Alan Watts How To Become Unstoppable

in the West we inherit the idea of law from those ancient conceptions of God and it is even passed down into science where we discuss laws of nature but one recognizes more and more in the sciences that what we call laws of nature our simply observed regularities in the way things behave and you in order to observe regularities you must look at things through something regular that is to say you must lay a ruler alongside them or compare their behavior with the regular behavior of a clock the clocks and rulers are human inventions they are regular measures which we use for comparing the rates of change say a clock is a measure of a rate of change it's quite arbitrary but we very easily compare our regulation measuring devices with what makes things happen as if the Sun rises because it's 6:00 in the morning that's being completely backwards and one's thinking and we get into the same confusion when we imagine for example that money is wealth here we have fantastic wealth you know and we have the technological possibility of making everybody on earth the enjoyer of an independent income we can't do it because people say where's the money going to come from as they think money makes prosperity it's the other way around it's it's it's physical prosperity which has money as a way of measuring it but people think money has to come from somewhere like hydroelectric power or lumber or iron and it doesn't money is something we invent like inches so you remember the Great Depression when there was a slump and what did we have a slump of money there was no less wealth no less energy no less raw materials in the world before but it's like you came to build work on building a house one day and they said sorry you can't build this house today no inches you mean no inches I'm just inches we don't mean that we got inches of lumber yes we've got inches of metal we've even got tape measures but there's a slump in inches as such you see and people are that crazy but they they can have a depression because they got no interest to go around no dollars that's all a lot of nonsense but you see because we get thinking backwards and making the metaphysical tale met wag the dog making the law rule things whereas it doesn't it smithy a way of measuring what happens and so you see when you get into ballistic thought you don't get that confusion your the way or the other way round so you're looking at a system where to go back to the Buddha's words this arises that becomes which is a way of saying you can't have this without that you can't have here without there you wouldn't know where here was unless you knew where there was and they come into being together you don't get first here and then there or first there and then here these arise interdependently that's the meaning of inter dependent origination and to grasp the idea of inter dependent origination is as important as the idea about seeing how things are related by space and intervals and seeing therefore that you tend to look at life from a myopic point of view and see details see the trees and not the forest see yourself as something loosely related to everything else that's going on and not integral to it you see the the figure but ignore the background but the figure on the background arise mutually they are to each other as this is to that and so we really have to rid our brains of the notion of causality the notion of causality being that present sets of circumstances are the result of past sets of circumstances and that therefore certain events which are called causes are responsible for following events called effects and all this is an enormous piece of mumbo-jumbo because what is not seen and what is not clear in thinking that way is that in physical nature there are no separate events so startling to people but it's really quite easy to see that there are no events in nature because you can ask very simply let's take something called an event how do we Demark it from other events at what point shall we say were you born were you born at parturition or when the doctor slapped you on the bottom or cut the umbilical cord or when you were conceived or when your father and mother were first attracted to each other when was it when did you begin there's no way of deciding except arbitrarily and for legal purposes we say you were born at parturition and that's when the astrologer casts your horoscope accept that other astrologers disagree and want the conception time and say that's the real beginning there isn't a real beginning it goes back and back and back in an inseparable continuity when are you dead that's another big argument and you couldn't all you can get all kinds of ideas about that so what once you see that an event is a at in an intellectual calculus calculus being the way of measuring say curved formations by reducing them to point instance and counting it you see but actually the point instance our imaginary the curve Wiggles along and it doesn't start out from point to point but in calculus you make it do that so just as there are no point instance in the curve so there are no events in nature nature is a constantly fluctuating pattern you can only designate particular Wiggles in a pattern arbitrarily you can count a convex formation as one wiggle or a concave formation as one wiggle then you decide if you call it one way well if you give the convex properties the title of wiggle you have to deny it to the concave properties and vice-versa so when you see that what we call separate events don't exist it becomes nonsense to speak of one event causing another what you really mean is that the two events which you speak of as being causally related are simply two parts of the same event they go with each other in the same way as this with that the relationship is not causal it is mutual and it works two ways in time because future so-called future events are not merely passive to past events but you could easily see when for example any biological process goes on you can reason just as well from the future to the past is from the past of the future why do two mammals have sexual intercourse well it isn't just that they enjoy it it's also that they're a very complex system which does this because it makes babies and the prospect of baby works in Reverse and creates desire you can reason that way or it's silly because the whole process is one and when we speak humanly and purposively I am going downtown to buy groceries then a future event could be said to be the cause of why you're now starting out to get into the car buying groceries and the the difficulty we have in seeing this to be so is that we think in an either/or way which is what is called dualism in Hindu Buddhist thought and that liberation is being free from dualism so when you think in an either/or way you see the figures in the background as moving and therefore being responsible for their action but if somebody argues the other way around say the figures are just following lines of force in a field gravitational principles say we're all human beings you see we're all concentrated on our fact that we're individually rushing around and doing this and that but we don't see that we're equally sucked and that we move around in response to all sorts of stimuli but neither position is adequate you have to see that our being sucked by all sorts of stimuli is exactly the same thing as our apparently voluntary and deliberate action because what we're looking at is not this Newtonian game of billiards where balls roll because they are hit by cues what we're involved in is a dance where for example watch a snake when a snake swims there's nothing more beautiful than watching a snake swim in water lovely motion but you see it Wiggles along and it's wiggle is conceivable you see as convex or was it concave this way and that way and this way and that way now which side of the snake moves first when it Wiggles it's very easy to see there now when we bay act interact with the world what moves first who starts it the objective world or the subjective world but they are related as this to that you can't have an object without a subject or a subject without an object kind of something known without the knower and that gives the show away there isn't any real distinction between the knower and the known there's two ways of looking at something yes two poles of a single process but the knower and the known are subsumed as the knowing and all life is knowing being becoming and it isn't something in other words that works by the idea of all this happens because someone shoves it now you see the idea all this happens because someone shoves it is basic to Western thinking there is the Lord God who's the boss and he sloshes this universe into being and shoves it and sets it going and you better obey that shove because he's introduced into it some recalcitrance by giving to human beings what the hebrews called the yet Sahara the wayward spirit so that they shall be able to play certain games on their own because nothing very interesting would happen if everybody obeyed God the whole world would be like a lifeless thing so they had to reason that into it in order to save face for God practically cuz otherwise he could be blamed for all the catastrophes that happened instead of our being able to say to each other well it's our fault but then you see you you you do the flip deep in giving away the control you got it you've got the kind of control you wanted that's to say where you had a loving relationship to the world but you didn't have to make up your mind what it should do you let it decide now do you see that's how your bodies work you don't have to make up your mind what your nerve cells are going to do you've delegated all that authority if the president the United States has to lay awake at nights thinking what every official under his command is going to do he can't be President he's got to make an act of trust in all those subordinates to be responsible and carry on their things in just the same way as you make an act of trust to all your subordinate organs to carry on their functions without you having to tell them what to do and this is the secret of what we will call organic power as distinct from political power loud Sur puts it in this way the great Dow flows everywhere both to the left and to the right it loves and nourishes all things but does not lord it over them and when merits are accomplished it lays no claim to them the more therefore you relinquish power trust others the more powerful you become but in such a way that instead of having to lie awake nights controlling everything you do it beautifully by trusting the job to everyone else and they carry it on for you so you can go to sleep at night and trust your nervous system to wake you up in the morning you can even tell it I want to wake up at 6 o'clock and it will wake you up just like an alarm clock this seems a sort of paradox to say this but the principle of unity of coming to a sense of of oneness with the whole of the rest of the universe is not to try to be obtained power over the rest of the universe that will only disturb it and antagonize it and make it seem less one with you than ever the way to become one with the universe is to trust it as another as you would another and say let's see what you're going to do but in doing that you see in saying that to everything else that you have been taught to think is not you you are also saying it to yourself because finally as I pointed out you do not know where your decisions come from they pop up like hiccups and when you make a decision people have a great deal of anxiety about making decisions since this guy who farmer who ordered a help man to come in and family was an extraordinarily efficient worker was the first day he put him on sawing logs and he saw more logs than anybody had ever saw it was fantastic but he were all done in one day so the next day putting on put him onto mending fences and there were all kinds of broken fences wrong farm and in one day he had the whole thing done so he thought what am I gonna do this guy so he took him down into a basement and said look here all are all the potatoes that are coming from this harvest and I want you to sort them into three groups those that we sell those that we use for seeding and those that we throw away so he left him at that at the end of the day the laborer came back and said well that's enough mister I quit no he said you can't quit I've never had such an excellent weather I'll raise your salary I'll do anything to keep you around it I said no it's all right mending fences and shopping would but this potato business's decision after decision after decision after so when we decide we're always worrying did I think this over long enough did I take enough data into consideration and if you think it through you'll find you never could take enough data into consideration the data for a decision in any given situation is infinite so what you do is you go through the motions of thinking out what you will do about this and then when the time comes to act you make a snap judgment I mean I'm speaking a little extremely making some fun of it and so on because after all we do occasionally get the vague outlines of things and make a right decision on rational grounds but we fortunately forget the variables that could have interfered with this coming out right it's amazing how often it works but warriors are people who think of all the variables beyond their control and what might happen so then when you make a decision and it works out all right I think very little of it has much to do with your conscious intent and control but somehow or other you are able to decide and control things more harmoniously if you delegate authority it's why very great businessmen others who can delegate authority trust others to work for them because those are people developing businesses on the same basic structure that is fundamental to a living organism delegation of authority it loves and nourishes all things but does not lord it over them and you see then what is happening is this the more you let go of it and trust it as if it were quite other than you the more you realize the inseparable identity of self and other to go back if you try to find the identity of self and other by subjecting other to self no go if on the other hand you find it through giving self that is control over to other and trusting that you may make a mistake you may make a bad gamble but in the long run you are acting on a principle which has the backing of evolution this is the way biological evolution goes on constant delegation of authority that's why if obviously the democracy is superior to the monarchy mister Tocqueville who said that democracy is always right but for the wrong reasons because there is operating in a democracy the principle the Buckminster Fuller calls synergy and synergy is the intelligence of a highly complex system the nature of which is always unknown to the individual members because that's goes back again to this point that we are always entering a new environment we don't ever know fully what the new environment is because the only environments we know the past ones there is always then operating in the development of cellular life on any a new way of organization higher than any existing form and we are not aware of it until after it's happening if you ever saw for example the film kontiki this man figured out a few things as to how to make a balsa wood raft to sail from South America to the Pacific Islands but once he had set this in motion he discovered that all sorts of unexpected factors cooperated with him that when the wood got wet it expanded so that the ties bit into it and held it completely secure he'd never expected that and he found that as he sailed along a flying fish would simply a light flat on the deck every morning for breakfast that all kinds of natural factors it was just he that he had touched the key where he was flowing with the course of nature and everything cooperated because he had touched the key he had made the act of faith and he was just picking up in other words a practice which had been hundreds and hundreds of years ago had been followed by others who had worked it out by their great ecological awareness so we do come out of this way of thinking to something which has I would say the most enormous ly creative and revolutionary social consequences that it has become not virtuous not self-sacrificing and not anything like that it has become the hardest practical politics to let go control to others to give up trying to dominate the scene also in a parallel way it has become at this time in our history very much hard practical politics to learn how to enjoy ourselves you can go to the Protestant people with their Protestant ethic who are against this kind of thing and now say to them with great Glee it is your solemn duty to learn how to enjoy yourself why because in an age of leisure people have really got to know how to enjoy themselves because if they don't they'll smash the whole future of the human race so you a utopia has become not some sort of a dream with an urgent necessity we can't do without it because if we try to do without it what's gonna happen is that we are going to terminate our race in a mutual massacre of scapegoats and so the present paranoia in the United States that is going on where everybody is thinking up a new scapegoat and how great it will be to demolish them I'll get them out of power or all this kind of bickering and right and left politics has become irrelevant because we now have the opportunity of trusting our own intelligence our own technology to take the risk of doing what we want which will work to the extent that we realize that what I want basically what I really want is what you want and I don't know what you surprise me but that's my that's the kinship between iron dolls so when I ask I go right down to the question should be started with what do I want the answer is I don't know when bodhidharma was asked who are you which is another form of the same question he said I don't know planting flowers to which the butterflies come Bodhidharma says I know not I don't know whatever well when you don't know what you want to really reach the state of desirelessness when you really don't know you two reasons that you don't really know what you want number one you have it number two you don't know yourself because you never can the Godhead is never an object you this I don't know is the same thing as I love I let go I don't try to force or control it's the same thing as humility and so the Upanishads say if you think you those who know it not and the principle you you have an access of power because you are wasting energy all the time you so then the principle is the more you'll give it away I've caught we've been talking about there's not so much a set of ideas as an experience or shall we say experiencing and this kind of seminar in comparison with the encounter groups or workshops of various kinds or experiments in sensory awareness is now being called a conceptual seminar although I'm not talking about concepts but the crucial question arises that an understanding a real feeling understanding of the polar relationship between the individual and the world is something that operates as we say in your bones and isn't just a view that you hold or a belief that you hold it's so curious that the emphasis of the Western tradition in religion is primarily upon right belief do you believe in the right dogmas and the right doctrines and only secondarily upon right action because what you believe is in Christianity at any rate far more important than what you do because one is saved through faith not by works and early in its history the Christian Church rejected the movement in the church which had been known as canastas ISM from the Greek gnosis which means knowledge and in a way there were some sound reasons for doing so because the ganache sticks were what I would call anti materialists they divided human beings into three classes that were called respectively pneumatic psychic and Hayek last one being H Y L IC from the Greek highly or they would call it now la e Li meaning wood so the people were spiritual psychological and wooden and that is to say the wooden people were those most absorbed in materiality and most closely identified with their bodies and Orthodox Christianity rejected this sort of distinction because of the perfectly correct idea that material existence is not inconsistent with spirituality this is something which most Christians have forgotten but they do believe as the central principle of Christianity in what's called the Incarnation that in the Jesus of Nazareth Almighty God did in fact become material become human and by this process initiated a transformation of the cosmos in the words of Saint Athanasius God became man that man might become God and you don't hear that from the pulpit very often the Christian Church therefore emphasized pista soar faith as against gnosis or knowledge because they said you can never know God God could never become an object of knowledge and in this funny roundabout way the Christian theologians were saying exactly the same thing as the Hindus only the Hindus do call this knowledge of God through faith they call it Guinea onna which is the same as the Greek word gnosis but just to give you a little sidelight on how words get mixed up in their meanings we now have a class of person called an agnostic and an agnostic generally means a person who doesn't commit himself to any beliefs about the ultimate nature of things he just says he doesn't know but the original word agnosia in greek meant a special kind of knowledge it was called the dark knowledge of God the knowledge of God in the Cloud of Unknowing to use the title of a mystical treatise written by an anonymous 14th century English monk this monk derived his ideas from a very mysterious figure who wrote under the name of dionysius the areopagite Dionysus was a 5th or 6th century syrian monk who had learned his mysticism from porphyry who got it from plutinos who was a neoplatonist and who probably got a great deal of stimulation from the intellectual world of alexandria and alexandria in the early years of the Christian era was a tremendous exchange place between east and west Buddhist monks visited Alexandria it was one of the great centers of trade between Rome and India and as you may know all Rome's gold eventually went to India for the purchase of pepper and as a result of this the Roman economy collapsed they bought too much luxury from India India in exchange got Roman architecture and you'll see a lot of Roman architecture in Indian temples but Alexandria was the great Center for the Gnostics and for Christian theology and some of the greatest theologians Clement Origen Athanasius Saint Cyril all worked out of Alexandria we're now going back to this strange monk dionysius it was he who first put around the idea in Christian circles that there was such a thing of the knowledge as the knowledge of God by faith by agnosia really by unknowing and he in a book which he wrote very short book called the theologian Mystica he wrote a treatise on the higher knowledge of God which might be quoted directly from the Upanishads in certain parts of it the last section of it reads like the man do cure punish honor because it's a series of negations it says what God is not and he goes very far because he says that God is not one he says our idea of unity falls far short of what God is so does our idea of Trinity so does our idea of spirit our idea of mind of justice of love all these things ah not really God and he says in another place if anybody having seen God understood what he had seen what he would have seen would not have been God but some creature of God less than God some sort of angel or something like that it's perfectly amazing to consider the influence that this man had for writing under the name of dionysius the areopagite he became identified you see with Saint Paul's first convert in Athens and legend has it that he was the first bishop of Athens and was martyred in Gaul now where he's known as some Denis but some Thomas Aquinas looked upon the writings of dionysius the areopagite as having the highest authority and you could if all the text of Dionysus his work had been lost you could restore most of it from quotations in some Thomas he wrote really two very important books one was the one I said that the theologian Mystica the other was called the divine names and these two books presented the two phases of his theology the book called the divine names was a discussion on the nature of God in terms of what God is like by analogy and this kind of knowledge of God he called catyph attic from the Greek Femi to speak or say Qatar meaning to say according to that is to say to speak by analogy where he used though entirely negative language about God this sort of discourse was called apophatic and the word appo meaning away from to talk away from just as a sculptor when he makes an image reveals the image by removing stone and so Don Isis explained that one attains the knowledge of God by discarding concepts which is exactly what the Hindus mean when they say of God one can only say neti neti not this not this not any conception last in Hindu philosophy the highest state of consciousness in Samadhi is called near if it CalPERS Ahmadi which means literally non-conceptual vikalpa means a concept near is a negation so the non conceptual knowledge now people have greatly misunderstood this they have imagined that unknowing the state of the highest contemplation was the acquisition of a blank mind from which you first discarded thought you went on to discard perception he went on to discard any kind of sensory content in awareness until you were so far as anyone could say aware of nothing and they supposed that this kind of catatonic state was mystical consciousness this is often believed in India if you go to the Vedanta Society and asked what do you mean by nearly culpa Samadhi they will tell you that the one in that state has no consciousness whatsoever of the sensory world that he is completely absorbed as you sometimes see Hindu holy men sitting in a state where they are blind and deaf to everything going on around the founder of Chinese then known as way none described people like that as no better than pieces of rock and lumps of wood he said it's a very serious mistake indeed to confuse sunyata the sanskrit word for the great void which is both the ultimate reality and the consciousness thereof it is a great mistake to confuse it with nothingness it is rather to be thought of as space or like space because space is not empty it contains the whole universe and so in the same way the State of Mind of a person who is truly enlightened he is not empty it contains everything but like space it is not stained by what it contains and it's often said in Zen imagery you can't hammer a nail into space you can't spit on the sky and silent if you try the spit will just return and hit your own faith so they go on to say the consciousness in all of us your basic mind is like space it is completely pure but of course by purity they don't mean unsexual which is of course what purity generally means in the Western world blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God a person who's pure in heart has generally understood as one who never has any naughty thoughts you know what naughty means means vain negative empty a naughty person therefore as one who doesn't amount to anything was just nothing that's the real meaning but this misunderstanding of the nature of contemplation existed not only in India from which it was transmitted to China but also in the West you read many treatises on Western mysticism and the still the feeling that getting into a deep deep trance sometimes called rapture again the word rapture has undergone some transformations we talk about raptures people being beside themselves with pleasure but to be wrapped means to be taken away from the body so also ecstasy we now interpret as meaning in a state of high pleasure but it means to be outside yourself to stand outside yourself your soul has left you it is with God as Arabs say of all crazy people be kind to them they are not here their soul is with God but actually if it can be true as Buddhists say that Nirvana and sansara are one and if it can be true as Christians say that the spirit can be made flesh the word could be made flesh then obviously the highest form of man is not sitting in a trance like a lump on a log with a perfectly blank mind because if that were the highest state of consciousness it would be an exclusive state of mind a state of mind that shuts out life and in that sense it could not qualify for being what the Hindus call non-dualistic they always speak of the highest reality as being not one because one excludes many not nothing because nothing excludes something not being because being excludes non being and vice versa and so they use this word non dual to mean that which doesn't exclude anything which as it were has no outside as we say space has no outside you can only have outside the inside space you can't have any outsides outside space there's no outside space even though space may be curved and finite so if you want to think incidentally of that curved space go and take a look at a photograph in the life a book on mathematics well there's a picture of a Klein bottle which is a three dimensional mobius strip it might be a strip you know is a piece of paper that is twisted once and then joined and it has only one side and only one edge our Klein bottle is a three-dimensional mobius strip and it only has one inside it has no outside you can say it has an inside and no outside or it has an outside of no inside it's a fabulous little little trick but there's something like that would be the nature of space as that which does indeed current transcend the opposites mm not quite now we'd have to do one extra move on a serpent to make it into a Klein bottle you'd have to tuck its head through the ins through the side of its skin and make the aperture through the mouth continuous with the inside of the serpent towards the tail you see that's more or less one bottle so what I'm getting to I'm giving you something out of the general history of religions to show that what has been meant by the mystical state the state of Samadhi or awakening in certain traditions is not this state of trance about a state of consciousness in which you can perfectly well carry on your daily affairs and of course what is meant by a bodhisattva as the ideal type of Buddhist person is that he is not wrapped that he is actively engaged in the life of the world because he has gone beyond the illusion that Nirvana is to be found away from everyday life so what is then the point of meditation why meditate why do you have to crawl off into a hole or go to a Zen monastery or retire and be quiet when this is only a withdrawal is there anything to be said for it our meditation is in there in that sense as a practice as a discipline is a very curious problem because from one point of view it's a help and from another point of view a hindrance and I think we have to understand first of all that meditation exercises are medicinal rather than dietary the same could be said of LSD a medicine not a diet something that is described in Zen as when you want to open a door or summon someone to open the door for you you pick up a brick and you knock on the door but you don't carry the brick into the house when you need a raft for crossing a stream you cross the stream on the raft but you leave the raff on the bank at the other side you don't go carrying it around a lot of people when they get into meditation or they get into religion or into any kind of exploration of this sort turn the door into a revolving door and keep on going round and round and round and never get through they say what a gas it is to be in this revolving door sitting a good definition of a parasite is the person who goes through a revolving door on someone else's push [Laughter] so there are all sorts of people in the religious racket who are going through revolving doors and they very bitter about people who walk right through and leave the door behind because they say well you haven't paid enough respect you must really understand religious one-upmanship it's a tremendously important thing and don't be caught out by this because what happens is there's a little game going on which I'm going to initiate you into and it's played in Zen which is it works like this if you go to a teacher and ask for spiritual instruction or even if you come to a seminar like this you are by doing that confusing yourself because you are looking for what you're asking for outside as if someone else could give it to you as if you didn't have it so the teacher knows that as long as you do that you haven't understood but he doesn't just tell you to go away or we may sometimes just say go away I'm too busy and I'm any in any case I can't tell you anything well people won't take that for an answer they won't take no for an answer and furthermore if he just said go away they would just find some other teacher who would exploit them and maybe keep them as followers for years and acquire a great deal of money by sir doing what he does is another thing he tries to give them the put-down as if to say you have a great long distance to go yet your attainment is not at all perfect and where are they they're always talking about other sects and other schools and saying well they haven't really got the point you see so that you keep losing faith in yourself and feeling my goodness I haven't yet attained this thing and that keeps you working but all the time you're being talked out it's like someone who's a pickpocket and he's stolen your own watch and is selling it to you but just so long as you can be talked out of yourself you deserve to be now you become very aware of this if you ever do momentarily slip into some sort of a mystical experience you become aware of this tremendous gamesmanship going on and you see it is sort of continuous with it with all sorts of cosmic games that are going on of creatures ET and other creatures up and the creatures that get eaten of course transform themselves into the creatures that eat them and then in turn eat other creatures and that you you see the whole hide-and-seek game going on and then you realize very clearly that the state of development that you are in now is no better and no worse than anybody else's state because it's like space again which planet is an or which star is in the best position well it's all equal they're all in the middle anyone can be considered as the center one any point on a sphere is the center of the surface of the sphere so you know that in the same way everybody in all his behavior whatever he's doing whether we call him from a certain point of view sick or whether we call him healthy whether we call him good or bad neurotic normal psychotic sane all the manifestations are just like the leaves on the trees and in each being in a unique way his as Christians would say manifesting the will of God so they're really if from that point of view there is nothing to do to attain buddhahood nothing at all but you see that's very difficult to understand because a lot of people when they hear that there's nothing to do try to do nothing and you can't because you are karma and karma means action you can't do nothing but the thing you're looking for or think you're looking for is what you're doing is what's called you only of course as we all know we've got ourselves into the idea that oneself is so difficult to see because it's like as I've often said trying to bite your own teeth or look into your own eyes and you can't find it it's always behind it's like your head is from the optical point of view a blank space neither law and light nor dark it's right in the middle of everything and so one of the great tricks of gurus is to set people looking for their heads there's a famous story of a king in India in ancient times called yojna Dutta and one morning he woke up and reached out for his mirror and brought it over no here he was looking in the wrong side of the mirror you know he was kind of bleary-eyed and had a hangover so he summoned servants and said he God's I've lost my head find it and they said but your majesty it's there on your shoulders he said it is not I can't see it in the mirror nobody can show me my head so they were rushing all over the place looking for the head now the trick to that is of course that you are perfectly well aware of your head only not in a form in which you expect to be aware of it you expect to be aware of your own head in the same way as you're aware of other people's heads but that wouldn't be true of you because you've got an inside view on your head you have an outside view one of other people's heads because of course you're taking an inside point-of-view but the way in which you are aware of your head is in terms of what you are seeing and hearing because all sites and all sounds are what the nerves inside your head are doing that's how to be aware of one's head you are aware therefore of yourself the mysterious self that you have in terms of experience because there isn't really any difference but that always escapes people to see so perpetually so long as you don't understand that you can be talked into going onto all kinds of weird excursions and just so long as you believe it you're a sucker you're hooked and it takes a tremendous inner confidence and nerve finally to say I mean it don't pull that stunt on me anymore I see through your game and because guru's a very clever at putting you down but they're just trying to see how strong you are testing you out see if they can put wink you so long as they can you see they're gonna go on doing it because they gotta get you to the point but they can't do it you anymore then they'll graduate and so one of RINs eyes students after he saw through it said well it wasn't much in wrens eyes Buddhism after all course there wasn't he said boldly and straight out my teaching is just like using an empty fist to deceive a child you know when you play games with a child and pretend you've got something here the child goes into all kinds of tizzy to get you to open your hand and show what it is and then there's nothing fooled see you so you can be fooled as long as you can be fooled when you can't be fooled you don't ask the question anymore because it's all become clearer it's all become clear that there is no puzzle about this universe what makes you think the Rapunzel out this universe very simple reason you're trying to explain it and when you explain things what you would what do you mean by explanation there are several meanings of explanation there is really one basic meaning but first of all to be able to translate what is happening into terms of words or numbers in other words to describe but a real explanation is not just the description it's the description which enables us to control what we are describing but didn't we see in the last session that to control the world is not really what we want to do so that if all explanations have as their function enabling us to control things then maybe an explanation isn't what we wanted and furthermore you can very simply see that what makes things complicated is explaining them when somebody explains to you how a flower works and he's a great botanist and analyzes all the innards of the flower and shows the channels the fibers the processes of reproduction and so on that go on in it everybody stands fascinated see how complicated that is how clever God must have been to create that flower to have all that complexity going isn't complicated at all it's only complicated when you start thinking about it because the vehicle of words is a very clumsy one and when you try to talk about the processes of nature what is complicated is not the processes of nature but trying to put them into words that's as complicated as trying to drink up the ocean with a fork takes forever and so this intense complexity that we see in it is created by our attempt to analyze it all and so what we do is you see when we analyze we use our eyes and ears as sculptors and we deceptively and we have to put a label on every piece we chop off and so we scalpel eyes and we get it right down to atoms getting finer and finer and we suddenly thought well we've got to the end of it because the word atom means what is not cuttable our Thomas but any family could cut the atom and lo and behold big fleas had little fleas upon their backs to bite them and it goes on forever there is no end to the my Newton s which you can unveil through physical investigation for the simple reason that the investigation itself is what is chopping things into pieces and the sharper you can sharpen your knife the finer you can cut it and the knife of the intellect is very sharp indeed and the sophisticated instruments that we can now make that was probably don't limit to it but in a way all that is vain knowledge in a way because you see it what it does is it gives you the illusion but you've solved your problem when you have control certain things and you have solved certain problems practical problems you say fine more of that please let's go on solving problems and then you do and you create a world of people as we are today far more comfortable than people who lived in the 19th century just remember the troubles of going to a dentist when you were children or some of you when you were children of medicine of badly heated homes of all sorts of things that we don't put up with anymore but the problem is we keep running into this thing that all constant stimulations of consciousness become unconscious and when we take it as a matter of course to have certain comforts then we switch the level on which we worry when you solve a whole set of problems people find new ones to worry about and after a while you begin to get that haven't we been here before feeling aren't we just going round on a cycle and doing the same old thing over and over and over again because we don't realize that we are tape chasing our own tails by an eternally recurrent process of not knowing who you are that is the hide-and-seek that is the nature of what the Hindus call the manvantara and the pro lyre the period of the man mantra in which the worlds are manifested and the period of the pralaya in which the worlds are withdrawn from manifestation in and out in and out evermore came out by the same door as in I went and the thing is to get to the point where you can see that you are doing that in every moment of your existence with every tiny little atom of your body you now at this minute you see are the whole the whole system of eating and outing in other words you often think perhaps maybe a long long time ahead I shall reach the point where I wake up from manifestation and overcome the world illusion and discover that I am the supreme reality behind all this diversification my friends there is no diversification in other words what you call diversification is your game in the same way as you chop the thing and then you say it is made of pieces when you forget that you cut it and so when you see the world as complicated and that there are life problems and that you might one day succeed see hundreds and hundreds of people are running like mad after something that they thought that is success and they have no idea what it is so in exactly the same way that Lulu is keeping you running and running after spiritual attainment you know what you want say where Krishnamurti is so clever because he says if you ask me for enlightenment how can you ask me for enlightenment if you don't know what it is how do you know you wanted is that any concept you have of it will be simply a way of trying to perpetuate the situation you're already in if you think you know what you're going out for all you're doing is you're seeking the past what you already know what you've already experienced therefore that's not it is it because you say you're looking for something quite new but what do you mean new what's your conception of something new well I figure I can only think about it and turn to something old something I once had so he doesn't say anything he doesn't indicate anything positively everybody says why are you so negative why don't you give us something to hang on to well if these simple answer is it wouldn't be spurious you don't need anything to hang on to your it you don't need a religion but then you say well well what is all this religious stuff about them why don't we just forget it you can try by all means go away don't go to gurus don't go to church don't enter philosophical discussions forget it but then you'll realize that by having consented to forget it you're still seeking what a trap what can you do you see if you stay here and listen to me or to anyone else who comes around here you're fooling yourself but if you go away you're fooling yourself to because you still think that's going to improve your situation it won't and therefore when you discover that it doesn't you'll think well maybe it was a mistake to go away and you come back to the guru and he looks at you and says uh-uh-uh-uh you are very undisciplined very very inferior student and you you need to apply yourself well as I explained I explain what he's doing but it comes down in a way to a sort of contest with a guru see will you call his bluff you're afraid to because you might discover that if you do call his bluff he's no better than you are well that's what you're supposed to find out but without being cynical about it he's as divine as you are but you've got to call the bluff there's go to be a showdown and it's it's a double bind the whole situations are double bind because it doesn't do any good to stay here and it doesn't do you any good to go away either to do something about it or to do nothing about it now then there's something else when you understand that and when you realize that there's nothing to realize well it's all here and then what are you gonna do well of course this is the sense of Zen poem supernatural activity and marvelous power drawing water carrying fuel no do whatever one does as a human being but there's a little element of philistinism in that it's like when a child is pestering father or mother with all sorts of questions they finally get down to the deepest metaphysical problems they say oh shut up and eat your doughnut and I wouldn't say that you see at this point because life as one looks at if you see is in fact a celebration of itself when you look out at night at the Stars and you really want a good god what is all that about well it's a firework display and it's celebrating High Holy Day its whoopee and the whole world is whoopee it's a kind of exuberance and therefore the proper function of religion is digging this it's not seeking it's not seeking anything but is in a way Thanksgiving that's why of course the Christmas were right in calling the mass the the Eucharist the Thanksgiving only they had such a complicated way of thinking about it and nobody could understand it so they're in in religion or religious exercises whether they are meditative or whether they are ritualistic ah Whoopie they are not something you do in order to attain anything they are like art forms like dancing they are expressive of attainment of the obtain less attainment so here's another hang-up for you when you go to mr. Suzuki who runs the Zen Center he's a good disciple of Doge M who brought them a certain school of Zen to Japan in the 13th century Dogen said you can't sit and meditate unless you're already a Buddha in which case why I meditate well meditation is just the way a Buddhist sits and he called this sitting justice it not to attain enlightenment does the minute you do that you see you're not meditating so you only become a good meditator if you're not looking for anything there for you as well things be able to and what a great fist to dissect old analytical int to be able to alter all the trees floor and the light of rounder hue without calling it light or floor or trees or he that it has parts or thinking that it's complicated it isn't so when you can sit without thinking not with an empty mind mind you I'm going back to that point not with an empty mind but just a non analytic mind a non probing mind where you're not problems on and on an on analytic mind a non probing mind where you're not creating problems all the time by trying to control it by trying to control your mind by trying to control your experience what you see in here you then just simply discover that there is no way of controlling what you're experiencing because what you're experiencing is you and to try and really fundamentally control that this is coming around the circle so if I would say to you now what you have to learn is to let it happen that's wrong too there's no one to let it happen if I say to you except your experience be calm and open to things that again perpetuates the illusion that you're something different from so we go round and round but if there are some people who want to get together and like we would get together to play poker or to have a walk go or say the boat if there are some people who want to get together to meditate and have rituals and to chant great it's an art form and you can only use it and make it a good art form if you're not using it to get something and this is what really is the bane of temples all over the world you go into Buddhist temples where they theoretically don't believe in any God but there are the people praying and they are all doing it in order that we get a male child next time around or that the horse recover from a disease or that mama gets cured of the dropsy and all these petitions are going on and on and on people always coming to the temple to ask for something lowbrow people for lowbrow things eyebrow people for highbrow things and they're all the vendors sit outside and sell souvenirs and magic and charms and all the people go in and do this and all these serious priests sitting there really having to keep up face and say yes we can provide these services on the other hand if you go in to one of these temples along with all the faithful followers and have a bowl by a by a bead by a candle via this father buy some incense go in and dig this great thing going on salute the Buddha's or the crystal the altars or the crucifixes or what you will but don't take it seriously and this is one of the great important transformations of today in our consciousness is that a great many people are finding out that religion is not supposed to be taken seriously this is a shocking thing to many people or those used to be an old saying that a religion is dead when the priest laughs across the altars that's true in one sense the priests know that they've got a racket going and they don't believe one word of it and they're laughing across the altar because of all these suckers are armed doing it then it's true the religion is dead but when the priests laugh at the audience because they're having such fun because this whole scene is so beautiful well it's the difference between some stuffy old Buddhist priest humming a Sutra and Allen Ginsberg chanting a Sutra that's the thing to hear no they're gone for interminably moon it's a ball they're sick of it but they get paid for it this is magical but when I'm Ginsberg Johnson Sutra everybody gets in a circle he gets these little bells and they get going it's just like a it's like a jam session where everybody is absolutely delighted well that's the way to do it and if you can't do it that way forget it