So long as there is seeking, there will be people who appear to have answers, and who will share those answers as part of an exchange – for money, for worship, for intimacy and so forth.
There is nothing wrong with this. When questions are projected, answers appear. When answers appear, acceptance or rejection of answers appears. Acceptance and rejection both beget new questions.
It is sort of like the forest. Trees have leaves and because they have leaves, some or all of those leaves fall to the ground. When leaves leaves fall to the ground they decompose. From the resultant mould, new trees appear.
Seeking is just part of a cycle that includes finding. What is found is never enough and what is sought is never actually found.
There is nothing surprising about this. There is nothing right about it. There is nothing wrong about it either.
Rather, it is interesting in that cycle to see where our attention is going. Are we looking for answers? Playing with answers? Extending answers to others? What answers?
The appearance of answers is helpful because they point back to the questions being asked. Often, those questions aren’t the subject of attention because they are disquieting or disturbing and so they are quickly projected.
We hate uncertainty so we ask a special person to handle the questions for us. Sometimes we pretend to be that special person for others. Tara Singh called this the lovelessness of “I’ve got it and you don’t.”
But if we can get a good look at the questions, without the drama of gurus and guides, of right and wrong, then we are closing in on the source of disquiet itself. What is so painful about these questions that we don’t want to just look at them?
A Course in Miracles often shows up in people’s lives when they are ready to have a direct experience of God – that is, when they are ready to look closely at the appearance of separation (self here, God there) in order to learn that this separation is illusory – it appears real, but it is not real.
In alternately gentle and intellectually convoluted ways, the Course invites students to question the appearance of separation. Eventually this questioning reaches the questioner: who is doing all this asking? What is their real problem?
Those questions cannot really be answered in an external way. Certainly there are people who profess to answer them. Certainly there are religious traditions that profess to answer them. But the truth is that when you reach the questioner, you are alone. And the first thing the questioner says is, “we need help. Let’s get someone else in here. Who should we get?”
The questioner isn’t real – it’s more of a pattern or condition. It’s sort of like when you hit ctrl-alt-del: the computer doesn’t give you a a box of chocolates and long-stem roses. It doesn’t start crooning Bob Dylan songs. It shuts down. That’s what it’s programmed to do. It can’t do anything else. If we expect it to do something else, then we’re going to be disappointed.
The questioner just asks questions: it doesn’t really know how to question itself. It doesn’t even really care about answers. One can say things like “question questioning” or “question the questioner” but that just leads to an infinite regression. Those statements sound clever, but they don’t actually lead anywhere.
The suggestion here is to just sit with it – the questioner, the projections, the answers. All of it. See how it all runs without interference. The questioner questions and answers appear but if we are attentive, we see that this happens somewhat automatically. It’s as natural as shivering when it’s cold and sweating when it’s hot.
This is helpful to see! It means there is no need to attend to it. We can let it all be.
What happens when we are no longer rushing to know? What happens when we are no longer insisting on the prerogatives of the seeker? Where is the guru when the seeker is no longer seeking?
It may be seen simply that there is only wholeness naturally encapsulating questions and answers, seekers and gurus, Buddhas and Christs, trees and leaves, dogs and their walkers, and clouds at 4 a.m. that cover up a waning moon.
This wholeness cannot be objectified – it can’t stand outside itself. It can’t break into parts, one of which studies the balance and calls it “wholeness.” It can be gestured toward – skillfully or otherwise – but it remains both invisible and indivisible.
Often, we confuse “peak” experiences as being more “whole” than anything else. For example, in the ACIM community a lot of so-called students are deferential to so-called teachers who have seen lights or are in dialogue with ascended masters or been directed by Jesus to scribe supplemental texts to Schucman’s work.
The point isn’t that those things can’t happen – the point is that it doesn’t matter whether they happen. They are just experiences, no better or worse than washing a toilet, baking a loaf of bread, or kissing an old lady’s cheek.
Experiences come and go. Preferences come and go. Coming and going comes and goes. That is the nature of the whole. It is never more or less itself, and we are neither near nor far away from it.
is the only moon –
and yet the clouds and I