The other day my friend and I were cracking up at fact that various words can be both good or bad, valid or invalid, true or untrue depending on how they’re used…
“I’m nothing! I’m nobody!” To an ego, this sucks. You may hear someone say this when they’re beating up on themselves. At the same time, you may hear someone who’s discovered the no-thingness within and found there is no “someone” who has a body, mind, personality, etc. Rather than it being an expression of restriction and low self-esteem, it’s an expression of pure freedom from form!
“I can’t do it!” In the personal power and self-development community, this is seen to be negative. It’s all about embracing what’s possible and believing in yourself because, afterall, you can do anything you set your mind to. On the flipside, you’ve got the aspect of surrender and the recognition that there’s some things you can’t accomplish. If anything, you give up trying and fall into the recognition of what can’t be accomplished because it’s already here. A quick example would be like after a magician saws a woman in half, how do you put her back together? The answer is you can’t. Why? Because she was never separate in the first place! There was only the appearance of the woman being sawed in half that the talented magician created, but even if you bring in the world’s greatest surgeons and doctors, they can’t do anything to put the woman back together again. It’s not that they’re incapable or not good enough. It’s simply that the separation never happened in the first place and in the discovery of the truth of this statement, both the so-called problem of the woman being cut and half and the apparently necessary solution of putting her back together again are no longer needed! You can’t put her back together again what was never actually separate, although you can certainly create the appearance of that and thus experience it as if it were real!
“I don’t know anything!” To the mind which may often be working with the idea that there’s certain things you definitely DO know, like your name, gender, that the earth is round, that fire can burn you, that an egg and a sperm coming together can lead to babies, and so on.. and yet deeper than that there’s an emptiness that’s discovered whereby you find out that you actually don’t know anything for sure! Not really! It’s all made up, a world of appearances, and just a story that’s being told. How do you know for sure that everything you’ve been taught isn’t just a made-up fiction? You don’t know anything for sure, and then at the same time, it is discovered that by letting go of knowing anything in the mind, you actually know much more than you think you know by accessing some deeper inner wisdom. You know everything you need to know when you need to know it, even though you don’t know anything. Somehow this seems to be true for all of us. It’s just a question of whether or not we have discovered it yet.
“It’s all an illusion!” At first we may think that our physical world is really real. Then we may get into physics, metaphysics, or spirituality and learn that the world is all just a bunch of atoms and molecules made up of energy and the appearance of the world is literally created by our thoughts. It’s just a movie being witnessed in awareness. And then the whole discussion of reality vs. illusion, relative vs. the absolute.. that whole game starts running and we buy into one notion or the other, until even the difference between reality and illusion or relative and absolute starts to disintegrate… It leaves you nowhere to stand. Reality vs. illusion, THAT starts to fall apart. What’s the difference between a dream and reality? It’s not that you’re confusing the two and thinking that your mental dream IS reality. It’s simply that there’s seen to be no separation. Look at your hand made up of many molecules. One hand, zillions of parts. Which is the illusion? The one or the many? Both? Neither? Sure we can say “this is of the mind” and “that is beyond the mind,” and yet even that starts to blank out on its own.
“We are all one. We’re all connected!” From a place of oneness, the idea of being connected itself doesn’t even make any sense. How can there be connection if there is ONLY ONE? There are SO many ways of seeing how the one can manifest itself, so many valid experiences… Separation, multiple parts that effect each other via cause and effect, multiple parts that are connected via infinite threads, infinite expressions all arising in one locationless location, just ONE without another, nothing to be anything and a total zeroing out of all of life…
What seems to start happening is that while we used to be searching for this to be truth vs. that, we paradoxically discover that everything is a manifestation of truth and nothing is truth. No longer can we say any experience is invalid. All of it is valid. All meaning is valid and yet life is totally meaningless. Every experience is embraced by the one and none of it is rejected even though rejection happens. Who am I? Not this, not that, and yet both this and that. and beyond this and that entirely and yet imminently right here.
We start falling into a space where nothing is valid, nothing is invalid, everything is valid, and everything is invalid.
Every answer is right. No answer is right.
From here, where are we gonna go? What are we gonna do? Where can the mind rest when everything it thinks is seen to be both valid and invalid simultaneously and no matter what it thinks, it can no longer satisfy itself by boxing a collection of ideas up and calling it “my truth,” “my beliefs,” “my religion,” “my philosophy,” and so on? Even “all ideas and no ideas” is an idea itself that is seen to be part of that same predicament, like a snake eating its own tail.
If anything, there’s just a complete validation/invalidation of the mind to where everything/nothing is it. Every thought and no thought is IT. Both sides of the paradoxical puzzle are seen while the puzzle has no sides.
The Self is beyond knowledge and ignorance.
No conclusion and no thought can bring you to Self-realization. Who you are is not found in that world, and yet you are present there too…
Truth is a pathless land. Man cannot come to it through any organisation, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophical knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.
Though observation and NOT through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection. Observation keeps you right here. Analysis and dissection keep you spinning around in search for an answer. At best the analysis implodes upon itself, leaving you nowhere with nothing to grasp at. Just a simple being here. Just being. The search, if it has been truly effective, has shown you that the search can never lead you where you want and so you give up the search and rest here. In this resting the discovery can be made of what’s truly HERE.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.