What are you looking for ?

Uncategorised Oct 24, 2019

Paul Tillich described neurosis as ‘the way of avoiding non-being by avoiding being.’  The trouble is that the more we avoid ourself out of our fears, the more we feel empty and lost, and then the tendency is to look even harder to fill ourself up. Ours society completely colludes with this illusory vision, constantly holding out an idea to pursue, or something to buy – secretly telling us then you’ll feel good.
Sanity begins when we stop seeking out there – Joshu – one of the greatest of the Chinese Zen masters asked his master when he was young – what is the truth/ what is the way ?  Nansen said, ‘Ordinary mind is the way’. Joshu said, well, how can I get it ?  Nansen said, ‘if you try to get it, it will push you away’. (Literally in Chinese, it says:  to seek, is to deviate). So Joshu said, well if I dont try how will I know if I’m on the way or not ? Nansen said, ‘knowledge is delusion, not-knowing is ignorance, it is like vast space, how can there be right or wrong (or getting or not getting) in it.’
In the west we have come to a strange juncture, in post modernism where we recognize the stories we used to tell ourself (marxism, christianity etc) are just stories. But we are stuck there. Zen takes a leap into the underlyng field of the Mind – which is before any kind of idea or understanding.
This is why there are now ten thousand different versions of psychotherapy – they are all trying to grasp the ungraspable – like the monkey in the Chinese paintings trying to grasp the refection of the moon in the river. Only when we stop seeking and grasping do we suddenly find ourselves at one with the flow of Life – actually not too far off the Gestalt theory of change – that when you stop trying to change things, things change of themselves…