Trying to escape the NOW, what is, is not possible. How can you escape from all that is? Where would you go? How would you get there? And who is this one that is trying to escape the now? Would not that “sense of you” that is trying to escape also be part of what’s presently arising? And if that “sense of you” is not separate from now, then escape is impossible and any attempts must naturally lead to suffering.
And what, exactly, is it you are trying to escape from? What is the now? Can you define it? Control it? No and no, for the reason that now isn’t an object, it’s not a thing that can actually be found or picked up or even touched. It’s simply all that is ever happening. You are the now… not a part of the now, but all of it. So when you try to escape the now, you are trying to escape yourself.
One of the “keys” to awakening is seeing the inherent meaninglessness of everything. This is NOT being pessimistic or anything of the kind. Rather, it’s simply the nature of everything. For example, because a pine tree is void of meaning, some people like them, some may dislike them and some don’t care one way or the other about them. Same tree, 3 different “meanings.” If the meaning were actually true, for example, if pine trees were inherently the greatest trees on earth, then everyone would feel that way. But they don’t. It’s whatever you think about them… that becomes your experience.
In a way, you could say that everything is a mirror. It reflects back exactly what you think of it. And mirrors themselves are empty, which is why they are free to reflect back whatever is put in front of them. Without “YOU” present to give the object meaning, it simply has none.
How to see this? One way is to watch the labels your mind mentally and habitually slaps on everything and then ask yourself if this is absolutely true? Yes, it may be relatively true, for example, that I like coconut ice cream, but what does that “mean”? Nothing! As lesson one in ACIM says, “Nothing I see… means anything.”
Again, seeing this is not negative or anything of the sort… it’s seeing things as they truly are… and that is the first step toward real freedom.
The illusion is that if you can just manipulate your outer world to match the picture in your head of what you think you want, you will be happy. However, If we dig a little deeper, the first thing we may notice is that these pictures are constantly changing! Do you want the exact same thing now as you did 5 years ago?… 5 months ago?….. 5 mins ago?
It seems as if the mind is a confused… doesn’t seem to really know what will make it happy, so it just endlessly seeks new stuff. And do you notice that the mind is never satisfied? I mean, when was the last time you got what you wanted, and the mind said, “Okay, cool, goal achieved. I’m good. Mission accomplished. Happiness achieved.. no need to want anything else. Cya!” How about never!! The mind’s desires are endless, endless, endless. Which can only mean it hasn’t itself any peace, or why would it be searching so dang hard?? Which brings us to my point:
What if you stop looking to your mind to give you peace, which it itself does not possess?
Sometimes seekers inquire about awakening exercises… things they can do to speed up their awakening process. And therein lies the “problem.” The very idea that awakening is a process. It’s not. It’s clear seeing. A process takes time. Clear seeing occurs in a timeless instant.
It’s more direct than a process because you don’t go anywhere or do anything. You simply look, and in the looking comes the spontaneous knowing. This is beyond words or mind. It’s what you are. It’s the recognition of what you have always been. Why would that take any time?
This is why the only reason for doing ANY spiritual practice is so that eventually it can be seen that it ultimately was a glorious failure! I mean, what exercise could you possibly give someone that would get them to stop seeking for two seconds long enough to notice that THIS is all there is? That nothing is hidden… just THIS, no more no less. Doesn’t that kinda make the exercise of moving closer to something in time moot if all there is is what’s spontaneously happening?
It means that words are symbols of symbols. To understand this, we must first see that our perspective of Life is just that, a single PERSPECTIVE, and not the Absolute Truth. Our perspective is an appearance. And to give the appearance meaning, we use words. So, the appearance is one step away from reality, and the symbols-words-thoughts we use to explain the appearance is another step away from the Absolute Truth… hence twice removed.
So in a way, you could say that thoughts are lies about the false! Where’s the Truth? It’s changeless which is why nothing can be said about it. The TAO that can be named is not the TAO.