A favorite story of mine is one of the many told about a humorous character believed to have lived in the Middle Ages—a Sufi mystic and philosopher by the name of Mullah Nasruddin. It seems that one day the mullah lost the key to his house, and he decided to call all his friends together so that they could engage in a mass search for it. When they all gathered, he led them to the busiest of all the local markets. In one of the most densely trafficked areas, he got down on his hands and knees and began to search in every corner for the key. The others diligently followed suit until, finally, one of his friends looked up and asked, “Mullah, is this where you lost your key?”
“No,” the mullah immediately replied, “but I thought this would be the best place to look because it’s so well lit.”
Here you see an example of intellect attempting to author it’s own version of a separate life. We see it everyday and believe that even in the stupidity of a conclusion “it’s so well lit” that we should try other separate conclusions as a solution. And what we will get is more of the same that we always have. You can look at the world today with all of it’s conflicts and see this approach in action. How is that working for everyone?
But awakening is different from life as we live it now, a life separated assertively by intellect. It follows then that any assertion about awakening could hardly be called linear, constructed or even organized. Wisdom is simply an emergence from the experience of awakening, pointing back at itself for those that resonate with this set of pointers. Many will attempt to intellectually analyze and criticize the construction of these pointers. And if this were an exercise in philosophy they would be well-placed. However, the seeking path is not an exercise in philosophy. The very nature of non-duality is, that all there is, is consciousness. There is no parsing, no defining, no separating involved in the seeking path. Pointers are simply a replacement of our assumptive unconscious habitual insistence that the individual intellect somehow autonomously controls and drives our lives. And those replacements are jettisoned as assuredly as the identified conditioning that led to their use.
Some time back as I sat on a heat drenched patio on California summer day, a young man asked me the difference between pointers and intellectual conclusions. I proposed to him that the thing we would most like in that moment would be a pool of fresh cool water standing nearby. And were that the case we might likely simply jump into it and enjoy that moment of revealed ecstasy as our bodies wallowed in that glorious instant. This would be akin to a pointer. No words, construction or analysis necessary, simply a jump in the water. However, if upon noticing that such a water hole were near, we embarked on a conversation about water and it’s viscosity we would be entering the world of intellectual conclusions. Notice many times we aren’t even able to simply enjoy such a moment of an innate pointer. For immediately upon jumping in the water we feel compelled to construct a motive as to why. Really? But alas we do exactly that most of the time.
As you read through pointer based concepts you are likely to experience high levels of frustration. It’s likely that your mind and ego will whine and criticize by pointing out “You should write this in a way I understand. After all I am the audience.” What is happening here is that you are asking for awakening to be reduced to separation in writing.
Since awakening is both applied and non-separate, non dual if you will, such writing simply will never exist. And here is the chance to understand some things about the seeker’s journey. It is hard and challenging. You are being invited to move into your natural place in existence. And the path and its approaches have never been in your experience. Further ‘who you think you are’ is simply an assumption. But it’s a powerful one embedded in every aspect of life as you have known it until now. In fact, you might notice that you will make it my fault or Buddha’s fault that you don’t understand. Audiences are so sure they need to be written to, that they are in an assumptive state that that is the case. So see your own whining as an invitation or pointer to look deeper within yourself. Get past your self absorption that ‘you’, an assumption in action, is so important that awakening should be delivered to you. That simply won’t happen. When it’s delivered it will be noticed that you aren’t even there.
Nisargadatta used to say that seekers display an earnestness. That is to say that they are undaunted by the challenge of the unknown. For years I would read the masters and not understand much and I attended gatherings of the masters and understood even less. But I couldn’t stay away. Seekers are given this as the one attribute to engage in the journey.
Awakening is an invitation that beckons you. You will be constantly challenged to accept that invitation as it doesn’t look like one we normally would see. The seeker’s path pays no attention to your ego or engages in its coddling. And believe it or not, those who are dedicated to holding the space for awakening want nothing more than for you to understand. What you will read in this primer is as simple as it can be. It also is completely foreign, as a way of being, to those who are called to its service. You will be incessantly asked in an experiential way if you really want to be a seeker. And you will be courted by the dead bodies littered at every step along the path. Quitters seem to be gifted with creating new assumptions, as idiotic as the old ones, and selling them in snake oil bottles. Just look for the promises of ‘easy’ and ‘immediate’. Try a few and see if you feel deeply satisfied. Awakening pointers are like a pair of jeans. Try them on. If you don’t like them, go back to your old pair.
These words may seem harsh and uncaring to you. And to the ego they probably are. But love and clarity live perfectly together. This is simply a sage’s love to deliver clarity to you in your journey. That is a pointer you can start with right now. If you hold love and clarity as separate then all else will live in separation as well.
So now with all that serious crap out of the way, let me give you a another little pointer. Remember Einstein said that a problem can’t be solved from the dimension that created it? I remember that too. But there’s more. Until a way is seen from that new place it will seem like an absurdity. Yep, it will feel stupid. So go with that. Let it be moronically stupid. The seeker’s path is a great place to bring a sense of humor and even wallow in it. You know, like sliding in the mud? When you don’t get something you can get pissed off. Or you can giggle at the stupidness of what you have read. Often between the gales of laughter the pointer becomes clear.
All that is happening here is that you have a normal way of viewing the world, a stock story. From the place called “me”. What if you didn’t exist and you found out that someone else was looking through your eyes? Then you found out that same someone else was looking through everyone’s eyes at the same time? And then you recognized that this someone else was actually your deepest self? That would be a fucking hoot. You could say that when you thought you were just an individual that you were seeing everything as a small dream. Your dream. Now you find out that you are looking through everyone’s eyes at the same time. I guess we could call that the big dream. Awakening goes a little further than that, but that is the first step. So whenever you get pissed off, don’t come hunting down an old taco eater in California. It costs way too much. Just ask yourself how it would be if you were in the big dream. Because all of the pointers are an attempt to have you move there.
So be relentless and never give up. And when that feels serious and you get pissed off, it’s time for humorous absurdity. Relentless absurdity is the path. Ready?