The Unfindable Inquiry
Living Realization is known for its simplicity. The basic invitation invites us to recognize awareness, let all appearances be as they are, and see that all appearances are inseparable. We don’t have to do anything except notice that this is always our experience. We’ve just been overlooking it, in favor of a belief in separation. The majority of the text is directed at inviting us to relax, over and over, into this simple yet powerful seeing until it becomes directly obvious in our own experience. In “letting appearances” be as they are, we are not manipulating anything that arises.
Another, unique aspect of Living Realization is the depth into which the method looks into whether objects are separate. There are inquiries in the book that invite us to take a more active look into the nature of separation. These inquiries invite us to notice when we are experiencing separate objects and then actively inquiry into what thoughts, emotions, and sensations make up the object. In looking for the separate object but only finding individual arisings such as thoughts, emotions, and sensation, we see through the belief in separation—through the belief that there is a separate object there at all.
Scott invites those participating in Living Realization to attend the meetings or speak to Scott one-on-one. In those sessions, Scott takes you through the entire Unfindable Inquiry in a way that is relevant to the content of your life. This inquiry, once you get a feel for it, is like a sharp knife cutting through the ignorance of separation no matter how it appears for you.
How do we reconcile these two things?
On one hand, the basic invitation invites us to not manipulate appearances. On the other hand, these inquiries invite us to actively look into the nature of objects.
We reconcile these by seeing how the belief in separation appears in our lives. In working with people through the years, Scott has noticed that it is fairly easy to bring people into a direct recognition of awareness. Yet even in that direct recognition, the belief in separation can still operate in a number of ways.
When first recognizing awareness, we may consider it to be like a formless background in which all appearances come and go. This is fine as a starting point, but it can result in a sense of oscillation, which is the sense of going back and forth between moments of recognizing awareness and then being drawn back into a story of personal suffering, seeking, or conflict.
Oscillation occurs precisely because there is still a belief in separate objects operating. The object could be the self center (“ego”). It could be the sense of a separate other in a relationship. It could be any other object such as death, bankruptcy, or a job, even though we might not realize at first that we experience those as separate things. The point is that separation is the root of all suffering, seeking, and conflict.
In recognizing awareness, people get a sense that their basic identity is this awareness in which all objects in the world come and go. But that is where the confusion around separation begins to solidify, resulting in oscillation. Awareness and the world that seems to appear to awareness are inseparable. In Living Realization, we come to see that there are no separate objects. So objects are not coming and going at all. When we are experiencing separate objects, the Unfindable inquiries are tools that we use to actively look for these objects. We don’t find them. We find only thoughts, emotions, and sensations, all appearing inseparably to awareness.
Schedule a private one-on-one session today to see for yourself just how effective these inquiries can be!