Living The Question
I recently listened to a dialogue between a very earnest and long term meditator and spiritual teacher that went went straight to the heart of something very key on the living experience of knowing one’s true nature. It has been said that this is the last stage on the path and therefore the last pitfall or distraction as it were. It nearly brought me to tears (in a good way) it hit so hard; after the sensation of the experience of universal consciousness in the body faded, it raised a profound meditative questions about living from the heart. This question, this living question, is encapsulated by the term Anandamaya kosha. This translates roughly as “Bliss [as] Illusion Sheath”.
If all is spiritual, as it must be if the word means anything, and nothing is separate, then all one experiences is part of that, is spiritual, no matter what the experience. In a sense, the word has no meaning, since nothing is not spiritual. You could just as well say “nothing is spiritual”. For the word to have any meaning, it must distinguish something. What it discriminates is this: fact from belief. It is that simple. It discriminates, moment to moment, facts of Reality, and not changeable appearance, fleeting illusion, the phenomenon of experience, that which comes and goes. So what remains, what is always here, present, Real, now, eternal? Is the bliss of that Real? That is the living question.
The experience of the Self as human experience as Love (via the heart, feelingness), as Truth (via the mind), and as Beauty (via the senses) as echoes of Reality in the bodymind, itself are merely shadows of the infinite Self, and thus not to be pursued as objects to yield Happiness as if they were the eternal we are.
“God is no farther away than the door of the heart” ~ Meister Eckhart
The question that eventually came up — a question I realized I’d been living — was this: how is “follow your heart” not pursuit of an object, not a phenomenal and not a noumenal experience? Yes, follow your heart, yet that itself is changeable in the sense that love, as heart-feeling, is phenomenal, just as truth is phenomenal as a mind-experience-shadow-of-Reality, and beauty is phenomenal as a sense experience shadow of the Absolute.
In writing about this and from it, I picked another “random non-random” quote: the intuition was to pick up Jean Klein’s book Living Truth. It opened to this dialogue:
“If everybody in the world was in the state of oneness and suchness, would there be any need for existence, for life?
There would be only dancing.
I thought you would say that. So actually our essential nature is that and this is a gift from Nature to us to have fun and play.
As a child plays.
Is the reason for taking good care of the body simply so that you can play with it?
Is work play?
Yes. Working is playing, but we put too much weight on the word “work.”
You have really gone to the core of the whole thing! …
We were speaking of earnestness. Is earnestness when you no longer think that happiness lies in a certain person or object?
By earnest we mean seeing facts as they are without controlling them, without interfering with them. Being earnest is seeing facts. You can only see facts from the undivided mind. When the mind is split in pain and pleasure, positive and negative, one cannot say it is an honest way of looking at things.
When you’re in the state or non-state, does it illuminate the need for a psyche?
There is no more psychic living. You simply function.”
~ Jean Klein, from Living Truth, p. 208
It is not the shadow, it is not dead, it is the livingness Now, of what is alive, real, natural, without borders or boundaries – seamless, intimate, free and independent.
It is not against anything – such as what is unnatural – it is for everything … because it Is everything.
It is a living question, as the answer is the living now, the only true livingness there is, of life itself, the Unknown.
This is the real “Self-inquiry”.