Is there life after suffering? (Yes)

here is the video that inspired this:
here is the audio of the below, which has a few “hiccups” as well as ad libs, so read along below….
Mooji tells the story (at 10:10) of a man who reports that wherever he touches on his body, he feels sharp, crippling pain. He touches his arm and feels sharp, crippling pain. He touches his leg and feels sharp, crippling pain. He touches his nose and feels sharp, crippling pain. He touches his ear and feels sharp, crippling pain.
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So, he panics and then goes to a doctor for help and, after a brief examination, the doctor says- “aha, I have identified the problem: your finger is broken. Anywhere you touch- even not on your body- you will feel sharp, crippling pain until that finger heals. Try using your other hand more!”
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Now if you touch some furniture and feel sharp, crippling pain, consider that the pain may be from a broken finger, not from an injured furniture. Mooji reveals the analogy next….
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When consciousness identifies itself as an isolated personality, then every external thing that the isolated personality interacts with may arouse suffering for the isolated personality. For one external thing, there may be yearning and longing and frustration. For another external thing, there may be repulsion and disgust and animosity and terror.
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However, what if there is no suffering without the identifying of consciousness with an isolated personality that can be offended or can worry about earning it’s way into heaven or can try to fix the ego or fix it’s own suffering or fix all the things that the ego blames for it’s suffering or to rescue all sentient beings from evil and injustice and… life? What if suffering is not caused by external developments- not inherent to the external- but is caused solely by an internal reactive processing? What if the internal reactive procesing can be noticed as just another passing development?
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What if the problem identified by the ego is never the source of the interepreted experience of the problem? What if the intrepretative identifying of a problem is the source of the experiencing of something as a problem? What if the isolating and identifying of an external thing is an interpretative, linguistic process?
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Can there be a problem found in a malfunctioning car without someone there to identify not just the external conditions as problematic, but even to identify the car itself? If there is pile of metal, it is not a malfunctioning pile of metal, but just a pile of metal. However, if the pile of metal is a car that is not functioning well as a car, then that pile of metal is also a malfunctioning car. Finally, for someone to have a problem with the fact that the car is malfunctioning, there has to be someone to have that problem, to interpret and isolate the problem into existence, to create the problem, the malfunctioning car, and the pile of metal.
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Attention itself does not have any problems. Consciousness prior to identification does not have any problems. Only isolated identifyings of “this but not that” can experience problems. Problems must be identified as problems or else they might just be a pile of scrap metal. Maybe that pile of scrap metal is even a resource of several useful parts to repair some other malfunctioning car.
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There is no problem in the pile of metal. There can be a problem with the pile of metal, though. For there to be a problem with a pile of metal, there has to be someone there to make that pile of metal into a problem. For there to be a problem with a pile of metal, there must be someone with that particular pile of metal.
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The pile of metal is independent of the problem and totally innocent. However, along comes the broken finger of the ego which touches the pile of metal and says “oh, this pile of metal should be what it is not!” The ego makes the pile of metal into a problem. In fact, without anyone to identify the pile of metal as a pile of metal, no one could have a problem with it by making it into a problem.
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A classic zen koan is this: “If a tree falls in the forest, but there is no one there to see it falling, did it fall?” So, if a piece of furniture causes crippling pain whenever it is touched, but there is no broken finger to touch it, is it still a crippling piece of painful furniture? If the pile of scrap metal is the source of a serious problem, but there is no one there to have that problem with it or even to make it into a problem, is it still the source of a serious problem, needing to be fixed, blocking the ego from earning it’s way into a painfully distant heaven set up by a cruel, stingy god as a punishing torture of shaming for not being how you really should have already always been?
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Obviously, anyone who can fix a car can fix a car. But is the car a problem? Does it need to be fixed? Does the car need anything? Should it already be functional, or should everything be exactly however it is, including however it may or may not change? Should the ego be different- maybe more like a needy car or painful furniture and less like a broken finger?
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An ego may need the car to be fixed. An ego may need the car to be different than it is. An ego may have lots of needs… and lots of shoulds and musts and can’ts and won’ts and nevers.
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However, and here is the really good news, you are not an ego. You are consciousness. You as consciousness have an ego. In fact, you as consciousness have all of them- consciousness has all egos (assuming that there is really more than one, given that they all seem to be rather similar, which reminds me of a story I once heard about a broken finger…).
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So, the ego may have lots of problems. It may even need to have a lot of problems. Maybe it should try to solve them and fix them and prevent them. Maybe it must do that. However, and this might be a bit of a problem, maybe it can’t do what it must and should. Or, maybe it is stubborn and just won’t, even though of course it really should and absolutely must.
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To get rid of all of the ego’s problems, recognize that the ego’s problems are your mentors as well as your creations. You created the ego and it’s problems to mentor yourself, didn’t I?
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This is called crazy wisdom. This is called sheer foolishness.
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This is also called introspection. This is even called Advaita or the yoga of inquiry, as in dhyana/jnana or ch’an or zen. This is even called “life after suffering.”
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The ego does not limit you and never could. You are the vine which has a branch called ego. You made that branch out of yourself. That entire branch is totally composed of vine.
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But that branch does have some serious problems. Plus, it is your branch, though it is not the whole vine. Maybe that branch has a problem with every other part of the vine, but that is not your problem either. The vine just grows branches, including one or more painful, crippling branches with serious problems involving taking life personally. However, there could be such a thing as “life after taking things personally.” There could be life after suffering.
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Or maybe there is life and suffering. But life and suffering may be a radically different interpretative experience than a life of suffering, a life as suffering, a life of problems, a life as a problem or a problem with life itself.
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I hereby request that I stop having a problem with life and instead have, at worst, a life that is entirely composed of serious, crippling, painful problems. For instance, consider this serious, crippling, and painful problem, which requires you to devote the rest of your life to almost solving, but not quite…: “if a broken finger feels tremendous pain whenever it pushes up against an ego that is taking life personally, but you are not the ego taking life personally that the alleged broken finger would allegedly push up against, are you absolutely sure that it isn’t a broken finger or not?”
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In conclusion, I hereby accuse you of being totally innocent… of the alleged crime of either taking life personally or failing miserably to do so. Maybe you should seriously try harder to become what you already have always been.
 Published on: Jan 25, 2011
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8 Responses to “Is there life after suffering? (Yes)”

  1. livvy1234 Says:

    I really enjoy Mooji, everytime I listen to him. Truth be known.

  2. homeryougenius Says:

    I will like to hear about what actions come out from your introspection with “Mooji”.

    How do you apply it practically!?

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Introspection is an action already. In terms of “me” applying “introspection,” all that I can do is offer to introspect.

      My girlfriend was upset with me a few days ago. I held some boundaries but otherwise let her talk, within a certain range of volume and energy- a rather wide range. I would withdraw if her distress was to reach a certain point (which I have done in various ways, such as walking away or saying “stop talking to me. We can talk later if you would like”).

      At some point, she may relax and be open to introspecting. It is her introspecting, but I can participate with her. Both of us can introspect together.

      So, it is like you are asking how do I apply perception. I do not apply perception. I perceive. Through introspection, my capacity to perceive shifts. That is one way to put it- using personal terms.

      How do I apply communication? I communicate. How do I apply introspection? I introspect. Much of introspection may be the studying of various patterns in language, some of which may involve the identifying of an “I” and “how I am” and “who I say that you are for me” and many such variations.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Another “application” of introspection is the capacity to empathize and spontaneously create funny analogies that allow for others to have new insights and experiences and relax. Or, even just to make fun of myself. Or, just to have fun. Having fun can be very radical in some contexts- and very powerful.

  3. Write into the Light Says:

    I love listening to Mooji’s insights, and I enjoyed your thoughts here as well. Your last comment is perfect (Having fun can be very radical in some contexts- and very powerful)

  4. Sedone Says:

    Thank you for posting this. Very helpful.

  5. Walking the No-path of Truth « Getting Better, Man Says:

    […] and peaceful. It wasn’t like that a few days ago. What prompted this sense of peace was a blog that linked to GBM, which led to many hours of listening to Mooji, contemplating nonduality, and realizing truths […]

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