Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

The Phenomenon
Stuart Schwartz

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Stuart Schwartz


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Link to entry on Current Teacher's page


Break loose from the bonds of reason.
It’s always a lose-lose proposition.
Even if you win, you lose.
What’s next.
No trophy can make you happy
when you are not.
Who do you think you are.


Phenomenon: noun
1. An appearance; anything visible; whatever, in matter or spirit.
2. Any state or process known through the senses rather than by intuition or reasoning.

The world is a phenomenon swirling in its own orbit.
Who is seeing the appearance?
Who is reacting to it?
Who accepts it as true?
Who is looking to it for validation,
happiness, joy and a sense of well being too?
Not to mention, who is seeking a sense of security?
Always the person, what we call a human being.
The person appearing to be real is looking out into the
phenomenon as reality.
Just look at your life.
Observe everything you know about yourself,
how things are, how they could be, and why they are the way they are.
Notice how you try to make the phenomenon appear to your liking.
When it does, you respond with happiness and when it doesn’t you scowl.
Look at your efforts to attach yourself to the things that you like.
Feel the strength of the effort to manifest all that is desired.
And stop.
Step back.
Back up till you can barely see your form or where you are.
What are you aware of?
The awareness of looking?
Awareness itself.
Awareness aware of light, breeze, existence, all senses, and much more.
Pure Presence.
Being fully alive.
Being All.
All Perfect.
Playing in the phenomenon.

A Dialogue

Q: When you feel yourself being dragged into your mind, especially when in conflict with another how do you stay in the heart?

A: You are heart. If we comprehend this truth the search is over. The habit of identifying a mind/body is exceptionally strong so the thought process appears to come first.
Conflict with another is always pushing the conflict button in ourselves.
What it is pressing is the construct of self image, both conscious and suppressed.
The suppressed memory of past torment, confusion, rage and guilt come to the surface.
Without awareness of being self one might attack and blame the other, with awareness one can step aside and allow presence to meet and melt the conflict.

Q: What is the benefit of a teacher in advaita if all is self?

A: If one can see what is blocking self in the moment then clarity is present.
Often one is in a holding position that locks one into knowing self but not being it. In satsang one has the taste of no mind, this loosens the construct of ones held identity and allows the process of facing ancient murky emotions to surface and be faced. You could say that it is the process of excavation that catapults one to the heights of nothingness.

Extract from Interview by Jeff Gitterman (see website for complete version)

J- Can you explain what you call reality, it has such a dual meaning to most.

S- Reality is like a still lake, clear, calm, open, all encompassing, loving, peaceful.

J- Could you call that God?

S- Yes

J- So the reality that we see out there is just like ripples on the ultimate reality.

S- it’s like what we think is reality but when we delve into it we see it’s a relative reality and that it constantly changes. We are putting attention on the ripples on the lake trying to resolve situations so the lake goes back to still. Like rowing to get through the situation to get to the other side but the boat just causes more ripples. Rather than stopping to get to the clarity that lies underneath. The ripples become concrete and they are ancient and the guilt and the shame that’s been built into it is so solid we don’t even know what the cause is, we just know that it is thick and deep and feels unchangeable. So we look out there trying to find glimpses of happiness instead of turning and looking at that which is painful which we believe to be us.

So life becomes a pattern of trying to deny that which we truly consider ourselves to be.
We’re trying to say we are loving by creating some illusion out there that looks like love and yet avoiding all the numbing feelings that are held inside.

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Page last updated: 10-Jul-2012