The search of the eternal
For as long as human beings can remember, there has been this search for something greater. The ancients might call it God, the Atman, the Dao, or mystify it into tales of Genesis, stories of Creation. But, since we have existed, this yearning for that something eternal, true, and beautiful has never ceased. When we are born to this world, we must wonder, by seeing the stars, the distant snow-capped mountains, the rivers and oceans that disappear into the horizon, what is this all about? Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? There are the plants and animals we kill and eat, the trees we cut and burn and make into some of the most ornate structures. We have built enormous cathedrals, places of worship, temples. We have told tales of great Gods, of heaven and hell, of the great struggle between good and evil. We have written enormous amounts of texts, on every subjects that we could imagine. Human's search for this greater meaning went into science, the exploration of the Moon and Mars, the observation of distant galaxies, and the theories of the smallest particles imaginable by the mind. Our search also pours into philosophy, biology, psychology, knowledge, and we think through our constant dissecting, divisions, classifications, naming, we could come upon some comforting explanation of life. And to that end, we have succeeded. Our world, after all, is full of explanations. We know how our brain works, how our body functions, why do cows eat grass and how do birds fly. We have explanations of the existence of God and the path of spiritual enlightenment. We have theories, books, manuals on how to be successful in virtually anything we do in life: sports, haircutting, cooking, buying, selling, manipulating, deceiving, having sex. We went into music, poetry, the arts of color and electric signals also to find that something eternal, that something sublime. And for moments, very brief ones, we felt that transcendence. We felt a sense of absolutely no worry in life. We felt a timeless beauty, a sense of the ending of all struggle. Yet, our worries, our jobs, our families, our pursuits, our fears and pleasures supplanted those moments, and we were left in the field of struggle again.
Life has become so incredibly complex for us. We have a million worries, and want a million things. This is a result of our own making. Human beings have blamed each other for who is responsible for war, for prejudice, for violence. Yet we have not understood a fundamental reality, that we are all fundamentally the same. This is not a theory, an abstract concept. If we look at this as an abstraction, then our understanding only remains intellectual, and it changes nothing in our life. But, if we see, simply see, the fundamental commonality of human existence, which includes fear, desire, suffering, and sorrow, then we begin to see the world and its human inhabitants in a completely different way. And then, we might begin to understand, that our so-called difference is merely construction of words, superficial, like the clothes we wear. Difference is superficial, and what human beings share has much more depth than our culture and tradition. Then, we might be able to see our fundamental drive: this constant pursuit for something different. Again, this is not a mere abstraction. This is a reality immovable by any arguments or opinions. In a sense, we all know this. We all know our desires, our constant going toward somewhere. Where are we going? Are we going anywhere at all? Or have we been always circling around our deep-rooted fear, therefore never still, leisurely, peaceful. Our life is a circus, of entertainments, of fights and arguments, of what is mine and what is yours, of our immature division among human beings. In this ceaseless circus of activity we call life, we have little respect for life itself. Life is to be transformed, changed, killed, liquidated, sublimated, or whatever words we can conjure up. We are so cunning with our words, and we hide behind them, using them as shields, so we do not have to see the naked reality. What is real is not comforting. If we continue to seek comfort, then we shall never reveal the truth of life, because then our energy is spent on escaping truth.
The word is the problem. The word is the originator of our immense crisis. Our culture, and hence our division, is made up by words. The Christian, the Muslim, the Chinese, the Indian, the men and women, the gay and straight, the poor and rich. We make up these categories so that we have some structure to life, so life becomes easily recognizable. But life is not as simple as a few words, or a million words, can describe. No amounts of words can exhaust life, yet in this game of words we believe we understand life. The word is not the real. The word is the word. Whatever words we can create, whatever names we can invent, is not the same as reality. Yet, the word is what conjures up our emotion, what motivates us to kill and conquer. To describe life, in any way, is only to escape reality. Reality needs no description. It can be simply perceived. Yet, the descriptions of life, made up of words, prevent us from seeing life directly, plainly, simply. The utter, infinite complexity of life can only be seen simply. The moment we invoke the word, the description, we have evaded that reality. I can describe my life as successful, or a failure, but that description is not life. Life can be described in many ways according to our intimations and conditioning, and we have done so for millenia, but life itself is the indescribable phenomena, the immense movement, the reality which has no boundaries nor frontiers. If we can simply be aware, attentive, without direction or choice, we perceive the subtlety of movement, the swiftness of thought and sound and light, the reality beyond all descriptions.
It is only in this awareness that the eternal can be revealed. This is not a mystical concept, as we often make it to be. This is not a spectacular vision, or a lucid experience. This is not the vision of heaven or God. This timelessness cannot be experienced, remembered, because it is entirely outside the field of time. What is eternal is not a continuity in time. What continues naturally decays. The eternal is not an idea, as an idea is continued in time. It is the cessation of all ideas. When any idea has lost its grasp on life, the eternal is. Therefore, time in the psyche becomes illusory, and that timelessness is the effortless nature of reality. This awareness is the field, is the eternal, and what is within the field will always change. When one actually lives from this awareness, then life has a totally different meaning. Then the perception of life is not for any purpose, for any gain or success, but to merely appreciate the beauty of creation, the subtlety of life as an infinite movement. Then, life is no longer a problem. There is no longer any problem. A problem can only come into being when we want to transform life. In this simple perception, any problem then is immediately resolved, as mere constructions of words and thoughts. There is nothing to change, nothing to strive for, nothing to lose. Then, you might see that this awareness has never left, that it has always been, and it was only blinded and clouded by the struggles motivated by thought.
Thought is the enemy. Thought is the division. Thought is the construction of time. Thought is what has taken over life, and thought is the source of all our confusion and sorrow. When thought is understood as it is, without any more judgement or theory, then it is revealed to be a natural part of life, the same as a piece of leaf or the deep clouds. Thought is merely a part of all phenomena, constantly changing, and one can never arrive at the eternal through thought. Thought is the same as matter, as it is matter, like the thunder or the river. It is no longer important, as importance as a concept loses all meaning. Therefore, life is the most sacred. Life is the only reality. What we have called God, the Atman, enlightenment are simply a living immensity, eternally moving in freedom. The name is irrelevant. There must be a perception of what is without the name. This is the nameless.
This awareness is absolutely necessary if we are to live peacefully on Earth. This awareness is the understanding of all things as One, so we cease to plunder, so we naturally respect all things, be it a bug or the most spectacular human being. Then war is impossible, because division is no longer controlling life. There cease to be different races, nations, religions, because we have all come from the same source, and are of the same substance. Then we are sacred to each other, so we refuse to exploit each other, or to destroy nature, so compassion and love are the very foundation of all relationships. This is not a romantic, sentimental daydream. If it becomes an intellectual concept then life remains to be conflict and sorrow. Only when this awareness is the actual ground of our life can we live in all sincerity and beauty. Life is effortless, as is beauty. Comfort has no meaning, and fear ceases to be. The highest knowledge is the ending of knowledge. The eternal needs no seeking. To seek it, is to escape it. When the seeking stops, timelessness naturally flowers.