The practitioner realizes that the observer lives in between conventional life and what we may call God. He comes to understand that power in conventional life comes from God or the source. He comes then to understand that “all things are done through Him.” Him, in this case, is God.
The ego arises when we feel that we are the doer or the enjoyer. We need to see that what we call a self is nothing. When we become transparent in this way, we abide as the observer in between the Absolute and the relative. We live in a state of “between-ness” as Richard Rose called it. Abiding in between the Absolute and the relative, we see that our surrender of the relative to the absolute results in a stronger current or more power.
Getting down to the truth of what we are means cleaning out the garbage. This work of cleaning out the garbage is our sadhana, or spiritual work. It is different for every person, but each person’s life will reflect the work that remains to be done. The garbage we are meant to clear out is everything that we think of as a self, in every place that garbage resides – mental, emotional and physical. In reality, there is nothing to clean because it is all empty and it is only our delusion which creates and sustains it. Hence, when we no longer fight reality we are fully surrendered – there is no more mistake that we are the doer or the enjoyer and there is no more mistake that we exist separate from others.
The common person tries to “fix” his reactions to circumstance, believing that his reactions will create his reality. This is true to some degree but it is one-sided. Unless we pivot towards the absolute as well as the relative, we can only relate to one side of reality. Trying to “fix” a person who does not exist only piles delusion on top of delusion. There is no one to “fix” and no one who has been harmed. Perpetuating this delusion, however grand our intentions may be, is a fruitless waste of time.
When we sit, we are surrendering to reality. There is a time for rigidness – when we need to discipline the body and mind to sit and face reality. Rigidness is also required when we need to forcefully resist delusions and tendencies in order to quiet the mind enough to make a jump into reality. However, once we have practiced force with our small self, we need to “hang out with God” long enough to understand how to be soft with our situation and hand our situation over to the Absolute. Realizing that we are empty we simultaneously realize that this is not “our” problem, this is God’s problem. When we surrender this problem to God we are not seeking some solution we have dreamed up but saying “Hey, Absolute, I give up. This is your stuff and we both know it. Fix it or don’t, it never really mattered to me because I don’t even exist!”
Now we begin to see the roots of true power. Power rearranges and changes in a context and degree much different than our piddly ego manipulations could ever hope to do. It does not come from “us” because all we are are scattered illusions. Scattered illusions cannot “do” anything, they merely create more delusion on top of themselves in false reaction to original delusions. When we are clear from the bottom to the top then true power has greater contact with relative reality through us. We need to get out of the way.
This also points to what is in our locus of control and what is not. When we do our spiritual work, we are only cleaning up garbage. This process may seem endless, but there is also help coming from the other side which tries to push through if we can get out of the way enough to help it. This “other side,” or reality, is what we refer to as Grace. Grace is always there but we are in the way.
This life is hard for everybody. Spiritual practice is even more difficult – life and death difficult. In order to die while we are alive, we cannot drag around some delusional self. We must do the work of cleaning it up – seeing what it is, where it comes from and its ultimate emptiness. In this way realize that we are not a self at all but rather we can abide as the observer between two worlds – one manifest and one un-manifest. The un-manifest or absolute is one and nothing. An experience of it is nice, but unless we continually practice to abide between these two and gain familiarity with both then it does us no good. This is the point of practice and knowing what to practice. Abiding beyond mind is half the equation – hanging out with the absolute is the other.
Because the absolute is undifferentiated and un-manifest we do no recognize it or discern it until we are mature. This maturity comes only from practice. When we begin to recognize and discern the absolute, we can begin to see both backwards and forwards at the same time. By surrendering fully in each moment we abide as the observer which witnesses true power take shape in everyday life. Life becomes more alive, more “buzzing,” and more free when we are out of the way. It is just a mistake we’ve made – mistaking a heap of aggregates as a self that needs our effort and protection. When the mistake is removed we stop fighting the reality which was trying to function all along.
Evolution into the consciousness of creation is not smooth or easy as we see from humanity. There is a hickup, and that hickup is the illusionary self. When we practice to see clearly we are practicing our merging into the creator consciousness. We are practicing simultaneous power and powerlessness, power and surrender. Our observer gets a front row seat to reality taking birth moment by moment.