BlessedLion

Ralston Gives A Clear Answer To Metaphysical Love Question

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Here is his take from a Q & A on his newsletter;

 

Question; Peter, Thank you for your answer! It's clear. I love it. Charles Berner would be very happy to see the purity of your transmission. I have another question: You say love is not an enlightenment question, because it is a human invention. Yes, what we call love is a psychological construction, BUT, isn't it a prefiguration of the reality of what we truly are? ("prefiguration" is not the good word, sorry, but it is near to what I want to say). Do you think love is only from and in the dimension of illusion and has nothing to do with the Absolute, our absolute nature? All the things you enunciate, I totally agree (mind, emotion, language), but love (I don't speak about emotion), isn't it what we really are, finally? The direct experiences I had were love. At least, I recognize this state of perfection, of union as love. Is it only my definition? If we take love as an object of enlightenment, what happens?   Thank you Reine

 

 

Answer: Reine, You can call it whatever you want, but it is necessary to know it is not what you call it. Why choose the word love? You must have some beliefs or predisposition to think that way. If you are talking about a love that isn’t love, again, why call it love? If you recognize a state of perfection or unity or being one with everything, etc., this is still a state, it is not consciousness. People so often confuse the state that arises when they have an enlightenment with the consciousness itself. This is not a deceitful attempt on their part, it is just a mistaken one. The mind will do its best at that moment to make sense of this consciousness breakthrough and form some idea or state that matches the influence this breakthrough has had on the mind. But it cannot actually match the consciousness because there is nothing there and no state at all that is this consciousness. If you ask what is love, you have to focus on whatever you experience as love, yes? Is that universal? Is it an experience? Does it ultimately transcend experience? You have to tell the truth, but most people who ask such a question already want it to be a universal state, they already want it to turn out to be some particular way, don’t they? This is not open from the beginning and so isn’t really honest. You say you got this after your breakthrough, if your consciousness was real and it was YOU, your true nature, than what you say is rather irrelevant. If you came to me and said you got you are love, I would have a hard time with that if there wasn't a clear consciousness there that was beyond love or anything else. If there was, then it doesn't matter that you call it love, but I might ask you at that time, why? And then listen to your response. If you are conscious you will know and can say why, if it is a conclusion or a state you were overwhelmed by then you won't be able to say or you will resort to your mind or beliefs and start making an argument or explanation. This then shows you aren't really conscious of the truth.

 

It is so hard for people to get beyond overwhelming states that occupy the bodymind and sweep them away in unprecedented ways. Such states as feeling one with everything, universal love, getting the perfection of everything, not finding a location to self and feeling free of limitation, getting a hit on infinity, and so on. When they have such experiences arise, people conclude these must be enlightenment because they never had anything like it before and they sound very spiritual and transcendent, and might fit with some belief system they've heard about. It does suggest a great deal of focus and contemplation where the mind has let go and opened up, creating a completely new perspective and experience. But it is not enlightenment. This is not to say that beliefs in a spiritual system and images of what enlightenment should look like can't also deny the truth when it is presented. Once I was teaching in France, and a woman, the wife of an ex-apprentice of mine, made dinner for us and sat next to me as we ate. I didn't know her, and was just having fun chatting normally with people at the table, when she began asking me questions about consciousness. I would respond and then return to the meaningless chatter with others. I have no recollection what I said really, just that I responded honestly to her questions as best I could. Later, she told me she had been living in a Buddhist community in India for something like 8 years but when she had a conscious breakthrough the community and teacher denied it, because she wasn't "ready" or "advanced" of some such. In other words, it didn't fit with their belief system and hierarchy. She saw their limitation and ignorance and so left them to become a mother and give up such pursuits. Until, she says, she met a man at dinner that give her a new perspective on it and so began working on consciousness once again. She went on to later translate The Book of Not Knowing into French. I recommend you take a look at that book. Has tons in it that might assist in your work. It's in French and is being translated into German right now, but I’d suggest you read it in the original English if you can, translations are always a little off. Good luck 

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5 hours ago, BlessedLion said:

If you recognize a state of perfection or unity or being one with everything, etc., this is still a state, it is not consciousness. People so often confuse the state that arises when they have an enlightenment with the consciousness itself. This is not a deceitful attempt on their part, it is just a mistaken one. The mind will do its best at that moment to make sense of this consciousness breakthrough and form some idea or state that matches the influence this breakthrough has had on the mind. But it cannot actually match the consciousness because there is nothing there and no state at all that is this consciousness. If you ask what is love, you have to focus on whatever you experience as love, yes? Is that universal? Is it an experience? Does it ultimately transcend experience? You have to tell the truth, but most people who ask such a question already want it to be a universal state, they already want it to turn out to be some particular way, don’t they?

Hear hear. "Confuse the state that arises [when they have an enlightenment (or awakening)] with the consciousness itself..."

That (mistaken) move is as old as the spiritual traditions themselves. It is descriped in varying degrees of clarity & complexity in all of them. 

It all depends on how much the (separate-self) structure interpreting the experience/state has become empty/impersonal/transcended/seen/made subject/filter/lense->object and so on...

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5 hours ago, Water by the River said:

Hear hear. "Confuse the state that arises [when they have an enlightenment (or awakening)] with the consciousness itself..."

That (mistaken) move is as old as the spiritual traditions themselves. It is descriped in varying degrees of clarity & complexity in all of them. 

It all depends on how much the (separate-self) structure interpreting the experience/state has become empty/impersonal/transcended/seen/made subject/filter/lense->object and so on...

I get what he means there now, thanks for explicating.

If the baseline state is not enlightened, the experience becomes memory, memory becomes identity, and delusion occurs. No matter what. Can't escape the need for enlightenment. 


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2 hours ago, Osaid said:

I get what he means there now, thanks for explicating.

If the baseline state is not enlightened, the experience becomes memory, memory becomes identity, and delusion occurs. No matter what. Can't escape the need for enlightenment. 

He has no clue what he is talking about. Literally love IS consciousness. It is LITERALLY LOVE. The irony is....he literally constructed an identity with Consciousness, by calling love and universal connection...a state. So according to him a universal connection is a state. This PROVES he is  NOT enlightened because to feel a universal connection with everything...is equal to being nothing. There is no difference. But he calls it a state.

Now think about it...why does he call it a state? Because he does not feel connected. Now notice this....the feeling of connection....is love. So the reason he doesn't like that...is because he has not awoken to love. Ralston is too rigid, to understand love and thus....he has his limits in his teachings. 


You are a selfless LACK OF APPEARANCE, that CONSTRUCTS AN APPEARANCE. But that appearance can disappear and reappear and we call that change, we call it time, we call it space, we call it distance, we call distinctness, we call it other. But notice...this appearance, is a SELF. A SELF IS A CONSTRUCTION!!! 

So if you want to know the TRUTH OF THE CONSTRUCTION. Just deconstruct the construction!!!! No point in playing these mind games!!! No point in creating needless complexity!!! The truth of what you are is a BLANK!!!! A selfless awareness....then that means there is NO OTHER, and everything you have ever perceived was JUST AN APPEARANCE, A MIRAGE, AN ILLUSION, IMAGINARY. 

Everything that appears....appears out of a lack of appearance/void/no-thing, non-sense (can't be sensed because there is nothing to sense). That is what you are, and what arises...is made of that. So nonexistence, arises/creates existence. And thus everything is solved.

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14 hours ago, BlessedLion said:

If you came to me and said you got you are love, I would have a hard time with that if there wasn't a clear consciousness there that was beyond love or anything else.

Ralston, you sly dog, you :P


Why did the pizza maker go broke? Because they couldn't make enough dough!

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1 hour ago, Razard86 said:

He has no clue what he is talking about. Literally love IS consciousness. It is LITERALLY LOVE. The irony is....he literally constructed an identity with Consciousness, by calling love and universal connection...a state. So according to him a universal connection is a state. This PROVES he is  NOT enlightened because to feel a universal connection with everything...is equal to being nothing. There is no difference. But he calls it a state.

He's not calling that a state. He agrees with you. He's saying that he's skeptical of people who call it "love" and he believes that they aren't actually conscious of what they're talking about, and are instead referring to a state they previously experienced. So, for them, it would be a state.

Ralston is particular about how he words these things. When he says "consciousness" it means absolute truth. When he says "state", he is saying exactly that, it's just a state that comes and goes and has nothing to do with "consciousness" or truth itself.

If you aren't experiencing what you are talking about right now, it truly was just a state, and thus it is just a memory now. He is saying that for many people love and oneness is just a state, and he is right. 

This is a very crucial nuance. The states which allow you to become enlightened temporarily are being put on a pedestal. Hence, "higher-consciousness states", hence "more understanding", hence "chasing truth forever." This is the crux of Leo and basically this entire forum.

Edited by Osaid

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Ralston has mistaken love for a human emotion. He's not actually conscious of what love is. Ralston suffers from an overly narrow, reductionist notion of consciousness. Same mistake as the Buddhists make.

In the end, if you never realize that God is Love, all your enlightenments are a game.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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6 hours ago, Osaid said:

He's not calling that a state. He agrees with you. He's saying that he's skeptical of people who call it "love" and he believes that they aren't actually conscious of what they're talking about, and are instead referring to a state they previously experienced. So, for them, it would be a state.

Ralston is particular about how he words these things. When he says "consciousness" it means absolute truth. When he says "state", he is saying exactly that, it's just a state that comes and goes and has nothing to do with "consciousness" or truth itself.

If you aren't experiencing what you are talking about right now, it truly was just a state, and thus it is just a memory now. He is saying that for many people love and oneness is just a state, and he is right. 

This is a very crucial nuance. The states which allow you to become enlightened temporarily are being put on a pedestal. Hence, "higher-consciousness states", hence "more understanding", hence "chasing truth forever." This is the crux of Leo and basically this entire forum.

EVERYTHING is a state of consciousness. Baseline state fluctuates!!! It's a state!! The part of you that is unchanging and the part of you that fluctuates is ONE. If Ralston sits and meditates what he experiences will be different than his normal baseline. Your state fluctuates....consciousness is not stagnant its fluid. 

Edited by Razard86

You are a selfless LACK OF APPEARANCE, that CONSTRUCTS AN APPEARANCE. But that appearance can disappear and reappear and we call that change, we call it time, we call it space, we call it distance, we call distinctness, we call it other. But notice...this appearance, is a SELF. A SELF IS A CONSTRUCTION!!! 

So if you want to know the TRUTH OF THE CONSTRUCTION. Just deconstruct the construction!!!! No point in playing these mind games!!! No point in creating needless complexity!!! The truth of what you are is a BLANK!!!! A selfless awareness....then that means there is NO OTHER, and everything you have ever perceived was JUST AN APPEARANCE, A MIRAGE, AN ILLUSION, IMAGINARY. 

Everything that appears....appears out of a lack of appearance/void/no-thing, non-sense (can't be sensed because there is nothing to sense). That is what you are, and what arises...is made of that. So nonexistence, arises/creates existence. And thus everything is solved.

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56 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Ralston has mistaken love for a human emotion. He's not actually conscious of what love is. Ralston suffers from an overly narrow, reductionist notion of consciousness. Same mistake as the Buddhists make.

In the end, if you never realize that God is Love, all your enlightenments are a game.

Would you say new agers are kind of more advanced in that regard? Especially new age women

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8 minutes ago, Hello from Russia said:

Would you say new agers are kind of more advanced in that regard? Especially new age women

No, they tend to be full of crap. It's the New Age which Ralston seems to be reacting against. But he takes it too far in the opposite direction.

Ralston treats Love like it's some feel-good, New Agey hippie invention.  But that's a strawman. That's not what is being said when it is said that God Is Love.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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I've studied Ralstons work extensively and been to many of his workshops, he is VERY careful with his words and VERY careful about not instilling any kind of fantasies or beleif systems in students

 

I've noticed that when he talks about Being he is actually talking about God. He will say, you are Being, essentially it's God realization but he won't use that word. 

I think this is because he grew up in SF in the 60s and probably saw a lot of people get lost in the psychedelic new age world of la la land. 

However, i have been torn by him not mentioning Love because it is something i have experienced, but i also see him as one of the best teachers on the planet. 

I think it's possible that he just doesn't call it Love, and like someone mentioned earlier is careful about the wording because people will then confuse a state or emotion for an existential truth.

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30 minutes ago, Razard86 said:

EVERYTHING is a state of consciousness. Baseline state fluctuates!!! It's a state!! The part of you that is unchanging and the part of you that fluctuates is ONE. If Ralston sits and meditates what he experiences will be different than his normal baseline. Your state fluctuates....consciousness is not stagnant its fluid. 

Yes. This is not being denied. Experience is different but truth doesn't change. The difference in experience is what Ralston calls "state." The unchanging truth which permeates across all experiences is what Ralston calls "enlightenment" or "consciousness." 

States are ephemeral. Truth isn't. Thus the distinction. Truth exists in all states, so it's misleading to call truth a state, as that implies other states exist which are not truthful.
 

 


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24 minutes ago, BlessedLion said:

he is VERY careful with his words and VERY careful about not instilling any kind of fantasies or beleif systems in students

This comes naturally when you're enlightened because you clearly see how monumental the potential for delusion is. This is why private workshops exist. And why some teachers even refrain from calling themselves enlightened.

I'm sure you've seen the dysfunctional ideals the statement "reality is love" creates across this forum. Holykael is a prime example.

Edited by Osaid

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9 minutes ago, Osaid said:

States are ephemeral. Truth isn't. Thus the distinction. Truth exists in all states, so it's misleading to call truth a state, as that implies other states exist which are not truthful.

Yes, and consciousness is present in all states, as much as I want to believe everything is love, it isn't always present, or at least I don't see it at all times.

 

However, it's hard to think that Ramana, Christ, Rumi, Rupert, Sadguru, Adyashanti, and Ken Wilber are all deluded about Love is being the universal force

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1 hour ago, BlessedLion said:

as much as I want to believe everything is love, it isn't always present, or at least I don't see it at all times.

Good thing it's not a belief. And it's good that you don't believe it, because that would be delusion, since belief isn't it. The reason you don't see it is exactly because it's just a belief for you. Reality is not belief, even when the belief is related to enlightenment. 

When you notice it or see it then there is no need to believe it. It would really fall short if it was just a belief. There won't be any integration or philosophizing required, you'll just be it. And so alluding to it and describing it is not even that important, the important part is just getting it, and then being that oneness/love/truth forever. That's much better than someone describing it for you or telling you it exists, actually, this can become a massive distraction, and it HAS become a massive distraction, because it just stimulates imagination. You are not imagination. You are "love", whatever that is, and no imagination or description that Leo or Ralston gives you will ever be that. Actually achieving it is that really matters. And there is no potential for idealizing or delusion once you actually become it.

It actually does not matter at all that someone does or doesn't describe this to you when it comes to becoming enlightened. It has nothing to do with the actual thing itself. It just stimulates imagination. The ONLY thing it's useful for is motivating you to look for it, that's it. You don't need to think about love or know about love to actually achieve love/enlightenment, that just happens perfectly and naturally by itself. So it's perfectly fair on Ralston's part IMO. 

Ramana, Christ, Rumi, Rupert, Sadghuru, Adyashanti, etc. did not need someone preaching about love for them to reach enlightenment. They just instantly realized it once they got it, and that was it.

1 hour ago, BlessedLion said:

However, it's hard to think that Ramana, Christ, Rumi, Rupert, Sadguru, Adyashanti, and Ken Wilber are all deluded about Love is being the universal force

Not deluded necessarily, they're just speaking more poetically but pointing to the same thing.

To its effect, part of you moves towards this poeticism, because you have been loving different things all your life, and you can sense that there is something profound about it. You can kind of think of it as hearing a good song in the distance, it's just natural to listen to it and come closer to it. Is the song communicating a truth about reality? Not necessarily, but it is enticing something inside you which perhaps might be linked to it. 

Love does get recontextualized in a pretty profound way once you're enlightened, as does most other emotions, so of course the enlightened folk talk about it a lot. But seriously, don't get lost in your own ideas about it before you reach it, because of course the ideas are always not it. Just look at it and think: "Woah, what are they pointing to?" It really truly is irrelevant how they describe it, the most relevant part is just actually achieving it. No one can describe it, no matter how enlightened they are. 

Do you see how arbitrary this term "love" is? Really, it's just a word inside of a language. And it is synonymous with the entirety of existence. It is synonymous with other terms like "oneness", "unity", "God", etc. Now, if you think about it, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Ralston has simply decided to encompass all of these terms inside of a singular few terms like "enlightenment" and "consciousness." Can you see how using the words "love", "God", "oneness", etc. are actually purely an arbitrary artistic flair? Discrediting a teacher for not using the same word as you starts to become silly when you realize this. 

Edited by Osaid

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1 hour ago, Sidra khan said:

?

Why do I get a cactus? ?


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@Osaid That helps clarify, thank you. I can't deny this overwhelming intuition that reality and life is just an unfoldment of self love and so any teaching that doesn't at least mention that can deter me. 

That said, i highly doubt Ralston is missing anything and is likely just being coy about it so students don't get all deluded or fantastical

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Ralston is not being coy. He just isn't conscious what Love is because of the way he frames consciousness in his mind. Framing matters that much. How you frame things determines what you are able to recognize. He does not frame psychedelics nor mind properly either.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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1 hour ago, Sidra khan said:

It matches with the color of your name. Also it hurts when you touch it, similar attributes.

Ah okay, cool. Wait, when do I hurt people? I'm just an innocent little kitty.

nice-cat.gif

Edited by Osaid

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