Sun Ring Rainbow ©2021 Eric Platt
Sun Ring Rainbow ©2021 Eric Platt

No Path To Everywhere

What the coffee-addled brain spit out this morning:

Jiddu Krishnamurti said something along those lines – in the elegant phrase "the pathless path" – but the complaint (such as by a certain non-duality teacher I hung out with for 7 years) is that JK didn’t provide a path, or seemed to place himself in an implied enlightened position that’s unattainable by anyone except himself.

Yet there was a grain of truth in both what JK said and the complaint – because they are both only half way to seeing that there’s no path to everywhere. The ultimate paradox, so to speak. They hint at it but won’t state it more clearly or simply. Thus they call it the “pathless path” or the “gateless gate”, or the “direct path”, but still there’s the implication that there’s a path. As put forth by Greg Goode, a fine fellow and a friend (lives in New York by the way, likes to ride a bike...) — who also hung out with the same teacher's teacher I did (aren't we special? No! Absolutely and ridiculously not) — the idea being, if you aren’t happy or at peace (as a person) that there’s something to do — meditate, self-inquire — or something that you can do. He even made a flow chart along those lines, to clarify the point, as this is a common question by aspirants.

The question is though, do as what? A separate individual? With a will? A body? A thing in time? ... Questions unanswered by "the method"...

(This would also put all the Three Principles psychology folks out of business – no wonder they attack it. And some also intone that oneness is a “non-starter”, which is true*. Yes, it's not just those thought habit patterns, addictions to self, that arse as heavily identified as a body and/or a political position, or whatever, that feel threatened – see recent comments on this blog for examples of that reaction! – but those that are in the "helping professions"! How ironic).

*I suppose it should be mentioned, for no particular reason, that non-duality is not a oneness teaching. It's not monism.

So then they admit there’s no will and no person and that it’s up to “grace” or “not my will but thine” or “do your best and let God do the rest” and give meditations (even if they are an “artificial experiment”, a “tantric trick”, as the teacher of the author and Greg used to preface them with) on “letting go” or “just Being". Indeed, let’s practice Just Being...see what happens. ... Hmm, well, it's all just still happening, no matter what. So now what?

You can practice or not practice, but it’s still Being.

So then a Direct Path teacher, responding to the student’s puzzlement about the paradox of “how can you do something to be what you already are?” gives the instruction of “if you’re happy and at peace, stay as you are; if you unhappy and not at peace, do something (like meditate or self-enquiry)”. But in either case the implication is still that there’s some separate entity, a meditator, or self-inquirer to do that.

How can you start with, presume separation, the existence of a separate person or will or doer or enjoyer or whatever, with hopes and dreams and aspirations and ambitions, and the sense of lack that goes with it, and get somewhere like Being (or abundance, or whatever it is you presume you lack)? You’ve already jammed your stake in the ground at separation.

Starting from being closed, you want to get to openness.
Starting from a mind, you want to get to no mind.
Starting from illusion, you want to get to reality.
Starting from separation, you want to get to wholeness.
Starting from what is dead, you want to get to what is Alive.
Starting from (old stale) memory, repetition, technique, you want to get to young, fresh, new, creative…
Etc…

Wanting to get to Stillness, you get on a moving train.

Anyway, not to bore you to death, but the “relative level” is just a way of speaking, of description. There isn’t really separation, so the relative is just an apparent functioning, but is itself the Absolute (which can’t be spoken of, yet we attempt it – like poetry, basically), as are the 5 senses, which are like a dashboard with constantly changing lights. The dashboard is both real and unreal.

So while “the relative” is made of reality, it’s just the way things look, according to how we (apparently) are. But we can’t know what It is (if it’s an It, which it isn’t!) or what we are as objects: we are only apparent patterns of change in an apparent time base: the “How” it behaves. This is merely useful for functioning in the real dream, in This, so to speak. Same with so-called "spiritual” teachings: they are merely useful or not in this so-called dream. They may point (a way) out, or in, or they may not help at all – who can say and and who is there to help? It’s up to “you”, the you that is Real, that is the Unknown Life behind the apparent known, the living behind the dead shell of closed-ness.

That is, all a teaching or speaking or writing can do with respect to non-duality is yak about what is not the case, what is not real, what is not true, as a sort of alarm clock about this “dream” — the dream of separation. But just as in a dream, it’s up to each character whether or not the dreamer says something true or seemingly “awake” through them— and then they are still a character in the dream! That is why any “teacher” or writer must be looked at as suspect, in the sense that they are a mere appearance, a mere channel, a mere bit of play, and the absolute subjectivity that is being yabbered about cannot be anything other than what it is: absolutely and 100% subjective. Who can “know” that? Certainly not any character, since the characters don’t know anything themselves, being lived as they are by the Dreamer in Chief.

I’m not a "teacher" or a "quiet sage" (as one Three Principles practitioner called the author) or anything. I Am is no-thing, and no-body...

What are you? It is up to each reader to know, or not-know.

 

Peace

 

 

Eric Platt

2 Comments

  1. Fred Hughes on February 1, 2024 at 6:46 am

    Thanks Eric for this piece. Not knowing is an honest stance. Scriptures (take your pick) might point to the mystery but don’t have to be authoritative.

    If one arrives at destination “no-self” right action becomes possible. A clearness, a peace , an unfolding – what to do? Ha ha ha. An interesting mystery…

    • Eric Platt on February 1, 2024 at 9:39 am

      Hi Fred – Yes, the saving grace you could say, of all the spiritual and non-dual inquiries, is that at the end of the day you – once again, after you think you’ve got it all figured out – realize you have no clue. The Unknown they call it. If it were the same thing again, it would be a closed system (like the brain, or a computer). Instead, it’s always a new “I don’t know”.
      An analogy would be exploring a region in nature, and you come around a corner and encounter some beautiful place you’ve never seen before, and are STRUCK. It is a wonder. You are in awe. At that moment, there is no little self (hopefully). There’s just openness, and “Wow.” …

      The experience of “clarity, peace, and unfolding”, as you mention, can happen. And if it’s not, that’s a wonder too. 🙂

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