Stillness, still moving.
As a person evolves in consciousness, eventually they come to the stage where they say, “I don’t know what’s happening anymore.” This is known as a good sign. You see, we never know what’s happening – we only think we do. And the only way the mind can feel comfortable with itself is to feel: it knows what’s happening, and the only way it can think it knows what’s happening is by comparison.
If you keep evolving, if you keep becoming more conscious, eventually you find there is nothing to which you can compare, because the old has become so old it’s irrelevant. All the old ways have become so old you can’t relate to them anymore. And so we get the phrase: “the dark night of the soul.” And it can mean many things, but the main thing is, it’s a sort of “lostness.” You’ve lost your connections, or the meanings, to the old and you haven’t found a new one. Now the good and the bad news is: you never will find one, because there isn’t one, because “now” doesn’t have one.
The other, lets say, unpleasant thing is you can no longer relate to people who are still on the relating level, in the old way, because something has happened to you where you see so clearly that what we’ve been calling reality is no longer real to you, but your friends and acquaintances, the people you meet, are still at that level where they are trying to solve that level.
Let’s talk about that a little bit. When you’re in the old paradigm, if you take a look you will find that you’re never without a problem – except maybe if you get high – you’re not without a problem. There is always something. And if you follow that something, if you track it back, you’ll find it tracks back to fear. Fear is always there – sometimes more in the foreground when it’s obvious, and when it’s not obvious, in the background, but it’s still driving your life. Fear of … and then you can go endlessly into what the fear is of, in each moment.
When you click out of that paradigm, fear either disappears altogether or goes so far away you’re not connected with it anymore. And that sounds good, doesn’t it? But when it happens, you don’t have a reference point, because without you realizing it previously, you always had a reference point. Even if it was unpleasant, you knew where you are. And in this new state, when you say, “Oh I see that that problem is not solvable, or if it is solvable it doesn’t really make a difference because there will be another one, and another one.” It can’t be solved – on that level – it can’t be solved. When that’s gone, in a way all your references have gone. There’s nothing to which you can compare. You’re in a new state.
I’ll just do a little aside with that. You’re always in that state. And now you are realizing you’re in a state to which you have no reference. So, do you feel good or bad? You don’t know, because in this state the dichotomies have merged. They may not be totally merged, but they’re so close together now, you can’t tell what’s good and bad, and right and wrong, and benefit and harm, and possible and impossible. You can’t tell anymore because they’re so close, they’re both. And eventually, they’ll be neither … because these dichotomies are just the way that the mind tries to handle the world, to keep you safe. They don’t actually exist.
If you look at details, you can say, “Well, the action of this murderer, the action of this social worker, they must be different.” No, on this new level, it’s not different. It just is. Everything just is. So that’s why, in a way, it’s called, “the dark night of the soul.” [chuckling] It’s so dark, you can’t see anything. You can’t see what is and what isn’t. At that time, you will usually meet a situation that will support you. It’s not a coincidence. Your frequency now draws to you something to support you in this state.
Somebody was just telling us a story yesterday that, in a way, illustrates it – not accurately, but I’ll … I’ll tell you. Their father was a very rough person, very rough. And no religion, no spirituality, rough, unpleasant man. As he was dying, big smile came on his face, and he started talking, very pleasantly and softly, to nobody in particular. And then he came back to the people in the room and he said, “The room is full of angels, and they’re all saying, “We’re here for you. You’re loved, you’re supported, you’re cared for.” And he said, “What I realized is, they’ve always been there, but some … situation, some natural law is, they can’t support us unless we make ourselves available, for their support.”
So, let’s just imagine, it may not be angels, it may … let’s just imagine that what we call “existence” is there for us. Nothing is a coincidence. Every single thing that happens to you in your life is for you. Everything. It’s helping you to see yourself more clearly. It’s helping you to see where you’re not seeing yourself clearly. Embrace every moment in your life, and take a look with curiosity. “What is there in this moment, for me?” And make yourself available.
We’ll continue the diversion. How do you make yourself available? I’ll tell you. Every time you feel a complaint, stop. Don’t do it. Don’t support your complaint. Just let it lie there – float there. And if you have a little trouble with that, take a look at your life. “What is there in life for which I can be grateful?” And there’s always something. If you‘re going to put your energy anywhere, put it towards the gratefulness and you’re making a space. You make a space because gratefulness expands, and includes, and in that you’re going to include all the support there is there for you. When you complain you contract, you close off, and then you’re not so in touch with what’s there for you. So keep looking, catching every time you go to complaint.
Back to the dark night of the soul. It’s wonderful! It’s you having a paradigm shift – a great shift – from the old way of looking at everything in duality, to this new way that … can’t be described. If you embrace that, say, “Alright, I’m not going to keep looking at how to go back to the old, I’m going to be with what is. I will be with this ‘not knowing,’” as soon as you, let’s say, make that decision, more support will be for you there.
You see, you listening to this now is a support for you being in that space. It’s not a coincidence. And if you don’t hear a talk like this, somebody will come into your life, or somebody will give you a book, or you’ll hear something on the web. You will get the support you need when you make yourself available. And how do you make yourself available? You dare – it’s absolutely a dare! – to disconnect from the old way of seeing things, and allow yourself to be in a space where you “don’t know.”
See, the fact is we don’t know. Nobody knows. Will we allow ourselves to float there? When we do, something else happens. And that’s when we get to the space where – nobody’s actually described that space in a way that the mind can understand – The Tao, The Way, The Hidden Harmony, The Peace That Passeth Understanding, The Kingdom of God. There’s a space there!
Now I’m going to mention one more thing. If you look for this space, you’re going to look from the old way, and you won’t see it. Can’t be seen in the old way. It can’t be seen as good or bad, or right or wrong. It’s something else. And, of course I can’t say this for certain, but this is where I’ve got to: you’ll never know what it is. You’ll never know, because knowing has to have its opposite – unknowing – and this doesn’t have an opposite. It just is. And, as they’ve said in the East, “Thou art that.” You’re not in that space, you are that space!
One of the lovely sayings I enjoy from Buddha is: “Out of the whole came the whole, and the whole remains.” Whole. We can’t understand that, can we? If you take something out, then it’s lost to where it was taken from. But it’s not like that. Each one of us is the whole, but we will never understand it. We can be in it, because we are it, but not in our old way of understanding.
So where does that get us to? I’ll tell you. When this uncertainty happens, don’t try and be certain. Be uncertain. Another Zen saying: “Not knowing is the most intimate.” Don’t know – just be. The mind won’t let you alone for a long time, it’ll keep saying, “Is it this, is it that? We’ve got to take care of you.” It can take care of you in the practical ways, but in this way, we need not to know.
Another thing I’ve mentioned before, just to try and make you feel more comfortable with it: if ever you’ve had a substance and you’ve got high … and it’s a calm high, and you’re sitting there … you feel wonderful, don’t you? Marvelous. Just sitting there – no problems, nothing to struggle with, no fear … Now let me point out to you again, when you’re feeling that, nothing on the outside has changed at all. If you had problems before, the problems are out there. If you had difficulties, the difficulties are still out there. The difference is, you’ve shifted in consciousness. You’ve dis-connected from duality – good and bad, and right and wrong, love and hate – you’ve disconnected. Part of your brain has been put to sleep, and you’re just sitting here feeling wonderful.
I’m not advocating that you take a substance because if you do, eventually if you keep taking it, it’ll fade away, and then it’ll be much more difficult to get it naturally. What we’re looking for is that state, naturally – no substance to support us – just us disconnecting, disconnecting, disconnecting. And one day you’ll find yourself sitting there, in that wonderful state, where everything is perfect. And here’s just a little note. It won’t be the same as when you’ve taken a substance. It’ll be very different: deeper … [chuckles] and more unexplainable.
Back to a couple of practical things. As you dissolve into this state, you’re going to find, in a way, more difficulties relating to your friends, and people in general, because they’re still living in duality. They’re still trying to fix things that will never be fixed, or if they fix it, there’ll be another one.
An illustration that’s been used, and that I like, is of the ocean. On the surface of the ocean, especially on a windy day – choppy and splashing and … and disturbance. And that’s the way of duality. Down … down … down … down … a stillness … that’s still moving … it’s still moving, but there’s a … stillness, a peace, a calm, a peace that passes understanding.
Most people live on the surface. In fact they live in a gale, with the waves crashing on the shore. There’s one problem – crashed! – and then along comes another one, and another one… Just look around at people generally. There’s always something going on in their lives! And eventually, stuff will go on in your life, but you won’t be living on the surface. You’ll be living at the depth.
The way of the world, the practical, will still go on. But you won’t be identified with it, you won’t see yourself as that choppy wave. You’ll feel the depth of yourself, which – another good illustration – at that depth, that water is connected to all the water in the ocean all over the planet. It’s connected. It’s one. And so are you.
You are. You are one. And the temptation is to say, “with everything,” but you see there isn’t an “everything.” [chuckles] There is only one, and thou art that.
Back to the practical. The choppiness can go on. Those little things that are not convenient and uncomfortable and, say, health things and relationship things and financial things, they can all chop about on the surface, but you don’t live there anymore.
And, you take care of them, but now it will be in a different way – not contracted, not worried, not scurrying from one thing to another – in an expanded way. Yes, we need to make that phone call, we need to get this fixed. But the new way is … you’re not concerned, contracted with these little things, because you now live in the depth.
Suggestion: spend a little time each day just sitting, and if you’re not experiencing yourself in that depth, just sit and be open for it. Don’t try, because if you try you’ll use the old way, and this isn’t the old way. This is just sitting, just allowing, whatever is appropriate, and any support that’s available for you – you’re available.