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On Apathy

(on being, not doing)

(from unpublished chapters of THE WAY OF WONDER)

 

“Here, thank God, the understanding is at last baffled, at last held in check. ... Here I am at home- and I need no understanding."

Miller (Hamlet Letters)

*

"All he needed was to be standing without knowing what to do."

Lispector, (Apple, p129)

*

"Life creates itself in delirium and is undone in ennui."

Cioran (Decay, p14)

*

"In that state of effortless attention there comes an extraordinary sense of freedom, and only then, being totally empty, quiet, still, is the mind capable of discovering that which is eternal."

Krishnamurti, (talks at Saanen, Aug2/64)

*

 

Once we have forgotten all the false understandings so ubiquitous in the world, and have accepted the unknowable miracle of life inside, outside, and all around us, and we have no clue about what or why it 'is'- then what shall we do? What shall we do indeed, when we know not what to do? The answer is easier than one might think; for, in the absence of a conception of life we shall no longer do, instead we shall simply be. Which is to say that, if all of our actions in the world have been based on manifold misinterpretations of ourselves, then, just as we got rid of false understanding by forgetting, in order for us to continue to 'undo' these errors, we must also stop operating within the conceptual framework these misinterpretations created; we must stop 'playing house', so to speak, and we do that by growing out of the illusion which binds us, and instead re-inhabiting the true mansions of our limitless beings; that is, if our actions have been false because they were based on the false premises of society, then the only thing to do is ...to not do

And so, just as ‘epistemological’ emancipation is not about knowing, ‘existential’ emancipation is not about 'doing', but about 'undoing'. This amounts to ignorant effortlessness.

*

"There is no need to leave the house. Stay at your table and listen.

Don't even listen, just wait. Don't even wait, be completely quiet and alone.

The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked,

it can't do otherwise, in raptures it will writhe before you."

Franz Kafka (On Sin, Suffering, and the True Way)

*

Here Kafka, a master of the inner metaphor, achieves a description of the effect which absolute stillness has upon our beings. This is the same point of reference which T.S. Eliot, in less emotional terms, describes as "The still point of the turning world", which is the unmoving yet living center from which we witness the true dynamic nature of created being; this still point is the place of receptive surrender, of complete concavity, from which one can ‘be with’ the living ‘createdness’ of being and thus experience the Creator creating.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj says of this: "Both God and the [initiate] know themselves to be the immovable centre of the movable, the eternal witness of the transient."(I AM THAT, p87) And the kun byed rgyal po'i mdo relates a similar position, stating: "The mind of perfect purity is the central vigor of everything. ...from imperceptible stillness itself the unborn truth manifestation emanates. ...[Thus] in the Great Perfection, the self-originated pristine awareness should not be made an object of speculative thinking. No speculation, no movement: pristine awareness!"(p104,137)

Recalling that this last statement comes from ‘The Motherly Buddha of All’, we turn to Lao Tzu for a similar outlook:

“There is a thing inherent and natural,

Which existed before heaven and earth.

Motionless and fathomless,

It stands alone and never changes;

It pervades everywhere and never becomes exhausted.

It may be regarded as the Mother of the Universe.”

What I am saying, then, is that in order to 'undo' the knot of wrong understandings- i.e. to unknow ourselves and everything- to dissolve into the Mystery so as to return to both the unmoved witness and also to the moving ecstasy of being- this is not an active, effortful procedure, but is completely effortless; it means simply to neither think, nor 'do', but only to feel and to 'be'; to have nothing between you and reality- to have no thought of 'what is', nor action within 'what is', between you and 'what is'.

Regarding this conviction, Chuang Tzu states: "To have no thought and put forth no effort is the first step towards understanding the Tao. To go nowhere and do nothing is the first step towards finding peace in the Tao. To start from no point and follow no road is the first step towards reaching the Tao."

And Lispector declares, “One way of obtaining is not to search, one way of possessing is not to ask; [but] simply to believe that my inner silence is the solution to my- to my mystery.” (The Hour of the Star, p14)

From these statements by Chuang Tzu and Lispector, we recognize that the desire to strive, to understand, to find truth, or God, the Tao, or what have you, ends up paradoxically as the functional inability to finding such, for the mind which is doing the seeking is still as deluded as before (because it is seeking within the false paradigm), and therefore is not open to finding that which cannot be looked for; no matter what the mind is seeking, it will never find that which cannot be sought.

As Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj instructs, "To want nothing and do nothing- that is true creation! To watch the universe emerging and subsiding in one's heart is a wonder."(I AM THAT, p140)

Our necessity, then, is not to arduously seek, but instead to effortlessly see.

"And if you have really come to that state in which there is no effort," claims Krishnamurti, "then you will find that energy, being still, has its own movement that is not the outcome of society's compulsion or pressure. Because the mind has abundant energy that is still and silent, the mind itself becomes that which is sublime."(talks in Bombay, Feb 27/1955)

Apathy is therefore both an internal and external event: internally it vaporizes the struggle to 'know' because the individual realizes that 'awareness requires no effort'; externally it vaporizes the individual's participation in the falsities of society because society offers nothing but the absence of stillness, and in stillness is the only peace and real communion for the sensitive soul.

Osho proffers, "...I don't teach you the result-oriented life at all. I teach you the relaxed way of life. ...Truth cannot be practiced. You have to dissolve yourself into it. ...You have to relax into it, dissolve into it. ...Let it be. Go into it. Be drowned in it. ...Don't make an effort." (Ecstasy, p49,51)

Hence we must rid ourselves of the desire to understand what is not understandable and the desire to do what need not be done (which is the greater part of everything), only then shall we be effortless and silent enough to re-ceive what we cannot con-ceive.

Krishnamurti continues on the theme, adding to his last quote: "...if the mind realizes its own absolute incapacity to know the unknown, if it perceives that it cannot take a single step towards the unknown, then what happens? Then the mind becomes utterly silent."(talks in Bombay, Jan6/1960)

It is interesting that Krishnamurti, arguably one of the most lucid men of the century (and I use the term 'lucid' because it implies clarity, not intellect) was often caned and punished as a schoolboy because he could never remember his lessons, and he would often sit for hours with his mouth hanging wide open, oblivious to the world, behaving exactly like an utter fool. He was empty, vacant of ideas, and totally removed from the cares of the day, which made him a perfect victim of the world, and a perfect vessel for the Spirit.

This same countenance- of rapt oblivion- was observed in Ramakrishna, an Indian saint born in the nineteenth century, who often sat for hours completely absorbed in awe, staring off into the profundity of the cosmos, doing nothing, totally useless to the world, and yet completely fulfilled.

Similarly, Aleister Crowley was called “the laziest man in three continents.” (Book of Thoth,xii), and Kerouac proudly announced: “I am the Buddha known as the Quitter.” (Dharma Bums, p180)

Lispector describes this occurrence in the growth of one of her characters, she writes: "He had learned the technique of how to be vulnerable and alert with the face of an idiot." (Apple, p152)

Hazrat Inyat Kahn explores more fully this potential of 'effortlessness', relating:

"The heart of man, if once expanded, becomes larger than all the heavens. The deep thinkers of all ages have therefore held that the only principle of awakening to life is the principle of emptying the self. In other words, making oneself clearer and more complete accommodation in order to accommodate all experiences more clearly and more fully. The tragedy of life, all its sorrows and pains, belong mostly to the surface of the life of the world. If one were fully awake to life, if one could respond to life, if one could perceive life, one would not need to look for wonders, one would not need to communicate with spirits; for every atom in this world is a wonder when one sees with open eyes."(The Mysticism, etc.p87)

He is alluding to the fact that we ourselves vanish inwardly as unmystery unwinds before us, exposing itself as mystery everywhere; we dissolve into the Mystery, and only the Mystery remains. And for this to happen, nothing needs to happen.

"...the stupendous fact that we stand in the midst of reality will always be something far more wonderful than anything we do", states Erich Gutkind (quoted in Henry Miller's insightful essays, The Absolute Collective, which eloquently describes the perils of profane participation).

Life itself is the marvelous; the mundane is the wonderful, and the sacred is the profane, if only we would slow down, stop for a second, and take reverent notice. And yet, how difficult indeed it is to ‘not do’.

"The most difficult thing is to do nothing: to remain alone before the cosmos", writes Lispector (JdoB, Sept18/71).

Yet the ardor of this blank-minded effortlessness is the work of the highest souls; it is the return to the hub of the wheel- or, the eye of the hurricane, as it were- which allows the world to 'writhe' in 'raptures' before us.

And so it is merely each individual's choice to willingly succumb to this ever-available overwhelmingness of being, and to fall rapt into gratitude and wonder, rather than run about hither and thither, seeking, striving, and gathering. This is the 'the one thing needful.' Yet I am not trying to play Mary over Martha here, it is simply the obvious fact, that it is easier to enjoy the unimaginable beauty of a flower when you are gazing with unhurried attention upon it, rather then rushing past it on your way to work.

"The fool who pursues no ambitions has time to see, hear and touch the world", suggests Lispector again.

In the non-act of absolute surrender, all the walls of the mind and ego shatter in an apocalyptic rupture of our confines. We are now finished with the false cages of the world's tremendous lies, for we see how they only confine us, and thus we are finished pursuing their a-musing charms forever.

Deepak Chopra offers his own vehement diatribe, injecting:

"What society thinks of as reality today is the hypnosis of social conditioning, an induced fiction in which we are all collectively participating. It is the melodrama of a humdrum existence, filled with trite obsessions and trivial pursuits, wherein our only fate is to be born, grow old, and die. [Yet] if we could just realize it, the keys to the miracle of life lie in our own consciousness. .[That is when] life will bestow miracles on us, when we begin to see it as an expression of the miraculous. Life itself is a miracle. We are here and now- that is a miracle. Life is magical, mysterious, wondrous, and miraculous. Lose the magic, and you lose life. It becomes dull and joyless. When you have flashes of wonder, that is the wizard's touch. The worst curse to befall anyone is stagnation, a banal existence, the quiet desperation that comes out of a need for conformity." (The Return of Merlin, intro)

This is the case, as Colin Wilson wrote near the end of his book The Outsider, stating:

"All men should possess a 'visionary faculty'. Men do not, because they live wrongly. They live too tensely, under too much strain, 'getting and spending'. But this loss of the visionary faculty is not entirely man's fault, it is partly the fault of the world he lives in, that demands that men should spend a certain amount of their time 'getting and spending' to stay alive. The visionary faculty comes naturally to all men. When they are relaxed enough, every leaf of every tree in the world, every speck of dust, is a separate world capable of producing infinite pleasure. If these fail to do so, it is man's own fault for wasting his time and energy on trivialities. The ideal is the contemplative poet, the 'sage', who cares about having only enough money and food to keep him alive, and never takes thought for the morrow."(The Outsider, p241)

The last sentence of this quote from Wilson is reminiscent of Christ's exhortation to "Take no worry about what you will eat, or what you will put on", but instead to "consider the lilies in the field", who "reap not, neither do they sow." This is an appeal to live ever in the moment, to not let the mind confuse us beyond the miracle of the day.

As to the need to cease 'getting and spending', in order to have more life: This is the realization that would drive Henry David Thoreau out to Walden Pond where he would build a small hut, live like a pauper, and write a book trying to persuade as many others who were brave or dissatisfied enough to do the same; it is the same realization that would cause Thomas Traherne to "live upon ten pounds a year and go in leather clothes, and feed upon bread and water, so that I might have all my time clearly to myself..." (Centuries, p284). It is the same realization that would cause Colin Wilson to sleep on Hampstead Heath in order to pay no rent so he could write instead of working; this same necessity would cause Henry Miller to stoically refuse any 'job', and instead live on air and handouts for much of his writing life ; this realization would make Herakleitos into an ignoble beggar, and a noble wiseman; it would send the Chinese poets of old out into the hills to do nothing but drink wine and idle in the glory of the day; it is the same realization that would force the author of this work to construct a small squatter's hut in the forest on the outskirts of the city limits so as to live cheaply and freely rather than be condemned to the slavery of useless toil.

Oscar Wilde, in his incredibly creative, exacting, and perceptive essay, The Soul of Man Under Socialism comes to the same conclusion, stating: “One's regret is that society should be constructed on such a basis that man has been forced into a groove in which he cannot freely develop what is wonderful, and fascinating, and delightful in him- in which, in fact, he misses the true pleasure and joy of living.”(p25)

As such, "The great error of this age," says Hazrat Inayat Kahn, "is that activity has increased so much, that there is little margin left in one's life for repose. And repose is the secret of all contemplation and meditation, the secret of getting in tune with that aspect of life which is the essence of all things."(The Mysticism, etc. p83)

Understanding this, Thomas Carlyle propounds: “If thou lookest, even for moments, into the region of the Wonderful, and seest and feelest that the daily life is girt with Wonder, and based on Wonder, and thy very blankets and breeches are Miracles- then art thou profited beyond money’s worth...” (Sartor, p203)

This understanding is described by Nikos Kazantzakis in his book Saint Francis, where, in a brief monologue, Brother Leo describes his path to the young Francis:

“My route, Sior Francis- and don't be surprised when you hear it- my route when I set out to find God...was...laziness. Yes, laziness. If I wasn't lazy I would have gone the way of respectable, upstanding people. Like everyone else I would have studied a trade- cabinet maker, weaver, mason- and opened a shop; I would have worked all day long, and where then would I have found time to search for God? I might as well be looking for needle in a haystack: that's what I would have said to myself. All my mind and thoughts would have been occupied with how to earn my living, feed my children, how to keep the upper hand over my wife. With such worries, curse them, how could I have had the time, or inclination, or the pure heart needed to think about the Almighty? But by the grace of God I was born lazy. To work, get married, have children, and make problems for myself were all too much trouble. I simply sat in the sun during winter, and in the shade during summer, while at night I stretched out on my back on the roof of my house, I watched the moon and the stars. And when you watch the moon and the stars how can you expect your mind not to dwell on God. ...Piety requires laziness you know. It requires leisure- and don't listen to what others say.” (Saint Francis, p34)

A similar utterance is delivered by one of Ursula K. LeGuin’s characters, the Archmage Sparrowhawk, who solemnly warns an energetic neophyte:

“Try to choose carefully… when the great choices must be made. When I was young, I had to choose between the life of being and the life of doing. And I lept at the latter like a trout to a fly. But each deed you do, each act, binds you to itself and to its consequences, and makes you act again and yet again. Then very seldom do you come upon a space, a time like this, between act and act, when you may stop and simply be. Or wonder who, after all, you are.” (The Farthest Shore, p34)

And so, Ramtha tells us to “Never seek truth. Simply be. In being you’re at one with the infinite universe... When you simply are, you are in alignment with the isness of all things...and you have to do nothing except be!” (Ramtha, p116,197)

The disregard for the necessity of conventional work, at all costs, as well as the avoidance of life's tangles, and a-musements, is one of the characteristics of many of the individuals quoted in this book. To live society's way is to find only what society finds. And if that is all that you want, then be sure it is easy to have, but if you seek the 'life more abundant', you will have to re-vise (i.e. re-vision) it all. For, as Christ states in the Gospel of Thomas, in uncompromisingly iconoclastic terms, "Whoever has come to understand the world has found (only) a corpse, and whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world."(brackets are translator’s)

What happens when the pleasures of the idle life become more valuable than the struggles of the active life, is that the individual falls away from the society which prides itself on its knowledge and accomplishments, because these efforts have only led to more struggle, more inward poverty, more sorrow. The individual, thus liberated from the need to participate in the 'responsible and respectable' world, becomes profoundly peaceful, profoundly alert, profoundly unimportant, profoundly greater than the contagion of 'doing', to which he or she no longer belongs.

Stepan Stulginsky relates a similar finding:

"Amid the monotony of conventionalities only a few sense...reality. ...Only a few know how to overcome the dragon [hence the colloquial 'drag'] of everyday routine. The consciousness of humanity has become so saturated with the dust of usualness that it is necessary to break through this wall. One should learn to feel oneself beyond trivial usualness and to adhere in spirit to the manifested world of Beauty." (Cosmic Legends of the East, p16)

And now a banquet of excerpts from the Kun byed rgyal po'i mdo will crystalize our stance:

"As suchness is not a path on which you may proceed, suchness will not be reached through proceeding. ...[Among] all who want achievement by striving there is not one who has arrived [at the goal] through previous progress on the path. There is not one who has received [the result] by what she or he has done in the past. There is none who achieved [what he or she aspired to] in the past through striving for achievements. ...I also declare examining and reflecting to be an error...as I do [with such concepts as] subject and object, and doctrinal views and religious practice. Doctrine and practice, pursuit and abandonment, striving and achieving, causation, [all these concepts] are an obscuration as they are wrong with regard to the great bliss which is without effort. ...A performance which must be done is to seek after no single thing; this will let you become spontaneously perfected. ...Then you will have reached the stage of perfect purity which is beyond progress... free of acting and agent, and beyond striving and achieving. ...By this means you will reach the bliss free of striving and achieving and fulfill the purpose of a sentient being."[brackets are translator's] (p158,109,73,167,83,67)

Pragmatically speaking, since it is impossible to be true in a false paradigm, the only way to be true is ...to not-do; in the absence of 'doing' our 'beings' are no longer identified with the falsity which is everywhere.

Miller offers this inspiring passage, stating:

“To keep the mind empty is a feat, a very healthy feat too. To be silent the whole day long, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself. The book-learning gradually dribbles away; problems melt and dissolve; thinking, when you deign to indulge in it, becomes very primitive; the body becomes a new and wonderful instrument; you look at plants or stones or fish with different eyes...”(Colossus of Marousi, p47)

Ignorance and indifference are our only ways out of this belly of the whale confusion and misunderstanding. Without these weapons- i.e. amnesia and apathy- we shall forever dwell in confinement, and yet we will not even know we are confined- for the prisons we are held in are naught but 'doing' and 'knowing'.

The self which tries to attain knowledge, enlightenment, or understanding is a false entity, therefore any such striving merely reinforces the unreality of its existence.

Cioran secures our position, asserting: "Who can fail to see the moment when ...man, lucid and empty, will have no word on hand to designate his abyss? ...On the ruins of knowledge, a sepulchral lethargy will make us all into specters..."(Decay, p137)

To see the futility and failure of society's goals and struggles, because we have seen 'more clearly' through the window of wonder, is to cease all action directed towards useless goals, and instead to bask in the harmonious, goal-less, worthless, remarkable unity of all and everything; for all striving is a function of the ego, and therefore leads only to the fulfillment of the ego, not to its evaporation and the soul's merging with the One.

In wordless, effortless, idealess attention, we see and become the wordless, effortless, idealess event.

This is when, as Andrew Harvey writes in A Journey in Ladakh, "There is nothing to do but slow down, relax, laze, to become one vast transparent eye."

This statement defines the realm of ambivalent witnessing, which brings about the effortless clarity born of intentionless attention.

That is, we no longer need to 'do' anything, for we have seen through the eyes of lucid, effortless ignorance. As such, Dzogchen declares, "Everything has already been accomplished, and so, having overcome the sickness of effort, One finds oneself in the self-perfected state." This, of course, is the ‘peace which passeth all understanding’, for the peace is beyond the mind.

This quintessential accomplishment- of apathetic innocence- however, has no value to the active, ego-driven world, for: "This awareness of the truth makes an eloquent, clever, energetic person dumb, stupid, and lazy," corroborates the Astavakra Gita, "so it is avoided by those whose aim is enjoyment and praise."

To simply watch in amazement, without thought of responsibility, respectability, nor thought of 'what we will eat', or 'what we will wear', is to give ourselves unconditionally to the exuberance of being- just being! That's all we need to do. That's all we can do.

Apathy leads to wonder. Wonder leads to apathy.

"The loss of control over thought comes toward the end;" declares Yeats, "first a sinking in upon the moral being, then the last surrender, the irrational cry, revelation..."(A Vision, p 268)

To revel in the revelation, is to find peace in the capitulation of all undertakings, all talents, all goals, all dreams. It is to recognize that these are at times better fulfilled in their abdication, than in their completion.

Rumi blends the complementary traits of incomprehension and apathy into one of his poems, stating: "When intelligence leaves its castle/ and walks through your lane,/ it doesn't know where or who it is./ It sits on the ground and wobbles."

In the absence of understanding, and in the absence of desire to participate in the absence of wonder, nothing can be done. Nothing need be done. You want nothing to be done. You just 'are'. You exist! That is enough. That is plenty. That is too much. Who could believe it?

Yeats relates another similar finding, stating, "The mind deprived of its obstacle can create no more and nothing is left but... unrelated facts and aimless mind, the burning out that awaits all voluntary effort." (A Vision, p189)

Now we can perhaps see why it is necessary to be apathetic, for, after all, the word 'apathetic' is (despite our active culture's spurious intent to evolve this word into a pejorative) the opposite of 'pathetic'; to be a-pathetic is to realize the pitiful rewardlessness of man's ideas and creations which lead us only further and further away from our true, free, miraculous selves.

This is a realization (i.e. that we must be dis-passionate to that which takes us away from ourselves) and an actualization which few people have the level of indifference required to bring to its full potential. Just as it is said that the most difficult posture to bring to perfection in Hatha Yoga is the 'Corpse pose', and that is because it is the only position in which one must do ...nothing!

It is only after we realize 'nothing can be done'- that all our actions are futile, that we have beaten our heads relentlessly upon the wrong walls, that we are salmon who have fought their way up the wrong river, and have not the strength to return to the sea- only then shall we become the 'nothing' and 'nobody' enough to receive the benefits of perfect apathy; if, epistemologically, we have given up 'reason', so as to embrace the unreasonable, then we must also take the ontological leap of giving up ‘the reason’ we do things so as to purposely dwell in the perilous region of purposelessness.

Having surrendered knowing by forgetting, the rest is easy- for now that we are made incapable by ignorance, everything that we used to do, or wanted to do, is left null and void- we have burned away all 'that awaits voluntary effort."

"...one, who was so far gone as to recognize that he could not prove his own existence," declares Rene Descartes, "...would seem unintelligible except upon the ground of exhaustion."

Exhaustion, capitulation, surrender; to have even the slightest amount of energy left to participate in the lie, is to not have seen it as completely erroneous as it is.

This 'exhaustion' is perhaps the only way that we will finally surrender all our ideas and efforts- when we are worn thin from running after our own tails, chasing our own shadows, and failing over and over again to find comfort, truth, joy, God, or what have you, in the mirage of the world's conceptions. Then perhaps we will come upon what the ancients meant by faith; faith in life- in the fact that we live, and yet know not how it is possible.

"This idea of ...living now in the moment, fully with complete faith in the processes of life, which must remain ever largely unknown to us, is the cardinal aspect of his philosophy." wrote Miller, on the ideas of E. Graham Howe (Wisdom of the Heart, p36)

In the end we find that only in the non-act of conscious indifference, or passionate ambivalence, is true objectivity possible, because 'want' has dried up, and the eye sees 'what is' without bias or disdain.

Krishnamurti synopsizes the apathy of mind required for the true perception of this infinity:

"Can the known, which is the mind- because the mind is known, the result of the past- can that mind seek the unknown? If I do not know reality, the unknown, how can I search for it? Surely it must come, I cannot go after it. ...When the mind is silent, when it is no longer projecting itself into the future, wishing for something, when the mind is really quiet, profoundly peaceful, the unknown comes into being. You don't have to search for it. You cannot invite it. That which you can invite is only that which you know. You cannot invite an unknown guest. You can only invite one you know. But you do not know the unknown, God, reality, or what you will. It must come." (The First and Last Freedom, chpt.28)

In agreement on the inevitability of Life's inherent, effortless perfection, which cannot be beseeched nor striven for, Osho offers, "There is no difficulty about it; there is no difficulty at all. Nobody need do anything; it will happen on its own."(Kundalini, p152)

And Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj offers, "You need not get at it, for you are it. It will get at you, if you give it a chance. Let go of your attachment to the unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly step into its own… [There is] no need to know. It operates by itself."(I AM THAT, p3, 136). And all this miraculous 'inevitability' is summed up in Marcus Aurelius' wonderfully terse axiom, "It loved to happen."

In moments of this divine ambivalence, we can affirm Lao Tzu's phrase that "The sage does nothing, and yet everything is done." It is this paradoxical recognition (paradoxical, at least, to those who have not experienced the still point of Creation within themselves) that in fact everything is actually done without doing anything; that the 'form'- which is to say, the play of the manifest- continues to return to us, over and over again, 'writhing at our feet', as it were.

Apathy is the welcome-mat of the Spirit. As Meister Eckhart declares, "You may be sure that perfect quiet and idleness is the best you can do." (sermon 4, p121) For, "There is nothing mind can do that cannot be better done in the mind's immobility and thought-free stillness", comments Sri Aurobindo.

This, again, is the 'one thing needful'. In the emptiness of this ignorance and indifference, when we are finished with all the vanities under the sun, perhaps we shall finally admit how foolhardy all our efforts and understandings have been.

The 'peace of mind' which comes from empty-minded apathy is the temple in which the Spirit builds its home. For it is the 'lilies in the field' which are looked after, though they think not, worry not, and do nothing but 'be'.

You have not to worry, you have not to plan, and "You have not to ask what to do", for "It will take care of you.", admonishes Swamiji Shyam.

And Maitreya Ishawara corroborates, "The more you trust, the more the whole takes care."

Which is to say, we must simply accept that WE DO NOT KNOW, but that IT knows us, and that in knowing us, we are taken care of. We need not seek it, we need only take it as it comes.

"The Lord of Fallen Fools, says Mira, will save anyone.", sings Mirabai.

In our ease and surrender, life will become an eternal Sabbath, with only praise and acceptance remaining as our innocent chores. Then we will know again why we have been asked to "Be still, and know that I am God."(psalm 46); a statement, which, for our purposes here, we may render in the true manner of the empty, effortless, unbiased witness, whose axiom instead is,: "Be still, and know that Eye am God."

The Kun byed rgyal po'i mdo has similar passages, stating "I, the All-Creating, teach only the lore of stillness and of suchness. ...[And] the stillness of the true central vigor. ... is called the eye of the omniscient one."(p68,69,112) For it is in this stillness that we disappear as separate fragments and re-appear as the One event occurring.

Finally, another priceless observation from Krishnamurti to close this door in order that we might open another. He concludes, "If you don't know what to do, you do nothing, don't you? Absolutely nothing. Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing; there is no centre at all. Then there is love." (Freedom from the Known, p87)

by Jack Haas

 

 

 

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