If we didn't hold on to our beliefs, our positions, our opinions, would there be a me? If one could set aside these conditions on perception, where would the I be? If one held all opinions at arms length, and all concepts only tentatively, wouldn't the self disappear?
As a child growing up in a religious household, holding one set of beliefs as sacred, and others sacrilegious, certain observations became apparent. Every so often, Time Magazine would have an article on religion in which a certain church would pronounce that such and such a doctrine had been revised, and the new doctrine was now X instead of Y.
As this went on over the years, it was observed that the established religions tended to follow society's changes, changing doctrine to accommodate where society had moved. Even to a child's mind, this began to undermine any belief in ecclesiastical authority.
And then, to observe this in one's own mind, was a shock. Not a gratifying insight, as this mind was just as guilty of pandering as the church. Seeing this was insightful, and painful, but the pandering continued. Despite the shortcomings, this one was, after all, a truth seeker. When he had the courage, he was brutally honest with himself.
The mind was rigid, but something here wanted truth. For there to be any possibility of truth, the mind had to open up, to stretch, so to speak. And yet the mind didn't want to decompose in an instant. The mind loved itself. It craved security.
So, a deal of sorts was struck. OK, there's this search for truth, and so we must stretch, but we're not going to reach too far, too fast. That was the deal. Accommodate the mind, but push it to a certain extent. Stretching and holding on became a way of suffering. Every seeker's story.
What was observed was that the body-mind would find itself in a book store, looking for a book that was close enough to the mind's current position to be read, but just enough further out, to cause a stretch. Of course this begs the question: Who was observing the mind doing this? Who saw the mind holding back? Who saw the mind stretching?
It occurred to the mind, that this process surely showed that in time, all positions currently held, would eventually be abandoned, and new ones put in place. Having observed this, the mental struggle could have been entirely abandoned. All concepts thrown out. The term "Opt Out," would describe the fastest route to freedom. But this wasn't chosen.
Alas, as minds are, just opting out seemed insane. Having nothing to stand on mentally was just too scary a prospect. So, the journey continued. Here, one should be reminded that there was an observer, and the mind was aware of the observer. But the mind just couldn't get a grasp on that one.
Reading J. Krishnamurti was certainly a mind blower, and a great stretch for this little mind. J.K. was always saying that "The observer is the observed." The mind loved the phrase, and knew it was important, but just couldn't get it.
There is sudden enlightenment, but it wasn't going to be that way for this tip toeing seeker. No, he had to drag it out for 40 years. Finally, after taking the mind apart, piece by piece, there was barely a limb to stand on.
Like the parable of the monk hanging on a limb over a precipice, destined to fall, this one had to make a choice. "Do I hang on for another few minutes, or do I reach out, grab the fruit, and a have a bite on the way down? I died, but I tasted the fruit.
maury lee 4/18/2008