This is an older article of mine that I decided to repost. It is part of an email exchange between a person called Andy and myself. I thought it would be nice to hear things from a different voice. It picks up on themes that people might find interesting and useful.
I cannot remember exactly when I first encountered Andy only that it was a number of years ago, when I was more prone to visit and respond in forums. Over the years, Andy and I have corresponded via email on various topics relating to enlightenment. When I say corresponded, Andy is more the type that would write every few months or so with an inquiry, then I would not hear from him again for a considerable period of time. In other words it was not like a daily or weekly correspondence. That is just Andy’s nature which is neither a good thing or bad thing. Some people prefer more contact, others prefer less and either is ok, as long as in their own way they are persisting until there is no further need to persist. What I am trying to say is that this whole seeking business is a horses for courses affair where there will be great variance between one seeker and the next.
Recently, Andy contacted me with a question and what immediately follows is his inquiry and then my response. My response below is not a line by line facsimile of what I sent Andy, rather it is more in summary form, and I have added a few little things that may or may not be beneficial to seekers. Anyway, over to Andy to kick things off:
“I’ve been noticing certain thoughts which seem to be related. I thought it was just the desire to keep seeking but it seems to be a bit more than that and it manifests as such things like the desire to be heard or to be right and it’s what drives the internal dialog that periodically insists on reaffirming what I think I know. Every time it arises, I can see it for what it is and it dissipates very quickly on its own. It’s very subtle but it keeps appearing and I wondered if you had any advice for that one.”
My response was along the lines of that the desire to be “right” is one of those concepts that has a firm grip on many seekers. Much of the whole seeking business is about the need to be “right”. However, in this particular case, I made a point of highlighting that the need to be right was dissipating quickly and therefore there was no semblance of being caught in the right/wrong paradigm. I also pointed out that sometimes when browsing Facebook or forums and I see something written about enlightenment, which really has nothing to do with enlightenment, that the thought or desire to set the record straight appears in consciousness. That the thought appears is not a problem in that it arises and dissipates of its own accord. What is missing for all intents and purposes is the bind to the thought and it is the same with emotions and desires. They arise just as they always have, except there is no longer a bind or getting too caught up in them. Point being what was/is occurring for Andy is not out of place, and as time goes on; he may likely find less and less personal investment/ego investment occurring.
Sometimes it is good to hear things in a different voice and a different mode of expression. Andy expresses not getting too caught up in things well in his following response:
Yes, you’re right. It’s really not a problem. It’s because everything that has been arising recently has been so subtle that something as gross as this seemed to be bigger than it was. Silly really.
I think this email is part of that same affirmation process but I just felt the need to share what is happening to me with you as it is quite extraordinary and yet so natural at the same time.
I remember years ago you introduced me to the quote: “Seeking enlightenment is like searching for an ox – whilst riding the ox.”
Well, for the first time I really get it and not just intellectually, I’m experiencing it. From moment to moment, it’s like my mind (or awareness? Not sure of the word) is perpetually in its default state. From time to time little “indications” may appear (which I’m assuming is akin to intuition). There is absolutely no need to raise a thought about these indications. They can just be acted on or not and that’s fine. Sometimes it’s like watching a slideshow, a slideshow of indications, and I follow them or not but there is no concept behind them. They cannot be seen or grasped. They just appear.
But then a thought may arise which decides it wants to analyse the indication or make a judgement on it. The thought is seen so plainly and it is so obviously unneeded that it just dissipates – unless I choose to indulge it – but that’s the point, the thought is an “extra” step that happens after the event – a little bit of fun if you like – and I can allow my mind to go there or not, I’m not caught up in it.
As an example, you said something to me a while ago and whilst I was walking in Regent’s Park it suddenly made sense but all it was a feeling. Not like one of those feelings in your stomach, much more subtle but it was a realizing. But that was it. And then a split second afterwards, the mind tried to kick in and I felt my inner dialogue wanting to be heard where it would literally say to itself: “Oh, now I know what he’s talking about” or something like that but before it kicked in, it was seen to be unnecessary and it just dissipated. The realizing was left natural and concept-free.
The thought process is like watching a lovely sunset and having to keep saying; “Oh, nice colours, ooh, look at that horizon, ah, pink and purple…” It’s just needless chatter over and above the watching of a sunset.
Like I said, it’s extraordinary but it is so plain and natural. The mind is still eager to look here and there of course – to do things – but at last, I’m aware that I’m sitting on the ox and I always have been.
This is, as you said, wonderful. I no longer need to “get somewhere”. The idea of trying to get enlightened just doesn’t make any sense anymore. It’s just more chatter about the future.
LOL. What a foolish game all that seeking is. 🙂
The only other thing I would add to this pertains to Andy’s last statement of the foolish game of seeking. Of course, it is the silliest thing after the fact, but it is after the fact and not before from a seekers perspective.