The Philosophy of the East

17 02 2012

The basis of life is nothing. When we really comprehend our lives while understanding there contrast in relation to the absolute, which is an emptiness which contains everything, only then will we find true happiness. Contemplating the void for many is a frightening experience, because it makes you realise that everything which you base your life on is very flimsy and temporary. But that’s not what this philosophy is asking us to do. It doesn’t want us to be afraid, to live in fear, to live with a realisation which is in itself terrifying.

But it does make us realise that our lives are something which is in contrast with that emptiness. In this philosophy we are not supposed to realise anything, to learn any principle or follow any particular set of beliefs or commands, though there are guidelines for those who need to cling to something such as “don’t eat meat, drink, have sex, kill”.

Sometimes we wonder why did our lives turn out this way? Why am I suffering? The compassionate, as was Christ. Those masters showed us that suffering comes from clinging to false ideas of the self. Who ever actually does anything in life with the thought that actually one day they will be dead? No one ever thinks that this life is temporary. Everyone always acts as if they are building their life forever, treats it as if it were infinitely sustainable and never ending.

 

What can I say that is reassuring? In this life, we are not “strangers in a world we never made”, as Alan Watts put it. We came here or rather, we are the world, not separate from it, but rather part of it. Just as the fish is not separate from the river or the bird separate from the sky. We always trick ourselves into believing that we are. The reassuring element of this knowledge is that everything is, as it ought to be. Actually if I contemplate all of the lost opportunities and failures of my life, those are meant to be, and that in reality the world does not produce one single human being that it doesn’t want to produce.

There are different states of awareness of course. Those who are aware of the interconnectedness and of the essential emptiness of life eventually enter into the Deva world, the find supreme bliss in living, and happiness, but impermanent happiness, and they must eventually come back down because it is temporary. Those who do not have awareness are more likely to suffer from day to day because their conception of reality is dependent on very temporary things which they conceive of as permanent.

 

To find enlightenment one must come into contact with that essential emptiness. It is a state of existence a state of mind in which there are no people to cling to, no ideas, no thoughts, not even images, no principles, no beliefs, nothing. It is not a state of darkness, but there is light, the light of consciousness, and once you experience that light, there is bliss to be found.

Our lives which depend on planning the future, depend on defining ourselves with the past are not authentic not really. We put ourselves in a straight jacket when do this, when we are taken in by the illusion of the future and past, with our ideas of who we are. The idea that I am me because I am a teacher or that I was born in England, or that I like classical music or heavy metal music, or the idea that I have a religion, those are not real things, they are not “me” in the end so all defining is futile.

 

In this sense then, life is a happening. It happens. And to hope that it could happen or should happen in any other way is our source of suffering. Most people think about what they wish to do or achieve in the future and contemplate their successes and failures in the past. But this is a cause of anxiety. There is no past and there is no future, there is only now. In order to find liberation one breathes out, releases all desires and hopes. What is destined will come of itself and on its own volition.

Because our egos are based on a mistaken idea of who we are, this is the reason why “I can’t change anything”. In fact the “I” which wants something which possesses desire is actually just a manifestation of the greater power, the universe. Of course the desire must be fulfilled, all desired are eventually fulfilled. In science the negative charge always travels towards the positive charge which is its fulfilment. The “I” negative is attracted to the “I” positive in one sense, but both are just a play of forces which belong to the whole, and once they are united, the overall charge goes back to zero.

 

The point of all of this is though, to acknowledge that the individual “I” is actually in the exact spot where it should be. But, that at the same time, all ideas, all abstractions, history, and future plans are also without meaning. The reason for this is that all abstractions take the “I” away from its true self.

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3 responses

17 02 2012
libramoon

May I post this to Seers and Seekers?

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/seerseeker/

11 05 2012
Lisa McBride

I just discovered your work here, and your blog, and just wanted to say Thank you- very good work and interesting insights!

14 06 2012
magda

do you write from direct experience? May I suggest a practical experiment to help expound that of which you write so well.
without the use of memory(past experiences) and imagination(future desires) ask yourself – “Who am I” ?
The answer should surprise and delight- it is as if the chains that keep us in bondage to the self i.e. body,ego,stories and concepts finally begin to snap.It is the alpha and the omega of all spiritual seeking. The paradox being that we are continually seeking something that was never lost nor never can be. Yet it is just a beginning for the habits of the body mind are so strong and highly “addictive” that we slip into that ‘illusion’ with the greatest of ease despite the never-ending suffering of “getting what we want” “and not getting what we want”! Meditation is the key going deeper and deeper into the ‘void’
thank you – Magda

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