“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

What does liberation require?

What does liberation require? Krishnamurti would stop us before we even ask the question, as to suppose enlightenment could have a cause in time is to mistake the temporal for the eternal. But supposing we are then merely trying to describe the experience of awakening metaphorically, rather than trying to scientifically break it down into its component parts in space-time, which we should see is impossible. Enlightenment is a seeing, not that which is seen. We aim only to sit down at the piano of language and find a few chords to push that, if successful, will move those who listen just enough to see the moon is just a reflection in the puddle. Buddha said that life is not a problem to be solved or a project to be built, but a disease to be cured. But does the Buddha mean by life what the scientist means by life? Ah, but science makes no attempt to define life, it merely looks at the data and lets it speak for itself. The Buddha does not at all disagree with the scientists’ method, he only reminds them not to mistake the means for the end. Precisely because science is able to reduce life to a battle between sex and death (Vishnu and Shiva), the human being must be open to awareness (Brahma). Buddha’s definition, or rather his diagnosis of life is that its essence is suffering. To be born as an ego into the world of time and space is to die as an ego out of time and space. Your whole life as “insert name here” is a finite illusion contained within an infinite reality. But then infinity is not a container, because infinity is not just out there beyond space and time, it is right here beside us, even here inside us just as it always has been before, after, and between. Nobody pays attention to history anymore. Everyone leans to far ahead into the future that the past becomes a faded memory, something so distant that it can easily be exploited by politicians to justify anything. When we remember, we return to the past. When we deconstruct, we reach into the future. To the extent that we can deconstruct the past, we can be free. But freedom without chains is unaware of itself. Without resistance, there is no existence. Suffering is not other than bliss. But still we march blindly on into the future, endlessly repeating our past. Getting rid of karma does not mean dropping the past and leaping into the future. It means accepting the present and becoming, returning to, Tao. Spirit is present when sex and death have been recognized. The human being believes in God because it knows Spirit is present. The human being believes in the ego because it knows spirit is present. The human being finally drops belief and becomes love because it knows Spirit is present. Spirit is only absent when it is wrapped up inside the present, like a gift we cannot have until we open it. That is what sex is, a wrapped gift we can’t wait to tear open and play with. Death is an open gift we desperately try to wrap up. The Buddha says we must drop all this and stop trying to rush around wrapping up the future and tearing open the past. Simply hold the present. Know and understand that there can be nothing inside the present that you do not already have, as when you open a present, all that’s left is to wrap it back up again. After you are born of sex, all that is left is to die. If we search for or chase the present, we will always miss it. Hold the present. Come to see that giving the present can be no different from receiving the present. The present is both whole and a hole; it is holy! So what does awakening require? A metaphysical binding of time into intellectual certainty? Certainly not! Awakening requires only sleep. Awakening is not solving a problem or constructing a thought-castle. Awakening is curing a disease. Awakening is not being reborn. Awakening is being unborn.







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