Those Who Know Don't Say

That piece of pith refers to matters concerning Truth. In the realm of the Real words don't exist. Le mot juste,  "ineffable". Nothing can be said. "The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao."

And, if one would try to say something about it — attempt to explain — you probably wouldn't listen anyway. And, why should you? It's like that. There is such a thing as readiness, ripeness to be open to matters eternal. It's not easy. In fact it's a miracle when you find yourself asking the Perenial questions. What with a culture which at every turn demagogues you into some form or other of distraction and shills for you getting some or other manufactured fulfillment.

Conversely, those who say don't know. That's how you can tell if they're lying. How? Their lips are moving. [Told to me first by a wily old car salesman whose lips, by the way, were moving when he said that.] 

Then there's those smarties who don' t know, and don't say. A counterfeit on wisdom? Works well, though. Add a knowing smile, and you'll get a following.

This should make things crystal clear:

But, all is not lost. There are those who do know who are willing to point you in the right direction. Fortunately, I have been blessed with such associations.

In the realm of knowledge about things of the world, there's no shortage of talkers. That's the world for you: One big compelling illusion. Maya. False to the core. Trying to extricate oneself from its grip on its own terms is literally like trying to look at the back of your head. Without a mirror, that is. Good luck with that.

Here's what it boils down to after all is said and done.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

My first forays into the so-called spiritual life were littered with many missteps. Being still, it turns out — at least for me — has been a challenge. What with a life devoted to planning and doing and being and acquiring and forestalling. 

You sit down to be still. What shows up? A cyclone of thoughts and feelings. The trick is to notice that you notice all that. Once you cross that threshold, then being still begins to teach you its secrets. Not feeding those thoughts and feelings with your attention, they transform. How? As they will. Just to watch. Trust. Be patient. As the Bhuddist's say, "Let it self perfect into its own condition."

Herewith a confession of my sins on the path of Dharma ... (Not all my sins, just some. The entire list would take up too much bandwidth.)

● Seeking others' approval. That's probably my hardest karmic nut. Engrained in there from very, very early times. Pray for me. If you have the time and money, light a candle.

● Giving advice when none was asked for. My daughters were always quick to point out that "Whatever you say goes back to you." So most of my spiritual sadhana has been about taking my own advice. Learning to leave others be. Happily so. Yet, dear daughters, if you read this, just know that while what you say indeed always goes back to you (i.e., moi), you could do well to apply my suggestions to yourselves too. Or, at least, give them some consideration.

● Sitting in daily meditation trying to mentally sort out whether I was enlightened yet. Then, — mirabile dictu! —one day noticing that I was doing that. Noticing that your noticing. That's a sweet step in the Sadhana. Besides, I've come to learn, we're already enlightened. The work has to do with dusting the shelves and throwing out the dead wood.

● Attempting to mentally wrestle thoughts into some more acceptable shape. Body sensations too. Remember John Lennon, "Let it be". Not everything that shows up in meditation is peaches and cream. There's some pretty nasty stuff in there. Good news is that the system is self-cleaning. Leave it alone. Be still!

You could find yourself making your neurotic habits into a racket. That only goes so far. Believe me, drop it. 

● Having a wonderful meditation experience and thinking that that is it! The mind does have a tendency to conceptualize ... everything. If you think you've got it, you don't. Well you do. But thinking you've got it is itself an obstacle. Form is empty. For sure. But, remember. Emptiness is form. 

● Evaluating others' spiritual level. Very bad thing to do. Especially when you realize the world is a mirror. It's as you see it. Ouch! Also, that all is One. That other there, that's you! Ouch, ouch!

● Sharing pearls of wisdom and spiritual instruction on social media. Well, I still do that. Not too many likes. Maybe all my "Friends" have those matters settled. I could just be the last one to get into Heaven. 

Interesting story on this point. When I was a kid in parochial school it was a common occurrence that we all fought to be first in line. The good Felician Nuns instructed us on how "The last would be first". After hearing that key to heaven, what did we do? You probably guessed. We fought for last place.

● Concerning over the state of things. 

This does not mean you don't give a shit. It means having freedom from concern over what's what. You still act as you will. From that freedom you can respond to situations clearly and authentically.   

● Thinking my children would take up meditation just because I do, and suggesting that to them too. It might have had just the opposite effect. As parents we have to acknowledge that our destiny and that of our children may not be the same. We must learn to drop our concern at some point in any event.

Kahlil Gibran said it well ...

No comments: