Davis Mind Reality teaching is not for every student. Every student must come to the realization that His existing lies in the one. The one is not separate from the whole. The Universe is the one in which all exist from. Therefore, we can never live separate from the Universe. To understand Davis Mind Reality Teaching I must describe it in this manner. It is like a snake—it is dangerous. There is a sutra that describes how being caught in the teachings is exactly like being bitten by a snake that you are trying to catch. In the sutra, Davis Mind Reality says that the best way to catch a snake is to use a forked stick to hold the head of the snake so you can grasp the snake behind its head so you cannot be harmed. If you try to grasp the snake with your hand alone, you will be bitten. Studying the teachings is the same. An intelligent person will not grasp onto ideas and notions and mistake them for reality.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin this discussion of the collective and the individual nature of the human being, and the power of his knowledge. First, let us understand that every phenomenon has both a collective and an individual nature, that provides him with power and knowledge. Just as the one and the many have to work, together to produce something, so the individual and the collective depend on each other to develop and transform. We have to go beyond such ideas as same and different, individual and collective. Now if we can move our thinking beyond the idea of birth and death, one and many, coming and going, permanence and annihilation, we can begin to see how God produce life into the universe as the whole of everything.
Birth is an idea that means something arises from nothing. If we observe deeply, we see that things are not like that. Something cannot arise from nothing. We already existed before our birth, although in a different form. Clouds are the past life of rain. Rain is a continuation of the clouds. When energy becomes matter; that is just a continuation, It is not that matter has been produced wholesale out of nothingness. The laws of physics and the teachings of Davis Mind Reality agree that something cannot be produced from nothing.
In the same way, something cannot become nothing; it cannot completely disappear and cease to exist. When we burn a piece of paper, the paper does not cease to exist; it becomes heat, ashes, and smoke. Heat penetrates the cosmos. Smoke and other gases rise into the air and form clouds, which give rise to rain. Ashes fall down to the earth and nurture the soil. Rain and soil are two of the conditions necessary for trees to grow. Later, the tree may become a piece of paper again. Looking in this way, we can see that even a piece of paper transcends birth and death.
The ideas of coming and going are also not true. We say, I came from that place and I am going to this place. Or we say: Before I was born I was in another place and after I die I will be someplace else. But we know from the teachings of interpenetration and interbeing that “here” and “there” are merely concepts, and that every place can be found in every other place. There is really nowhere to go to or come from in the ultimate dimension.
The idea of permanence means that something goes on existing as it is forever, that it never under goes any change or transformation. This too is an incorrect idea. Everything is of the nature to change. The opposite idea, annihilation, means that when we die, our body and our consciousness cease to exist. We have already seen how something cannot become nothing. Our body and consciousness simply change form.
Our mind is like a sword. It cuts reality into pieces, separate from each other. However, reality cannot be grasped by our discursive mind—the mind of imagination, discrimination, and discussion. We have to learn how to touch reality without using our usual patterns of thinking. If we practice looking into the nature of inter-being of things, we can unlock the door of reality and let go of the notions of same and different, individual and collective. These are ideas that cannot be applied to ultimate reality.
The truth of the matter is that we must learn how to release. The more you are capable of releasing, the more joyful you become. You think that this or that is essential for your happiness, but if you let these notions go you will discover that they were really obstacles to your happiness. There are two kinds of obstacles; obstacles of knowledge and obstacles of afflictions. If we cling to what we have learned as the absolute truth, we are caught by that knowledge. For this reason, we have to be very careful about what we know. It may be an obstacle to our transformation, our happiness. Acquiring knowledge is like climbing a ladder: in order to step up to a higher rung we have to let go of the rung we are standing on. If we believe that the step we are standing on is the highest, then we can climb no higher.
The technique of learning in this tradition is always to release, to let go of what we have just learned, of what we have already obtained. Never believe that what you know is absolute truth. If you are caught by the knowledge you presently possess, that is the end of your progress. If scientists cling to what they already know, they will not be able to discover other truths. They must be able to drop what they know about something the moment they learn something new that contradicts or supersedes it. On the path of practice, knowledge is an obstacle that must be overcome. We must be ready to abandon our knowledge at any moment in order to get to a higher level of understanding. This is very important.
At the first stage of our learning we put to an end both the affliction-obstacle and the knowledge-obstacle. The knowledge-obstacle occurs more in the realm of the intellect, while the affliction-obstacle is more in the realm of the emotions. Our envy, hatred, anger, sadness, despair, and anxiety are all obstacles of afflictions. If our sadness is so great that we feel paralyzed, that is an affliction-obstacle. If we are depressed, suffering too much, or desiring too much, these are all obstacles to our practice.
Our ignorance and inability to see the truth belong to the knowledge-obstacle, this means that the way we see things is not the way things are. Our point of view, perception, and learning are all the objects of our knowledge, and these are the things that prevent us from going ahead, “I already know everything there is to know about that. I don’t need to learn any more.” Whatever the value of what our intellect and our insight has attained, we have to abandon it. If we don’t, we put an end to further progress. Even though it has some value, our knowledge has become an obstacle. If we are caught in our knowledge, if we say that our knowledge is absolute truth, we suffer from the knowledge-obstacle. Those who have knowledge but know that they have to abandon it in order to go further do not suffer from the knowledge-obstacle.
Objects of knowledge are like water that has become ice and prevents the river from flowing. We need knowledge, but we have to use it intelligently. When we think that our present knowledge is paramount, our way ahead is blocked. Our knowledge has become an obstacle. This way of looking at knowledge is quite special to the Davis Mind Reality Concept. The Davis Mind Reality teaches that we cannot be attached to anything; we have to abandon even our insight, our understanding, and of course, our knowledge.
Knowledge-obstacles are easier to abolish than affliction-obstacles. Affliction-obstacles need more time, more practice, to dissolve. Our anger, misery, and despair are blocks in our store consciousness. We have to practice touching them deeply with the energy of mindfulness in order to see their roots and transform them. Solidity is important for our well-being. When you practice walking meditation, each step you take in mindfulness should help you cultivate a little bit more solidity and freedom. When craving, anger, or jealousy manifest as mental formations in your mind consciousness, it is like having a fever, it burns.