“And yet, even as I speak, Subhuti, I must take back my words as soon as they are uttered, for there are no Buddhas and there are no teachings.”
Buddha, Diamond Sutra
I’ve been reading several blogs and other writings aimed at spiritual seekers who have everything laid out so clearly. They have the map to spiritual enlightenment all put together ready for mass consumption. They say things like you are Pure Consciousness or Pure Awareness.
All the concepts are lined up ready to be taught by the bearded guru and gobbled up by the next willing namaste-wielding student greedy for the big E. Here, let the Kunjed Gyalpo metaphorically kick the spiritual-seeker-in-you in the balls (if you’ll forgive my sexism):
“The sphere of the experience of the Buddhas is not something that is found by seeking it…Thus [those who seek it] are like a blind man trying to grasp the sky…”
Woah! Lots of blind men according to old Kunjed then…The problem is that none of these maps and spiritual systems are (ultimately) true, none of them! Yes, you are THAT, but THAT is not consciousness or anything else.
That is not to say these teachings are not useful. They surely are useful, very useful sometimes, but only for as long as they are useful. Then they become a problem, a sticking ground, a source of conflict and argument. Then these concepts need to be thrown away. Consciousness, awareness, no-mind, Mind, Tao, Love…wonderful stuff…then chuck ’em away when they have served their purpose.
YOU CANNOT GET THIS! YOU CANNOT GET THIS!
I should subtext this with a (no bold, no caps, no repetition): you do not need to get this either. (Phew! What a relief not to have all these concepts and spiritual systems to defend!)
There really is nothing to get. There is no ultimate understanding. That is not to say that there is no ultimate understanding though or that there is no need for sadhana (spiritual practice). Sadhana is often ‘needed’, or rather apparently needed…hmmm…this can’t really be expressed.
I really don’t know how (or if) it can be conveyed, but from time to time people do ‘get it’ nonetheless. And there is no need for IT to be conveyed. I don’t really understand how it all works to tell the truth, but hey ho, it doesn’t matter as it ‘transmits itself’, relatively speaking (it doesn’t really as there’s no sense of transmission or needing to transmit either…).
Maybe, after all, the vedic rishis (sages) knew better than me! (LOL) ‘You are That’ is a pretty good way of saying it, but it’s only a pointer, as is you are Pure Consciousness which is actually not true, but is a great instruction for sadhana (which has the aim of lessening the vasanas (habitual mental tendencies).
That’s probably why the great rishis went on about Brahman and not Chit (Consciousness). Brahman is beyond Sat, Chit and Ananda, as all the great Hindu sages pointed out (cf. Kena Upanishad to Bhagavad Gita, from Buddha to Ramana, Jnaneshwar and Nisargadatta just to name a few).
“These three attributes, Sat, Chit, and Ananda
(Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss),
Do not actually define Brahman.”
Amritanubhav by Jnaneshwar
The Ultimate Truth is not really a truth at all, not in the way we normally use the word ‘truth’. It just is what it is. I AM THAT I AM. No sense of self. A sense of life-presence, in the waking state at least.
A sense of stillness and movement, co-existing, in union, without separation, free-falling, totally free and without choice, ever-changing, deathless and timeless. All these descriptions are true-ish, which means they are not true, and therefore wrong and misleading. It cannot be got by seeking or not-seeking.
THE BAD NEWS: There is no way to IT
THE GOOD NEWS: there is no need for a way to something that already and always IS (or, as the rishis said, You Are That)