We forget the most important things. Not items on our shopping list. Not things we must do. Not even things we mustn’t do. Sure, all those things have a certain value. And yet we forget why we are here and we give those other things a value in our minds which is grossly disproportionate to their actual worth.
We tend to think we are here to collect things. Perhaps we do not consciously believe that is what we think, but look closely at our actions and they tend to confirm that some kind of thinking like that is actually behind how we spend our lives. Money, admirers, worshippers, houses, cars, countries visited, prestige in the eyes of the world, knowledge, sexual experiences, good deeds… -some of these things or all of these things and more besides - it seems - the majority of us are out to collect.
Not that those things are bad. We all need a place to live and money to live in this world. We need some knowledge to function and to do our jobs. Sexual intimacy is part of partner relationships…all of these things are natural. What is dangerous is the way we prioritize the significance of collecting things, (i.e. collecting things beyond that which is essential) over what is truly important.
You see wisdom is not in the habit of collecting. Wisdom actually questions habits. It discards and refines what is essential. Wisdom remembers what we have forgotten. It remembers to not take life too seriously; it remembers to laugh. It does not take advantage of another and it emerges from a place of conviction in ourselves which is founded in profound intelligence and insight into the real nature of things.
We are not here to collect things – whether it be material things or power over others or pleasurable experiences. The primary reason we are here is to learn the great lessons that our relationships would have us learn. Relationships are our mirrors to our selves.
When you look into a mirror, you are presented with an image of the body. That image is a reflection of your present state. In a real mirror you see your body. You see something that is in a state of constant change. It is a living, breathing thing: something that is growing and aging and something that demands constant attention and nourishment in order for it to stay balanced and healthy.
In the mirror of relationships whether it is the mirror of your relationship with the grass or the birds or a person or your body…you also see something that is in a state of constant change: the mind. Yet, there is also something informing it all…something very sacred…something that is the source of wisdom and something that does not change.
This awareness just watches, the thoughts and feelings that come into your mind. But it itself is not affected by the thoughts and feelings that come and go through the mind. It is not a part of any concept that you have about your identity. It cannot be conceptualized. Awareness of that state which watches can be awakened with careful attention.
Also there is a “bridge” between that wise, unchanging intensity and the mind. You might call that bridge “impersonal intelligence.” Actually, this unchanging state and intelligence are part of a continuum – to see them as distinct from one another is to misperceive them.
However for the purposes of communication and semantics distinguishing between these two aspects of the one continuum has a certain value. Intelligence is that thing which brings order and insight into the mind from another level.
Ultimately, the mind is a grand illusion. Yet whilst it IS an illusion, that very illusion also contains the path OUT of the illusion. The mind might be compared to a labarynth through which we are passing. Nothing in our essential nature can be changed on the journey through the labarynth…only our perception about our essential nature can change. And it is our misperception of what we actually are that ultimately gets us stuck in a time-warp and slows down our passage through the labarynth.
In truth there is no individual, just as there is no mind. There are no original thoughts in the world. All of these things we forget.
Fear, intelligence, anger, hatred, affection…none of it is personal to me (they may be expressed personally – but they are universal aspects of the human condition). They are all simply potentials in the human psyche. The very construct of “me” as a centre of consciousness, activity and meaning is the source of all misery, pain and meaninglessness.
In this way, the beginning of wisdom is born of the death of the idea of “I” being an individual body or mind - which is the source of all our suffering – and the awakening of an awareness of our fundamental nature which is “being-ness”. That does not preclude me from taking responsibility for everything that I say and do. That is where intelligence comes in.
This is the insight at the heart of an impersonal life. This is the core truth of a sane life.
And this is what we are here to learn.
The word “saint” comes from the same root as the word “sane.” And the root meaning of both of these words means “whole” or “healthy” or “still.” Still, not in the sense of lifeless, dead, empty…but still in the sense of calm, collected (not fragmented), concentrated (in the sense of no wastage, no dissipation of energy or possibility – through one or various distractions etc).
Thought without intelligence, to bring order to it, breeds chaos and fragmentation. Thought is fragmentation. But insight and intelligence bring order to thought for intelligence is born of that sacred intensity which lies behind all appearances.
We forget our holiness, our being-ness, our natural intelligence and consequently we become slaves to the body senses and to thought, and consequently we become dull and insensitive. Yet relationships – if we are really attentive – serve to teach us that which we have forgotten. Ultimately that is why we are here. By discerning the holiness behind appearances, we are able to pass rapidly through the labarynth of time-thought (time is a manifestation of thought – they are one and the same thing – the gaps in between our thought emanate from a timeless source) which we call the mind and hence we can return to that pristine state we only imagine we have left.
The ironic thing is that in this process of self-realization, our greatest obstacle is not our fear of the darkness within - on the contrary our behavior proves to us that we “love” the darkness!! Our greatest fear is our own light.
There will come a time when all our images and projects end. That will be the end of time and the end of our journey back to love.
I suppose it is important to remember that love is not possible in this world. This is an imperfect world that is based on limitations. It is a world that was founded on the idea of lack. It is a world born of a sick mind. The journey of the wise through this world is the journey through the maze of limitations of the mind. It is a journey made by listening to the insights of intelligence and following the cue of those insights.
Intelligence (not intellect – but rather an all round understanding of the totality of our nature (on all levels) HERE) is what leads us out of the labarynth of the mind, back to our spiritual source. Intelligence marries compassion, forgiveness and insight into our temporary limitations to bring us home. Intelligence is love’s way of extending itself to us (all we need is to be still and listen and heed its guidance). And who are we? We are creations of love who have forgotten our essential (i.e. loving nature) on a journey back to a place we only ever dreamed we have left in our minds. That is why the only place we can have insight into what we are is now….as now is the only place which is free of the burden of the past and the future…i.e. which is free of the mistaken identity that we have assumed by giving authority to thought.
- ► 2008 (31)
- ► 2006 (147)
- ► 2005 (199)
- ▼ October (8)