…actually more of a fortress in the sky ~
I created a safety zone for myself. It is the place where I know something. I have built up this fortress over decades and I am so very proud of this structure: it serves me very well. It is made of many blocks of different sizes and shapes: each part is some knowledge that I have understood. There is so much that I have accumulated from ancient, secret scrolls – things that very few have fathomed. Now I realize how silly I have been. Yes, it was all for the best since it got me to where I am now, so there are no regrets but only a kind of chagrin at the pride in myself that I indulged in.
It is my extreme good fortune, or perhaps it is the way that grace operates, that I finally have come upon how futile all this knowledge is. I feel how every bit of security is keeping me from myself. Krishna said: “All I see is myself.” All of my ‘higher’ knowledge is keeping me from all of myself by cementing a subtle undercurrent of knowing it better that the others. This surrender to the fact of the existential uncertainty that lies open before me is disintegrating the fortress.
It has to do with breaking the taboo of looking without knowing, which means without concepts. To say that all existence is meaningless is a deep felt taboo, for it immediately conjures up the vision of nihilism, of despair and suicide. Now I look and see that all of my most cherished concepts are built of sand, yes, castles made of sand that will wash into the sea eventually.
Everything that I have held on to and that prove how much more I understand than the next person are but smoke and mirrors. Looking the fact in the face shows me that there really are no ‘others’ and that literally all whom I encounter are other forms of myself. All of the weaknesses I perceive in others are weaknesses in other forms of this one being, which is my own being. Only by absolute acceptance of this fact can I see reality.
Here is a dialogue between Nisargadatta and a visitor that led me to this place:
Without Self-knowledge all activities are meaningless. Even after attaining Self-knowledge all activities are meaningless. Self-knowledge, after attaining it, becomes useless. Before you know yourself you suffer, with Self-knowledge that comes to an end.
Jnana is beyond attributes, timeless; once you know yourself everything is meaningless, including experiences for they are a meaningless illusion. The Knower of them is beyond space and time.
Everything appears and vanishes, including thousands of suns, in the Parabrahman. You had Self-knowledge prior to birth, but the world and its experience made you forget it.
Like a king dreams that he is a beggar, you have forgotten yourself.