the ultimate conundrum

 

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893
(OMG – another think coming!)

 

Contemplating the savage wisdom of one of my major mindshifters

 

If you can forget it or remember it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can experience it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can know it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can be it, it is not you therefore discard it.

 

… I find myself scribbling some lines that say pretty much the same thing, but employ some of the more common jargon spinning around the contemporary seeker’s scene:

If you can surrender to it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can invite it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can activate it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can practice it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can lean into it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can rest in it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can embody it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can point to it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can master it, it is not you therefore discard it.

 

If you think you can discard anything,

you’ve got another think coming.

 


 

It cannot be invited; it is quietly present when you are absent.

 


The opening words are from Nisargadatta Maharaj. I have heard that when the realised teacher sees the efforts of the student towards their ’emptying’, they are filled with delight. Niz was not known for his patience with fools; would my application of some of the common lingo that shows up in the spiritual circus these days get his nod? Thank god it doesn’t matter.

The final words are not a quote, but my paraphrasing of the way my teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti would address the ultimate conundrum.


The image needs no introduction: Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893 – I am solely responsible for the sub-title, “OMG, another think coming!”


For those who might not be familiar with colloquial English usage:
“Another think coming” is the original form of the colloquial phrase aimed at someone who has a mistaken view. It comes from the old comical expression, “If that’s what you think, you’ve got another think coming.”


 

thoughts arise and one of them likes to think it’s a thinker

311

My eyes pop open in the pre-dawn half-light and I see two huge hares, just outside the window.  Their heads are so huge!  Their long antennae-ears are tipped with black, creating the appearance of eyes on the tips of rotating arms.  Sitting on the dew-drenched grass, they move their ears constantly, turning this way and that, bringing one forward or back, or both.  They seem keenly interested in the raucous morning dialogue of nearby kookaburras.

Everything is shouting this morning – the whooping mountain whip birds, the rooster, the parrots; even the guinea fowl are making their clicking contribution.

It’s a dawn of clear and gentle loveliness; the sanctity of the earth is like a long, slow exhalation.  Resting in its embrace is bliss.

~

“The thinker is the thought,” said Krishnamurti
opening a whole chapter of self-inquiry for this scribbler.

But no thinker can be found
and no thought can be caught.

Thinking’s happening; thoughts arise
and one of them likes to think it’s a thinker.

~

no worries, mate!

250

Problems?

Of course there are problems; isn’t that the nature of dreams?

If you wake up from a sleeping-dream which was problem-filled you say, “Oh it was only a dream, whew!”

When you wake up within the big Dream the response is the same: “Whew!”

As they say in the big Down Under: “No worries, mate!”

~

The first time I sat with Krishnamurti he asked us whether it was possible to live without problems.  Just to entertain the possibility.  What exactly is a “problem?” he asked.

Twenty years and much deliberation later, spaciousness scribbles: A problem is a thought believed to be real by another thought – the ‘me’ thought.  It’s only by inquiring into the nature of thought that one gets a grip on problems.  Or, rather, they lose their grip on the tail-chasing thinker.

Problems are as ephemeral as the ‘me’ thought.  When the dreamer wakes up to the Dream, problems are seen as Life’s creative unfolding.  There is nothing outside of this utterly mind-boggling miracle of Creation.

~

opening to Grace

170

Iris Murdoch was having a chat with Krishnamurti once, and voiced the opinion that he was “in a state of Grace,” implying that he was different from the milling crowd.  K was rather irritated by this, protesting at first, but then saying, “Call it Grace if you wish, but be in a state to receive It.”

What potential confusion lurks in this response!  (Perhaps this explains K’s irritation.)  Grace is not a thing that gets sent from somewhere and is received by someone.  I’ve been blessed to be in the company of sages who were resting in/as Grace, and what I noticed was that if I was open enough, still and soft enough, that Grace could be felt in the energy field called my body.

To be in a state of Grace is to embody this openness, this fluid movement of Life’s livingness – and to be unburdened by any desire that IT be different than it is, exactly as it is now, in what-is.  It sounds simple, but it’s a very big ask.  Yet we all know what the state of Grace feels like.  Perhaps we know it best by its absence, those painful times when we argue with Life and second-guess ITs incomprehensible order.

She-who-scribbles is a very slow learner in the Grace-stakes. It gets easier … but at the same time ever more challenging. I don’t remember who said it, but it’s spot-on: “As the water gets calmer, the fire gets hotter.”

~

homage to Krishnamurti and Wei Wu Wei

148

When Jiddu Krishnamurti was asked for the most important point in his teaching, he replied: “The observer is the observed.”

For 20 years those 5 words haunted me wherever I went; they were a koan stuck in the neurons.

Intuitively, it was easy to grasp; intellectually it was entertaining.
But who or what (I wondered) was understanding and being entertained?

While Krishnamurti was one of the great mindshifters in my life, he failed to explain – in a way that this brain could grasp –  exactly why the observer cannot be anything but the observed, and further, why it is impossible for that observer to self-exist as an entity.

For those clarifications, I bow deeply to Wei Wu Wei, and it is to share that savage wisdom that I write.  Just in case there’s another brain out there that is as stubborn and slow and opaque as mine; a brain with a little slit that this ruthless arrow of truth can fly through.

~

stopping the talk, shutting up at last

115

knowing, sentience, awareness

these are words for IT that utterly fail
to define IT
“The word is not the thing,” said Krishnamurti.
“The word is not the no-thing, either,” echoes Emptiness

knowing that includes no
knower
sentience that includes no
perceiver
awareness that includes no
me

knowing that includes no-thing
known
sentience that includes no-thing
sensed
awareness that includes no-thing
experienced

these are concepts dancing around IT
spinning, dyeing, patterning,
weaving, on the loom of
objectification,
mind’s exquisite tapestry

~

stopping the talk, shutting up at last

there’s just this

melting moment

this

pointless and placeless

peace

~

life’s naked beingness

88

it’s evident, if you look closely,
that the observer is the observed,
the thinker is the thought, and so on
(gratitude to J Krishnamurti for those powerful pointers)

but the person-problem remains:
who is this ‘observer-person’?
who is this ‘thinker-person’?
who is this ‘inquirer-person’?

the dynamics aren’t difficult to grasp
but who grasps?
and who then understands?

my Buddhist friends warn about dispensing with the ‘conventional’ self
but again I ask: who/what is it that dispenses – or doesn’t?

you can get bogged down in this mind-movie for great grey eons
before it loses its box-office appeal

I cast a look sometimes but boredom soon kicks in
while the wonders of unabridged Life never cease to amaze

Life’s naked beingness shines from ITself
upon ITself
and for ITself

~