"...then, mountains are not mountains anymore and rivers are not rivers..."
(discussed in parts or in whole during retreats)
Adyashanti: Various Teachings (video, audio)
Kurt Godel: Incompleteness Theorem
Guy Ritchie: Revolver (film)
Quantum Physics: Double Slit Experiment (video)
Ray Kurzweil: Interview on the future
To get involved with the concepts, teachings, practices of Sails 102, one should get pretty familiar (perhaps too familiar) with the content of Sails 101. Not establishing properly what will be demolished here is not much use, because the essence of Sails 102 is to assist deconstructing all of what was built up in one's lifetime to this point and well established in Sails 101. In other words, the success and efficiency of this second journey is proportional to the success and efficiency of the previous one. If you have not built anything, there is nothing to work with here. We cannot get rid of a problem if it has never actually occurred.
There are ways to check if you are ready for Sails 102 by answering some or all of the following questions:
Has anything that I have ever tried ultimately worked?
Can I forget about this whole thing and go back to the way things were?
Do I see any hope to find a way out?
if your answers were "no", it seems that you might be ready for a complete demolish of the old system and invite whatever is next. Beware however, your ego is probably one step ahead and already working on an intricate trick to re-emerge in a new, spiritual mask as the one trying to get rid of itself. Even before engaging in this "new game", we will make a decision to allow everything to come and go and just observe it without judgment. Resistance is what is needed for the game to continue. If we do not supply resistance, the very fuel for the mechanism, slowly it will dissipate.
"What you resist, persists"
The motto of Sails 102 is that mountains are not mountains anymore. Although many arrive to this stage on their own and mostly through failure and suffering, we will present a practical and perhaps most scientific approach to reveal for anyone the limits of their understanding and therefore the incoherency/confusion of their worldview.
No matter where you come from and what you have accumulated, there are limits to what you can comprehend of reality and the world around you. We do not need to get personal here, so we will talk about humanity as a whole. Our limits on one end is the very large - the Universe itself, and on the other end it is the very small - sub-atomic particles. Beyond these levels we do not have any understanding, method, instrument to investigate (yet) only vague theories that are changing rapidly. One might say that regardless, at least we understand and can investigate what is happening within these limits, on the human realm of macro objects. We would respectfully disagree however. How can anyone root their frame of reference without knowing the whole or at least the bigger picture? Our argument would be similar to a child's whose frame of reference is within the reality of Santa Claus. Of course the stories and the logic makes sense from within, but we know that it only lasts until the realization of the illusion. Humanity as a whole is in a delusion about reality and until a broader perspective is gained, it is infantile to assume that we understand ultimate truth.
One concrete evidence of our "broken" knowledge of our reality was proven by the mathematician Kurt Godel, who showed that it is impossible to gain ultimate understanding of any system we believe to explain our reality (Incompleteness Theorem). In simple language, to explain anything, you have to look at it from "outside", from an objective perspective. Because we are part of the system we are trying to explain, we will never be able to explain the whole, ultimately from within. Of course there are a lot of approximations and "good guesses" to explain the ultimate that are worth entertaining, perhaps at this point it is a bit too late to take seriously.
What we are getting at here is that our ultimate reality is not knowable at this point of the evolution of consciousness. Spirituality is aiming at bridging this "beyond" with our practical life. These retreats as well as other attempts are trying to "root" those realizations of this "not-knowability" and somehow understand (or rather make peace with) what cannot be understood. Language at this point starts to fail and contradictions become too many but that is normal. Remember, we are cutting ties with duality and language becomes circumstantial, situational and only a utility by which ultimate truth can never be expressed. It is not even the words and their meanings that are important anymore, they are only used to get rid of other words and meanings.
"you can use one thorn to take out another from your finger"
It seems that there are two kinds of reactions the ego is capable of when encountering its limits and ultimate impossibility. One reaction is to contract and try to shut off/down, trying to hold on to what is left, ultimately seeing it as a "loss", the glass is half empty. The other reaction is expansion, opening, freedom, experiencing the realization as a "gain", letting it go, seeing the glass half full. "Freefalling" can be thrilling and exciting and/or can be fatally threatening. Perhaps those who contract in this experience are not "ripe" yet to go beyond, or might need more work to be able to open to the possibility of letting everything go. This is only a goal as much as suicide can be for anyone, making no sense for rationality. When this "letting go" happens, one basically "dies" to a separate self, waking up from the illusion. One's recognition of ultimate uncertainty and a gradual or progressive erosion of one's stability and comfort of life circumstances is a good indication of being in this "mountains are not mountains anymore" state.
Those fortunate ones to whom this freefall is wonderful, liberating, happy, should watch out.
"everybody knows not to get stuck in hell but only a very few can avoid getting stuck in heaven"
You see, if you like the liberating state, where there is no-self, there has to be someone who acts upon this preference to sustain it. This is your "enlightened ego". This is the newest and most cunning trick for the ego to re-invent itself, masquerading as something it is not. Of course if your only choices to be pretending enlightenment or contracting to the idea of non-existing as a separate ego, the world is better off with you pretending to be kind, compassionate, patient, and so on. Ultimately however a good experience is irrelevant.
t logical question from the mind... well if I loose myself, if there are no goals, how do I go about my life? What morals, ethics will I follow when my being is not rooted in anything? These questions can only come from an ego, fearing for the loss of things it never had. When the no-self state is really attained, these questions become irrelevant or at least entertaining to ask without any expectation for an answer. Somehow action just begins on its own at the right time/place, without having to have much of the "doer" assisting. Ego can be put on a "pilot light", just to be there as a tool to be used and not as the boss to serve. A legitimate question would be "who/what is this perspective we pretend to be talking out of, referring to the ego in the third person - which we understand to be ourselves?. How is that even possible?". The answer is: Yes.. exactly. Perhaps contemplating on this question is far more significant than any answer could ever be.. supplied by the mind.
We are getting close to the final realization (discussed in Sails 103), where "mountains are mountains again". Seeing through ego enough and therefore the impossibility of ever gaining back our "old self", we might be inclined to complete our journey, arriving to the same place where we began. Of course having made the journey, we cannot possibly arrive to the same place, but rather than a spiral seen from above. Two dimensionally we only see circles, but the whole journey reveals in third dimension ascending our original starting point. Eventually how one starts living out of these realizations can take some time getting used to. It even takes some time to learn a new language, new understanding, seeing, speaking, etc. The Eightfold Path (discussed in Sails 103) for example is a rooted practice how to get physically used to or closer to live out of the full realization.
One major obstacle in the way of making peace with all those uncomfortable thoughts and doings rooted in dualism is "being free from" doing or thinking particular acts and thoughts. Because ego and therefore preference is needed to continue participating in the ultimate game, there will be deviation from what one knows to be true and what one must do/think in order to continue dealing with one's own ego and the egos of others. The resolution is simple. Since ultimately there is nothing wrong and there are no mistakes, these egoistic obstacles become those parts of the role our physical form was chosen to play that this physical form is not comfortable with. Failing to realize this at this stage would be similar to an actor who forgets that he/she is not on stage or in front of a camera anymore and continues the role outside of the theatre. Can you imagine Sylvester Stallone bursting through his front door with a hand grenade in full costume "Honey I'm home!". We can clearly separate the actor in the movie from the real person who is just like anyone else. We understand that Sly would not kill those people or be the character he is playing, and therefore he should not have a problem pretending for the movie. The same situation applies to this principle. Once the ego is seen through enough, we shouldn't have a problem with utilizing the ego or acting/speaking out something we would otherwise not if not for the role/situation/life circumstances our body/mind happened to be.
Would somebody with this understanding swear, lie, yell, be impatient etc.? Of course, but increasingly and proportionally less to the understanding of ultimate reality. How this is working and dealt with is what we transition onto in Sails 103.