When the music is ended, no one congratulates the wooden stick on the music it made: it is the musician who is applauded and thanked for this beautiful gift of music. It is precisely so with what we think of as our ‘selves.’
We are instruments, hollow sticks, through which the Breath, the Spirit, the Energy which is Presence, All That Is, Consciousness, flows. Just as it is not the flute making the note, but the Musician making the note through the instrument, so it is the breath which is Presence which animates this mind and body and comes out through this mouth to make it seem that this mouth is speaking words. The basic misunderstanding, the basic ignorance, is this unwitting usurpation of the role of Musician by the instrument. This inversion of the truth is spontaneously realized when the Understanding occurs.
It becomes obvious that there is no individual, that there is ‘nobody home,’ no entity here to be the doer or not. Because awakening is simply the Understanding that there is no one here to awaken. But: this Realization happens spontaneously when the Understanding occurs. From the point of view of the seeker, you can’t get there from here. Because there is no ‘you,’ there is no question of ‘getting,’ and there is no ‘there’ to get. The intellectual comprehension that there can be no individual entities will not in any way help the average seeker because in his or her own daily life a deep belief in a personal self and personal ‘doership’ will remain. And with it the accompanying misery of pride and arrogance, shame and guilt, fear, hatred and malice, all of which arise from the belief that there is someone there to be doing anything. All attempts to extricate oneself from the dilemma only strengthen the sense of individual self of the one apparently making the attempts.
There is no way out of the predicament, the paradox, because the one who thinks he or she is in the paradoxical predicament is itself an hallucination, a mind-generated fantasy, the bird in the empty cage. For the rest of your life you can continue as you have done; you can go to talks and seminars and retreats given by the most enlightened masters, and hear wonderful things about Enlightenment and Total Realization and Sat Chit Ananda, and have immense spiritual experiences of great beauty, but when you open your eyes you will be back at the same questions, with the same longings, because there will still be ‘you’.
Perfect Brilliant Stillness