To exist or not to exist?

The word “existence” has been bugging me for quite awhile and to express what is in mind brought me to the phrase of the Tao Te Ching:

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.

Hmm… what I am going to share here has no meaning other than the finger pointing to the moon. Not the moon as yet but the pointing is already relevant to its purpose:)

It is incorrect to ask whether to exist or not to exist, as it is beyond my choice or your choice to said that. Existence is an effect and thus cannot be altered. In other words, we can’t choose either except to look into the causes that created existence. Again it is about conditioning as it is the conditioning that brought about existence. Conditioning leads to existence. No conditioning, no existence. Period.

Understanding the limitation of the mind, by default, we tend to equate Ego and God, or Samsara and Nibbana (Buddhist) for Existence and Non-existence. There is a tendency to see Existence as Conditioned and Non-existence as Unconditioned. It is of no wonder the  idea of suicide exist as one thinks that by dying everything ends.

We understand what is existence, as we all are! What about non-existence? Imagine a fish existing in water. Remove the fish out from the water. Does the fish still exist? It may not be a good analogy to depict non-existence but the point here is that non-existence is a sort of existence. It is just the opposite side of the coin of existence – it can’t be separated, so to speak. Existence and non-existence co-exist together – it is a matter of which side you are in, for instance, solitude and noise – both are happening in the mind simultaneously. When you are enjoying solitude, you are already abhoring noise – but not obvious to you at that time simply because there is no noise as yet.

So when condition is appropriate for the opposite of existence to arise, which we call it as  non-existence, one will be propelled to experience the contrast of existence – the so-called non-existence. So non-existence is an experience. What is it? I can’t tell except for you to experience it! But what is important here to know is that non-existence is not Unconditional. It is a state. A conditioned.

It is interesting to note that Enlightenment, or Unconditional, in Buddhism, is neither existence nor non-existence. It is beyond both.

So the question to exist or not to exist is still within existence. The more appropriate question will be conditioned or unconditioned, or, duality or non-separation?

When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so the male will not be male and the female will not be female… then you will enter the Kingdom.
– Yeshua


What is mind except conditionings? And when we said conditioning it also means that everything has its own peculiar way of arriving at. Let’s look at two variation of conditioning.

1. Conditioning of intention.
Intention instantaneously creates result. When our intention is desiring, the conditioning that follows is not getting. It may sound contradictory but as I look deeper into my heart I start to see the truth of it. For instance, “I desire love because I don’t have love”. So if I have set the intention of “I don’t have love” I can’t replace my thought as having any, no matter how I look for it as that is the exact meaning I tell myself. Even though love may come straight at my doorstep I can’t see it as love as my intention is set as “I don’t have love”. Many a time relationship fails because we have set the meaning wrongly within our hearts and start looking for it outside. How can it be possible? It is like loosing your keys at home and going out under the streetlight looking for it. Surely you will never find one, no matter how hard you try. Impossible. Why? Because we ignorantly believe the views or ideas that pop up in the mind and follow to its doom blindly. In other words, an unquestion beginning is the journey of suffering.

When I look for love outside I can be sure I have not understood myself deeply. What happened if I thought I can truly find my love outside? I am simply lying to myself, a self-betrayal, cheating myself by not listening what is within me that is right. In truth there is no such a thing as self-betrayal but because I ignore the truth, the ignorance itself is a betrayal towards my own divinity. I suffer unnecessary though in truth that suffering is only real due to our illusional betrayal as like we have gotten into the dream. When we wake up from the dream, no matter how painful, we realized it was unreal. But how many of us managed to get out from the dreams soon enough to recognize it as unreal? Many took lifetimes, maybe a thousand, a hundred thousand, many took years, many took months, many took days, few took moments – to come to that point of awakening. The longer it takes, the longer we are in the suffering dream, cheating ourselves again and again. Whatever it is, the conditioning of the mind will take place exactly as it should be, no more no less, whether we believe it or not.
In due time because of our deep ignorant belief of “I don’t have love” mentality, I would see the relationship as “not for me”, “should not be like this”, “he or she is cheating me” etc. How could it be possible that love can be found outside you? In the same way how is it be possible that freedom can be found outside you? Can suffering be found outside you – not possible unless you experience suffering in the meaning of others.  If there is such truth to what is outside then we are no longer a being of great potential, of power, of creator, of intention, of manifestation, for our beingness is dependent on something that is outside. It is like saying, I can’t eat until someone feed me. I can’t grow spiritually until someone grows me spiritually.  What a helpless remark that is in the space of a portrayed victim and self-abuser beyond our true essence. We are not master of our own. We become slave to our own mind. That makes a different between a dullard and a wise. And simply recognizing this truth and not allowing the ego or defilements to buy into us reinstate us back to a position of a master of our own destiny.

2. Conditioning of nature.
We can’t say I want the eyes to smell. Neither can I say I want the nose to see. They are specific conditioning of nature where there is no possibilities of overturning it. In the same way the mind too has it’s own sets of conditioning. When you want something, you are surely to “dont want” something of the same object. It comes hand in hand without any dispute. We can thus say that when we dont need anything, we surely need something of the same origin. For example – I don’t need you is to imply there is already a need going on in you over the person you don’t need. You wont even give a meaning to need if it does not arise in the first place. Do you say “I dont need you, stone?” “I don’t need you, sky?” Irrelevant. Because there is no specific need to it with you, you just allow it to be.  You only need it when you give a “special” relationship with it and YOU. So it is a natural law that when we give a meaning to our needs, we are bound to face the opposite in due time, within our reality which we perceived.

So what happens when I said I need you? I am implying that “I dont want you not to need me” The person has always been there, irrelevant whether we need or we dont need him or her. But when we truly beleive in our needs, in our thoughts, we see others as undermining our needs. It is like creating a shadow butterfly with our hands and took the butterfly for real. We say “You don’t love me”, “You resist me”, “You are running away from me” The proportion of our experience is equivalent to the proportion we held on to our need. The more we need someone to response, the more we felt betrayed when the person “dont response” But all this is happening in our mind. As J puts it – we play with our toys and make it real that it frightens us. So the delusional intensity of our experience outside equates to the intensity of the actual situation within. No one does anything to us except the continuous meaning and intensity we give to ourselves.

Now there are two games for us to play. There is no right and no wrong except consequences. If we keep looking outward which is actually a false reflection of what is really going on in us, we suffer as we are like chasing after the mirage which does not exist at all. That is the natural law of this particular conditioning. You can’t say I want to look outside and experience freedom. How can freedom be the foundation of falseness. Impossible. On the other hand when we look within instead, as my teacher puts it, by turning the radar inwards, we start to see the working of delusion and seeing it alone in this way is already the beginning of freedom – and this freedom multiples in many forms – freedom from pain, freedom from delusion, freedom from ignorance, freedom from ideas. And more importantly freedom to see that we are the creator of our own suffering, no more no less.

Do you observe that just one moment of choice creates multiple results? If we choose to look outside, we are gifted with multiple injuries – hurt, betrayal, rejection, unloved, trauma and more. In the same way when we choose to looking within we also create multiple results as mentioned above that comes with peace and freedom. From this perspective, the ball has, is and will always be in our court at every point of a moment, straight on, no more no less – we have a choice to turn it into freedom or turn it into bondage. This is the true meaning of karma – we begets what we creates. Karma is not about something outside there for us to heal or complete but what we have churned out in our mind and the need to complete it. It does not matter when but we have to finished the work WITHIN which we have left unfinished, whether eons of time or now. It is not about coming back to meet your enemy, or your love ones but it is about coming back to settle your INNER debt, the delusional self-betrayal you have gifted yourself. Someone outside there is just a symbol of what is in you. If you don’t see this truly you keep increasing the interest of your karmic debt.

Oh wise beings, you have all learnt and understood deeply this truth. Not to know and play this game is not as painful as to know and yet play the opposing game, against the stream of your understanding. When we don’t know how the mind works, we keep suffering and yet do not know why. But when we know the game and yet oppose it, we are in double conflict within – a two arrow instead of one – and for that we suffer more than those who are ignorant. Either way we suffer. It is only when you start taking responsibility of your mind that the undoing of the ego will accelerates or else to come back again and again to meet up the same pattern of suffering that you have not understood – a nightmare in its making.

I trust there are more conditioning pertaining to this world of existence, of delusion or maya. To stay afloat we need to persistently be wakeful and determine as to move upstream against the force of delusional self-betrayal. Let not your choice brings more suffering but instead freedom from bondage.