[This contemplation emerged from an email from a good friend.
Much of the outflow I experience these days is expressed on an iPad with a keyboard. ‘Pages’, the default word processor on iOS, is the simplest place for me to record this outflow. When a new document opens in Pages, its default name is ‘Blank’. How perfect. Only when mind is completely still and ‘blank’, does true outflow emerge. Stand back, and let flow.
As Hafiz sang, Zero is where the real fun starts! There’s too much counting everywhere else.]
The first chapter of Breakfast Like an Emperor begins with a brief, but emphatic focus of attention on principles. Not theory, conjecture, or philosophy. Not knowledge, nor even wisdom. For instance. Attention and attitude are the pillars of success, comprehension, and liberation. Attention is what is being focused. Attitude is the platform from which we gaze. That’s a principle, and it has nothing to do with thought, intellect, opinion, or conditions. It’s simply there—or more appropriately, here—always, whether we like it or not. To paraphrase the voice of a Living Master, the objective of the ultimate journey of life is not to prove something, but to become something.
Information may be a necessary first step, but it’s a wretched place to end. The mind loves information, but its accumulation has absolutely no value without understanding. That elementary distinction contains a profundity that never exhausts itself, and yet is completely beneath the radar of the human mind.
Why is that? How could that be, when the acquisition of new knowledge can be so exhilarating? Once again, it comes back to ‘who’ is doing the viewing, and from where.
These questions inevitably lead back to yet another ‘principle’—a simple fact that always precedes understanding. And that principle is the necessity of a Living Master, without Whom our central reality remains unawakened, and our focus continues to dwell on external objects of contemplation. The magical presence of a consciousness unknown to the mind of humans is an absolute requirement for beginning to perceive a glimmer of truth. It’s a requirement, because truth simply does not exist within the mind.
“Oh, HEY, now. Waaaait a minute—waita minute!”, says the mind/ego. “I know truth. I’ve experienced truth. I know truth when I see it. Don’t tell me I don’t know truth!”
Well, sure, the mind occasionally stumbles onto some recognition of relative truth, but do you really believe the divine—or soul, our central reality—dwell in a region of relative truth? Where everything known can exist only in the presence of its opposite, through contrast and comparison? Certainly, that’s what Confucius, Buddha, and Moses taught—but, c’mon. You really believe that? Those illustrious souls weren’t Living Masters. And what they taught automatically puts God in the same boat as you and I. And where does that leave us?! It leaves us precisely where we reside—with no way out. Some of us are starting to perceive that where we reside is a pigsty. And our gaze is starting to shift around for a more acceptable reality. Maybe not just more acceptable, but the truth. Absolute truth. Is there such a thing? Does that actually exist?
Only when the just discussed conditions begin to manifest. Only when then becomes now.
When our time has arrived to finally shift gears and we’ve earned coming face to face with a living manifestation of consciousness itself—not the mind, not even divine mind, not states of consciousness, but the real deal—only then does the tiny spark of awareness begin to stir, and the journey we’ve waited for for eons begins. Is such a meeting a done deal? Is this august moment a guarantee? Certainly not. The ball still remains in our court. It’s just an opportunity. A divine opportunity, yes, but only an opportunity. “How can I trust such an encounter?”, is not the question to ask. The question of the moment is, are we ready to step up to the plate? Are we willing to timidly stick our toe in the water and begin the wondrous process of proving its veracity within the private confines of our very own divine laboratory?
This is the most profound promise of true freedom we’ll ever receive. The freedom to make that choice—or not. And if we choose to step across that line, every moment thereafter will contain yet another equally profound offer, and another, and another. All the way home.
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