The Despair of Enlightenment
This post is a response to a discussion in the comments of What Are You Thinking?
You have said it all so beautifully. All of the teaching you could ever hope for is there, hidden within your words. You may not see it in this way, however.
I have absolutely no way of knowing if this freedom you talk of actually exists, and if it does, whether or not it conforms to the idea i have of it.
Fantastic. So what will you do now? You say you have seen no way of knowing. Where do you move from there? If you cannot possibly know, what does that suggest to you? Don’t bring despair into it just yet. We can get to that afterward.
You see there is no way of knowing. Now what happens?
Seeing this, i still search, still hope and there is still effort to try and make my reality conform to a mental picture, why?
All of this is within the field of the known, and there is nothing wrong with that. It is all based on your ideals, or ideas of ideals, your search, your result, your despair, and so on. Some say it is part of the process, and while that is not exactly un-true, it is not entirely accurate.
The idea of a process pushes things ahead into a pre-ordained future (at least in the way I am using the word). I will be better after a certain amount of time, or after I achieve this or that, and so on. But I question all of that. There is absolutely no way of knowing what may or may not occur. This thing takes hold instantly, and there is no way to see how anything could have led to it.
Now you have probably heard all of this before. And the diligent seeker will try to make it happen by creating a process to eliminate the process. It is madness. Davidya is right when he says you can only be the thing you seek, but when you read those words, what do you do? If you agree, you try to make it happen through those means. If you disagree you’ll try to make it happen in some other way.
So what do you do? Cast out all of it and begin where you are. You do not need anyone to tell you what is there. This is where despair might come in. But what is it? A despair of being alone? A despair that you might not get it right? A despair that says, this guy/gal is right, and if I don’t do it their way, there is less of a chance for success?
And what of this despair? It is not a natural state in the way we are speaking. All of the thoughts of despair, misery, and so on, arise from what you think may or may not happen. There is an idea in there somewhere that tells you to despair over this or that. You have seen yourself that there is no way of knowing. But you DO know, and what you know brings the despair and misery.
Perhaps it is the word “emptiness”? There may be some emotional charge around that word for some people. And like any other word, it is only accurate up to a certain point. I have said emptiness, and Davidya has said fullness (or something like that). Two different words, but used to represent the same thing. But regardless, the word is never charged, only your idea of it is charged.
Those words may have some meaning, a deep meaning, for all of us. Emptiness may equal: cold, loneliness, failure, isolation, or many other things. But they are only ideas of that end. What IS there, cannot be understood in the way of simple knowledge, like a solidification of some facts. And this is where so many people fall down. They get caught up in what they think is there, or what they think might happen. But these very ideas of what may or may not be, solidify the problem even more.
Maybe Davidya can speak some on this point, but this may be due to an insight, and the mind’s reaction to that insight. The mind may ask, What do I do now? but instead of sitting with that question, the mind instantly gives the reasons of what one can or cannot do, and the emotional consequences of such answers. (Mind might not be the right word here, but I think you understand what I am saying.)
It is the same problem as before, but one believes it to be more important because there seems to be more at stake. And there may be more at stake, but the answer is not to try harder, or do more. If there is an answer it may be to become very serious about it and find out what is really there. Not, take an idea and torture yourself by trying to create a specific result.
I have probably said this too many times, but in finding out, there is no expectation of what is supposed to be; just honest, passionate curiosity.
How do i know whether it is seen or it is simply second hand information? Is this what is seen, or is this what i think is supposed to be seen?
You will “know,” when there is no point of reference. It is an altogether different kind of functioning than what we are used to. There is no trying to get something out of it. There is no interpretation to gain from.
There will be nothing you can do about it, and no question about how to see.
This is all so wonderful and exciting. Can you feel some excitement, or is there too much of what should be? Enjoy this “process” and pay attention. You never know what may happen.
Someone may soon be asking you, “What is there?”
There are many things one might consider. It is not for me to tell you what to do, but perhaps something of use may arise from all of this. I am certainly grateful we can have these conversations from time to time.
I see much clarity in your words, but something else restricts your movement. Do not believe in what I say, however. You’ll come to that end on your own soon enough.