The everyday ordinary monk lives as a person
who always has nothing to do.
“…who always has nothing to do.” This is living life without forethought and always letting go of the now in the now. This is life without the mind clogging up the works by wanting to create a vision for the next moment. It clogs up the free flow of vital energy and of the Mystery of creation because it holds on to what is pleasurable in the present moment and repels what is uncomfortable in the present moment. What we call ‘the mind’ is no more than impressions in memory of these things to avoid and those we want to attract into our lives. However, by feeding this tendency to create security and safety for itself, the mind is continually strengthening past impressions of memory. These are like grooves in the brain, or, some say, like scars in the brain. Vital energy, the Life Force, cannot move through our psycho-somatic organism smoothly because of all of these barriers to the New, the Now. When we understand the importance of destruction as a part of creation we can then let go and die to the present moment again, again and again. We trust in the Mystery to create the most suitable form for Its energy to flow into at any given moment.
Relationship between human beings is based on the image-forming, defensive mechanism. In all our relationships each one of us builds an image about the other and these two images have relationship, not the human beings themselves. The wife has an image about the husband – perhaps not consciously but nevertheless it is there – and the husband has an image about the wife. One has an image about one’s country and about oneself, and we are always strengthening these images by adding more and more to them. And it is these images which have relationship. The actual relationship between two human beings or between many human beings completely end when there is the formation of images.
Relationship based on these images can obviously never bring about peace in the relationship because the images are fictitious and one cannot live in an abstraction. And yet that is what we are all doing: living in ideas, in theories, in symbols, in images which we have created about ourselves and others and which are not realities at all. All our relationships, whether they be with property, ideas or people, are based essentially on this image-forming, and hence there is always conflict.
How is it possible then to be completely at peace within ourselves and in all our relationships with others? After all, life is a movement in relationship, otherwise there is no life at all, and if that life is based on an abstraction, an idea, or a speculative assumption, then such abstract living must inevitably bring about a relationship which becomes a battlefield. So is it at all possible for man to live a completely orderly inward life without any form of compulsion, imitation, suppression or sublimation? Can he bring about such order within himself that it is a living quality not held within the framework of ideas – an inward tranquillity which knows no disturbance at any moment – not in some fantastic mythical abstract world but in the daily life of the home and the office?