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The Question with No Answer (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
403.1 - More Questions
with No Answer (Audio)
In the World but Not of the World (Audio)
May 19, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Questions are forever coming here. Seekers want to know what practices to
use, often asking about practices that are not even in the AYP baseline
system, wanting to know how to combine methods from diverse sources, wanting
to know about wild kundalini experiences, wanting to know why there arent
more experiences, wanting to know if yoga will fix a health malady, help
find a mate, or pay the rent. And many want to know when they will be
enlightened if they take up spiritual practices. So many things to ask
about. And we keep churning out the answers.
But, you know, after it
is all said and done, it boils down to the one question that has no answer:
Who or what am I?
No answer? But arent we pure bliss consciousness,
the One, the
Tao, and all of that? Surely
this is the answer. But that isn't the answer really. That is a structure in
the mind, a concept. Not the thing itself. The who or what we are is not of
the mind. It is beyond the mind. It is the infinite sea that mind is
swimming in, which the mind is constantly trying to make into a solid
concept. Trying to make solid what is fluid, invisible and without
attributes. The mind is the proverbial fish that cannot see the water it is
We say our true nature is blissful, conscious and
absolute. But is it any of these things when the body is no longer
functioning? When we are kissed on this earth plane (or any other plane) by
the essence of who and what we are, we may experience these attributes,
discuss them with excitement, and feel some satisfaction. Yet, none of these
experiences are the answer, because they all will pass away. But something
doesn't. And what is that?
While there can be no answer to the
question "Who or what am I?" we can realize we are that, become that, simply
by letting go of the need to know. As soon as we surrender the heart and the
mind, we are unadulterated That. This is not an answer. It is a
condition. A non-experience of the AM-ness underlying the inner and outer
din of our lives. We can only talk about it in a removed way.
somehow, magically, mysteriously, this AM-ness is able to move within and
through us, and express on this earth plane, as
Love. We may ask,
"How does this happen?" There is no answer to this question either. We can
set up the conditions for it to happen through daily spiritual practice, but
we cannot say how it happens, or why it is. It is beyond the rational mind.
That is why we call it "Divine," which explains everything, and nothing. We
can have faith in what is, even if we cannot explain it. It has always been
this way with human beings. When we don't know, we call it "God," or
something that depicts the unknown, and our reverence for it. In time, we
recognize that these too are concepts we transcend when we become the
reality which they attempt to describe.
The spiritual path has been
called a "razors edge." It is because to travel it, we must do something,
and we must do nothing. We employ tools that lead us beyond doing. We must
do something in order to do nothing, to become the mystery
(see Lesson 84). We seek to become that which
is beyond all thinking and doing, yet does all the thinking and doing. It is
a riddle. But not a riddle to be taken lightly, because the end of all
suffering is found in solving it, and an endless fountain
of joy in life. In order to solve the riddle, we must become it. In
order to know what cannot be known, we must become the unknown.
Again, we must say this is not a realm where the mind can succeed. The mind
cannot solve this riddle. Never in a million years will mind triumph in
this. Only in systematically going to the silent inner root of the mind will
the mystery be solved. Only by becoming the mystery is the mystery solved.
This is why we meditate, because meditation takes us beyond the
mind, bit by bit each day, into stillness, and we come to know ourselves to
be an abiding inner silence. It is another description for something that
has no description. Nevertheless, when we meditate effectively, we gradually
become That, and
It moves within and through us. As we know,
the symptoms of this movement can be ecstatic and dramatic. And we ask all
the questions about that. But sooner or later we arrive back at the question
that has no answer: Who or what am I?
If we release that question in
stillness again and again, we will not find an answer that will satisfy the
mind. The need for concepts will be released also. Step-by-step,
the mind will be released in stillness. That is when we become the answer a
knowingness in the eternal unknown. We are
That. This is liberation
from the struggles of life, even as we remain fully engaged in daily
activity with an effectiveness unknown to us before. Enlightenment is when
we know we are That which has no existence, and which animates all of
existence. Stillness in action.
Just more words. Don't think
about it too much, for that is a detour. Better to practice and become
That. Then we become the answer to the question that has no answer.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For instructions on
building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga book.
For detailed discussion on the practical utilization of
self-inquiry ("Who or what am I?"),
and the Liberation book. Also
see AYP Plus.