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.”


 

being . just being . here

 

Vija Celmins - House 2, 1965

Like the moment you too saw, for the first time,
your own house turned to ashes,
Everything consumed so the road could open again.
– David Whyte

My landlady has notified me that the cabin I call home is needed for family use. Once again I’m packing cartons for a move. But. Where to go?

It’s so strange – the old ideas about what the ML character needed in a dwelling (privacy, tranquillity, beauty, light, workspace, car-cover, community of like-minded souls…) are dropping away during this hesitant recovery from recent surgery. There was no rush to the rebound. BP was happy to stay flat. Slipping away would have been easy; no resistance arose…

But it didn’t happen, and tonight I sit here with the dusk chorus swelling in this vast audial auditorium. Soon the bats will arouse from their upside-down day pose and head east towards their nocturnal feeding-fields. The upswelling of delight is delicious as I relax into the unedited immediacy of Being. Just Being. Here.

There is no longer a wanter-woman here. This, I confess, is the most remarkable thing I can say about my current experience of life. The wanter-woman was so central – and so subtle. She turned up as a host of identities – even trying on the ‘no-wanter’ mask for a while. Whatever saw through all the masks remains a mystery, but I can say with confidence that it’s not another object of any kind.

The contentment and joy known tonight weren’t “wanted”. What I mean is, my particular “wanting” wasn’t consciously motivated by desire to escape from the usual melange of human emotions; nor was I seeking salvation, or freedom from fear. I just needed to know whether the sages were being honest when they spoke of the existence of something changeless, immeasurable, real.

As a child I’d known this ineffable ‘something’ intimately – What was that? Why had it seemed to fade as I grew up? What did it have to do with creativity, harmony, beauty? My lifepath organised itself around these concerns; the wanter-woman was an effective vehicle for the journey … until eventually she was understood to be the root of the problem!

It was seemingly by default that contentment and joy bubbled up in the space being vacated by the wanter-woman’s residual repertoire. (Yes – that’s how it moves here: the wanter-woman was seen for the phantom she was and took off. However she left behind a heap of junk, sneakily stashed away as old patterns forged over a lifetime. One by one they percolate up to be acknowledged, welcomed, loved, and sometimes put to new service.)

Being. Just being. Here. What more could be wanted than the capacity to hear the sweet canoodling of the Rosellas as they settle for the night? Or the croaks of the frogs as they gear up for their mating games? The capacity to sense the air become cooler – my skin alive to its breath; to inhale the fragrance of Jasmine, Petunia and Bauhinia blossoms; to view the darkening world as it exhales, its succulent rainforest forms and colors transforming into a deep-toned two-dimensional dreamlike display? And further, deeper, wider, to experience the impossibility of separation from any of this display – the knowing that The Knowing is all there is?

Capacity! Life’s extraordinary gift, so miraculously ours by default – and unarguably known and experienced to be none other than the inescapable Real, even as one’s BP flattens and the nurses’ eyes narrow.

What more could be wanted than what is already here, and has always been here so long as we’ve been alive – yet taken for granted, overlooked as we search for some awesome ‘Real Deal’ with bells and whistles?

I don’t know why Life returned my BP to normal then gave me a fortnight’s horizontal retreat to wonder why it would want to do that, when the old girl was happy to fade out, to return to sender. What I do know is that my gratitude is beyond words.

Perhaps, after all our speculations die down, that’s all Life ever wants – to hear itself sing its praises to itself.

No brims nor borders such as in a bowl
we see. My essence was Capacitie
– Thomas Traherne, 1634 – 1677

If you know of a humble abode, temporary or permanent, where ML can keep practicing her praising – both verbal and visual – please make contact.

*smiling and bowing*


Image: Vija Celmins House 2, 1965

David Whyte quote: from the poem Fire in the Earth


 

on “spiritual inquiry” – be warned

 

Echoes from Emptiness - Image credit: Jaypee Online - Flickr

 

if you endlessly ponder

your seeming lack of enlightenment

(the proof of;  the reasons for;  the need to overcome)

your life appears to be unenlightened

and is experienced accordingly

 

if, for one instant, you stop your pondering

the Real is found to be already and always there

(luminous;  changeless;  already perfect)

and your life, in that instant, IS enlightenment

and is experienced accordingly

 

you don’t need to seek or strive or supplicate

you don’t even need to understand or accept or believe

you just need to slow down

get really quiet

and stop

 

how cool is that?

 


Image credit: Jaypee Online – Flickr


the great escape routine

352

[From a letter to a friend.]

For decades I had read, been taught, and believed that the Real, by definition, must be omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.  But I still believed it was something objective that I had to find, attain or ‘receive’.

What I had to do, I thought, was find where ‘it’ was hiding – or more to the point – why my perception couldn’t perceive ‘it’.  Which sounds easy, but dozens of years were spent traipsing around the spiritual circuit without getting one millimeter closer to my quarry.

It was a light-bulb moment for me when it sunk in that if the Real was totally accessible to me (and everyone), perhaps I should persistently ask myself

What’s the one thing I can’t get away from?  Ever?

And there it was – here it is.  Inescapably intimate.  Closer than my heartbeat.

Whenever protest or confusion arose, I’d just switch over to the Great Escape Routine again.  And laugh myself silly.

Well, you do have to laugh, don’t you?  Imagine.  All those years of seeking and sadhana, of surrender and self-inquiry, and here I am, prisoner of the Presence that I am.

Prisoner of the real dinkum Real.

~

what happens when all authority is abandoned?

341

If you’re born blind, totally blind, you need to be told about light.  That’s the only way you’ll come to believe something like light exists.  But if you aren’t blind, belief isn’t necessary – you simply see and know light.

It’s odd then – with respect to ‘awakening’ – the way beliefs seem to cause blindness in those with eyes to see.  Beliefs are just like cataracts.

To see for yourself that wideawake brilliant awareness is all there is, is simple.  It’s probably the most obvious of all observations.  So why do we resist?  Why do we look for the Real everywhere but here?

Conditioned from tiny-hood to believe ourselves blind (unenlightened) we unquestioningly accept the beliefs of those who appear to have vision (authority): parents, priests, teachers, gurus, scriptures.

What happens when that conditioning is questioned?  What happens when all authority is abandoned?  What happens when we use our own eyes and trust our own vision?

Clear brilliant awareness is inescapably present.  Clarity flowers.  And clarity instantly removes cataracts.

~