-The mind can have an extremely strong reaction to that which it cannot understand. And that those reactions, such as fear, do not mean for an instant that we are not the Vastness.
-(about Susanne) She wanted her life to convey that everything is here in this Vastness, nothing is excluded, and that everything is as it is...that's her core message.
-There is no end point in all this. We are talking about the Vastness. It is very large. It continues to show Itself and show Itself.
-I call it only the "naturally occurring human state," because this is who everyone is. The most obvious thing to this view of the Vastness is that it is who everyone is. And so to call IT something like "enlightenment" or "awakening"...well, maybe. The Infinite does become something that is forefront in the awareness, so I guess you could call it a "waking up" to That. But it is not like you become something else once you see That. It is who you are. It is always who you have been. So, it is the seeing of what you have always been.
-The recognition doesn't change who you really are, ever. You have always been That. And yes, there is a way that the Vastness Itself can perceive Itself so directly, without any fogging or shading or taking anything else to be who you are. I guess you could call it a waking up, but what seems most important to convey is that this is who everyone is all the time, whether the direct awareness of it is there or not.
-These "doing" questions are the ones that I have wanted to address the most, particularly in this Western culture which is so strongly based on doing in order to accomplish something. From the point of view of the Vastness, doing something is slightly absurd. First of all, who would be doing the doing? And secondly, That which is doing has always been doing, and will spontaneously continue to do. The only answer the Vastness has been able to come up with in terms of anything resembling an answer to this question would be to see things for what they are.
-Seeing things for what they are means purely that. The Vastness that we all are is like an ocean that exists in relation to everything--as the Infinite noticing of everything being just what it is--Itself included. It sees thoughts for thoughts and feelings for feelings and sensations for sensations. There is never a desire or request that anything be anything but what it is. The Vastness knows that everything is there just as it is, so the desire for something to go away, or be something different doesn't occur.
Let me get real specific in terms of what we were talking about. A few minutes before we started taping, we spoke about the "I" construct that passes itself off as who you are, as your reference point. From the view of the Infinite, of the Vastness, that construct is seen for what it is--a construct, an idea. And an idea can only be what it is; it can only be an idea. When an idea is seen for what it is, there is a way that it empties itself of what it appeared to be full of--some defining determinant of who you are. And when the perception is emptied and seen as what it is--just a concept, a construct, an idea--it ceases to act as any sort of compelling screening of this Infinite Presence which you actually are. This seeing things for what they are is occurring all the time. That's another thing that doesn't just start at some point.
-Something happens. It seems like most of this occurs within the mind. In the Western culture, which I am most familiar with, the mind is trained to adopt a personal construct as the reference point. It just believes that there is a personal doer. It's made to believe that you have to "make something of yourself." The Western mind believes that you have to be a certain way and you have to figure out how your life is going to go in order for it to be successful, in order for it to happen the way you want it to.
Everything that you hear in the culture, in Western psychology in particular, is all based on the assumption that there is a personal doer that has to be the best one it could possibly be. So there is all this work that is brought to bear on it. It is like the work on the mind that is asked to happen within the mind. The mind has to go in and look at itself and try to see how it needs to be changed around, how the furniture needs to be moved around in the house of itself.
-The view of the eyes of the Vastness is hard to describe as it is brought to bear on anything because it isn't perceived through the mind. And it isn't perceived through the perceptual apparatus of the circuitry. The view of the Vastness, the eyes of the Vastness, exist within the Vastness Itself. It has its own sense organ that permeates it and exists at every point in it that is always seeing things for being what they are and seeing Itself for what it is.
And yet, it does seem that what happened when I was standing at that bus stop included the mind, and its circuitry became a participating portion of that sense organ of the Vastness. It's like the mind and circuitry joined into the sphere of the Vastness. Another way to describe this is that the way the mind and circuitry are always permeated with the sense organ of the Vastness must have come foreground and then that took over as the main perceptual stance or position, a position of placeless origin.
-Seeing something for what it is implies seeing with the eyes of the Vastness.
-Question: How does one shift from seeing through the personal eyes to seeing through the eyes of the Vastness?
SUZANNE: Your question is contrary to how the Vastness actually exists, which is that it is always perceiving things for what they are from within Itself. The implication that one should figure out what to do in order to see with the eyes of the Vastness implies that that isn't already constantly occurring, and you have to do something to connect with that. I have always hesitated to say, "do this or do that." I say only "see with the eyes of the Vastness," which is already happening, because this leaves the mind confounded about what to do.
-The mind needs to recognize that it doesn't know. The mind needs to see that there is nothing for it to do. It is not the doer and it doesn't have to find the correct position. It's like, That which has been happening all the time and which has always been the doer, finally shows Itself to Itself for what it is.
-That showing Itself to Itself just happens. It just happens and it is always happening. There is this wave of constancy of the Vastness perceiving Itself that is always going on and the mind can say, "How am I going to do that? How am I going to perceive that? How am I going to perceive that wave of perception that is always perceiving itself? How am I going to connect with it? What can I do in order to see with those eyes that are seeing all the time?" All of those questions are just thoughts in the mind. In seeing things for what they are, the Vastness is doing the very thing that the mind tries to figure out how to do.
-If I gave a practice, it would be colluding with that same construct that passes itself off as the doer.
-Spiritual practices imply that something has to be done in order to become the Vastness or in order to see that the Vastness has always been the doer. That is part of what I think this life of Suzanne has just been arranged to convey--that this is always who everyone is, nothing changes. This is always who the doer has been. It is seeing itself all the time, in every moment.
-The truth of this life is interested in showing everyone that things are what they are and that is the relieving of suffering. You don't have to make something look different in the world in order for suffering to be relieved. It is that which everyone is, seeing everything for what it is, that makes it impossible for anything to be seen as suffering. It is simply and completely what it is; it is going on all the time.
-The mind has a very strong reaction to this which it can't grasp, and which is basically structured in a mystery that is so completely confounding.
-The mind exists within the Vastness, so how could the mind comprehend it?
-You know that you don't know and you know that the Vastness is experiencing Itself. These two experiences are going on simultaneously, seeing the construct of the "I," the personal reference point, and seeing that it is empty of what it was taken to be full of. Simultaneity is very much the experience of the Vastness perceiving Itself, by the way, because that is what is always occurring.
-There is the arising of appearances, which actually do appear, and there is also the recognition that there is nothing really there. The emptiness I am is what they are made of.
-"How am I going to get anything done when there is no one here to do it?" "If there is no one here to do, how is anything going to get accomplished?" Then it became so clear that that which had always been doing had always been taking care of everything. So, nothing really changed.
-The real doer is so unimaginable, so completely mysterious. Everything that has been calculated as the next thing to happen is calculated in that mystery. If it waited for the mind to figure out what the next thing to do was, then, well, I don't think we would have what is naturally occurring as the planet and its seasons.
If everything waited for the mind, do you think that we would have all these trees and sky and planets and stars and human bodies? It would really be a bummer if it waited for the mind to imagine it, in order for it to be there. So, doing and accomplishing continues as before, and as a matter of fact, is even more fully accomplished, even more fully doing. There is not ever a screen or a question of how things are going to happen; they just happen.
-Question: Is it true that relationships are always serving that non-personal desire of the Vastness to know Itself?
SUZANNE: Yes. Just as it is true that there has never been a personal doer, that has always been true.
-I see this as always occurring, that no one changes when what is, is seen to be what it is. I also think that meditation is fine, but who is it that would stop the mind? And, stopping the mind is something that is not required, because the Vastness doesn't use the mind to perceive itself. Also, the "I" that would be brought to bear to try to make the mind stop doesn't really exist. If it is obvious to meditate, then that is what you are going to be doing.
If it is obvious to not do that, then it is obvious to not do that. Again, I see how trustworthy the Vastness is, and it shows Itself in this obviousness all the time. You don't need any reasons for living by what is obvious. This is just what you do. You meditate, you don't meditate.
-That everything is there too, and it is what it is. This means that looking for life to be a certain way comes completely out of the mind and its ideas of how things are supposed to be.
-The fear didn't change the recognition that there was no personal reference point.
-The mind is not the central doer. The mind isn't needed for what it previously thought it was necessary for. I think that is the most important thing that this life is conveying. There has never been a personal doer. The seeing that there is no personal doer is not when it starts that there is no personal doer. This gets into something that I actually want to convey. This is the kind of thing you want to mention, that seeing everything is being done by a non-personal doer is not the same as nothing being done. The obvious will still always be showing itself. It is really ultimately unavoidable to live by the obvious because it is always showing itself.
Susanne Segal (1955 -1997)