In a prior post, I wrote, the “seeing becomes the teaching,” meaning that what is experienced goes beyond any teaching. Experience here, is the thing–not the context, the words, the method, or the framework. We can read Wu Hsin, the Bible, Adyashanti, Nisargadatta, or any contemporary teacher, and what we have is context, the shell around the kernel. All of this, as experienced, is outside of and in many ways, limited by, context.
What is the experience of watching a radiant sunset? Of spending time in play and foolishness with children? Of reading a finely-crafted poem? The intoxicating smell of lilacs? These are the true pointers. In fact, they are not even pointers, but the experience of–what seems to be something other than self, but is nothing but Self, knowing ItSelf.
Words may point to this, but too often the mind, or the me gets involved, a context is created and appended to, and the experience is overlooked. The experience of knowing the words, not understanding, but being in that place where something is touched, where any sense of division falls away, if only for the moment: Seek no further.
The divisibility of religion, nonduality, spirituality is as mind-boggling as the experience of being an undergraduate in the school of psychology, where there were multiple departments within the department of psychology, none of which agreed or collaborated with each other. Geneticists could not take Social psychologists seriously, who also make jokes about Behaviorists, and academia becomes a house of many closets. The study of psychology is as fragmented as the mind that studies all structures, be they mental or spiritual.
The experience of this, clear seeing, and the joy and peace, and sometimes nothingness that is felt/known, in the end, has nothing to do with Advaita, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and so on. To drink we must have a cup, but it is the liquid that we taste and feel in the mouth, throat and belly that quenches the thirst. It is the drinking that we’re after, the slaking of thirst. The cup or glass is irrelevant, though it might be a gold-tipped work of art or an old Ball jar. Either way, the experience of fullness is the same.
To believe that the structure, philosophical or religious, is of import, to assert that one is purer, cleaner than another is to favor the context over the experience. Love the Christian liturgy, the Koran, The Talmud, this or that teacher, or your sister or your brother. It is the love, or adoration, oneness, or knowingness experienced that is the key, not the form that delivers it. The young woman or man you fall in love with is not the same body that is here with you 25 or 50 years later, most often not even the same person. What remains?
Life is experiencing, in whatever form it takes. Could be joy, could be grief. Let it be without context, without a right or wrong, a should or shouldn’t, and thereby let it be closer than close to God, to the Absolute, to Atma, to Isness itself. You cannot divide up the experience of a smile, or a warm hand, into comprehensible bits of this or that. A smile is the feeling of a smile, within and without, when it is received without context or conditions.
A sunny or rainy day does not take away or add to the enjoyment of…all of this. Have a cup of tea with me (I and Thou), and let us be and know the warmth, the sweetness, the smiles in the quietness of the late afternoon.
“While her lips talked culture, her heart was planning to invite him to tea” ― E.M. Forster