Joan Tollifson – “Awake in the heartland”

Another quote from Joan Tollifson:

” We say, “I can lift my arm.” In this one simple, common, and seem- 
ingly innocent sentence, language creates the illusion of subject and 
object, the illusion of agency, the illusion of time, the illusion of cause and 
effect, the illusion of separation.

It’s all done with smoke and mirrors, better known as words. Something utterly inconceivable happens, and the words we use to describe it shape our perception of what it is. “I can lift my arm.” Where is the I? This is a wonderful question to 
explore. Take a moment to lift your arm several times. How exactly does 
it happen? We say “I” do it. But look closely at the actual experience as 
it happens.

How exactly do “you” do this action? How do “you” initiate it? Where does the first impulse come from? In this case, you read a suggestion in this book to lift your arm. Where did this book come from? How did it come into your life? And then you “decided” to do what the book suggested. How did that “decision” get made? Can you actually find this elusive “I” that claims to be in charge of all this? The more you look 
for this “I,” the deeper into nothingness you plunge. And the more closely you look at any simple action (lifting your arm, visualizing a flower, making a decision, writing a letter), the more mysterious it is. 

We believe that thinking is something that “I” am initiating, but again, when we observe carefully, thinking also seems to come out of nowhere. We could say it comes out of conditioning, or out of the brain, but where do they come from? Can “you” control what your next thought will be? Or is any semblance of control, and of “you,” merely another thought? 

From the moment we are apparently born, we are told our name, our gender, our place in society. We learn to control “our” body. We are alternately praised and scolded for what “we” do, and told that we are responsible for “our” lives. It’s like being gradually hypnotized into a kind of trance.

By the time we have reached adulthood, we fully believe that “I” am truly independent and in control of “my” life. “I” couldscrew the whole thing up. We become obsessed with trying to control the uncontrollable. It never occurs to us that this entire manifestation (movie after movie), along with the main character, along with the entire spiritual search, might all be nothing more substantial than a dream, a play of Consciousness.”

Love, here now.


I didn’t write this poem, you did,

it’s writing itself, as you hear it,

and here’s what it sounds like,

right now:



And these noise, cut with silence, come to you as words,

beautiful phrases or gobbledy-gook, and they do so,

right now.


Or maybe other thoughts appear, 

of holidays, or what to have for tea, or how to fix the toaster

and these words and thoughts are mingling, together,

right now.


And all of this is happening in a tiny hanging moment,

and the past never happened, and the future never comes,

and the words and language don’t exist, all there is, 

is right now.


And there is no you or me, no us or them, no here,

no there, no outside, no inside, no upside, no downside,

no atoms, no particles, no space in between, 

and yet there’s still colliding, 

right now.


And everything is love, 

(or whatever-you-call-it.)

The voices

the spaces,

the people,

the places,

the trees, 

the flowers, 

the hamburgers,

the dog shit,

the gas bill,

the toll booth,

the mustard,

the traffic jam,

the television.

And the planet.

All a shared dream, 

happening right now.


A few thoughts on religion, life and spirituality…

There is no external God.

Science and experience seems to indicate, that everything is appearing from the void and dying back into it again and that everything both exists and doesn’t exist. How could an infinite God exist outside these rules and if he did would he have created finite rules, relating to humanity in ’ time’? He’s just a concept.

There is no God morality.

The morality appearing is created by humans. It varies from place to place and time to time.

There is no heaven.

Where Heaven is a concept  of the individual self continuing infinitely. Everything is coming into being and dying back to source. To be Dead is like  sleep -When sleep happens the universe and I cease to be, when waking happens they are again. 

There is no past.

Its gone, just a colourful memory.

There is no future.

It never comes. Whatever you think it is going to be is a concept.

There is no time.

Only this moment, one constant moment. That last’s till it’s over. Hours and minutes and years are all just consensus concepts.

There are no countries

On a globe where everything runs together how can place x be seperate from y. All divisions are conceptual.

There is no money.

Everyone just has an agreement that little bits of paper and numbers on a computer screen have some notional value.

There is no separate self

All there is is a load of stuff happening. A big colourful merry go round rotating round an infinite still centre and even these things aren’t separate.

Sounds, feelings, thoughts, places, people, movement, just happen. Mind gives them value, folds them into a continuing narrative or discards them and this too is just happening.

All is illusion.

The infinite manifesting as an infinite amount of stuff and paradoxically all these things exist in the dream or it is insisted that they do.

All there is, is what there is, whatever that may be.

Headless baby

This reminded me of the headless way… 

Yesterday I saw my sister, and her baby girls – Lyra,  aged  22 months and Avery, 4 months. My sister told me about a trick or experiment you can play on small babies.If you put a dot on their face and sit them in front of a mirror they won’t try to wipe away the dot. But there’s a point in their development when they realize it’s their reflected face and put a hand up to wipe away the dot.

My sister said, the other day Lyra was eating dinner and  got a blob of sauce on her face. When she saw her reflection in the mirror she laughed and pointed at the sauce, to show it to mummy.

I thought –  she’s learnt dual consciousness – realized there’s her self and the world. Since I last saw her she’s become a little girl  and I can see a big difference between her and her baby sister. Now she’s  can do all kinds of little things with ease that she would’ve found difficult last time we met.

So that learning of self is sad in a way, but also wonderful too. Also it made me realize, I probably don’t visit my nieces enough!