Excerpts About Suchness

In simple terms, to experience ourselves as Being is to experience our existence as such, to experience our own Presence, our own “suchness” directly. It is the simplest, most obvious, most taken-for-granted perception that we exist. But this existence is usually inferred, mediated through mind, as in Descartes’s “Cogito ergo sum” – “I think, therefore I am.” Existence is background, not foreground, for our ordinary experience. To penetrate into this background, to question our assumptions about reality and ourselves, allows us to encounter directly the immense mystery of the arising of our consciousness and of the world.
The Point of Existence, p. 19   •  discuss »
It is Suchness, pure Suchness. We cannot say anything about it. We cannot say it is self, we cannot say it is not self, we cannot say it is God, we cannot say it is the universe, we cannot say it is a person, we cannot say it is not a person; the moment we say anything, we are within mind. If we use any concept here, even the concept of purity, simplicity, or whatever else, we are within the mind, and we are blocking that which cannot be named.
The Point of Existence, p. 412   •  discuss »

Suchness: This way of speaking of our existence is unusual in the modern way of thought. Presence and Being seem to be philosophers’ concepts, concepts perhaps used in the same way that theistic traditions speak of God. what is Being? How can we use this concept to describe a very personal, yet universally available, experience? We do not need to solve the philosophical conundrums of the ages definitively in order to say what we mean: In simple terms, to experience ourselves as Being is to experience our existence as such, to experience our own presence, our own “suchness” directly. It is the simplest, most obvious, most taken-for-granted perception that we exist. But this existence is usually inferred, mediated through mind, as in Descartes’s “Cogito ergo sum”—“I think, therefore I am.” Existence is background, not foreground, for our ordinary experience. To penetrate into this background, to question our assumptions about reality and ourselves, allows us to encounter directly the immense mystery of the arising of our consciousness and of the world. When viewed from the perspective of the ordinary experience of the self, the direct awareness of oneself as Being is a very mysterious category of experience. However, for the self-realized individual, it is an ordinary, common experience. In time it becomes the everyday experience of simply being ourselves. Being, here, is not a philosophical notion; it is the concrete experience and recognition of ourselves, before any mediation, conceptualization or labeling.


The Point of Existence, p. 19   •  discuss »

There is oneness in the non-conceptual dimension, in the sense that we do not perceive the forms of manifestation as separate and discrete. Yet, we do not experience oneness, we do not feel that everything is one. It is not that we feel everything is not one, but rather that we do not experience one and do not experience not one. There is no one and no many in non-conceptual awareness. There is just the suchness of things, or more accurately, it is thus. Reality as such is neither a oneness nor a multiplicity, but an indivisible truth that we experience without thinking it is an indivisible truth. The experience of unity and oneness is simply the contrast to that of separateness and multiplicity. In reality, there is no such thing as unity or oneness, for Reality is beyond any such categories. It is what it is, before any knowing and commentary.


Inner Journey Home, p. 338   •  discuss »

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