Living V. Reliving
Your shelves and coffee tables are littered with books. Your newsreader is overflowing with blog posts. Your Twitter is alive with the sound of verbal diarrhea. Words, words, words. We think we're learning, but we are only reliving. All of these stories, all of these insights are simply "fingers pointing at the moon." But they sure as shit aren't the moon.
Have you substituted direct experience for fairy tales? Do the insights of pastors, authors and poets get you off just enough to help you sleep at night? Think you grok some deep, fundamental truth because you read some swami's autobiography?
Fuck that shit.
- If you desire to feel a deep unity with the Ground of Being, don't read a book about it - sit your ass on a cushion for 30 minutes a day.
- If you want to know the "peace that passes all understanding," don't replay an audio sermon about it - regularly schedule time to shut everything down and be with yourself.
- If you want to learn how to be more loving and less selfless, then set a goal to write one handwritten note of encouragement per day.
Experiment with life. Treat it as a laboratory. Push this and watch that pop out. See for yourself. Get your damn hands dirty.
Wisdom and insight are fine; after all, I realize the irony that I am writing words on a blog. But words are simply signposts that allow us to witness and enjoy others' experiences and to learn routes for our own journey.
"If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him." No teacher, no book, no ritual, no prophet, no second-hand story will ever allow you to access spiritual truth until you carve the time to experience it firsthand. If the desire of your heart is to see Paris - you can read the Wikipedia page - or you can get on a fuckin' plane and marinate in the sounds and smells of the city.
Trevor, The Edge of Spiri