Ebbs and Flows

Ebbs and flows are a thing of life. Some days are better than others. Again, the core point of so many teachings that reach for enlightenment is that the struggling is part of the problem. The ego that keeps trying, trying and trying; it is turbulence that is not the still mind. Tension that is not the simple stillness that sits at the heart of us.

It takes a bit of a shift in perspective that we are not our ego, our personality, we are not any observer that sits in our minds any more than there's someone inside a tape recorder when that tape recorder would spout a phrase talking about that tape recorder. Just because the mind is capable of self-reflection it doesn't mean that it has to base its identity on that self-reflection any more than a robotic arm that can grasp itself should.

It is difficult to imagine in the common materialistic westerner perspective, but there is something behind the thoughts. There is a base awareness, a still consciousness, and the point is that we are that consciousness. And any struggle of the thoughts to do something or other are just shapes on a screen in front of that consciousness. They are not the self.

And that's why the point of meditation is to still the thoughts so that we can experience what's behind it. The point of confusion is where people think the responsibility sits in doing that. The ego can't remove thoughts because the ego itself is a thought. Only by not doing any of that do the thoughts stop, at least eventually. And more than that, the point is to realize that there is no point to the struggle because there is no one struggling. Again, there's no real ego, only a pretense of such. A shape of a thing on a screen that is not that thing.

And when one realizes THAT one, well that's basically the biggest part of enlightenment. I absolutely, completely recommend hearing all this from someone way more fluent in this than me, that is Alan Watts.