are you doing?   Who is fooling whom?  How real is the ‘I am a serious seeker of truth’?

What is right here, right now, in the clear evidence of this living presence, that requires no support from belief and is what you can be certain of as being some result, some attainment?

The tendency is to want to go to the ‘story’ or go straight to the mental store of beliefs. A belief is NEVER the actuality!  Don’t go there!  So, what is your attainment?  Isn’t it clearly obvious that all apparent facets of attainment are constructs of mind?  They all require belief.  Are they not all images, words, beliefs that relate to an image of self?  How real is that?

What is real about ‘my attainment’?   What is real about ‘I have reached my goal’ or conversely ‘I have not reached my goal yet?’

If the essence of life is spontaneous, as it surely is, what kind of mechanical construct of mind can claim to be equal to the spontaneous nature of life?

What remains of your so-called ‘self-knowledge’ if you pause thinking?Without referring to the image of self, what remains clear and obvious?

Many have a secret pride in their ‘journey’ and ‘how they measure up’ in what they determine is a real spiritual path that they are on.  Who tells them that it is all a fiction of mind?  Which teacher out of the thousands of teachers has the guts to point out the mental slavery of endless practices? Which teacher has the intestinal fortitude to admit openly, without reservation, that the methods are a hoax?  

The Great Spiritual Journey!   The Great Hoax!   There is no static point to any of it.  There is no ground to stand on outside of imagination.   It is all images in the mind, all imaging, the making of images about ‘me’ in the mind.

Who is this character that takes credit for so much and deflects responsibility for so much more?

Building a conceptual construct in the imaginary realm called ‘positive thinking’ is bound to be threatened by conceptual constructs from its own opposite ‘negative thinking’.  Thought is energy and energy is neither positive or negative. Energy is simply energy.  What the mind constructs in its imagined polar opposite camp sites has no reality whatsoever.

So-called spiritual meetings all over this planet are not what they pretend to be.   At best they are places of communion.  We love to belong to something with a purpose.  But what is the purpose?  The enhancement of the spiritual self image is the main attraction, the magnet.   All the activities are presented in the name of truth or presented as serving truth.   In general nothing could be further from the truth but no one challenges the organisers and no one points out the ‘con job’. Why?  Because everyone has purchased shares in the mind game. Everyone has invested all their spare energy of belief in the fiction of ‘in the future I will attain my goal’.

Reality is the immediacy of life, right now.  There is no other time.   Stop building castles in the air and get your feet on the ground.  Stop chasing imaginary states of mind and cease from trying to claim transient result in the name of ‘me’.

Get rid of this image of a path.  Stop measuring your self image against imagined ‘better states of mind’ and stop measuring yourself against utter spiritual B.S. – it is nothing but imagination.  Imagination!  Do you understand what imagination is?  Does anything imagined ever become real.  It may appear to become real but there is nothing new under the sun. The images of a dream vanish upon waking.  Imagination and belief vanish when they are investigated. Slavery to orientating your image of self to other imagined things will keep that believed in image, ‘you’, bound to apparent processes in ‘time’ and hope gets invested in an imaginary future – and that can NEVER come.  Isn’t that so obvious?   No?  There is only ever now.

It seems that everyone wants freedom but a fear of freedom has them on a circular treadmill, apparently in their own skull, going round and round.

Be extremely simple.  Break it all down to the essential and recognise the spontaneous nature of this immediate livingness, which is already free flowing.

Already so. All ready so.

  1. Wood engraving by Gilbert – copyright 1991 Gilbert.

  2. WHO is offended? WHO is challenged? WHO wants to protect the image of self? WHO do you think you are? WHO cares what you think you are? DO you really want to know what is so clearly obvious, when it appears you do your best to cover it up, ignore it? “Know the truth and the truth will set you free”. There are no custodians of truth.

  3. Ramana Maharshi: “Truly there is no cause for you to be miserable and unhappy. You yourself impose limitations on your true nature of infinite Being and then weep that you are but a finite (limited) creature. Then you take up this or that sadhana (practice) to transcend the nonexistent limitations. But if your sadhana itself assumes the existence of the limitations, how can it help you to transcend them? Hence I say know that you are really the infinite, pure Being, the Self Absolute. You are always that Self and nothing but that Self.”

  4. Gilbert, awareness is obvious to itself. It is inescapable. Memory is the ground of identity. What we think we are is related to memories. If the content of memory changes, there will be a different identity of what we think we are. What am I really, is not what I think I am. What I am, is not known by the senses. It cannot be imaged.It does not need a label to be. BUT : thoughts which are arising are about the identity taken from the memories. There are rarely thoughts which arise saying ‘I am awareness, limitless,’ etc, … Is it a normal issue?

    • To speak about awareness as if it is a thing is to create a jungle of words and implications. That which is aware is no thing. Not a thing. To speak of it, we must use words and words are naturally limited. It has been expressed in words, that awareness is the quality of (being) ‘self-aware’. (One – not two) No separation. Unicity. Totality. The nature of awareness is ‘aware-ing’. ‘Awareness of’ implies an entity that is aware of something. Awareness is self-aware. Some call it Self. Many names are put upon this ‘no thing’ called awareness via mind. No words are true. Awareness is not an object and it is not a subject. No one can define what awareness is and yet all that appears and disappears, appears and disappears as the content of awareness. No one can define what consciousness is. One may simply say that the appearance of phenomena is consciousness. Awareness and consciousness are not two. Consciousness appears and awareness does not appear – awareness remains invisible, indefinable and inconceivable. The essence of Awareness has no need of words or labels. It has no need of entities to define it. It does not need an echo of itself to know some ‘other thing’. Everything is awareness and Is-ness is.
      The essence is no thing. Is, means the actuality of this immediacy. Awareness is prior to mind.
      Mind can only process ‘things’. ‘No thing’ has no meaning for mind. Consciousness is the way awareness displays itself. The spontaneous nature of life is ever fresh, uncaused. In the realm of apparent time, once something is expressed the expression dissipates, never to return to its apparent source. You cannot put the coffee back into the beans once the espresso is expressed.
      The sense of ‘I’ represents identity. If the true nature of identity is ever-fresh, spontaneously new and without cause, what label can anyone put upon it. There are no packages of time, like seconds or minutes, hours or days. The chronological instruments that are supposed to measure time are limited to their gross mechanical status. There is no such thing as a second or a day. Eternity is not a long time. Eternity is the spontaneous ever present actualisation, which appears as an apparent unfolding of time. The eye has limits and it can only convey a limited band width of light. The registration of impressions through the eye is also limited. The so-called mind is limited by its own mechanical functioning. Awareness has no detectable limitations. Awareness is non dual. Awareness is ‘No Thing’. Where does it begin? Where does it end? We say ‘thoughts arise’ in the same way we say ‘the sun arises’. The sun does not arise. The Earth turns and the sun appears to rise and set. Investigate these apparent things we call thought. Waves appear upon the ocean. Are they anything other than water?
      How can anyone not understand what is being put into ordinary words, in ordinary language (English). There is nothing hidden behind the words. There is no esoteric knowledge being adhered to here. I do not know anything more than anyone else. It is erroneous beliefs that get in the way of clear understanding. Conflicting concepts obscure clear understanding. I can’t find any here, so they must be somewhere else. If they are somewhere else, then they are none of my business. Maybe I should mind my own business. Ha! Now there is novel thought!

  5. “Maybe I should mind my own business. Ha! Now there is a novel thought!”

    All thoughts eventual go down the cosmic drain. Until then, what art! What war! What love-making! What words!

  6. Dear Gilbert
    I am a serious seeker of truth and what I did except seeking in mind and refering to image
    of self.
    Very true when there is no ground to step upon for the identity and fearful person, through fear of being nothing, could never stay or recognise that there is no thing, pause, presence of awareness remaining on groundless support. So, person never dared to jump in the water to experience actual swimming but only kept judging, guessing, evaluating and most obviously
    Thank you for staying there where no one stops and sees. Though I don’t know what is behind curtains, I surrender to your conviction. I doesn’t exist but what exists that can express its formative expression saying Gilbert’s confidence in reality is the lighting lamp.
    We don’t create or avail opportunity.
    Opportunity presents itself to avail it’s self-selves.
    Thanks for best expressions, newer words which are enlivening dead meanings.
    No one wants to step upon the sky and missing support.
    May be greatest supporting itself exists without support.

    • Your own light of awareness (consciousness) is shining. All ‘other lights’ and shadows appear ONLY as a seeming consequence of that light.
      Jumping into the apparent abyss of not knowing reveals the naked knowing.
      Every stick has two ends.
      The appearance is dualism.
      We imagine we can have the good end of the stick without the bad end.
      Try picking up a stick from the ground. Try to pick up what you think is the good end without bringing along with it the other end at the SAME TIME.
      One of the well known messengers said: “I and the Father are one…..(then adding) The Father is greater than I”. Intelligence is greater than the apparent instrument of expression for that intelligence. Intelligence ‘created’ the instrument(s) and intelligence expresses through the instruments. We put names upon things and fixate upon the named things and miss the essential no thing, that everything actually is. It is easy to see that the appearance of things is empty – but we usually forget to include our own body-mind. When seekers worship the messenger, they tempt the messenger, and if he or she submits, then his/her ship gets worm holes and eventually sinks into the mire of illusions.

  7. Cattle balk at going through a gateway.
    Seekers balk at going into a genuine investigation.
    Even though their erroneous beliefs cause all their psychological suffering, they cling to their beliefs like a child clings to a security blanket.
    Too much invested in the image of self, me. What is the laughing Buddha laughing at? The ‘rich man’ trying to fool the gatekeeper. The ‘rich man’ is the man (or woman) who is bulging from greed because he takes more than he needs. In his gluttonous state, belching and farting from over consumption, he has lost control of his hunger for MORE……obviously feasting upon its own vanity and self pride he looks ridiculous yet he imagines he is a slim and trim seeker or truth, puzzled why he can’t attaint the great prize of enlightenment.
    A camel is more likely to pass through the eye of a needle, than a ‘rich man’ is likely to ACTUALLY investigate his own self-centred activity.

  8. The Games People Play. After observing ‘seekers’ over many years, it is plainly obvious that almost everyone is listening or reading from the point of view of the self-centre. Me. “What’s in it for ME”. Well, there is nothing in it for me or you or anyone who can’t put aside the habit of referring everything to the image of self, me. Plain and simple. Nothing at all. If one insists on twisting the message to suit their own accumulated ideas and image of self, how can the message ever get through. On rare occasions one of these ‘seekers’ may, by default, through exhaustion or through a spontaneous relaxation, actually ‘hear’ what is being pointed out, without an over-riding response from the ‘me of memory’. It is obvious that many seekers believe they are clever enough to get the message and still hang onto their ‘personal stuff’. Impossible. They twist and turn the message like a jigsaw puzzle piece trying to make it fit with the image of ‘me’ and it never works. They even go to the extent of cutting the information into a different shape so it fits. Having forced the message into fitting, they display a short period of believing ‘I got it’. But it all turns to shit as soon as some unexpected event turns their world upside down. So, back to the messenger, putting on a brave face, they sit quietly ruminating over how to fix the distorted piece of the puzzle and only find more gapping holes in the puzzle. Frustration eventually surfaces and they have a little ‘break down’, throw a tantrum or put a clamper on their facial expressions. They put on a new mask. How in heavens name do they ever believe that it isn’t all obvious as a dogs nuts sticking out the back end when the bitches are on heat? Who is fooling whom? Mind games people play. To top it all off, these mind games that people play reach a crescendo when they pretend to others ‘I didn’t lose it’ or the ‘I got the message ages ago’. What a miserable joke to play one yourself. Why would anyone do that? Being caught up in the depression story, one does not recognise how the features of depression, like a wave, it rolls back in when the egoism isn’t forcing its mask to be up front. They get exhausted putting on their false mask. It takes a lot of effort to fool others and be convincing. If you suffer from depression, the first thing you need to do is admit to yourself that there is a display going on…the ‘I am depressed’ display that everyone can see. Then the next and immediate task is to investigate WHO it is that is depressed.