Volume 6, Issue 3, page 4

presses to "come out" in us. There are intimations of what this pure Consciousness is
like in music and the arts, in nature, and the
highest aspirations we have.

The teacher (I wish I had a better word)
takes advantage of these. Further, he stays
"open" with the student, and the student, by
mere love and friendship, receives what in zen
is called "transmission" and in Subud "contact" . It is inevitable that the student
should carefully observe every word and action
of the teacher (because at first he doubts him)
and in time the awakening of the teacher is
felt definitely by the student, aitho not verbally definable.

In zen, so-called " koans "are used to throw
.the mind out of the reasoning rut (in these
days of paper books, I assume the reader knows
what koans are) and sudden shocks are contrived to shake out the obstinate ego. The
teacher uses similar things.

For months, the student tries every possible
argument. Over and over, he will bring up, for
example, the "problem of evil", the question
of life after death, of reincarnation, of some
religion or other he may have been taught in
childhood, of science, of his own desperation
at ever getting anywhere, of how one can tell
if the realization, if it comes, is any more
"real" than anything else, if it is merely another trick of the versatile mind or subconscious, whether we are just bubbles -- anything
and everything.

It is nothing new to-the teacher. He could
write the script himself. ( In fact, I have
partly done so here.) However, he remains
steady; he knows what has to be done, he knows
where the student is and in time he sees hopeful signs.

The student is disturbed. He has come to
the end of his "tricks" (actually desperate
attempts to preserve the ego as boss, when it
is only a competent executive officer) and the
teacher will not "buy " any of such tricks.

The student is not a fool. He knows all the
time what he is doing and that one day he must
surrender in utter helplessness. Meanwhile, he
retains a second line of defense, a "secondary"judgment which does not yield whatever he
may say openly. One day this too lapses, even
if only for a moment.

Then something happens. The student is surprised to notice,, for example, that his perceptions are sharper, everything seems brighter. Next morning he awakens to a situation
which puzzles him for a moment. Something is
missing. What can it be?
He soon finds out. For a time he enjoys the
extraordinary experience of being a limited
ego with an unlimited Consciousness. He is
free to use it and to test it. He finds It
will show him the basis behind material things,
the many in the One, a clear but absolutely
new and indescribable thing; or it makes clear,
once and for all, the whole process of the ego
or self in himself and others and in relationship. For a salesman or lawyer, this is indeed
a bonanza, but there is a price to pay -- he is
not likely to use this new wisdom for wrong.

He now knows intimately -- more intimately
than we can know anything or anybody -- the Basis
of our universe and us and is perforce henceforward a "channel " and a servant of "That".
It is a strange feeling for a proud man.

The job is not done. There ensues a long
maturing process. Confused areas of thought,
mental blockages, must yield one by one. He
has the means to do this, but uses it natur(PLEASE TURN TO PAGE 8)
However, the fact is all of these are one;
that is, my mind and my body are one -- one organism, not two.

But this does not exhaust the situation.
There is a pure Consciousness -- Consciousness
that knows itself, "I am that I am ". This is
unexpected and I did not believe when I first
heard this that there could be two kinds of
consciousness. I only knew the one I was naturally familiar with, the "I am as I am".

The way it works is this. This pure Consciousness shines on the mind-and-body organism;
it is the "light that lighteth" every man that
cometh into this world". When it does this it
suffers a change. My mind accepts it only as
"my consciousness " -- a limited consciousness --
and, since Its essence is Self-Consciousness,
"I" experience 'tin a similar way as a self.
in fact, "myself ", or ego. I say I am "conscious of myself", but this is a smaller self,
not the Universal One, merely what I call
"me", one of my many "me's"
It may be said that the pure Consciousness
is concealed in "my " consciousness as a penny
may hide the sun. A ray of this may suddenly
dazzle us in so-called "mystical experiences",
of which most persons have had a touch, but in
awakening (or satori or metanoia ) we see the
pure Consciousness shining serenely in its own
light. It is a triumphant experience since
"what has to be done "has been done, but it is
also profoundly humbling as our little self
sees itself as a usurper, a thief borrowing
its selfhood from the Universal Self.

A student wrote me:"Consciousness sees itself. It is impossible yet it happens."
So much for theory. The practical job of
awakening someone consists in part of showing
him or her by various devices that all mental
attempts to reach the pure Consciousness are
in vain. It lies back of our mind and back of
our consciousness. Any thought we have about
It is impartially irradiated by it. For example, we think "this is unproved idiocy "and the
pure Consciousness lights it up in its usual
benevolent way so that it becomes " I am aware
that I think this is unproved idiocy".

Obviously, this is a peculiar situation.
This Consciousness is at all times ready to
make us "aware" of what we are thinking or
perceiving, but that does not mean that we become aware of That which is Itself giving us
this peculiar faculty of being aware of ourselves and our processes. Thus we get no clue
as to whether our thought was a correct one or
not; only that we know we have such a thought.

No wonder It is hidden and confusing. The
problem is to reach Consciousness as it is in
Itself and not as reflecting some thought or
perception of ours that is in it at the time.

We require empty Consciousness so to say.
Some try, like the Yogis or some of them, to
attain it by emptying the mind by "meditation"
but it is not the mind we have to empty. The
real obstacle, of course, is the " my "concept,
the self or ego. This is my Enemy in this
work. Now can we get from " my " consciousness
to "the" Consciousness ?
Naturally, as long as "we"decide or "we"
try to do this, we are regarding ourselves as
ultimate and reinforcing the bonds of delusion. All we do is rotate our own ideas like a
squirrel in a cage. It would seem, therefore,
an impossible task like lifting ourselves up
by our own bootstraps.

However, the simple fact is that it happens
all the time. There is help from the side of
the Consciousness itself (theologians call
this "Grace" ) which is not resting idly but
JUNE, 1959_