True Dharma seekers who live in the world use their daily activity as a polishing tool. Outwardly they may appear to be very busy, like flint striking steel, making sparks everywhere. But inwardly they silently grow. For although they may be working very hard, they are working for the sake of the work and not for the profits it will bring them. Unattached to the results of their labor, they transcend the frenetic to reach the Way's essential tranquillity. Doesn't a rough and tumbling stream also sparkle like striking flints - while it polishes into smoothness every stone in its path?
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Man is a born seeker.
Equiped as he is by nature for vibrating to a vast range of impressions, is he not predestined to an endless wondering? Bound by necessity to select from these impressions those suitable for conscious assimilation– and thereby to approach a genuine perception of his own identity– is he not singled out for continuous self-interrogation?
Such is his true vocation, his birthright. He may forget it, deny it, bury it in the depths of his unconscious being; he may go astray, misuse this hidden gift and increase his own alienation from reality; he may even try to convince himself that he has reached, once and for all, the shores of eternal Truth. No matter; this secret call is still alive, promting him from within to try, and to try increasingly, to realize the significance of his presence here on earth. For he is here to awake, to remember and to search, again and still again.
Search for what? it could be asked. Surely there must be a definitie aim, a purpose, a mark to be hit in due course. Have we not been warned only too often by modern scientists that “if you don’t know what you are looking for, you will never know what you actually will find”? According to their view, mathematical predictability must always prevail over the fertile challenge of uncertainty. And none of them will listen if you venture to remark that to “know” beforehand inevitably means that you will never “find” anything. Indeed there is no escape from the old bugbear of “whatness” unless we remember Scotus Erigena’s distum, “God does not know what He is, because He is not any ‘what’.”
This cannot but remind me of my last meeting with an aging friend who was about to undertake what he sensed would be his last journey to sacred places and wise men of the East.
Bidding him good-bye, I said, “I hope you will find what you are seeking.” He replied with a peaceful smile, “Since I am really searching for nothing, maybe I shall find it.”
Let us get rid at once of a possible misunderstanding and clearly state that no real knowledge can ever be attained by mere chance. There is such fascination in the shifting lure of existence that it draws our interest away from the immediate perception of the essential. Letting oneself drift into persuasive “visions” and “discoveries”, no “search for the sake of searching,” is merely to indulge in daydreaming–a form of self-tyranny very much at variance with man’s objective needs.
Then how is one set about an authentic quest? Instead of surrendering at once to the call of any particular “way”, one should first try with humility to discern some of the requisites for setting off on the right foot.
Is it not the first essential an act of recognition–recognition of the utter necessity of search itself, its priority, its urgency for him who aspires to awake and assume as fully as possible his inner and outer existence?
Whenever a man awakes, he awakes from the false assumption that he has always been awake, and therefore the master of his thoughts, feelings and actions. In that moment, he realizes–and this is the shadow side of recognition–how deeply ignorant he is of himself, how helplessly at the mercy of any suggestion that happens to act upon him at a given moment.
He may also awake–if only for a flash–to the light of a higher consciousness, which will grant him a glimpse of the world of hidden potentialities to which he essentially belongs, help him transcend his own limitations, and open the way to inner transformation.