"On the one hand there must be the understanding that there is nothing, nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing that you can do to improve, transform, or better yourself. If you understand this completely you will realize that there is no such entity as 'you'. Then, if you have totally abandoned this ambition, you will be in the state of true meditation which comes over you spontaneously in wave after wave after wave of amazing light and bliss."
~ Alan Watts' paraphrasing words of wisdom from Krishnamurti, spoken in a private conversation
(In My Own Way, p. 118)
I could not have come across this passage at a more spiritually ripe time. I read it this morning after the day in which I had the realization that to receive true understanding into the reality and nature of things what is needed is for me is to abandon the pursuit for it entirely. That to be filled with revelation and insight, it is necessary to be empty of any preconceived ideas as to how to attain it. For we are already full of what we need to know. It is merely a matter of flicking the light switch on.
One has to just find the switch, located somewhere on the walls lining the interior that lays within the corridors of one's consciousness. If the walls are covered with so many maps, pictures and mirrors reflecting shifting illusions resembling those of which can be found inside the fun house of a carnival, then one's inner eye can canvass its surface until , as the saying goes, "the cows come home" and still be lost as to its whereabouts. What is needed is to take down even that which appears beautiful, to strip all adornments mercilessly off the walls, so that all that is left is the switch itself. When turned on what appears makes what once lined those walls seem amusingly dull and artificial anyways.
The realization came to me that to simply be is all that one needs to do in order to realize the mysteries of life. In this state, intuition flows freely and sadhana (spiritual disciplines), take whatever form is needed in that moment. I have often been perplexed and torn regarding which technique of mediation or contemplation I should be practicing for I am often drawn to different ones yet feel as if I should choose just one particular path. Enough worrying about technique, enough fretting about form. Form shapes itself from the space we create by simply allowing life to flow as it will in each eternal moment. It is then one may be led to chant, to dance, to draw, to simply breathe or become a mirror reflecting the love and light that fills every crevice of one's consciousness.
I am realizing that there is no right or wrong way. There just, "is". And it is in this state that I can emphasize with the phrase from the old hymn, "All is Well with my Soul", with the exception that there is no soul. All is well with my Self, for it is finally allowed to simply be its Self. It's simply allowed to be, simply be, unfiltered. The thick and grimy film covering the mirror within is scraped clean and what is left is pure awareness. And I realize that that is my true nature.
What a relief it is to simply witness life, this vast and infinite web of existence filled with shifting illusions that dance and flirt with one another. Taking center stage they playfully dart behind folds in a curtain that continually opens and closes much to the audience's delight and dismay, entirely dismissive of their cheers and sighs. It all makes me want to laugh. Laugh at how simple and obvious it all is and yet how complicated and artificial we tend to make it and how seriously we consider our interpretations of it. We take them so seriously that we wage wars and impose death on others to hold fast to the illusions we choose to cling to. We hate others for selecting different illusions because it threatens our own sense of security because deep down we know that it is all bunk but we so desperately seek something permanent to give us hope and security. That fact doesn't make me laugh though. The fact that our near obsession with our egos and investment in our own self-made delusions leads to so much misery and suffering. That makes me want to mourn and fiercely shake the slumbering world awake.
When listening to a beautiful song, or playing an instrument, you don't over-analyze what you are doing at that moment. You merely feel and allow your creativity to flow in that moment. In that moment you just are. Creating. In every moment, consciousness just is, creating. Filtering itself through the lenses of our varied egos and having fun with it. I'm beginning to realize that there is no point in over analyzing our deepest questions in order to extract the answers. That is just mere mental speculation based on our own presuppositions of the truth. That is our ego playing around with different variables, projecting interesting patterns into our awareness that might or might not have any relevance to the answers of our deepest inquiries. I'm starting to realize that the answer is simply found in allowing oneself to embrace fully each and every moment. It is then that we begin to, "know" the answers-not through means of the intellect but through experience. Not through words, but through revelation.
Words limit the expression of spiritual truths. That's why so many, from Alan Watts to Thomas Merton and countless of others, merely had fun with words and never took them too seriously. Words are symbols for concepts that define realities based on other people's or group's interpretations of reality and therefore are highly subjective.
I abhor hunting. I believe taking any life does injustice to the sacred nature of life itself. One illustration, however, that comes to mind right now is a hunter perched high above the forest floor atop a tree stand. He sits still, hears the sounds of nature reverberating through wood and brush, waiting patiently for his prey to come into view. Deer are smart and perceptive. Their senses and intuition finely tuned for survival. There is no point in noisily bumbling about blazing a trail through the wilderness in search of one. Try that and the closest deer will be miles off and you will never even see a glimpse of its sleek brown coat. There is no path that will lead you to one and there is no point in making your own path. All you need to do is sit and wait and the object you so desire will eventually appear.
I am discovering this is true with spiritual truths and knowing. It is our first instinct to go off in hungry pursuit for the answers we so desperately seek. To locate and bring down the truth as if taking down a wild stag, pouncing upon it and savagely feasting upon the flesh of knowledge, sucking the marrow clean from revelation's bones. The seeker becomes wild in his pursuit for truth. But I am finding there is a much more dignified and effective way of coming about it rather than feverishly pursuing it like a rabid animal frothing at the mouth. Like the hunter in the tree stand, we merely need to tuck ourselves up in the tree of contemplation and wait. Patiently. Being ever mindful and allowing the truth to come and rise above the horizon and, in its light and almost painful in its brilliance, flood us with knowing.
When waiting, if we empty ourselves of expectations, a miraculous happening begins to occur. Thoughts, emotions and feelings arise and we realize we can objectively witness these elements that we once perceived as being "us". Because we can witness them, we are not them. Our reality cannot be bound and indeed transcends these superficial and illusory variables that define our ego. We are emptiness and emptiness is full. Bursting with potential and energy-to create, to love, to heal, to transform. Our bodies and our egos are merely instruments in which the universe is playing itself out. Reinforced within me at this time is the very notion that we all, truly are, One.
In this context the ego need not be rejected as if it were something ugly and something needing to be discarded. As long as it is seen for what it truly is it can be appreciated. It is what gives our existence texture, flavor and color but should never be taken too seriously. The trick, I believe, is to have fun with the ego, but to not allow it to "stick" to our interior which reflects our true nature. To not buy into and become attached to the illusion that it defines us. To let it work for us and not against us. Spiritual disciplines can be instrumental at this point in helping us maintain this perspective. As already mentioned, I have come to accept that whatever discipline we take on, at any given moment, should not be done because we feel we have a duty or obligation towards it but instead should merely be done because it is the best instrument at that given moment in time to be used to redirect our internal compasses back towards pointing itself to our true Self.
I could write more but will end this post for now for it is already longer than most people would probably prefer a blog post to be. Greatly appreciated are your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you!