Friday, April 2, 2010

How could you live or die when you ARE as I?

"Sad about that poor old pheasant!" sighed the rabbit, "he had such a lovely tail!"

"What happened to him that makes you sad?" asked the owl.

"Shot by one of those bipeds."

"Sad for you, and silly---but neither for him."

"Why not sad for both of us?" asked the rabbit, surprised.

"What difference could there be between 'living' and 'dying'?"

"Well," said the rabbit, "'living' is being alive, so to speak, and 'dying' is---well---being dead!"

"I do not apperceive the difference," the owl declared; "a phenomenon is an image in a psyche, and psychic images are appearances, whether perceived in dreams, hallucinations, or in what is called 'daily living.'"

"If you say so, but I think it matters to you nevertheless!" insisted the rabbit.

"That is only sentiment in relativity," the owl hooted. "Can it matter whether such images appear to 'live' or appear to 'die'?"

"Sentimentally indeed it CAN!" the rabbit persisted.

"That is part of the living-dream," the owl stated. "Besides, and this is the point, I cannot die."

"Can you live?" asked the rabbit.

"'Living' is only psychic imagery extended 'spatially' and in 'time'," the owl patiently explained; "I can neither 'live' nor 'die.'"

"Then what CAN you do?" asked the rabbit, courageously.

"Nothing whatsoever," answered the owl, "nor is there anything whatever to be 'done.' I AM."


  1. So owl exists but was never born and can never die? There is a saying that we should die before we die. Does that just mean that to avoid suffering we should realize that we don't exist as separate people? But of course there is no one who could suffer or realize anything, right?

  2. No, the pointer is that what-"owl"-IS was never born and can never die.
    Co-incidentally, I was just wondering where that "die before you die" saying comes from. Do you know? I think that it would involve what is sometimes called "apperceiving." This is a term that tries to suggest "pure" and "total" perceiving or experiencing that is not objectified as anything by anyone. Do you see what a neat pointer this is? In "apperceiving," there is NO one to "suffer" or "realize," and NO thing to be "suffered" or "realized." "Apperceiving" is all there IS.

  3. Dianne, in case it's not clear, the "no" at the start of my previous comment doesn't refer to your last question, but to your first statement about "owl." Sorry about that!

  4. Ah yes, WHAT owl is was never born and can never die.

    p.38 of Tolle's Power of Now, "Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to 'die before you die' -- and find that there is no death."

    Just curious, is apperceiving different from awareness or consciousness?

  5. Thanks for the quote! However, it strikes me that Tolle is doing away with only one side of a pair of opposites. Doesn't it seem that Owl would say something more like, "die before you die--and find that there is no one to conceive of 'life' OR 'death'"?

  6. The way that I usually employ the words "Apperceiving", Awareness", and "Consciousness" is as TOOLS, pointers to "This No-thing", which truly has no objective qualities. Each word has advantages for one situation, and disadvantages for another, just like any tool.
    Once, when Wayne Liquorman was talking on this subject, someone objected, "Don't you believe in your pointer?" Wayne, who by this time was losing patience with this questioner said rather loudly, "There's nothing to believe in; it's a fucking hammer!"

  7. I see what you mean that "Tolle is doing away with only one side of a pair of opposites." I think he says it that way to ease people new to nonduality into the idea that they are not individual beings separate from "this." I recall Sri Nisargadatta also seeming to contradict himself in "I Am That" depending on who he was talking to.