Monday, July 20, 2020

Joan Tollifson - Beholding

I love the word beholding because it contains both the sense of being the aware space that is holding everything and also the sense of BEING everything. In the word beholding, subject and object are not two.

The discovery that I am not encapsulated inside a separate body, that I am this boundless aware space in which everything appears and disappears, is enormously liberating. Noticing and discerning when my speaking (or hearing) comes from the perspective of a separate person, and when it comes from the impersonal spaciousness of this open aware presence is immensely helpful. Being aware of awareness, aware of Here-Now, and discovering the felt-sense of BEING this boundless presence is vital.

But if we fixate there and mentally solidify “awareness” or “presence” into some-thing, this initially liberating discovery can lead to a new kind of duality or splitting. The “me” tries to identify as awareness and to disengage from the content of awareness, regarding the one as spiritual and real, and the other as mundane and unreal. Recognizing that there is actually no separation, that this awaring presence IS this present experiencing, is very liberating.

In this nondual recognition, it is clear that this living reality is at once both whole and infinitely diversified. It is at once ever-present, immovably Here-Now, while simultaneously being ever-changing in appearance and never the same way twice. It is utterly ungraspable and unresolvable, and yet it is totally obvious and impossible to actually avoid or overlook. It is not one, not two—neither permanent nor impermanent.

Whatever words we use to describe this living reality, it can never be captured in any word or conceptual formulation. Words are beautiful movements of this inconceivable unicity, much as waves are movements of the ocean, but it's possible to hold all words and concepts lightly, to use them provisionally, and to open to (or rest as) the bare actuality of this awaring presence, this present experiencing, without trying to grasp it, make sense of it, control it or define it, except in practical ways, as needed.

Words like liberation point to the possibility of living in freefall or groundlessness, depending on no-thing, falling open to the simplicity of simply being what is, beholding it all without judgment or intention. And, of course, this openness isn’t some permanent state of mind that some "me" can land in forever after—it is this whole living reality Here-Now that includes EVERYTHING, every state of mind, even judging, defining, grasping, mapping, conceptualizing, identifying as a separate self, being confused—the whole enchilada, belonging to no one. Nothing is left out. This that we are is beholding everything. No separation, no division.


No comments:

Post a Comment