“There are no problems aside from the mind.”
If we could discover the truth in these words we would be transformed. If you really heard these words it would silence your mind for hours.
We have become the masters of separation when our real work and identity lies in mastering union. We think that the noise of our thoughts and the noise of the bird outside the window or the sound of the car beyond on the road are separate. Yet are they not as one before the mind that sees beyond deceptions, before the mind that appreciates the true measure of consciousness, that sees the implicate order which enfolds all and which is forever in flux -- in which there is no death, just the pulse of life's ubiquitous and unanimous movement -- a movement which, once seen for what it is, reveals the secret of changelessness.
The field of consciousness is vast , but in essence it is undivided and uniform in nature. It is we who come to ourselves in fragments; and so what we see is fragmentary. But if we were to really listen to the movements of our thoughts and the movement of the world, we would see that they are born of one source. And the opposites which make our world are really only as illusionary as our erroneous perceptions; for the source of opposites lies, not in the world outside, but in our perceptions of reality.
Pleasure and pain are one in truth. But we are blind to this, and for such reasons, our lives have lost their innate meaning; and we live out our days in the shadow of fear, with its endless escapes, its violence and its tremendous stupidity. Our thoughts are frenzied and confused. And on this surface scum of riddled perception, we skate through our lives, oblivious to the real depths within us, deliriously blinded by our horizontal and deluded thought-forms. But those very thoughts and words that we cling to as sacred and meaningful lack insight -- words like love which we have invested with hundreds of false meanings, words like God, spirituality, intelligence, democracy and vision. In truth most of us do not know the actual state that belies these words, and so they are dust before our real genius, before our reality that ever lies hidden beneath the surface view of things. Yet, by our loyalty to that dust, it has become a force of great power in the world, and it is the source of all our problems: a sad, separated, lonely and forever busy mind is the source of all our problems.
Health and disease are of the same fluid core. They are not, as we are led to believe, irreconcilable opposites. They are moving principles of one another. Life and death exist in our minds and no where else. In truth,they are two separate and meaningless ideas that, before the light of reality, have no meaning. We put life in one corner and death in another, but they are the same. To separate them is to deny the actuality of organic existence.
In organic life, the building blocks of living organisms are other living organisms or matter -- matter being perhaps of less highly evolved structure which we label as inert because that is what our ill-informed present classification has termed it, but it is nonetheless alive. It is not the black and white, life and death, vision of reality we perceive. White is really black, and black is as much white as it is black. Life infuses everything, but illusions are not truth. Contrary to belief, and true to the eye of the discerning observer, everything is alive. The air we breathe is alive, the rocks are alive, the sea is alive... Life is energy; and decay is a life process. Death is part of the flux of existence at this level; and death does not mean that life ceases. Death is merely transformation of the physical organism. Yet in our minds we have so identified with the body - or escaped its inevitable demise by inventing some superstition about a soul that keeps us intact that goes on from life to life - that we have lost our intelligence in the process. Self-illusion is the same whether it takes the form of identity with a meaningless piece of clay or with a fearful thought that constructs an idea like the soul to give one refuge in the form of immortality. Truth begins when one sees through the apparently obvious and the ideal (a realm of fantasy that we have constructed), and one faces the subtle actuality of things with discerning and unwavering attention.
If we are free from attachment, whether to a person or to our bodies or to ideas about existence, then we can begin to observe what is actually true, what is actually happening. Then by freeing ourselves of all of our preconceptions and coming about to being truly psychologically self-reliant adult human beings, we might be lucky enough to begin to see through the eyes of love which is our natural inheritance.
What if I told you that tomorrow only exists in your minds -- that it is really an invention of your mind, that there is really only now. And what if I told you that there is no separate self , no thought of a body to get attached to -- that there there is only the infinite, and everything else is born of a misplaced sense of identity, everything else is the product of our own delusions, that within us all there is a state of mind (in most, lying dormant) that is totally aware of this, and that everything else your mind makes up is projectionary and ultimately the product of a fearful thought that you at some forgotten point have taken to be sacred, but in reality is meaningless. And if we seriously want to live, we must die every day to the yesterday - to our hectic thoughts and to our endless judgments that keep us bonded to the past (not, of course, the practical thoughts we need for our jobs/communication etc), to psychological time and to the endless preoccupation we have with it, and to the anxiety and perplexity that rules our lives.
You are part of creation. You are part of the implicate order of reality and your wholeness, your holiness (that word etymologically means "completeness") embraces and blesses everything. And the body which you take to be the center of all your activities is an idea only, with no substance in truth. But somehow nevertheless you are tied to this view of things - by your rigidity of mind and by your blind acceptance of some fearful and groundless thoughts.
And in your arena of cognition and experience, in your present domain of free will, the consciousness of which you are a part may be informed by one of two views of existence. One is based on fear and thought -- and so on the past and the projected future (for thought is the engine of comparison, and so it is old, and never new), and this view/experience of existence identifies with sensation, limitation and the body. And the other way of seeing is boundless, and attuned to infinity - to the realm that is your real home beyond illusions, to a realm that is untouched by the past, untouched by thought, unlimited by the time-space continuum of relative perception and existence. The first view is comparable to a dream. The second is awaiting you now -- or perhaps, better put, it is awaiting you whenever the Now is that You happens to wake up. Before the eyes of truth, it is the same now. But in the realm of relative perception, it might be perceived as a difference of a thousand agonizing and confusing years.
The world you have made by your first view of things is this world that you find yourself in: a world of cause and affect, a world of time, a world of pleasure and pain, a world of illusionary opposites, a world regulated by the laws of gravity and limited to the body, a universe that you perceive to flow from a past to a present to a future. That is the relative world of the body, of matter, of sorrow, of beginnings and endings. It may be very beautiful here and there: the sun coming up in the morning, the comets darting across the heavens, the woman's body young and naked in your arms, the soft touch of a baby, the story of a thousand yesterdays written on an old man's face, the taste of an orange on a hot day. It can indeed be very warm and inviting and rich in variety and things to share. Then again it can be very tragic. Dealing with loss and pain and disease, living with the uncertainty and fear that dogs your days, seeking security in your endless toil, dealing with this strange and pressured world that we all inhabit. Facing the horror of war, the tiresome arguments, the unhappiness and the hatred - facing it in the world “outside” and facing it within yourself.
But behind all of this drama, behind the highs and lows, the ebb and flow of the relative world and the confines of thought, there is the spiritual impertability of love - the implicate order of creation itself , to which we are all inextricably linked. This is not an idea, not something I am trying to persuade you to believe in. It is there, but it has no meaning unless you discover it for yourself ; otherwise it is just an idea - an idea to find refuge in - and there is never wisdom in ideas. The wise are really only interested in facts, never abstraction, never philosophical speculation or blind faith. That does not mean they lack faith, indeed despair is alien to the truly wise. They have a faith that is born of sincere investigation of phenomena. If you are sick and you go to see a doctor he is liable to give you some medicine, and though you may not know what precisely the medicine does to you, you are willing to give it a try. All science is founded on hypothesis and one investigates these to see if they are in harmony with the truth of things. It takes a certain scientific faith to follow through with such experimentation - based on insight or intuition or rational deduction - nonetheless the product of our travail would not be wrought without a certain faith in one's own capacities to figure out what is actually going on in any given situation. This is totally different from blind faith. Blind faith accepts things without substantiation. So then one does not found ones life course on conviction based on one' s own discovery, but rather on accepting things blindly. This is fear based and has nothing to do with real faith in the forces of light and life.
At some point it must be realized that this world of changing appearances that is before you - whether you like this fact or not - it remains a fact (though it might be difficult for many of us to discern) - has come about through your belief in a false idea that you have created and given your allegiance to in your mind....and another fact is that you are the arbitrator of how long you will let this fact go unnoticed and unseen. If you see it you will be transformed. But first you must learn to look - and most of us do not have the first notion of what it means to really look. To look in on yourself and your relationships - your relationships to nature, to others and to whole world outside. For all of life is relationship and to look in at yourself is to take in/be attentive to everything - within and without - and by so doing one steps out of separation. To look - to really look is an action that has no end. You can dispute the fact that the world you see is the one you made in your mind - you can dispute it for all of time...but that will not make the fact any less of a fact! But if you started to but question innocently the possibility that your perceptions, your view of things have made this world what it is...and so you then begin to observe without being regulated by any past conclusions then you would begin to be privy to another intelligence - an intelligence based on vision and not thought - an intelligence related to certainty and not guessing.
The fact is: you are the world you see. There is no separation. The only separation is in your mind. See through this extraordinarily subtle and intricate illusionary separation, and you come to liberation. You hold the keys to your own salvation - and no one else: no holy book, no teacher, no form of outside dependence. But if you are lucky enough and honest enough to really hear something wise that is written, or to gravitate to some wise words that you hear someone sharing, and if you have awakened to the intelligence to actually take heed of them within yourself, then more power to you. A seed of truth can only grow in the receptive mind; but still, acting on such words lies in your hands and no one else's.
Remember that Socrates took no one else's word for truth and even doubted his own. Remember that Gandhi said "I start with myself". Remember that if all the masters of mathematics were to disappear overnight, and if all the books of mathematics were burned, that would make the laws of mathematics not one iota less true. So it is with the eternal laws of your own being. Like the incredible beauty of mathematics, they can be discovered by any mind that is seriously intent on exploring the subtle inner workings of his own infinite self. True science does not make the laws of the universe, it merely discovers them and learns to apply them. And through the process of trial and error, through doubt, through questioning,.it comes reverently and seriously to intelligently understand them. So it is with any absolute science. And so it is with you.
And if you identify with the world of insanity that man has made, and if you never question it, but simply accept it as your lot - accepting it blithely as an inevitable consequence of the human condition, then you have closed the doors to original inquiry into the depths of yourself. And if you start with yourself and drop all your idols -- drop your heroes and your Gods and your organized philosophies and religions. If you start with yourself and rely on no authority, neither the authority of another nor the authority of your so-called answers, then life begins to reveal itself to you - as it actually is and not as you think it is, or as you think it should be. Leonardo Da Vinci's words put it beautifully: "Science comes by observation, not by authority."
Now we must live in the body. We must live at the relative level to some degree. We must wash it, feed it, etc. We must follow time's compass to catch the train; and we can use 'thought' to fathom the laws of mathematics or to learn a language or to paint a picture or to express our feelings or our view of the world. Self-reflection on canvas or in life (on the canvas of your mind) is nothing less than art; and the degree to which you give your attention to it - and your whole heart to it - to that degree will you reap the insights of a true artist of reality. None of this can the sane mind deny. However, whereas self-reflection on canvas is at best metaphorical, it does not embody the truly limitless potential/potency/poetry inherent in your own mind. There lies the greatest of poetry - a poetry that transcends words.
So, by observing ourselves we can come patiently and lovingly to appreciate what our gifts are, and perhaps fashion a livelihood that uses them, and therein is the foundation for a rich and meaningful life. But, at the absolute level, there must be, in our day-to-day lives, some appreciation of silence: the silence that belies our thoughts, the silence that pervades all things, in which our true and eternal and incorruptible nature is to be found - in the quietude of the now, everlastingly beyond the prison of limitation and thought. For in reality, behind our concepts, now is the only time there is. In eternity there is only now and eternity is now.
We must see that our thoughts of death are abstract things and out of this abstraction fear has evolved. Fear of the yesterday, fear of the tomorrow, fear of finality. Fear born of wrong identification - identification with the things of the world, with the dictates of the body, which in itself is a misperception. And from these fears, there arises this undeniable feeling (which is the cause of possessiveness and of so much violence and disappointment) that we want to hold on to things - to some rigid view, to some theory, to some idea, to some religion; we want to hold on to people and things, because we are so desperately insecure. And we are insecure because our lives are dictated to us by thoughts that we have imposed upon ourselves without having the wisdom to question. Most of us do not seem to have the presence of mind to observe the subtlety of thought and the nature of relativity, and to go into it all with intelligence. We are so stuck in the echoes of a past - a past that is dominated by a way of perceiving the world and ourselves that keeps us bonded in chains, attached to uncertainty and under the control of our time-conditioned fears. In this there is no intelligence.
We are looking for answers; but the answers lie not in searching outside endlessly, but rather in adjusting our appreciation of ourselves and what it means to perceive without the shadow of the past - and so without thought intruding on our quietude, without fear dictating our every move. If one sees through fear, one sees it for what it actually is. Fear is the product of thought and thought is superficial and limited. Because it is limited, it cannot make contact with the forces of life. It cannot come upon your own holiness, as it is incapable of making contact with the fathomless nature of eternity. Life is deep and beyond measure. Meditation gives one real appreciation of life. For meditation is timeless and eternal. All of life is meditation, but it is only the truly wise (those who listen: the self aware) who can fathom the depth of these words. Only those who have discovered the space in themselves - to step out of the pressures of the dictates of modern life so as to manifest the right atmosphere in one's approach to living - to make contact with the still waters of one's reality. Meditation is a state of mind wholly present, untouched by fear in the eternal now. It is our one true link with the real.
The universe is not inanimate. The inanimate is not inanimate. There is no inanimate. Death, the 'inanimate' ... these shallow and meaningless ideas exist only in our minds. Heal ourselves of these tired illusions and we have awakened to sanity. Yet our concepts, our misplaced perceptions and our obsequious and ignorant adherence to authority blinds us to questioning, with any seriousness, our misconceptions.
Love has its own order, its own intelligence. It is all encompassing. It has no opposite. Hate, fear, envy, malice, war are indeed terrible things, but they are all things born out of an awful lie, a lie that we have persuaded ourselves to believe. Love is the one and only law of the universe. It governs all things. We can rebel against it, try foolishly to cover our eyes to its all pervading presence, but we will only come to the same delusions - the same delusions that blind all men who put their faith in illusions; and it is sure, that therein, we will never find sustenance.
Seeing is believing. To see the truth of things as they actually are - free of interpretation - is to transcend relative values and to come upon wisdom. What transcends ideas, beliefs, dogmas and opposites is an awareness that our perception (at this level, the bodily level that we have chosen to identify with - the realm of physically incarnate forms) makes the world we see. This world that surrounds us is relative because our perception is relative. One cannot separate perception from the world we see. But beyond perception, there is a universe untouched by thought, untouched by time. And if you follow the nature of relativity to its end, you will see that divisions and separations end, and they end in your own mind where they started in the first place. You are then related to everything. For you are everything.
See things as they are. See yourself as intrinsic to the whole and you transcend separation. You then see, in a moment, that you have been all along the source of the separation that your misperceptions dictate to you. Modern physics and the ancient rishis of India are essentially talking the same language. They paint the same glorious picture, just in different ways. Still, the overall affect is the same. The affect is no different for one who probes his own mind with any quality of seriousness. For one begins to see that relativity and its many divisions in our minds tends towards union. Time and space are one. Magnitude and microcosm exist in all things. And a mind that is free of the dictates of relativity has opened its doors to the miraculous, to the infinite. It has shifted its perception. To such a mind, there is no order of difficulty in the realm of miracles. Such a mind knows that all expressions of love are maximal, as it is free of ego limitations.
Let us consider thought itself for a moment and see how it affects our view of life. Thought is inextricably related to perception. Thought is a tool of comparative referencing, and it has evolved out of existence in a relative world. Thought by its very nature is limited, i.e., with a beginning and an end. And we allow its limitations to regulate us to inordinately stupid degrees. We are slaves to complexity. The world is indeed complex; but make no mistake, it is only a fool (the mind that is busy) that tries to appreciate its intricacy without the greatest simplicity in his approach.
Obviously we need thought to do a job, to perform a skill, to learn a language and so forth; and we store these 'know-hows' in our memory banks. But we have unfortunately come to worship our intellect at the cost of a really well-rounded and elastic intelligence; and we have become rigid and lost in our intellect. We are washed up in ourselves, in our own deluded minds.
To observe ourselves, to observe the mind, there must inwardly be quiet and a quality of patience that is not time-bound. This is essential. If there is no space in our life, if the atmosphere of our lives is not simple and refined, and if our approach to ourselves lacks a reverence and an intelligence that is capable of seeing through the lures and distractions of an insane world, our lives will be off; and our investigation into the purpose and meaning of human existence will lack thoroughness and consistency of intensity. We must really want to find out who we are and how we function and what depths bely surface appearances. I do not see how anyone who is really interested in wisdom, in self-knowledge, in peace can go forth otherwise. So one has to come to life with a sort of childlike innocence. And to find out what is true, to see through the false, one has to question things very deeply and with humility - by simply observing what is actually going on, free of vested interests, free of wanting results, free of motives.
When we are still, life reveals itself to us. It is like hiding in a forest, perched in tree at sunset, waiting to see what wild animals come out. If we are busy and loud, they will not show themselves. However, if we are patient and very, very still, we pass undetected and nature willingly shares her secrets. So it is with the mind that is not preoccupied with the unessentials. When we are busy we cannot learn. Learning is not just about acquisition of facts and figures, of skills and various subjects. That has its place, but it really for the most part is quite superficial. To learn is to be quiet. To learn is to be attentive to the movement of life, to the pulse of the heart, to the way others speak, to the diligence and attention you give to situations and to everything that you do. So one might say that honesty and awareness are perhaps the only teachers.
In life, there are many forces at work. The arrogant, the authoritative, the self-centered may like to think that they know how things work, but really it is only those who come to the reflective lake of existence (in their own mind), calmly and without pretense, who are capable of seeing clearly what the waters of the lake are sharing in reflection. Those who come with busy minds are ripple bearers, and they do not appreciate the subtleties of their own selves in the lake before them; they only decipher the consequences of their own inattention, and all they have to share are the sorry echoes of their own vanity. Their lives are then hollow testaments to what might have been if there had been the humility and tenacity to explore their own potentials fully. Their very noise deprives them of discovering the silence and insight that the lake of life, before their very eyes, has to share.
If you observe very carefully you will see how most human beings, often even those who regard themselves as enlightened or spiritual or kind, are often blind to true sensitivity and in stark contrast to how they like to think of themselves. One discovers, if one really observes, that they are actually brutal and indeed anything but humble. They are slaves to their own images and not free to look beyond those images. They are motivated by satisfaction - the satisfaction of position, of pleasure, of helping other people, or of ideals; or they hide themselves away in busyness and endless justifications, or angry (often well disguised or transmuted to be more palatable to those who surround them) and hypocritical tones about how selfish the world is. But the really sensitive do not live by satisfaction, nor are they controlled by the mischief of authority in all its many disguises. The really sensitive, the really serious have a quality of lightness about them - a simplicity and an earnestness and an affection about them which represents true productivity. They have nothing to defend, they are realists and free of cynicism because they have embraced an honesty that it seems few have the intelligence (not intellect) and the purity of heart to fathom. When they speak, their words resonate with truth for they have something to say that is in harmony with their own being and not merely reverberation of the echoes of a collective consciousness. They are often, in this crooked world, seen as troublemakers, or as a source of embarrassment to the indignant and confidently established members of the society. It is a pattern that one can observe throughout history, as old as time itself -- the man of self-realization speaking compassionately, plainly, fearlessly and honestly about things, and being seen as a danger to the established order (which in truth is the chaos/corruption brought about by an ego-based view of reality) by those who have given their lives to bolstering its corrupt nature with their own hypocracy and ignorance (ignorance fundamentally of their own divine nature).
Real learning is about being receptive and open to what life has to share. But our surface fears blind us to this, and so we are driven by preoccupation, conformity, and an escapist tendency that is ever uncertain, and so has gotten into the frightened and violent habit of wanting to control everything. This desire (often sublimated or so-called "sub-conscious") to control others breeds a closed-mindedness, and kills the natural elasticity of the brain. To discipline life, ourselves and others, and the universe in general in a very rigid way is the death of real learning. And the source of this desire lies in our minds, in the concepts that we are chained to about the nature of time, about life's purpose ( whatever purpose we have attached to it), and therein is yet another instance of how a myopic perception and its inevitable twin, fear, dominate our lives. We have plumped for ideas, propagandas and beliefs; or we wash our brains of beliefs in a feeble effort to be objective, and in so doing, we lack all conviction. It is rare that you find a human being who has really something of his own to say. We are all so comfortable, so utterly dull and comfortable with our meaningless thoughts; and we spend our days searching for answers and pronouncing judgment on others without ever having the intelligence or wisdom to really observe or question the source of all this nonsense - our own minds.
Most of us spend our lives chained to all of this. And so, lacking intelligence, and with a seriousness that is at best half-hearted, we spend our lives speculating, busy and forever conceited; and the observation/insight which goes really deep into the core of ourselves is virtually unheard of. In this approach to living, one can detect a common thread in its many manifestations: a rasping that breeds an arrogant or desperate standpoint. And no matter how subtle or succinctly we try to hide it, that is what it actually is. Hardly ever is there real honesty, hardly ever do you see humility. At best you see people who would like to see themselves as humble, but secretly they are torn apart inside with judgments and condemnations and unhappiness. The world is a world of masks. Only the honest man, only he who is awakened to a very serious, well-humored, intelligently-balanced inquiring and holistic mind, knows his own face when he looks in the mirror of his own being.
It has been said that the greatest artists are scientists and the greatest scientists are artists. Science at its best is a very skillful art (the word art comes from a Latin word meaning skill) and art at it's best is scientific (not escapist abstraction, that is, not art that is the rantings of a self-obsessed mind). True science and true art bring together apparently disparate elements to represent the reality of life's unity through practical and insightful metaphor.
Living in actuality to the mind that is awake to its significance, is not a mundane affair. It is profoundly rich, beautiful, subtle, mysterious, and mystical. A scientist can give a name to a plant, describe the color of its flowers; observe its tissue under a microscope, classify its reproductive methods etc, but he can never give a name to it's dignity, to its miraculous nature. But if the intelligent artist is alive in him, he well knows such things are beyond the domain of words; such things lie in the infinite quiet of his awareness. To live, to really live, is to live artfully. And that takes a science of mind (a state of mind) that is not governed by authority, but rather related to an observation of what is actually going on. If you give your whole being in such a way, the relative is seen for what it is. Time is no more anything but kind; and death is left to those who wallow in mechanistic perceptions of reality, and to those whose minds are attached to rigidity and who are incapable of seeing beyond the self-generated noise of their own insecurity -- an insecurity born of an illusionary perception.
Where there is the fear and defensiveness and attack, the illusions of death, hate, scarcity and separateness prevail. But it is a scarcity that is of one's own making, just as this corrupt world is of our own making. Yet where fear is seen precisely for what it is, it evaporates. For before the light of a mind that is awakened to the actual nature of reality, fear has no meaning. In its place, there flowers compassion, intelligence and an unswerving conviction in a relative world that is ever changing, and also an appreciation for another intelligence belying all that which is constant, never old, but forever renewed, an intelligence governed by love and one that is our only real inheritance.
Then, if one is quiet enough inwardly to be guided by the light of this other intelligence, one is aware that in the smallest thing, all of creation sits, and that you are no longer a fragmentary part of creation; for this is an idea that you have seen through. For you, parts no longer have meaning. You are at one with the unanimous and ubiquitous flow of life. You are life and there is only life. You have outgrown the illusion of opposites and come to a place beyond time's compass that you never really left. You can then begin to live a life free of consequences.
Your work is then - as it is with all men who come upon the tremendous and subtle beauty of life - with discrimination. And through your example - the example you share with the world of your intense interest to humbly, resolutely and effortlessly (is there effort when what you share is an extension of your being rather than the "doing"/"seeking of success and position" that the world at large associates with human endeavors?), you teach that the removal of the block's to love's presence is not only possible, it is natural and inevitable.
Your heart is open; and pride, separation and defensiveness are as alien to you as the fear that is the source of all suffering (in truth these things are one and the same). Your life is then an extension of reality, and you are not smothered/drowned out by the noise of illusions, for you have embraced compassion and meaning and have outgrown fear and justification. Then you have something of your own to give to mankind, and it is the one thing that is needed by all mankind. For you, there is only love, and your work is alive and real. You don't have a boss and you are not regulated by an agenda. Your life teaches you all you need to learn, as it has the order of love. And your work, to begin with, involves the correction of your misperceptions in your own mind [(Inverted commas because your own mind is really an illusion - individual means undivide-able)]. But to some degree, it sort of makes sense because you have a free will with which you can play your role in making these corrections. But you are the stuff of life; and as such, your free will is no different. Use it to undo your misperceptions about the world, and you dance a tune in step to the music of creation itself. Your actions are then united with your creator, and the separation has ended. For you there is just the dance. Fragments are illusions merely to be undone. And life guides you through the serenity of your own quiet mind.
Deny this oneness that sings to and through all, and you blind yourself to what real purpose is. Deny this, and you deny forgiveness. And in this world when you deny forgiveness, you deny the oneness of life, you deny your inheritance. Love is your only inheritance. Listen to life with all your heart, with all your being, and how could this go undiscovered? For the truth is there for all of us, waiting to guide all those who are serious to really live and so outgrow the illusions that limit us to body perceptions, to appetites, and to pride, and the crude noise of our cruel, meaningless and tyrannical thoughts. Give up your judgments, give up your grudges and your self-pity and your terribly silly vanity and listen. Listen to what life has to say to you. To hear its wisdom, you must relinquish all your conclusions and come joyfully upon the still waters of your unbounded self. Then your life has meaning, and your are never helpless, bored or needy. For you have something of your own to give, and love lights up all your days. Your own excellence, your perfect love is what is then implicit in everything that you do and in everything that you see.
A Footnote about Education:
“Educate” comes from a Latin word meaning “to pull out.” True education means to pull out your inner potential. Michelangelo was once asked how he created his statue “David”. He replied “I took away all that was not David.” He pulled out David from the stone block before him by shedding all that was not David. Education is a similar process. It involves artfully drawing out and identifying our inner skills and potentials from the block of creative potential within us - from our mind, heart and being. If we do this intelligently, it will be a process guided by love, never imitative and always original and true to the authenticity of oneself.
In this respect, education can be seen for what it is; and right education then is absolutely key to a society (we are society) interested in being true to its potentials. The present education is not interested in you or your potentials. It is superficial and blind to intelligence. The present education is based on the thinking of the world. And the thinking of the world is primitive and destructive. The thinking of the world is founded on condemnation and blame, on the seeking of success, on ambition and competitive values. It knows nothing of forgiveness and love. It is an education that never questions grievances, never knows real cooperation, that is never aware of what is really important, never clear about what is illusionary; it is never related to truth. It is founded on authority and it has bred a global civilization of human beings that, for the most part, are reliant not on themselves but on thought, experts, governments and externals. It never brings an end to sadness or anger. It has no wisdom. It is based on the limitations of thinking and it is ever fragmented, isolated, ruthless, bloodthirsty. It is a world full of job titles, and you hardly meet a human being who has his own work.
Jobs have no relationship to who you are. You are far vaster than all of that. When you put profit and power above sensitivity and generosity, you profit nothing except your own demise into selfishness and self-centered delusion. But an educational system that is founded on intelligence, on serious inquiry, cooperation and genuine affection is one that is compassionately interested in you and your happiness, not your success and satisfaction. That is what we have today, a world full of individuals blind to their inner potentials, craving success, who are all so very self-concerned and self-satisfied. And what a terrible world it is, a world almost devoid of love. All our problems end with the discovery of love. This is not an ideal, it is an actual and indisputable fact. It is not divine love or romantic love. There is only love. Our fragmented minds have created the separations and so we think that love is classifiable. Love is not reducible to terms. It is either sensitively alive in everything we see and do, or we live in our egos and our fragments and we have nothing of our own to say and we see nothing clearly.
We (most of us – if you doubt me, look at the world) do not look through the eyes of love. We look and do not see (the vast arena of life). We look through our petty insecurity, through prejudice, through preference and established patterns of thinking. We are tied to the yesterday, we are slaves to time and ideas and we are prevented from discovering the real.
Discovering our inner potentials takes research and it takes space and leisure. Plying the mind with facts and figures in classes of larger number is the norm today, and we suffer a tremendous cost for our shallowness. Intelligence questions. Most of us do not question. We act out our lives, we do not find out who we are. We stand on the peripheries of experience and appreciate very little of what it has to tell us. We worship the intellect and academics or authority, and think that this is the pinnacle of Man. How desperately childish and shortsighted it is for us to give Descartes such authority over our minds. His maxim: “I think therefore I am." Did you ever discern that this is the credo of the ego rather than that of wisdom? Wisdom sees that thinking is a faculty of our being. It says: “I am a human being and my being has vast potential, and thought is a tool in my repertoire; but to limit myself to a “human thinking” is a woeful and destructive underestimation of my capacities and a a terrible misperception of my reality.”
And how blind we are to accept Freud´s theory of mind over an earnest and serious inquiry into the actuality of our own mind. Our jobs are for the most part routine and have very little passion in them. We reserve passion for romantic love or for sex or the odd poet or scientist, but I really don´t see how anyone can live without passion - passion that infuses our whole life. Could you give Gandhi or Louis Armstrong or Fleming or Lao Tzu a job? Could you limit Helen Keller or Beethoven to a category? No absolutely not. No way could you give a being that is living and extending their inner potentials in harmony with life´s calling some limited title. We must take charge of ourselves and not settle for anything which does not imbue us with a sense of life´s full and radiant presence. We must give up our stupid and tired comparisons. Find out who you are. It is a journey of discovery without end, and it starts with you looking in on yourself, not looking up to others for answers. Do this, and you will have reverence for yourself and for other human beings.
Those who really love what they do are not anxious or self-concerned. They are concerned for all, and worry is alien to them. They are the guardians of all that is valuable, the purveyors of the sacred. There is something in them which is related to their inner potentials, something mighty, impassioned and joyous. They are not pleasure seekers, not limited to mere body sensations. They have found something that energizes them and relates them to the very energy of creation itself; and it charges them. We cannot all be great painters or scientists. We can though, appreciate the work of such beings and we can all be great lovers of life and discover who we are, and the unique qualities of life´s perfume that each one of us represents - the riches within us all that we have in bounty to share.
The truly happy are not the wealthy or the outwardly beautiful. Often they are the most neurotic and selfish, and such qualities have no relationship to love or joy. The truly happy are not pretentious or sanctimonious or hypocritical or judgmental or dependent (whether on others or on jobs or drugs, indeed anything external). Joy is a quality of inner life; pleasure is the sign of a life that is blind to the infinite and eternal storehouse of riches within. The truly happy are those who have discovered simplicity. They have come upon something intrinsic in themselves that empowers them to share their inner beauty with the other world. They have nothing to hold on to. They appreciate that life begins NOT when you are recognized or when external situations change, but rather when one has something of ones own to give.
Seeing through the falseness of our own minds, our conclusions and beliefs is the beginning of the flowering of truth. And a life founded on the natural order of truth – of honesty with oneself – is the solution to all the world´s problems. If we were really honest with ourselves, we would extend ourselves in tune with our inner potentials rather than be limited to hunting down worldly success. We would never take advantage of another; and our life would be founded on self-reliance, the intelligence of love, and real affection. Life would have meaning, not profit margins and enemies.
A Note on the role of the Educator:
Structure is important. Nature is order. An ordered (not a regimented authoritative discipline) life has the stamp of love.
[Does not the athlete who loves to run have the order of love in his approach to his craft? He gets up early to train, eats right etc. Without that kind of balance in our lives, we are reduced to following orders and regulations and taking exams, not the serious and fascinating business of learning about the profundities within ourselves and within existence/nature as a whole].
The busier you are the less you see.
The less you see the less you learn of what life has to share with you.
A busy mind is the laziest mind and has no capacity to learn.
True productivity has a simplicity about it.
Life has great depth, but it is lost on the ambitious and the foolish.
Education has no beginning and no end.
There are no teachers.
Life is the only teacher.
We are all – in truth – learners.
Good educators are those whose minds are quiet, who know how to listen to life´s tuition. You can never reduce them to a formula. They are flexibility itself. Their minds are elastic and alive to the moment. They have the intelligence to observe.
The Czech Republic
- ► 2008 (31)
- ► 2006 (147)
- The Indian Blockbuster of the Summer:
- The World of Tomorrow - Lessons From the Life of a...
- A love not of this world
- Ah beautiful!
- The heart is a lonely hunter
- To what degree can another human being affect us
- Condoleeza Rice and the future of the World
- Illogical India
- A plumber in India
- The Indian trains website
- Gandhi the Mahatma
- Don't waste anything.
- Death comes quickly
- Dreams and Good luck a la Beethoven
- Can you place a value on the best of yourself?
- On Nikos Kazantzakis
- Keep the bowl empty of the yesterday.
- What is comedy?
- Beyond Separation
- A few worthy aphorisms
- Seeing differently
- Love will find you
- Guidance in meditation
- I would do anything for love
- The Poet in us
- Can wrong perception bring happniness?
- Tribute to Nick Drake - Air Heavy with a Memory
- ▼ July (33)