Sammāvimutti Sammāvisuddhi

True freedom and true purification
can only be found
in the transcendental realisation
that
nothing is free,
nothing is pure!

Nothing is independent.
Nothing is unconditioned.
Nothing is self-arising.

True freedom and true purification
can only be found
in the transcendental realisation
that “experience”,
bhava,
enveloping the consciousness,
the object of the will,
all that we ever know,
and all that we ever do,
is just as much unfree,
dependent,
and conditioned.

True freedom
can only be found
in the transcendental realisation
that a self
can never be found
in the body
or the mind
or in any form of experience.
For “experiencing”
is an event of nature,
an event of life.

Suññata!
that is to say:
there is no freewill.
There can be no freewill.
There will never be freewill.
For true freedom
can only be found
not through commanding the will,
but through non-identification with it!

Suññata!
that is to say:
there is no purity.
There can be no purity.
There will never be purity.
For true purity
can only be found
not through the restraint of the consciousness,
but through non-identification with it!

Body,
mind,
consciousness,
and will –
all that belongs to nature,
belongs to life.
True Freedom and purification,
is the spontenous result of this awareness;
in the present moment,
in every present moment.

If a self exists,
then it is only the absence
of identification with those things of nature.
If a self exists,
then it is only the absence of bhava!
It is already free and pure;
for it is suññata.

There is no Suffering!

Kamma is not suffering, it is not the suffering itself, but only how suffering comes to be. Kamma is how we come to substantiate our experience and end up suffering thereby. Ultimately there is no suffering, nor happiness – experience itself is empty. But it is through the vast depository of mental habits and tendencies, which is what kamma is, that we make sense of our experiences. The Buddha taught that a path exists through which we can make sense of experience independently from this kamma; not by means of relating to experience, but through transcending it. It is neither simple nor mere idea or assertion, that there is such a path. This is so radical! An alternative exists; it is that of exercising the intuition, the consciousness and the will, or the citta, in such a way as to result in the development of a world-view and self-view that are not based on personality and on conditioned preferences of craving, aversion, fear, and attachment – an emotion-free gnosis. But what is important here is to understand and continually remind oneself that kamma is not suffering, it is not even what begets suffering – kamma is what creates not only suffering, but also happiness. Kamma is what creates the emotional content of all experience. Experience itself is lacking any kind of emotional content; there is nothing in experience; and nothing at all can be said of the reality of experience except for the six elements which make experience experienceable through contact with the six senses. Aside from this apparent existence, experience itself is entirely hollow. And kamma is nothing other than the force which substantiates experience particularly through imaginatively ascribing emotional and love-hate attributes to experience. It is in that sense that renunciation is that of the self, not of the world! It is in that sense that suffering can be wholly eradicated, not through the guaranteeing of a conditioned happiness, but through the eradication of the kamma which substantiates experience, and the uprooting of the delusion that experience is personal.

The end of suffering is the realisation that suffering does not exist, because experience is just a dream, or a nightmare if you will, because a self does not exist, because all forms of existence are conditioned.

There is no suffering which we can endeavour to bring to an end. The only thing that we can work with in order to be free is not suffering, but the delusion that a suffering self exists. I am here trying to explain what avijja is, and how it is the root of the twelvefold chain.

We are not unfree because suffering exists, we are unfree because we believe that we exist! There is no one and nothing to blame! This existence is innocent, it seems after all! How else would Nibbana be possible?!

It deserves,
it warrants –
a battle to the death,
with Mara.

Viññānanirodha

A discourse on the unfreeness of the “free-will”, and the lack of consciousness in the “consciousness”!

The expression “free-will” is misleading, because there is no true freedom in the exercise of a spontaneous will. Arising and fading away, by itself, according to external causes and conditions, our will is not our own, does not belong to us, does not remain with or emerge from any “self”, but is only triggered or spurred to function in response to external or internal, physical or mental, stimuli. Through the vast repertoire of memory and stored data of past experiences (sañña), extending back across incalculable lifetimes it is said – the will arises established on and conditioned by that karmic foundation.

the only true freewill is that which arises through renunciation: dispassion, non-desire, and non-attachment. every other form of action is in its origination dependent, conditioned, and triggered, and in its nature spontaneous, unchosen, self-unconscious, and unfree. Therein lies the difference with regard to kamma; its diminishing and extinction, or its propagation and intensification.

And the greatest renunciation is that of truly realising the spontaneity, non-self of all action. There lies in this renunciate realisation of the spontaneity of will the realisation also of our ultimate freedom and lack of a self: “this is spontaneous! This arises spontaneously! This is not up to me! This is not under my control! This is not freely-willed! This is not willed at all! This is just happening! This just arises!” Through this renunciate realisation _for any truly honest and sincere heart_ there grows estrangement, alienation, dispassion, non-attachment and non-identification, with regard to one’s own entire life of action, to which one would otherwise _that is, without such renunciate realisation_ be habitually profoundly attached, physically, emotionally and conceptually.

The problem here is that, before one attains the final goal of full emancipation, this renunciate realisation does not cause the human conditioned consciousness and will to cease themselves! The consciousness continues, and it keeps presenting its habitual findings ceaselessly: “this is pleasurable, that is painful. This feels good, that feels bad. This resembles good, that resembles bad. This is loved, that is hated. This is this, that is that. This is not that, that is not this.” Thus it rolls like thunder in the sky, never to stop, not even during sleep. And it is precisely that which makes our striving very hard, in that as we strive to remove the delusion of selfhood (represented here in viññāna), or to liberate ourselves therefrom, we do not see any evidence, that we are being likewise liberated from “existence” (bhava) as well! However much we endeavour to become estranged from consciousness and will, and however much we do become estranged from consciousness and will, this nāmarūpa, our being in this existence, subject to contact with its utterly futile forms, impressed by such contact – does not in itself cease or even diminish.

This is the finest case of vibhavatanha; our striving is lacking pañña when what we seek is the destruction of existence (or experience) itself rather than the destruction of delusion regarding existence and experience! The consciousness and will themselves cannot be destroyed, and until parinibbāna, they will never stop! And through the practice of estrangement and dispassion with regard to them, the only thing that ceases is their spontaneity and subjection to external conditions. That which is being uprooted here is the emotional attachment with regard to the experience of contact and its impact, and Nibbāna is only perfection, unshakability, of such estrangement and dispassion respecting the automatic, conditioned, and spontaneous consciousness and will.

Then as we strive with pañña, we view this aversion regarding what we have to alienate ourselves from (viññānupādānakhanda), to be a product of precisely what we strive to alienate ourselves from! I call it “punishment”, that which lovers inflict upon each other, precisely when all love is lost! Our aversion against “self”, against spontaneous and conditioned consciousness and will, arises due to our continued dependence on precisely consciousness and will! Again, it is only a case of love, being turned into hate – having been for so long so profoundly attached to and identified with this ceaselessly buzzing and active consciousness and will, when the time comes for us to alienate the mind with respect to them, we hate their very continued existence and manifestation altogether.

But let all these mental, verbal, social, and bodily actions – let it all arise, let it happen, let it “come to be” – only, never surrender the sustained attention, estrangement, and dispassion, regarding all that arises!

Budho!

Budho! Budho! Budho!

The contacts of the body and the senses with this sensorial world, the spontaneous emotions which follow the experience of contact, the memories and impressions which such contact stirs in the mind, the spontaneous thoughts and imagination which arise on the basis of all that, and finally the fluent, loud, and torrential flow of the will in action, conditioned by all of the preceding, even though we will still call it ‘free will’ – all this is to be viewed just as a dream, and as the contents of a dream, that is, virtual, unsubstantial, lacking true essence or existence.

“Buddha”, one who has “awakened”, even though He was still in this same dream-world of rupa, kāma, moha, and dukkha. But He is no longer fast asleep, thinking or feeling it is real where it is not, acting as if it is Himself that is in there, and others too, their selves, where there is nothing but images, sounds, tastes, smells, bodily sensations, and ideas, along with all the thoughts, feelings, memories, emotions, and will, which these induce and condition. He has awakened from this dream state even though he is still in this dream world. That is the miracle of Dhamma and of Nibbāna. He goes around knowing that this world and this body and this self, is just a fleeting, passing-by dream, and that all these experiences of contact, of emotion, of thoughts and imagination, of memories, and of the will, are likewise just an inherent part of this same dream world, dream state.

In this dream world, there is nothing to lose! It is just a great amalgam of elements which are all at constant play and interplay. Nothing goes missing, nothing is lost, the whole remains intact even though nothing remains the same. Except for the arahant, for he successfully liberates the will and the consciousness from this morbid web of becoming and dissolution, he departs for good leaving behind the cruelty and sorrow of this world. Adoration to all arahants.

Budho! Budho! Budho!

Imagination is a Prison!

It is in the “imagination”, that the mundane human seeks his mundane emancipation! Finally it all comes down to imagination, whether knowingly or unknowingly, self-consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or spontaneously, the mundane human places his ultimate faith in that, not only his own imagination, but also that of others. It is here that the search for meaning, freedom, power, control, and happiness, commences and ends, for the mundane human. Through thought, through art, through science, through sports and politics, even sometimes through religion – in about every domain of mental and physical activity in which the karmic and habitual identification with the body and the imagination is not abandoned, experience does not stand alone, does not give out reality as a result, but only separation, dissatisfaction, and depression, with regard to reality, and with regard to experience itself!

On the basis of what circumstance did the Buddha teach non-identification with and non-attachment to body and imagination?

Because _contrary and quite the exact opposite to our belief in the limitlessness of imagination_ “form” or materiality, the object of all possible imagination, is strictly limited. That our imagination is nothing more than a function over form, over what the senses experience, over memories and impressions of sensorial experiences (sañña), makes it a condition of serfdom rather than freedom, repetition and utter bore rather than originality and revelation. An endless function, surely as such nothing can rival imagination; but what really does it give? It only seem to give us what we wanted, precisely through its endless, recursive nature, and its immediate ability to elicit and induce emotion. In a certain sense, having generally and repeatedly failed in finding precisely meaning, freedom, power, control, and happiness, in reality and in our direct experience; our submission to imagination arises as a result of it being nature’s spontaneous, readily-accessible, and ever-present “stimulant of life”. 

Thoughts do not reflect reality, and it is not through ideation that we grasp truth. Thoughts reflect desire (tanha), our judgement and preferences regarding reality, and it is through precisely ideation that we grasp a qualification of truth but not truth itself! Whatever pleasurable juice or painful poison we ascribe to phenomena, all of this remains far from truth itself, one in which no “self” is affected or concerned. The Buddha teaches the path to grasping reality and truth through a very simple form of dispassionate recognition, of time, of transformation, and thereby of the utter lack of identity and substantiality in all phenomena. That’s why we are ever directed to suññata whenever we attend to the element of ‘gnosis’ (ñana), and its experiential counterpart, nirodha! In fact, that’s where we’re directed whenever we manage to truly concentrate at all! Because then that is the great difficulty in our quest to grasp reality and truth, it requires us to be already in possession of our purity and peace, in that grasping truth is achieved simply by letting-go of imagination! We do not seek out reality, we rather turn our backs to imagination and delusion, the rest comes all by itself! The difficult part has always been to know exactly what is it that we are renouncing here, and how to renounce it. This right renunciation suceeds in persevering in “seeing the point” in cultivating this “very simple form of dispassionate recognition, of time, of transformation, and thereby of the utter lack of identity and substantiality in all phenomena”! Yet who on this earth can do this without suffering?! Who sacrifices one’s existence in this way, for the sake of the truth? Who keeps at such a task, such devotion and faith, even though he is only promised to find “emptiness” in the end?!

To such a hopeless extent we have been continually dependent on it that it has become exceedingly difficult to conceive of a mode of mental life in which imagination is _not absent_ but not spontaneous and continual either, not a factory of emotional stimulation! The Buddha had discovered that there exists a mode of mental life in which imagination is controlled, subjected to mental will rather than commanding the will. The Buddha teaches a mode of mental life in which only the right measure and kind of imagination is being resolved to, and only in the right time also. Through this sublime mode of mental life, free from the compulsive drive of spontaneous imagination, the mind’s attentive and penetrative capacities evolve to such an extent that emotional stimulation gradually diminishes, and with that, there finally begins the evaporation of the thick and heavy layer of delusion which separates the consciousness from reality and from experience. And finally, we find out that reality and experience are no longer “personal” phenomena; existence is no longer a “personal” experience in relation to which we can indulge in preferences! Things are in themselves neither good or bad, pleasurable or painful, meaningful or meaningless, belonging here or there, deserving this or that – but everything is just “the way it is”, because the imagination which used to impose all these attributes over the tiniest experiences, thereby also eliciting obsession, fear, and aversion, over about everything that comes across the scope of the senses, has been now disciplined and tamed. This whole existence appears to be without attributes, without features, without meaning and purpose also! The world as a mundane thing seem to vanish, and vanishes also, the mundane “self”. One then looks back at the time when imagination was the creator of all this world and everything in it, when one used to take it seriously, to place immediate and unquestionable faith in its findings and conclusions, and ceaseless desires, on a momentary basis – one beholds the suffering and confusion which this habitual imagination used to cause, for oneself and for others, and finally one recognises the taste and substance of true, transcendental freedom, beyond the contamination, the deception, the evil, the suffering, the utter bore, and the prison, of spontaneous imagination.

Bhavanirodha (There is Nothing!)

1.
Avijjā, may well be viewed as a true transcendental force in this world, something of a cosmological nature, an ungraspable original condition of the existence of sentient beings. Nevertheless, this view may in the end be merely the creation of the imagination, of avijjā itself! It is crucial to develop yet a down-to-earth experiential understanding of avijjā, not as a thing or force out there that is imposed upon one’s reborn mind and heart, but rather as a natural spontaneous process of the conditioned mind, particularly and predominantly, a process of glueing together a world and a self, out of the amalgam of the six elements, multiplied by time.

For everything experienced is made up merely of the six elements, an amalgam of the six elements, and all experience is made up of a series of successive moments, through which contact between the senses and environmental objects is established. The ultimate reality revealed by the Buddha is one in which our experience is already lacking any durable substance or essence beyond those six elements, and that all these moments of experience, necessarily cease after having been arisen. Every moment and every sense experience cease and become merely memories. Yet the mind, born with avijjā and moha, and a heavy inheritance of kamma, continually glues moments and elements together, resolving in the process to the karmic impressionable memory (sañña) and imagination (kammasankhāra), to create durable and substantial realities, relationships, entities, and identities, including the self.

On a momentary basis this world and our experience of it are empty of any kind of substance or essence whatsoever. On a momentary basis the heart _out of blindness and desire_ is fabricating all sorts of substances and essences out of the world and experience. It may well be the case, that the truth of Suññata, is so hard to bear, or to face, by a heart that is still fully plunged in the habit of grasping tightly to existence and being.

The problem is that we are alive! We are already alive! Yet that does not mean that “there is something” for us out there! And indeed it is so much easier to spend our lives “making something out of life”, than to spend it restraining the mind from doing just that, and instead to simply behold the bare truth: existence, empty!

However much we insist that or act as if there is something; the truth and the reality is that there is nothing.

2.
The natural (kammic) cognitive manner through which we emerge from the womb to make sense of this world is at striking odds with the way the world truly is. Whereas everything that happens, that “comes to be”, that arises in this world, is a necessary result of a cause, conditioned by a cause, arising supported by a cause, we come to regard conditions and phenomena as independent and self-justifying. Whereas everything is on a momentary basis bound by decay, headed to dissolution, destined for disappearance, we come to regard conditions and phenomena as stable and lasting. And why do we do that? Because our survival (bhava!) depends on it! Because only by so doing that it becomes possible for the self to emerge as a distinct and unique jewel of the world, ‘the’ point of reference, a true home, through which the ignorant and blind living organism may live, regarding this world and its existence in it with such obsession for reasons and sentiments which exist only in its imagination; it loves this and wants it, it hates that and rejects it.

Because if we discerned the extent by which this whole world is being destroyed and reborn again between one moment and the next, we would then penetrate to the truth that the self, too, is likewise lacking substantiality, consistency, durability, or true identity; we would very soon find out the evident truth, that our life and our existence is not up to us, not even “about us”, and then we would reach for the true cause, or force, that had brought us here, only to find not the slightest clue, aside perhaps from the following subtle deduction: that in as much as we spontaneously wish to survive now, we must have come here because we likewise wished to survive before! And only then will we venture to ask the question: what freedom or happiness there is in this mere surviving, again and again, for ever maybe, in a world of which we are merely objects, a result rather than a cause of life, conditioned by life, arising supported by life; what meaning or purpose there is in such survival, when all our experiences and possible scope of existence, is on a momentary basis bound by decay, headed to dissolution, destined for disappearance, again and again?
So this is what happens to one who thus investigates, contemplates, sees and discerns; he realises so clearly that nothing in this whole world, including the self, can possibly be independent, self-justifying, stable, or lasting; he realises that in everything that arises in this world, including the self, there can never be substantiality, consistency, durability, or true identity. Realising thus, the contemplative penetrates to the truth that, survival just for the sake of survival, living just for the sake of living, is a path of servitude rather than freedom, affliction rather than happiness, a path of no meaning or purpose. Here begins one’s true going forth and great renunciation and seclusion; by finally relinquishing the feverish yearning for survival, one finds freedom and happiness by humbly accepting the limitations and transience of one’s own conditioned existence; one breaks free from the childish search after substantiality, identity, and durability, with regard to own experience and life; one defines the meaning and purpose of a human life, as that which is devoted to the extinguishing of the raging fire of craving, craving life, craving existence, craving survival; the complete end of self-obsession. One truly realises, the Four Sublime Truths!

3.
Some other place, and some other time, simply do not exist apart from the imagination, and a desire for them is ever conditioned by the arising of aversion (vibhavatanha) regarding the here and now. Aside from this, no other places and times really exist; but only when one is actually there, when one physically moves in space and time, those previously “other” place and time cease to be as such, and become only here and now again! And again we experience vibhavatanha and imagine some other places and times of escape, and so on! What is the problem with the here and now? What is the problem with life “as it is”, as it arises and presents itself to us on a momentary basis?

Perhaps the problem is that we give too much importance to life, or rather, give the wrong kind of importance to life! We value it more than anything else, love it so completely and unconditionally, even though it is an incomparably miserable state of existence! We expect too much from life, we expect no less than happiness, even though it only offers anxiety, strife, restlessness, fear, ageing, sickness, misery, suffering, separation, and death! Thus is the Truth!

Making a lightly matter of life, of being alive, taking life easily, frequently recollecting the eventuality of death, inclines the heart to perceive the sporadic and unsubstantial nature of experience, of our existence, of all existence, of bhava. Cultivating this perception of the sporadic nature of our entire existence, we arrive at the foot of the great mount of seclusion, where we grasp the Dhamma, realise saddha, incline the mind toward nibbida and virāga (estrangement and dispassion), and find the single possible meaning, value, or purpose of human life: bhavanirodha!

We are not come here to get truly happy! We are here only due to grace! A great opportunity, a golden chance, of final understanding, acceptance, endurance, and transcendence of all present and future suffering. Abandoning the self that suffers in experience and seeks happiness in “another” experience, that grows sickly and suffocates of this here and now, and seeks escape to “another” here and now, another world, another life. abandoning that self which has preferences about every aspect of life, which rejects and welcomes a thousand time a day. spitting-out that self without remainder, this is Nibbāna.

In this way, we niether celebrate nor condemn life. We do not view it as a phenomenon that is inherently valuable or meaningful, because this celebration could only be based on ignorance, desire, and attachment to bhava or to our experience of life, and at the same time this hinders the development of true transcendental understanding and dispassion with regard to bhava and our experience of life. At the same time we recognise that our life is necessary _a great chance in fact_ in order to accomplish the task of transcending both life and death, and continual rebirth.

4.

For those endowed with true spiritual inclinations, the world-view must arise which recognises life not only as a pathway to something beyond, but also as a pathway which may possibly lead to eternity rather than to death! For those endowed with true spiritual inclinations, the world-view must arise which recognises the purpose and value of life in it being potentially a pathway for no less than eternity, in spite of the fact that, life otherwise and naturally a pathway merely to death!

Looking at the mind, not by means of mind!

Looking at this world through one’s mind, by means of it, depending on its imagination and memory, we fail to see the Truth, we fail to see nature and how everything that manifests, that “comes to be”, that is created, formed, and conditioned, is a part of nature, a mere object of nature. Through the formed and conditioned spectacles of our mind, we fail to see how nothing that happens in this world belongs to us or remains with us, we fail to see how everything is impersonal, transient, and unsatisfying. But on the other hand, looking through Dhamma, looking through Tilakkhana, through Suññata, with not the slightest expectation, excitement, or amazement; directly surveying the total unsubstantially of every manifestation and every moment, including particularly those of our own body and mind – this is freedom that is surpassed only by the destination to where it directly leads; Nibbāna.