I am feeling a bit quiet since I got back from China. Once again, I am contemplating the impermanence of everything, including this enterprise. And there are days, like today, while I am no longer sure of a wish to move this particular aspect of my personal work forward.
Perhaps it is time for a change.
I don't know.
It has struck me quite clearly lately that everything we do in ordinary life is not our nature. We have families, and it is part of what we do, but it is not our nature. We have jobs, but this too is not our nature. Politics? Our obsession, perhaps, but not our nature.
We make things, we buy things; we acquire, we create, we destroy. But this is not our nature. Our nature is completely involved in all of this... yet completely removed from it.
That is to say, there is a separation between our nature and all of the things that we do in life, and what life requires from us. The actual function that we perform on this planet--which I will refrain from describing, lest it prejudice anyone and prevent them from discovering the matter for themselves -- serves a purpose that does not actually relate to the manifestation of cause and effect on this level. It is intertwined with it, and could not take place without its existence, but the ultimate aim of it has little or nothing to do with all of the delusions we fill our life with.
The aim of it is, to put it bluntly, both astonishing and incomprehensible.
So when we encounter all of these questions in Buddhism about discovering our original nature, or original mind, we are encountering a question that points us towards something entirely different from life as we know it. Our mistake is in perpetually "understanding" it from the point of view of life as we know it, and even trying to believe in it from the point of view of life as we know it.
We don't know life. We just think we know it. If we actually knew something real about it, we wouldn't know anything of what we know now. All of that would have to go. To stand on the threshold of this understanding is to have a taste of what Dogen meant when he said that we have to become "leavers of home."
Gurdjieff himself intimated this when he pointed out that the organ kundabuffer was implanted in man specifically to prevent him from seeing why he was here, or what was required of him--lest he kill himself.
Of course, the conditions have changed since then, but man is still here to serve a purpose that is not his own. It is only in the surrender to those conditions and a deeper understanding of them that a man can begin to know anything about what we actually are.
In the end, it is necessary to be stripped of all of the arrogance, the assumptions, the beliefs, and even the questions themselves.
Nakedness alone is suitable for understanding.
May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.