To the Eastern ways of liberation the most important discrimination possible is the one between ‘the two levels of reality’: between the level of the timeless, the discrimination less, the always-present (Reality with capital R), and the level of the manifesting, which continuously is changing, with birth, growth, decline and death. A multitude of definitions is possible for this second level, varying from ‘total illusion’ to ‘temporal reality’.
The order in which both levels are mentioned here is not arbitrary. Although of course terms like ‘first’ and ‘second’ level are ultimately not true, one can still say that it is essential for the realisation of one’s true nature to first dedicate oneself totally to what is always true, to what is ‘always already the case’: called ‘first level’ here. The fact is that if you continue to focus your attention to the particulars of the individual simultaneously, this will form a hindrance to the view of your nature that is always present.
Hence one can say: make the recognition of your true nature the all-important in your life, the main point. Owing to this recognition you can see that the first level encompasses the second one. The first level is always present within the second one, and the other way around. Training of discrimination between both levels and the nomination of the first level as ‘main point’ must not be interpreted as a means to deny or neglect the world of phenomena. It is about the recognition of a ‘hierarchy’, an order of importance, in which the essential is investigated first of all (and that just until the actual recognition of the same is a reality, so that after that all the non-essential can be interpreted from the recognition of the essential. Each reversal of this order leads to the continuation of the identification with a limited, perishable form.
In view of the great importance of this order or sequence, this latter could even be called ‘sacred sequence’. The world ‘sacred’ feels to be appropriate, because this word shows that it is not about a method here. For the individual does not have a say in the matter here anymore, so all methods have been dissolved into no-knowledge. ‘No-knowledge’ is another term for your true nature, or ‘no-mind’. All knowledge is a collection of memories stuck to the stillness of our essential nature. Exactly no-knowledge enables to see that the true nature of thinking and feeling, the true nature of ‘ourselves’ is simplicity. It is the simplicity of pure, concept less Consciousness.
All searching, stemming indeed from the urge to know, is carrying away from simplicity. The invitation is to let attention fall into this simplicity, now. Into that which is prior to thought. That you have never lost; in fact you cannot lose it.
The return to this simplicity of no-knowledge, no-mind, for instance by means of the question ‘Who am I?’, is an immediate, wordless Understanding, in which can be seen that no-knowledge is the source of all impulses, like thoughts and sensory perceptions. Thoughts may arise, and they may go again as well. Speaking is allowed, being silent is allowed as well. Immediate Understanding is never absent, neither whilst speaking, not during a possible projection of thoughts when there is silence, not during the absence of thoughts. Immediate Understanding is identical to pure Consciousness, which as ‘Awareness’, the essential nature of all thinking and feeling.
Being permeated by this immediate Understanding, and getting stabilised in it, is realisation of non-duality, of advaya. This is the realisation of the natural state, also called the ‘Buddha-nature’. This is what it is all about here.
Philip Renard 2000 and 2015
(English translation: Johan Veldman)