“If we set out into this darkness, we have to meet these inexorable
forces. We will have to face fears and doubts. We will have to call
into question the whole structure of our spiritual life. We will have
to make a new evaluation of our motives for belief, for love, for
self-commitment to the invisible God. And at this moment, precisely,
all spiritual light is darkened, all values lose their shape and
reality, and we remain, so to speak, suspended in the void.
The most crucial aspect of this experience is precisely the temptation
to doubt God himself. We must not minimize the fact that this is a
–Thomas Merton (CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER, page 77)
I know that I am presenting the solution in difficult terms, but there is nothing difficult in the Word of Truth. But since the Solution appeared so as not to leave anything hidden, but to reveal all things openly concerning existence – the destruction of evil on the one hand, the revelation of the elect on the other. This is the emanation of Truth and Spirit, Grace is of the Truth.
The Savior swallowed up death – (of this) you are not reckoned as being ignorant – for he put aside the world which is perishing. He transformed himself into an imperishable Aeon and raised himself up, having swallowed the visible by the invisible, and he gave us the way of our immortality. Then, indeed, as the Apostle said, “We suffered with him, and we arose with him, and we went to heaven with him”. Now if we are manifest in this world wearing him, we are that one`s beams, and we are embraced by him until our setting, that is to say, our death in this life. We are drawn to heaven by him, like beams by the sun, not being restrained by anything. This is the spiritual resurrection which swallows up the psychic in the same way as the fleshly.
But if there is one who does not believe, he does not have the (capacity to be) persuaded. For it is the domain of faith, my son, and not that which belongs to persuasion: the dead shall arise! There is one who believes among the philsophers who are in this world. At least he will arise. And let not the philosopher who is in this world have cause to believe that he is one who returns himself by himself – and (that) because of our faith! For we have known the Son of Man, and we have believed that he rose from among the dead. This is he of whom we say, “He became the destruction of death, as he is a great one in whom they believe.” Great are those who believe.
The thought of those who are saved shall not perish. The mind of those who have known him shall not perish. Therefore, we are elected to salvation and redemption since we are predestined from the beginning not to fall into the foolishness of those who are without knowledge, but we shall enter into the wisdom of those who have known the Truth. Indeed, the Truth which is kept cannot be abandoned, nor has it been. “Strong is the system of the Pleroma; small is that which broke loose (and) became (the) world. But the All is what is encompassed. It has not come into being; it was existing.” So, never doubt concerning the resurrection, my son Rheginos! For if you were not existing in flesh, you received flesh when you entered this world. Why will you not receive flesh when you ascend into the Aeon? That which is better than the flesh is that which is for (the) cause of life. That which came into being on your account, is it not yours? Does not that which is yours exist with you? Yet, while you are in this world, what is it that you lack? This is what you have been making every effort to learn.
–The treatise on the resurrection
Zen mind is the “Natural” state of our beings: No self, no identity, no memes, no beliefs.
Any idea of “what is” takes us away from what is – to be in the moment, all ideas need to be gone. There’s not even an “I” to have the ideas.
The natural being acts as an outcome of the movement of the universe, in the same way that an artist’s brush is moved by its “universe”.
All “teachings”, “spiritual” paths or “sacred” practices actually take us away from the moment, because it needs an “I” to do them, with an agenda of some kind, something to gain. All of which removes our beingness from the identity-free moment.
The only way that “what is” can be experienced is to lose all traces of self, in which case the “what is” can’t be experienced because there is no one there to experience it.
Any description of the state of the natural mind is false, including this one. “It” cannot be described. “It” is always “bigger” than the limiting description.
There is not even an “ultimate” state to gain, because the very idea that there is, takes us away from it.
All there is, is the operation of the universe in its all-ness. There’s no such thing as “enlightened” or “unenlightened”. These are just ideas of what is.
Even “bliss” or “transcendence” is a state of mind that needs an “I” to experience those feelings.
Thoughts are the glue of our belief structures. “I” is the creation of thoughts and beliefs.
What’s happening, when we think we are functioning human beings, is the operating system of the brain, running sophisticated meme/belief structures that create the content of our identities and sense of self.
The only act awareness can “do” is to let go of “self” awareness. Awareness, to be fully there, needs to have no “I” attached to it.
Where there was self, there is now “active” emptiness.
Action, from this place, is an instantaneous, pure response to the call of the moment. It is the moment, the universe acting, not the person.
True peace is an absence of agitation, an absence of self-generated internal activity. So peace cannot be “done”, or created – it’s an absence of doing. This allows unadulterated “what-is” to be.
All action out of this state is completely harmonious and non-conflicting. There is nothing there to conflict with anything else.
A transcended being feels the world cleanly, whereas an “I”, full of beliefs and ideas of self, overlays those unadulterated feelings with external content, imbuing them with emotional “charge”. This charge is reactive to the world around it, continually creating conflict as it attempts to dissipate.
Whatever is actual or real can only be there when all ideas, all thoughts, all belief, all traces of identity are gone – when there is no “I” left to take us out of the moment. If the eternal now moment is all there is, this may be the only way to be in it.
Thought is only necessary, only of any use, when it is called for by the moment, for a particular task. To keep thinking beyond the particular call of the moment is the same as keeping your arm above your head all the time, or hopping on one leg all the time.
What comes out of the moment relates only to that moment. It’s already past and nonexistent as it is experienced. To hold to anything experienced or said in that moment, is to live in the dead past.
If you can’t touch it, show it, taste it, does it have any reality?
In the beginning there are intellectual structures to help us
understand our experiences – then the structures necessarily fall
away as we fall back into the bliss of simple being.