purposes of this short article, I'll summarise
nonduality magazine's questions like this:- What
happens to the mind at death? Is there rebirth? Can
an enlightened person fear death and spiders? Would
an enlightened person wear lipstick or have
liposuction? Could they feel anger or anxiety or
make disclaimers about their 'offer'?
assumption underlying these questions is that there
is such a thing as an enlightened person (or even an
Enlightened Person) who might manifest certain
characteristics by which they can be recognised.
These characteristics might include knowing what
happens to the mind at death and whether there is
such a thing as rebirth, not fearing death or
spiders, not wearing lipstick or having liposuction,
not losing their temper or getting anxious and
definitely not making legal disclaimers!
have to grant some of these characteristics and we
have started to create the idea of a God Man (or
Woman). I would suggest that by and large God Men
(and Women) are bad news. They are likely to lead us
a merry dance during which we may lose our
relationships, our credit cards and possibly our
minds. Like other lovers, they are likely to break
God Man is only a concept and there is no such thing
as an enlightened person (or an Enlightened
Person). 'Enlightenment' is a weasel word which I
usually avoid, but as nonduality magazine has posed
its questions using this term, I'll stick to it.
Your magazine, your rules. Enlightenment can best be
described as the direct seeing that there is no
person, so there cannot be any enlightened people.
There is no self, so the quest for selflessness is
futile. We are seeking to lose something which we do
not have, because there is no one to have it.
Although there are no rules, the direct seeing of
Oneness, of emptiness and fullness, tends to leave a
deep (and humbling) recognition of unknowing.
Questions such as "What happens at death?", "Is
there rebirth?", "Is there karma?" and "Is it vain
to wear lipstick?" dissolve in this great unknowing.
The mind, pretending for a moment that there is such
a thing, simply loses interest in questions whose
answers cannot be known and where nothing but
baseless speculation can take place. Instead of
puzzling over unanswerable questions, relaxation is
quite likely to take place. There is no method, but
if there were, it would be to relax. That is why my
recommendation is to drink tea and eat cake, or
whatever the equivalent is for you.
large, mystics only know a few things. They know
there is no self. They know there is unconditional
love. And they know that almost everything else is
end with a brief quotation from the fourteenth
century from Longchenpa. Forgive the slightly
insulting language - it is his, not mine. "A fool
... trusting in his dogma ... is trapped; losing his
way [in] intellect, he fails to see the real
meaning." And from his translator, Keith Dowman, in
the twenty first century, there is this:-
"relaxation is the key to Buddhahood here-and-now."