Zen Mind: A Personal View
by: Clive Taylor
Any idea of “what is” takes us away from what is – to be in the moment, all ideas need to be gone. There’s not even an “I” to have the ideas.
The natural being acts as an outcome of the movement of the universe, in the same way that an artist’s brush is moved by its “universe”.
All “teachings”, “spiritual” paths or “sacred” practices actually take us away from the moment, because it needs an “I” to do them, with an agenda of some kind, something to gain. All of which removes us from the eternal identity-free moment.
The only way that “what is” can be experienced is to lose all traces of self, in which case the “what is” can’t be experienced because there is no one there to experience it.
Any description of the state of the natural mind is false – it cannot be described and anyone who says they can is deluding themselves and/or you – to be described, there still has to be an identity there to describe it and if there is, that state can’t be real.
There is not even an “ultimate” state to gain, because the very idea that there is, takes us away from it.
All there is, is the operation of the universe in its all-ness. There’s no such thing as “enlightened” or “unenlightened”. These are just ideas of what is.
Even “bliss” or “transcendence” is a state of mind that needs an “I” to experience those feelings.
Thoughts are the glue of our belief structures. “I” is the creation of thoughts and beliefs.
What’s operating when we think we are functioning human beings is the operating system of the species brain, running sophisticated meme/belief structures that are the content of our identities/sense of self.
The only act consciousness can “do” is to let go of “self” awareness. Consciousness, to be fully there, needs to have no “I” attached to it – and then, who is there to be conscious?
The natural state is where everything is meaningful and meaningless – everything is part of the whole and no link in the chain can be more essential than another.
Action and thought, from this place, is an instantaneous, pure response to the call of the moment. It is the moment, the universe acting, not the person.
True peace is an absence of agitation, an absence of self-generated internal activity. So peace cannot be “done”, or created – it’s an absence of doing. This allows unadulterated “what is-ness” to be. All action out of this state is completely harmonious (even if there was anyone “there” to experience the harmony – there isn’t) and non-conflicting. There is nothing there to conflict with anything else.
A natural being feels the world cleanly, whereas an “I”, full of beliefs and ideas of self, overlays those unadulterated feelings with external content, imbuing them with emotional “charge”. This charge is reactive to the world around it, continually creating conflict as it attempts to dissipate.
(Modern research shows that there is a gap of approximately half a second between the body/mind’s initiation of a physical action and our conscious intention to do so. This suggests that the body/mind acts according to its belief instructions, not any conscious intention. The “I” is just along for the ride – late – while pretending to be in charge.)
What comes out of the moment relates only to that moment. It’s already past and non-existent as it is experienced. To hold to anything experienced or said in that moment, is to live in the dead past.
If you can’t touch it, show it, taste it, does it have any reality? That’s not to say it isn’t real, but it may not be real. It could be a construct of ideas.
Whatever is actual or real can only be there when all ideas, all thoughts, all belief, all traces of identity are gone – when there is no “I” left to take us out of the moment. If the eternal now moment is all there is, this is the only way to be in it.
Thought is only necessary, only of any use, when it is called for by the moment, for a particular task. To keep thinking beyond the particular call of the moment is the same as keeping your arm above your head all the time, or holding your stomach muscles tensed all the time.
If you took every real momentary experience of the natural being – the smell of a flower, a sunset, the death of a friend, a humorous situation, the movement of smoke on the wind – all of these in every moment, but with no self, no “I” there to even be aware of these things, this is the state of natural mind.