When we’re driving along my son loves to play with the zoom in and out function on the sat nav. Moving all the way out – street, town, country, continent until the blue and green world appears in space. And then all the way back – world, continent, country, town, street, house.
It’s interesting the zoom in and out function. Especially when it comes to the reality of the self, the mind, the body and a world of other people, objects and forms.
And it’s rather ironic that the one thing that, from a certain view point, looks absolutely real, which grabs all the attention and which looks to be valuable information for navigating life (in other words, the deciding, separate individual self) – is 100% illusory.
Because zooming in to see what the self-identity really is reveals belief after belief, assumption after assumption, learned reaction after learned reaction… and nothing else.
Open attention on what is true about what we think we are inevitably reveals the illusion. The self-idea cannot withstand scrutiny. It disappears as soon as it is genuinely investigated. There is no logic to it.
It has no mechanics, no physics, no biology of its own – even though the belief in the self can affect how all of this appears and is experienced. No substance or endurance. It is belief based and beliefs cannot survive enquiry.
As this idea in a controlling, deciding, individual self dissolves, there is no longer a focus on that illusion (not least because it’s not there…).
All the energy taken up in the impossible task of securing the identity, controlling its behaviour and environment is now freed up for zooming in to what is actually here.
And what is actually here is still a world of people and objects.
The non-dual retreat, for example, is held in a room. A room with chairs, sound systems and lighting.
The teacher who is holding the retreat to talk about no objects, no people, arrived in a car (or very possibly on a bike) and is talking to people.
The words ‘nothing is happening to nobody’ are being written thanks to hands, fingers, arms and a computer.
And the zooming in allows all these objects to be understood for what they really are. They are not objective truths. They are not a fixed reality. Everything about the way they appear and are held in the mind is a creation and agreement of perception and conditioning.
However, the difference between these apparent objects and the self-identity is that while, on investigation, the self-identity disappears, these objects do not. With open enquiry, they become a richer, more extraordinary next layer of themselves.
The zooming in to the world of apparent form continues to reveal more and more information.
Objects (including the body), become more and more real with curious attention. They are the gateway to infinite information about the material world, its agreements, its possibilities, expanding knowledge and capability beyond what could ever have been imagined.
This means that, as we go zoom into truth, two things happen:
- the mind/body becomes more aligned to reality (i.e. sane) because there is less fighting against and attempts to secure what doesn’t exist
- we become more able to function in the world because objects are no longer viewed through the confusion of the distorting, identified, believing mind. They are freed up to be what they really are: placeholders of potential, containers of information.
This of course is a logical irony in its own right:
the less real the self-identity appears, the more freedom there is for expression and exploration
the less real the world appears, the more intimacy, freedom and possibility there are within it
Zooming into the human system must mark the end of self-improvement. There is no self to improve. Nothing is personal. The identity is a confusion. The idea that there is an individual deciding self is impossible to sustain.
And it marks the start of the clearest and deepest possible understanding of what life is, of what form is, of what objects are, of mechanics, physics, biology and chemistry, of space and relationships between objects.
We zoom in and in, getting closer to the truth with each click of the dial. Assumptions fall away, centuries old ‘realities’ are disproved, meanings dissolve, identification ends.
And from that only true place of potential in form, we can zoom out again, out and out, the frame revealing more and more. Zooming out until the whole world, the universe, everything, is there, held in our view, contained within us. It’s clear what we are. What truth is.
From this greatest of all perspectives, the universe contained within us, we can go back in, back into the world of form. Zooming in to the tiniest details. The angle of a spoon in a coffee cup. The surface tension of a tear drop. The breath of a tree on our skin.
Zooming into the detail reveals the truth, the miracle in the way that a fraction-of-a-second locking of eyes conveys the whole world.
Zooming out beyond the detail reveals the truth, the infinite and absolute in which the details appear and disappear.
A world of truth setting itself free.
The ultimate navigation system.