Authors: Richard Bates
Tags: #Practical investigation of our true nature
THE WOLRD IS MY MIRROR
First edition published September 2012 by
© Richard Bates 2012
© Non-Duality Press 2012
Illustration (p. iv) by Edward Ballard
Richard Bates has asserted his right under the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988,
to be identified as author of this work.
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized
in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
without prior permission in writing from the Publisher.
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This book has appeared because I crossed paths with one very special person.
Many people who write about the unfathomable and mysterious phenomenon we call life or existence seem to have had a number of years reading spiritual books and quite a few trips to exotic places to hear the words of the enlightened. For me, there was none of this.
I was a tough-minded individual that was just plain anxious and unhappy. I knew what I knew, and that was that.
Lynn ‘Foxy’, you were my guru who I never even searched for. You appeared when it was time for you to appear and to kick-start a journey I never knew I needed.
Your cosmic energy and aliveness broke through the toughest skin of any human.
This book is dedicated to you, Lynn.
To furrowed frown
I’ll choose my move
I’ll usurp your crown
All is set
Let the games commence
Check the rules
And make it tense
The appearance of heat
The first glimpse of fire
Look at me now
Let our faces retire
Touch my hand
Let’s embrace our demise
The flames of collapse
Enlighten the wise
The ash of destruction
It’s over too soon
The tick of a clock
A finger to the moon
Awaken my friend
It’s all been a game
It’s fun to get caught
But it ends all the same
Here we are, you and I, sitting in a little country pub somewhere in the thick of winter, by the inglenook fireplace. We are watching the flames licking up the chimney as we see the snow flurries out of the window. Dusk approaches. There’s the satisfying comfort that I have booked an overnight stay and the barman goes to bed only when I have downed my last pint of real ale, brewed locally and tasting like nectar. We contemplate how far we have come in this crazy life and where it is all leading to. We relax back in our red leather armchairs, pick at our snack of strong cheese and fresh crusty bread, whilst we just talk and ponder. Come and join me in the pages of this book.
So what is this book all about? Does the world really need another book about non-duality? What can this one say that other books cannot?
What follows is an ordinary bloke’s description of this amazing, unfathomable thing called Wholeness, oneness, and liberation. I want to convey that liberation is not somewhere else and at some other time. It is here in the everyday life that is totally fresh and totally new. I have not referred to many teachers and have not placed poems or aphorisms at the beginning of every chapter.
To anyone flicking through this to see what all the fuss is about and with no real interest, I apologise. Prior to 2008, I would have been with you and put the book down again. I have no answer why this gripped me at the time it did. All I know is it just happens, like the heart beating and the food digesting. It seems life can be confused and life can be clear. But I will say this: there is an energy here that is totally ruthless and will stop at nothing until it finds. This unseen leviathan makes infinity look small. The frustration is that if you find yourself seeking and discover this kind of message it can drive you nuts because what you think you are seeking for will not succumb to pressure. I cannot give you what you seek because you do not have anything more or less than I do. Seeking and not finding, believe it or not, is not so bad. When not finding is finding, where do you go and where have you been? What follows is the best I can do, now.
You will have to see for yourself what this is about. You have to taste the food before you leave the restaurant; if you eat the menu it’s a bit cardboardy and stale. What I try to do is to use what we have to hand, to explore experience—not to eliminate it.
The message of this book is that what appears to happen, does not. To see this may require investigation on a grand scale. Use the mind and take it to its limits. If you feel like a doer, then ‘do’. You do not need to listen to those teachings which go for the jugular and say there is no you that can neither do or not do. I am not saying that it’s an incorrect formulation—it is not. The thing is when ‘you’ can say that, knowing it comes from a place you never thought existed, your disappearance will be your everything. The teachings and the teachers are like a boat that carries you across the river; they are left for someone else to use going another way. I wonder if that could be called compassion?
I suggested that you ‘use the mind’ and the mind is an awesome piece of kit, but it can take on too much too easily. Asking it to contemplate consciousness, awareness or no-thingness will cause it to malfunction. The mind’s a very practical fellow and can come up with some useful strategies to keep this body functioning and life happening: it adapts in milliseconds, not millennia. Take, for example, the ability to recognise a familiar face among crowds of thousand: quite a feat if you bear in mind faces do not differ in the same way a tree differs from a sausage.
So the mind deserves respect. It does its job admirably. It creates colour, sound and furnishes a world for you with interesting things to entertain and excite you. But why not respect its limits? Give it some space now and again and allow it to rest. I promise it will thank you.
The mind is a label slapper: drawing lines and making things appear to be solid and unchanging. It loves to predict and to know. This is a survival strategy that has great benefit to this sophisticated tube that puts things in one end and expels from the other. The mind and body function perfectly in the environment that created them.
The mind is also soaked in ignorance and bravado that renders it necessary to create what is actually nonexistent. I am thinking of an independent self or person residing in the body somewhere, owning the body and calling it ‘mine’. It then becomes seduced by its own creation—the narcissist of narcissists, if you like.
In a way, it has not made a mistake, this is what comes with the territory. It is useful to tell a lie and know someone else cannot read your thoughts. The trouble is that self creates the notion of non-self and so a world out there gets created by default. There is no escaping it.
It can feel mighty uncomfortable, though, to be pushed around by people you perceive as ‘other’ in a huge, ancient pre-existing universe. You feel a temporary part, a visitor on an alien planet. Life becomes serious business.