Do you know that sense of movement in the heart, of something sacred and tidal that might break down all defenses of the mind? Like a dam which can no longer hold the vast river finally breaks, the catharsis, finally free, without bound, flowing to the expanse of the unknown, charting new lands, flourishing new grounds.
The sense of lack is accompanied by every desire. The desires to achieve, to acquire riches, to avoid death and destruction, or to transcend the material world are all bondage. The sense of lack requires something from what is, from experience and consciousness. That requirement makes living sticky, literally stuck to what’s arising. What’s arising is, however, impermanent. To require anything from impermanence produces the pleasure of finding and the pain of losing.
What is happening? This is the first question of existence. There is a recognition, a knowing of what’s happening. A flower is blooming. A sun is rising. The train is leaving. These are descriptions of what’s happening. Yet, what’s happening doesn’t need to be described. It is utterly simple when descriptions are dropped, and descriptions are also simply seen as what’s happening. The convolutions, complications, complexities of life, the travails, the struggles, the assertions and opinions and the battles for what’s right, the longing for some clarity of life, are all the consequence of naming, recognizing, and giving importance to what’s happening. Without giving it any importance, which means giving nothing, absolutely nothing, any importance, what’s happening is simple, serene, free.
When everything is nothing, there is nothing to look for. The apparent solidity of reality, such as a “world” or a “person”, isn’t actually solid. They are like water or air. The moment they arrive they begin to leave. There is nothing behind them, nothing supporting them, nothing motivating them, nothing controlling them. There is only the apparent nothingness of thingness. The mind continues to issue challenges to be solved or objectives to search for, but the mind’s projections are also nothing projecting. They are not real, yet it isn’t that they are illusory. They are simply empty, without substance, momentary, conjuring and dissolving. This is actually freedom.
What is emptiness? Everything is emptiness. The “substance” of anything isn’t actually there, but put together by thinking. When we look at a tree, there isn’t actually a “tree”, but thought says there is a tree, and associated with it the many scientific or emotional significance: like this tree was planted by me and I am attached to it, or this tree is classified according to the shape of its leaves, and so on. These are merely responses to the tree which are not the tree. Then comes the question: what is the tree? We can also ask: without thinking about the tree, is there a tree? There is no tree.
The early evening light is mysterious. It has a sense of uncertainty, and contained within that uncertainty is potential. Unrealized, the potential is freedom. It is quite like the early morning light. It is liminal, in between, not here yet not there. It has the sense of the non-local, non-linear, as if it can be anywhere all at once.
The street light comes on. Human civilization has a peculiar desire to seek light, all the while ignoring the natural necessity and rhythm of darkness. It might come from ancestry, heredity, the cavemen and hunter gatherers, but in a civilization with such advanced technologies, some deep-seated ignorance still direct human endeavors, and one such ignorance is this ceaseless search.
Identification with anything is a limitation. There is security in thinking that one is the body, the mind, a job, an identity, and so on. Yet implied in this security is the nagging insecurity, because anything within perception is transient, and the ultimate erasure of a separate existence is always pending. The job will end. The body will die. The mind will stop to exist. This is the root of the fear of death.
Identification limits consciousness to a particular part of itself. Consciousness then mistakes it to be only a part, but not the whole field. The field actually never changes, only the content of the field is transient. In such identification, the mind is never free, but bound by the illusory need to survive. In actuality, nothing survives, and such is the very freedom the mind is afraid of. Freedom is this very transience, is this constant change that goes on with abandonment and never looks back.