To Know or not to Know or Unknown?

I was reading the book Bearing Witness by Bernie Glassman this morning and came upon this statement – As soon as we know something, we prevent something else from happening. When we live in a state of knowing, rather than unknowing, we’re living in a fixed state of being where we can’t experience the endless unfolding of life, one thing after another.

Many causes create an effect – a known fact when you observe the play of the mind frequently. When I put something into linear, I prevent the reality of nature to come to my vision. Nature is non-linear. It has been proven in quantum physics that  past, present and future does not occur in sequence as what we normal know. When I bring knowing into my space, I collapse what is truly outside there into a flat experience. How then can I know what is Truth?

The work of the mind is know. In Buddhism, the basic nature of consciousness is know. In my early blog I mentioned that the mind can’t not know as a stand alone experience as it comes together with a knowing – you know you do not know. That’s the nature of the mind. And when I am blind to the limitation of this function I prevent myself from exploring the future what is right in front of me. My ability to recognize this function and to move beyond it is wisdom at work. Wisdom is impersonal and has the capacity of looking at things in many many different perspective.

Wisdom too has knowing as an end result. If given choice I would use the word understanding instead. Wisdom brings about understanding. And from understanding I know the situation. Knowing is a second symbol of understanding. Knowing has memory as its base. If I don’t stop recognize this, I end the journey of understanding and instead fixed myself in knowing. Knowing is dead. Wisdom is alive. There is nothing wrong with knowing – in fact knowing allows me to probe deeper, to question what I really know, to enter into the unknown with inquisitiveness and curiosity. But when I don’t recognize the limitation of knowing, I outgrow my capacity of being open, of being humane – of being wise.

I just realized an extra K on the word Now makes a world of difference between Now and Know. When I am aware I am in the Now. When I am not aware I am in the Know. Awareness has the capacity of possibilities, allowing wisdom and understanding to arise. Know has the incapacity – limiting, flattening and collapsing everything in its way.

New Year Resolution – who cares?

I asked a friend two days ago what will be her resolution for next year and she replied exactly as what I have heard before from anyone else, including my own inner chattering – it never last and it happened the same each year and thus there is no reason to do it anymore.

That sentence (though I have heard it umpteen times before as every new year approach) at that moment brought a new understanding to why everyone, including myself, failed in resolutions.

When we make resolution we wish for an experience that we do not have. Experience is an effect of causes we nurtured for it to happened. Many causes create one experience, like the germination of a seed is dependent on light, water, soil etc. When we fail to give those causes attention, but instead keep trying to create the effect, which in truth is futile, we are only creating something without any foundation, awaiting to collapse.

It is wise to be reminded that I don’t get what I want. What I immediately get from want is dis-ease, though it may not be obvious to me at that point of time while engrossing myself in my pursuit of want. Whatever I get or whatever I have in life is not derived from want. Accurately speaking, what I have is derived from causes that lead to the effect of what is for me. It is not my want that brought me to have but the nurturing of causes that resulted it.

My failure in seeing this truth fails me further when I don’t see result in my resolution. Instead of seeing this truth, I am blinded to think that I am a failure in keeping resolution and this wrong thought kept me away from making other resolutions, depriving me further from improving myself.

I have missed the mark all the while. I have bark on the wrong tree. How could I possibly achieve what I resolved if what I begin is not in total alignment with Nature, with Truth? I give importance to what is inessential, oblivious to what is essentially important for the manifestation of my resolution. It is not that I am weak in keeping resolution but rather I do not understand how the mind works. Everything comes into fruition when there is right understanding.

Dream and Awake – are both the same?

Many Masters equate life as a dream, an illusion, as maya. Is it just an analogy to convey their understanding of life or is it truly their first hand experience in seeing life as unreal? If it is truly an experience, how does it feels? What is it like to be brought face to face with the stark reality of the unrealness of life – a vast contradiction to what one unquestionably took for granted as real and tangible?

Many years ago I remembered waking up from bed one early morning, with my dream still going on in my head. In normal situation, as in anybody else, the dream will end when one wakes up from it but it did not happened in this case. Both the dream and the so-called reality of that moment occurred hand-in-hand simultaneously, in real time, so to speak. It is as if I was neither in the dream or in the reality but standing between both the experiences, allowing me observe and realized that the dream is like the reality and the reality is like the dream. I can’t differentiate which is real or unreal, but yet I knew for certain at that time what I call real is not truly real. It is like a mirage.

It is not possible for you to imagine what is it like if you have not experience it before. In normal case, the dream will be totally replaced by the reality of our wakefulness, defined by our awareness of the bedroom and the objects around it, including the walls and the floor, and we have an inkling that a dream has just occurred. But consider that just a few moments ago, prior to your waking up, the surrounding reality of that moment is real – everything – without you having or needing to question its validity. Do you call that moment a dream or only when you got out of it? What is dream then? Is it real – as real as you reading the blog now?

We call an experience a dream when 1) it disappeared from the seemingly reality of the present, and 2) the contrast of the present makes what just occurred unreal. When an event have both these criteria, the mind automatically interpretes the experience as a dream. You may have in your lives experience a certain passing event like a dream, as unreal, though you really knew it did occur. Why? Because the mind recognizes the two criteria and thus the meaning of dream came popping up in your head.

Why don’t the mind labels any immediate passed experience, a dream? It is because it does not give an impression of disappearance. On the contrary, it seems to continue into the present, making no contrast to what has just happened. Since both criteria is not met, the only meaning the mind could register is – real, as opposite to unreal, or dream. There are no grey shades except white or black in the eyes of the mind. The mind sees either good or bad, right or wrong, but never in between. It sees only one at a time, not simultaneously. When it sees right, at that moment it can’t sees wrong. Do you observe that?

In other words the mind cannot experience contrast at one given moment – opposites cannot come together at one time. The mind cannot be experiencing anger and non-anger at the same time. Neither can it experience joy and non- joy at the same moment.

Yet, wisdom has the capacity of doing so. When wisdom arise, it allows introspection on the immediate experience, together with its contrast or opposite, simultaneously, delivering a complete picture to what is occurring in the present moment, thus enabling deeper understanding to arise. This occurrence always arise in the now. It is introspective and never retrospective or prospective.

The ability to experience simultaneous dreaming and so-called awake state is the working of wisdom, allowing me to see the contrast of both which naturally encourages deep understanding to arise – to see them as real and also unreal, depending on which perspective understanding is coming from.

When you are with sound, are you with silence?