Kenneth Madden

A Veil

A friend recently said to me during a conversation about so called teachers and Non- Duality that the important thing is not the teaching or the teacher but that the veil on the individuals perception is lifted.
My friend “You” are the Veil and any effort to lift it is equivalent to trying to lift yourself off the ground by pulling on your ankles. The vast majority of teachings are telling you to pull harder! They speak to a separate self who can do something and are therefore teachings of imprisonment. You don’t need anybody to teach you anything. You are always home.


That is true, there is nothing we can do. As Ramana Maharshi said, we can only look into the “I”…who am I, which really isn’t a doing, but just being aware of what is.

Cease doing and see what is…you are always home.

12:15 am March 6, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

Good old Ramana- But who will look into the “I” and who is it that is aware of what is? Who is it that is going to cease doing? Thanks for the comment Eric.

9:33 pm March 6, 2009 | Link
Frank Again said:

Question for you. There is an understanding now of the no ME as thought tries to find ME and can’t. And perhaps there is now a certain amount of vacancy and this doesn’t feel like its good or its bad…perhaps a little freer or in a brand new place and not able to speak the language to look for directions. labelling is happening less…But does that matter at all ?..The re-occuring thought comes back of ME. AND MY future and whatever and dred thats inside. AND How do I admit that there isn’t an I there to admit anything. Perhaps I want fireworks or an experience to admit what already is. Is it like someone said ‘a chief of police trying to find an arsonist when the chief of police is the arsonist.. OR should I just put no faith in anything that begins with I…
Rambling…But sure what are blogs for?

7:05 pm March 9, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

There can be an understanding but liberation has nothing to do with knowing or understanding. As far as I’m concerned these are just other forms of measuring. They are not prerequisite to liberation. It has nothing to do with admitting or not admitting- who is there to admit anything?
Regarding fireworks, well the mind expects fireworks or something special and by doing so rejects what’s happening. the surprising thing here was the absolute ordinariness of it. It like a “Wow, it’s just this, and it always has been.”
Regarding things that begin with “I”- Dualistic Language is simply a symptom of separation from the whole. Not using “I” or other language that seems dualistic will not address this root cause (words are only pointing anyway and are therefor never what they point at).
Now I’m rambling but I’m trying to address all of your points. The final thing that comes to mind is to say that every person (mind body organism) is absolutely unique. Everything that is apparently happening to Frank is the perfect invitation to see that there is only Being/Oneness. So for instance if the mind is labelling things less as you put it, then that is a perfect expression of Being and if the mind is labelling more then that’s the perfect expression of Being. If the thought arises “F*** this Non Duality Bullshit” then that is also it. It is NOT some peaceful place where the mind is calm and serene and no labelling happens. The mind’s idea of what Liberation is like is a million miles away. It hides by being everything, that’s what makes it difficult, it’s simply this, now. Blood pumping around the body, sounds, words being read. The dream is that we feel that it’s my blood, my body, me reading these words…
Thanks Frank, keep in touch.

11:24 pm March 9, 2009 | Link
Frank Again said:

Just read a book saying – understanding there is a NO ME is key. It’s funny.
There are so many Advaita teachers. There are websites with ranked lists of spiritual teachers that read like a veritable chart of rock stars that illuminate the spiritual stage. They rock & they roll out their pointers.. and and of course they are only pointers. Because how could a system of communicating that has only 5 vowel sounds express infinity… words cannot express it (pity :-) – but then if it did I would probably be saying that this is great BUT..blah blah….). If nothing else the slate of beliefs that I had have been cleaned (33 old in ireland there is plenty to clean & plenty to drop :-) ). And I am left open or you might say there is openess. The bridge between liberation and here doesn’t exist from the liberated side because I am already on the other side though I don’t get that… Sometimes the thought THIS.. JUST THIS IS ENOUGH ..Of course I instantly claim this thought as my thought…… And you say, I’d bet – THIS IS JUST WHATS HAPPENING..ALL OF THAT IS IT… YOU ARE THAT..
In the end it seems to me that like you said ‘Everything that is apparently happening to Frank is the perfect invitation to see that there is only Being/Oneness’…ie I read that as that in the end this road I must walk alone. I can ask for directions along the way and follow the signs that are given……And perhaps I will somehow arrive at this destination and realise that there was no destination, there was no me walking anywhere at all, that walking was happening but there was and never has been a me doing the walking…there is just this and nothing more.. or not.. 2 more questions for you….!! Is it definitely definitely correct to say: That there is definintely NOTHING I can do. AND that liberation has nothing absolutely nothing to do with ME. AND There is nothing that enthusiastic Frank can do.. And he should just sit back and relax and whatever happens will happen and if it does it will happen to no-one.
Another question: Is the answer to “How do you know when you know?” ‘YOU can never know it’ or ‘when you don’t need to ask the question’.
Thanks – You did say Keep in touch :-)

5:49 pm March 10, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

I did indeed. Well the first thing is that in my opinion there are NO Advaita teachers. The meaning of Adviata cannot be thought and cannot be known. It is an explosion out of the contracted sense of being an individual person to see that there is only wholeness, only Unconditional Love. Most of what I see under the Non- duality or adviata heading is total bullshit. I often hear that someone is non-dual in their teaching or that they are occupying a non- dual space!! Very quickly it can be seen that they are speaking to a separate individual. What Advaita points to from this perspective is a sharing not a teaching and if there is anything whatsoever on offer then it’s a teaching of ignorance.

The pathless path (re what you said about destination)- the Zen concept of having to travel a spiritual path to realise there is no path and never was- well that’s just more of the same as far as I’m concerned. It simply re-enforces the idea that you can do something and therefore that you exist as a separate individual. I remember when meditation (apparently) happened here, there was a discomfort at having seen that This is what I was searching for and that This was timeless, with a practice that searched for that timelessness in time. For example, meditate everyday for two hours and you will get there (there being a timeless place of realization).

Re your two last questions it is not correct to say there is nothing you can do or that Frank should sit back and relax (i.e. that Frank should do nothing). THERE IS NO FRANK to do or not do anything. This is the most common misinterpretation of this message. If I was to say that there is nothing YOU can do I would simply be saying that you are a separate individual and that there is nothing that separate individual can do. The difference is immeasurable.
Liberation is living in the unknowing- as Tony Parsons puts it. It is seen that life is unknowable as it is immediately this. There is no longer a person there to know that there is or isn’t liberation- there is simply life full on. In total freefall, with no filter on it (YOU are the filter). It is not an experience as we think of experiences to the individual. It is concerned with loss, a ‘total poverty’ to borrow another Tony Parsons term and in that poverty arises complete ‘Priceless abundance’.
The difference between life full on and life happening to me is immeasurable and indescribable. It is impossible to see it from the point of view of a false centre (a separate individual).
Thanks again Frank.

7:34 pm March 10, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

Unconditional Love Franking, Unconditional love Kennething… It’s the same thing. Being. This communication is from Nothing to Nothing- there is NO separation whatsoever and never has been.
Unconditional love/Being/Oneness- and these are simply words that point to what is already totally known.

12:45 am March 11, 2009 | Link
Frank Again said:

Hi Thanks lots for the comments. There does appear to be though a knowing in you though …where you can use words like unconditional love. What is love? If those words came out of me..they would not be the truth. They would be someone elses words that i have taken on and considered them to be me/mine. I am at the point where rightfully nothing really has a meaning unless i take something from the past and place it upon it and say thats what that is…. . a confusion nearly with everything. Though the thought arises who is confused…and where the fxxk does that leave total insanity. knowing nothing…being nothing…which i have read is not a bad place to be..and which i don’t care about the fear of being there…The longing is here though…to know the truth….to not just accept the words but to know it or feel it or be it………I met this guy recently who something had happened so him and he had absolutely no interest in all of this..He said that it is so utterly familiar that it is missed..He banged the table in front of me and said.. you look at this table and think its real..but I can assure you with 100% certainty that it is an illusion. So there is a knowing there of some description.. Those words could come out of this mouth..but they would be lies….So being a big greedy individual – i want alas to talk with that certainty..
Was reading clarity again by nathan gill last night…and that makes me laugh in a good way..what he says about this being a play…even if i don’t know it to be true..i like the thought of it..takes the seriousness away for a while…

2:16 pm March 11, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

Like your friend, I had no interest in all of this. It was seen whilst on a mediation course which i thought I went on to relax or de-stress. I had no understanding of awakening, no expectations no hopes, i was just there to see what happened. Of course, after it happened (Although it’s not a happening), I then thought I could re-create this seeing or get it back. It was like being punched into the face or being hit with a bus, there is no mistaking it. Like I mentioned earlier the mind tried to claim it but there was also a clear seeing that there was fundamental ignorance in searching for it on a spiritual path as what I had seen was timeless and was also totally ordinary. So I sifted through the myriad spiritual teachings and philosophies on offer for quite sometime and also thought that I was practicing meditation. Although it was obvious to me that walking to work and mediating were the same thing- that everything was mediation or there was no mediation if you like.

Tony Parsons was the first person I heard after hundreds of books, satsangs (God bless You tube) and other things ‘spiritual’, telling it like it was. It was immediately clear to me (after some anger arose) that I had fallen away at that mediation retreat, that it was a loss of “Me” and that I had come back and searched for it.

In that interim period (although there is no interim) I also thought I had completely lost it and there was a whole roller coaster of experiences from bliss to agony. So I can very much relate to what you say. The perception could never go back to what it had been before yet the hunger for what was glimpsed would only grow stronger.

I would just like to say that there is nothing known here that isn’t know there (with you). So I do not know the meaning of unconditional love. If I did that would mean there was a Me here to know it. These words are used to try to point to something that can’t be spoken but they are not “my” words in the way that you think. There is no truth Frank. There is nothing to find or discover. Truth is a contextual concept that can only exist in the apparent relation of separate individuals. There doesn’t need to be a truth or a meaning to life. Life is it’s OWN MEANING. In a way the answer is that there is no answer and doesn’t need to be.

So the mind perceives that I know unconditional love and that you too can know it- that is not the case. You ARE unconditional love appearing as Frank looking for the meaning of unconditional love. That is whats looked for- exactly what is happening, not some future state of absolute clarity and knowing. This is about living in unknowing or a Socrates said “I know that I don’t know”.

What I would say about your friends comment that the table is 100% illusion- I can only say that objects are both there and not there. Here it is not how the mind perceives an illusion to be. It is both real and not real. Scientists have more or less come to this conclusion also from what I have been reading.

Then last thing I would say is that you are right not to accept what anyone says (Including me)- for you would then be simply taking on some concept. But equally see that what’s looked for has nothing to do with knowledge or understanding. It is completely beyond the mind as the mind (which is simply thoughts linked together) arises in it. It is ordinary, simple Being. The thing that has watched every experience you have ever had (although you have never had an experience- you are the experience)- the very awareness of these words… What’s looked for is what’s happening right now, This.

The wisdom of seeing that you a No-thing is inevitably followed by absolute love seeing you are everything. A mystery. A return to child like wonder.

4:29 pm March 11, 2009 | Link
Frank Again said:

Thanks for your nice & caring words. the BUT BUT keeps arising..though i don’t care about the but i do care…How many times do i need to hear i wonder – Whats looked for is whats happening right now before i get it…where you reply there is no you that can ever get it..there never was anything more than this…deal with it :-) … I love that episode of the simpsons of where someone puts a sticker on the back of Homers head and he keeps on turning his head around and around and around to try to see it to the point that he lies down on the ground and tries to move his body in a big circle to see whats on the back of his head – it goes on for ages…. ..sure i could talk about this forever. Thanks for taking the time :-)

7:27 pm March 11, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

and the But will arise until it doesn’t. When it is heard it is seen that everything is heard for the first time, everything is seen for the first time, everything is touched and tasted for the first time because everything is new. New and boundless.
So so ordinary.
Great to dialogue with you (me). It’s really a monologue you see.
Take Care

7:59 pm March 11, 2009 | Link
Frank Again said:

Thanks… If you are ever in Dublin or headin up you might pop me an email

8:35 pm March 11, 2009 | Link

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