The wisdom to know nothing
I've not had a lot of spare time for posting here a lately as I've been pretty much tied up with our new web application. Hopefully, it will overcome the limitations of trackbacks and help blogging/linking become much more of a two-way conversational activity than the mainly one-way broadcast medium that it is at present (you guys will be the first to try it out, if you wish). Anyway excuses apart, I just want to thank you for your patience and let you know that I haven't forgotten about Life 2.0.
I received an e-mail the other day from one of our readers telling me about a dinner she was thinking of giving to talk about some of the things we talk about here, and 'did I have any tips?'. So I thought it would be good to respond here.
Ever since my late teens I seem to have had this insatiable appetite for philosophy, psychology and the way that we, life and the universe all fit together. For as long as I can remember I have looked for answers and tried to fit all the pieces together in a way that made sense and I could use myself. And of course you do find answers if you really want to know - there are so many great shoulders to stand on; and it did all start to make sense to me. But do you know what? None of that really did me that much good.
In retrospect, everything I ever learnt brought me to this one conclusion: That every tip, trick, idea, concept and piece of good advice is just one more piece of mind baggage that has to be let go of if we want to know what's Real. Not to know what's real intellectually - but to know it personally - to live it. I discovered that for me to know what's really true I would have to let go of everything I thought I knew, and come with a completely clean slate to discover it for myself. I came to realise that no answer, no matter how profound, can substitute for the discovery of the source of all true answers. So I can honestly say that there is no wisdom or concept that I have ever come across that I think would really help anyone, except to try to point them towards that which they already have.
But this conclusion can on the face of it sound dispiriting. Let's be honest, not many feel an unbounded love inside. We don't feel as though we are the source of inspiration and life itself and capable of working miracles do we? We don't feel a fountain of all knowledge and power - in fact, most of us feel varying degrees of vulnerability here. So where do we turn to? How do we remember who we Are?
Well we can do that together..... we can be mirrors for each other. This, to me, is the magic of coming together to know what's real. In fact, if we are all part of this Oneness of life, how crazy would it be to think we could we rediscover it on our own? Dinner parties, a stroll out with a friend, a chance encounter in a lift, an 'accidental' coming together of two cars... I can't think of a better way.
But this isn't our everyday experience is it? We cross each others paths all the time but for the most part remain unmoved.
The shift happens for me when I recognise that deep down what I want is what you want too. When we begin to see that beneath all our feelings, all our weird and wonderful behaviour and all our treasured concepts or crazy thoughts, there is this innocent primal need to just be happy and secure. Deep down there is this basic need to find meaning, connection and happiness that drives us all. We wanted it as a child and we want it now. In recognising this I begin to see that my will is also your will and I naturally relax because I know, no what appears on the surface, that we have this bond that binds us - a common Will.
Seeing you in this new perspective is to recognise a friend, and everything else becomes both irrelevant and lovable. The consciousness that shines through my eyes is able to recognise itself as the consciousness that shines through yours, and in seeing this we come to know everything there is to know. This is waking up to reality.. and the return to innocence. This is where we slip past thousands of years of spiritual and intellectual dogma and take responsibility for our own happiness. When we take the hand of the one beside us in trust, it is impossible to deny our connection and Oneness.
We don't have to spend 40 days in the wilderness or remain motionless under a Bodhi tree to know our True Self. You may decide to do something along those lines in order to come to terms with what it is that's most important to you in your life, but once you've done that it takes no time at all.
This little willingness to know 'What Is' is enough. It does the rest for us. It knows it's own way into our conscious awareness and asks only that we give it welcome. In fact, by trying to add more we take away the little that is asked. We don't need to learn or practice anything or change at all, just come with empty hands and see. It is totally trustworthy. It answers our every question, speaks the Truth through us when invited, gives us strength to deal with whatever situation we find ourselves in, gives us the vision to see beyond appearances and is an endless source of Inspiration. We are perfect exactly as we are.
Have a wonderful Easter.
[Bonus]: local girl Vivienne Mee talks about the freedom of no longer looking for answers from another.
[Credits]: Thank you for the inspiration Eder.