tough love

Tough Love? Because most readers will find the contents of this post confronts their comfort-zone. Like happened here when I first encountered these notions. I won’t be surprised if you unfollow this blog, but I’d nonetheless love to think that you’ll take a look for yourself. For yourself. For. Yourself.

faith and hope

 

When you open your newsfeed and scroll through the week’s latest instalment of tragedy and brutality, you are observing the carnage wrought by faith and hope.

Faith and hope are two words sagely trotted out by both traditional and new age purveyors of fixes for the human condition. They feature large in the Christian Bible, and slip easily off our politicians’ tongues at times of crisis. “Only have faith!” “Defend the faith!” “Trust (have faith in) our democratic processes!” “Hope is our salvation …”

We are warned about “losing faith” or “losing hope” as though such absence will lead us to the top of a slippery slope and the inevitable descent into despair.

My teachers were strict. They demanded that every word employed be fully understood in all its implications. They would incisively question words that fed the illusion of separation, or that implied a ‘self’ solid and separate from the all-containing movement of creation. They had no time for those who counselled one to have faith, to hope, or to trust, because each of these positions betrays a desire for a self-satisfying outcome, a result that will bring relief, comfort, security or improvement in the life of the supplicant – or in the world they perceive to be faulty. They pointed out that these words, and others like time, need and want, are just more names for the illusory self, which is the root cause of all violence and suffering. They dismissed those who enthused about the merits of such attitudes with ruthless compassion: “Please come back when you want nothing but the Real.”

And I have grokked this so deeply it actually hurts my heart to hear people tell themselves they only need more faith or hope or trust (or compassion or understanding, or even time) to embody “the peace that passeth all understanding”, when it is the very abandonment of these notions that will throw them into a ‘me’-shattering, heart-melting intimacy with Life. An intimacy that makes future outcomes irrelevant, for the future is seen to be as illusory as the present (a dreaming streaming of perceptions, imagination, and ceaseless commentary); an intimacy that brings the mind unconditional peace and rest.

Let’s get the crucial questions lined up and check them out for ourselves:

Where can the one who needs to have faith (in any ideology) and hope (in any imagined outcome) be found? Be very precise. Where is the world to be found? Again – precision please. Where are disharmony, violence and tragedy to be found?

If you suggest they are all in the mind, tell me, where is one’s mind to be found?

If you can locate any of these, or anything else, outside of your fundamental awareness, you’ll be the first in the entire history of humanity to do so. And you’ll be wrong, because no matter where you stick the pin, it will still be a gesture occurring exclusively in the awareness that you are.

Gertrude Stein put it pithily: “There is no there there.”

If there is no place or time, or me or them, apart from the awareing of them, what does that do to ‘our relationship’ with the streaming shimmering dance we call world? Does it even make sense to speak of ‘relationship’ (which again implies separation), or is there only the streaming shimmering dance, dancing?

What are the implications of that mindshift?

Where is the brutality? The tragedy? The heroism? The suffering? It is nowhere but here, and it is all ours; it is all us – busily entertaining robotic thoughts and believing them to be real.

On the other side of faith and hope there’s a spaciousness that knows exactly how to respond to anything it meets with intense appropriateness. It’s a movement without a centre – without a trace of conditioning, without the burden of memory. We have all experienced it.

Let us rest in that spacious stillness, alert and awake, and see what Life will do with us. It might be something shocking, something we’d never imagine for ourselves. That will be a good indication of its authenticity.

I’ll meet you there.
 


 

In a similar vein, something I wrote in 2009 on ‘this unlit light’ blog:

the universe arises in your light

 


 

I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men’s hands
even at the height of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound.

– Hafiz

 


joy

Dervish Dancer
 

there is a joy
that’s neither an emotion nor a feeling;
that’s unaffected by unkind words
spat from spiteful mouths;
that’s unwounded by hurtful gestures –
off-handedness, rudeness, scorn

there is a joy
that pulses on regardless
of the world’s apparent disarray –
the distress, the abuse and denial –
a joy from which one is choicelessly
propelled into impartial action

there is a joy
that has no opposite, or cause;
it can’t be cultivated or contained,
bought or sold,
given or attained,
yet you’ll never escape its presence

there is a joy
that trashes all your
“teacup ideas” of transcendence;
that sets your wild fearless heart
spinning like a dervish
amongst the sorrows of the world

 


Image: Rumi on Facebook


no way in and no way out

347

Vast Presence  is always perfectly still.

And yet – as happened today – when a child is injured outside one’s gate and lies screaming in shock and pain, there is action.  It is action unclouded by confusion, by conceptualization, by choice.  Action simply acts.  The child is held and comforted, first aid is applied.  She is protected until her mother arrives.

Vast Presence does nothing but be present.

Isn’t it curious that we strive to live in the moment when it’s impossible to find any-where or any-when else but the vastness of the Present, this very moment?  We are prisoners of this perfect Presence: there’s no need to seek it, and no possibility of escape!

~

See also – I’m prisoner of a presence

go for the guts of IT

262

What can be said about the overpopulation of the planet?  What can be said about starvation, about terrorism, about climate change?  What can be said about the spread of diseases like AIDS?

Whatever is said or imagined by thought will be the product of conceptualization – the same source that produced the problems, the questions, and that endlessly spins the solutions.  But genuine change cannot be wrought by thought’s projections, for it only knows the known, and the known is the past.  Revolution is never creative; it may be innovative, but that’s not the same as creative.  Innovation is generated by thought re-arranging what it already knows.  Is it possible for thought to find a new question?  Or can new questions only arise from That which is beyond thought?

What thought knows cannot be the Truth for Truth is changeless and unknowable.

Go for the guts of IT: find the changeless, unknowable Truth and then see what happens to the rest.

Watch in amazement as Life rises to meet ITself – with wisdom and compassion and your name on ITs ID card.

~

hope is the enemy of peace

107

Morning Report:

pain, sinus, head-cold, cough, temperature, toothache, knee-collapse
body demands attention and is receiving it

there is no desire for any of this to be other-than-it-is:
just now, like this, right here.

and this is the peace that was hungered for, sought
in every hopeful thought

~

it’s a big say, but it can’t be denied:
hope is the enemy of peace

for hope-full thoughts abandon actuality
projecting an idea-l scenario and
sabotaging the movement of an
incomprehensible Intelligence
which knows without knowing
and acts beyond right or wrong

~

what is ‘right action’?

33

all the body-brain conditioning
acquired over a lifetime remains

it’s a myth that it’s somehow all
wiped away with a whiff of awakening

what does go, is the reflexive ‘me’ mirage
that habitually identified with that conditioning

when conditioned responses to Life
(re-actions) manifest,
Awareness lays them bare

some serve the survival needs of the organism;
these I associate with an intelligence
beyond comprehension

some serve the survival of the old illusory ‘self;’
these I associate with intellect
in its dualistic operation

so, what can be said about ‘right action?’

no action stands alone –
any action is an inevitable action
dependent upon and
interdependent with
the ceaseless activity
of non-personal, agenda-free
Life

‘right action’ is just another concept

~