Beyond the Temporary Confusions
Maybe an example would help in terms of understanding what we are talking about here tonight. Sometimes people, when they suffer a terrible mental shock or an emotional agony, they hide themselves in a delusional identity. I knew a man once, who in the midst of mental breakdown, thought he was a dog. He was found in the neighbor's house on all fours eating out of the dog bowl and barked at the police officers that were called and came in. Later, as he went through his time in the mental institution, he thought he was Jesus for a period of time. Another period, he thought he was Mohammed Ali.
In the same way, when wisdom mind falls into delusion, the falling itself takes the form of a delusional identity. The conceptual identity of name and form, when the pure space of awareness is dimmed down to a consciousness that identifies with body mind, then this delusional identity is just like the mental illness spoken of a moment ago. Non-dual wisdom awareness clothes itself in beingness, and beingness always immediately co-emergently clothes itself in name and form -- a particular identity, always partial. Not the completeness of the natural state of enlightenment that is beyond any identity, abiding always only as divine mystery.
So you see, the nothingness state, which is the ground of all phenomena, is the spaceless space, the identityless identity, of everything. And when mind goes to wisdom bliss, when the fully enlightened state is attained, then this is the only identity one ever has after that: the ocean of the nothingness state. And on it the waves of this and that particular form, particular pattern, arise, and one allows that in full playfulness, but there is no identification with self and other. One sees the entire manifest state then as a single living being.
But even when the egoic identity arises as consciousness identified with a body mind, there is the lingering intuition of wisdom bliss and that nags at you. It nags at every being. There is an intuition of a peace and joy without any possibility of falling away from it. There is also -- because the intrinsic wisdom mind is always one's truest identity, always. Just as the man who had the mental breakdown and thought that he was Mohammed Ali, he was always the actual identity, Ed with his wife and children, he was never actually Mohammed Ali. Nothing real had to be changed. He simply had to recognize, re-cognize, or know again, who he was. Every person is actually wisdom mind prior to births and deaths. Always complete and whole is the ground of awareness, an irreducible mystery of bliss and freedom.
So, as long as you identify with the body state, you will be the slave of mind. These are the words of Nasargadatta Maharaj, and so beautiful and true:
“So long as you identify with the body-state you will be the slave of mind.”
Mind is a set of concepts, which is simply the urge of the confused state to make sense of itself. But it's trying to make sense from the confusion itself. So you see, if the person who thinks they are Mohammed Ali tries to make a good life as Mohammed Ali, it will always be filled with trouble, confusion and distress. They may be able to muddle along but there will always be tremendous problems. There will be the problem of everyone knowing they are crazy. No matter how they structure their life or their actions or relations, where there is still this delusion of thinking they are Mohammed Ali, the problem of this delusion will disrupt the façade. And in the same way, the facade of egoic identity, contrived from a group of concepts to try to explain this problem of confusion and delusion, will always be disrupted. No matter how beings try and find the fullness of their truth in appearance, identified with the temporary body mind and its functioning of concepts, there will be distress -- the distress of birth and death and the alternations of pleasure and pain.
But in this state of freedom, in the groundless ground of the nothingness state, in this freedom of reality, there is no alteration, no distress. There is only the expanse of unborn wisdom bliss, the play of waves on the surface of the ocean, the play of the foam on the edges of those waves. The wave is like the surge of beingness itself rising up. The foam on the wave is like all the universes and galaxies. But I remain here in the absolute, in the deep of the ocean, and the ocean enjoys the play of the waves and the foam on the waves, but it is not confused as to the relationship. Wherever you taste the water, it’s salty. It’s the same ocean. Find out the truth of who you are in reality, and then you will find out who or what the divine is, who or what god is. In the end, guru, god and self are one and the same, and they are your own most fundamental reality, beyond all possibility of changes of state or confusion. It is in this deep of the ocean that the longing for realization is a dynamic moving through the surface waves, always drawing you. The spiritual path draws you. It’s a journey from darkness of confusion into the light of your own Buddha nature.