Skillful and unskillful, are utilitarian terms on the spectrum of possibility, in creating consciousness or unconsciousness. The terms are somewhat neutral given other less desirable terms like good/bad. Plumbing the choice between skillful and less skillful, is plumbing the full space of whom we ’think’ we are and whom we really ‘are’. Confusion comes in when we set artificial boundaries on either identities. Limitation is exaggerated when the iceberg of false identity and it’s subterranean conditioned self is not fully seen. Limitation of the unbounded spaciousness of Self is also a built-in problem, due to the possibility of limiting awareness of the Unlimited.
Skillfulness, for example, is our ability to see the conflictual patterns of behaviors when we do something ethically challenging that tears at our integrity. This is especially true when we indulge in a self-satisfying behavior that is not in keeping with decreasing the possibility of pain to self and/or others. Doing something that is less progressive in our development, is doing something in a denial of a full reality of “What Is”.
A review of a less-skillful behavior would reveal the glossing over of a less than thorough inventory of the predilection of self versus Self. Until that is acknowledged, distortion and cherry-picking, is the norm.
Getting past the false self is getting past the unmarked territories of non-being, first. If the Self is not separate, then there has to be consideration to causing the least amount of harm possible to others, to include the whole planet. When it is impossible to do no harm, Vedanta says do as little harm as possible.
Moving along the path towards the subtle Oneness of Formlessness, is losing the familiarity and false comfort of all the structures that compelled the ego self to falsely substantiate itself. Fearlessness, is seeing the dead-end denials and subterfuges as part of the false identity. That is, it is now part of the revelatory process, in that there is a ’seeing’ that does not re-injure self because ’self’ is no longer an issue. The shift to Awareness as the non-identity identity makes this an option. When there is no one (false self) to injure, defend, or affirm, the identity of Everything/Nothing gives credence to a natural harmony with the unity in the diversity, to wit, everyone and everything. If this wholeness is truly our base, then ‘our’ interest is always ‘Our’ interest. There is no room left for false acquisitions and ideas.
The path to higher consciousness is not unlike the shift of the body from a glucose-based system of operation to one of a fat-based system that eschews that roller coaster of peaks and troughs of the Ho-ho’s kind of energy of the body to one of a ‘good’ fat model. When we choose food that does not have fast carbs and raw sugars, like medium chain triglycerides (coconut oil), we begin to opt for a fasting glucose range of under 84 mg/dL. When we surpass 100mg/dL we enter into the pre-diabetic arena of body response. An increase in our carbs/sugars over a continued period of time evokes the body to prefer to burn sugars and store excess sugars as fat on the body. When there is no place to put the excess sugars, the body’s bloodstream becomes a moving storage facility resulting in leptin resistance with insulin levels up.
This is in contrast to a diet with limited carbs/sugars where the body burns all the moderate levels of sugars first. The healthy fats do not get unnecessarily stored. Rather they create a flatline of energy where the body does not peak/trough as much, resulting in a more ideal weight with less metabolic stress.
Not unlike the peaks/troughs of diet, the false self does itself a disservice by demanding acknowledgement from the fullness of “What Is”. This contraction is a stress that is not natural to the Self or body. It is an unnecessary artifice that evokes a recklessness in harmony with Self and environment. The fat-based diet is analogous to a Self-based diet of identification. To ‘Be’ otherwise is to go on the roller coaster of the highs and lows of precipitous change.
The ‘highest’ skill would be something that can achieve the highest level of inner/outer satisfaction, yes?
And that would be what?
Fulfillment to the point of no desires? Consummation of our deepest goals, like peace and happiness? Knowing beyond just understanding the subtlest of Truths?
Yes, kinda sorta. Identification and sourcing the Formless while Being in the temporariness of form with connectivity to all beings, is the skill that evolves from ‘no ideas’, to Self, to all others in the phenomenal world. The skill to broker that constantly, 24/7, is the ticket to ride.
Unconsciousness to Consciousness of Self, to identity shift to Self, to external shift to the phenomenal world as Self, to the Eternal Now as the beginning and end of everything, is the path of the Infinite going to the Infinite. The perennial journey starts right Now. See skillfully. Choose when there is a choice (dualism). Otherwise, there is no choice, which is “What Is”.