Here’s the unequivocal thing: Nothing in this dreamstate makes sense. It is made, as an appearance, by an incoherent, split mind, exhibiting and manifesting nothing but fragmented reality from fragmented thinking. The experience of living in this incoherent world is then a striving to make sense of, and find solutions for, the “problematic” situations in which we appear to find ourselves. Like Don Quixote and his giants.
“What giants,” asks Pablo Sanchez?
In the illusory world of dualistic perception, that is all that is ever going on. Period.
Make an earnest attempt to simply watch thoughts—yours, or others in conversation. Just watch, don’t judge or assess. Watch behaviors, conflicts, solutions. Watch when lying awake in the middle of the night. Truly see the utter incoherence.
This is not an excuse to see the world as mad and your own self as sane. Repeat: It is not an insane world perceived from a perspective of rare sanity. It is to finally perceive your/my own insanity once and for all. And by “your/my own,” is meant the limited, erroneous mindset from which the world is projected. An erroneous point of view sees only what is wrong. See this—and cease. Like the viral Bob Newhart YouTube video clip: “Stop it!”
There is a world, as described by Thich Nhat Hanh, in Clouds in Each Paper, and in I, Pencil, by Leonard E. Read, that exists and thrives on its own, according to ways and means of which the split mind knows nothing. It hums along with integrity and elegance, in spite of the general incoherent descriptions and manifestations given by the Unreliable Narrator known as “my mind.”
To cease here means to see the futility of thinking your way through life, and choose in favor of the excellent obviousness of this superseding order, and acknowledging that as the guide being followed on the whole, as the whole. Withdraw then from the fist-pounding-on-metal way of “my” will, “my” way, so that the “invisible hand” becomes visible, not in what or how it does, but in the miraculous and infinite ways in which it appears and operates precisely.
It is not “your” world. It is not “their” world. It is a world of ideas. And yes, the idea that you or they could fall ill and die is excruciatingly painful.
There are those who are ceaselessly efforting to save the world of sufferers from a kind of axiomatic trauma. Conversely, there are those who feel traumatized that are looking to be saved. Both sides may refrain from hubris and victimhood, from the delusional perspective of separation. The idea that “we” are separate things, entities, is the trauma, and is not sustainable. It is how “we” heal, how the mud settles, to reveal clear waters.
In the world of inseparability, not two-ness, everything is humming along fine, like a giant, perfectly calibrated and maintained ecosphere. There are no parts in this world-aquarium, only a kind of undercurrent that appears as the movement of parts. It is entirely efficient—without thought—yours or others’.
Look around you now. The squirrel is not awaiting orders or direction. The sun and grass and oak tree do not equivocate to ascertain what is in their best interests. Neither wind nor rain (parts of weather?) discriminate, nor ask which way to blow or where to land.
Who are all these bipedal creatures scrambling about thinking they are separate from the rest, with separate thoughts, with autonomy of mind and body, trying to affect this indomitable, efficient, and elegant Whole?
The pandemic can show you this—in scope and non-specificity. This apparently divided world can reveal the wholeness, the elegant functioning that overrides this insane thinking and perceiving. The problem is only as great as the mind that assumes it is right, and therefore in opposition. To what? Another idea? The words or the emotions? Or is there simply the compulsion to argue?
But it is really most poignantly only an error in perception that begins with the mad idea of separation, of autonomy, of me and mine, and unfolds algorithmically in absurdity from that false starting point. There is no right or wrong mind because there is no separate mind. Only the mad belief that thoughts are true and mine.
And most ironically, separation is the proposed check on the spread of the disease, when all dis-ease of mind and body arise from the false premise of separation. This is not to say that we should all unite now, as bodies. Because if we identify as singular, independent entities, we will become ill and die as such. But perhaps we could do the same kind of social distancing for apparently “right” and conflicting opinions and ideas—give them a rest, too. Mute the viral effect of mad ideas so as to keep the truth alive.
“Do not search for the truth;
Only cease to cherish opinions.”
Faith Mind, by Seng-ts’an
That is all. The difference between insanity and profound, immovable equanimity is the belief that opinions are true, are anything more than arbitrarily ordered, acquired words, as thoughts.
The apparently divided world is a product of the divided mind. In appearance only, yet perception is what appears to be and to feel real. If there is an idea of “me,” there is, inevitably and unavoidably, always a problem. If the problem now occupies your mind and shakes your equilibrium (it matters not which problem is described), cease to attend to the thoughts that create and maintain this preoccupation. Look at a squirrel, a robin, a tree, a dandelion, or the wind in which they eat, fly, and bend. Entertain this delightful emptiness of purpose and direction instead. In that bracketed quiet, non-seeking space lies freedom, always available, most often overlooked—this thought-free, care-free space.
Thoughts of the problem, “my” problem, will arise again. Let them be like passersby. Now, look again.
If there is an idea of others and a world out there, there will inevitably and unavoidably always be a problem perceived. It is the same process in apparent problem-making as the process of problem-dissipating. What is attended to, or not attended to, defines the experience.
Look again. The whole system thrives beyond and around these thoughts. There is only attention to this or to that, and believing that this or that is true. Projection creates the perception of appearances. Attention to appearances creates experience, and ideas proliferate from there.
It is ALL MIND. Know this; see this. The world of appearances moves on. It cannot ever be fixed or framed by your/my ideas because you/me, yourself/myself are an idea, also not fixed.
Problems are loci of attention, scenes written for the play, the Grand Illusion, to which rapt attention is given. Fixed attention, preoccupation, results in the experience of fixedness, like a film strip in a frozen projector. “This problem is all there is!” But then it moves on, as everything does.
Separation may be the experience, but is it true? It feels and looks real, but so do dreams, when you’re in them. Attention to lines of demarcation, to differences, can only make it appear to be so, but cannot and does not make it what it is not.
Inseparability is the Mind of and as the squirrel, the wind, the sun. Visible all around the ideas of you and others, like a multicolored oil slick that can only exist as oil and water and light mingle together.
Separation is a curious apparition in the midst of inseparability. Look now and see the Whole that is always here, and you and your ideas have nothing to do with Its absolute existence, but everything to do with its obscuration.
This timeless, nameless place of stillness is the original and abiding immunity that is here behind the fear and façade of illness and death.
“With not even a trace of self-doubt
You can trust the Universe completely.
All at once you are free,
With nothing left to hold onto.
All is empty, brilliant,
Perfect in its own being.”
~ The Mind of Absolute Trust, by Seng-ts’an
Determine what can be trusted and what is wholly unreliable. Spend time attending to the silence behind all the noise. Like the virus, thought needs a host, a place to land, to make something happen. They do not, in fact nothing, exists in isolation.
Is there a thought you can trust? Don’t look to appearances. They are evidence of the thought projected. Cart. Horse. Why am I not getting anywhere?
What I want to convey here is that there is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with the world. There is a way of seeing this, and thus a way of being.
To what do you attend?