I recently spoke with a few people on the topic of Oneness and Awareness (as they called it). The general movement of the talk was on questioning the very phrases we use to describe this kind of living; that we become complacent with phrases like Oneness, Awareness, Enlightenment, and so on. One of the listeners asked why I question those phrases so rigorously. It is simple really.
We hold these popular phrases at arms length for investigation. Those phrases - All One, All is One, I am That - and so on, are highly suspicious as they've now become a popular lingo that people use when they think they KNOW.
For example, the seeker might have read so-and-so guru and may be able to grasp an intellectual understanding of the thing, then they go out into the world repeating and repeating, what is essentially, second-hand information. Or perhaps we might call it, eloquent hearsay. But knowledge, or a kind of comfortable knowing, cannot bring us to this creative explosion of life.
Those phrases, at some point in time, might have held transformative properties, but now people are well read on the subject and know 'how it works'. But what do they really know?
It is easy, you see. We learn to overcome difficulties in the physical world through knowledge and experience. And this function of the human being is brilliant. It still fascinates Takuin how this brain, mind, or whatever it is, can look at a problem, see a possible solution, then work it out to a satisfactory conclusion. It is the most amazing mechanism. But the true seeing of what we really are has nothing to do with knowledge, or this beautiful mechanism of the physical world.
When we hold these phrases close to us, hoping to get this or that out of them, or hoping we can convince someone else of our enlightenment, it is more than just fooling ourselves and others; it is damning to the fundamental decency of humanity.
But What About...
Someone asked me, "Is it possible an actual enlightened person might use those phrases?" Well, that is really none of your concern. What does that have to do with anything? Maybe you hope to find the right guru so finally you might have the peace you seek. Or if you can be sure of the true status of the teacher you can keep yourself from being let down once again. But it is all irrelevant. It is that very reliance - the permission you seek - that will keep you stuck in the hole.
Perhaps we still hold on to these things out of our fear? Or it could be we cannot believe each one of us already holds the highest wisdom of any guru? But there is still that separation; the wisdom of the guru versus the lack of wisdom of the seeker. It is a wastage of energy.
Maybe if we put the energy into our own investigation that we waste worrying about the right thing to do, we'd be much better off.
The Words We Use
Whenever you use those phrases, question it. Find out if you really live it - right down to the cells in your body - or if it is just a copy and paste way of living. You may not like what you find, but that truth may indeed set you free.
It may take great strength for you to look into yourself in this way. But no one else can do this for you.