She was very tender in her voice, and her small body emanated a sense of vulnerability and fear, the fear of being attacked. She said that other’s opinions of her are very important, and most of her life was built around those opinions. So, her life is sometimes pain, the pain of being degraded, criticized, and that is the source of hurt. Yet, there is also the pleasure of being praised, and that motivates her to a great extent.
Thought is confusion. Clarity is seeing without thought. Thought is the thread that continues in time. A thread tangles. Such is its nature. The detangling is still the thread’s work, so entanglement is the inevitable consequence.
Thought is the conditioned response to newness. That newness then is translated by thought into the past. Emergence is then put on the clothing of memory, so that it could be recognized.
One intriguing quality of emptiness is the impossibility of negativity. What is called negative only arises through comparison of two, or more, of what is positive. Positivity is the precondition for existence. This seems incredibly straightforward when seen simply. A cup exists, and it is positive, because it exists. Thought is the culprit that establishes negativity as a seeming fact, because it can invent the concept of negativity and then call something negative in turn. That is the arrogance of thought.
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.
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.