What Is That? And Why Is That? The two questions that appear to be at the core of the activity of inquiry.
“What exactly is that/this?”, and “Why is this (not)happening?”
…it would appear that it is this activity of thought itself that interferes with the ability to just be with, and “observe” what actually, and factually is occurring in any given moment.
It would appear that what may actually be throwing humanity for a loop, is our tremendously strong conditioning to immediately address what we perceive to be problems with some sort of response based on some kind of “action”, or “activity.” We find ourselves always muttering… “But what is it we need to do about this!”, or “We need to do something about this!”, or “we must do something about this!”. Or, “We’re going to do(or doing) ‘X’ about this!” To put it simply, it seems we’re conditioned “to do.” Also, a seemingly big problem with this “doing” is that it’s most usually a doing we’ve done many, many times before already. There’s something pretty interesting about the state, or act of “doing” that I’d like to go into with you.
“Doing” implies a state of “motion” or movement. When something moves it can only move along one line, or in one direction at a time. So by us being engaged in a near constant state of “doing”, this means we appear to be engaged in a near constant state of “mental motion” of one type or another. So by constantly looking “to do” something about something, our mind is constantly in motion. When we’re springing into some sort of action, we become “locked in”, “fixed”, and “static” in our action as the action must adhere to the line of thought that is propelling it.
This activity intern appears to limit our ability to respond to anything in life with our “whole”, or “complete being.” This would be the responding to life in the most “wholly” and “appropriate way” because we would be “remaining with “the fact”, and therefore in complete and total acceptance of “what is.”
When our attention is diverted away from “the fact of what is” in the form of any lack of acceptance, recognition, or “acknowledgement”, this then equates to a “lack of attention”, and ultimately a literal lack of awareness, and it is in this state of “lack of awareness” that we continue to do harm to ourselves and everything.
The lack of acknowledgement and acceptance is due in large part to the identification with thought as the self-objectifying thought “I/not I” and the movement of desire and fear which results from this. Because we’re living within this mental construct of division, we see “other” to be either desired or feared, obtained or lost. Thus this mental state creates an ever-present superficial perception of division, sustained by this motion of thought as “I/not I”
And so as we’re caught in this identification with thought which is generating fear and desire within us, we literally become “blinded” by either desire or fear in that if what we either desire or fear is in conflict with the fact of the present moment, we tend not to acknowledge, or see it.
The identification with thought as “I/not I” demands that constant recording, accumulation, acquiring, recalling, comparing, and judging occur so that we may monitor and control how close or far we are to or from whatever is the object of our fear or desire.
This process sustains the superficial perception of division as by definition the act of comparison must.
The constant comparison and judgment then results in conflict as we discover that we’re not where we want to be, or believe we should be.
Once the structure of thought is seen and understood, and in tern, its repetitive mechanical nature is understood, there is the possibility of no longer being trapped within its processes, at which point our complete attention, or complete awareness is then able to fully and wholly respond to “that which is” in the most appropriate and harmonious way.
The “Record — Compare — Judge” Process Of Thought Appears To Be The Engine Of Desire & Fear
The “record — recall — compare — judge” process appears to be the “engine” of our perpetual oscillation between…
Responding to life with thought in the way that we appear to be caught in presently, seems to be an incredibly limiting, contradictory, confusing, conflicting, and deadly way.
Try to observe yourself as you read this.
Are you at all taking in what you’re reading here and “categorizing”, “labeling”, and “grouping” it into some “already known” mental box or another?
That is, are you reader, right now in this very moment engaged in the process of taking a mental snapshot of what it is here you’re reading, something perhaps totally completely “new” to you, totally completely unknown, and “making it known?”
If you are, are you then comparing what you “think” you’re reading here to everything else you already know inside whichever mental category you’ve already placed it in?
Are you trying to “make sense” of it, or establish some sort of “order” with it?
A wildebeest suddenly brakes from the pack and stampedes towards the crowd of on-looking tourists…, they scramble out of the way! There is no thought here, but only the action of intelligence!
We seem conditioned to “see problems” again, according to this tendency we appear to have to “record/classify/categorize” things. We seem to very quickly categorize something as a problem and then get very busy with “finding a solution” to it.
We’re conditioned to change problems into non-problems. We don’t seem to be able to just “stop” and let things be as they are. We don’t seem to be able to stop to “listen”, and give our complete attention to whatever it is life is telling us in any given moment.
That is, we don’t “none-do.”
And so, again, it would appear that it is this activity of thought itself that interferes with the ability to just be with, and “observe” what actually, and factually is occurring in any given moment. Once this occurs, then one has a chance of actually coming to “see” what actually “is”, and once this happens then the second question will automatically be answered.
How is this?
The answer the question “What is That?” is then made possible by the quality, nature, and essence of the activity of “pure observation.”
We can all see how thought appears and moves within us in the same way we could all observe a mass of Serengeti wildebeests as both experiences occur naturally and are capable of absorbing all our attention so that we are “outside” ourselves.
That is, so our thoughts are no longer thoughts which require the presence or existence of an “I” at their center.
There’s Nothing More Important Than the “I”
Why is that politics, power, racism, and xenophobia all trump the immediate needs dictated by the fact of the present…
And so once one observes wholly, with their whole being in such a way, then the most wholly appropriate thing to do in that moment either just happens, or doesn’t happen.
Any action which either does, or does not occur only does so in accordance with what is actually and factually being observed, and hence experienced by all those present.
A wildebeest suddenly brakes from the pack and stampedes towards the crowd of on-looking tourists…, they scramble out of the way!
There is no thought here, but only the action of intelligence!
When we come to “see” then we are able to see that what we initially perceived as a “problem” actually contains the “solution” within it.
Therefore the “seeing” actually winds up becoming all that is required, and by extension, all that winds up being necessary for “doing!”