What you're seeking for is where you're seeking from.
Proof :: Assume that it is not the case that we have an eternal existence. In such a case, this awareness and experience of existence will end. In ending of an existence, it is then nonexistent, and is as if it never existed to begin with.
Since time is an experience of our awareness within this physical existence, outside of one’s own experience, time does not exist as we experience it.
To see that this is the case, one must understand that time is solely a function of mind. Past and future do not exist within this present moment. If they do, show me where they exist; the past is solely stored as recorded memories in the mind, and the future exists solely as a projected concept of forecasting by the mind. Neither exist in actuality, only this present moment, and we call the regular interval observations of change at a pace we can perceive ‘time’.
The Continual Present Moment
What exists instead of our experience of time is a continual present moment containing all change. If awareness and our existence ends, it ends at some point within this continual present moment.
Regardless of the state of the universe, this continual present moment persists, since it does not depend on the progression of time or the state of the universe. In fact, the reverse is true: the state of the universe changes within the continual present moment, and our perception of time occurs within the continual present moment.
Hence, our existence, having ended inside of this continual present moment, would have already played out from start to finish, and no experience of our existence would exist. Arising and falling like a thought or a dream, after it ceases only a memory of it remains.
The difference between a memory and the moment itself is clear and evident; one cannot live inside a memory, but one’s experience and existence is within this continual present moment. Assuming our existence ends, it would have already done so, leaving only a memory that is not possible to live and experience within.
Since this is clearly not the case, the fact that one exists and experiences now indicates that such awareness and existence has not and will not collapse, but persists along with the continual present moment.
Hence, the fact of our existence is proof in and of itself that we do not cease to exist at any point in the continual present moment. The continual present moment will not cease for the same reason our existence will not cease; for it to cease would mean that there could not be any experience of it right now, which is clearly not the case.
Death and the Body
What we can say about physical death is that we observe the body die; without knowing ourselves further than this, it is possible to confuse the cessation of life in the body with the cessation of one’s existence. Those who die cannot possibly make that confusion, since it is clear from the above reasoning, from those who experience death, and from those who have seen through the death process that their existence persists after the cessation of life in the body. We will refer to any number of direct experiences individuals have had as accounts for this.
If we were the body, we would not be the same from moment to moment; at each moment, cells are being replaced, the chemistry is undergoing constant changes, and the brain activity and heart rhythms are constantly altering their patterns of activity, not to mention the development of life from fetus to your current existence now. If any of these processes constituted who we are fundamentally, there could not be a persistent ‘you’ claiming to be the same ‘you’ as a child or as an adult right now. You would constantly be dying and some new thing being constantly reborn as some new temporary process in the body, which is not the case if you are the same individual awareness from moment to moment.
This persistent and constant being is using the body and the mind, but is not such things. Who is observing reality through your eyes? Can you see that person when you look in a mirror? If what you see when you look in a mirror is not the observer, but the body, a tool of the observer, what is being observed is not the observer. What is perceiving is not that which is perceived.
Who Is the Mind?
If you are the mind, when you have a thought, are you aware of it? If you can notice a thought arising, are you that thought? When that thought dissipates, where do you go? If you are the mind generating thoughts, how do thoughts come and go on their own, without you deciding to have any part in it? If what is seen is seen, we cannot be that thing, because the seeing and the seer will not perceive Itself by observing something that it is not.
If you are not your thoughts, do they come from you? Who is thinking right now? We can act as an agent in generating thoughts, yes, but when we aren’t doing anything in particular, the mind is still causing thoughts to arise and cease; is that you? Are you the one beating your heart right now? Who is causing those things to happen? Are you consciously making your cells divide?
If we can call such processes ‘intelligent’, then that intelligence clearly has nothing to do with you. It happens without your involvement; your awareness or unawareness of it does not make a difference to your awareness. In other words, observing it or not observing it does not change your awareness in any way, it continues to exist regardless. This automatically is proof that other intelligences than oneself operate and dictate functions of the physical organism.
Loss of Consciousness
When we lose consciousness or dream, where does our awareness go? It seems to disappear, and our existence along with it, but the passage of time during our unconsciousness or dreams is a bodily phenomenon; if we notice, the space between our awareness and unawareness is nil. Do we exist, then not exist, then exist again? If so, that is called immortality. If we exist regardless of the state of our awareness, that, too, is called immortality. Nowhere have we found an example of true nonexistence as an experience of cessation of consciousness. The experience of cessation and resuscitation that occurs each night when we dream, or when we otherwise lose consciousness, demonstrates that existence and nonexistence as perceived by the mind has no bearing or impact on our actual existence, period.
Loss of consciousness when we dream is closer to death than death, actually, as many who go through the death process are aware of the experience and their continued existence through it. However, if the awareness falls by way of habit into unconsciousness or dream, and thus into a void, it obviously returns without any harm or change befalling it whatsoever. It is simply like closing your eyes, except in this case what the awareness is closing its ‘eyes’ to is the fact of its existence, that’s all.
Active and Passive Rhythm
If we observe the basis of life and death processes, of existence and nonexistence, we see that there are two forces at play. Scientists call them ‘entropy’ and ‘syntropy’, but understood physiologically, they are active and passive rhythms in the body, as they are in nature. When we are awake, our brain rhythm is active and the passive is dormant, and we call this ‘awareness’, or ‘being awake.’
When we sleep, the passive rhythm is dominant while the active is dormant, and we call this ‘being asleep’. However, if we could talk to ourselves in the dream, we would be quite sure that what we were experiencing is real, even if it holds to no logic or reason, since those centers of the brain correspond to the active mode and are shut off during sleep.
Since we may sometimes recall dreams, they were experienced. If something was experienced, to the awareness it happened and now exists as a memory of the event. In such a case, a dream experience can be considered no more or less real than our waking experience. It is our persistent active mode of time and the laws of logic and reason that stitch this experience of our waking state into a cohesive story; a visit to a mental ward will introduce you to individuals who may be missing out on this cohesive story in favor for any number of different sorts of delusions.
The Persistent Delusion
At the end of the day, however, they are all delusions; we are simply convinced that our persistent delusion serves some useful and integral purpose for us. Perhaps a mental patients’ delusion is equally important to them, as well, even if it is different from ours, or that of society as a whole. Whose delusion is more correct, or better? From what perspective would such a conclusion be drawn?
Beyond the Duality of Mind
What we strive to arrive at is an experience of our existence that is outside of delusion, outside of ‘this-or-that’, which means outside of the divisional imbalance of overly active or overly passive mental rhythm. Yes, this means outside of the concept of ‘existence’ and ‘nonexistence’. Both existence and nonexistence are false, and they are true, and they are neither false nor true.
What does that mean? For existence itself to be seen as such, it must be in relation to its opposite, nonexistence. How would you have existence without nonexistence? It would be like having up without down. In the same way, nonexistence itself exists in relation to existence. It could not be otherwise. But we do not see things in that way; our mind is trained to ignore the space between objects and be aware only of the objects. We sometimes even forget that up and down are both directions on the same axis. North implies South, inward implies outward, and existence implies nonexistence, and vice versa. Neither concept exists without its opposite. How, then, can they be said to be apart, or even separate things? Our minds divide into concepts for convenience, but if we call something existent we must realize its relevance: existent relative to us, nonexistent relative to us.
Further, existent here means nonexistent there, but here and there are themselves divisions, more delusional categories of distinction generated by the mind and having nothing to do whatsoever with reality itself. It is better to not trouble with it at all. Without using the mind to think about it, without using the problem to create more problems, see straight through to the simple essence of all things: neither this-nor-that, empty of our mind contents and full of Isness, indescribable and indivisible Suchness. Verbing without a definable nature one could correctly hang labels on. Empty isn’t empty, and full isn’t full. But neither is empty full, nor full empty. It is completely beyond the categories of mind.
When the whole play is dropped, we taste the ordinary moment, dull because it is shallow to us. We haven’t yet deepened the moment with piercing clarity to see the heart of the matter. We constantly believe that the mind will hold something good for us, something better than right now. We forever run after the next, missing right now. And when we get it, it’s gone, because we’ve already thrown it away for the next thing. Try something different.
Direct Penetrating Into Clarity
Let the mind play and be okay with whatever it is doing, but don’t chase after it into an early grave full of regrets of missing out on life right now. Don’t retreat into an endless and fruitless war with the mind, using mind to fight mind and so causing endless disease and torment. The thing we’re throwing away, this ordinary moment, is the treasure. Taste it for real, and you will have such a laugh at yourself for having ever missed it. The whole world is missing it, until you taste, then you will see that it was impossible for you to ever be outside of it. Hidden right before our eyes is the Dharma Treasure. Don’t think treasure, don’t think Dharma, neither exist, it’s not thinking or not-not thinking. It’s being fully in what’s happening now without needing or wanting what’s next because now is fully seen for its infinite vastness, wonder and depth.
Wordplay for the Wordless
Tear even that apart. Do not ingest my indigestion. Or anyone’s, for that matter, especially your own. Sit on the sky and see your forehead extends beyond the boundaries of the universe. Tread on solid ground and enter the image of the spacious spacelessness. Take your fill of emptiness with a cup that has no handle. Grasp the ungraspable and find use for the unused. Tread the dark path to the light of your soul.
Taking steps to here or there, you will never reach what’s always right here. Searching for it inside and out, you will never find that which is sought. What you are seeking is that which seeks. Losing yourself, you will find it, because you don’t exist as some fixed idea or particular point in space and time.
None of this speaks to your mind, do not enter it there, there is no arriving at truth, as there is no place to get it. Where do you think you will find the wondrous wisdom? It is so vast that you will have to bend light backwards through the head of a needle in order to see the cosmic wheel.
These words are not for you, burn them from the page and take them back to before they were ever said. Then, when you can hear the soundless sound reverberate throughout the whole of space, you will know you have found the door.