Tag Archives: true nature

When you really don’t know…

Video

‘That what I want, basically, what I really want, is what you want. And I don’t know what you want.
Surprise me.
But that’s the kinship between “I” and “thou”. So when I ask, I go right down to the question, which we started with: “What do I want?”
The answer is “I don’t know”.
When Bodhidharma was asked, “Who are you?” which is another form of the same question, he said “I don’t know”.

‘ Planting flowers to which the butterflies come, Bodhidharma says “I know not” ‘

I don’t know what I want.
And when you don’t know what you want, you reach the state of desirelessness. When you *really* don’t know… you see, there’s a beginning stage of not knowing, and there’s an ending stage of not knowing.
In the beginning stage, you don’t know what you want because you haven’t thought about it, or you’ve only thought superficially.
Then when somebody forces you to think about it and go through it, you say, “Yeah, I think I’d like this, I think I’d like that, I think I’d like the other”. That’s the middle stage.
Then you get beyond that, and say “Is that what I really want?” In the end you say, “No, I don’t think that’s it… I might be satisfied with it for a while, and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it, but it’s not really what I want”.
Why don’t you really know what you want?
Two reasons, that you don’t really know what you want.
Number 1: You have it.
Number 2: You don’t know yourself. Because you never can. The godhead is never the object of its own knowledge, just as a knife doesn’t cut itself, fire doesn’t burn itself, life doesn’t illumine itself. It’s always an endless mystery to itself. “I don’t know”.
And this “I don’t know”, uttered in the infinite interior of the spirit, this “I don’t know”, is the same thing as “I love”, “I let go”, “I don’t try to force or control”. It’s the same thing as humility.
And so the Upanishads say, “If you think that you understand Brahman, you do not understand. You have yet to be instructed further. If you know that you do not understand, then you truly understand, for the Brahman is unknown to those who know it, and known to those who know it not”.
And the principle is that any time you, as it were, voluntarily let up control, in other words, cease to cling to yourself, you have an access to power. Because you’re wasting energy all the time in self-defense, trying to manage things, trying to force things to conform to your will.
The moment you stop doing that, that wasted energy is available. And therefore you are, in that sense, having that energy available, you are one with the divine principle. You have the energy! When you’re trying, however, to act as if you are god, that is to say, you don’t trust anybody and you’re the dictator and you have to keep everybody in line, you lose the divine energy, because what you’re doing is simply defending yourself.
So then the principle is: the more you give it away, the more it comes back.
Now you say, “I don’t have the courage to give it away. I’m afraid”.
And you can only overcome that by realizing, you better give it away, because there’s no way of holding on to it. The meaning of the fact that everything is dissolving constantly, that we’re all falling apart, we’re all in the process of constant death, and that –
“The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon / Turns Ashes—or it prospers; and / Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face / Lighting a little Hour or two—is gone” all that Omar Khayyam jazz. You know, “The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the great globe itself, I, all which it inherit — shall dissolve, and like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind.”….
All falling apart. Everything is. That’s the great assistance to you. That fact that everything is in decay is your helper. That is allowing you that you don’t have to let go, because there’s nothing to hold on to.
It’s achieved for you, in other words, by the process of nature. So once you see that you just don’t have a prayer, and it’s all washed up, and that you will vanish and “leave not a rack behind”, and you really get with that, suddenly you find that you have the power, this enormous access of energy.
But it’s not power that came to you because you grabbed it; it came in entirely the opposite way. The power that comes to you in that opposite way is power with which you can be trusted.’

Quote

Sri Aurobindo

There are two beings in my single self.
A Godhead watches Nature from behind
At play in front with a brilliant surface elf,
A time-born creature with a human mind.

Tranquil and boundless like a sea or sky,
The Godhead knows himself Eternity’s son.
Radiant his mind and vast, his heart as free;
His will is a sceptre of dominion.

The smaller self by Nature’s passions driven,
Thoughtful and erring learns his human task;
All must be known and to that Greatness given
His mind and life, the mirror and the mask.

As with the figure of a symbol dance
The screened Omniscient plays at Ignorance.

— Sri Aurobindo – The Dual Being – Sonnets 1930-1950 – Collected Poems – p. 152

(image by Henri Cartier-Bresson – source : Kheper)

The Dual Being

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I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts
for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down
to meet and mingle with each other.

Then some one at my side says,
“There! She’s gone!”

Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in the mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side,
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of her destination.

Her diminished size is in me, and not in her.

And just at that moment, when some one
at my side says, “There! she’s gone!”
there are other eyes that are watching for her coming
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout,
“There she comes!”

And that is—dying.—

— (attributed to) Henry Van Dyke – A Parable of Immortality

In memory of Anouk Sung Ja Henn † 22/07/2012.

A Parable of Immortality

Quote

Enquire: ‘Who am I?’ and you will find the answer. Look at a tree: from one seed arises a huge tree; from it comes numerous seeds, each one of which in its turn grows into a tree. No two fruits are alike. Yet it is one life that throbs in every particle of the tree. So, it is the same Atman everywhere.

All creation is that. There is beauty in the birds and in the animals. They too eat and drink like us, mate and multiply; but there is this difference: we can realize our true nature, the Atman. Having been born as human beings, we must not waste this opportunity. At least for a few seconds every day, we must enquire as to who we are. It is no use taking a return ticket over and over again. From birth to death, and death to birth is samsara. But really we have no birth and death. We must realize that.

— Sri Anandamayi Ma – Ananda Varta

Who am I?

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COMING to the theatre of life we foolishly sit with our back to the stage. We see the gilded pillars and decorations, we watch the coming and going of the crowd; and when the light is put out at the end, we ask ourselves in bewilderment, what is the meaning of it all? If we paid attention to the inner stage, we could witness the eternal love drama of the soul and be assured that it has pauses, but no end, and that the gorgeous world-preparations are not a magnificent delirium of things.

— Rabindranath Tagore – Thought Relics

Sitting with the back to the stage

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Our self is ever-present now and we do not experience a succession of nows. This present now is the only now there is. The now in which the body was born is the very same now in which these words are appearing. It is the only now there ever truly is.

For this reason our own being is said to be eternal. This doesn’t mean that we last forever in time. It indicates that we are ever-present now. There is simply no time ever actually present in our experience in which our self could exist, other that this present now.

Our self did not appear at a particular time and will not disappear at a particular time. There is no time present in our actual experience in which something could appear or disappear. There is just this ever-present now and this now is not a moment in time; it is timeless awareness, our true nature.

Our culture has lost this knowledge and therefore equates the eternal with the everlasting. However, these two belong to completely different realms, one real and one imaginary. ‘Everlasting’ is related to time and denotes something that supposedly lasts forever. ‘Eternal’ is related to the timeless and denotes that which is ever-present now. It is not about life everlasting. It is about eternal life.

— Rupert Spira – Presence: The Art of Peace and Happiness

Our self is ever-present now

Quote

Lamps burn in every house, O blind
one! and you cannot see them.
One day your eyes shall suddenly be
opened, and you shall see: and
the fetters of death will fall from
you.
There is nothing to say or to hear,
there is nothing to do : it is he who
is living, yet dead, who shall never
die again.

Because he lives in solitude, therefore
the Yogi says that his home is far
away.
Your Lord is near : yet you are climb-
ing the palm-tree to seek Him.
The Brahman priest goes from house
to house and initiates people into
faith:
Alas! the true fountain of life is
beside you, and you have set up a
stone to worship.
Kabir says: “I may never express
how sweet my Lord is. Yoga and
the telling of beads, virtue and
vice – these are naught to Him.”

— Kabir – One Hundred Poems of Kabir (translated by Rabindranath Tagore) – XXI

Lamps burn in every house