“There is no such thing as enlightenment. The full appreciation of that fact is, itself, enlightenment.”
(that guy who no one really listens to, because if you did – you wouldn’t followhis teachings. But, paradoxically, thousands ‘follow’)
Not there yet?
Repackaging ‘enlightenment’ in a way accessible to modern day humans (what ‘Jed McKenna’ has done with a degree of success) will continue to lead folks on a merry-go-round. When I started this entire enterprise it looked something like this in my mind: “Go there don’t know where. Fetch that don’t know what”. Like you, I had no clue what I was ‘looking for’. Luckily, the madness only lasted for two years. Just like Mr. McKenna spoke about cutting pieces of skin off oneself (metaphorically) and one day suddenly comprehending the sheer stupidity of the whole gig – I cut loose of the madness that invades people’s minds for DECADES.
This below was written in the 7th century AD.
And YET… in over one thousand years the penny hasn’t dropped. Why? Because the damn humans who ‘got’ it – continued to ‘teach’, thus enticing scores of inwardly vulnerable adult children to look for the non-existent. That pink elephant romping around in the distance, always just that little bit out of reach – because it is.
Didn’t Jed say “You will never become enlightened”? Because no one can become something that has no reality behind it.
“I tell you, there’s no Buddha, no Dharma, no practice, no enlightenment. Yet you go off like this on side roads, trying to find something. Blind fools! Will you put another head on top of the one you have? What is it you lack?
Followers of the Way, I tell you there is no Dharma to be found outside. But students don’t understand me and immediately start looking inward for some explanation, sitting by the wall in meditation, pressing their tongues against the roof of their mouths, absolutely still, never moving, supposing this to be the Dharma of the buddhas taught by the patriarchs. What a mistake! If you take this unmoving, clean, and pure environment to be the right way, then you will be making ignorance the lord and master. A person of old said, “Bottomless, inky black is the deep pit, truly a place to be feared!” This is what he meant.
But suppose you take motion to be the right way. Every plant and tree knows how to move back and forth, so does that mean they constitute the Way? To the degree that they move, it is due to the element air; to the degree that they do not move, it is to the element earth. Neither their moving nor their not moving comes from any nature innate in them. If you look toward the area of motion and try to grasp the truth there, it will take up its stand in the area of non-motion, and if you look toward non-motion and try to grasp it there, it will take up its stand in motion. It is like a fish hidden in a pond who now and then slaps the surface and leaps up.
Followers of the Way, you lug your alms bag and rush off on side roads, looking for buddhas, looking for Dharma. Right now, all this dashing and searching you are doing, do you know what it is you are looking for? It is vibrantly alive, yet has no root or stem. You can’t gather it up; you can’t scatter it to the winds. The more you search for it, the farther away it gets. Don’t search for it and it’s right before your eyes; its miraculous sound always in your ears. But if you don’t have faith, you’ll spend your hundred years in wasted labour.
You rush around frantically one place to another. What are you looking for, tramping till the soles of your feet are squashed flat? There is no Buddha to be sought, no Way to be carried out, no Dharma to be gained.
Seeking outside for some Buddha possessing form, this hardly becomes you! If you wish to know your original mind, don’t try to join with it, don’t try to depart from it.”
Note: He is the guy who said “When hungry – eat, when tired – sleep”. It became my favourite BY FAR after I got to see past the illusion.
No one gets zen, huh… Keep chasing that tail.