GUEST POST by jrbarch: There is a longing inside of every human being that we do not know how to label consensually. We call it the search for joy, contentment, clarity, knowledge, divinity, wholeness, truth, love-wisdom. No matter the label assigned, it is the same thing. But we cannot clarify the meaning this label masks. Mind jumps in, and like a used-car salesman announces, brashly: “Boy have I got a solution for you”. In this day and age, the solution is the political-economy, science, entertainment, and materialism – and there is nothing wrong with any of these, if manifest in harmony with and background to, existence. But mind has never been able to solve our quest. Our societies have never been able to fulfil our quest. Because it is the heart that needs to be fulfilled – not the mind. Mind will always be restless, creative, inquisitive, and have more questions than answers. The heart seeks but one answer, its focus is singular; and within that one answer, all other questions are resolved.
I know that Krishnamurti looked at this longing and spoke about one manifestation of it – the search for security – CERTAINTY – in a world that atom by atom is forever changing and evolving, and ends in form corruption, dysfunction, and death. He looked at the human basics of our longing for security, very honestly. As did Buddha.
How its ultimate expression (after temporal dominance and recognition) is the desire for egoistic immortality; hence the ‘guarantee’ of the religions, jumping in just like mind does with a promise to the ‘I’ that it will endure, in ‘heaven’, under the watchful eye of a loving G.O.D. Of course, in heaven each religion will have its own partition, where they can feel they are the most important. Just like children like the idea of Santa Claus.
So, you accept this as your Authority: – or, if you are mentally tough, you assert the opposite as your authority. Either way, the ‘I’ wants to feel secure – certain. However, very few people wish to actually know, how to get to the bottom of this universal longing which is an integral part of their being; and are unaware it is the engine and motivational energy, that drives them through every moment of their life.
Most people believe they are their (conditioned) minds. Mind needs to be appeased. But the truth is we are bottomless pits that need to be filled – and no matter how much of the world we stuff into our mouths, hypnotise ourselves with entertainment, stuff knowledge into our brains, or study the political-economy or gorillas in a wet rain forest – the longing remains; the search, the quest, is as relentless as the breath is supportive.
Not wishing to take responsibility for their own existence, people love to bind themselves to some authority outside of them, once again like children – here, you be responsible, and I will complain if you get it wrong. Or bind themselves to some identity outside of them: – ‘I am Australian, I am a bus-driver, I am a husband, father and brother; wife, mother and sister’. Forgetting these are just roles we play on a limited stage, from which we try to extract identity. We are so much more than the ‘I’ – but have no clue. Clearly, people are not willing to treat the ‘I’ as just a wave in the mindstuff – fearing they will lose their sense of self, and descend into chaos.
‘I do not know’ seems to be the hardest thing to say; ‘I must take responsibility for my own existence’ even harder. We seem to prefer to be each other’s crutches, each other’s blindfold; the primary reason blogs exist? We entrap ourselves to one another, and our institutions and ultimately the society. The life is owned, bought and sold. Teenagers think they are different if they change the colour of their hair. Megalomaniacs want to rule over human stupidity. The ‘I’ swells to gigantic (diseased) proportions. Following Marx or Keynes is no different to following a Prophet in this sense. We abrogate our existence to something or someone outside of ourselves. As Krishnamurti says: – “A few golden balls are rolled through the world, and most chase them ….”
So, because we seek security, and are riddled with fear and doubt, and still hope to find solace in an authority outside of ourselves – we have priests – on both sides of the argument. People are strong only because they are deluded, and do not recognise the crutches, propping them up. S. Hussein ended up hiding in a hole in the ground. These priests are not fools – they know exactly how to exploit us; how to ‘guide’. All of the world is a religion and religion is all of the world, and it is cloned from generation to generation. Where is the priest of a religion that will tell you – you do not need a broker or a religion; or a worldly priest you do not need (s)he or the world? Will tell you the truth – your existence has nothing to do with the world, or the religion. With or without the society – you are alive – that is your most fundamental truth. Do you understand what it means to be alive?
Both society and religion are, in the end, peripheral, circumstantial, belief systems – external to your existence. Your responsibility for your existence , your integrity and independence, increment by increment, as you have grown up and been conditioned by the world, has been abrogated to somebody else, or something else; although I know no-one likes to look at it. Thus the blind lead the blind around and around the desert. Who is there among the priests to tell you to win back your own territory and begin YOUR journey anew. That you did not come into this world to fulfil your society but you came into this world to fulfil your quest: – the society comes second if you like, if you want to order your priorities. You came, to deal with your existence as it is; to find your own two feet beyond the Age you live in. To find out what it means to be human and to discover the treasure you carry inside. Or do we, like good little social robots – acquiesce. What do our ‘leaders’ do with human lives?
Living in the world, we get caught up in all of the political and economic arguments, the religions and art movements; human sweat blood and tears, miasma and fiasco, labour and human effort. Organisations and institutions take us over. We slave at their coalface and forget how to think for ourselves. We are conditioned, nay, TOLD we are social beings. That the society is far above the individual. Not that you are a proud independent being, absolutely divine in nature, and must lift the bar to your own evolution, your own path; plumb your own existence to its ultimate depths. Your heart will tell you this – mind is used to being a slave. The word ‘science’ means knowledge, and we hope through knowledge to become sane and happy human beings. But knowledge is not compassion or Love. Knowledge can create untold misery and has never been able to bring peace to the mind, or love to the heart.
We are told by the education system to be little Genghis Khans, or Alexanders – take your sword and go out and conquer the world. HA! ‘Empty-handed I came into this world ……. Like a fool, I wasted my one chance of Life.
We substitute pleasure for love as a quick fix, but that doesn’t work. We want to bring about economic, social and political changes in the world, but we do not wish to transform ourselves, which is the only way such changes are possible. Is that too simple? We are hypnotised, dazzled, befuddled by the world.
Like a razor, death cuts us off abruptly from the world; terminates and recycles us, absolutely, impersonally. Everything that we cling onto for security must be abandoned. Our brains are not conditioned to handle this reality. All education leads us away from our existence; not towards it. Love and death, says Krishnamurti, are like sister and brother. The brother wishes you to be detached, the sister wishes you simply to Love. There is no school for love. Love walks only where there is freedom. Love is a seed, planted in the heart, which must be watered to grow. Love is existence and you are existence. Only you can water this seed, perhaps with a little bit of gardening advice, if you can find it in this desertic world.
Inside of yourself, you are alone. Everyone spends all day long every day, avoiding this fundamental. No matter how many people you gather around you; the ‘hours you spend’ with your dearly beloved (at precipitous return)? You spend many more hours, every hour, with yourself; and you know in your heart of hearts you are alone – and yet crave not to be. The tower of circumstances and relationships we have built in the world, our little Tower of Babel, can come crashing down, and we see ourselves as we really are – vulnerable, reeling; not all that strong because we do not know our true strength. When this tower crashes we think that we have crashed because we bound our identity to it. We want to be secure, complete, whole within ourselves, content and free. Free to love and free to think; free to act and free to do no harm; free to breathe and be kind and generous, compassionate. Free enough to celebrate and enjoy being alive! Free enough to genuinely love humanity. Our lives on the other hand, are full of contracts, turmoil and pain, anxiety, violence, pettiness and mundanity – no matter how many books we read, or how engrossing our study. The world and Nations are run by madmen; corporate greed is insatiable. The contrast is maddening. The human heart cries out and who will listen?
No matter how socially elevated or sophisticated we may be, or luxury we surround ourselves with, daily life becomes a grind, without any meaning other than survival. As the body ages, it becomes more susceptible to corruption, and the reality and finality, humility and emptiness of death looms. Our lives seem to stagnate. Then we die, truly empty handed. We are followers and follow something or someone in the world, for relief, or to keep us occupied. At times, for a few days, the sun may break through the clouds of darkness that seem to blanket our lives. We are tantalised by happiness. At times, we seek a friend, with whom we can sit down and talk about unresolved struggles. But, what is happening in Russia and China, Syria, the world and its incessant stupid stupid history, is nothing as compared to what is happening in our hearts and minds. We are Masters of Distraction – anything to take the attention from ourselves. We are our greatest challenge and greatest enigma. For seventy laps around the sun, we are a question mark, a tail (?) looking for the lion that somehow lost it, in the desert. Looking for the courage to be alive. Looking to find our voice, our heart, in a world that is full of noise, and where nobody seems to care. Who accepts this challenge …..?
Because we place belief before life, concepts before life, circumstances and events before life – we are frozen in time and space – and so build temples of one kind or another; pyramids on Wall Street that one day too, will turn to dust. Who is strong enough in this world, to take back the authority we accede to the world; to lay the sword to their own beliefs and stand on their own two feet? To cut themselves free of the chains that they have bound themselves with. To say that I am a human being and my heart demands fulfilment. My truth is what I understand and experience for myself; and my truth is within me – the rest is hearsay. That truth does not come packaged in an institutional wrapper. Nor does science explain the truth about my existence – only my form; and it is often revised. That truth is not something outside of me. That all of the strength that I need, all of the courage, all of the clarity, and above all Love and Intelligence, Consciousness, is within me, if I can only lift the bar to my Gate. That the human heart holds the key.
We do not need leaders or followers – but people who understand their common humanity and individual responsibility to existence; their own and others. As nature intended. We should never let the mind organise truth for us. Mind weaves a web of deceit over everything, and if there is no Light within that web to illuminate it, then how will you know? It is something only the heart can experience and know. It is the heart that sees clearly.
I will leave you with a fragment of Krishnamurti’s simple ‘truth’. The ‘collective consciousness’ for Krishnamurti is not minds that may happen to agree, to dream the same societal dream. It is awareness itself:
There was a man mending the road; that man was myself; the pickaxe he held was myself; the very stone which he was breaking up was a part of me; the tender blade of grass was my very being, and the tree beside the man was myself. I almost could feel and think like the road-mender, and I could feel the wind passing through the tree, and the little ant on the blade of grass I could feel. The birds, the dust, and the very noise were a part of me. Just then there was a car passing by at some distance; I was the driver, the engine, and the tyres; as the car went further away from me, I was going away from myself. I was in everything, or rather everything was in me, inanimate and animate, the mountain, the worm, and all breathing things. All day long I remained in this happy condition. I could not eat anything, and again at about six I began to lose my physical body, and naturally the physical elemental did what it liked; I was semi-conscious ….
…. I sat cross-legged in the meditation posture. When I had sat thus for some time, I felt myself going out of my body, I saw myself sitting down with the delicate tender leaves of the tree over me. I was facing the east. In front of me was my body and over my head I saw the Star, bright and clear. Then I could feel the vibrations of the Lord Buddha; I beheld Lord Maitreya and Master K.H. I was so happy, calm and at peace. I could still see my body and I was hovering near it. There was such profound calmness both in the air and within myself, the calmness of the bottom of a deep unfathomable lake. Like the lake, I felt my physical body, with its mind and emotions, could be ruffled on the surface but nothing, nay nothing, could disturb the calmness of my soul. The Presence of the mighty Beings was with me for some time and then They were gone. I was supremely happy, for I had seen. Nothing could ever be the same. I have drunk at the clear and pure waters at the source of the fountain of life and my thirst was appeased. Never more could I be thirsty, never more could I be in utter darkness. I have seen the Light. I have touched compassion which heals all sorrow and suffering; it is not for myself, but for the world. I have stood on the mountain top and gazed at the mighty Beings. Never can I be in utter darkness; I have seen the glorious and healing Light. The fountain of Truth has been revealed to me and the darkness has been dispersed. Love in all its glory has intoxicated my heart; my heart can never be closed. I have drunk at the fountain of Joy and eternal Beauty. I am God-intoxicated.
# … some nice reading: Splitting the Arrow – Understanding the business of Life Prem Rawat
1500 Yen – also available on Amazon (in support of the message of peace Prem will be delivering at many public events this year).