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About Tim Freke



Tim Freke is an internationally respected authority on world spirituality and the bestselling author of more than 20 books, which have been translated into 15 languages. He is pioneering a new philosophy of awakening that has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.  Google Books

References: Encyclopaedia Britannica | Biography.com | Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy

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Quotes by Tim Freke

Tim Freke (quotes)

  • Why not dare to be fully human?
  • When death calls, people wake up.
  • The dreamer is one with the dream.
  • All is one . . . and I am that oneness.
  • My deepest being is the oneness of being.
  • You are different from me and yet we are one.
  • I am the supreme being, conscious through ‘Tim’
  • The ego is our sense of being an individual ‘I’.
  • I am the oneness of being arising as all beings.
  • Awareness is an emptiness that contains the world.
  • Wake up to oneness and celebrate your separateness.
  • The world is arising within awareness like a dream.
  • Spiritual awakening is not about denying our humanity.
  • Your essential being does not exist in time and space.
  • Consciousness can only be transformed person by person.
  • God is the oneness of being that is arising as all beings.
  • The one life-dreamer is meeting itself in different forms.
  • You are not the character in the dream. You are awareness.
  • Socrates claimed that death is remembering, not forgetting.
  • In the dreaming state, I believe that I’m my dream persona.
  • I am the primal oneness of awareness, conscious through Tim.
  • The universe is the singularity evolving into complex forms.
  • Awareness is a spacious presence that is nowhere and everywhere.
  • Simply be in the moment, don’t think about the past or the future.
  • The multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind.
  • The more conscious we are, the more freedom of choice we experience.
  • All we actually know for sure is what we are experiencing right now.
  • Your experience of this moment is all you can be absolutely sure of.
  • My individual sense of being is one with the primal ground of being.
  • Your experience of this moment is all you can be absolutely sure of.
  • Everything is a thought within one ‘big mind’ as the Zen masters say.
  • ‘I am’ is one of the great names of God in many spiritual traditions.
  • I am spacious awareness within which my experience of life is arising.
  • The real you is the dreamer. And this whole dream-world exists in you.
  • On the surface of life I appear to be Tim, but at the depths I am God.
  • Human beings given hope by meaning can face the inevitability of death.
  • I am spacious awareness within which my experience of life is arising.
  • At the depths of my identity I am awareness witnessing Tim’s adventures.
  • I am spacious awareness within which my experience of life is arising.  
  • I am the universal field of being, individualized as a particular being.
  • You and I are experiencing different perspectives on the same life-dream.
  • Everything I see, hear and touch is a sensation arising within awareness.
  • We must become conscious of the oneness of being through the separateness.
  • I am the unconscious field of awareness individualized as a particular ‘I’.
  • We must become conscious of the oneness of being through the separateness.
  • Awareness is the primal ground from which everything is arising like a dream.
  • I am the oneness of awareness ‘dreaming’ itself to be a particular individual.
  • Awareness isn’t within my experience, since my experience is within awareness.
  • We can’t only be conscious of oneness, but we can also be conscious of oneness.
  • Awareness isn’t within my experience. My experience is arising within awareness.
  • We are free in this moment to do innumerable things. Our freedom is overwhelming.
  • Awareness isn’t within my experience. My experience is arising within awareness. 
  • The past and future exist as memory and possibility. The perpetual now is what is.
  • I am awareness witnessing an ever-changing flow of experiences that I call ‘life’.
  • Love is the experience of communing as one, which can only arise because we are two.
  • Enjoy the dream. And help everyone else to enjoy it as well, because we are all you.
  • Everything will naturally unfold as it must. There’s no Tim to do anything about it.
  • Can you get that? As awareness we are one, but what we are experiencing is different.
  • I am a spacious emptiness within which all of my experiences are arising like a dream.
  • Waking up to the oneness of your essential identity doesn’t negate your individuality.
  • I don’t think that we want to be one with all; we want to be consciously one with all.
  • Polarity structures the way we think, and the way we think defines what we experience.
  • If everything has come from the singularity, essentially everything is the singularity.
  • All mystical practices are designed to dispel this pernicious illusion of separateness.
  • The mystery of existence can never be explained away. Life is always more than we think.
  • God is the existence of of all that is, and also the nothing from which all things arise.
  • When we become conscious of the deep mystery, the mystery experience spontaneously arises.
  • Love is always an experience of communing as one through the separateness that divides us.
  • Separateness is absolutely necessary, because without it, we wouldn’t be conscious at all.
  • Everything you are aware of exists within awareness, otherwise you wouldn’t be aware of it!
  • The deep I is a permanent presence witnessing the ever-changing dramas of my personal self.
  • You are awareness witnessing a stream of experiences within which you appear to be a person.
  • Oneness is essentially real. Separateness is apparently real. That’s the paradoxity of life.
  • You are awareness witnessing a stream of experiences within which you appear to be a person.
  • How can your essential nature as awareness be separate from my essential nature as awareness?
  • The separate self is seen as an obstacle to our awakening and is often referred to as the ego.
  • You and I are the singularity looking at itself… thinking about itself… confused about itself.
  • To be a lover of life is to be a heroic lover on a sacred quest to become an embodiment of love.
  • The ego is a character in the dream of life around which the life-dreamer weaves a cracking tale.
  • Is the ‘I’ your mind? The mind is something you are experiencing. It isn’t the experiencer. 
  • Awareness is one with the flow of appearances, just as space is one with the objects it contains.
  • As a person, you exist within the life-dream. As awareness, the life-dream is arising within you.
  • There is no little man inside my head who is choosing to say this or do that. There is no ‘doer’.
  • I am the field of awareness presencing a particular flow of experience that is arising right now.
  • The delights of this world are so rich and various that it seems criminal not to appreciate them.
  • Dissolve into the deep mystery. Be one with the deep mystery. Be in love with the deep mystery. 
  • Knowing my essential self is knowing the knower. It is recognizing my deeper identity as awareness.
  • This is because the ‘I’ is not the body or mind. The ‘I’ is awareness witnessing the body and mind.
  • Essentially we are all the oneness of being. But right now I am also the mystery manifesting as Tim.
  • My essential nature is unconsciously dreaming the life-dream . . . but Tim can consciously shape it.
  • When we’re conscious of the oneness of being, we fall in love with all beings. We simply love being.
  • This is because the ‘I’ is not the body or mind. The ‘I’ is awareness witnessing the body and mind. 
  • Surely the goal of spirituality is to be conscious of both separateness and oneness at the same time?
  • When we’re conscious of the oneness of being, we fall in love with all beings. We simply love being.
  • Your experience of this moment is not a belief that can be questioned. It is a self-evident certainty.
  • I use the term ‘awareness’ to describe the primal ground from which everything is arising like a dream.
  • The more lucid I am and the more dreamlike life becomes, the more ‘synchronicities’ become commonplace.
  • I see philosophers as storytellers who create narratives to help us understand life with greater depth.
  • You appear to be a body in the world. Now flip it around. You are awareness and the world exists in you.
  • When I used to fight my unconsciousness, it turned the adventure of awakening into a perpetual struggle.
  • I want to both wake up to oneness and passionately engage with my personal life as a separate individual.
  • I’m getting sucked into the dream of Tim and then pulling back my attention to the mystery of the moment.
  • You are continually dreaming up new situations to give yourself the opportunity to become more conscious.
  • Each one of us is a unique expression of the oneness of being. Each one of us is an imperfect human being.
  • For me the wonderful thing about awakening is that it enables me to embrace my human nature just as it is.
  • Life is not what it seems. You are not who you think you are. Life is like a dream and you are the dreamer.
  • Awareness is dreaming itself to be Tim so that it can see itself . . . experience itself . . . know itself.
  • Right now, you are awareness witnessing a stream of experiences. This is your permanent essential identity.
  • Right now I’m awareness witnessing a flow of thoughts and sensations. The appearances are in permanent flux.
  • The dream of separateness is the primal awareness progressing from unconscious oneness to conscious oneness.
  • Awareness isn’t something within your experience. It is an emptiness that contains all you are experiencing.
  • As a body I appear to exist within the world, but essentially I am awareness and the world exists within me.
  • Nothing transforms consciousness so quickly and dramatically than simply communing deeply with another being.
  • The primal ground is unconscious awareness that becomes conscious through the forms it ‘dreams’ itself to be.
  • You are a serial killer. You wake up and find it was a dream. Or a virtual reality. Are you guilty of evil?
  • As a body, I appear to exist within the world, but essentially, I am awareness and the world exists within me.
  • I found myself immersed in oneness, and the separate individual known as ‘Tim’ seemed less and less important.
  • And now we are conscious through separateness, we can also become conscious of the essential oneness of being.
  • Be conscious of being conscious. Be the presence of spacious awareness within which your experience is arising.
  • Awareness can’t be found within the world because it’s the other way around. The world exists within awareness.
  • It seems to me, however, that human beings need meaning as much as they need food and shelter … perhaps more so?
  • When I’m deep awake I find myself in love with both the oneness of being and the exquisite world of appearances.
  • In the oneness of things, there are no separate individuals to do this or that. Everything is one flow of forms.
  • Be conscious of being conscious. Be the presence of spacious awareness within which your experience is arising.
  • If we want to waken, we don’t need to eradicate the ego. We simply need to be conscious of the deep self as well.
  • On a deep level the oneness of awareness is doing everything, just as the dreamer is doing everything in a dream.
  • Consciousness isn’t ‘inside’ the brain. Rather the brain allows the primal field of awareness to become conscious.
  • When a synchronicity happens it’s suddenly obvious there is some secret pattern underlying seemingly random events.
  • Consciousness is a holarchy of states, and I need to experience the lesser in order to sustain the greater states .
  • Pay attention to your state of consciousness, and regularly choose to step out of your story into the deep mystery.
  • The paradoxical secret of enlightenment is to recognize that there is no ‘Tim’ to be enlightened, since all is one.
  • In the dreaming state and the waking state I appear to be a physical body, but essentially I am intangible awareness.
  • Awareness is a continual stillness witnessing all the changes. Awareness is not in time. Awareness is witnessing time.
  • Stop holding back and start to strut your stuff. You’re the star of the show, so put in the performance of a lifetime!
  • Being one with God and being in love with God are paralogically different ways of experiencing the same awakened state.
  • It doesn’t make sense that the process of accumulating experience and wisdom during this lifetime is ultimately futile.
  • In the dreaming state and the waking state, I appear to be a physical body, but essentially, I am intangible awareness.
  • To become conscious of your naked essence you need to peel away all your superficial identities to reveal the deep self.
  • I become conscious of my essential nature as the ‘I’ of awareness, which is witnessing an unfolding flow of experiences.
  • Masculine wisdom is about communing with the impersonal oneness, but feminine wisdom is about loving the personal world.
  • As awareness, time exists in you, because ‘time’ is the ever-changing appearances arising within awareness like a dream.
  • In reality, all was one, because everything was an expression of the primal awareness that was dreaming up the universe.
  • As awareness, time exists in you, because ‘time’ is the ever-changing appearances arising within awareness like a dream.
  • In the dreaming state and the waking state, I appear to be a physical body, but essentially, I am intangible awareness.
  • When the dream of life becomes a nightmare, I can remember that one day I’ll wake up and realize that everything is okay.
  • The task of the philosopher is to create the best story, because culture moves forward through us creating better stories.
  • I can only enter the deep awake state because I’m conscious. And I’m only conscious because I’m experiencing separateness.
  • Subjectively I am the presence of awareness, which is the constant background to all my experiences. This is my naked being.
  • Subjectively I am the presence of awareness, which is the constant background to all my experiences. This is my naked being.
  • In the words of Joseph Campbell, life is ‘one great dream of a single dreamer in which all the dream character is dream too’.
  • Heaven and hell aren’t afterlife rewards for good and bad behaviour, they are states of consciousness we inhabit here and now.
  • There is one awareness imagining itself to be everything and everyone, and meeting itself in all its many different disguises.
  • Soul-revealing drugs offer a radically different perception of reality, in which its dreamlike nature becomes utterly obvious.
  • The recognition of ‘no doer’ is waking me up to oneness. Except that there is no ‘Tim’ to wake up. The waking up is happening.
  • When I know that I’m separate and not-separate from everything and everyone, I find myself in love with everything and everyone.
  • In the waking state, I believe that I’m my waking persona, and I see my dream persona as a figment of my individual imagination.
  • When we’re conscious of ourselves as an individual expression of the primal oneness, it’s an experience of all-encompassing love.
  • I don’t want to be liberated from the story of Tim. I want to be liberated into the story of Tim, so I can really enjoy the ride.
  • If you are life worthy, you can take it. What we are really living for is the experience of life, both the pain and the pleasure.
  • Many spiritual traditions teach that if we want to awaken to our essential divinity we need to suppress our troublesome humanity.
  • If you are life worthy, you can take it. What we are really living for is the experience of life, both the pain and the pleasure.
  • We need to consider a philosophical worldview that makes sense of our spiritual experiences as well as our scientific discoveries.
  • The spiritual challenge is to bear the suffering without closing our hearts. More than this. It’s letting the suffering open us up.
  • It’s taken billions of years of evolution to get us to the place where the field of awareness can make conscious choices through us.
  • Every day we move between the sleeping, dreaming and waking states. Spirituality can help us add the deep awake state to this cycle.
  • If death is dissolving back into the one, like a drop of water returning to the sea, it makes having been the drop seem meaningless.
  • Irrational spirituality has no doubt and is based on a reverence for old ideas. It doesn’t question itself and therefore it is stuck.
  • Things are not what they seem to be, and you’re not who you think you are . . . because life is like a dream and you are the dreamer.
  • Life is both a mystery and a story . . . we are both one and many . . . I am both a character in the life-dream and the life-dreamer.
  • When we finally recognize that we truly know nothing, there is an exhilarating feeling of freedom and an overwhelming sense of wonder.
  • God is the primal being dreaming itself to be all beings. You and I appear to be separate individuals, but essentially we are all God!
  • In a dream you appear to be a dream-persona in a dream-world, but essentially you are awareness and the dream-world exists within you.
  • We are so wrapped up in our opinions about life that we mistake our own make-believe world for reality – just as when we are dreaming.
  • God is the primal being dreaming itself to be all beings. You and I appear to be separate individuals, but essentially, we are all God!
  • Sometimes I become so lost in my dramas that I don’t notice the underlying mystery of existence. And then life starts to go dead on me.
  • No story is the absolute truth, but some stories are clearly better than others, because they give us a deeper understanding of things.
  • States of consciousness are catching, because we resonate together. So when I connect deeply with someone, they often begin to wake up.
  • No story is the absolute truth, but some stories are clearly better than others, because they give us a deeper understanding of things.
  • Philosophical stories aspire to truth … yet no story can be the truth, because no story can explain away the great mystery of existence.
  • God’ is a word for the mysterious life force in everything. And I’m experiencing the reality of that all-embracing life force right now.
  • Philosophical stories aspire to truth … yet no story can be the truth, because no story can explain away the great mystery of existence.
  • But when I see that I have a higher level to my individuality, all of these problems evaporate. Death is not the end of my individuality.
  • All you see and hear and touch and imagine exists within awareness. Your body exists within awareness. The world exists within awareness.
  • Studies show that suppressing your thoughts makes them stronger and more frequent. Think of it this way: The thoughts you resist persist.
  • Light can be seen as both a wave and particles, depending on how you look at it. Physicists call this paradox the ‘wave-particle duality’.
  • If we pay attention to the timeless moment, however, our state of consciousness changes because we come out of the story into the mystery.
  • The Hindu philosophers teach that life is the dream of Brahman. ‘Brahman’ is a name for God, so they’re claiming that life is God’s dream.
  • You may appear to be a body in the world, but essentially you are awareness and the world exists in you – just like when you are dreaming.
  • In the dreaming state and the waking state I appear to be a character in a story, but my deeper identity is awareness witnessing the story.
  • Step out of your story and into the wonder of life. Enter a state of profound not-knowing and immerse yourself in the mystery of the moment.
  • When I’m frightened of the mystery I’m not actually immersed in the mystery at all. Rather, I’m projecting imaginary monsters into the void.
  • It seems as if my being is separate from the being of others, but actually every individual being is intrinsically one with the being of all.
  • I just had this overwhelming sense that Life was enjoying being me – watching the flames, feeling the warmth and the loving glow in my heart.
  • Step out of your story and into the wonder of life. Enter a state of profound not-knowing and immerse yourself in the mystery of the moment. 
  • I’ve already mentioned in passing the paradox that on the surface of life we live in a world of separate things, but at the depths all is one.
  • You need to step out of your mind into the mystery of the moment. Your thoughts won’t stop, but they will fade into your peripheral awareness.
  • You appear to be a separate individual, but essentially your being is one with the great mystery of being, which is manifesting as all beings.
  • I want us to know that we are one, and feel empowered to express our unique individuality by passionately playing our part in the story of life.
  • If you pay close attention to your identity, you will discover your subjective nature as the mysterious ‘I’ of awareness. This is your deep self.
  • When art is rationally dissected, this usually kills it dead, since its role is to take us out of the adult mind and into the poetic imagination.
  • I encourage you to wake up to oneness and feel the limitless love, so you can embrace your vulnerable, tender, ambiguous humanity – just as it is.
  • Spirituality encourages us to pay attention to the elusive subjective perspective. It urges us to ‘look within’ and become conscious of the deep I.
  • To become conscious of the deep mystery we need to enter a profound state of not-knowing. This is the gateway to deep knowing what-is before words.
  • Our separate identity as individuals in the world is the foundation from which we can wake up to our essential identity as the oneness of awareness.
  • She’d seen herself as trying to wake up to ‘God’, which felt like an impossible challenge. Now she felt that ‘God’ was trying to wake up through her.
  • When we know that we are one with everything and everyone, we find ourselves in love with everything and everyone, because love is how oneness feels.
  • This is a dream of awakening. It is designed to make you progressively more conscious, until you’re conscious enough to realise that you’re dreaming.
  • The relationship between the after-death state and the waking state is comparable to the relationship between the waking state and the dreaming state.
  • Our individuality is something to celebrate not denigrate. And that as we awaken to deep love the separate self becomes a vehicle to express that love.
  • Those who have had near-death experiences often report total recall of what has happened in their lives, which they review from a detached perspective.
  • Lucid living isn’t believing the theory that life is like a dream. It is directly experiencing the dream-like nature of reality in this present moment.
  • Once you understand this, you can stop holding back and start to strut your stuff. You’re the star of the show, so put in the performance of a lifetime!
  • We regularly pass from the ground of unconscious awareness, up through the dreaming state, to the waking state . . . and beyond to the deep awake state.
  • The sublime God of the mystics is more than a particular divine being with characteristics and a personality. God is the Oneness that unites everything.
  • It is as if we are mesmerised by our assumptions about life into a semi-conscious trance, which anaesthetises us to the awesome strangeness of existence.
  • Consciousness is hidden within matter. Matter is arising within consciousness. The objective world and the subjective self co-exist and create each other.
  • When I dream lucidly it is clear that awareness isn’t inside the head of the character I appear to be in the dream. The dream is arising within awareness.
  • Human beings have created a mountain of words to explain the nature of reality, but under all the words the mystery of life remains as magnificent as ever.
  • The primal field of unconscious awareness is ‘dreaming’ itself to be many conscious individuals, through which it is coming to know itself and love itself.
  • The oneness of unconscious awareness dreamed the story of life and progressively became more conscious through the evolving forms it imagined itself to be.
  • Perhaps there’s a higher state of consciousness that we wake up to after death, which is predicated on our also entering the life states from time to time?
  • Your apparent identity is distinct from my apparent identity, but is your essential identity as awareness distinct from my essential identity as awareness?
  • Human beings have created a mountain of words to explain the nature of reality, but under all the words the mystery of life remains as magnificent as ever.
  • Lucid living is the simple secret of transforming the life-dream from a nightmare of separateness into the joyous celebration of existence we want it to be.
  • The more I’ve recognized that all is one, the more I’ve fallen in love with this separate individual named ‘Tim’ . . . and his extraordinarily ordinary life.
  • The Hindu philosophers teach that the oneness of being, which they call Brahman, is a primal, formless awareness dreaming itself to be all the forms of life.
  • Without a bullshit detector we’re truly lost. We can end up following channelled wisdom on how to live from disembodied spirits and aliens from the Pleiades.
  • You’re the hero of this great drama, so why not live heroically? Why not be open to the possibilities of all you could be and everything you could experience?
  • Being a lover of life means being open to the present moment as a precious opportunity to experience the richness of life and feel its transformational power.
  • Sometimes the events of my life are so pregnant with symbolic meaning I find myself asking ‘If this were a dream what would this be showing me about myself ?’
  • You’re the hero of this great drama, so why not live heroically? Why not be open to the possibilities of all you could be and everything you could experience?
  • Vilifying the ego as a spiritual enemy doesn’t help us awaken. It merely encourages us to wage an internal civil war against ourselves, which we can only lose.
  • I want to suggest that it is possible to experience an ultra-awake state I call ‘lucid living’, in which you are conscious that life is like a dream right now.
  • When I see beyond my ideas about life, there’s a wonderful feeling of oneness with all that is, since it’s only my concepts that make me see things as separate.
  • All experiences (perceptions, thoughts, emotions, sensations) are arising in and known by the same mind. Like a mind having a trillion separate dreams at one.
  • To be human is necessarily to be imperfect. We all have our flaws and foibles. Everyone who can walk sometimes stumbles. The best musicians still hit bum notes.
  • When we reject the thinking mind we can enter a childlike state in which we too easily believe the most outrageous supernatural claims without reasonable doubt.
  • We need to update our spiritual ideas so that we conceive of awakening as a perpetual process of evolution, rather than an end-driven dash for ultimate salvation.
  • Stop imagining that you are just the physical body you appear to be. Instead, imagine yourself to be a spacious presence within which your experience is arising.
  • When we feel deep love, we can embrace those parts of ourselves that normally seem unlovable. We can allow ourselves to remember the suffering we prefer to forget.
  • We are formless awareness dreaming itself to be many individuals with different experiences in the life-dream. We appear to be separate, but essentially we are one.
  • There is a reality to the separate self and the world of multiplicity, just as much as there is a reality to the oneness of being in which there is no separateness.
  • The aim is not to deny the character. It’s to stop getting lost in it. This allows you to embrace the experience of the movie more. To have fun being the character.
  • The demonizing of the mind makes it harder to awaken. If we believe that to awaken we must try to stop thinking, we become forever engrossed with battling the mind.
  • The mind’s job is to think, like the heart’s job is to beat. It’s constantly trying to piece together a coherent conceptual story to help us live well and stay safe.
  • The aim is not to deny the character. It’s to stop getting lost in it. This allows you to embrace the experience of the movie more. To have fun being the character.
  • In the deep awake state, I realize that I’m the presence of awareness, and I see my waking persona as an expression of the primal imagination, which is one with all.
  • The mind is a great gift, but that it can also cause all sorts of problems if we get carried away by the wrong thoughts. That’s a both/and approach that works for me.
  • In my experience scientific objectivists can display a sort of macho intellectualism, which delights in reducing all that humans most value to just this or just that.
  • Think of the shadow in a more approachable way as simply the ‘unloved self’. The shadow is that part of ourselves that we regard as unlovable, so we seek to repress it.
  • If we could take away the empty space then all the subatomic particles in every one of the seven billion people on our planet would be about the size of a grain of rice.
  • When we realise we are essentially one with everyone and everything, we find ourselves intimately connected to everyone and everything. We experience love without limits.
  • When I don’t experience separateness, I’m in deep sleep. So this means that separateness is not an irrelevant illusion. It’s a prerequisite for my being conscious at all.
  • Haven’t you noticed how full of significant patterns and strange coincidences your experience is? As if there is some hidden meaning? Well, that’s because this is a dream.
  • A paralogical approach to awakening that has its foundation in a deep knowing of the primal oneness, yet also delights in our exquisite individuality and natural humanity.
  • I’ve found ‘entering’ my sensual experience to be a powerful way of awakening. When I enter into the immediacy of the senses they become a doorway to the deep awake state.
  • Your thoughts and actions arise from your state of consciousness, so this is extremely important and paying it attention will profoundly transform your life for the better.
  • Objectively, you’re an insignificant speck of dust passing through this vast universe. But subjectively, you’re the centre of the universe, around which everything revolves.
  • I love it when a movie captivates my attention; however, I don’t want to completely identify with the hero, since when the story becomes harrowing, I find it too disturbing.
  • Really knowing you don’t know takes some work. It requires you to clearly see that your story is just a story; and to become conscious of the deep mystery at its foundation.
  • I want to invite you to wonder so deeply about life that you find yourself in a profound state of not-knowing… and to experience what happens to your state of consciousness.
  • That’s lucid living. Our identity is characterized by polarity. Right now we are the oneness of the primal awareness dreaming itself to be all of these separate individuals.
  • The deep awake state doesn’t negate the mind. In my experience it allows me to think more deeply about things. It sets my mind free so that it functions with intuitive ease.
  • Objectively, you’re an insignificant speck of dust passing through this vast universe. But subjectively, you’re the centre of the universe, around which everything revolves.
  • If we become forever engrossed with battling the mind, this prevents us seeing how easy it is to wake up by simply becoming conscious of the thinker as well as the thoughts.
  • When I’m lost in separateness, I connect with someone only through my idea of who that person is in my story. And this means that there’s always a subtle sense of alienation.
  • But when we realise we are essentially one with everyone and everything, we find ourselves intimately connected to everyone and everything. We experience love without limits.
  • Spirituality is often misunderstood as a way of thinking about life, but first and foremost it’s a guide to transforming consciousness and experiencing something beyond words.
  • It seems to me that the ego is the hero not the villain of the spiritual adventure. The ego is the surface self through which the deep I can experience the adventure of living.
  • It seems to me that the ego is the hero, not the villain of the spiritual adventure. The ego is the surface self through which the deep I can experience the adventure of living.
  • We need to embrace the paradoxity that there are objective and subjective ways of knowing. We can look outside ourselves for answers and we can look within ourselves for answers.
  • Consciously be the presence of awareness, witnessing and appreciating your thoughts. Consciously be the ‘I’ of awareness, witnessing and appreciating the person you appear to be.
  • When I live lucidly, it profoundly changes my understanding of who I am, since I see that essentially there is one primal awareness dreaming itself to be everyone and everything.
  • Go deeper still and become conscious of the oneness of being. You are the oneness connecting with itself by appearing as two. Sit with that beautiful paradox and see how it feels.
  • Consciously be the presence of awareness, witnessing and appreciating your thoughts. Consciously be the ‘I’ of awareness, witnessing and appreciating the person you appear to be.
  • We need to embrace the paradoxity that there are objective and subjective ways of knowing. We can look outside ourselves for answers and we can look within ourselves for answers.
  • Swami Blandananda: Consciousness is a passive presence that merely witnesses the world. Tim: Yes. That’s what I see too. But in passively witnessing the world it changes the world.
  • According to this story, the primal field of unconscious awareness is ‘dreaming’ itself to be many conscious individuals, through which it is coming to know itself and love itself.
  • In one of his poems Walt Whitman announces: It is time to explain myself – let us stand up. What is known I strip away, I launch all men and women forward with me into the Unknown.
  • If I become conscious of the deep self within myself, I also become conscious of the deep self within others. Then I can connect ‘I to I’ with the people I meet in my everyday life.
  • Waking up doesn’t mean withdrawing from life and becoming detached. Quite the opposite. It means wholeheartedly engaging with the life-dream as an amazing adventure of self-discovery.
  • Science is an objective enquiry that entails looking out onto the world and asking ‘what is it?’ Spirituality is a subjective enquiry that entails looking within and asking ‘who am I?’
  • If you practice witnessing, you’ll become conscious of being the ‘I’ of awareness, which isn’t a part of your experience because it’s the presence within which experiences are arising.
  • So the bad news is that there’s always something bad about life we can choose to focus on. And the good news is that there’s always something good about life we can choose to focus on.
  • When I practise I to I gazing to connect with another person, I see how wonderful it is that we’re separate and not separate, because it is being both that allows us to commune in love.
  • Once we see that the goal of awakening is to be conscious of both our separate identity as a person and our essential identity as awareness, it becomes much easier to wake up to oneness.
  • Science is an objective enquiry that entails looking out onto the world and asking, ‘what is it?’ Spirituality is a subjective enquiry that entails looking within and asking, ‘who am I?’
  • What gives me the unshakable sense of being an individual is not Tim. It is the ‘I’ of my deeper nature. The ‘I’ is the one that binds the fragments of Tim into the semblance of a someone.
  • I am the primal awareness imagining itself to be ‘Tim’. You are the primal awareness imagining itself to be ‘you’. We appear to be separate individuals, but essentially there is one of us.
  • Spirituality takes the I-perspective. It looks at things subjectively and sees the primal oneness as unconscious awareness, which becomes conscious through the forms it dreams itself to be.
  • Of course this world is real. It is a real dream-world. Its wonders are truly wonderful and its horrors are truly horrible. I’m not dismissing it. I’m simply pointing out that it’s a dream.
  • Of course, this world is real. It is a real dream-world. Its wonders are truly wonderful and its horrors are truly horrible. I’m not dismissing it. I’m simply pointing out that it’s a dream.
  • Lucid living is understanding just how important your individuality is, because it is by dreaming itself to be you as an individual that the life-dreamer is able to experience the life-dream.
  • While you are dreaming you believe you are the person you appear to be in the dream. But when you dream lucidly you realise you are much more than you seem to be, because you are the dreamer.
  • The daemon in the after-death state is a deeper level of my individuality, which transcends and includes Tim, who is now seen as one of many life personas the daemon has dreamed itself to be.
  • I use the term ‘awareness’ to describe the primal ground from which everything is arising like a dream. I use the term ‘consciousness’ to describe awareness when it is conscious of experience.
  • Awareness can’t be found within the world because it’s the other way around. The world exists within awareness. Awareness isn’t within my experience. My experience is arising within awareness.
  • The formless presence of awareness you experience as the deep I is not separate from the formless presence of awareness that I experience as the deep I. At the depths of our being we are one.
  • As a person, you are a body . . . an object . . . a thing in the world. As awareness, you are a spacious presence . . . a subject . . . a nothing within which the world is arising like a dream.
  • When we become deep awake, however, we transcend and include the rational mind within a more expansive state of consciousness. We’re conscious of ourselves as a playful child and a thinking adult.
  • I want to suggest that life is like a dream and that right now we are so engrossed in the life-dream that we don’t realise we are dreaming. We believe we know what is going on, but really we don’t.
  • In my experience, being deep awake is both a state of transcendental enlightenment and embodied enlivenment. It’s knowing that all is one and enjoying the play of separateness from that perspective.
  • The ego is the separate self through which the universal self can experience the adventure of living. The ego is a character in the dream of life around which the life-dreamer weaves a cracking tale.
  • Awareness is our essential being. The Hindus call it the atman, which means ‘self’. Christians call it spirit, which means ‘essence’. Buddhists call it the Buddha-nature, which means ‘knower-nature’.
  • Dick: ‘But the universe isn’t some big oneness. It’s made up of lots of very little particles. Erwin Schröedinger: ‘Particles are but wave-crests, a sort of froth on the deep ocean of the universe.’
  • What happens if we put aside our ideas for a moment and enter a profound state of not knowing? What happens if we step out of confines of the conceptual mind into the spacious openness of the mystery?
  • Awareness can’t be found in the world because it’s the other way round. The world exists in awareness. Awareness can’t be found within my experience, because my experience is arising within awareness.
  • In my experience we don’t need to eradicate the separate self to awaken to oneness. When I’m deep awake ‘Tim’ doesn’t disappear in a puff of spiritual enlightenment. On the contrary, Tim comes to life.
  • We don’t want to get so lost in the separateness that we aren’t conscious of the oneness, as that leads to a lot of avoidable suffering. We need to be conscious that we are both separate and not separate.
  • Each one of us is the hero of our own movie. Isn’t that great?! I’m a walk-on part in your movie. Other people get to play the romantic interest or comic sidekick. But you’re the star who’s in every scene.
  • The mystery of being is arising as all individual beings. This profound idea brings us to the greatest teaching found at the heart of the spiritual traditions of the world: Atman is Brahman. The soul is God.
  • The deep awake state is ‘transrational’. It transcends and includes the rational state. It’s a more expansive state of consciousness in which we can be rational, but we’re also conscious of the deep mystery.
  • Time is the perpetual flow of ever-changing appearances that awareness witnesses. Time exists within awareness. Awareness is outside of time. You are timeless awareness dreaming itself to be a person in time.
  • How does it feel to realise that we are not separate? How does it feel to be one with everyone and everything? For me it is an experience of communion and compassion. Being one with all, I am in love with all.
  • When I meditate my thoughts come and go, but I don’t fight them. I simply become conscious that I’m listening to myself talking to myself. I pay attention to the silent presence of awareness that is listening.
  • God is not the conscious creator of the universe. God is unconsciously dreaming the world into existence. God is the unconscious primal awareness that becomes conscious through the forms it dreams itself to be.
  • Awareness is an emptiness that contains the world. And this is why the Buddhists say that to know our true Buddha-nature is to experience the void of nirvana within which the appearances of samsara are arising.
  • It seems to me that life is a paradoxical dance between possibility and actuality. It flows as it must. Yet at the depths of my being I am the creative source of all, so I can consciously shape the flow of life.
  • Being a lover of life means embracing your flawed humanity. It means accepting that you will stumble on the journey of life… that you become wise by being foolish… that you can’t always be awake and at your best.
  • When we practise ‘presencing’ we first enter our sensual experience. And then, as the Upanishads say so poetically, we become conscious of ‘the self who is the enjoyer of the honey from the flowers of the senses’.
  • Synchronicities happen so often, sometimes I take them for granted. And to me this suggests that life is full of implicit meaning. It may be impossible to say what the meaning is, but meaning is obvious everywhere.
  • Awareness can’t be touched, because it has no shape. Awareness can’t be seen, because it has no colour. Awareness can’t be heard, because it makes no noise. Awareness is a formless presence, which has no boundaries.
  • Life is like a dream and, although we appear to be separate individuals in the life-dream, in reality there is one awareness dreaming itself to be everyone and everything, and meeting itself in all its various forms.
  • There is something very different seeing through these eyes now, and yet it is still me, but now it knows itself as that which it really is. Not something trapped or limited, but something totally free and unlimited.
  • I am creating my reality . . . but who am I? I am the unconscious primal awareness that is conscious through Tim. My essential nature is unconsciously dreaming the life-dream . . . but Tim can consciously shape it.  
  • When I consciously intend something to happen in my life, it’s as if I’m planting a seed in the depths of the unconscious primal awareness, where I hope it will gestate and grow so that it manifests in the life-dream.
  • Some approaches to awakening teach that our separate identity is an irrelevant illusion, because oneness is the only reality. Oneness is essentially real. Separateness is apparently real. That’s the paradoxity of life.
  • When we’re conscious of the deep self and feel the deep love, it becomes much easier to acknowledge those parts of our personality that we would normally choose to ignore, because we’re able to love ourselves as we are.
  • When I wake up I can see that my story is just a story. If I look deeper I discover that hidden behind my story is the pristine, virgin, untouchable mystery. And that’s when the mystery experience spontaneously arises.
  • Accepting that consciousness inevitably rises and falls, because that’s inherent in the paralogical nature of life. It means understanding that we must experience being less conscious to experience being more conscious.
  • Awareness experiences seeing, but has no colour or shape. Awareness experiences hearing, but makes no sound. Awareness experiences touching, but has no tangible form. Awareness experiences thinking, but isn’t a thought.
  • Awareness isn’t inside my head. You can search about in my brain with a microscope, but you’ll never find awareness. This is because awareness is not a thing in the world. It’s not something we can see or hear or touch.
  • When I wake up, I can see that my story is just a story. If I look deeper, I discover that hidden behind my story is the pristine, virgin, untouchable mystery. And that’s when the mystery experience spontaneously arises.
  • Everything is becoming incredibly simple, and I can see that this moment is characterized by the polarity of awareness and appearances . . . emptiness and form . . . nirvana and samsara . . . life-dreamer and life-dream.
  • And the secret to daring to be really alive is to realize that life is like a movie, so you are fundamentally safe. In the movie there’s laughter and tears, but everything is always okay . . . even during the scary parts.
  • Science has freed us from irrational religion … and that has cleared the way for a vibrant new form of rational spirituality … which complements the discoveries of science, but offers an alternative to bleak objectivism.
  • If you become more conscious, it will be like coming around from a coma. You’ll remember that you’re alive. You’ll discover who you really are. You’ll know that all is one. And you’ll fall in love with the present moment.
  • We need to become conscious of our essential nature as the spacious presence of awareness, so we deep know that all is one, and find ourselves in love with all. Then we need to express that love by living compassionately.
  • Science and spirituality seem to be very different approaches to life, but they lead to the same astonishing conclusion. Our common-sense understanding of things is inadequate, because life is much more than it seems to be.
  • From one perspective, I appear to be a person within my life story. From another perspective, I am spacious awareness witnessing all I am experiencing. I am not an object within my experience. I am the formless experiencer.
  • When I become embroiled with my story I find myself living in a sort of trance. I’m certain I know what’s going on, even though I really don’t. I exist in a state of numbness that I call normality and I feel only half alive.
  • Are you with me? How does it feel to realise that we are not separate? How does it feel to be one with everyone and everything? For me it is an experience of communion and compassion. Being one with all, I am in love with all.
  • What we really want is ‘safe danger’, which is why we love the movies so much. And lucid living allows us to experience safe danger by entering into the thrills and spills of life with a fundamental sense of peace and security.
  • In my experience, when I know that I don’t know, there’s a wordless knowing of what-is before words. A silent knowing that arises in the mind as intuitive wisdom. A passionate knowing that arises in the heart as boundless love.
  • When I practice ‘being conscious of being conscious’, I don’t just watch my experience, I find myself appreciating my experience. Nisargadatta calls this turiya, which can be translated as ‘detached but affectionate awareness.’
  • In my experience, when I know that I don’t know, there’s a wordless knowing of what-is before words. A silent knowing that arises in the mind as intuitive wisdom. A passionate knowing that arises in the heart as boundless love.
  • But when we realise we are essentially one with everyone and everything, we find ourselves intimately connected to everyone and everything. We experience love without limits. The one life-dreamer meeting itself in different forms.
  • Tim is a work of art that I’ll refine and rework until my dying day. He’s imperfect of course, which is tough on everyone. But it’s only to be expected. He’s a work in progress. He’s an attempt at a conscious, loving, human being.
  • The more I dissolve into the oneness, the more animated I feel as a unique individual. The more I feel filled with limitless love, the more I long to share it. The more I wake up, the more precious this dream of life becomes to me.
  • We’ve become bamboozled by our beliefs, and this has blinded us to the primal mystery. We’ve become so engrossed with our stories that we’ve lost the plot. We’re eating the menu, not the meal, and that’s why life can taste so bland.
  • Life is not an entrance exam for the after-death state, just as dreaming is not an entrance exam for the waking state. We naturally pass between all of these states because they are different levels in the holarchy of consciousness.
  • When I was younger, I took this idea very seriously. But now it seems like the ultimate paranoid conspiracy theory. It doesn’t awaken us, it merely encourages us to wage an internal civil war against ourselves. And that’s disastrous.
  • These days I see myself as an individual expression of the primal awareness who is choosing to live lucidly, by both being conscious of my essential nature as the primal awareness and engaging passionately with the adventures of Tim.
  • I am deep awake and intensely alive. I am swimming in the numinous stillness of the deep mystery. There is a deep knowing of the what-is before words.   There is a primal love of being.   I am dissolving into the mystery experience. 
  • If I look at my own experience, Tim is clearly the hero of the story. He’s the star of the show. Other people come and go, but Tim is in every scene. His wife Debbie plays romantic love interest. His best mate Pete plays comic sidekick.
  • The Hindu philosophers teach that the oneness of being, which they call Brahman, is a primal, formless awareness dreaming itself to be all the forms of life. The Zen masters say that everything is a thought arising within one ‘big mind’.
  • The Zen masters compare being awake to ‘collecting fruit in a bottomless basket’. I love this because it captures the experience of being in the mystery of the moment. New experiences arise and pass away, without my clinging to anything.
  • I have many levels to my individuality. In a dream, I appear to be my dream persona. In the waking state, I appear to be my life persona. It seems to me that there is a yet more conscious level of my individuality, and this is my daemon.
  • For me God isn’t a great spirit that is separate from me. God is the primal oneness that is conscious through me. God is the mystery of being that is arising as all beings. And when I know God I experience a love that embraces all beings.
  • Lao Tzu doesn’t say that the mysterious essence is real and the appearances are an illusion. Rather, he says that the Tao is always both mysterious and manifest. The paradoxity of being is that it is one essence that appears in many forms.
  • When I reach within it feels as if God is reaching out to welcome me. I feel as if I am relaxing into the arms of the great Beloved … as if we’re lovers who’ve been longing to be together … to caress each other … to be one with each other.
  • Among all the drudgery and broken dreams, what makes life worth all the fuss? The great lover of life Walt Whitman answers: That you are here – that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
  • When I am deep awake, however, I find myself really savouring the pleasures of life. I’m astonished by all I see and hear and touch in this world of wonders. My body wakes up to how sweet it is to be alive. To simply breathe feels delicious.
  • As I pay attention to the moment, I’m conscious that my thoughts are just arising. I’m not doing the thinking. Thinking is happening. And as all of my volitional actions arise from my thoughts, that means that they are just happening as well.
  • Tim is experiencing the dream of life, but this isn’t Tim’s dream. He is a character in the dream. The unconscious primal awareness is dreaming itself to be you and me as individual human beings … and experiencing the dream of life through us.
  • You and I are unique human beings who have never existed before and will never exist again. We are living lives that have never been lived before and will never be lived again. So let’s play our parts in the great drama with style and panache.
  • When I dream lucidly, the dream doesn’t end—I simply start to dream consciously. In the same way, when I live lucidly, the life-dream doesn’t stop, I simply start to live more consciously. And this is the secret to really enjoying the life-dream.
  • If my thoughts are agitated I simply become conscious that I’m listening to myself talking to myself. I pay attention to the silent presence which is listening. I become conscious of being spacious awareness within which the thoughts are arising.
  • Many people seem to think that the journey of awakening is ultimately about achieving some sort of spiritual perfection. But I want to suggest that to be human is necessarily to be imperfect. We all have our flaws and foibles… even the best of us.
  • How can we prevent ourselves being hijacked by the shadow? The clue is in the name. We need to bring it into the light. We need to consciously acknowledge this part of ourselves. Only then will it stop unconsciously possessing us from time to time.
  • When I compare life to a dream I do not mean to denigrate it as some sort of meaningless fantasy. Life is too wonderful to be called an illusion, unless we whisper the word in amazement, as we might when witnessing the most astonishing magic trick.
  • Stop thinking of God as an entity. An entity is an object in consciousness. This is why the word God can be limiting because it has so much past association with being an object. God is awareness itself. Awareness perceives but cannot be perceived.
  • Suffering is awful, but it can awaken us just as much as joy and wonder. The heroic lover is ready to be shaken up so that they can be shaken free. They understand the lover’s heart must break open at some time … maybe many times … for love to flow.
  • Lucid Tim has lots of frightening things to contend with in his life, too. But he’s also conscious of his essential identity, which is always safe. This gives him the courage to engage with life as a daring adventure rather than a terrifying ordeal.
  • We can invest so heavily in our beliefs about life that we forget that we really don’t know what life is. We can become so caught up in our opinions that we miss the breathtaking mystery. And when this happens, life becomes mundane and empty of wonder.
  • When you are dreaming you appear to be a character within the dream. But this is only your ‘apparent identity’. It is who you appear to be, but not who you really are. Essentially you are awareness dreaming the dream. This is your ‘essential identity’.
  • The mystics delight in a divine love affair with God, who is their affectionate spouse and constant friend. They fall in love with Love, and in this all loving separation is transcended. Lover and beloved dissolve into each other and only Love remains.
  • Yet I have found that waging a war against myself doesn’t wake me up to oneness but merely fragments me further. I now think that there are two Tims . . . the bad Tim, who is causing all of my troubles; and the good Tim, who is busy judging the bad Tim.
  • On the surface, things may seem random and without consequence. But I sense a hidden meaning, which expresses itself symbolically in the flow of events. Strange synchronicities punctuate my adventures. Patterns emerge suggestive of a secret significance.
  • So our story starts with unconscious awareness in a state of deep sleep, and it climaxes with some ultra-conscious individuals who are deep awake. The dream of separateness is the primal awareness progressing from unconscious oneness to conscious oneness.
  • In one way, living lucidly changes nothing: life continues to be a mix of good and bad, pleasure and pain, joy and suffering. Yet in another way, living lucidly changes everything, because we have a new perspective on the challenges of everyday existence.
  • It is one of the great paradoxities of life that not-knowing leads to the ‘deep knowing’ that the ancients called ‘gnosis’. As the poet Robert Frost writes so beautifully: We dance around in a ring, and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
  • If I focus my attention on my subjective nature as the ‘I’ who is witnessing all that I’m experiencing right now, I begin to become conscious that my essential nature is a spacious presence witnessing a flow of ever-changing appearances, in which all is one.
  • It is one of the great paradoxities of life that not-knowing leads to the ‘deep knowing’ that the ancients called ‘gnosis’. As the poet Robert Frost writes so beautifully: We dance around in a ring, and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows. 
  • The unawakened life is permeated by a type of suffering he called dukkha. Dukkha is an underlying unease and discontent. An existential SOS that arises from the knowledge of death. A fundamental sense of separateness from others. An alienation from the world.
  • You and I are experiencing the life-dream right now. But this isn’t my dream or your dream, because we are characters in the dream. The life-dream is God’s dream. The primal awareness is dreaming itself to be you and me, and experiencing the dream through us.
  • Far from being the problem, the personal self is our foundation in the world, from which we can spiritually awaken. It is a gloriously particular expression of the infinite potentiality of being, through which the primal oneness of awareness can experience life.
  • Scientific objectivism has played the positive role of challenging dogmatic religious ideas and creating a secular society … but the hubris of objectivists, like that of the priests before them, is to believe they’ve arrived at a final understanding of reality.
  • Scientists talk about fields such as the ‘gravitational field’ and the ‘electromagnetic field’ which reach throughout the whole of space. I want to suggest that the mystery of being is a field of unconscious awareness within which life is arising like a dream.
  • How can we prevent ourselves being overwhelmed by the unloved self? The clue is in the name. We need to love it. We need to care for our own wounded self as compassionately as we would care for someone else in great distress. We need to heal the pain of the past.
  • The mind starts to berate itself for its failure to stop being the mind! But the mind can’t stop thinking any more than the heart can stop beating. That’s what it does. And thank goodness for that. If we stopped thinking we wouldn’t be enlightened… we’d be stupid!
  • I refuse to believe that my purpose in this extravagant universe could be to climb a career ladder, buy a house, and get a pension plan. Life is too important to waste just making money and acquiring things. Life is like an enormous question that demands an answer.
  • The separate self is a prerequisite for awakening, not an obstacle to be overcome. You and I are separate centres of conscious being within the unconscious oneness of being. If this were not the case we wouldn’t be conscious at all … let alone spiritually awakened.
  • At the heart of all we think we know is the deep mystery. And at the heart of the deep mystery lies a deep knowing that is so immediate it can’t be mediated by words. A silent certainty that all is well. An unshakeable conviction that all that really matters is love.
  • It seems to me that if we could allow ourselves to be as free as we truly are, we’d make much better choices in our lives, and be much happier. All it takes is for us to become more conscious. Because the more conscious we are the more freedom of choice we experience.
  • When we’re lost in separateness it’s lonely and frightening. We feel we’re constantly missing something … and that’s because we are. Yet this underlying discontent pushes us to explore the depths of life. We feel there must be more to existence, so we start to wonder.
  • What is the singularity? We could say it’s the primal oneness that has evolved into the multifarious variety of life. The fundamental simplicity which is the source of the astonishing complexity of the universe. The nothing which contained the potential for everything.
  • My daemon is dreaming itself to be ‘Tim’ in the same way that Tim dreams himself to be his dream persona. But this higher level of my individuality is consciously one with all, so the dream my daemon is dreaming is an individual perspective on the shared dream of life.
  • When you dream, you are both the source of the dream and a character within the dream. Your identity is inherently paradoxical. In the same way, your identity right now is also inherently paradoxical. You are both the source of the life-dream and a character within it.
  • Lucid living doesn’t deny the delights and dramas of everyday existence. It charges them with new significance and meaning. Everything you experience is a manifestation of your essential identity. So everything is showing you something about who you are – like a dream.
  • I want to suggest that far from being a problem the personal self is the foundation from which we can spiritually awaken. Our individuality is a gloriously particular expression of the infinite potentiality of being, through which the primal oneness can experience life.
  • I find the dream analogy very powerful, because it’s an experiential analogy. I know what it’s like to dream, so I can look at this moment and actually experience its dreamlike nature. I can see that I’m a character in the dream and also essentially the dreaming awareness.
  • First, we need a robust sense of being a separate individual. When this is strong enough it can support a conscious awakening to our deeper being. When a strong separate self is absent, the natural process of awakening is transformed into the pathology of depersonalization.
  • The primal oneness of unconscious awareness is arising as separate centres of consciousness, because through these centres of consciousness it can come to know that all is one. Life is on a journey from unconscious oneness through conscious separateness to conscious oneness.
  • I sometimes think that I want everything to go well for Tim. But I actually want the dramas of existence, because without them the story is bland and uninspiring. Who wants to watch a movie in which things start well, everything works out, and it all ends happily ever after?
  • The primal awareness is unconsciously dreaming up the universe, and it becomes conscious through the individual beings it imagines itself to be. I am the primal awareness conscious through Tim. And so, through Tim, the primal awareness has the experience of conscious choice.
  • Over your lifetime your body has aged and your mind has matured, but don’t you feel as if something has remained the same? Isn’t the essential ‘you’ no different now from when you were much younger? What is this essential ‘you’ that is constant and enduring? It is awareness.
  • Being a lover of life doesn’t mean always feeling that life’s wonderful. It means loving life as it is. It means embracing both the good and bad of life. It means passionately enjoying and tenderly enduring the tumultuous adventure of life through which we learn how to love.
  • I find myself immersed in the deep mystery. Then something astonishing happens. The inarticulate question of the heart dissolves into the ocean of mystery. And I feel I’ve found the answer I’m looking for. But this answer, like the question, is more of a feeling than a thought.
  • Spiritual traditions that encourage some sort of inner conflict often make the mind an enemy, but it really isn’t. The mind is a great blessing, not an adversary to be silenced. Our ability to think is what makes us human. If we didn’t think, we wouldn’t be wise, we’d be stupid.
  • We can’t know our deeper identity objectively, since awareness isn’t an object in our experience. But we can subjectively know ourselves to be the experiencer. And we can do this by simply becoming conscious of being conscious. This is the wake-up technique known as ‘witnessing’.
  • I became conscious that I was both a detached observer in the cinema and also a participant in the unfolding drama. I was safely outside of the story, but I was drawn into it by my fascination with the hero’s dilemmas. This is a great analogy for what happens when I live lucidly.
  • You and I are centres of consciousness arising within the field of awareness, and when we realize this the primal oneness comes to know itself through us. The unconscious field of awareness is coming to self-knowledge, by dreaming itself to be you and me on a journey of awakening.
  • But it’s also important to remember that everyone is the star of the show from a different perspective. You need to play a positive part in other people’s story lines, as well as inviting them to play a positive part in your story line. Then we’ll all enjoy this adventure of life.
  • In the same way that we have to return to the dreaming and deep sleep states to sustain the waking state, we have to return to the life experience of separateness to sustain the after-death experience of oneness. All of these states are essential to the evolution of consciousness.
  • You and I are centres of consciousness arising within the field of awareness, and when we realize this the primal oneness comes to know itself through us. The unconscious field of awareness is coming to self knowledge, by dreaming itself to be you and me on a journey of awakening.
  • Lucid living is embodied enlivenment. It is a state of consciousness that reaches right down into our physical nature and changes how we engage with the sensual world. We find ourselves delighting in the pleasures of existence because we are conscious enough to really relish them.
  • You and I are centres of consciousness arising within the field of awareness, and when we realize this the primal oneness comes to know itself through us. The unconscious field of awareness is coming to self-knowledge, by dreaming itself to be you and me on a journey of awakening.
  • I’m meditating and I’m enjoying the bliss of being deep awake. I’m conscious of being a spacious presence within which the world is arising like a dream. Thoughts and sensations are coming and going in my peripheral attention, but my focus is on the stillness of my essential nature.
  • When I understand that I am both an irrelevant speck and the star of the show, it makes me feel both humble and empowered. I want to encourage you both to be conscious of the oneness of being and to feel empowered as a unique individual who is the hero of your amazing life adventure.
  • I’ve found that the more lucid I am, the more the line between my inner world and the outer world becomes blurred—I no longer experience them as separate, and my fantasies become reality. My intentions shape the way the dream of life unfolds. This is what the ancients called ‘magic’.
  • We don’t need to eradicate the separate self to awaken to oneness. When I’m deep awake ‘Tim’ doesn’t disappear in a puff of spiritual enlightenment. On the contrary, Tim comes to life. I find myself cherishing my individuality and appreciating the poignant beauty of the personal life.
  • The unloved self is what we don’t want to remember about our past. It is our hurt self that skulks in the shadows like a wounded animal. And mainly that’s where it stays. Until a life situation reawakens the painful memory and we’re involuntarily forced to play out the pain once again.
  • The scientific story of the evolving cosmos is a new version of this ancient myth. It relates how the oneness of unconscious nature has become conscious of itself through evolving into ever more complex forms, until it reaches the human form in which it is conscious of being conscious.
  • If I sink my attention deeply into the presence of awareness, it’s like sinking down into the depths of the ocean of being. The sense that I am an individual experiencing the world of separateness fades and I am immersed in a profound, undifferentiated oneness, beyond words to express.
  • The mystery of life is so enormous it takes my breath away and leaves me speechless. It’s not some riddle I will one day unravel, but real magic to be marvelled at. It’s not a darkness my intellect can illuminate, but a dazzling radiance so splendid that my most brilliant ideas seem dull.
  • The Taoist sage Lao Tzu explained that ‘in the pursuit of learning we come to know more and more’. But if we want to awaken, we need to ‘know less and less until things simply are as they are’. We need to let go of all our beliefs about life, which obscure the wordless reality of what-is.
  • I am suggesting that life is like a dream. Right now you appear to be a person in the life-dream. But this is only your ‘apparent identity’, it is not who you really are. Your ‘essential identity’ is much less concrete and much more mysterious. You are awareness witnessing the life-dream.
  • If we look below the surface of things another dimension of reality is revealed. This is the great discovery of science. And it’s paralogically complementary to the message of spirituality, which also teaches that if we look beyond the superficial appearances a deeper reality is revealed.
  • I am suggesting that life is like a dream. Right now, you appear to be a person in the life-dream. But this is only your ‘apparent identity’, it is not who you really are. Your ‘essential identity’ is much less concrete and much more mysterious. You are awareness witnessing the life-dream.
  • The mystery of life is so enormous it takes my breath away and leaves me speechless. It’s not some riddle I will one day unravel, but real magic to be marvelled at. It’s not a darkness my intellect can illuminate, but a dazzling radiance so splendid that my most brilliant ideas seem dull.
  • The paradox is that consciousness arises with discrimination, so to be conscious is to experience separateness. This means we can never just be conscious of oneness. We must become conscious of both separateness and oneness. We must become conscious of the oneness through the separateness.
  • Consciousness requires separateness. We’re only conscious when we conceptualize the world into discrete things, including seeing ourselves as individual people. But the fact that we’re conscious through separateness allows us to pay attention to our essential nature, which is one with all.
  • You are the life-dreamer imagining yourself to be a particular person in the life-dream. While you identify exclusively with your life-persona you will remain unconsciously engrossed in the life-dream. Lucid living happens when you become conscious of both poles of your paradoxical nature.
  • The demonizing of the mind makes it harder to awaken. If we believe that to awaken we must try to stop thinking, we become forever engrossed with battling the mind. And this prevents us seeing how easy it is to wake up, by simply becoming conscious of the deep mystery as well as the story.
  • As I contemplate this koan, something extraordinary is happening. . . . Everything is becoming incredibly simple, and I can see that this moment is characterized by the polarity of awareness and appearances . . . emptiness and form . . . nirvana and samsara . . . life-dreamer and life-dream.
  • Take some time to try this for yourself, and then ask what you can say about your essential nature as awareness. You can’t see it or hear it or touch it. It has no qualities or characteristics, because it isn’t something within your experience. Your essential nature is absolutely mysterious.
  • I am awareness that is looking, but can’t be seen. I am awareness that is listening, but can’t be heard. I am an unchanging stillness witnessing an ever-changing flow of experiences. I am conscious of being the formless presence of awareness within which my experience is arising like a dream.
  • I am awareness that is looking, but can’t be seen. I am awareness that is listening, but can’t be heard. I am an unchanging stillness witnessing an ever-changing flow of experiences. I am conscious of being the formless presence of awareness within which my experience is arising like a dream.
  • The simplest way to start becoming deep awake is to wonder… to look at the world with amazement… to be conscious of the breathtaking mystery of existence… to recognize that you really don’t know what life is. If you wonder deeply you’ll come out of your story and into the mystery of the moment.
  • From animal sex to transcendental devotion, love is the experience of the two becoming one while remaining two. When we love, we feel we are separate and not-separate from each other. And both are important because love is the relationship of unity, which can only arise because we are separate.
  • The separate self is seen as an obstacle to our awakening and is often referred to as the ego. In my experience we don’t need to eradicate the separate self to awaken to oneness. When I’m deep awake ‘Tim’ doesn’t disappear in a puff of spiritual enlightenment. On the contrary, Tim comes to life.
  • I viewed the thinking mind as an ‘enemy’ that I needed to subdue. But I don’t approach meditation like that these days. Now I’m much kinder to myself. I simply allow things to be as they are. If my mind is agitated, I let it rage until it’s spent. When my mind becomes still, I treasure the calm.
  • The problem arose that the primal awareness identified with each of the separate forms it appeared to be and didn’t recognize its deeper identity as the oneness of being. And here we are… that’s you and me. Each one of us is the field of awareness believing itself to be just a separate individual.
  • Mystics of all traditions claim that if we become conscious of our essential nature, we will realize that in reality, there is only one of us. There is one Self experiencing itself to be many individual selves. There is one Big Mind, as the Zen masters say, within which the dream of life is arising.
  • We don’t think too deeply about life because the more we think about things the bleaker it gets. So we distract ourselves with consumerism we’ve embraced materialism … both as a metaphysical position and as a lifestyle choice.  Our existential emptiness demands we create a new narrative to live by. 
  • Usually I think of awareness as existing inside my head. But this simply isn’t true. If I asked someone to crack open my skull and take a look, they’d never find awareness. Not even if they looked with a microscope. It’s just not there. My head is full of brains, but awareness is nowhere to be found.
  • Dying is not perpetual unconscious sleep. It’s a further waking up to a higher state of consciousness, which is predicated on the lesser states of consciousness. Deep sleep is the ground from which consciousness expands, through the dreaming state to the waking state, and then to the after-death state.
  • When I live lucidly, my focus moves fluidly between the active and passive poles of my identity. And in my experience, this fluidity of focus is the way to enjoy a creative life as an active participant in the life-dream, while also bathing in the bliss of my deeper being. It is the secret of enlivenment.
  • Enthusiastic presenters of science documentaries bring the objectivist gospel to the people, inspiring us with a vision of the wonders of nature, which are truly astonishing yet there is a dark side to their vision which goes unmentioned, so they inadvertently lead us into a cold, futile, mechanical world.
  • You are experiencing something right now. So you are an experiencer of experiences. The ‘experiencer’ is your essential identity which you call ‘I’. The ‘I’ is aware of an ever-changing stream of experiences right now.  But what is the ‘I’?  Is the ‘I’ your body?  The body is something you are experiencing. 
  • I first acknowledge that my mind is trying to do a necessary job for me, even when it seems out of control. The mind is thinking about my story so I can have a better time of things. It’s imagining the future to help me avoid unpleasant experiences. It’s analysing the past to help me learn from past mistakes.
  • Consciousness or presence or love is trying to come up through the vehicle of this body/mind/spirit to know itself more fully and directly. It may feel like this little ‘Colleen’ is trying to reach God, but really it is God wanting to know itself through all life forms, including the life form called ‘Colleen’.
  • It’s taken billions of years of evolution to get us to the place where the primal being can make conscious choices through us. Most of evolution has been unconscious and therefore pretty haphazard. But now the primal being can consciously think about what it’s going to do. And it’s doing that through you and me!
  • Listen up! I’ve got some really good news! Everything is okay! Being alive is weird and scary and never really makes sense, but that’s all right because life is like a dream . . . so there’s nothing to be alarmed about . . . it all turns out all right in the end . . . because when you die in a dream, you wake up.
  • You are experiencing something right now. So you are an experiencer of experiences. The ‘experiencer’ is your essential identity which you call ‘I’.  The ‘I’ is aware of an ever-changing stream of experiences right now.  But what is the ‘I’?  Is the ‘I’ your body?  The body is something you are experiencing. 
  • One of the most profound teachings found at the mystical heart of all spiritual traditions is that essentially you don’t exist in the world. Your deepest being can’t be seen or heard or touched, because it has no form. The deep I is the formless presence of awareness within which all the forms of life are arising.
  • We’re experiencing this moment through a filter of concepts. We’re living in our ideas. We’re telling ourselves a story about who we are and what life is, and we’re confusing this story with reality. But the story is not reality. Reality is the mystery of existence that exists before all of our ideas about reality.
  • The ground of being is like an ocean of unconscious awareness, arising as individual waves of consciousness. The conscious waves seem separate, but the oceanic depths are one. In the normal waking state, I’m conscious of being the wave; but in the deep awake state, I’m also conscious of being the unfathomable ocean.
  • I’m free from judgement, because there is no one to blame. I’m free from guilt, because there is no one to reproach. I’m no longer a seeker on a spiritual quest, because there’s no one to be lost or enlightened. And that realization is enlightenment . . . but it’s not happening to anyone . . . and that’s very funny.
  • Previously I thought that reality was fundamentally an oceanic oneness, so separateness appeared to be an illusion. But now I see that reality is fundamentally a polarity. It is both oneness and separateness . . . emptiness and form . . . eternity and time. And I don’t need to reject one pole, I need to embrace both.
  • Being a lover of life means waking up to oneness and passionately engaging with your individual journey through life. Being a lover of life means ‘loving being and being loving’. It means waking up to your deeper nature, which is love, and learning to express that love more expansively and inclusively in the world.
  • I used to see the goal of the adventure of awakening as a state of enlightenment, in which I dissolved into the oneness of things. But for me, being deep awake is a state of both transcendental enlightenment and passionate enlivenment. When I live lucidly, I am both conscious of oneness and in love with separateness.
  • The paradoxity of life means that every one of us as an individual self is the hero of the story of life. Looked at from one perspective we appear to be irrelevant specks of dust in a vast universe, who are here for a moment and then gone. But from another perspective each one of us is the very centre of the universe.
  • If I’m lost in the story of Tim, I become fearful, selfish, and agitated. So I need to step out of the story and become conscious of my deeper identity, which is free, spacious, and at peace. But the process doesn’t stop there. Now I’m ready to really engage with the story because I know that fundamentally all is well.
  • I am conscious right now of an ever-changing stream of experiences. Normally I focus my attention on what I am experiencing, but I’m choosing to be conscious of myself as the experiencer. I am the experiencer of all that I’m experiencing. I am the presence of awareness witnessing colours … sounds … feelings … thoughts.
  • Right now, you are awareness witnessing a stream of experiences. This is your permanent essential identity. Within the stream of experiences, you appear to be a particular person. This is your ever-changing apparent identity. Your apparent identity is not who you essentially are. It is who you temporarily appear to be.
  • But that’s only one side of the paradoxity. From the other perspective Tim’s experience of free choice is very important indeed. The primal being is unconsciously dreaming up the world, but it is conscious through Tim. This means that the unconscious oneness of being can consciously choose to do this or that through Tim.
  • I am a conscious wave, rising and falling from the unconscious depths each day when I wake and sleep. While I’m awake, I believe that I’m choosing my direction as I make my journey of life before I crash upon the shoreline of death. But actually everything I do is no more than an impersonal eddy in the great sea of being.
  • The universe may be made up of atoms bouncing around like billiard balls, or quantum particles coming in and out of existence, or superstrings weaving some vast web of appearances. But above all, surely, life is a story. The story of you. The story of me. The story of nature. The story of endlessly unfolding possibilities.
  • If I look at my own experience Tim is clearly the hero of the life story. He’s the star of the show. Other people come and go, but Tim is in every scene. His wife, Debbie, plays romantic love interest. His best mate, Pete, plays comic sidekick. There’s a whole load of extras who figure now and then. But Tim’s the main man.
  • When I deep know my essential nature I feel liberated from the confines of the story of Tim and conscious of the oneness of being. But the deep love I feel in the deep awake state impels me back into the story to compassionately engage with life … to care for others … to make the world a better place for future generations.
  • Becoming a ‘lover of life’ isn’t about achieving a spiritually awakened state in which we’re detached from life. It’s becoming conscious of the deep self so that we can engage compassionately with the adventures of the separate self. It’s discovering the love within us, so that we can express this love in the world around us.
  • The Neo-Platonic philosophers describe God as the ‘mystery of being’, which is in the process of ‘becoming’ all that is. The mystery of being is arising as all individual beings. This profound idea brings us to the greatest teaching found at the heart of the spiritual traditions of the world: Atman is Brahman. The soul is God.
  • When I dream lucidly, the dream continues. Indeed, I don’t want the dream to end because I’m enjoying it. It’s similar when I’m deep awake and living lucidly. I see the dreamlike nature of life, but the life-dream doesn’t stop. And I don’t want it to stop, because when I’m deep awake, I truly appreciate the magic of existence.
  • Life is so utterly mysterious it takes my breath away. Yet normally most of us go about our business as if being alive was nothing remarkable. We pretend we know what’s going on, when really we don’t. We act as if we understand what it is to be a human being, when actually it is an enormous enigma of mind-boggling proportions.
  • When I live lucidly, I shift between these two perspectives. It’s a state of dynamic balance. It’s not a compromise in which I settle for a bit of both. It’s more like a dance where I move between the extremes. It’s a continual conversation between oneness and separateness. It’s a bit like keeping my balance when riding a bike.
  • Before you bow out, why not enjoy the show . . . because it’s a thrilling roller coaster of a ride . . . and when you stop worrying about falling off, you can just throw your hands up in the air and yell ‘Bring it on!’ . . . as you career through the highs and lows of the ever-changing moment . . . toward the sign marked ‘exit’.
  • The unconscious field of awareness becomes conscious through the particular forms it ‘dreams’ itself to be. The body is the means by which a centre of consciousness arises in the field of unconscious awareness.   Consciousness isn’t ‘inside’ the brain. Rather the brain allows the primal field of awareness to become conscious.  
  • Before we embark on our philosophical adventure, let me make something very clear. When I compare life to a dream I do not mean to denigrate it as some sort of meaningless fantasy. Life is too wonderful to be called an illusion, unless we whisper the word in amazement, as we might when witnessing the most astonishing magic trick.
  • Existence is predicated on paradoxity, so our experience flows between good and bad, joy and suffering, yum and yuk. We hope for yum without yuk. We fear there will be yuk without yum. But there is always both. We can focus on the good, but we can’t exile the bad. We can make our lives better, but we can’t make our lives perfect.
  • I’ve found that an extremely simple and effective way to transform my state of consciousness is to use the practice of ‘entering’. This brings my attention to the immediacy of my sensual experience, so that I become intensely conscious of the here and now. Then I can step out of my story in time and into the mystery of the moment.
  • It seems to me that self and no-self paralogically coexist. It’s like in the yin/yang symbol. There’s a dot of white in the middle of the black, and vice versa. In the same way when I go to the depths of the separate self I find the no-self. But when I dissolve into the no-self I see that it’s Tim who is conscious of this happening.
  • We are only conscious because we’re experiencing the world of separateness. But now we are conscious through experiencing separateness, we can also become conscious of the essential oneness of being. If we get lost in our concepts we don’t experience the primal oneness, but without these concepts we wouldn’t be conscious at all.  
  • When I live lucidly, I find myself in the paradoxical predicament of being in the life-dream but not in the life-dream at the same time. What happens in the life-dream matters and doesn’t matter. I’m attached and unattached. I’m neither lost in the drama nor detached and uncaring. I’m engaged with my life but also free and spacious.
  • When we reject the rational mind we don’t become wise, we become gullible. So it’s no surprise that childish spirituality leads to people believing all sorts of silly nonsense. Without a bullshit detector we’re truly lost. We can end up following channelled wisdom on how to live from disembodied spirits and aliens from the Pleiades.
  • Let’s practice appreciative witnessing right now . . . You are conscious that you’re experiencing something . . . so pay attention to the experiencer. Focus on your essential being that you call ‘I’, which is the constant background to all you experience. Consciously be the presence of awareness, witnessing the mystery of this moment.
  • The grand religious narratives that gave us meaning in the past have crumbled under sceptical scrutiny, so we put our faith in science, which uses reason to describe a universe which exists without a reason. Science offers us power not purpose. Despite its impressive ability to explain the ‘how’ of life, it can say nothing about ‘why’.
  • Existence is predicated on paradoxity, so our experience must flow between good and bad, joy and suffering, yum and yuk. We hope for yum without yuk. We fear there will be yuk without yum. But there will always be both. We can focus on the good, but we can’t exile the bad. We can make our lives better, but we can’t make our lives perfect.
  • The primal awareness is doing everything, but mostly unconsciously. It is being this mountain unconsciously. It is being this brook and these trees unconsciously. But through Tim, it has consciously chosen to walk up the mountain and admire the view. The primal awareness has consciously responded to the world it has unconsciously created.
  • When we dream lucidly, we can influence what happens in our dream. We don’t suddenly find ourselves in complete control of everything that occurs because then we wouldn’t be dreaming at all; we’d be having a waking fantasy. A dream is the creation of our unconscious imagination, but we can shape what happens with our conscious intentions.
  • Just as it drives me mad when I’m with someone who won’t stop talking, it also drives me mad when I won’t stop talking to myself. I need to be quiet as well as talk. I need to be conscious of the deep silence as well as the ideas that arise within it. Then thinking isn’t a problem. In fact, like a good conversation, it’s a great pleasure.
  • Then I’m free to take some time off from thinking to refresh myself in the mystery. And when I come back to my story and engage with the mind again I see the dilemmas of my story in a whole new light. My thoughts become less anxious and more considered. And when my mind is calm my attention can dance between my story and the deep mystery.
  • Yet a romantic comedy with no bite becomes sentimental and sickly. Tragedy reminds us of the gravity of life, so that we can feel compassion and empathy. Yet a harrowing tragedy with no redemption becomes dark and bitter. We want the paralogical play of opposites in our stories. And that’s what we’ve got with the great tragicomedy of life.
  • The superficial self is what I appear to be. I appear to be ‘Tim’. But the deep self is what I am… my mysterious essence… my ineffable spirit… my naked being. And when I become conscious of my deepest being I discover I am one with all beings. I see that as separate individuals you and I are like different waves on one great ocean of being.
  • For some spiritual traditions the ego is not the ‘I’, but rather our human personality. When we identify with the person we appear to be we are unconscious of the deep self. The ego is our ‘lower self’, which connives to prevent us realizing that it isn’t who we really are. When we act or think in ways we don’t like… that’s the ego playing up.
  • Becoming conscious of the mystery of existence is an extremely simple way to step out of my conceptual story. When I’m stuck in my dramas, I remember that in reality I have no idea what is going on, as life is always so much more than I can possibly understand. Then if I dive deeply into the mystery, my state of consciousness begins to change.
  • The paradoxity of life means that as a conscious individual each one of us is the hero of the story of life. Looked at from one perspective we appear to be irrelevant specks of dust in a vast universe, who are here for a moment and then gone. But from another perspective everyone is the centre around which the universe revolves. How wonderful!
  • According to the ‘uncertainty principle’ of quantum physics, on an elementary level the physical universe is a collection of possibilities. Scientists have discovered that there has to be a conscious observer to ‘collapse’ the quantum possibilities, which stops particles being in two places at once and creates a world we can examine and measure.
  • Awareness can’t be seen but makes seeing possible. Awareness can’t be heard but makes hearing possible. Awareness can’t be imagined but makes imagining possible. Awareness is the permanent background to our ever-changing experiences. It is a mysterious presence that is witnessing this flow of colours, shapes, sounds, and thoughts we call ‘life’.
  • The fundamental motif at the heart of many ancient myths is that the primal oneness of being is manifesting as the multiplicity of life, so that it can come to know itself. As the Gnostic sage Simon Magus says in ‘The Great Announcement’: There is one power… begetting itself, increasing itself, seeking itself, finding itself… One root of the All.
  • A Zen master was walking with one of his students who asked him: ‘How can I awaken?’ The master was quiet for a moment and then he replied: ‘Can you hear that babbling brook? … Enter there.’ The master is telling him to become profoundly conscious of what he’s already experiencing, by ‘entering’ into his sensual experience in the present moment.
  • Subjectively I am the experiencer of this moment. I am the mysterious presence I call ‘I’. I’m conscious of being the ‘I’ experiencing a stream of experiences right now. But what is the ‘I’? The ‘I’ is aware of this moment, so I could describe the ‘I’ as ‘awareness’. I am awareness witnessing an ever-changing flow of experiences that I call ‘life’.
  • The fundamental motif at the heart of many ancient myths is that the primal oneness of being is manifesting as the multiplicity of life, so that it can come to know itself. As the Gnostic sage Simon Magus says in ‘The Great Announcement’: There is one power… begetting itself, increasing itself, seeking itself, finding itself… One root of the All.
  • We are not only conscious . . . we are conscious that we are conscious. Yet most of us are so enamoured with the delights and dramas of our sensual experience that we pay little attention to the mysterious ‘I’ that is witnessing them. But when we do, we become deep awake. Then we see that in reality, all is one, and we start to live lucidly in love.
  • I’ve offered an alternative paralogical approach to awakening, which encourages us to wake up to oneness and love the experience of separateness… to be conscious of the deep self and embrace our flawed humanity… to transcend the mind and appreciate the mind… to know deep peace and feel intense passions… to play in the moment and evolve through time.
  • It’s like when a romantic relationship loses its magic. He used to see her as a sublime mystery, but over the years he’s adopted a lot of limiting ideas about her. Now he’s put her into a conceptual box, so she feels cramped and confined. I find that it’s the same with life. When I put the mystery of existence into a conceptual box, the magic goes. 
  • If you want to live lucidly you need to see that you are much more than you seem to be right now. When you dream at night you are awareness witnessing a stream of experiences within which you appear to be a person. Take a look at this moment – it is the same. You are awareness witnessing a stream of experiences within which you appear to be a person.
  • The problem seems to be that good Tim is too weak to triumph over bad Tim. But actually the problem is the war itself. Peace is only possible when I stop identifying with either of these Tims and instead become conscious of my deeper identity as the ‘I’ of awareness, which is witnessing the whole silly drama, so I can embrace all of Tim with big love.
  • The quantum physicists found that, on a deep level, reality has to be understood as inherently paradoxical. This has huge implications. It means we can’t think about the deep mysteries of life using normal logic, because normal logic treats paradox as… well… illogical. We need a way of thinking that can embrace paradox. We need to think paralogically.
  • When I wake up to oneness I feel a limitless love which is so deep and poignant it embraces life in all its ecstasy and agony. I share in our collective joy and suffering. And I find my selfish preoccupations are replaced by a longing for everyone to love living. When I know I am the life-dreamer I want to enjoy the life-dream in all my many disguises.
  • The ground of being is the deep sleep state in which I remember nothing. In the dreaming state, I have some memories, but I don’t remember the waking state. In the waking state, I can recall both my dreams and waking experiences, but mostly I forget both.   This suggests that in the ultraconscious after-death state, I remember much more than I do now.
  • When we dream we appear to be one of many characters in the dream-drama. However, everyone and everything in the dream is being imagined by one dreaming awareness. I want to suggest it is the same right now. We appear to be many separate individuals. However, we are all different characters in the life-dream that is being dreamt by the one life-dreamer.
  • In the dreaming state, I believe that I’m my dream persona. In the waking state, I believe that I’m my waking persona, and I see my dream persona as a figment of my individual imagination. In the deep awake state, I realize that I’m the presence of awareness, and I see my waking persona as an expression of the primal imagination, which is one with all.
  • The ground of being is the deep sleep state in which I remember nothing. In the dreaming state, I have some memories, but I don’t remember the waking state. In the waking state, I can recall both my dreams and waking experiences, but mostly I forget both.   This suggests that in the ultraconscious after-death state, I remember much more than I do now.
  • When we dream, we appear to be one of many characters in the dream-drama. However, everyone and everything in the dream is being imagined by one dreaming awareness. I want to suggest it is the same right now. We appear to be many separate individuals. However, we are all different characters in the life-dream that is being dreamt by the one life-dreamer.
  • In the dreaming state, I believe that I’m my dream persona. In the waking state, I believe that I’m my waking persona, and I see my dream persona as a figment of my individual imagination. In the deep awake state, I realize that I’m the presence of awareness, and I see my waking persona as an expression of the primal imagination, which is one with all. 
  • Subjectively I am the experiencer of this moment. I am the mysterious presence I call ‘I’. I’m conscious of being the ‘I’ experiencing a stream of experiences right now.   But what is the ‘I’?   The ‘I’ is aware of this moment, so I could describe the ‘I’ as ‘awareness’.   I am awareness witnessing an ever-changing flow of experiences that I call ‘life’. 
  • Consciousness is like a wave that rises and falls. Sometimes we’re extremely energized and more conscious, other times we’re tired and less conscious. The process of awakening doesn’t lead to a permanently awake state, because it’s the nature of consciousness to come and go. The primal ground of being is always present, but our experience of it must change.
  • The more awake I am, the more dreamlike life becomes. The more I’m conscious that Tim is a character in the life-dream, the more magical his story is. Then the idea that life is simply the unfolding of chance events seems patently absurd. I may not be able to divine the meaning of events, but that something momentous is happening…of that I’m quietly confident.
  • If we want to embrace things as they are, we’d better come to terms with the fact that life is good and bad, kind and cruel, beautiful and ugly, funny and tragic. It’s about living with polarity, not trying to exile one of the poles. When life is shitty, I try not to forget that it’s also magical. And when life is fun, I try not to forget that it’s also agonizing.
  • Paradoxically, it’s easier to relax into the mystery when we have a strong sense of our story. In my experience, when I am conscious that I both know and don’t know what life is, I fall in love with the magnificent enigma of existence. I feel the mystery around me like a warm embrace and within me like a reassuring presence. I am far from terrified. I am wonderstruck.
  • It is often claimed by non-dualists that there is no free will because consciousness is a passive presence that merely witnesses the world. But in passively witnessing the world consciousness changes the world. When the oneness of being witnesses the world through Tim this can lead to a thought arising from the depths … ‘I think I’ll do this’ … and that initiates action.
  • Imagine an omnipresent, formless field of unconscious awareness, within which all the forms of life are arising. Your body is an individual form arising within the primal field through which unconscious being becomes conscious of being. Your body is a centre of conscious awareness illuminating a particular ‘bubble’ of experience within the field of unconscious awareness.
  • Having an ‘ego’ is as much a natural part of being human as having a heart. But you don’t want to be lost in the ego, as this leads to all sorts of suffering. You need to be conscious of both your ego and your essential nature as the oneness of awareness. You need to transcend and include your ego within your deeper identity. The ego doesn’t need fighting. It needs loving.
  • When the quantum physicists looked deeply into the nature of matter, they discovered something astonishing. The quantum possibilities only come into a definite form when observed by consciousness. They concluded that consciousness ‘collapses’ the quantum possibilities into a seemingly solid universe. So, without the conscious observer the world as we know it doesn’t exist.
  • We are only conscious because we’re experiencing the world of separateness. But now we are conscious through experiencing separateness, we can also become conscious of the essential oneness of being. If we get lost in our concepts we don’t experience the primal oneness, but without these concepts we wouldn’t be conscious at all.   So we come to know the wordless via words…
  • The process of evolution is the primal oneness of unconscious being arising as separate centres of conscious being, so it can finally come to know that all is one. The primal being is coming to self-knowledge by dreaming itself to be you and me on a journey of awakening to oneness. Life is a journey from unconscious oneness through conscious separateness to conscious oneness.
  • Is there anything about which you can be absolutely certain? Yes. You are experiencing something right now. Your experience of this moment is not a belief that can be questioned. It is a self-evident certainty. Your experience of this moment is all you can be absolutely sure of.  So, the only way to really understand life is to examine your own immediate experience of living. 
  • Is there anything about which you can be absolutely certain? Yes. You are experiencing something right now. Your experience of this moment is not a belief that can be questioned. It is a self-evident certainty.  Your experience of this moment is all you can be absolutely sure of.  So, the only way to really understand life is to examine your own immediate experience of living. 
  • This is not a bland experience of some monolithic ‘oneness’. It’s a profound experience of the ‘uni-variety’ of the universe. It’s seeing that on the surface of life everything is separate, like waves on an ocean, but at the depths all is one. When I experience the universe vision I find myself appreciating the multifarious variety of life as an expression of one mysterious essence.
  • Sometimes when people talk about awakening they describe the dream of life as a pernicious illusion we need to escape, but that doesn’t feel right to me. The more I dissolve into the oneness, the more animated I feel as a unique individual. The more I feel filled with limitless love, the more I long to share it. The more I wake up, the more precious this dream of life becomes to me.
  • How many successful films have there been that start with all going well, progress with everything working out, and end happily ever after? We don’t want to watch a story like that. We want tension and drama… misfortune and humour… catharsis and transformation… chaos and resolution. We want a story that moves us to feel something. We want a story that leaves us richer for the telling.
  • When I live lucidly I see that I am both mortal and immortal. The person I appear to be in time had a beginning and will come to an end. But the deep self isn’t in time, just like a dreamer isn’t in a dream. As a person I’m a body that is born to die. But the deep self can’t die because it was never born. My essential being is immortal, because being by it’s very nature must always be.
  • To be a lover of life is to be a heroic lover on a sacred quest to become an embodiment of love. This means facing the dilemmas that confront us with bold determination to love. But the hero doesn’t start triumphant, win every war, and return victorious. The hero struggles and fails, yet finds the inner strength, which wells up from the deep self, to come back from defeat and love again.
  • I realised that everything is arising spontaneously as one, and when I first experienced this deep realization it was truly astonishing. All is the one flow of life. The writing of these words is happening as part of that one flow just as naturally as the sun rises each morning. On a deep level the oneness of awareness is doing everything, just as the dreamer is doing everything in a dream.
  • Waking up to oneness isn’t a cold and colourless realization. It’s an experience of profound communion with all that is, which transforms how it feels to appear as a person in the story of life. It’s an experience of deep love that spontaneously arises when we get the great paradoxity that we’re both separate and not-separate from one another. Love is the wonderful dance of being two and one.
  • In addition to deriving an identity from how we experience ourselves in the world, we also derive a sense of self from the very fact that we are experiencing. If there is experience, then there must, we assume, be an experiencer; there must be an “I” who is doing the experiencing. It certainly feels that way. Whatever is going on in my mind, there is this sense that I am the subject of it all.
  • And this huge realization brings us to the happy ending. When we know that we are one with everything and everyone, we find ourselves in love with everything and everyone, because love is how oneness feels. When we’re conscious of the oneness of being, we fall in love with all beings. We simply love being. So our epic fable turns out to be a love story … and that’s what makes it worth telling.
  • When I dive deeply into the mystery experience it feels as if I’m dissolving in an ocean of love. There’s an awe-inspiring sense of oneness with the universe. My sensual body comes alive. The search for meaning is resolved into a wordless ‘understanding’, which is so deep it must be felt not thought. There’s the silent certainty that all is well; and such a feeling of relief… like coming home.
  • There is yum and yuk in every moment. So the secret to dealing with yucky situations is to remember the ways in which things are also yummy. But that doesn’t mean ignoring the bad. I can’t stand all that positive-thinking stuff, because it’s important to allow negative thoughts. Let’s face it, a lot of things about life really stink. And if we want to be authentic, we need to acknowledge this.
  • Of course, if we are identified with just the separate self we can become ‘egotistical’, in the sense of the word ‘ego’ that implies we are selfish, self-obsessed and narcissistic. I’m not saying that’s a good thing. I simply want to suggest that our individuality is something to celebrate not denigrate. And that as we awaken to deep love the separate self becomes a vehicle to express that love.
  • If you experiment with presencing I think you’ll find your state of consciousness shifting straight away. Start by coming out of your normal waking state by entering the delicious sensation of breathing and immerse yourself in the mystery of the moment. Then sink your attention into the depths of yourself and become conscious of being the presence of awareness witnessing all you are experiencing.
  • I am conscious that I am conscious. I am conscious of being. How does this feel?   It feels as if I am a mysterious presence which is always present.   I am an unchanging stillness witnessing an ever-changing flow of experiences.   In the flow of experiences, I appear to be a person called ‘Tim’.  But essentially, I am awareness witnessing the unfolding adventures of Tim.   This is my deep self. 
  • In a dream, I appear to be my dream persona, but really I’m the dreamer. In the waking state, it’s the same: I appear to be Tim, but my deeper identity is awareness, within which the dream of life is arising. When I dream lucidly, although I’m experiencing the dream from the perspective of my dream persona, I know that I’m really the dreamer, so I’m one with everything and everyone in the dream. 
  • The goal of mysticism is communion with God. In this experience, the mystic no longer exists as a separate individual, but becomes one with the Oneness. This vision can only arise when the mystic realises that the ego-self is only an illusionary veil that masks the true divine Self: and that this Self is God, the being of all beings. God is not something ‘other,’ but is our shared essential identity.
  • A movie is only enjoyable when I enter into the illusion, because then it moves and thrills me. Likewise, life only moves and thrills me when I enter into the illusion of separateness. Yet I don’t want to be completely lost in the story of life any more than I want to be lost in a movie, as that would be hell. I want to both enter into the drama and have the tacit knowledge of being a detached observer.
  • From one perspective I agree that everything is arising spontaneously as one, and when I first experienced this deep realization it was truly astonishing. All is the one flow of life. The writing of these words is happening as part of that one flow just as naturally as the sun rises each morning. On a deep level the oneness of awareness is doing everything, just as the dreamer is doing everything in a dream.
  • Paradoxically, I’ve found that the more I step out of the story of Tim, the more I’m able to really enjoy his adventures. When I’m lost in separateness, it’s so frightening that I wear a psychological suit of armour to protect myself, which deadens me to life. I become scared and take refuge in numb insensitivity. Only when I know I’m truly safe can I risk diving into the whirling currents of the life-stream.
  • When Jesus is asked, ‘What is the greatest commandment?’ he replies: Love God with all your heart. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love others as yourself. The first commandment is to love God, which means communing with the primal oneness of being. The second commandment is to love others as yourself, because when you wake up to oneness you see that others are your self.
  • As I sit here bathing in the warm night air, I feel washed by the ebb and flow of the polarities of existence. I’m immersed in the mystery and I’m contemplating my story. I have a timeless perspective on a temporary world. I’m the presence of awareness appreciating the show. I’m insignificant and vulnerable, yet magnificent and secure. I’m a transitory speck of cosmic dust, but I’m the star of the story of Tim.
  • In reality, all was one, because everything was an expression of the primal awareness that was dreaming up the universe. This cosmic case of mistaken identity would just be comical if it weren’t for the fact that the illusion of separateness caused such huge amounts of suffering. You see, when a brainy monkey believed: ‘I am a separate someone’, this inevitably led to a preoccupation with its own self-interest.
  • Life is predicated on a primal polarity that could be described with terms such as mystery and manifest . . . potentiality and actuality . . . oneness and separateness . . . life-dreamer and life-dream . . . nirvana and samsara . . . emptiness and form. The poles of this polarity seem to be a duality, but essentially they are a unity. Just as a dream and the dreamer seem to be a duality but are essentially one.
  • Enlightenment is often understood as an egoless state in which we’re fully self-realized and permanently awake. We’re free from the cycle of rebirth, so we don’t have to reincarnate back into this troublesome human existence. I no longer see the spiritual journey in this way. I don’t aspire to arrive at some ultimate state. My experience of awakening makes me want to fully engage with the human adventure, not escape it.
  • As a child, if a movie scared me I would pinch myself so that I’d remember I was in a cinema. For me, spiritual practices are a bit like pinching myself. When I’ve become so identified with the hero in the story of Tim that it has become terrifyingly real, I need to remember that everything is in fact okay. But when I know it’s okay, I don’t want to remain in a state of detached indifference. I want to get into the story again.
  • Swami Blandananda: Tim is just a puppet of God. Tim: No. You’re confusing the two paralogical perspectives. From one perspective all is one. Everything is just happening. There is no Tim. So there’s no separate person to be a puppet or otherwise. Then from the other perspective everything is separate. Tim exists as a person. And he can clearly choose how he reacts to life. This is one of his defining qualities as a human being.
  • The ego is our sense of being an individual ‘I’. In my experience, when I wake up to oneness the sense of being an individual ‘I’ doesn’t vaporize away like a meaningless illusion. On the contrary, I see how important the ‘I’ truly is. The ‘I’ is arising within the primal field of unconscious being, as a separate centre of conscious being. If this were not the case I wouldn’t be conscious at all… let alone spiritually awakened.
  • This whole virtual reality has been created from ones and zeros. It looks as if we’re in a vast stadium shooting and scoring, but behind the vivid veneer, it’s just a dance of opposites. Life is not a computer-generated virtual reality, but they are comparable because our experience is also fundamentally structured by the play of polarity. I guess that is why when we invented computers, polarity was the obvious idea to employ.
  • The purpose of the spiritual journey is not to arrive anywhere, but rather to engage with the adventure of life in a new way, so that the evolutionary process unfolds powerfully within us. It’s about waking up to our deeper being so that we can more fully engage with the evolutionary adventure of becoming a more conscious individual. It’s about living our lives as a transformational process through which we are learning to love.
  • Comedy relieves us from the burden of being too serious, so that we can play in the moment. Yet a romantic comedy with no bite becomes sentimental and sickly. Tragedy reminds us of the gravity of life, so that we can feel compassion and empathy. Yet a harrowing tragedy with no redemption becomes dark and bitter. We want the paralogical play of opposites in our stories. And that’s what we’ve got with the great tragicomedy of life.
  • The purpose of the spiritual journey is not to arrive anywhere, but rather to engage with the adventure of life in a new way, so that the evolutionary process unfolds powerfully within us. It’s about waking up to our deeper being so that we can more fully engage with the evolutionary adventure of becoming a more conscious individual. It’s about living our lives as a transformational process through which we are learning to love.
  • When we’re told that we must silence the mind, yet it stubbornly continues to perform its thinking function, we blame ourselves for our failure. Or more accurately the mind starts to berate itself for its failure to stop being the mind! But the mind can’t stop thinking any more than the heart can stop beating. That’s what it does. And thank goodness for that. If the mind stopped thinking we wouldn’t be enlightened … we’d be stupid!
  • The mystics are not content to have a relationship with God via priests and institutions, but look inside themselves to know God directly. When they do, God is revealed as an all-embracing love that unites the universe into one indivisible whole. In communion with God, the mystics no longer experience themselves as separate individuals but as expressions of the Oneness. God is the only reality. God is everything. God does everything.
  • When I used to fight my unconsciousness, it turned the adventure of awakening into a perpetual struggle. I’ve come to accept that sometimes I’m very awake and sometimes I’m not. Even getting lost in the story of Tim is okay because this is the way I experience things that will ultimately make me more conscious. In my experience, I just need to be authentic with whatever is happening for me. There’s no need to fight the flow of my life.
  • Modern non-dual spirituality is often characterized by a complete denial of the reality of the individual self. A central claim is that awakening requires the understanding that there is ‘no doer’ with free will to choose and act. The idea of an individual agent with volition arises from the illusion of separateness. In reality everything is just happening and seeing this leads to the realization of ‘no self’, which is the ‘final truth’.
  • I find myself immersed in the deep mystery. Then something astonishing happens. The inarticulate question of the heart dissolves into the ocean of mystery. And I feel I’ve found the answer I’m looking for. But this answer, like the question, is more of a feeling than a thought. I can’t really express the inarticulate question, because it’s too deep for words. I can’t really express the inarticulate answer, because it’s too deep for words.
  • The paradoxity of life means that every one of us as an individual self is the hero of the story of life. Looked at from one perspective we appear to be irrelevant specks of dust in a vast universe, who are here for a moment and then gone. But from another perspective each one of us is the very centre of the universe. When I understand that I am both an irrelevant speck and the star of the show, it makes me feel both humble and empowered.
  • The paradoxity of life means that every one of us as an individual self is the hero of the story of life. Looked at from one perspective we appear to be irrelevant specks of dust in a vast universe, who are here for a moment and then gone. But from another perspective each one of us is the very centre of the universe. When I understand that I am both an irrelevant speck and the star of the show, it makes me feel both humble and empowered.
  • Life is to be enjoyed and endured. That’s one of the great paradoxities the heroic lover must understand. When we enjoy life, it feels good to be alive. When we endure life, it deepens our wisdom and compassion. To ‘endure’ is to become ‘durable’… to become strong. When we endure it strengthens the soul. And life wants us to become strong, so we can withstand the storms as well as delight in the sunshine. So we can love, whatever the weather.
  • I am often asked if I believe in God and I reply ‘I don’t believe in anything but God’. It’s all God. We are all God. There is only God. God is not some distant figure somewhere in the sky. God is my own deepest nature and yours too. We are God playing a game of hide and seek. Pretending to be separate individuals and then awakening to our deeper nature, so that we realize something extraordinary. Essentially there is one of us. How exquisite!
  • The scientific story points to this deep purpose of life. It tells how the evolutionary process has filled the world with ever more conscious forms of life, until it has created human beings. What makes us so special is that we’re not just conscious, we’re conscious that we’re conscious. We know that we exist. We are conscious of being. And if we focus our attention on our deepest being we become deep awake. And then we can live as a lover of life.
  • The visible spectrum, from violet to red, that we can see with our eyes is a small part of a much bigger electromagnetic spectrum that we don’t perceive. Imagine the visible spectrum as one octave on a piano keyboard that represents the whole electromagnetic spectrum. How big do you think the keyboard would be? Think big. Think very big, because the keyboard would be hundreds of thousands of miles long. And all we see would be just one octave on it!
  • Many spiritual traditions condemn the fragmented, wounded human self and see it as the ego we need to overcome. But I don’t see Tim as a spiritual burden, because I’ve come to love him despite his flaws. He can be difficult to live with, but I’ve become patient with that. I don’t want to wage war with the ego that I’ve struggled to develop as I’ve become a distinct individual. I want to honour the ego as a hero on a journey of awakening to deep love.
  • I want to suggest that the purpose of the spiritual journey is not to arrive anywhere, but rather to engage with the adventure of life in a new way, so that the evolutionary process unfolds powerfully within us. It’s about waking up to our deeper being so that we can more fully engage with the evolutionary adventure of becoming a more conscious individual. It’s about living our lives as a transformational process through which we are learning to love.
  • Within the stream of [life] experiences you appear to be a particular person. This is your ever-changing apparent identity. Your apparent identity is not who you essentially are. It is who you temporarily appear to be. This will become obvious if you consider your experience of waking and dreaming. When you dream at night, the person you presently appear to be disappears from awareness and you appear to be a different person in a different dream-world.
  • The paradoxity of life means that as a conscious individual each one of us is the hero of the story of life. Looked at from one perspective we appear to be irrelevant specks of dust in a vast universe, who are here for a moment and then gone. But from another perspective everyone is the centre around which the universe revolves. How wonderful! When I understand that I am both an irrelevant speck and the star of the show, it makes me feel both humble and empowered.
  • First we need a robust sense of being a separate individual. When this is strong enough it can support a conscious awakening to our deeper being. When a strong separate self is absent, the natural process of awakening is transformed into the pathology of depersonalization. Many ancient spiritual traditions understood this, which is why they reserved the deep teachings of oneness for those who’d reached a mature age and created a strong sense of their individuality.
  • Everything I am experiencing is arising within the spacious presence of awareness…just like a dream. And then spontaneously everything becomes one. I am one with the experiences that are arising within awareness…just as a dreamer is one with a dream… just as space is one with all it contains.   I am not separate from life… I am one with life.   I feel a wonderful sense of communion with everything and everyone.   I am deep-knowing my deep self and it feels good.  
  • Consciously be the presence of awareness, witnessing the mystery of this moment. This doesn’t mean cutting yourself off from your experience as an aloof observer; your experience is not separate from what you are any more than a dream is separate from the dreamer. Consciously be the presence of awareness and embrace your experience of this moment with love and acceptance…   Consciously be the presence of awareness, witnessing and appreciating what you are seeing.
  • In the same way, when I live lucidly, I know that although I’m experiencing the waking world from the perspective of my waking persona, I’m the primal awareness that is one with everything and everyone. When I dream lucidly, I know that I am both a separate individual in the dreamworld and that I’m one with everything in the dream. When I live lucidly, I know that I am both a separate individual in the waking world and that I am one with everything in the life-dream.
  • I am often told by non-dualists that ‘Tim’ is no more than a puppet whose autonomy is an illusion. But I suggest this confuses two paralogical perspectives. From one perspective all is one and everything is just happening, so there’s no separate ‘Tim’ to be a puppet or have volition. From the other perspective everything is separate and I exist as a person called ‘Tim’, who can clearly choose how he reacts to life. This is one of his defining qualities as a human being.
  • As I wonder deeply about life, I find myself immersed in the deep mystery. Then something astonishing happens. The inarticulate question of the heart dissolves into the ocean of mystery. And I feel I’ve found the answer I’m looking for. But this answer, like the question, is more of a feeling than a thought. I can’t really express the inarticulate question, because it’s too deep for words. I can’t really express the inarticulate answer, because it’s too deep for words.
  • I am often told by non-dualists that ‘Tim’ is no more than a puppet whose autonomy is an illusion. But I suggest this confuses two paralogical perspectives. From one perspective all is one and everything is just happening, so there’s no separate ‘Tim’ to be a puppet or have volition. From the other perspective everything is separate, and I exist as a person called ‘Tim’, who can clearly choose how he reacts to life. This is one of his defining qualities as a human being.
  • The human predicament is so astonishingly strange it amazes me that we aren’t in a permanent state of confusion. Here we are . . . clever monkeys clinging to a lump of rock, hurtling around a giant nuclear-power station in the sky, in a solar system of such enormous proportions that to imagine it makes our brains go pop! And that’s just our solar system, since there are more than 100 billion stars! And that’s just in our galaxy, since there more than 100 billion galaxies!
  • When we assume we are just separate individuals we act in our limited self-interest, regardless of the suffering we may cause others. But becoming conscious of oneness leads to the selfless desire to create universal wellbeing. This realisation has huge implications. It means harming others is hurting ourselves. It means revenge – even against the most hideous criminals – is hurting ourselves again.  It means war – no matter how righteous – is grotesque self-mutilation. 
  • Rudolf Otto describes the feeling of communing with the natural world as: … the sense of being immersed in the oneness of nature, so that man feels all the individuality, all the peculiarities of natural things in himself. He dances with the motes of dust and radiates with the sun; he rises with the dawn, surges with the wave, is fragrant with the rose, rapt with the nightingale: he knows and is all being, all strength, all joy, all desire, all pain in all things inseparably.
  • Before the beginning, the primal imagination was like a big mind slumbering in the unconscious nothingness of deep sleep. Then it started to dream the adventure of life; as it did, it became conscious through each of the forms it was imagining itself to be. As a hippo, it experienced itself to be a hippo. As a hummingbird, it experienced itself to be a hummingbird. As a human being, it experienced itself to be a human being. And this is what created the illusion of separateness.
  • If I focus my attention on the deep awake state, the waking world goes out of focus. But the waking world is still in my peripheral consciousness, so I can bring my attention to it if I wish. And if I focus my attention on the waking world, I can keep the deep awake state in my peripheral consciousness, so I can return my focus to it when I want to. I am able to move the focus of my attention between the poles of my identity, while retaining the other pole in my peripheral attention.
  • Science and spirituality offer us very different stories about life, but I want to suggest they are paralogically complementary, so we can embrace both. Science helps us explore the objective mysteries of life. Spirituality helps us explore the subjective mysteries of life. Science is essentially a collective enterprise through which we come to understand how the universe works. Spirituality is essentially an individual enterprise though which we come to understand the meaning of life.
  • I feel we urgently need an alternative to the soul-destroying understanding of science that has become dominant in our culture over the last few decades … I call this philosophy ‘scientific objectivism’, because it regards only the objective world as real for scientific objectivists the world of my imagination, from which these words are pouring right now, is just a by-product of a piece of meat called the ‘brain’, because only the world that can be measured and mapped really exists.
  • Knowing the deep I can seem difficult, but actually it simply requires you to pay attention to something utterly obvious … you know that you exist. A mystical Christian text called The Cloud of Unknowing teaches that we need to become conscious of ‘a naked conception and a blind feeling of being’. Try it now and I think you’ll find your state of consciousness shifting. Let go of your ideas about yourself and focus on a ‘naked conception’ of who you are. Be conscious of a ‘blind feeling of being’.

 

  • In my experience the more I become conscious of the deep self, which is not in time, the more I can enter into the story of Tim in time. When I’m only superficially awake I hold back from life because it’s so scary. I want to commit to my life and choose to really live, but I nervously put it off until tomorrow. But in the deep awake state of safe vulnerability I’m able to take the risk and go for my life. I can dare to passionately engage with the scary business of living. I can love being human.
  • The great secret found at the heart of all the major spiritual traditions of the world is this. If you pay close attention to your identity, you will discover your subjective nature as awareness. This is your deep I. It is what the Hindu philosophers call the ‘atman’, the Buddhist masters call your ‘buddha-nature’, and the Christian mystics call your ‘spirit’. The word ‘spirit’ means essence. The word ‘essence’ comes from the Latin ‘esse’ meaning ‘to be’. Your deep I is your being. It is what you are.
  • It seems to me that this demonizing of the mind is a profound mistake. It’s absolutely true, of course, that when we get lost in our habitual thoughts it makes it harder to awaken. This is a valuable insight, but it’s only half the story. I take a paralogical approach. To me the mind is a wonderful tool with which to create and criticize my story of life. But I don’t want to be only conscious of the mind and the story it weaves for me. To become deep awake I also need to be conscious of the deep mystery.
  • Awareness isn’t something within your experience. It is an emptiness that contains all you are experiencing. Try it out and see how it feels. Be the spacious emptiness of awareness within which everything you are experiencing exists. All you see and hear and touch and imagine exists within awareness. Your body exists within awareness. The world exists within awareness. You may appear to be a body in the world, but essentially you are awareness and the world exists in you – just like when you are dreaming.
  • I was reading the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins recently, and he was explaining that our brains construct a model of the world that we move around in, which he describes as ‘a kind of virtual-reality simulation of the world’. Isn’t that interesting? It’s just like in The Matrix, except we’re not living in a computer-generated reality; we’re inhabiting a world constructed from ideas. We’re living in a conceptual matrix created by the mind, which helps us understand the awesome mystery of existence.
  • It seems to me that our experience of choice is a reality it is absurd to deny. In fact, our freedom is much more extensive than we normally acknowledge. We are free in this moment to do innumerable things. Our freedom is overwhelming. Indeed, it seems to me that if we could allow ourselves to be as free as we truly are, we’d make much better choices in our lives, and be much happier. All it takes is for us to become more conscious. Because the more conscious we are the more freedom of choice we experience.
  • Many spiritual traditions describe spiritual awakening as leading to an experience of intense devotion to God. Other traditions maintain that having a devotional relationship with God characterizes a lesser awakening. It shows we’re still enmeshed in the illusion of separateness, because in reality we are one with God. In my experience these two approaches are complementary not contradictory. Being one with God and being in love with God are paralogically different ways of experiencing the same awakened state.
  • On one side of the ‘I’ door, I’m the primal awareness, and on the other side, I’m this person known as Tim. On one side of the ‘I’ door, I’m the life-dreamer, and on the other side, I am a character in the life-dream. On one side of the ‘I’ door, everything is just perfect as it is; and on the other side, I’m a player in the great evolutionary story of one and all, which is full of joy and suffering, heroism and cruelty, hope and despair. A story that is propelling us ever onward to our collective awakening.
  • Your experience is not separate from what you are any more than a dream is separate from the dreamer. Consciously be the presence of awareness and embrace your experience of this moment with love and acceptance. Consciously be the presence of awareness, witnessing and appreciating the feeling of your breath rising and falling.   Consciously be the presence of awareness, witnessing and appreciating what you are seeing.   Consciously be the presence of awareness, witnessing and appreciating what you are hearing.
  • I love it when a movie captivates my attention; however, I don’t want to completely identify with the hero, since when the story becomes harrowing, I find it too disturbing. This rarely happens because I know that I am basically safe in the cinema. In the same way, waking up to my essential identity gives me a detached serenity from the trials and tribulations of the story of Tim. But just being detached would be like watching a movie and merely seeing coloured patches projected on a screen. Where’s the fun in that?
  • Now you can presence the present moment. You do this by focusing your attention on your essential nature, which is witnessing all you are experiencing, yet can’t be seen or heard or touched. Then you’ll become conscious of being the spacious presence of awareness within which your experience is arising like a dream. You’ll come to deep-know that you are one with the primal field of awareness. And when you deep-know that you are one with the mystery of being, a primal, unconditional, limitless love of being naturally arises.
  • You appear to be a body in the world. Now flip it around. You are awareness and the world exists in you. Try it again … You appear to be a person in time. Flip it around. You are a permanent presence witnessing an ever-changing flow of appearances. Try it again … You appear to be a separate individual. Flip it around. You are the life-dreamer experiencing existence from a particular point of view. One more time … You appear to be a character in the life-dream. Flip it around. You are the life-dreamer and everything is you.
  • Many spiritual traditions teach that to awaken to the deep self we need to suppress our human nature. We need to eradicate our passions. Fear, anger, and desire are particularly deplorable. Lust is really bad. Our attachments are a problem too. All these human weaknesses arise because we’re identified with the evil ego. It seems to me that such teachings actually makes it harder to awaken, because we believe there are things about our nature that we must overcome, when actually all we need to do is notice our deeper identity as well.
  • For the mystics, religion is not just a matter of creeds and rituals, it is a spiritual path to the experiential knowledge of God. It is the process of eradicating all the selfishness that binds us to our illusionary separate identities and blinds us to the omnipresent Oneness. To walk this way we must abandon our own personal desires and completely accept all that God wills. More than this, we must realise that self-will is ultimately an illusion, for as the 14th-century mystic Mother Julian of Norwich says ‘Our Lord God does everything.’
  • When I live lucidly I see the paradoxity of my identity. I see that I am both separate and not-separate from life. I experience the adventures of Tim, who is a separate individual in the world. But I deep-know myself to be the spacious presence of awareness, within which the world is arising. I see that my essential nature as awareness is one with life, just like a dreamer is one with a dream. And when I deep-know that I am one with life, I experience an intimate connectedness with everything and everyone. I feel an allembracing love for life.
  • In reality, all was one, because everything was an expression of the primal awareness that was dreaming up the universe. This cosmic case of mistaken identity would just be comical if it weren’t for the fact that the illusion of separateness caused such huge amounts of suffering. You see, when a brainy monkey believed: ‘I am a separate someone’, this inevitably led to a preoccupation with its own self-interest. It wanted what was best for itself, its family, and its tribe. The… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits.