The Path of Conviction I Bentinho Massaro

May 17, 2021 13:57 · 3662 words · 18 minute read

Well, I noticed that the more empowered I feel on a relative level, like when I have high confidence and high optimism, the more, like crystallised momentum and focus, the deeper my meditations are, the more sort of clearly I can realise deeper states, than if I’m more… Yeah, so I don’t know how people do it otherwise. Yeah. So, and I agree with you, that’s in some ways, that’s ideal, is to have an empowered individual state that has a profound interest, to the realisation and the reabsorption of all of its components into that state of Oneness, or Beyondness, ultimately, plus the conviction, that’s already the case.

Then you have three components. You have all three domains aligned, and then you’ll have the most clear, pristine, profound, knowledgeable, direct, holistic, all pervasive realisation of the way things really are. Because all the levels line up. So not only do you know it at some level, not only do you experience it directly as sort of a meditative state, or a state of aware perceiving of it, but also your expression and your anchoring of that is potent, is powerful.

01:24 - But, and I agree with you, and with my own experience confirms that this is why I’ve always blended empowerment and enlightenment, at least to some degree. Because if you’re in a personally weak state, typically, you’re not going to be penetrating any new level of consciousness or new insight. You’re not going to maintain concentration. You’re not going to transcend your typical day-to-day sense organ based mental, intellectual, conceptual, collective consciousness plugged into experience.

You’re not going to realise your freedom from form, if you don’t have the bouncy power to bounce off of what your current perception is entrenched in, what it’s soaked in, what it’s conditioned by. You need personal will. You need power and intent, and some ability to concentrate and hold a single thought or hold silence or hold an attentiveness to something, at the expense of other things, if you wish to realise more experientially directly, and therefore, as a result, gain more conviction in that which you’ve experienced, if you want to experience it.

If you’re in a weak state of mind, you’re just sort of like depressed and lethargic and da da da da da pessimistic, maybe, you’re not going to typically alter your experiential experience. But, if that’s the case, first of all, the road to any change is acceptance of what is. You can’t fight what is. You can be frustrated with it, that’s okay. You can not like it, that’s okay. But, you have to accept, be okay with, the fact that it’s the way it appears to be right now.

That’s the first way to change. So what you can do, if you’re in such a state, when you’re… if you’re personally weak, if your will is not trained, if you have never learned concentration, you’re highly distracted, your thoughts don’t have a lot of coherence, they don’t have a lot of strength or power or, or Samadhi kind of quality; and, you’re kind of lethargic, maybe, you just did uhf meditation, uh I-Am or like uh I’m changed or whatever-for whatever reasons, you know, conditioning, old age, maybe physical weakness can play into it, because it is all connected experientially.

04:04 - Yeah, maybe hormone imbalance, maybe brain chemistry, lack, supplement, whatever, it can be so many things. So, it’s not helpful to have this image of Oh, it would be ideal if I’m in this perfect state of concentration, and my will is balanced with my faith. And I want enlightenment more than anything else.

04:28 - And yet I’m empowered as an individual and now I’m going to attain this mystical state, and I’m going to enter Samadhi and go beyond Samadhi. If that’s not available in that moment, or ever, then it makes no sense to beat yourself up about it. Right? That just doesn’t help. It just makes you more frustrated about who you think you are. For then, ta de da da, I encourage, and I always encourage for every individual, but then especially I encourage the path of conviction rather then the path of experience.

The path of conviction versus the path of concentration or will, also the path of surrender can help.

05:14 - Because it’s a good start, it’s a good way to sort of gain a little bit of energy also, to surrender, like cuz you’re just in that state.

05:25 - So, just surrender your depression. Surrender your nihilism. Surrender your pessimism.

05:31 - Surrender your lethargy. Surrender your weak state of mind and body, whatever it might be.

05:38 - Surrender your emotional victimhood-ness. Surrender your snowflake makeup. Surrender your political inclinations. And, just by surrendering it, and knowing, and trusting, and having faith that there is a great inperceivable Power, Oneness, Intelligence, Source. And, just kind of. . it’s like you’re falling asleep into that. It’s like you’re just dying into that, you’re giving up into that. You can do that with a relatively low amount of will, concentration and energy.

06:14 - Because it’s kind of like, just relaxing. So, you know, but now you’re doing it with a little bit of will, a little bit of faith, or a lot of faith, but a little bit of will, to direct your tiredness, direct your uselessness, direct your weakness, towards surrendering; giving that up, dis-identifying from it, not making it a problem, not associating it with yourself. And, then you can have actually, a very pristine sense, bubble up to the surface of this knowingness.

06:50 - And, this conviction can increase. And, or, and always, I encourage the path of conviction along with your meditations and your path of concentration and will and faith, which is, to simply know that that’s the way it is. That you are beyond everything that you perceive right now. You might not have a full blown mystical, direct experience of it, where the whole universe blows up or reabsorbs itself and, and all there is left is an infinite vastness of perfection that cannot be described and is beyond all experiences.

You may not have that direct contact, to that extent. But, you are already at that level.

07:36 - You’re just not bridging your experiential level, to that level. But you, but it is there, it is here, it is all that there is.

07:46 - So, by deepening your conviction, you’re disengaging from your identification with form and experience, and this-and-that distortion.

07:56 - And, you just know that you’re free, without seeking any proof for it, without seeking any experience of it, no experiential confirmation required. It will, uplevel your experiential realm too. It will bump up your density of consciousness, your vibratory rate of consciousness. It will show you, with greater transparency, and greater precision, and greater clarity, and greater brightness, that that’s the case. It will confirm it.

But, true faith through conviction can be had from any level of consciousness, at least hypothetically, as long as there is that desire. Yeah. And, this is why the all-direct path of satsang, of direct transmission and direct teaching, Nisargadatta-style, I would say. . That’s why I also really liked the Nisargadatta path or that lineage, because his teacher before him, was also very much expounding in this way of conviction.

Just accept what I’m telling you. Yeah. Stop meditating. Sometimes they would say things like that, like don’t even meditate. Just accept what I’m telling you right now. I like when you say, go beyond location. Because, it’s like, even, like anything I can find in meditation, usually, it’s somewhere, like in, it’s usually… so like, when I just really… usually, I have to start with my imagination to just be like, “Where’s beyond location?” Like, where is there literally no reference point to anything else.

It’s like… and you have to like, swipe the whole thing. Like, you have to get rid of the whole context. Yep. Yeah, it’s not that complicated.

09:51 - It’s just, it requires, if you want to have a direct experience of it, so to speak, direct realisation, it requires a really subtle understanding, and an ability to maintain attentiveness to that subtlety, like, turning the substratum of imagination itself, of experience itself, of consciousness itself, of I-Am itself into a bouncy trampoline, that you can realise yourself as not that, from. But, it’s not that complicated.

It’s everything that you can experience, has at it’s root, the knowingness, knowingness itself, which is like space. It’s, like, pure. So again, like I was starting to say, the path of experience, the path of meditation, the path of purification is very powerful, because it will grant you direct experiential realisation, that in most cases, will deepen your conviction more than if you’re just deepening your conviction from a weak state of consciousness.

So it is a powerful path. But it does require full engagement and practice, and repetition, and continuity, and consistency, over typically many years of purifying the I-Am from all of its associations. Because the more you give up this-not this, I’m not this-not this, a new sensation arises that’s subtler than the one before it. And then, it’s maybe like, oh, okay, I’m not this so then I’m the sensation that then arises, But then, you’re like, No, I’m not that either.

And then, an even subtler feeling of beingness, presence, knowingness, consciousness is there. But, it still comes with a sensation or a vague, nebulous feeling of location. Then you’re like, but I’m also not that. That’s still a perception; it’s still the experience. It’s still illusion.

11:56 - Experience is illusion, because there is nowhere for anything to exist. It’s like a video game. It doesn’t really exist. The world you’re traversing isn’t really there. It’s an experience projected, but it’s nothing. You’re literally looking at nothing. Everything is nothing, and then nothing becomes your everything. So you purify the I-Am until you get to this really subtle level where it’s just this luminous, subluminous, bright, empty, clear, pure knowingness, this radiant knowingness, the light of God, the empty, yet full, the empty/full nature, of just, the nature of God, without any association with particular form or object perception.

It’s just the Essence. It’s just the Beingness itself, which every experience has in common.

12:52 - There is no experience without that Beingness.

12:56 - So, you want to get really clear on that. You want to purify that, that all this is just empty Beingness, just formless Beingness, just a power of knowingness projecting things, where there is actually nothing. And then, you get this, you know, experiential confirmation of oneness and indivisibility, inseparability, non-location, formlessness, so forth, so forth. Those can become their own traps, if you want to proceed, but then you kind of just go to the root.

Again, it’s very simple. You go to the root, which is the pure knowingness, itself. It’s very simple, but it’s very subtle. That’s what makes it difficult. It’s not that it’s complex, it’s exceedingly simple. What makes it challenging is the subtlety required to grok this indirect attention, direct recognition. But, when you are able to maintain that sort of emptiest substratum of pure beingness, knowingness, consciousness, awareness itself, then you can throw out even that.

You can realise oh, that’s still an experience. Therefore, it’s an illusion. Then what in the world am I? And at that threshold, there’s no words for that. You intuitively navigate it, at that point, with no mind almost involved at all. It’s like, It’s very hard to describe, but it’s like moving backwards through layers or thick, black curtain in a dark room. It’s like, you’re just like, not this, not that. And then, you can have this blowout where the whole, just the cessation of the entire experience land, except you remain.

This is slightly different than the other cessation where you go unconscious. And then, you come back and you’re like, what the fuck? This is where there’s the full cessation, but you, as the Absolute, somehow, still remain in constant incomprehension of yourself. That’s the most profound, direct, total, complete, Absolute, quote-unquote experience, which is not an experience, that I have accessed. And that, that deepened my conviction, like quantum-leaped my conviction, which then on a day-to-day basis, where there is mind, and attention, and world experiences, the video game appears.

There is that, sort of, black hole in the substratum that consciousness is no longer solid. Presence, beingness is no longer, ultimately, real. And so, there’s this gaping, sort of, like a hole in a spaceship, where there’s just… it’s sucked; a vacuum.

15:52 - You could say the contents of the spaceship, is still, are still there. The interior is still there, but it’s sucked out from all this air, and it’s solidity and denseness. It’s kind of like that. And, you can get some sense of that, just purely through conviction, through… purely through faith, and sort of an understanding, even intellectually, like, Oh, yeah, it does make sense. It’s like the intuitive faculty of the deepest portion of your Beingness, kind of links to your intellectual understanding, as you receive these teachings.

So, you kind of get an image of it, a form of it. And, that starts to contact this deep intuitive recognition, this instinctive knowingness. And just, you just allow that to be your conviction, and you don’t try to force yourself too hard, to stay concentrated on it, or to have an experiential blowout experience of it. You just accept that faith, that conviction, then your experience of it also deepens. But, it’s like you already feel free even if your experience doesn’t reflect it fully.

So, the path of conviction is to simply know, believe, have faith that it… that’s the way it is, and then you; the contextual feeling of your everyday experience already changes. The nuance already changes.

17:26 - You can’t take things so seriously. You can’t identify, as much, because what you have, in the back of your mind, is this conviction.

17:37 - That can lead to certain distortions. That can lead to certain assumptions, and conclusions that are not backed up by a holistically aligned, experiential realisation. So, something to watch for, is to not come to any relative, relational conclusions based on this conviction. Especially, if you can’t back it up with full direct experience. But, it does, definitely, help attain more of that realisation. And, it changes the nuance of your day-to-day experience… a path of total faith, or conviction. But, I think it’s fair to say, people kind of have to understand this, if you wish to really, really directly absorb your experience, your experiential state, if you want the consciousness that you have as your direct experience of “me” to become absorbed into that, even, the God-state or the Absolute, the Source beyond that, it is the work of an athlete. It is, it is something you’ll have to do every day.

You’ll have to be mindful of this pursuit. You’ll have to desire this pursuit every day, not just for one minute, but like, on an ongoing basis. It’s like an athlete training eight hours a day. If that’s what you want, but you don’t have to. I mean it doesn’t really change the reality of things. Because, you can’t change the reality of things using illusion, which is experience.

19:15 - But, it does change your experience. So, if you want to change your experience, if you want to know experientially, what it’s like to be God, what it’s like to be as the Absolute Infinite Eternity, that’s going to be here 250 trillion years from now, and that’s you. If you want to know that, while you’re having this body/mind experience, prepare to sacrifice a whole lot of things, a whole lot of other desires, a whole lot of other types of experiences that are of a more worldly nature.

Not that you can’t practice while you’re doing it, but if you’re practising while you’re doing worldly things, you’re not really invested in, you’re not really getting out of the experience, the worldly-sort of egotistical satisfaction that you would otherwise get. You can attain much greater bliss, and freedom, and all that, but it requires… it requires a lot of work, in my experience. And, I think this is reflected in almost every one of the rare examples that have gone really deep with this, throughout history.

And they’ve all said that, or for the most part, they’ve said that, that this requires the totality of devotion, of will, meditation, practice. So, just depends on how deep, how reflective you want your experience to be of that realisation. But ultimately, enlightenment is the realisation, it’s not an experience. It’s something that you know, and that you can’t forget. Because you can’t forget that which is not an experience.

You can only forget experiences. So, I can still… like I said many times, I can still change the nuance, or the flavour of my experience. For lack of a better word, I can go higher or more absorbed, using the power of focus, and attention, and consciousness, or I can go less absorbed. I can be more physically focused. I can be more solid, in a way. I can project myself as more solid. I can dissolve that, this… this solidity, the projection of that.

So, within the experiential realm, there is a nuance difference that fluctuates, that is context-based, that is will-based, in a sense. But, the conviction is always there.

21:52 - And, people can practice conviction without having mystical experiences. It’s important to realise that because people often chase the mystical experience, and for the most part, mystical experiences require a lot of concentration, which requires will, and discipline, and training, and so forth. And there’s no, there’s no rule for this. It’s not like you should. That’s also something to realise. You don’t have to. It’s entirely dependent on what you want.

But, if you want to win a gold medal at the Olympics, for swimming, you’re probably going to have to train for that, if you want to have an ability to have an ongoing, direct, mystical sort of experience, that’s reflective of the Absolute.

22:45 - If that’s something that you want, then training is required. If you want to anchor in that realisation, to such a degree, that’s super pristine and ever-radiating into mind/body/spirit illusion, then you’ll need that attentiveness to attain such a depth of realisation. That’s my current, sort of view anyway, exposition of this. But, just to know, that that’s the way it is, can drop you in too. And to, then just live your life.

Do the thing you were gonna do anyway. Don’t not do the thing because of an image of emptiness. Do the thing. If you’re gonna smoke, smoke. Don’t not smoke to try to be more empty. Do the thing and practice while you’re doing the thing. Because it’s an attention shift. It’s a conviction shift. It’s not an activity shift, as much. To some degree, you might want to actually have certain sessions where you sit down and don’t move your body for a couple hours.

But in, on the whole, for the most part, you do what you do. You perform your duties. You do your everyday activities. And, it’s a shift that happens at a subtle level in the background. You want to bring your attention to the background, that intuitive faculty of recognition, and you want to more and more anchor yourself there, in that bridge between this world and the reality; between the illusion of the video game and the reality of the emptiness of the video game; or the freedom, which is free of anything, free of the video game.

Because the video game has no existence, which shouldn’t be a mental conclusion; it should be conviction. You should live with people and in the video game, according to the rules of the video game, for the most part. A little rebellion from time-to-time is good. But, you know, don’t jump off a cliff because the cliff doesn’t exist. And don’t go punching people in the face because they don’t exist. Don’t, you know. Do your thing; live a relatively normal life; chop wood, carry water… boring analogy. And people, people give that way too much credit. But, in a sense, you know you’re doing what you’re doing. There’s different expressions, different incarnations for different purposes, at different times of relevance within the illusion, so, don’t associate someone’s behaviour, or your own behaviour, with your state of enlightenment.

25:37 - Again, don’t use this as a permission slip to be an asshole, and call it mirror consciousness. And say, this is just my expression. The realisation’s got to be sincere. The work needs to be done. But, upon deepening that realisation, even having full conviction, there’s no telling what your version of chopping wood and carrying water looks like. It can be very complex, it can be very complicated. It can seem very engaged and involved in the world, or it can seem very non-engaged with the world.

But, the form is not the thing. Because, if you’re sitting, it’s just as empty as if you’re acting. If you’re politically engaged, it’s just as empty. It doesn’t change the nature of things.

26:29 - You cannot undo the emptiness, conviction, realisation by doing things with your body, in your mind, in your speech. It doesn’t change the nature of reality. So, disassociate the domain of expression and purification, of the vehicle, and the shifting of interests with the direct… a perception or knowledge of the nature of things. .